Mounties Rally for Comeback Win in Season Finale

By Stephen Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – From the outside looking in, the Mount Greylock girls basketball team had nothing to play for on Tuesday night.
But down by 16 points with about a minute left in the season finale, all the Mounties did was play their hearts out.
Tanley Drake scored 12 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winning basket with 25 seconds left as Mount Greylock earned a 59-58 win over Hampden Charter to finish the year with its second straight win and a record of 5-15.
“I think I remember being like, ‘I’m not going to lose my last game. It’s not possible,’ senior Phoebe Barnes said with a big grin on her face. “I think the crowd definitely got more into it, and that helped our energy. But mostly it was not being able to lose our last game.”
Barnes’ senior classmate Jamie Sweren agreed.
“Our energy level just came up, and we refused to lose,” she said.
Sweren made just one field goal, but it was a big one in the final minute of the game.
Barnes scored four points but also battled for 18 rebounds against a larger Wolves front line.
And, perhaps most importantly, they helped the younger Mounties learn a lesson in resilience that could pay dividends in years to come.
“I was frustrated early tonight,” Mount Greylock coach John Jacobbe said. “Whether it’s vacation or having a couple of girls out, whatever, we didn’t have the energy that we usually play with. I mean, we play some solid opponents all year long. And sometimes we’re playing opponents better than us. But we always come with energy, and I didn’t think we had it for about 20 minutes.
“But when we clicked it on, we clicked it on. And the no quit attitude they had tonight was a testament to the season and being able to pull it out is a great way to finish the year.”
Mount Greylock held its own in the first quarter, taking a 12-11 lead late on a drive by Madi Powell (12 points, 10 rebounds). The Wolves (11-7) finished the quarter up by one and then took over the game in the second quarter, outscoring the Mounties, 18-4.
Ta-Nyah Pittman (15 points, 12 rebounds) scored six in the quarter, and Akayla Ramos had two of her three 3-pointers, including a half-court shot at the buzzer, to give Hampden Charter a 33-18 lead.
Coming out of the locker room, Madison Drake and Tanley Drake hit 3s to bookend an 11-6 run that got the Mounties back to within 10 with 3:50 left in the third.
Hampden Charter answered with six straight capped by a conventional three-point play from Kaaliyah Williams (19 points) to go ahead, 45-29.
Williams scored in transition moments later to give the Wolves another 16-point lead.
But that’s when things clicked on for Mount Greylock.
A steal by Barnes led to a basket by Drake to start a 13-5 lead that spanned the third and fourth quarters and ended with a pair of Powell free throws with 6:59 left.
Danasia Wilson scored for the visitors to give them a 52-42 lead moments later, but Mount Greylock scored the next eight: six from Tanley Drake and a bucket by A.J. Pelkey assisted by Powell.
Pittman scored in the post to make it a four-point margin, and Mount Greylock answered with five straight, ending on a Tanley Drake 3 to give the Mounties a 55-54 lead.
That started a back-and-forth sequence that kept the fans on the edges of their seats.
First Pittman scored to retake the lead. Then Sweren put back a rebound with a jumper from the right wing to give Mount Greylock a 57-56 lead.
Williams scored to give the Wolves one last lead. But Tanley Drake drove from the left wing into the middle of the lane and scored with 25 seconds on the clock to give Mount Greylock the lead for good, 59-58.
After a timeout, Hampden Charter brought the ball across the timeline, but Powell jumped into a passing lane and tipped the ball back across halfcourt. By the time the Wolves recovered possession and got a timeout, 7.7 seconds were left on the clock.
Powell and Tanley Drake trapped a Hampden Charter player along the baseline, forcing a turnover out of bounds with 4.4 seconds left.
Pelkey inbounded the ball to Tanley Drake, who was fouled with 3.1 seconds on the clock. She missed her free throws, and the Wolves got the uncontested rebound, but they were unable to get the ball into the frontcourt before time expired.
“Jamie Sweren hit that late basket to give us a lead, and she’s a senior, and Phoebe [Barnes] played her heart out tonight as our two seniors and all the underclassmen fought to the bitter end, and it was just a great team victory,” Jacobbe said.
“Phoebe’s a guard/slash forward, and I asked her to play a 6-foot girl tonight, and she had 18 rebounds to show you how hard she battles. Jamie [Sweren] didn’t play as much as Phoebe did, but when she got her opportunities tonight, she stepped up. … She got fouled on a 3-pointer and a couple went in-and-out, and she didn’t put her head down. And she knocked down her next shot that turned out to give us a lead.
“So, yeah, I’m super proud of the seniors and super proud of the eight girls we had tonight. Everyone battled their heart out.”
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