Pittsfield Prevails as Hoosac's Mercier Scores 1,000th Point
CHESHIRE, Mass. — It was Senior Night for the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team and milestone night for one of its seniors.
But in the end, it was Pittsfield's night on the scoreboard.
Hoosac's Lexi Mercier joined the 1,000-point club, but Alexis Garvey matched her own uniform number with 21 points as the Generals earned a 67-56 win.
It was set up to be a special night for Mercier and the Hurricanes (12-3). She was only 13 points away from the 1,000-point plateau that so few accomplish. It wasn’t until two minutes into the fourth quarter Mercier got there in fitting fashion -- with a layup setup by Hoosac Valley's trademark press.
Mercier finished the game with 14 points and her senior teammate, Alie Mendel, who scored her 1000th point earlier in the year, had 24 Although it wasn’t enough to take down a hungry and eager Pittsfield (9-6) side, Mercier will remember this day forever.
“It was crazy, I tried not to think about it and just let it come with the game but it seemed to be the time to do it," Mercier said. “I think after that Taconic game when I scored 40 points I really thought this was going to be it, and I was finally going to get it."
Garvey had a double-double for the Generals with 17 rebounds to go with her 21 points. While teammates Julia Eline-Wright had 15 and Alexi Sondrini added nine. It was a team effort by the Generals as they clamped down on Hoosac defensively and were able to break pressure for some easy buckets at the rim.
“I think the main key was going back to our roots," Pittsfield coach Joe Racicot said. "We played a hardcore man-to-man defense. The kids worked hard all week and we got back in to a gritty man to man and the kids really showed what they were made of.”
That defense he is referring to held Hoosac to a very limited amount of second chances opportunities and led to transition chances for the Generals. At the other end, you could see the hunger in Pittsfield as it continually crashed the boards to create second chances opportunities. Pittsfield had no trouble breaking the pressure of Hoosac for most of the game, and that led to an early first quarter lead and half-time lead. Hoosac fought back a few times in the game, like an 11-2 run at the start of the second quarter. But with a few key timeouts to slow the Hurricanes down, Pittsfield was able to weather the storm and take a 35-28 lead at the break.
Pittsfield started the third quarter like they ended the half pushing the lead to double digits. It continued to work on the boards offensively, getting multiple rebounds on possessions. With four early fouls, Garvey found herself on the bench asking plenty of questions of her teammates and how they would respond. Pittsfield continued to play good team basketball and was able to keep a comfortable gap for the remainder of the game. Even with one last push from Hoosac’s offense, the Generals were able to see the game out by breaking pressure and slowing the game down.
“We got some key baskets from a number of our players in transition when they were coming back," Racicot added. "We hit some easy shots that were available, and that was key.”
This was a big win for Pittsfield, pushing them closer to their 10th win on the season. It will get right back at it Friday night against Taconic at the Boys and Girls Club.
As for Hoosac Valley, it will look to shake off this loss and get ready for Monument at home on Monday.