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Taconic Girls Run Away from Mounties in Second Half

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Sports
09:30PM / Friday, December 27, 2013


WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Earlier this month, the movie theater in town screened the animated film "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
 
On Friday night in the Mountie Dome, the Mount Greylock girls basketball team lived the nightmare after Christmas.
 
Taconic turned a two-point half-time game into 59-27 laugher thanks to 10 second-half points from Nyanna Slaughter, eight from Shalee Conyers and a dominating rebounding performance.
 
"We don't have too many of those," Taconic coach Matt Mickel said.
 
"That was pretty exciting for us to have a game like that. That was a flat-out team effort. I thought we controlled the defensive end. We held them to 13 points in the second half, and a lot of that was at the very end."
 
Mount Greylock (3-1) can only hope it doesn't have too many of these nightmarish outings.
 
"We're a young team, and we're going to have our ups and downs," Mounties coach Paul Barrett said. "And we're going to let our emotions get the best of us at times. Tonight, we let our emotions get the best of us.
 
"We hung with them for a half even though we were not playing well whatsoever, but we couldn't turn around the things we knew we had to turn around. I think that was a function of our youth. I know we've got to get tougher."
 
Taconic (2-4) took control with a 17-3 run to start the third quarter.
 
Angela O'Neil knocked down a 3-pointer on her way to a 13-point night to get the run started. After Mackenzie Flynn answered with a triple that used all of the rim before dropping to make it 19-17, the visitors scored the next 14 points.
 
Brianna Rogers had a steal, three rebounds and four points during the spurt, making it 33-17 with an offensive putback with about two minutes left in the quarter.
 
Taconic scored four points in transition during the run, establishing a penchant for running that continued throughout the half.
 
"I think girls like Shalee and Nyanna help -- the fact that they're bigs who can go and dribble in the open court, too," Mickel said. "I'm hoping it will be a sign of things to come with pushing the ball and getting out in transition."
 
Slaughter scored a game-high 15 and grabbed nine rebounds. Conyers had a game-high 16 boards, and Rogers backed her up with 10 caroms.
 
Mount Greylock had a slight rebounding advantage, 31-30, in the low-scoring first half. Jenna Benzinger had 13 first-half rebounds, and Lucy Barrett scored eight of her team-high 13 before the break.
 
The Mounties took their last lead, 14-11, when Arianna Walden hit both ends of a one-and-one with 1 minute, 3 seconds on the clock in the second quarter.
 
But Cortnee Clemons answered with a 3-pointer to tie and put back an offensive rebound to give her team a 16-14 lead going into the locker room.
 
Even when the Mounties were ahead on the scoreboard, Paul Barrett had a sense that things were not quite right with his team.
 
"We were standing around an awful lot," he said. "We tried to make a similar adjustment to what we made against Monument. And even then we couldn't get ourseleves to go to spots. All the fundamental little stuff we harp on, I really think there was a fundamental breakdown as well.
 
"They're not a bad team. They have some size. I thought when Slaughter got the two quick fouls we'd be able to get the ball in, but, again, that was youth and inexperience, too.
 
"It's one we're going to flush down the toilet and put behind us."
 
Mount Greylock will look to get back in the win column on Monday when it hosts Wahconah.
 
Taconic hosts Hampden Charter on Jan. 3.

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