LENOX -- In a game that was not really as close as the score indicates, Lenox's girls basketball team jumped out to a substantial first-quarter lead and cruised to a 57-21 Western Mass. Division III first-round victory over Franklin County Technical on Tuesday night.
The No. 4 Millionaires (13-8) will play No. 5 Gateway on Friday night at home at 7 p.m.
"Well, it gave us a chance to work on moving the ball around," said Millionaire forward Liz Mitts, who ended up with 14 points, 13 rebounds, six blocks and five steals. "Defensively, we figured them out pretty quickly."
That's an understatement. Lenox took control about three minutes into the game, jumping out to a 13-0 lead. The Millionaire press thoroughly unnerved the visitors, who got off only a handful of shots in that span, but produced plenty of turnovers.
Lenox coach Nicole Patella called the press off at that point, but Franklin Tech still struggled. Lenox expanded the lead to 19-0 before Franklin's Brooke Meuse dropped in a free throw.
The score was 27-3 after a quarter.
Offensively, Lenox was running just about anything it wished. The visitors showed no real defensive recognition and Hayden Zinchuk and Mitts got open any time they had to.
Zinchuk had 14 points and 11 rebounds to go with seven assists.
"This gave us an opportunity to work on our zone offense, which was a good thing, because I think we'll be facing a zone in our next game," said Patella. "We moved the ball well, and everybody got a chance to play."
The home side pushed the lead to 35-5 and Patella emptied her bench. It was 38-8 at halftime.
If there was any doubt about the outcome, the home side ran off a 5-0 run to open the third quarter and take their biggest lead of the night, 43-5.
To Franklin Tech's credit, the players were diving for loose balls until the final buzzer, but sheer hustle wasn't going to win this one.
"Actually, I thought we showed a lot of discipline," said Patella. "In the second half, I wanted us to walk the ball up and play a half-court game, and we did that. It's hard for my girls, because they're like horses. They want to run all night."
Megan Aldrich led the visitors with seven points. Jasmine Farr-Marcum had eight rebounds for Franklin Tech.
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