CHESHIRE, Mass — In a low-scoring, defensive-oriented game with several turnovers, blocks and jump balls, the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team held on to its lead at home to beat Monson, 43-35.
Ashlyn Lesure let the Hurricanes with 13 points with six made free throws, while Taylor Garabedian had 10. Maryn Cappiello, Gabby Billetz and Emma Meczywor each had five.
Hoosac Valley's defense was able to hold Monson scoreless for the first several minutes of the game, forcing two turnovers and a jump ball. Monson's first basket came from a free throw, putting the score to 11-1 with 2:30 left in the quarter.
Going into the second, the Hurricanes held a 15-6 lead, but Monson quickly tied it in the first minute and a half of the quarter. After allowing Monson to take an 18-16 lead with five minutes left, Hoosac Valley took back control of the game with strong defensive play, ending the quarter with a 22-18 score.
Both teams stepped up the defensive intensity in the second half, with each forcing several turnovers and blocking shots in the paint and at the three-point line. The score stalled at 29-23 for several minutes until the Hurricanes’ Cappiello and Haley McNeice hit 3s on back-to-back possessions to end the quarter, bringing the lead to 9 going into the fourth with a score of 35-26.
Hoosac Valley took its largest lead of the game in the fourth, pushing the score to 38-26 with 6:30 left in the game.
Monson's nine points in the quarter were not enough to overcome the deficit, despite cutting the lead to just five with about 40 seconds left. Made free throws from several Hurricanes players would seal the victory.
With the win, Hoosac Valley's record sits at 4-3 as they prepare to play at home again against Amherst on Jan. 10.