Hoosac Valley Girls Top Wahconah
CHESHIRE, Mass. — The old saying goes "three is better than two" and that is exactly what the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team proved in building an early lead en route to a 61-54 win over Wahconah on Friday night.
The Hurricanes knocked down their first six shots from beyond the 3-point arc to take a 20-5 lead after one. Lexi Mercier helped out with two of those on her way to a 20-point night. Alie Mendel scored 16, and Sarah Field added 15.
It was a tough start for Wahconah (9-2), as it found itself having trouble getting shots to fall early. The credit goes to the Canes’ defensive intensity as they were all over the court making plays difficult.
“We wanted to force the pace,” Hoosac Valley coach Ron Wojcik said. "Wahconah plays a different style, and they do a good job at it, they play the tough 1-3-1 with low-scoring games, We’re on the other side trying to score in the 70s and trying to run. I really told them to get after them in the half court and i thought they played with a lot of energy tonight.”
After the great start offensively, it really opened up the game for Hoosac not just beyond the arc but also inside. One key factor for Hoosac was from their out of bounds plays. On numerous occasions, the Hurricanes were able to either get a seal for a 3 on the outside or a dive right to the hoop for an easy basket. It was a struggle for Wahconah in the zone and Hoosac made them pay.
The Hurricanes builton their dominant first quarter, closing the half with a 39-23 lead. In a game everyone thought would be a tight battle, it didn’t seem like Wahconah was going to get things going at all. After trailing by 18 going into the fourth quarter it seemed like Hoosac was just going to run the clock and get out with an easy win.
An 8-0 run to start the the quarter for Wahconah breathed some life into the game, cutting it to 10 points with five minutes to go. Thanks to some help from Noelle Furlong, who scored eight of her 11 points in the quarter, Wahconah seemed like it would build on the momentum of their early quarter run.
With two minutes left, the visitors were able to get it to single digits before Alie Mendel knocked down a shot to push it back to double digits and out of reach for Wahconah. The inside presence of Sarah Field along with the outside shooting proved to be too much, and the comeback came too late in the game.
“Our game plan was originally to start inside and work our way out but the perimeter was open early,” Wojcik said. “Sarah did a great job on the inside finding seems and we were able to make some diagonal passes to her"
Wahconah was riding a nine-game win streak before tonight. It first loss of the season was on opening night. Wahconah will look to get back on the winning path against Monument Mountain on the road next Tuesday.
Hoosac remains with only one loss and will face off against Pittsfield on Tuesday.