NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — The Hoosac Valley girls basketball team Tuesday shot its way to an easy victory against Drury, 77-32.
Alie Mendel led the way for Hoosac (8-1) with 20 points, including four first quarter 3-pointers. That was the main difference in the game for Hoosac as it was able to knock down shots early in the game, widening the gap to much for Drury (3-5) to catch a rhythm. A big defensive block early in the first quarter turned into a breakaway 3-pointer by Mendel to set Hoosac on a 13-3 run to end the first quarter.
Mendel wasn’t the only one knocking down 3s as teammate Lexi Mercier added four triples and totaled 14 points.
“If we can get off to a good start by hitting a few outside shots that really gets us going." Hoosac Valley coach Ron Wojcik said. “We shot the ball well early, it was close for a little bit but once we got the press going we were able to get some transition points.”
The other key ingredient for Hoosac Valley was indeed that full court pressure. The Hurricanes forced Drury into plenty of early turnovers, not only slowing Drury down but also kick-starting an already on fire offense for Hoosac. The Canes ended the first quarter with a 17-7 lead and added to that with an 8-0 start in the second quarter.
For Drury, Brooke DiGennaro had the team high with 10 points, while freshman Kayla McGrath added eight. It was a struggle all night for Drury as it never could really get settled with the pressure from Hoosac. Drury was able to cause chaos early in the game but never could really get its offense going. Once the shots were falling for Hoosac Valley, it was always going to be an uphill climb for the Blue Devils.
“I think both of us like to play fast. They did a better job getting us to play faster than we normally do,” Drury coach Ian Downey said. “This led to us missing some layups, made us rush some shots and made us make some bad decisions against their press. You can’t have wasted possessions against a good team."
Hoosac came into this game with just one loss on the season, falling to Division 1 Whitman-Hanson in OT. As for Berkshire County opponents, the Hurricanes have been perfect. With a lack of size, Hoosac Valley relies heavily on their shooting and defensive pressure.
“We’re a small team, we don’t have the big post up players,” Wojcik said. “The girls inside do work hard but we are much better in transition so if we can press and run and get things going 90 feet we’re much better off.”
Hoosac Valley will now host the 9-1 Wahconah Warriors Friday night in a big Berkshire County matchup.
Drury will look to bounce back against Hampshire on Friday, and if they are going to come out on top coach Downey said they will need to to improve.
“We need to learn from this game, just like we learn from other loses,” Downey said. “You never like to get blown out in your own gym but as long as we learn from it, I can live with it. When it’s all said and done it counts the same as any other loss that we have had.”