Harnick, McGrath Lead Drury Girls in Senior Night Win
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. – The Drury girls basketball team was firing on all cylinders for Senior Night.
Seniors Kayla McGrath and Ellie Harnick combined for 29 points, and the Blue Devils posted a season-high in Tuesday’s 74-29 win over Ludlow.
Four Devils finished in double figures and two more just missed that plateau in a balanced attack as Drury matched its previous season-high scoring mark, 56, by the end of the third quarter.
“It was great to be back after sitting and watching the Agawam game from being injured and also missing games due to COVID,” McGrath said. “It’s nice to finally be back, and hopefully I stay back.
“Ludlow played a triangle-and-two and a box-and-one on us, so it forced us to play more as a team. I think that helped us a lot to get back into the swing of sharing the ball.”
Lauren Davis scored 14 points, and Morgan Sarkis added 10. Alyssa Russell hit three 3-pointers in a nine-point night, and Jacinta Felix scored eight while passing out four assists and making six steals.
Drury coach Ian Downey was happy to see his team click on offense after managing just 37 points – albeit without McGrath or Davis – in a 10-point win two weeks ago.
“The last time we played them, we didn’t have Lauren, and we didn’t have Kayla, and they came out and, unexpectedly, played a box-and-one and a triangle-and-two,” Downey said. “So last night, we talked about what to do when a team does this – where you need to move to, where you need to set screens. The girls who are being face-guarded, what do you need to do offensively? You can’t just stand there and do nothing, you’ve got to be part of the offense.
“So that’s what I was happy with, regardless of the score or whatever: We were executing what we went over, which I think is a good sign.”
After Ludlow’s Kaylee Lyman hit a 3-pointer to open the scoring, the Blue Devils scored the next 19 points – including 3-pointers from Felix, Davis and Sarkis and a conventional three-point play from Harnick (13 points) – to open up a 16-point lead seven minutes into the game.
It was a 22-point margin at half-time, and Drury erased all doubt with a 19-4 third quarter that saw McGrath score eight points, including four in less than a minute off transition lay-ups, first off her own steal and then off one by Davis to make it 52-16.
In addition to scoring 18 more points than it has in a game this winter, Drury also held an opponent under 30 points for just the second time as it snapped a three-game losing skid.
About half of the Blue Devils’ 28 field goals came off assists, with Felix and Davis quarterbacking the offense.
“I was a point guard in high school,” Downey said. “So I’ve been on [Felix and Davis] about taking care of the ball and distributing the ball and finding the right girls and even things as small as finding the hot hand. If one of our girls just hit a 3, find a way to get her the ball again – whether we run a play or you dribble at her girl and get her girl to help and kick out to her.
“So I’ve been especially hard on the two of them, because our offense starts with them. They’re going to control the tempo. They’re going to control what play we run and whether we get into our set. I thought we did a good job tonight of actually executing what we wanted to do. And now, as I just said to them [in the locker room], we need to carry that into every game going forward.”
Drury is on the road Thursday at South Hadley.
“I feel really good about the team,” McGrath said. “Now that we’re getting closer to the middle and end of the season, I think if we just keep playing as we did today, we can make it far in Western Mass.”