CHESHIRE, Mass. – The Hoosac Valley girls basketball team soared on to the Sweet 16 as Taylor Garabedian hit 15 points in a 53-31 win over the Academy of the Pacific Rim in the Division 5 State Tournament on Thursday.
Garabedian scored 8 of her 15 points in the third quarter helping Hoosac take home the W.
"I'm very excited," Garabedian said. "I like the post-season because you never really know when your last game is gonna be and the States is so big. That's really exciting."
Along with Garabedian’s 15 points, Emma Meczywor hit nine, Gabby Billetz finished with eight points, six of which came in the first quarter. Ashlyn Lesure and Abby Scialabba each had seven.
“I think we're doing good,” Scialabba said. ”I think we just have to keep the intensity up. We should be good."
For the Pacific Rim Dragons(14-3), Xyzla Simpson scored, 13 points, and Sophia Steele scored seven.
“Every game was just amazing to see some of these girls that never picked up a basketball,” Dragons coach Damian Bowen said. “It’s our first time being in state [tournament] in our school's history. So it was really amazing to see these girls come up here three hours and they’ve never been tested like this and it was just amazing to see. We fell short, but our girls were just in shock, for our two seniors to come out here and experience this is really overwhelming. And I thank Hoosac Valley for hosting us because it's an experience that they’re probably going to remember for the rest of their life.”
The Hoosac girls opened up with a 5-0 run, but Pacific Rim quickly broke that up. The Dragons hung around until after the half-time break, when the Hurricanes found their energy and switched to a press defense.
Hoosac Valley went on to outscore the visitors, 20-8, in the third quarter. Along with Garabedian’s four buckets in the quarter, Meczywor added two put-ins. Lesure contributed with a shot and Scialabba nailed a three. The only other 3-pointer hit by the Hurricanes Thursday night was by Haley McNeice in the second quarter. The Canes would keep this pace up, finishing off their opponent 53-31.
“We just weren't ourselves,” Hoosac Valley coach Jon Frederick said. “We were flat, I think coming off that Western Mass tournament win, I think it was great, right? But I think it took a little wind out of our sails.
"What’s our benchmark? What are we shooting for here? Right. Is it Western Mass? Is it states? So that was really the discussion at halftime, we need to really pick up the energy because we didn't have it in the first half. We needed to go out and play our style of basketball and move the ball, be a little more patient, not so selfish. And the message I think was was clear. The kids, they want to get to states and they want to get to the finals and ideally win it, we just didn't have that drive in the first half, and It's a little painful to watch to be quite honest.”
The fourth-seeded Hurricanes (18-4) await the winner of Friday's game between No. 20 Hull and No. 13 Lenox in Lenox.