Hoosac Falls Just Short of South Division TitleADAMS, Mass. -- There is an old adage in sports that says it's extremely difficult for one team to beat an opponent three different times in the same season.
The Hoosac Valley girls' basketball team proved that concept has merit, but Lenox showed it's not impossible by holding on for a 42-41 win at Adams Memorial School on Tuesday night. The win was the Millionaires' third victory over the Hurricanes this season and allowed them to clinch the South Division title outright by finishing with a perfect 8-0 record in league play.
It was a disappointing loss for Hoosac (13-7, 6-2), which could have shared the South title with Lenox (16-4) had it come up with a win on its home court in final game of the regular season. In other ways, it was confidence booster for the 'Canes, who looked much better the third time around after a pair of double-digit losses to the Millionaires earlier in the season. That included a 17-point loss to Lenox in the Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase just three days earlier in which Hoosac scored just four points in the third quarter alone.
"We were a different team, and it was a different game being played with the South Division championship on the line," Hurricanes head coach Ron Wojcik said. "After a tight fourth quarter, it came down to one play, where [freshman Emily] Rosse was fed inside and appeared to be fouled on the shot. There was no call made, though, and Lenox held on for a one-point victory. Our players did come out of the game knowing if they play their game they can play with the upper echelon in the county. It gives our team a good boost of confidence going into the Western Mass. tournament."
Right away, the visitors knew they had a big challenge in front of them if they planned on beating Hoosac for a third time this season. The hosts came out swinging, opening a 12-7 lead after the first quarter before going into the locker room at halftime up 25-17. The Millionaires controlled the third quarter, however, outscoring Hoosac 17-7 to earn a two-point edge heading into the fourth. The Hurricanes trailed by five points with a minute and half left in the game but stormed back thanks to a basket by Rosse (13 points, 12 rebounds) and two free throws from classmate McKenzie Robinson. Senior Erica Mach (11 boards) them came up with a huge steal on the defensive end, but the 'Canes couldn't convert on their final offensive possession of the game.
Lenox's Hayden Zinchuk led all scorers with 19 points, while teammate Nicole Babich chipped in with eight of her own. Junior guard Tori Rumbolt finished with 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists for Hoosac, which now waits for its seed in the upcoming Division 2 Western Mass. tournament. The Hurricanes are likely to be placed in the middle of the pack but are hoping for a home game in the first round when the seedings are released on Saturday.