PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- A return to basics allowed the Pittsfield girls basketball team to take control in Monday’s 70-42 win over Wahconah.
The Generals went on a 16-0 run in the third quarter to erase a four-point deficit, and they used a 9-0 run to start the fourth and open an 18-point lead en route to their eighth straight win.
The onslaught came after Wahconah led by as many as five points in the second quarter and went to the locker room tied, 27-27.
“We’ve been working on some different stuff defensively, and we figured we came out of the first half tied, and we’d go back to our old ways, defensively,” Pittsfield coach Joe Racicot said. “I told them: It’s up to you guys now. Just go out and play the way we know how to play.
“We played alright in the first half, but let’s play the way we know how to play.”
Pittsfield (13-6) held Wahconah (8-11) to 15 second-half points.
And the Generals got 15 second-half points from junior Bella Aitken, who scored all her points after the break.
“They were chasing them pretty good all game, and we started screening and getting these guys some looks,” Racicot said. “They were hungry to make some baskets.
“The transition was really good, and once we got a couple of 3s, I think it broke them down a little bit.”
Aitken and Steinman each hit a 3-pointer during the 16-0 run. Aitken also had a steal and a lay-in. During that stretch.
In the fourth-quarter spurt, Aitken hit from beyond the arc and had a couple of defensive rebounds -- one leading to her transition basket.
Pittsfield finished with an edge on the glass after Wahconah held its own in that department behind seven first-half rebounds by Julia O’Connor, who finished with 10 boards.
“I think we stuck to the game plan really well in the first half,” Wahconah coach Liz Kay said. “We attacked well inside-out. I thought defensively, we were vocal. I think we rebounded really well, and we knew that was going to be a key to trying to compete with them: getting active on the boards.
“They made great adjustments, and they worked darn hard in the second half to take advantage of us.”
Ashley Zink led Wahconah offensively with 13 points. Lily Pudlo and Kelly McMahon each scored eight.
Pittsfield’s Peyton Steinman scored a game-high 21 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.
The Generals head to Hoosac Valley Thursday for a North Division showdown against the Hurricanes.
Wahconah finishes the season on Tuesday at Drury. Monday’s loss meant Wahconah cannot qualify for the Western Mass Division 3 tournament.
“I think our girls have been playing with an immense amount of pressure all season,” Kay said. “We had a really tough schedule. I think that kids care so much that they put a lot of pressure on themselves, especially seniors who want to succeed.
“The one positive you see about playing tomorrow is we get to play without pressure and enjoy it. The other thing we told the girls is that not a lot of teams get to win their last game. We’re going to try to enjoy it. Obviously, it’s disappointing, but at the same time we love spending time together, and now we get a chance to do so without any pressure.”