Mount Everett Girls Top Pioneer
SHEFFIELD, Mass. -- After losing most of an 18-point second-half lead on Monday against Pioneer, the Mount Everett girls basketball team needed to finish strong.
At the very least, it needed to finish with five players on the court.
The Eagles, thanks to strong play down the stretch from Madison Ullrich did just that, pushing their lead back to 15 before coming away with a 58-46 win.
“I went down the line, and I said, ‘How many fouls do you have?’ Four, four, four, four,” Eagles coach Scott Rote said. “We had four kids with four fouls and only eight kids able to play. It’s like: This could get even uglier than it was going at one point.
“That said, it wasn’t a pretty win, but it was a win. The kids did gut it out.”
It looked like the Eagles would cruise home after a 15-3 run to open the third quarter opened a 39-22 lead. It was an 18-point edge when Gwen Carpenter (game-high 29) knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing to make it 44-26 with a couple minutes left in the third.
But the Panthers answered with a 12-1 run of their own, and it was 47-40 midway through the fourth after Paige Loughman (13 points) scored for the visitors.
But Ullrich, who finished with 18 points, had a hand in four of the next five Mount Everett baskets as the Eagles scored on five straight trips to re-establish their double digit lead in the closing minutes.
First, she set up sister McKenzie for her only bucket of the game, a 3-pointer. Then, after a Pioneer free throw, Madison drove the baseline for a bucket to make it 52-41.
Carpenter scored in the post to make it a 13-point game, and after a Logan Rathbun rebound at the other end, Madison Ullrich drove the baseline again to give the Eagles a 15-point lead.
Pioneer answered with a basket, but Ullrich scored her team’s final points when Carpenter (five assists) found her in the post with about a minute and a half left, and Ullrich converted to make it 58-43.
Not a bad quarter considering Ullrich picked up her fourth foul with 7 minutes, 12 seconds left to play.
“Before I went in, my coach told me, ‘Don’t get another foul,’ “ Ullrich said. “If I got another foul, I’d have to sit on the bench, and I hate sitting on the bench. It’s like I need to get in the game and help out my team. So I went in and did whatever could to help us win.
“I try not to let [the fouls] affect how I play. But I have to control myself a little bit more. I can get a little out of control sometimes. I have to reel it in and play my best.”
Ullrich came out like a house afire, scoring eight points in the first quarter to help the Eagles take a narrow, 12-10 lead.
It was a tie game midway through the half before Mount Everett closed on a 7-2 run. Carpenter made four of six foul shots in that stretch to send her team to the locker room ahead, 24-19.
The Eagles stormed out of the locker room with an 10-1 spurt that included a pair of baskets by Tori Seward.
After a Pioneer putback by Olivia Rowe (11 points, 15 rebounds, three blocks), Mount Everett scored six in a row to establish a 17-point lead, 39-22.
Mount Everett, which snapped a three-game losing streak on Monday, has a good test on Wednesday when it travels to Pittsfield to face Taconic.