Mendel Leads Hoosac Valley Girls in Win at Pittsfield

By Stephen Sports
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. -- The most painful thing for Hoosac Valley coach Ron Wojcik Tuesday night was his team’s slow starts in the first and third quarters.
A close second? The sore throat he battled as he tried to rally his players.
“I asked them, ‘Why do you do stuff like that when I can’t yell at you?’ “ the hoarse Hoosac coach said after his Hurricanes earned a 64-51 win over Pittsfield.
“We just started slow in both the first and third quarters, and I don’t know why. I took that second timeout [midway through the first quarter] and I hate taking timeouts in the first half. It seemed to wake them up after that second timeout. And then I took another one in the third, and it seemed to wake them up again.”
Alie Mendel scored 21 points to lead three Hurricanes in double figures.
She scored 16 of her points in the second quarter, as Hoosac Valley (12-0) erased a 13-9 Generals’ first-quarter lead.
It was 15-11 Pittsfield early in the second after Jordyn Lummus drove the left wing for a bucket.
But Hoosac went on a 13-2 run to take control.
Mendel got it started with a basket in transition off a Riley Robinson rebound. Robinson finished with 10 points and a team-high 11 boards.
Moments later, Skylar Case set up Lexi Mercier (15 points) for a 3-pointer to give Hoosac Valley a 16-15 lead it never let get away. Mendel capped the 13-2 run with another transition bucket, this time set up by a Mercier steal.
It was 35-22 Hurricanes at half-time, but Pittsfield (9-3) was not done yet.
Taea Bramer (11 points, team-high four assists) knocked down a triple coming out of the locker room to ignite a 10-0 run that made it a one-possession game midway through the third quarter.
Pittsfield got it down to a two-point game with a Bella Aitken (17 points) 3-pointer to make it 37-35 with less than three minutes left in the third.
“Half-time came at the right time because we were a little exhausted [in the second quarter],” Pittsfield coach Joe Racicot said. “And you get frustrated. You try to make a pass, and it tips off someone’s hands.
“But I thought it was a great effort all the way around. Both teams scrapped all the way. You couldn’t ask for a better game. A different outcome would have been great, but … I’m proud of what the kids did today.”
Hoosac Valley got back-to-back triples by Sarah Field and Annabelle Canales at the end of the third to push the lead to 43-35. But, again, Pittsfield rallied and got a 3-pointer from Aitken at the buzzer to go to the fourth down, 43-40.
Hoosac Valley opened the fourth with a 12-3 run that featured a step-back 3 from Mercier to make it 48-42 and a Mendel 3 to cap the rally at 55-42 with about four minutes left to play.
Hoosac Valley looks to continue its perfect season on Friday when it hosts Monument Mountain.
Pittsfield is off until it hosts Wahconah on Monday.

Photos of this game here.

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