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Gidarakos Sparks Monument Mountain Boys at Hoosac Valley

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Sports - Print
10:11PM / Friday, February 26, 2021

CHESHIRE, Mass. -- The Monument Mountain boys basketball team Friday held Hoosac Valley to one basket in the final 4 minutes, 32 seconds to secure a 43-40 win.
Caden Gidarakos scored 18 points, and Khalil Carlson grabbed 13 rebounds for the Spartans (8-2), who overcame a big early deficit to win their third straight since dropping a four-point decision to the Hurricanes in Great Barrington a week earlier.
"[Gidarakos] is very good offensively," Monument Mountain coach Randy Koldys said. "His defense is getting better. But he gave us a huge, huge spark off the bench tonight. That was something we needed to have tonight.
"I appreciate the effort he gave us. Those were huge baskets he made. There's no lack of confidence from him. I can tell you that."
Gidarakos scored four of the Spartans' 12 points in a decisive fourth quarter as these two squads went down to the wire once again.
In a repeat of a week ago, it was the home team ahead after the first half.
This time, Hoosac Valley (7-2) stormed out of the gate with a 12-2 run and led 22-9 early in the second quarter after a 3-pointer by Frank Field.
But the Spartans went on an 11-0 run of their own before settling to be down, 25-20, going into half-time.
Monument used a 10-0 spurt in the third to take its first lead of the game.That came on a triple by Kieran Santos with 2 minutes, 6 seconds left in the quarter to make it 28-27. Gidarakos then hit from baseline on the right side to make it a three-point Monument lead.
From there, the teams went toe-to-toe for a four-minute stretch that went well into the fourth quarter.
Hoosac Valley's Logan Davis converted both ends of a one-and-one with 4:32 remaining to tie it at 37-37.
But Gidarakos scored on back-to-back possessions, and Hoosac Valley went dry on five straight trips -- three ending in Carlson rebounds.
"We went rogue tonight," Hoosac Valley coach Bill Robinson said. "We went away from team play and went to more selfish play tonight, especially in some tight spots. We were down, 43-37, and I remember somebody took a bad 3, down six."
Connor Hanavan (eight points) had given the Spartans that six-point bulge with a bucket in transition with 2:55 remaining.
Hoosac Valley's Carson Meczywor (13 points) hit a 3-pointer with 1:04 left to make it a one-possession game again.
And Meczywor grabbed a defensive rebound at the other end to give the Hurricanes a chance to tie it. But Hoosac Valley's next possession ended in a defensive rebound by Kyle Wellenkamp.
Hoosac Valley was then forced to foul with 34 seconds left -- its fourth personal foul of the half. It got its fifth foul with 31 seconds left, and then it got a break when the Spartans committed a turnover with 22.8 seconds remaining.
After a timeout with 19.1 remaining, the Hurricanes worked for a 3-pointer at the top of the key, but the rebound was tipped to Wellenkamp, who wrapped up and drew Hoosac Valley's sixth personal foul.
The Spartans inbounded the ball with 2.8 seconds left to a wide open Hanavan, who dribbled away from the foul until there was just .7 seconds left, icing the three-point win.
"Our defense was really good down the stretch, and I was really, really happy with what we did," Koldys said. "You come up here, and it's a hard gym to win in. It's a tough team to play against. They're well coached.
"It's a rock fight, and whoever has more rocks at the end of the game is going to win. We knew it was going to be that kind of game tonight. Both teams played really, really hard. It's good to have that kind of excitement."
Monument Mountain is scheduled to go back to Hoosac Valley next Friday.


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