Mahar Barely Survives Hoosac in Double OTORANGE, Mass — The Hoosac Valley girls' basketball team took some huge steps this season. On Saturday, the young Hurricanes' squad came up a few inches short, losing 57-55 in double overtime to top-seeded Mahar in the quarterfinals of the Division 2 Western Mass. tournament.
Led by another outstanding performance from freshman forward Emily Rosse, who had a game-high 25 points and 18 rebounds, Hoosac led for most of the game. Ron Wojcik's club took the lead with a solid second quarter and carried that momentum into a 25-21 edge at halftime. The eighth-seeded Hurricanes (14-8) increased their lead to six points heading into the fourth quarter and eventually built that margin to nine points before the Senators (20-1) rallied back to erase the deficit and go up by four. Despite losing their lead in the fourth, Hoosac remained composed and forced overtime thanks to clutch baskets by junior guard Tori Rumbolt and Rosse.
"It was an intense, marathon quarterfinal game," Wojcik said. "It was a huge learning experience for our young team in a pressure-packed tourney game. The overtime periods were intense, but time eventually ran out on us and we lost by two."
Mahar jumped out to a four-point lead in the first overtime period but, once again, Rumbolt kept the 'Canes alive by making consecutive baskets to force a second overtime. Rumbolt scored six of her points late in the game and also added six rebounds and two assists on the night. More importantly, she sparked Hoosac's defense by sacrificing her body and taking four charges in the game.
The Senators finally found a way to slow Rosse down late in the game, however, holding her scoreless in both overtime periods. Jill Valley caught fire for the hosts as well, scoring a team-high 23 points to lead the Mahar comeback and help them edge out the Hurricanes in the second OT.
"Emily had another huge tourney game, following up a 32-point, 17-rebound performance versus South Hadley," Wojcik said. "That's pretty impressive for a freshman playing in her first two tournament games. McKenzie Robinson also played a great floor game for us, contributing eight points and five assists."
Sophomore forward Megan Rodowicz also had a productive night for Hoosac with six points, 10 rebounds and five assists, while senior forward Erica Mach finished up her career with the 'Canes by scoring six points and grabbing six boards.
With eight freshman and sophomores on the varsity squad this season, Hoosac should have plenty to look forward to in the next couple of years. It's most likely this won't be the last run this Hurricanes' team makes in the Western Mass. tournament.