McGrath's Milestone Propels Hoosac Girls Through Quarter-Finals

By Kevin Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. –  Hoosac Valley’s Averie McGrath scored her 1,000th point as the Hurricanes Friday booked their ticket to the Division 5 final four with a 66-32 win over Carver.
McGrath came into the night needing 30 points to reach the 1,000-point plateau.
The game started like that accomplishment would be put on hold for at least one more game. Carver came out hungry and ready to go. Hoosac Valley struggled to get things going on the offensive side with the great zone defense from Carver.
That defense led to many missed shots and long rebounds that Carver took the other way fast. Carver started the game on a 12-2 run, forcing Hoosac Valley into a couple early timeouts.
Midway through the first quarter, Hoosac was finally able to get the ball inside for an easy two and from that point on the floodgates opened. McGrath knocked down back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Hurricanes their first lead of the night at 15-14.
McGrath finished the night with eight 3-pointers and 32 total points, getting her 1,000th on a fourth-quarter 3-pointer, her final points of the night.
Rylynn Witek had 12 points and Gabby Billetz added 10. 
“We were pressing too much and a little eager to get shots to fall and we weren’t getting back on defense. It left us in 2-on-1 scenarios and they were able to get out to a great start,” Hoosac Valley coach Holly McGovern said. “We took two timeouts and talked about swinging the ball and after that first shot went in it had a trickle down effect and a lot of positive energy helped us control the game.”
The Canes really started moving the ball on offense wearing that Carver zone down. This allowed for lots of offensive rebounds and easy kick out baskets from deep. Hoosac outscored Carver, 21-9, in the second quarter and from that run they never looked back. McGrath had another three 3-pointers in the quarter and really just took the game into her own hands throughout the first half which helped set things up for her teammates all night long. 
“Her season has been a tremendous one,” McGovern said. “She has meant so much to us on the offensive side and has allowed a lot of our players to get their feet underneath them. She’s allowed them to develop their own offensive game and now we are a complete team. Her willingness to be able to step up and take tough shots and knock them down has been there all season long.”
Hoosac took a 39-22 lead into the break and left the second half to run its course as it had their eyes set on a final four berth. Late in the fourth quarter everything was all decided besides McGrath's 1,000th point and with less than four minutes to go she received a pass on the wing and knocked down a corner three to put her in the record books.
As the No. 1 seed, it took a lot of grit to be able to withstand that early run from Carver and completely shut them down after it. That experience should help next week when Hoosac Valley faces Taconic, a 47-39 winner at Millis on Friday, in the final four.
In December, the Hurricanes were a 38-33 winner when the teams met in Cheshire.
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