Drake Leads Mount Greylock to Season-Opening Win
TURNERS FALLS, Mass. – Eighth-grader Tanley Drake scored 16 points Thursday to lead the Mount Greylock girls basketball team to a 51-23 win over Mount Everett in the season opener for both teams at the Eagle Holiday Classic at Franklin Tech.
Jackie Brannan scored six points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Mounties, who took control of the game with a 19-4 second quarter to take a 28-12 lead into half-time.
Drake scored six points in that quarter and eight more in the third, when Mount Greylock pushed the margin over 20 points.
“Tanley plays a lot of basketball and knows the game, and that’s why we’re happy to have her at point guard,” Mounties coach John Jacobbe said. “I don’t care what grade she’s in. She needs the ball in her hand, and she showed why tonight.”
Erica Wilson and Emily Steuernagle each scored six points for the Eagles. Steuernagle left the game after taking a spill with about two minutes left in the third quarter, but Mount Everett coach Joshua King indicated the senior guard likely will be available soon.
“I think she just landed and felt a little bit of a [twinge],” King said. “I just thought, based on where we were in the game, we’d let her rest.”
Mount Everett will be back at Franklin Tech on Friday to face St. Mary’s of Westfield in the tournament’s consolation game.
Mount Greylock will play for the tournament title against the host Eagles, who beat St. Mary’s 40-21, on Thursday night.
Franklin Tech last winter went to the Sweet 16 in the Division 5 State Tournament.
Thursday’s opener between former Berkshire County South Division foes saw the teams trading blows in the early going.
Aliyah Creamer scored with an assist from Steuernagle with about three minutes left in the first quarter to put Mount Everett up, 6-4, and Wilson put back an offensive rebound moments later to give the Eagles an 8-7 lead.
But Mount Greylock scored the next seven points and never looked back.
Madi Powell hit a jumper from the right wing to close the first quarter scoring and give her team a one-point lead.
Livvy Eakin (eight points, six rebounds) scored in the post to start the third quarter, which saw Mia Filiault (seven points, five steals) score in transition and later hit a free throw to give the Mounties a 14-8 lead.
After the Eagles got buckets from Makayla Carpenter and Steuernagle to pull within two, Mount Greylock finished the half on a 14-0 run.
Drake scored six points during that stretch and set up Brannan with a post entry.
“I was impressed that we hung with them for a little bit,” King said of his Eagles. “Depth-wise, we just ran out of it.
“They’ve got some kids who can get up and down the court. You look at us, we’ve got two seniors, three juniors, and then everyone else is essentially middle school. There are going to be some bumps, but I was impressed with how we played … We’ve just got to keep learning and keep growing.”
Mount Greylock middle-schooler Drake continued to have the hot hand in the third quarter, scoring eight straight to start the second half and help extend the lead to 36-17.
AJ Pelkey (four points, six rebounds) scored in transition to give Mount Greylock a 22-point lead after three quarters, and it continued to build on that lead in the fourth.
There were a lot of bright spots for the Mounties, who are looking to build on a the momentum from three straight wins to close out the 2022-23 campaign with a 7-13 record.
“It was a good coming out party for the team,” Jacobbe said. “We had a good matchup with Mount Everett missing one or two of their key players, but I loved the spirit we played with.
“I thought Mia FIliault had a great game on the wing. She came up with four or five steals, and when she didn’t come up with the steal, she did a good job running the floor. It was a good game, a lot of kids got in and got minutes. … Every day our goal is to get better, and this was a step in the right direction.
“Tomorrow night, we’ll be playing a pretty good team from last year that got most of their players back. So it will be a good test to see where we’re at, but it was good to start the year with a win.”