Hoosac Girls Shut Down Greylock

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com
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CHESHIRE -- When a team scores nearly half its points in the fourth quarter, it's a bad sign. For the Mount Greylock girls' basketball team, Thursday was a bad night.

Emily Rosse scored 15 points, and the Hoosac Valley Hurricanes used a stifling, trapping defense to get a 56-25 win. It was the third straight win for the 'Canes (14-5) and the third straight night on which they held an opponent to just 25 points. It was Hoosac's second win of the season against Greylock (5-12). The first time was a 50-38 decision in Williamstown back in the teams' first game of the season.

Mounties coach Paul Barrett said it was an improved Hoosac team this time around.

"I think they've gotten better as far as the way they play their defense, and they've gotten better as far as handling the flow of the game," Barrett said. "I'm not sure what our shooting percentage was [tonight], but if we made it into the double figures, I'd be surprised. We're not going to be able to compete shooting like that."

Hoosac coach Ron Wojcik said his team's approach has been pressuring opponents into taking bad shots.

"I think [our defense] is very difficult to play against, frankly," Wojcik said. "You think about it: Teams run their zone offense, they run their man offenses, but this is something you don't see every day.

"You need to beat the trap, and then you're going to take a quick shot. That's what basically happens. They've had some looks from 3 [-point range], but we've been fortunate. We've found teams are rushing their shots and not really hitting at a high percentage. This has happened against a few teams.

"I think what it does is it disrupts the other team where it takes them out of what they're normally used to doing."

The Mounties scored just three points in the first quarter and three in the third. It was a 43-14 game going to the fourth before Wojcik turned things over to his bench. Rosse, who also had 11 rebounds, did not play in the fourth quarter.

Junior Jenn Gale scored 10 points -- all in an 18-8 second quarter that saw the Hurricanes open up their first double-digit lead. Eleven Hurricanes got into the scoring column with only freshman Cassidy McMahon missing out. But she did pull down a couple of rebounds in the final frame.

A deep, talented roster is one of the things that allowed Wojcik to institute the trap that he rolled out for the first time that early December night at Mount Greylock.

"I give the kids credit," he said. "They've really gotten it down really well.

"We do have a lot of speed, and the types of players we have -- we have a lot of players with a lot of reach: Megan [Rodowicz], Rosse, even Jenn Gale, Tori [Rumbolt] is really quick in the back with it. And then we bring some quickness of the bench with Maddie [Ryan] and Amber [Lesure]. So we have a lot of depth that allows you to play 10, 11, 12 kids a game."

Thursday night's matchup was still a game when Greylock's Heather Tomkowicz set up Arianna Walden for a bucket midway through the second quarter to make it 14-7.

But the 'Canes went on a 14-2 run from there on the way to a 28-11 half-time bulge.

Rosse asserted herself early in the run with a putback, a foul shot and a bucket in the post that made it 22-7. Gale closed the spurt with the only 3-pointer in the first half to make it 28-9.

Hoosac forced Greylock into 16 first-half turnovers. Erika Lucia had two steals, inlcuding one she took from the top of the key to the other end of the floor for a lay-up.

"Turnovers, they beat us on the glass convincingly, I would say, and our shooting percentage," Barrett said. "Those three things -- it's like a strikeout."

Mount Greylock will look to get back in the win column on Monday when St. Joe's visits for Senior Night in the Mountie Dome.

Hoosac, which celebrated the careers of three seniors (Tumbolt, Lucia and Celina Sistrunk) on Thursday, closes the regular season at Lenox on Monday with a chance to finish undefeated in the South Division.

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