CHESHIRE, Mass. — Full-court defensive pressure and a strong low-post presence led Hoosac Valley to win its second consecutive game by more than 20 points against a county foe.
The Hurricanes (8-1, 1-0 North Division) had four players in double figures, as visiting Lee (4-4) succumbed to Hoosac's full-court pressure en route to a 64-42 final.
Trevor Alibozek led all scorers with 19 points on 13-15 shooting from the free throw line. Though it was sophomore Jameson Coughlin who saw the best looks in the low post, tallying 18 points including 10 in the first half.
As he was subbed out of the game in the final minute of the second half, coach Bill Robinson told him he could have scored 50, had he finished stronger.
“He's good around the basket. He struggled finishing tonight, but he made some nice baskets, as well, inside. He's just a tough kid,” Robinson said.
Following a 25-point effort on Friday to earn his 1,000th career point, Lee's Heamon Williams was held to 14 points, four of which came in the first half.
After Hoosac took a 20-point lead with 90 seconds to play in the third quarter, the Wildcats made three straight hoops to end the frame and cut their deficit to 46-32. Just more than one minute into the final period, Lee's Ryan Kohlenberger drove baseline and fed Willaims in the lane for a layup and trip to the line to keep it a 14-point game.
Sean Ryan-Kurt (10 points) used his quickness to beat Wildcat defenders down court, contributing breakaway layups as the two teams continued to trade baskets. Despite Williams' 10 fourth-quarter points, the Hurricanes did not allow Lee closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
“You neutralize him with five guys. He had some moments where he caught the ball and we were yelling at guys for being in there; somebody should have been watching him at all times,” Robinson said. “It took five guys to do it and five guys to keep him off the glass, because he's very good on the glass.”
Hoosac ran out to an early 8-0 run to begin the game, limiting the Wildcats to one shot on most possessions in the first quarter. The Hurricanes held Lee to 22 points in the first half, 12 of which came from behind the arc.
On Wednesday, Hoosac hosts undefeated Pittsfield (10-0) and its “one-man wrecking crew” Amancho Adopo.
“It's a good challenge. In previous years, we [were] 1-7 going into that challenge. Now, we're 7-1. Kids are starting to believe.
“[Adopo's] a special talent. I don't know what we can do. I don't know if we can do anything. But we're gonna give it a try,” Robinson said.