County's Seniors Shine at Western Mass All-Star Game
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- After helping the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team to four sectional titles in four years, Madi Ryan earned an invitation to Friday’s Western Mass Senior All-Star Game.
However, she did not get the memo about how little defense one is supposed to play in an all-star game.
Ryan had at least 10 steals in half a game in a losing cause for the Black Team, which dropped a 71-64 decision to the White Team on the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s Jerry Colangelo Court of Dreams.
“I’m very competitive, so I wasn’t about to give up,” Ryan said. “They weren’t really taking care of the ball on offense, so it was a lot easier to play defense. I don’t get that many steals in high school games.
“We play really fast. I’m used to playing fast, so I brought the fast game here.”
Ryan was one of three Berkshire County representatives on the Black Team in an entertaining and competitive middle game of the all-star triple header.
Pittsfield’s Allie Hunt and Drury’s Molly Moulton joined Ryan for the last basketball game of their high school careers.
They helped keep their squad in it until the closing moments. The Black Team took its last lead of the game with just more than a minute left in the first half when Hunt put back an offensive rebound to make it 30-29. Hunt’s rebounding at both ends of the floor was a factor all night for the Black Team.
The White Team finished the first half on a 5-1 run and started the second half with five straight points to go ahead by eight, 39-31.
But Ryan answered by driving to the basket from the right wing to make it a two-possession game, and that is where it stayed much of the second half. The White Team pulled ahead by 12, 60-48, but Moulton put back an offensive rebound to start an 11-4 run.
The run included a Moulton 3-pointer and another basket on an assist from Hunt to make it 64-59.
But the White Team scored the next seven and never looked back.
Still, it was a better game than the opener, which saw the White Team use an 11-2 run midway through the first to open a commanding 34-18 lead en route to an 89-65 win.
Arvon Gordon of Renaissance earned MVP honors with 25 points for the White Team.
The Black Team featured all of the Berkshire County participants on the boys side: Lenox’s Patrick Colvin, Pittsfield’s Connor McDonough, Taconic’s Treyvon Ringgold, Wahconah’s Cole Morrison, Lee’s Josh Sampson, Mount Greylock’s Zach Ronnow and Hoosac Valley’s Jameson Coughlan and Matt Koperniak.
Ringgold scored 15 points, and Coughlan and Koperniak each had 10.
The night concluded with a second boys game, this time involving all Division 1 players.
Coughlan said it was special to have one more game with his classmate, with whom he teamed to take Hoosac to back-to-back Western Mass titles.
“That’s the most important thing,” Coughlan said. “I got to lace ‘em up with Matty one more time. That’s what I was looking forward to. We’ve had a great career, and this is a great place to cap it off.
“There were a bunch of good guys out here, good basketball players. It was a lot of fun to play with them.”
Ryan had fun, too, joining a team of rivals for one more time representing Hoosac on the hardwood.
“They’re all really nice, even though we’re not nice to one another on the court,” she said. “They’re all really funny, really sweet. It was a fun experience.”
And although the county had just three players in the girls game, the were on a team coached by Drury High alumna Amy Cyr, who got the nod after leading Hampshire to a 19-5 record and the Western Massachusetts semi-finals in her first year at the helm.
Cyr’s toughest job on Friday night may have been keeping track of the players’ minutes.
“I just want them to have fun,” Cyr said. “For some of the girls, it’s their last basketball game, and I want them to have a good time and enjoy it. Although, I asked what their plans were from here, and the answers were lacrosse at UConn or basketball at Elms. They’ve all got bright futures ahead of them.
“I told them at the start of the game: The toughest part of this game for you is you’re going to have sit on the bench. Most of them are used to playing most of the game. I think it was a struggle for them to sit for four minutes before they got back on.”
Cyr’s Hampshire team was on the opposite side of the Division 3 Western Mass bracket from her alma mater, which allowed her to enjoy Drury’s run to the title game a little bit earlier this month.
“They had a great season,” she said. “I said to Molly Moulton, ‘You have to represent because you have a Drury grad as a coach.’ And I also told Madi Ryan, I know it was a loss on Saturday, but she had such a great career. I’ve seen her hit so many big shots the last four years.”