Greylock Downs McCann with 3-point BarrageNORTH ADAMS, Mass — Mount Greylock girls' basketball coach Paul Barrett knows what his team is capable of. He sees his players shoot the lights out every day in practice.
The problem for Barrett is he doesn't always see the Mounties translate that shooting touch onto the court. That wasn't an issue for Greylock on Wednesday night, however, as Barrett's squad hit nine 3-pointers overall, scoring nearly half of its points from behind the arc on the way to a 55-30 road win over McCann Tech.
The Mounties' hot-and-cold offense could be seen in Friday night's 58-47 loss to Lenox. Greylock (6-10) scored just 13 points in the first half before blowing up for 34 points after the break. The Mounties surpassed their first-half point total against the Millionaires in just one quarter on Friday, taking a 16-10 lead after the first eight minutes of play. The visitors drained four threes alone in the first quarter, causing the Hornets' defense to adjust on the fly.
"I think we have good shooters, but it's all about our comfort zone and getting the girls to believe they can play," Barrett said. "Against Lenox, we were doing stuff like we had the smallest comfort zone in the world. Once we got behind, then they just started playing. They didn't make all of those passes and those quick decisions the wrong way, and they started making good decisions. I see it in practice. I know what we're capable of, but it's all a question of our comfort zone."
One player who certainly kicked her shoes off and made herself comfortable was Barrett's daughter, Lucy. The freshman guard dominated the first half, hitting three 3-pointers and nine baskets overall to score 21 of her team's 32 first-half points. She was dangerous both inside and out, scoring on five jumpers and four hoops driving to the basket. Barrett has been Greylock's leading scorer all year long, averaging just under 15 points a game, but she's particularly on fire as of late, pouring in 23.33 points a game in her last three contests.
"She's growing up as the season goes along," Paul Barrett said. "I always have to remind myself that she's only a freshman. With the other girls we have on this team, we don't necessarily need her to do all of the scoring. There are times when she's our scorer, but there are other times when she penetrates pretty well and dishes off to her teammates."
Down 13-3 midway through the first quarter, McCann (4-10) did a nice job of crawling its way back into the game. Junior guard Mary Nguyen scored all 10 of her points in first half, helping the hosts pull within 20-15 early in the second quarter. Barrett then caught fire, though, sinking a runner down the lane to grab the momentum back for her team. She then scored on consecutive lay-ins before senior forward Caitie Benoit (six points, five rebounds) drained a three from the left wing to cap off a 9-0 run. Nguyen then came up with one of her eight steals in the game and connected on a 3-point play to get the Hornets back on track, but Barrett drilled a dagger at the halftime buzzer, sinking a long trey from 10 feet behind the 3-point line to give the Mounties a 32-18 lead at the break.
"They were sinking them from everywhere," McCann head coach Kristen Lewis said. "I think some of it was because we didn't have some of our starters out there early on. But then also we were playing man, but they were beating us back. That made us go to zone, but we couldn't cover Lucy. She was on fire tonight. We then went to a box and one, but other girls started lighting it up."
It was a disappointing showing for a Hornets' squad that never really challenged Greylock's lead in the second half. After starting the season 0-6, McCann showed some serious signs of improvement by winning four out of its next seven games. They were forced to play large periods of the first half without normal starters Ashley Alibozek (nine points) and Cassie Field, who were being disciplined for violating a team rule, and Lewis thinks that hurt their continuity to start the game.
"I think it was an off night for us," she said. "I think they're a really good team and a tough opponent. I was happy with how hard we played, but missing two of our starters for most of the first half really hurt our team. We have three really big games that we have to win coming up in order to make it to the tournament, so the girls in the locker room said after the game that we just need to forget about this one and move onto the next game."
The Mounties are in a similar situation, needing to win their final four games in order to qualify for postseason play. Senior captain Kaylene Lemme, who chipped in with 11 points and three rebounds, said the key to her team's success is taking the rest of the season one game at a time.
"I'm just excited and ready to take on each game as it comes," she said. "We only have one shot at it, so we'll see what happens. We definitely have a chance, though."
Greylock next plays at Mount Everett at 7 p.m. on Friday, while the Hornets host Putnam at the same time that night.