Lazits, Rufo, Defense Key Taconic Girls Win at Mount Greylock

By Stephen Sports
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. -- For the first eight minutes of Wednesday’s Mount Greylock-Taconic girls basketball game, neither team could get much going offensively.
The rest of the way, Taconic made sure only the Mounties had that problem.
Taconic held Mount Greylock to a season-low scoring output to earn a 42-20 win in a game moved to MCLA’s Amsler Campus Center due to the renovation project at Mount Greylock.
Aubrey Lazits scored 14 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, and Ashley Rufo scored 14 with three assists as Taconic picked up its first win of the season.
After escaping the first quarter with a 5-4 lead, Taconic held the Mounties to seven points in the second quarter and just two in the third to build a 20-point lead.
“I was very happy with our defense tonight,” Taconic coach Matt Mickle said. “That’s been a major disappointment so far. So for us to hold them to 20, I’m very happy with that.
“Rianna Gittens on Lauren Howard did a phenomenal job on her.”
Howard came in averaging 22 points per game. She finished with 11, but seven of those came in the fourth quarter, with the game pretty much decided.
“It was a team effort because there was help defense everywhere,” Mickle said. “That’s what we talked about going into the game: If she puts it on the floor, there have to be girls everywhere. So I was very happy with the team effort.
“We only play eight kids. And all eight contributed.”
Tamia Patrick contributed nine points and six rebounds coming off the bench.
Lazits had her biggest impact on the game on the glass. Taconic was outrebounded by a margin of 16-11 in the first half despite taking a 20-11 lead into the locker room.
In the third quarter, Taconic earned a 13-8 rebounding edge. Lazits had 13 of her 15 boards after the break and helped her team hold its own in that department.
“She played phenomenal,” Mickle said. “Aubrey doesn’t know how good she is. She has potential to be an impact player every game. Unfortunately, for her, sometimes the confidence isn’t there. I’m hoping that for her, this kind of game can push her through and catapult her to another level.
“We love her game, and we tell her all the time how much we think she can impact games. It’s just a matter of her putting it together and actually believing in herself.”
Drury took its last lead of the game when Howard scored in the post to make it 6-5 early in the second quarter.
Taconic then went on a 13-3 run that started with Patrick’s 3-pointer. Rufo put back an offensive rebound to make it a two-possession game, 10-6, and then she scored in transition to give Taconic a six-point cushion.
After Autumn Delorey hit a jumper for Mount Greylock, Lazits drove the lane, Gittens converted a couple of foul shots, and Lazits scored out of Taconic’s press break to make it 18-8.
Mount Greylock tried on several occasions to get something going with its full-court press, but Taconic handled it throughout the game.
“I think this year with Tamia [Patrick] and Ashley [Rufo] and Ayannah [Moody], we have some ball handlers,” Mickle said. “I thought they handled the press very well. I thought we were poised after broke the press. It wasn’t just breaking the press and going helter-skelter. We did a good job of staying poised and running offense after we broke the press.”
Taconic (1-4) goes to Drury on Friday, while Mount Greylock (1-3) goes to Pittsfield.
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