Photo Gallery | Hoosac Valley boys basketball tops Drury
CHESHIRE — Role players tend to play their best games at home, and in front of a raucous crowd against rival Drury the Hoosac Valley reserves made key plays throughout to help the Hurricanes to a 54-47 win on Thursday.
Drury held Hoosac's go-to player Jameson Coughlan to just eight points, but six Hoosac players reached the scoring column, led by 13 points from Matt Koperniak and 12 points from Dahndray Sistrunk.
Drury led by two at the start of the third quarter, but Colin Rousseau's 3-pointer put the 'Canes ahead. Hayden Bird's jumper ended the rally, but Sistrunk connected from deep with 4 minutes and 41 seconds left in third, rejuvenating the Hoosac crowd. Matt Carlow followed with all four of his points and Sistrunk added another three, putting the host up six with 2:41 left in the quarter. Koperniak ended the quarter with back-to-back treys, helping the 'Canes withstand Drury's 5-0 quarter-ending run.
"It gives [Koperniak and Coughlan] a breather and they don't have to do everything on offense," Hoosac coach Bill Robinson said of his supporting cast. "It helped keep the defense honest. They can't double team Jameson, they can't keep a half man on Matt, and it keeps everyone freed up."
Drury had a defensive plan to limit Coughlan, but Hoosac's perimeter defense held the Blue Devils long-range shooters in check as well. Drury has multiple players capable of catching fire from deep, but the Blue Devils managed just two treys on the night. On the road in a hostile environment, once the 3-pointers stop falling, the offense gets more difficult to execute.
"We talked about it going on the road. ... We're young, inexperienced and in a hostile environment — we were content to shoot [3-pointers]," Drury coach Jack Racette said. "We made [3-pointers] at home and that's what being at home is all about. I thought Hoosac shot the ball better than us, and that was the difference it the game."
Overall, Drury shot 2-of-20 from 3-point range.
The inability to connect from distance showed most in the final quarter. Hoosac started the quarter on a 6-0 run. Reece Racette ended the run with a layup with 4:56 remaining, cutting the deficit to six. Cristian Montoya's 3-pointer cut the deficit in half, but the Blue Devils could not get the tying trey to fall.
Bird led Drury with 17 points while Reece Racette added 15 points.
In the first half Hoosac started the game on a 10-2 run capped by a 3-pointer from Avery Hall. Drury rallied back in the second quarter, but Koperniak said the home crowd helped fuel the team early.
"It's always good to get the crowd behind you," he said. "They were electric tonight, it was a great atmosphere and when the shots go down it gives us a lot of energy."
Harrison 0-0-0, Montoya 1-1-4, Bird 5-7-17, Racette 3-9-15, Meehan 1-0-3, Stewart 0-0-0, Heck 3-2-8. Totals: 13-19-47.
Hall 1-0-3, Rousseau 3-1-8, Hayer 0-0-0, Koperniak 4-3-13, Sistrunk 4-1-12, Barrow 2-2-6, Coughlan 4-0-8. Totals: 20-7-54
3-point goals — D 2 (Montoya 1, Meehan 1). HV 7 (Hall 1, Rousseau 1, Koperniak 2, Sistrunk 3).