AMHERST, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley girls basketball team is headed back to the Western Massachusetts Division 3 finals after a 53-48 win over Hampshire, Wednesday night.
The game didn’t start out the way they normally do for the Hurricanes as they went down 5–0 early in the game. The normal havoc defensive pressure wasn’t forcing the turnovers it normally does, and Hampshire looked to be in control for a majority of the first quarter. It wasn’t until later in the first quarter when Hoosac started to get a grip on the game and bring them within one just before the end of the first quarter.
A big part of Hoosac’s offense all year was the three ball and that is exactly what they used to get back in the game. Its first four baskets came from beyond the arc, and it trailed 15-14 after one.
In the second quarter, Hoosac finally started to get turnovers with its pressure and started getting easy looks inside. Averie McGrath had a big second quarter, scoring seven straight points to give Hoosac a 24-20 lead. McGrath finished the game with 10 points while Riley Robinson led the way with 17. Hoosac eventually took a 29-24 lead going into the half.
“It wasn’t very clean, but like I told the kids you just have to score more points than the other team in the
postseason so we were fortunate to do that," Hoosac Valley coach Ron Wojcik said.
The third quarter was a back and forth contest with both teams going at each other on the offensive end. Like Wojcik said, it wasn’t a pretty game for either side but Hoosac was able to make more plays when they needed to. A big help for the Hurricanes was Gabby Billetz, who scored all nine of her points in the fourth quarter. Hoosac was able to go down low to her often in the quarter and it paid off giving Hoosac the biggest lead of the game which eventually led them to victory.
“Gabby is a force and a presence. She is so aggressive and works so hard I was happy to see her make some of those big plays. With a fourth quarter like that she was able to give us some breathing room," Wojcik said.
Hoosac will now head back to the D3 finals for a sixth time in seven years. It will face Berkshire County rival Wahconah on Saturday for a chance to win back to back titles. The two teams split wins in the regular season.