CHESHIRE -- What do you do when your offense is mired in the Stone Age?
If you're the Hoosac Valley girls basketball team, you crank up the press and turn the biggest game of the season on its head.
"I knew that if we could get some steals and make some baskets ... I think that's what did it," said Hurricanes coach Ron Wojcik. "Once we made a couple shots and had a couple steals, you could just feel the energy on the bench behind you."
Hoosac roared back from 15 down in the first quarter to outscore the Millionaires by 27 over the final three in a 47-35 win. The Hurricanes (7-2, 4-0 South) took a stranglehold on first place in the South by stunning the same Lenox team that beat them three times last year en route to the division title.
Hoosac did it, remarkably, without a single player in double figures. Six players scored at least six points, led by eight from Tori Rumbolt. The Hurricanes' press forced their guests into more than 25 turnovers, erasing the memory of a first quarter where Lenox (5-2, 2-1) was the team moving smoothly down the floor.
"I think in the beginning we were a little caught off guard," Rumbolt said. "We knew we just had to step back up and give it our all."
Hoosac dug an 18-3 hole after those first eight minutes. It didn't take long to climb out of it. Lenox wouldn't have a field goal over the first seven minutes of the second quarter while Hoosac piled 22 points onto its total.
Suddenly, the Millionaires were the ones who couldn't make layups after looking so fluid to start. Lenox forced passes into pockets defended by two and three Hurricanes. The second half didn't prove much better, starting with a turnover.
Liz Mitts finished with a game-high 15 points, but eight of those came in the opening period.
"We were getting down on ourselves," Mitts said. "We wanted to keep the lead. We just don't have the legs right now. We need to work on being stronger mentally as a team. When the other team starts scoring, our shots don't fall."
Wojcik said he was worried his young team might be downtrodden after such a start. The Hurricanes had similar offensive struggles earlier this season in a home loss to Wahconah. This time, Hoosac responded in a way it never did that night.
"In hindsight, it's probably a good thing to fall down like that and know your press can get you back into a game," Wojcik said. "Now, you play somebody else down the road that's a good team and if it happens, it happens."
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