AGAWAM -- Courtney McLaughlin scored 35 points, including a huge 3-point shot that tied the game in regulation, as Pittsfield's girls held off Agawam 75-72 in a thrilling triple-overtime finish in the Western Mass. Division I first round.
"I know Courtney had 35, including seven threes, but this was a team effort," said Pittsfield coach Joe Racicot. "I haven't been part of a three-overtime game since I started here, and these kids probably haven't seen one since grade school. But everyone had to play well, [and] everyone had to step up, for us to win."
McLaughlin's 3-pointer tied the game at 48 to end regulation. In the first overtime, with 38 seconds left, PHS trailed 58-52. But McLaughlin drilled another three and PHS got a stop on the next possession and got the ball back.
Trinity Cookis hit a long 3-pointer to tie the game at 58 with three seconds left to end that overtime. Cookis actually banked the shot off the glass, said Racicot.
"Amazing shot," he said. "Shot of the game."
The game was tied again at 66 after the second overtime, when McLaughlin hit one of two free throws with 3 seconds left.
Pittsfield jumped out in the third overtime, but McLaughlin fouled out with two minutes left. Sydney Deluce hit her only two free throws of the game to ice the contest, 75-72. A final 3-point attempt by Agawam was off the mark.
"It was a dogfight," said Racicot. "We went back and forth all night."
Pittsfield will be at top seed Northampton on Friday night at 7 p.m.
The Generals had a two-point lead at halftime, 27-25. After that, said Racicot, the two teams were rarely separated by more than a few points.
The Generals probably could have put the game away a little earlier. They were 13 for 32 from the free throw line.
"Yeah, we didn't help ourselves there, that's for sure," said Racicot.
Lauren Carnevale added 12 for Pittsfield. Alycia Rackliff led the home side with 31.