Hurricanes 'Stick to the Game Plan' in Win at Drury

By Brian Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley High School girls basketball team held on to beat Drury High School 45-32 despite tough defense and a third-quarter run from the Blue Devils. 
Hoosac Valley, now 4-1 on the season, was led in scoring by Averie McGrath, who had 12 points and two 3-pointers. Kayla McGrath led Drury with 17 points, including five in the third quarter. 
The Hurricanes built an early lead with an 11-0 run to start the game and ended the first quarter with a 15-5 score. Drury was able to keep pace throughout the rest of the game, however, not allowing the deficit to get higher than 14. 
Hoosac Valley held a 27-15 lead going into the second half, but a third-quarter run from Drury brought the score to within single digits. Drury's defense was also strong in the quarter, limiting the Hurricanes to only 10 points in the period, with a 37-28 score going into the fourth quarter.  
Hoosac Valley recovered with equally strong defense in the fourth quarter, limiting Drury to four points. When asked how the team maintained the lead despite pressure from Drury, Hoosac Valley coach Holly McGovern credited the team's defense. 
"We had a game plan, and we stuck to it," she said. "I know they hit the back-to-back 3s, and then they had a little run at the end of the third quarter, but we stuck to our game plan. Overall, offensively I don't think that we were totally in sync, but because of our defense, we come away with a win."
McGovern said rebounding is a significant point of emphasis for the team. Drury was able to get several offensive rebounds and second-chance points throughout the game, allowing them to keep the game close.  
"I think our ultimate goal is to always win the boards," she said. "I believe that when we do that, that's when we can start at least the transition. We're not really getting anything out of our secondary big right now, but winning the boards is really important for us." 
McGovern said solid play everywhere else on the court allowed the team to win even without a spectacular offensive showing. 
"Overall, I thought we did a nice job of cleaning up the boards and protecting the ball in our backcourt," she said. "Although I thought that in our frontcourt, we had a lot of simple turnovers, you just need to continue to work on it." 
Drury coach Ian Downey was pleased his team battled back after going into an early hole.
“So proud of my girls for never giving up after struggling during the first quarter,” Downey said. “Hoosac did a great job of spacing us out on defense. We did a great job limiting [Averie] McGrath’s shots who obviously was a focal point of our defense.
“At halftime we talked about coming out with energy and got the deficit down to single digits. We had so many good looks to get it down to seven but couldn’t get anything to fall. I told the girls after the game that it had been a long time since we competed for a full 32 minutes against a Hoosac team. Always disappointing when you lose but you can’t deny the effort they gave throughout the game.”
Hoosac Valley will play Taconic at home at 7 p.m. on Dec. 29. Drury, now with a 3-2 record after the loss, will play Ludlow at home at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 4.
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