Mount Greylock Girls Use Big Second Quarter in Win over Mount Everett
WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- No overtime this time.
The Mount Greylock girls basketball team used a 17-0 run at the end of the second quarter to put an early end to Friday’s rematch against Mount Everett.
Jenna Benzinger scored 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, and Sarah Stripp passed out six assists as Mount Greylock won for the third time this season over the Eagles. The first two meetings -- in the finals of Drury’s Gene Wein Tournament and their first Berkshire South meeting in Sheffield -- the Mounties won in OT by scores of 58-56 and 61-60.
On Friday, Mount Greylock jumped out to an 8-0 lead in the opening moments, but the Eagles fought back to tie it on Kelsey Netzer’s 3-pointer two minutes into the second quarter to make it 16-16.
It was the last point Mount Everett scored until the second minute of the third quarter as Stripp scored six points, passed out a couple of assists and made two steals in the decisive 17-0 run that sent the Mounties to the locker room with a commanding 33-16 lead.
“I just thought defensively, we limited their good shots, and Sarah Stripp played her best five minutes of the year,” Mount Greylock coach John Jacobbe said. “She read passes and took the ball to the basket. I felt like she had 20 [points] tonight, but she only had eight -- all in that run. That's what I remember: Sarah Stripp stepping up in a big game like I want my senior captain to do, and then Jenna [Benzinger] and Lauren [Howard] did what they have to do.”
Howard (14 points, 10 rebounds) got the big run started when she put back an offensive rebound to give the Mounties the lead for good. Benzinger followed with a bucket to make it 20-16.
Benzinger later added another basket in the run as she scored 14 of her 22 in the first half.
“I think that we really started to click as a team together, especially on the defensive end, which translated on the offensive end and allowed us to score a lot of those points - especially with fast breaks,” Stripp said.
“Having Maddie Ross back helps because she has a lot of speed for those fast breaks, and obviously helps on the defensive end too, because she's really quick.
Ross missed the last five games for Mount Greylock. She came off the bench Friday to contribute a steal and a lay-in during the second-quarter run.
Meanwhile, Mount Greylock’s defense, which allowed Mount Everett 1,000-point scorer Gwendolyn Carpenter to scored 11 in the first quarter, held the super sophomore to no points in the second and just four in the third as the Mounties built their lead to 41-21 going the final frame.
“We were sharing the responsibility for her,” Jacobbe said of his defensive approach against Carpenter. “One girl was on her, and everyone knew to help if she was in their area. The first quarter, I don't think we did a good job. We were going straight man and then trying to help, and we weren't helping quick enough. And in the second quarter, we went to a little zone, and she dribbled into the zone a little bit and didn't get going.
“She's a great player, and you know she's going to score because she has the ball in her hand so much.”
Stripp said the Mounties’ goal was to keep Carpenter’s production manageable, and Mount Greylock was happy to get out with her scoring just 20.
“She's obviously a really good player,” Stripp said. “She's going to score no matter what, but our goal was to keep her to 15 or 20 points. In our other games, which were a lot closer than this one, she scored 30 or 35 points, so we played a diamond and one and a triangle and two to try to contain her more.”
The move was reminiscent of the box-and-one Mount Greylock played earlier this season in a signature win against another 1,000-point scorer, Pittsfield’s Peyton Steinman.
“We did that against Pittsfield, too, and that worked out for us, so we’ve been practicing that since the beginning of the season,” Stripp said.
Mount Everett coach Scott Rote credited Mount Greylock with having a good scheme and the players to make it work.
“They're a good team,” Rote said. “They didn't miss any shots in the first half, and we couldn't get anything going.
“It's difficult when you have a great shooter, a smart ball handler and a girl who you can't beat with her size. They've got a nice little trio of kids. They can get the ball to the big. They can get the ball to the shooter, and they can outrebound us every time.
“They've got some quickness, and they're just too big that we can't attack. That's why they're as good as they are.”
Mount Greylock (12-4) takes a three-game winning streak into Tuesday’s game against Lenox.
Mount Everett (8-6) hosts Lee on Tuesday.