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Hoosac Valley Girls Finish Busy Week with Blowout Win

By Stephen Dravis
iBerkshires Sports - Print

05:31PM / Saturday, January 22, 2022

CHESHIRE, Mass. -- And on the sixth day, the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team rested.
It certainly earned that right after completing a stretch of four games in five days with a 72-21 win over Granby on Saturday afternoon.
Playing less than 19 hours after their Friday night win over Lee, the Hurricanes came out on fire against the Rams, storming out to a 14-2 lead in the first quarter and never looking back.
Rylynn Witek scored 20 points to lead the way. Averie McGrath had 16 points, and Gabby Billetz had a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds as Hoosac Valley improved to 10-1 this winter.
In a season rampant with postponements and rescheduled games, the Canes ended up with a logjam this week. They knocked off Hampshire on Tuesday before playing three games in three days: at Wahconah, Lee and Granby.
"I think one of my concerns was putting together the three games in a row," Hoosac Valley coach Holly McGovern said. "The positive side of it was three of the games were at home and the one away game was within half an hour. So there wasn't a lot of travel time involved.
"But I think, overall, this team can reflect very positively on this week. I'm happy for the ladies. They continue to learn, they continue to grow. They want to be coached. I think this is all a positive for the program right now."
Hoosc built its big early lead in Saturday's matinee with defense, forcing nine first-quarter turnovers, including four out of the press.
Several of those takeaways turned into transition points, including a bucket by Witek assisted by Taylor Garabedian to make it 14-2.
It was a 10-point lead after one quarter, but Hoosac Valley opened the second with a 12-0 run to put the game all but out of reach.
Hanna Shea got things started with a transition basket, and Witek scored twice before Ashlyn Lesure capped the run with a pull-up jumper from the foul line to give her team a 26-4 lead.
A 9-0 run that featured a pair of buckets from Billetz pushed the margin to 28 at half-time, and McGovern had the luxury of being able to sit her tired regulars and maximize playing time for the bench in the second half.
"Thinking about next week, we'll have practices on Monday and Tuesday," she said. "And there are some things we still need to sort out, talking about game management and how to handle specific situations.
"I think they learned a lot from our in-game experience right now, but it will be nice to get them back into practice."
After a brief respite, the Hurricanes play three games in four days this week starting with Wednesday's contest at Pittsfield.


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