CHESHIRE, Mass. — After losing to Wahconah in the season-opener, the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team held its own on Friday, winning its sixth in a row with a score of 62-49, and giving the Wahconah its first loss of the season.
"It was a great game, the best game we've played all year," Hurricanes Coach Jon Frederick said.
Four players scored double figures for Hoosac Valley, led by Ashlyn Lesure with 15 and Taylor Garabedian with 13. Gabby Billetz and Hanna Shea each scored 10.
Olivia Gamberoni led Wahconah, scoring 17 points on seven field goals, to go with Grace Wigington's 11 points and two made three-pointers.
The game stayed within five points for the entire first half, with nearly a dozen lead changes by the final buzzer. Hoosac Valley gained a 9-8 lead four minutes into the game, one it kept to close out the quarter with a score of 13-12.
A quick basket to start the quarter gave Hoosac Valley a four-point lead, its largest of the game to that point. But Wahconah recovered, eventually tying the game at 19-19 and taking a one-point lead with a free-throw with five-and-a-half minutes left.
Both teams traded baskets, with Hoosac Valley eventually taking a 29-26 lead with a minute left. A quick 3 from Wahconah tied the score at 29, however, and a near half-court buzzer-beater from Emma Belcher put her team up 32-29 going into the second half.
Frederick credited the team's defense for the victory. The Hurricanes had multiple blocks and forced several turnovers in the second half, helping to build a double-digit lead by the end of the game.
"We have great defenders; we have people that can rebound the ball," he said.
The Hurricanes' defensive intensity picked up in the third quarter, leading to several made baskets on the other end of the court. After quickly taking back the lead, the Hurricanes maintained a two-point lead for much of the quarter. Hoosac Valley led, 45-41, going into the last eight minutes of play.
The strong offense for Hoosac Valley continued in the fourth quarter, as it held Wahconah to just one made basket for the first four minutes. The team eventually took a nine-point 53-44 lead, after which the game would never be within two possessions.
A basket from Hannah Lord with just less than a minute left sealed the victory for Hoosac.
Before the game, Billetz, the team's lone senior, was honored as part of senior night.
The loss was Wahconah's first after the team's 7-0 season start. The team will play Amherst at home on Jan. 17.
With the win, Hoosac Valley's record sits at 7-3, as it prepares to play on the road against Hampshire on Jan. 17.
Photos from this game here.