CHESHIRE, Mass. — The Wahconah girls basketball team hit six 3-pointers in Saturday’s 40-39 win over Athol at the Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase at Hoosac Valley High School.
Four of those triples came in the fourth quarter, when they were most sorely needed.
Wahconah rallied from an eight-point deficit going into the fourth to break a two-game losing streak and improve to 7-4 this season.
Ashley Zink and McKenna McIlquham each hit two 3s in the fourth as Wahconah outscored Athol, 16-7 over the final eight minutes.
“We didn’t really shoot well the whole game, necessarily,” Wahconah coach Liz Kay said. “We did [in the fourth quarter], but a big piece of that was an adjustment on how we put the ball put up the floor to be shot ready. We weren’t really shot ready for the majority of the game. So that was a big emphasis for the fourth quarter.
“We knew we could push, but we weren’t getting into the paint effectively. They did a really good job of putting kids in the paint. So it wasn’t driving to the hoop. It was driving to the hoop and kicking to someone who needed to be set and ready to go.”
McIlquham finished with a team-high 13 points; Zink had just the two 3s and finished with six points but also three assists.
Lily Pudlo scored seven and grabbed 12 rebounds, matching Julia O’Connor for the team lead in that department.
The comeback started when O’Connor set up Pudlo for a basket on Wahconah’s first possession of the fourth. After an O’Connor rebound got the ball back on the other end, Emmy Cote set up McIlquham for a triple to make it 32-29.
O’Connor hit a foul shot to get the lead down to two, and then the teams traded buckets before Zink’s 3-pointer off a feed from Pudlo gave Wahconah a 36-35 lead. Another McIquham triple gave Wahconah four-point cushion, but Athol stormed back to tie the game, 39-39, with 1 minute, 50 seconds on the clock.
Both teams went scoreless for just more than a minute before Pudlo was fouled in the post with :40.3 on the clock. She sank her second foul shot to provide the game’s final point.
And then she grabbed her 12th rebound at the other end to give Wahconah the ball with the shot clock off.
Atoll was forced to foul three times to get Wahconah into the bonus. And after it missed the front end of a one-and-one with 16.8 seconds left, Wahconah’s defense denied Athol a good look on its last possession.
Wahconah on Tuesday will play in its own gym for the first time since Dec. 17 when Monument Mountain comes to call.