NORTH ADAMS -- Emily Rosse has been coming on strong of late. She was huge against Lenox on Monday night.
The sophomore forward had a game-high 26 points to lead the Hoosac Valley girls' basketball team to a 55-44 win over rival Lenox, a perfect division record and the South Division title.
"It hasn't hit me yet, saying you're No. 1, you're the champion," Mckenzie Robinson said. "It hasn't hit me really."
Rosse was held scoreless in the first quarter, but she more than made up for it in the second and third. She scored 22 of Hoosac's 32 points in that span. She scored the Hurricanes' final eight points of the first half and then all 10 in the third quarter. Factor in her two baskets to start the fourth quarter and she scored 22 straight points for Hoosac.
The key was gaining position on Lenox's Liz Mitts, who had the edge in the first half.
"I just came back fighting and just tried to get more position than she had on me in the first half," Rosse said.
"I thought she ran the floor great when she got out on the break and finished," Hoosac coach Ron Wojcik said. "We even talked about with the zone working inside-out, getting the ball inside, kicking out and looking to get her.
"We settled for some quick perimeter jumpers there in the second half. But once you got her involved, she can be a monster inside."
Rosse's first six points of the second half pushed a six-point halftime lead to 12 with 2 minutes, 14 seconds gone. The first two baskets came off baseline inbounds passes from Mckenzie Robinson.
"We look for our two bigs, Rosse and Tori, but they always go for Tori or that one person that cuts first," Robinson said. "Ross is always our second option. We hit her every time. She's used to laying it in with pressure on her and she scores. That's when we get our momentum on those inbounds plays."
The first time the two teams face each other, the Hurricanes established a big lead and rolled. The second time at the Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase, Lenox didn't let Hoosac run away until late.
This time, Lenox came back from a 12-point deficit, but couldn't keep the offense clicking. Jaclyn Gigliotti's layup with about 3 to play in the third brought Lenox within two. The Millionaires tied the game at 43 with 4:05 left in the fourth with Hollie Downer's putback.
The Hurricanes broke away and finished the game on a 12-1 run. Jen Gale (14 points) hit her fourth and final 3-pointer to start the spurt and Robinson closed it with a pair of free throws.
"It was great for us from the standpoint you're going to have to execute like that in the tournament down the stretch," Wojcik said. "I thought the kids did a great job of executing down the stretch."
Lenox, clinging to a shot at sharing the South title, continued with its season-long gameplan of getting the ball to Liz Mitts just above the paint. It worked for her and the Millionaires in the first quarter. She had five points and Lenox led 9-7.
Then Hoosac started trapping in the half court, taking care of the ball and finding Rosse down low. Gale's trey with 4:52 left in the half gave Hoosac its first lead of the game. Mitts recorded her only points of the quarter right after on a putback only to have Tori Rumbolt take the lead right back with a nice ball fake down low. The basket gave Hoosac the lead for good.
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