CHESHIRE — The Drury girls basketball team prides itself on its defense.
That showed on Saturday, as the Blue Devils clamped down to hold a very good Granby team to just 21 points in a 40-21 decision.
Drury did not give up double digits in any of the four quarters Saturday in the first game of the Coaches vs. Cancer showcase at Hoosac Valley. With their defense clicking, the Blue Devils (8-4) got just enough offense to post an impressive win against a fellow Division III playoff contender.
"Absolutely tremendous defensive effort," Drury coach Brian Flagg said of his team's game. "We talk all the time about how we are trying to build this program through our defense. We knew what Granby was going to come out and do offensively — our goal was to take their top two scorers out of the game, and that's not easy to do."
After both teams got off to lethargic starts — Drury led just 6-5 after a quarter — the Blue Devils ramped things up in the second, turning the one-point lead into an eight-point lead at the half. In the second, Granby hit just one field goal, which came at the 5:47 mark in the period.
"I think our defense is really strong," Drury point guard Molly Moulton (10 points) said. "Sarah [Lamarre] and Jenna [Moulton] did an amazing job on two really great players. On the defensive end, that's what pumped us up to come out strong on the offensive end."
The two said players were Granby's Kate Sarnacki and Kate Sullivan. Drury kept Sarnacki in check with just nine points in the game, and Sullivan was largely a non-factor on offense, posting just one made basket.
"[Drury] threw the triangle-and-two at us, which we have seen already this year," Granby coach Tom Burke said. "We have a couple things we normally do against it, but that involves other players making shots. We didn't make anything."
Out of halftime, Drury put the game to bed for good with a 14-6 quarter. In the frame, five different Drury players scored at least a point, with the highlight plays coming towards the end of the period when both Molly and Jenna Moulton (4 points) converted steals into easy layups the other way, with Granby calling timeout after both made baskets.
Not much changed in the fourth as Flagg eventually emptied out his bench. Katie Toomey (10 points) hit a three to open the frame for Drury, then after Granby's Mallory Beauregard (5 points) hit a 3-pointer, Toomey answered with a steal that she then fed to Molly Moulton for the finish.
"It's very positive [on the team] this year, and I think going 3-0 this week with a big win at the end is going to continue to make our season great," Molly Moulton said, referencing wins over Lee and Taconic earlier in the week.
Flagg concurred with his senior captain.
"This is huge," Flagg said of the win. "This group of girls, Granby, was in the Western Mass. final last year. They are a perennial powerhouse in Division III, and we played them well. We've had a lot of close games in our D-III games this year, so it's big to get a win against a good D-III team."
For Burke, the loss left a stinging sensation as the team falls to 9-2, but he was quick to say his team has to forget about the result.
"They have tomorrow off, I said go home and watch the Pats, and we'll get ready on Monday for Hampshire," Burke said. "Just chalk it up, forget this one."
Toomey finished with a double-double, adding 12 rebounds to her points haul. Olivia Carlson scored four points and also hauled in 12 boards. For Granby, Sarnacki managed to snag 11 rebounds — eight in the first half — to lead the Rams.
Sarnacki 3-2-9, Burger 1-0-2, Sexton 1-0-2, Sullivan 1-0-2, Young 0-1-1, M. Beauregard 2-0-5, Croteau 0-0-0, Shepard 0-0-0, A. Beauregard 0-0-0. Totals 8-3-12.
DiGennaro 1-0-3, Lamarre 3-0-9, M. Moulton 3-3-10, Toomey 4-1-10, J. Moulton 2-0-4, Carlson 1-2-4, Crews 0-0-0, Wissman 0-0-0, Barton 0-0-0, Giron 0-0-0, Giavazzi 0-0-0. Totals 14-6-40.
3-point goals — G 2 (Sarnacki, M. Beauregard), D 6 (Lamarre 3, DiGennaro, M. Moulton, Toomey).