McGrath Sparks Hoosac Valley Girls

By Stephen Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. -- Averie McGrath scored a game-high 22 points and keyed a pivotal second-quarter run Friday to give her team a 47-33 win over Monument Mountain.
After a back-and-forth first quarter saw the Hurricanes emerge with a 13-12 edge, Hoosac Valley went on a 13-2 run in the second to open up a 10-point lead.
McGrath got the run started with a bucket in the post. Later during that stretch, she scored off a nifty feed from Rylynn Witek and knocked down a 3-pointer with an assist from Alyssa Garabedian.
“Averie has been really trying to provide some leadership to our team,” Hoosac Valley coach Holly McGovern said. “I thought she did a nice job of rotating the basketball, being patient, and when she got her shot, she really stepped into it.
“She’s been working at it, which is all we’re really asking.”
A 13-6 second quarter for the ‘Canes gave them an eight-point lead at half-time.
They then started the third quarter with a 7-0 spurt to take the wind out of the Spartans’ sails.
McGrath started things with a bucket in transition. Then she made a steal and laid the ball in to make it 30-18 two minutes into the half.
After Witek (12 points) hit a free throw, McGrath again got down the court for a transition basket off a rebound to make it a 15-point bulge, 33-18.
The Spartans (2-8) responded with a run of their own, a 9-0 stretch that spanned the third and fourth quarters.
Natalie Lewis (19 points) made two 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter, the second getting her team within eight at 38-30.
“She’s a very good shooter,” McGovern said of Lewis, who finished with five triples. “She gets her body squared up to the hoop. And we just can’t give her the time. Obviously, our close outs have to be a little bit better to maintain our intensity, and we have to play for 32 minutes.
After Monument Mountain got within single digits, McGrath again had the answer, hitting a 3 to make it 41-30. Lauren Davis then connected from behind the arc, and McGrath hit from distance again to make it 47-30 in the closing seconds.
“We’re playing harder,” Monument Mountain coach Randy Koldys said. “We’re getting better. If we can execute a little bit better and make some more shots, we’re going to be fine.
“One of the things the girls have learned the last few weeks is just to play. If something shows, go with it, and if it goes in, it goes in.”
Monument Mountain goes to Wahconah on Saturday afternoon.
Hoosac Valley (10-4) hosts Drury on Saturday.
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