Archbishop Williams Tops Hoosac Girls in State Final
WORCESTER, Mass. -- The Hoosac Valley girls basketball team ended its season Saturday morning with a 69-46 State Final loss to Archbishop Williams at the DCU Center.
For Hoosac seniors Emily Rosse, McKenzie Robinson, and Amber Lesure it is a career ending with three Western Massachusetts titles and two State Final appearances.
"I don't think it's the losing that really affects us," an emotional Robinson said. "It's just us seniors saying bye to all the younger girls; it's hard when you spend everyday with them."
The Hurricanes have two starters who will be returning to the line-up next season; junior Madi Ryan and sophomore Fallon Field, who finished with a game high 19 points.
"It's definitely a great experience to play against such athletic girls," Field said. "I think we tried to set the tempo on our own and it was really hard, but we played as a team and tried to get through it."
Field put up a 11 of her points in the first half, which helped keep the Hurricanes in the game early; they trailed only two points after the first quarter (15-13). Her 3-pointer midway through the second cut Archbishop's lead to six, 31-25, but they closed the quarter on an 8-0 run to extend their lead to 14 points at half.
Hoosac was outscored in the third quarter, 18-10, as the Bishops' height began to wear on the 'Canes. Archbishop Williams' Alana Gilmer (6 foot), Jaylen Williams (6-3), and Taylor Wornun (5-10) combined for 36 of their 57 rebounds.
And it was a Jenna Clark offensive rebound at the end of the third quarter that she put back up to give the Bishops a 57-35 lead going into the final eight minutes.
"We knew coming in we would have to shoot well and by shooting well it would limit their transition," Hoosac coach Ron Wojcik said. "And rebound well and hopefully limit them to one shot on their offensive end, and we didn't do either."
"We shot okay, but I give them credit, they're long and tall and they have a lot of good shooters. We were rushing some 3s early."
Hoosac had a total of 19 boards, nine of them coming from Rosse who also finished with 12 points.
The trio of seniors came off the court together with 1:37 remaining in the fourth to close out their season.
"These kids came in four years ago with no titles at Hoosac Valley, none," Wojick said. "They've won three Western Mass. titles, got here [DCU Center] twice, it's just amazing what these kids have done for the school, community, and the program; you can't put it into words.
"You look up in the stands and you have all our third-, fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders are there watching this and they want to be apart of this too. I know when Fallon came in two years ago when we won our first title she said when they interviewed her, 'I remember watching it last year and I couldn't wait to get here next year.' "
Hoosac will return a very experienced tournament team considering their past three seasons. Wojick will be looking to Field and Ryan as key leaders and said he is looking to some underclassman to take Robinson's role at the point.
"Madi had a couple big games for us, she had a great semi-final, Fallon's had a great tournament and they have the experience behind them," he said. "We have some young kids who will be filling the point, so those kids will be looking up to Madi and Fallon, it's huge going into next year. We do lose some great players, but I guess the cupboards aren't empty."
"They're definitely going to step up big," senior Amber Lesure said. "We had two underclassman start and I know the other ones will step up next year."
For the Bishops, Gilmer finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead her team to victory and Williams put up 10 and had nine rebounds.