CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley girls basketball team Thursday held off a furious second-half comeback by Wahconah to earn a 44-41 win.
It was a dream start for Hoosac Valley (12-4, 9-2 Berkshire County North) on Senior Night as the Hurricanes jumped out to a quick 10-0 run. They were able to bring the pressure like they always do and were able to control the game on the offensive end with great patience setting up open looks from downtown. They held Wahconah scoreless for more than five minutes and were able to have a comfortable 13-3 lead at the end of one.
The second quarter didn’t seem to get any better for Wahconah (12-4, 6-4), who continued to miss easy opportunities around the hoop as well as errant passes thanks to the Hoosac Valley pressure. Hoosac Valley continued more of the same from the first quarter knocking down 3-pointer after 3-pointer. The ‘Canes finished the quarter with seven total 3s and an even bigger lead than the first. Riley Robinson led the way with 12 points, and Averie McGrath had nine.
“We live off of our pressure and it gets us going in transition. I thought we ran better in the first half, and we had more looks in the first half.” Hoosac Valley coach Ron Wojcik said. “Give them credit they tightened up their defense in the second half and took away a lot of our looks from three and made us put the ball on the floor. We missed some early layups and that let them back in the game.”
The second half looked like the Wahconah team we have been accustomed to seeing throughout the years with high intensity and good decision making. It started the second half red hot, outscoring Hoosac Valley 15-0 in the third quarter. Jilly Cote led Wahconah in scoring with 12 points and Emma Belcher had 10. It was a well rounded quarter for Wahconah as it not only held Hoosac scoreless but got itself right back in striking distance. It was almost as if the roles reversed and Hoosac was struggling to connect passes together and make layups.
It wasn’t until the 2:30 mark of the fourth when Wahconah took its first lead of the game with a 3-pointer from Emma Belcher. It wouldn’t last long as Shaleight Levesque knocked down a 3 of her own shortly after to give Hoosac a 42-41 lead. After a made free throw from Jilly Cote to cut the lead to one, Averie McGrath knocked down two huge free throws to give Hoosac a three-point lead which eventually was enough to see the game out.
It was a gutsy win for the Hurricanes who probably didn’t see themselves in this late game situation with how the first half went, but they stayed composed and finished the job.
“You don’t expect a scoreless third quarter, but we had a bunch of good looks, and we missed them,” Wojcik said. "We just had to keep doing what we were doing but focus more on the finishing. I was happy with the way our girls played down the stretch and executed things and taking care of the ball.”
Hoosac Valley will take the rest of the week off and get ready for a third matchup with Taconic on Monday.
Wahconah will do the same and host Monument Mountain on Monday.