Carpenter Brings Mount Everett Back at the Foul Line

By Stephen Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- The Drury girls basketball team Monday took a big lead with first-quarter 3s.
The Mount Everett Eagles came from behind with fourth-quarter 1s.
Gwendolyn Carpenter went 12-for-12 at the foul line in the fourth quarter and scored 18 of her game-high 29 in the final eight minutes lead Mount Everett to a 59-52 win at Bucky Bullett Gymnasium.
Carpenter scored the final 10 points of the game for her team and set up Marion Devoti for the go-ahead basket with about four minutes left as the Eagles erased an 11-point third-quarter deficit to win their sixth straight, improve to 10-6 and grab the inside track on winning the Berkshire County South Division title.
“It was a physical game, and the emotions were getting to everybody -- on their side and our side,” Mount Everett coach Scott Rote said. “Gwen was getting hit quite a bit. … We just told them to relax, everything will be fine. I tried to keep as calm as I could so they could see that and feed off of that.”
Mount Everett did not commit a turnover after the 5 minute, 20 second mark, when Drury had a 47-40 lead. The Eagles used a 9-1 run to regain the lead when Carpenter made a steal at midcourt and set up Devoti in the post to make it 49-48, and Rote immediately stopped the clock.
“I called that one timeout and said, ‘Guys, don’t make this one of those games where I screwed up and called the third timeout too early, but I want to tell you guys: You’ve changed the momentum. Now just relax and slow down,’ Rote said.
“This is all about possessions now. When we get into the final two, three minutes of the game, just count the possessions and think about how many they’ve got to have the ball to score and score.”
The Eagles went on to extend their run to 11-1 to go ahead, 51-48, on a pair of Carpenter free throws. But Drury (8-7) got back within a point when Brooke DiGennaro (team-high 18) got to the line in transition and hit both ends of a one-and-one with 2:09 on the clock.
The next time down the floor, offensive rebounds by Devoti and Madison Ullrich led to Carpenter’s drive from the right wing to make it 53-50 with 1:34 left.
Drury had a chance for some second-chance points of their own after a Tess Zoito offensive rebound, but Carpenter grabbed the carom on the next miss with less than a minute remaining.
The Eagles then ran the clock down in a one-score game, but Carpenter was fouled late in the shot clock and converted two to make it a two-score game.
“That’s just a mental error,” Drury coach Ian Downey said. “That’s something we went over because it happened against Wahconah our third game of the season. So we actually spent time in practice on that exact situation: One possession game, you let the shot clock go down, and you can’t foul.
“I don’t know what the shot clock was, but I can tell you it was under 10 seconds. We reach in, and not only do we reach in, we reach in on the best player in Berkshire County. … It’s frustrating. They’ve got a good team. They’ve got the best player in the county, so you can’t ever doubt them.”
Drury used six 3-pointers to go up by 11 in the first quarter. Three of those triples came from DiGennaro.
After she got off to a hot start, scoring 11 in the first eight minutes, Rote went to a box-and-one with junior Madeline von Ruden spying on the Drury senior.
“We don’t have a lot of depth and a lot of speed, and their so fast with DiGennaro and Hayley Shook (10 points), that we weren’t sure we’d be able to do it from the get-go,” Rote said of the box-and-one. “We wanted to stay as long as we could with our 3-2 zone and try to take away the inside plus get out to them on the outside.
“We knew we had to do something to frustrate [DiGennaro], and Madeline did a good job on her. The third quarter, second half, she did a wonderful job. … And what was big in the first half was Madeline and Devoti scoring for us.”
Von Ruden and Devoti each finished with eight, and Madison Ullrich had 10 for the Eagles.
Downey said the offensive dropoff for his Blue Devils was more a question of not finishing.
“We knew they were going to run a box-and-one, so we practiced that,” Downey said. “And we got shots. I can’t complain. We got wide open 3s and layups, and in the second half, they didn’t fall.”
Drury (8-7) goes to Lenox on Thursday.
Mount Everett (10-6), which already was in the Western Mass tournament prior to Monday’s 10th win due to the Sullivan Rule, will look to continue improving its seed on Wednesday when it visits Hampden Charter.
“This put us in a tie with Drury for the South and gives us the momentum we need going home for three games,” Rote said. “We didn’t want to get in on the Sullivan Rule. We’ve been talking all along that if we can get 12 or 13 wins, we have a chance of getting one of the top seeds in Division 4.
“There are not a lot of teams as good as the one we played tonight. Drury is a very, very good team. There’s not a lot like that in D4. This schedule we played this year made us better, no doubt.”
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