Wahconah Girls Win Second Straight

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- The Wahconah girls basketball team Tuesday used a Victoria Gamberoni 3-pointer to take a 38-35 lead and hit nine of 12 shots at the line the rest of the way to earn a 54-47 win over Mount Greylock on Tuesday night.
 
For the game, Wahconah shot 21-for-27 at the line. Amelia Dougherty alone went 8-for-8 on her way to a team-high 13 points.
 
“We have been practicing [foul shooting] a lot,” McKenna McIlquham said. “That has been emphasized. We run after every shot, so we’re tired, and then we’re still going after that.”
 
“And make or miss at the foul line, we’re getting there,” Emmy Cote added. “We’re getting the fouls. We just have to convert, and I think we’ve been doing a better job of that.”
 
McIlquham shot 4-for-4 at the line while Cote had an off night, going just 1-for-3.
 
A back-and-forth game turned not at the charity stripe but behind the 3-point arc.
 
Ashley Zink erased Mount Greylock’s last lead of the night when she converted an assist from Cote for a triple that made it 35-35 with 3 minutes, 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
 
After a Cassie Tobler rebound a the other end, Gamberoni hit a 3 for her only points of the game to give Wahconah a three-point lead it never relinquished.
 
The Mounties got within a point on three separate occasions the rest of the way, but each time Wahconah responded.
 
After Maddy Ross scored in transition just before the end of the third to cut the Mounties’ deficit to 42-41, Zink opened the fourth quarter with a free throw to make it a two-point margin.
 
Ross answered with a foul shot, and Dougherty converted two at the stripe to make it 45-42 with 4:18 left to play.
 
Lauren Howard (11 points) converted both ends of a one-and-one to again trim the deficit to a point, but Dougherty drove the lane and scored to make it 47-44.
 
Wahconah extended that lead to six points with three foul shots on back-to-back trips before Jenna Benzinger (game-high 19) hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game with 41 seconds left.
 
Zink got to the line and sank a free throw with :18 on the clock, and Tobler grabbed a defensive rebound at the other end, leading to a pair of foul shots for Dougherty with 9.7 seconds left. She converted both shots to get the lead to 53-47.
 
McIlquham closed the game with a free throw with .1 seconds remaining to provide the final margin of victory -- Wahconah’s second straight victory to open 2017 after going 1-5 in December.
 
“A lot of people were asking us, ‘Why are you playing D1 teams?’ “ Cote said of Wahconah’s independent schedule. “Well, honestly, looking back, it helps. Win or lose against them, it’s a privilege to play against them. It really helps us -- defense, offense, everything. Their pressure helped us in every single situation.”
 
Wahconah (3-4) hosts Drury on Friday.
 
Mount Greylock (7-2) looks to snap a two-game losing streak on Friday at Lenox.