CHESHIRE — Sometimes, you just have to keep on shooting.
Monument Mountain guard Addie McLaughlin had missed four consecutive 3-point baskets in the second half of Saturday's Hoosac Valley Holiday Tournament consolation game against Auburn. But that didn't stop her.
McLaughlin drained a 3-pointer off a fast break with 48 seconds left to play in the fourth quarter, giving the Spartans a lead it would not surrender as they beat the Rockets 49-46.
All-Tournament pick Anika Helmke had a double-double with a game-high 18 points 10 rebounds — including eight points in the fourth quarter — as Monument Mountain roared back from a 11-0 deficit to beat Auburn 49-46. Emily Sarkisian had 17 points for the Rockets, who are coached by former Lee High School standout Nicole LePrevost.
"I knew that it was do or die pretty much and I had to hit it," said McLaughlin. "The motivation when I hit that three made our team know that we had to turn it on [defensively]."
It was a rough weekend for the Rockets and their first-year coach. Nicole LePrevost played her high school basketball at Lee and was a part of the Wildcat dynasty. Here, her team lost to host Hoosac Valley on Friday and to Monument on Saturday.
"I know," said LePrevost, when reminded how Lee used to have a lot of success in the gym. "It's tough coming back."
The game came down to a big shot late in the fourth quarter. Unlike Friday, this time the shot went down.
On Friday night, Helmke missed a shot at the buzzer that would have put the Spartans into the championship game. The sophomore had a big game on Saturday, and two of her biggest moments came in the final quarter.
After Auburn led for most of the game, a basket by Helmke put Monument up 40-37 with 4:02 left. The Rockets answered with five free throws to go up 42-40.
Monument moved the ball quickly up the court and from the right wing, Helmke hit Addie McLaughlin in stride, and the junior guard drained a 3-point shot from the top of the key. McLaughlin, who finished with 10 points, had missed her previous four 3-point shots.
"It was based on a set play," said McLaughlin. "We just did our thing, and it happened."
A huge play in the final 20 seconds came when Auburn's Emily Sarkisian, who had 17 points and made the All-Tourney team, hit a shot from the left wing that the Auburn side thought tied the game at 47 with four seconds left. It was ruled that she had her foot on the 3-point line, so it was a 2-point hoop, and the Spartans led 47-46. Helmke then scored as the clock ran out.
The Spartans found themselves down 11-0 and didn't make a basket until McLaughlin drove to the basket with 4:07 left in the first quarter. So it was quite a hole the Spartans found themselves looking up from.
"I think we got a little bit flat" after going up 11-0, said LePrevost. "I think we softened up a little bit. We came out with intensity, we had a decent lead, and we didn't keep up the intensity."
Monument trailed by as much as 21-8 early in the second quarter before coming back and trailing only 27-23 at halftime.
Monument Mountain 49, Auburn 46
Sarkisian 4-9-17, Clifford 2-3-7, Cutting 3-5-12, Anuskas 1-0-2, S. Hynes 0-0-0, Harris 1-0-2, K. Hynes 1-2-4, Courteau 0-2-2, Halloran 0-0-0. Totals 12-21-46.
McLaughlin 3-2-11, Hu. Hassett 0-2-2, Kelly 1-0-2, Powell 1-0-2, Cormier 2-0-5, Ha. Hassett 2-6-10, Dupont 0-0-0, Helmke 5-8-18. Totals 14-18-49.
3-point goals — A 1(Cutting). MM 3 (McLaughlin 2, Cormier).