Monson Girls Basketball Bounces Mount Everett
AMHERST, Mass. -- The Mount Everett girls basketball team Tuesday saw the future of Division 4 in Western Massachusetts.
And it does not look bright for any team not named Monson.
Freshman Sydnie DeVries scored 18 points, junior Kaitlyn Santos scored 18, and sophomore Kelsey Duggan had 13 rebounds in leading the Mustangs to a 58-44 win over the Eagles in the Western Mass Division 4 semi-finals.
Top-seeded Monson (15-7) moves on to face Putnam on Saturday morning in the sectional final. And Monson figures to continue to be a familiar sight in Curry Hicks Cage for the next couple of years.
"That's the thing. We thought these next couple of years, we'd be able to rule the roost a little bit," Mount Everett coach Scott Rote said. "We thought we were pretty good with our junior class. But these guys -- with what they graduate out, they don't lose much. Their bigs are all staying."
DeVries can stay for three more years, and her presence in the post will be a major challenge for the rest of the division.
"DeVries is a freshman ... Duggan is a sophomore," Rote said. That's a pretty strong four and five.
"Both have to be over 6 foot tall. And some of the moves DeVries made -- she would get our players on her hip and just twist them right around and go right to the hoop. It was crazy."
Monson took control of the game in the second quarter, when it outscored the fifth-seeded Eagles 20-5 to establish a 29-14 half-time lead.
Sophomore guard Mia Krupczak scored nine points in the quarter, including two of Monson's three 3-pointers in the period.
"Everything we saw on these guys -- we saw the Lenox game, we saw the tape of the Drury game -- we knew they were big, and we were preparing for them on the inside and trying, defensively, to take care of stuff there," Rote said. "We didn't think they were going to start lighting it up from outside."
Madeline Von Ruden did what she could in the first half to keep Mount Everett close, scoring five of her team-high 13 points. Gwendolyn Carpenter was held to just three points at the half, but she also had three assists at half-time, and she added 10 more points in the second half to tie Von Ruden for team-high honors.
Rote admitted afterward that there are times when he wishes his junior star would be a little more selfish with the ball.
"We wanted her to attack the rim a little bit and get to the line," he said. "When she gets to the line, she usually does well there."
Mount Everett went on a 7-0 run that spanned the third and fourth quarters to get the lead down to 10 with 7:30 left.
First, Carpenter fed Marion Devoti in the post. Then Madison Ullrich put back an offensive rebound and drew a foul. She missed the chance for a three-point play, but she did one better, getting the rebound of her miss and going back to the line, where she sank a pair to make it 43-42. Tori Seward capped the run with a free throw to make it a 10-point game.
Monson pulled back in front by 15 with a 7-2 run of its own moments later, and the Eagles never could get the lead down to single digits.