Hoosac Valley's Field Scores 1,000th Point in Win over Quaboag
CHESHIRE, Mass. -- It is fair to say that a few of the people at Hoosac Valley High School Tuesday night came to see senior Fallon Field reach a personal milestone.
Don’t count Field among them.
Yes, she scored her 1,000th career point midway through the fourth quarter of an eventual 63-48 win over Quaboag. But she did not come to the gym thinking about the 21 points she needed to reach that plateau.
She just wanted to make sure the Hurricanes had enough points when the horn sounded to run their record to 4-0.
“I didn’t know what game it was going to [happen],” Field said. “Coaches just told me to play my game and let it come to me, it’s going to come. So, I wasn’t really worried about it. I was just going to go out there and play.”
Field’s grand moment started with a rebound by co-captain Kailynne Frederick at the defensive end. Skylar Case provided the assist at the other end, hitting Field with a pass on the right wing.
Field later said she thought the shot missed to the left, but her 3-point try hit nothing but the bottom of the net, touching off a celebration with her teammates, family and friends.
The triple gave Hoosac (4-0) a 53-35 lead and needed breathing room against a game Quaboag team that trailed, 22-8, after the first quarter but came back to get within six, 37-31, midway through the third.
“We had a tough time, but they’re a good team,” Hoosac coach Ron Wojcik said. “I told the girls before the game, you’ve got a team that won back-to-back Western Mass titles, and we know how difficult that can be to do. And they have everyone back. So they weren’t going to walk in here and fold because it’s Hoosac Valley High School.
“I thought that it would be a battle. They have size. They were very patient against the press. And when they broke it, they scored. They finished.
“We had a battle all the way.”
Field’s 21 points came in handy for more than just allowing her friends and family to break out the balloons for an in-game celebration. Her team-high three assists and team-high eight rebounds also were a big help in knocking off the Cougars.
Alie Mendel backed up Field with 17 points, and Lexi Mercier added 11 -- six in the fourth quarter as Hoosac preserved its double-digit lead.
The Hurricanes rebuilt that lead with a 12-0 third-quarter run.
The run started when Case drove the lane and went to the line. She sank both free throws to make it 39-31. Then Frederick drew a charge at the other end to force a Quaboag turnover, and at the other end she was fouled attempting to put back an offensive rebound; she sank both to make it a 10-point cushion.
Mercier hit a 3 with an assist from Field, and Field scored two at the line to make it 47-31. Mendel finished the run when she was fouled attempting a 3-pointer and hit two of her three at the line to give Hoosac Valley an 18-point lead.
Lexi Paquette scored 18 points with 15 rebounds for Quaboag, which got 14 points from Emma Stanton.
Wojcik said his Hurricanes can benefit from the test provided by the Cougars heading into Friday’s clash with Sophie Gatzounas and the unbeaten South Hadley Tigers, who beat Hoosac by one point last year in the championship game of the Hoosac Valley Holiday Tournament. Friday’s game is a rescheduled tournament final originally scheduled for Dec. 17.
The four-time defending Western Mass champion Hurricanes already have benefited from the presence of Field, who has earned all 1,000 of those points, Wojcik said.
“This is the sixth player I’ve coached -- four boys and the second girl -- to score 1,000,” he said. “You look at these players, and it’s not just their in-season work. It’s their off-season work. It’s the time and effort they put into their game, from dribbling to shooting to lay-ups -- all aspects of the game.
“As much as Fallon can score, I told her a long time ago, ‘Good players can score. Great players can score and make their team better. That’s what she does. She makes her teammates better.”