CHESHIRE -- From the bleachers, the Hoosac Valley girls' basketball team's defense can look unorganized or even chaotic.
It's not. The fast-paced, high-energy defense has worked wonders for the Hurricanes. The latest example was a 56-25 victory over Mount Greylock on Thursday night. The win clinches at least a share of the South Division title.
The buzzing trap worked to near-perfection on Thursday night, creating turnovers and forcing a young Greylock team to rush its shots.
"Our chant is ‘all out' because when we come out on the court, we're all out. To play that [style] you have to be all out, all the time," Hoosac coach Ron Wojcik said. "If you take a possession off, they are going to get an easy shot out of it. It's not like a straight man-to-man where they may still not get a look out it. It's a risk, but it's worked out all right for us."
Margot Besnard got the scoring going a minute into the game, but Greylock didn't find the basket again until more than a minute was gone in the second quarter.
"Our defense is pretty much our whole entire game," Hoosac's Emily Rosse said. "If we keep our intensity up and trap every time the ball comes over half court, we either get a steal or they turn it over."
The Mounties scored just three points in both the first and third quarters. They were held to eight in the second. No Greylock player was able to get to double digits on the night.
"They play a very high pressure defense, and it's just out of our comfort zone," Greylock coach Paul Barrett said. "The things that we actually wanted to do, we couldn't. ... They are very good and play that defense very well."
The defense also allows the Hurricanes to work through offensive droughts. Hoosac scored just 10 first-quarter points before erupting for 18 in the second. Rosse led the way in the first by scoring her team's first six points on her way to a game-high 15.
Jen Gale exploded in the second quarter to put the Hurricanes out of reach. She scored all 10 of her points in that frame. A three-point play early in the second pushed Hoosac to a 13-0 run over the Mounties.
"I was just looking for my shot more," Gale said. "And looking to drive to the basket whenever I could."
The Hurricanes offense normally features a lot of 3-point shots and deep twos. On Thursday, the inside game was working for Hoosac.
Rosse scored most of her points on layups from down low. She also had a strong night rebounding, as she pulled in 12. Tori Rumbolt contributed just two points, but had eight rebounds for Hoosac.
"I thought we got the ball down low to [Rosse] very well," Wojcik said. "I think that's going to be one of the key things in the tournament. If she can start putting pressure on defenses inside, it's going to open up room for our shooters on the outside."
Still, the Hurricanes weren't completely happy with the effort. A win at Lenox in the team's final regular season game will give them sole possession of the South title. A loss will mean they will share the crown with Lenox.
"We're going to need to bring more intensity than we did tonight," Rosse said. "[And] make sure the ball doesn't get to the middle of our trap."
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