Amherst Comes Back to Top Hoosac Valley Girls

By Stephen Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. – Even in the first half, when the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team was grabbing an eight-point lead against Division 2 Amherst, the Hurricanes’ coach thought something was amiss.
After the visiting Hurricanes stormed back to earn a 43-36 loss, Holly McGovern had no trouble identifying the roots of the loss.
“Right from the get-go, the first quarter, we just looked lackluster,” McGovern said after Hoosac Valley took its first loss of the season. “We didn’t have that energy that we typically come out with.
“And we recognized that early. We had a couple of fouls by not moving our feet and getting into the right position. And as the game went on, we weren’t able to execute a lot of our plays. We were just slow on every end.”
Delaney Macphetres scored 20 points, and Audrey Bowen added 13 for Amherst-Pelham, which improved to 4-0 with the win.
The pair hit four straight free throws to open the second half and cut a five-point deficit down to 25-24.
It stayed a one-possession game until Hoosac Valley’s Hanna Shea (eight points) connected from the left wing to put her team up, 31-26, on the first possession of the fourth quarter.
Minutes later, She hit a triple to push that lead back to 35-30 with 5 minutes, 48 seconds left to play.
But Zola Higham dropped in a 3-pointer at the other end to start an 11-1 run for Amherst to finish the game.
Bowen scored twice in transition on back-to-pack possessions to give Amherst the lead for good at 37-36 with 3:30 on the clock. The visitors held Hoosac Valley without a point for the final 5 minutes, 26 seconds.
Averie McGrath scored 12 to lead Hoosac Valley, which got seven from Taylor Garabedian.
Part of the problem for Hoosac Valley was that it had no answer for Amherst’s lengthy frontline. McGovern said her team did not adjust to the problems Amherst presented.
“Any time they clog up the middle like that, we’ve got to do a better job of relocating – driving, kick and then relocate again,” she said. “It’s something that we’ve been harping on, working on a little bit here and there. We needed to really do that tonight, and we didn’t really do it at all.
“From our defensive standpoint, if we had shown up with a little more intensity, we could have shown up in some passing lanes, maybe taken away a little of their height, or their length at least. I just think we weren’t all there tonight. They came here, and they got a win for themselves.”
Hoosac Valley (3-1) will look to get back on the right side of the scoreboard on Monday when it travels to face rival Drury.
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