Hoosac Valley Girls Hand Mount Greylock its First Loss

By Stephen DravisiBerkshires.com Sports
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CHESHIRE, Mass. — Lexi Mercier was a game-changer for the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team on Saturday night.
The sophomore sharp-shooter hit three big first-half 3-pointers on the way to a 17-point night that helped lift the Hurricanes to a 61-36 win over previously unbeaten Mount Greylock.
“Lexi is our go-to for 3-pointers,” Hoosac senior captain Kailynne Frederick said. “When she’s hot, she’s hot, and she was clutch for us today.”
Fallon Field and Alie Mendel did the rest of the damage, scoring a game-high 21 and 11, respectively, as the Hurricanes won their second straight to run their record to 6-1.
Hoosac Valley coach Ron Wojcik said he knew coming into the game that he would need production from shooters like Mercier.
“Mount Greylock is big inside,” Wojcik said. “It’s tough with Jenna [Benzinger] to get the ball inside and get our drives if she hangs around the paint. So we really felt that we were going to have to make some perimeter jump shots early to open things up.”
Field and Skylar Case also hit first-half 3s. Mercer and Field combined for 16 points in the second quarter as the Hurricanes opened up a 32-16 half-time lead.
Mount Greylock came out in man-to-man to start the third quarter and had its most productive period of the game. It was not able to cut into the margin, but the Mounties (7-1) matched Hoosac nearly shot-for-shot in a 16-15 period to go to the fourth down by 13, 48-31.
Benzinger was able to get her offensive game going a little in the third, getting to the line a few times and scoring five points.
For the night, however, Hoosac’s interior defense held the Brown University-bound senior to just nine points — as much a factor as the ‘Canes’ outside shooting.
“It’s tough,” Wojcik said. “She’s very, very good, and she’s going Division I for a reason with her size. And she can put the ball in. We talk about keeping her off the block and trying to keep her up the lane a little bit so her shots are a little more difficult — and then not letting her get the putback points, though she still got us with a few.”
Benzinger finished with 13 rebounds to go with her nine points. Mount Greylock’s Lauren Howard had a game-high 16 boards and a team-high 15 points. Sarah Stripp had three assists for a Mount Greylock team that hosts Wahconah on Tuesday night.
Mounties coach John Jacobbe said that opponents like Hoosac will make his team better in the long run.
“We have some veterans on our team, but we also have some girls who haven’t played in this type of environment, and it’s a learning experience,” Jacobbe said. “Obviously, we wanted to come and win the game tonight. But, honestly, if you lose by one or you lose by 50, it doesn’t matter. It’s a loss.
“We need to take out the positives that we had. We need to work harder in practice. We want to get to their level, and we’re not there yet.”
Hose Valley goes to Pittsfield on Friday.
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