NORTH ADAMS — The Drury girls basketball team did not hide its intentions on Thursday night in the championship game of the Gene Wein Holiday Tournament at Drury.
They were doing this one for Mr. Wein.
Just four months removed from Wein passing away, the Blue Devils took to their home court and defended their territory in a 42-29 win over Mount Greylock.
"I think it's very, very special [to win the tournament]," Drury's Olivia Carlson, the MVP of the tournament, said. "If we don't do anything else all season, I'm glad we have this."
After a back-and-forth start over the first quarter saw Drury take a slender 12-8 lead into the second on a last-second layup from Sarah Lamarre (7 points), the Blue Devils played lockdown defense in the second stanza to deny the Mounties a single point. At halftime, Drury led 23-8.
"That really is pretty special," Drury coach Brian Flagg said of the blanking in the second. "Our focus as a team is defense. We have to start our whole game defensively.
"What an incredible, incredible job they did in the second quarter. It really was."
In the second half, Greylock started chipping away at Drury's lead and eventually got the score down to 31-23 on Sarah Stripp's only bucket of the game, but Drury responded by getting six straight points from Katie Toomey (12 points) at the free-throw line to make it a 37-23 game with 3 minutes and 48 seconds remaining.
For Greylock coach John Jacobbe, the loss on the night came down to energy. After the strong start, Jacobbe saw his team fade throughout the course of the game as the Mounties dealt with injuries, including one to starting point guard Ari Walden in the third quarter.
"Tonight, I thought the energy early was good in the first quarter," Jacobbe said. "We were right in it. They stole the momentum with the last minute of the first quarter, and they rode the energy in the second quarter. We just didn't have an answer to stop them."
Carlson stole the show for the Blue Devils while trying to deal with Mount Greylock's Jenna Benzinger. While Carlson gave up a solid five inches on her counterpart, the Drury senior finished with an incredible stat line of seven points, 13 rebounds and eight blocks.
"I've known [Carlson] a long time," Jacobbe said. "She's been part of Drury [for a long time]. She's a senior and she wants to play good basketball. As much as it hurts me to lose, I'm happy for [Olivia]. She's a good kid and had a good tournament."
Molly Mouiton chipped in with 11 points for Drury, and Toomey finished with nine rebounds. Benzinger finished with eight points – all in the third quarter – 15 rebounds and three blocks. Stripp added eight boards.
The win pushes Drury to 2-1 on the season, while Greylock falls to 2-1.
Mount Greylock (29)
Benzinger 4-0-8, Cerveira 3-1-7, Walden 3-0-6, Howard 2-2-6, Stripp 1-0-2. Totals 13-3-29.
Toomey 2-8-12, M. Moulton 3-3-11, Lamarre 3-1-7, Carlson 3-1-7, Crews 1-0-3, J. Moulton 1-0-2. Totals 13-13-42.
3-point goals: D (M. Moulton 2, Crews 1)