alex hudson plays basketball

Taconic's Alex Hudson hit on three 3-pointers to lead the way with 12 points in the Thunder's Elite Eight victory on Friday night in Bellingham.

BELLINGHAM — Taconic made only 15 field goals in its MIAA Division V Elite Eight contest on Friday, but seven of them came from 3-point range.

The Thunder struck from a distance, as the newly-named Taconic girls advanced to the Final Four via a 47-39 decision on the road.

No. 5 Taconic had to leave the Berkshires for the State Tournament quarterfinals to meet No. 4 Millis. The game was played at nearby Bellingham High School due to MIAA capacity minimums for the round.

Perhaps that shift in home-court advantage provided Taconic the crack in the door, which the Thunder tore open with seven triples and a suffocating defensive performance. 

In six postseason games, no team has scored more than 43 points on Taconic. Millis entered coming off two tournament games scoring 68 and 55 points, but against Taconic couldn't get much of anything going. The Thunder held their hosts to seven points in the second quarter to take a 25-17 lead at halftime. 

Taconic was then the one left looking at its hands after a seven-point third quarter. But Ahliya Phillips scored six of her 11 points in the fourth quarter as Taconic hung on to eliminate the Mohawks.

Alex Hudson knocked in three 3-pointers and was 3 of 4 from the line in the fourth quarter for Taconic to lead the way with 12 points. Amelia Leasure hit a pair of 3s as well. Faith Cross notched 10 points, giving coach Matt Mickle three girls in double figures. 

Taconic shot 18 free throws in the game, making 10. The Thunder went to the stripe 16 times in the fourth quarter alone. Millis was just 2 of 7 overall.

Brenna McNeice had six points to go with 11 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Phillips added nine boards, five assists and seven steals. Cross had seven boards, but five on the offensive end. Maddie Winn blocked three shots.

Taconic will meet No. 1 Hoosac Valley in the Final Four. The two Berkshire County rivals played back on Dec. 29 with the Hurricanes winning 38-33. Phillips was the team's high scorer with eight points. Averie McGrath had 16 to lead Hoosac back then, and she scored 32 points on Friday in the Hurricanes' own Elite Eight win. Hoosac beat No. 8 Carver 66-32 in Cheshire.

With 11 points, Phillips now stands at 1,071 career points. She is three points away from entering the top 50 all-time in Berkshire County scoring

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TACONIC (47)
Walker 1-0-2, Hudson 3-3-12, Phillips 2-6-11, McNeice 2-1-6, Leasure 2-0-6, Winn 0-0-0, Cross 5-0-10. Totals 15-10-47.
MILLIS (39)
L. Grattan 1-0-2, Conroy 0-0-0, Mundy 6-1-15, J. Grattan 0-0-0, Rice 2-1-5, Caulfield 0-0-0, Hockman 0-0-0, Soto 0-0-0, Avakian 1-0-3, Molinari 3-0-6, Basset 3-0-8, Hockman 0-0-0. Totals 16-2-39.
Taconic 14 11 7 15 — 47
Millis 10 7 11 11 — 39
3-pointers — T 7 (Hudson 3, Leasure 2, Phillips, McNeice); M 5 (Mundy 2, Basset 2, Avakian).