WESTHAMPTON, Mass. -- On Friday, the Hoosac Valley girls' basketball team got to the same exact point in the Division 2 Western Mass. basketball tournament as it did one year ago. The only difference this year was the Hurricanes walked out of the gym happy.
In what could only be described as a freak coincidence, Hoosac went on the road in the Western Mass. quarterfinals and took the home favorite into double overtime for the second year in a row. Last season, the No. 8 Hurricanes nearly stole one against No. 1 Mahar before losing 57-55. Ron Wojcik's squad reversed that decision the second time around, however, as No. 7 Hoosac knocked off No. 2 Hampshire 65-61 on Friday night.
The Hurricanes (17-5) now advance to a semifinal rematch against No. 6 Mahar, a 46-38 winner over No. 3 Athol on Friday. This will be Hoosac's first time ever playing in the Curry Hicks Cage at UMass-Amherst.
"This was an unbelievable game and win for our team," Wojcik said. "In 20 years of coaching, it was one of the most exciting games I have ever been involved with. It was a crazy atmosphere and environment. We lost our leading scorer Emily Rosse and forward Tori Rumbolt to foul trouble and needed a big spark from the bench to pull this one out."
Senior forward Celina Sistrunk step up in Rosse's absence, coming up with four points in overtime, including the go-ahead and winning basket off a nifty pass from freshman guard Madison Ryan in the second overtime. Junior guard Jenn Gale, who led all scorers with a season-high 22 points, added a pair of free throws to increase the Hurricanes' lead before sophomore McKenzie Robinson iced it by making 1 of 2 foul shots at the end. Overall, Hoosac outscored the Red Raiders (17-4) 9-5 in the second overtime.
Gale had a night to remember on the offensive end, sinking three shots from behind the arc and going 10 of 10 from the foul line late in regulation and throughout both overtimes. Rosse added 17 points and five rebounds before fouling out, while junior forward Megan Rodowicz played well all over the court, scoring 17 points, with a team-high eight boards and four assists.
"Megan also hit a pair of threes and was outstanding on defense," Wojcik said. "She wore out the other team by forcing 34 turnovers at the top of our pressure."
Senior Sarah Kober had an incredible game for Hampshire, finishing her career with a game-high 25 points and 28 rebounds. Jessica Kowal and Brianna Weltlich also poured in 11 points each for the hosts.
The Hurricanes are riding a six-game winning streak heading into Thursday's semifinal game against the Senators. Tip-off is scheduled for 6 p.m. with the other semifinal game between Drury and Wahconah coming up right after that.