Drury girls basketball edges Lenox on the road for 6th straight win

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LENOX — Modern basketball hinges on two things, pace and space. On Thursday night, two of the best teams in the Berkshire South showcased their ability to move the ball as the Drury girls defeated Lenox 63-58.

The win makes it six in a row for the Blue Devils, (9-9, 7-0 South) while snapping the Millionaires' own two-game winning streak.

Drury led 21-19 halfway through the second quarter and never looked back. But if it had, the Blue Devils would've seen Lenox right behind them all game. Drury could never break away as its biggest lead on the night was just eight.

"It was a game of runs and they ended the game on the last one," said Mike Nykorchuck, head coach of the Millionaires (6-11, 3-3). "If we had a chance for one last run I think we would've had a chance to get ahead of them. I thought their guard play was great."

The Blue Devils took the lead in the second quarter by out-scoring Lenox 15-11 in the frame. Leading the charge for Drury was Alison Felix, who had eight of her 15 points in the quarter.

"I thought Felix did a great job for them," Nykorchuck said. "She does everything good and if she gets the ball in the paint, or anywhere, she isn't going to miss the shot. She was key, I thought Haley Shook played a really good game for them too."

The guard duo of Shook and Felix combined for 31 points on the night. Whether it was Shook creating points off of turnovers or Felix finding the open look, the two gave Lenox trouble all night.

"I was relying on my teammates," said Felix. "Whenever they got a rebound they would tip the ball to me, giving me an open shot. Whenever I would drive I would look for my bigs and they were great distractions in the paint, allowing for me to go up with the shot."

For the Millionaires, the 3-ball provided a consistent source of offense as three players connected from deep at least twice. Alice Najimy, who finished with a game-high 26 points drained four 3-point shots.

"The reason the 3-point game was so important is because we struggled in the paint," said Nykorchuck. "Unfortunately we are living by the three, but we are also dying by the three. I am happy with the way we shot the 3-ball, but we need to score in the post. Our post players are young, like [Sophie Patella], who is tenacious on the boards. I think she's going to come back with vengeance as she gets older."

The win marks the fourth game in a row in which Drury has won by six-or-less points, but head coach Ian Downey enjoys the games coming right down to the wire.

"They're fun," Downey said "Don't get me wrong, it would be helpful to have one that isn't as close, but these games are hugely beneficial. These are the type of games we would lose at the beginning of the season. I was looking for people to step up tonight and I think we had a good team win tonight."

Along with Shook and Felix, Drury had a total of four players who cracked double-digits on the night. Senior Cassandra Crosier scored 12 points, while junior Laura Thomas added 11.

"[Shook and Felix] have been having a huge impact on games over the last month or two," Downey said. "The reason our scoring is up this year is because we aren't relying on just one person. We have had times this year where girls needed to step up and they have. The biggest thing for me is running the offense. If we do that, things will take care of itself."


DRURY (63)

Shook 7-2-16, Felix 6-3-15, Burdick 0-0-0, Crosier 4-1-12, Thomas 5-1-11, Ross 0-0-0, McGuire 1-0-2, Zoito 2-0-4, Booth 0-0-0, Dobbert 1-0-3, Dix 0-0-0. Totals 26-7-63

Lenox (58)

Alward 3-0-9, Reis 2-1-5, Patella, 0-2-2, Herrick 0-0-0, Pehlert 0-0-0, Parkinson 2-0-6, Nichols 0-0-0, Al. Najimy 10-2-26, An. Najimy 0-0-0, Gamberoni 2-4-8. Totals 19-9-58

Drury     10     15     17     21          63

Lenox     12     11     14     21          58

3-point goals — D 4 (Crosier 3, Dobbert 1) L 9 (Al. Najimy 4, Alward 3, Parkinson 2).


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