Pittsfield girls clinch at least a share of Berkshire North title
Photo Gallery | Wahconah-Pittsfield Girls Basketball
DALTON — The Pittsfield girls weren't going to be denied.
Host Wahconah had pulled to within a point of the Generals early in the third quarter Monday night. But the Generals responded with a 19-1 run to pop the Warriors' balloon. The run helped Pittsfield beat Wahconah 61-36, to claim a share of the North Division crown.
"We haven't won the North in a few years, so it's definitely great," said Pittsfield senior Allie Hunt. "We also didn't think we were going to be able to clinch it this year.
"We were able to battle back midseason, so it feels great."
Peyton Steinman had a game-high 29 points as Pittsfield finishes its North Division play with an 8-2 record. Steinman also has 1,117 career points, passing former PHS star Maggie Ward, Wahconah's Mary Langendorf and the Mount Everett tandem of Tricia Brown and Allison Rote. Steinman is 38th, and 13 points behind McCann Tech's Heather LaCasse.
Wahconah led early in the game, trailed 26-24 at halftime, but was outscored 35-12 in the second half.
"It's a goal that you need to achieve in order to get to where you want to go," said PHS coach Joe Racicot. "The kids stepped up. They wanted it. They talked about it at halftime. We made a few adjustments defensively and things turned out pretty good in the third quarter."
Lily Pudlo, who had a double-double with 16 points and 15 rebounds for Wahconah, pulled the Warriors to within a point when she converted a 3-point play with 7:19 left. Pittsfield responded with the next 16 points. Toni Satrape had six in that run and hunt had four.
"They outworked us," said Wahconah coach Liz Kay. "They rebounded better than we did. They capitalized on our turnovers."
Pittsfield also went to a zone defense in the third quarter, basically daring Wahconah to shoot outside. In the first half, Pudlo had scored 10 points, many of them coming from inside the paint. The zone kept the Warriors off the board, and the PHS offense — with Steinman in the lead — did the rest.
Steinman hit a deep 3-point shot in the middle of the run. In fact it was back-to-back treys by Makailey Cookis and Steinman that really seemed to take the air out of the basketball for Wahconah.
In the first half, it was Steinman who kept the Generals in the game. The junior scored 17 of her 26 points in the opening 16 minutes. She scored 10 in the first quarter and missed only 1-of-5 shots from the floor.
"The past couple of games, I've been struggling with my shot," said Steinman. "It definitely hurts my confidence. But in practice, I've got to keep shooting them and get my rhythm back.
"I have the great support from my family and the coaches to help keep my confidence up."
The Pittsfield junior also had seven of the Generals' 15 steals. She also had three assists.
"I've never seen her have a bad game against us," said Kay. "I've seen her have a bad game against a lot of people. Her 'On' shooting nights are always against us. I expect nothing less."
Steinman 11-5-29, Cookis 2-0-6, Perkett 0-0-0, Eline-Wright 0-1-1, Aitken 2-0-5, Quetti 1-0-2, Satrape 4-0-8, Shade 0-0-0, Hunt 4-2-10. Totals 24-5-61.
McMahon 0-0-0, Brennan 0-0-0, Zink 3-0-8, McIlquham 1-2-4, George 0-0-0, Cotee 2-3-8, Pudlo 6-4-16, Dougherty 0-0-0, O'Connor 0-0-0, Gamberoni 0-0-0. Totals 12-9-36.
3-point goals — P 8 (Steiman 5, Cookis 2, Aitken). W 3 (Zink 2, Cote).