CHESHIRE -- Heading into Saturday's matchup against Hoosac Valley, Granby coach Tom Burke said his team would need to play at a slower pace to negate Hoosac's fast-paced style.
The Hurricanes, however, dictated the pace from the tip, leading to a 74-48 win in the final game of the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic.
"I thought our kids played hard," Hoosac coach Ron Wojcik said. "We've been playing how we've wanted, trying to pressure and run."
Early in the first quarter, Granby jumped out to an 8-3 lead. The Rams' Meghan and Kate Sullivan combined for all eight points. But, when Granby center Becca Sapouckey left after her second foul with 3 minutes and 52 seconds left in the quarter, Hoosac attacked the paint.
Jenn Gale and the Hurricane guards sparked a 16-3 run to end the quarter with an eight-point lead. Hoosac would not trail the rest of the game. Gale ended with 7 points. Madi Ryan scored 9. Meg Rodowicz added 13.
Burke's message to his team, though, wasn't just about winning -- or basketball, for that matter.
"I told kids that the No. 1 thing we were trying to do is helping fight for cancer," Burke said. "Win or lose, I told them we're going to learn a lot from playing a great team."
In the second half, with Sapouckey back in the game, Hoosac looked to Emily Rosse to exploit a mismatch on the perimeter. Rosse scored 11 of her game-high 20 in the second half. The Hoosac forward used her quickness to her advantage, drawing Sapouckey away from the basket and connecting from three-point range.
"I feel like I played pretty well," Rosse said. "Coach said [Sapouckey] wasn't going to come out on the three-pointer, so I took my time to shoot. That's what I did today."
Overall, the goal for the Coaches vs. Cancer Tournament was to raise awareness and funds for the American Cancer Society. Wojcik said it's great to give back using basketball. He added that the event also allowed for a look into potential Western Mass. Division III playoff matchups down the road.
"I think it went pretty well," Wojcik said "We had three competitive games. Six teams [were here] that could potentially make the tournament."
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