Monument Mountain Girls Storm Past Mounties in Second Half

By Stephen Sports
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. -- It has been a roller-coaster year for the Monument Mountain girls basketball team.
On Monday, the Spartans finished a wild ride on an up note.
Meredith Powell scored 23 points, and the Spartans went on a 13-0 run to open the second half en route to a 48-30 win over Mount Greylock.
Monument, which started the year 7-0 before suffering a six-game losing streak, went 4-4 down the stretch to take an 11-9 record into the Western Massachusetts tournament.
It also takes a two-game winning streak into the post-season thanks to a strong second-half performance in Monday’s regular season finale. It was a much more pleasant ride back to Great Barrington than it looked to be after Monument took a slim 18-15 lead into the locker room at the Mountie Dome.
 “I used some language that I try not to use too often,” joked Monument Mountain coach Steve Soule. “But they did respond. They played a lot harder in the third quarter and fourth quarter. I was happy to see that team resurface. We've been inconsistent in our last six games. They've either been really good or not so good. Today was a hybrid of both.”
Mount Greylock (4-16) took its last lead of the night with about two minutes left in the second quarter when Maddie Albert set up Maddy Ross to put the Mounties up, 15-12.
That connection was the kind of thing Mount Greylock fans hope to see a lot more of next winter after lingering injuries from soccer season forced Ross to sit out most of this winter.
“Maddy Ross was a big part of our plans this year, and not having her for 17 out of 20 games was a tough thing to replace,” Mount Greylock coach John Jacobbe said. “It was good to see her out there. She's a big part of our future and has loads of talent. She's got a bright future, and hopefully we can have her healthy next year. It was good to see her out there having fun before the year ended.”
The Spartans closed the first half on a 6-0 run that included one of many Powell’s many drives to the basket. Her ability to get to the hole in half-court sets and in transition was a major difference in the game for Monument.
“She's been kind of our core here over the last 10 to 15 games, to tell you the truth,” Soule said. “She's just a really good player at both ends of the court. A lot of her offense is created by her defense. She tips a whole lot of passes and ends up stealing a lot of them. She has nights where she doesn't miss any layups, and I don't know that she missed many tonight.”
Powell had a couple of steals and lay-ins in the Spartans’ run to open the second half, which left them up, 31-15, after a couple of Heather Hassett free throws midway through the third.
A Fiona Horan (nine points) bucket and a Destiny Brown (eight points) lay-in pushed the lead to 37-19 to end the third.
Matching Powell’s offense was the 23 points the Mounties got from senior Lauren Howard, who played her final game in a Mount Greylock uniform and left to appreciative applause from the home crowd with about a minute left to play.
“It was a privilege and an honor to be her coach for four years,” Jacobbe said. “I was her JV coach her first year. She just plays the game hard and right and plays with sportsmanship. She just plays as hard as she can.
“This year, with a lot of young teammates, she was always there trying to pick them up and never really got mad at anybody for their young mistakes. She just moved on to the next play. A great kid and a great basketball player. We'll miss her a lot next year and her leadership.”
Monument Mountain will learn its first-round opponent when the Western Mass seeds are announced on Saturday.
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