CHESHIRE, Mass. – Big rebounding and clutch free throw shooting keyed a rivalry win for the Drury boys basketball team on Saturday night.
Louis Guillotte scored 16 points and grabbed 18 rebounds, and the Blue Devils outrebounded Hoosac Valley by a nearly 2-to-1 margin in a 45-31 win over Hoosac Valley.
“Before my freshman year, I was a big rebounder,” Guillotte said. “I know I can get up high, and that’s what I really focused on. That made it easier for me to get opportunities on offense, like transition and stuff.”
Attacking the glass was a major team priority for Drury, partly because it was missing its leading rebounder heading into its only regular season meeting against the Hurricanes.
“We said coming in, we knew without our big man it was going to be important,” Drury coach Jack Racette said. “He usually gets 14 rebounds, so it makes it easy for our guys to leak out. We appreciate him, and we miss him. But we knew we had to make a concerted effort to get on the glass tonight.
“It was one of our biggest points of emphasis we talked about for a couple of days: How we rebound was what’s going to make the difference in the game.”
Ben Moulton grabbed 12 rebounds, and Zach Davignon and Amont David had nine and eight, respectively.
As a team, Drury (8-2) outrebounded the Hurricanes, 59-30, more than making up for its turnover troubles in the first and third quarters.
On a night when scoring was hard to come by, Moulton joined Guillotte in double figures with 12 points. Davignon added seven, including 5-of-6 foul shooting in the last two minutes to ice the win.
Hoosac Valley (6-2) got 11 points from Carson Meczywor and 10 points and a team-high eight boards from Frank Field.
Drury scored the game’s first five points, and Hoosac Valley was never able to tie it in front of the kind of raucous crowd that Berkshire County has not seen in nearly two years.
A 7-3 spurt at the end of the first quarter established the game’s first working margin for the Blue Devils (8-2).
Moulton got the run going with a 3-pointer from the left-wing corner. Guillotte capped it with a short jumper from the baseline to beat the buzzer and make it 15-7 at the end of the quarter.
Hoosac Valley opened the second quarter with a 10-3 run to pull within one at 18-17 on Field’s 3-pointer.
But Drury answered with a 10-0 run that spanned the second and third quarters.
“Run” may be a charitable way to describe the third quarter, which saw the teams combine for just six points: four from Drury’s Moulton and a steal and lay-in by Hoosac Valley’s Mikey White to close the period.
Drury took an 11-point lead into the fourth, but the Hurricanes got within six with two minutes to play when Meczywor stole the ball out of the Hoosac Valley press and scored on a lay-up to make it 35-29.
But Drury allowed just two more points the rest of the way.
“[Hoosac Valley] didn’t shoot the ball that well, but I thought we played good, hard man-to-man defense,” Racette said. “We didn’t switch anything. We just said, we’re going to go down there and play man.”
Davignon answered Meczywor’s lay-up on Drury’s next possession when he grabbed an offensive rebound and got to the line, converting both his free throws – the first of five straight over Drury’s next three possessions to get the lead back to nine points with 56 seconds left.
The Blue Devils went on to score six more points at the line in the last 46 seconds to finish the game with their biggest margin of the night after Conner Hinkell sank a foul shot with 5 seconds on the clock.
Drury will take a three-game winning streak into Tuesday’s’ home game against Frontier.
Hoosac Valley goes to Pioneer on Tuesday.