Fire alarm only thing slowing Lenox girls basketball in Western Mass. D-IV tournament blowout win over Duggan

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GILLIAN JONES – THE BERKSHIRE EAGLE
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LENOX — It's not every day your Western Massachusetts basketball tournament game is stopped by a fire alarm.

"Not ever, no," said Lenox's Jade Alward of the alarm that sounded with 4:33 left in the second quarter and Lenox up by 10 points against Duggan.

"Not in all my years of basketball has that ever happened," she said.

Ten different Millionaires scored points, led by Alward's 13, as third-seeded Lenox knocked off the No. 14-seeded Jayhawks 65-38 Monday night. The Millionaires scored the game's first 14 points and were never seriously threatened.

Alex Lipton had a big night for the Millionaires. She had nine of her 10 points in the second half, and had 10 rebounds for a double-double. All 10 of those rebounds came in the second half.

Lenox out-rebounded Duggan 54-27 over 32 minutes

Lenox (14-7) now advances to the Division IV quarterfinal round on Thursday. The Millionaires will host No. 6 Hopkins Academy, a 47-16 winner over 11th-seeded Hampden Charter. Duggan ends its year 10-11.

There was one threat, however. That came at 7:27 p.m. when Duggan's Jesalie Torres hit her second 3-point hoop of the quarter, cutting Lenox's lead to 10 points at 23-13. Then the alarm went off, and everyone went outside.

After a 13-minute delay, the teams returned to action, and the Millionaires rattled off the final 12 points of the quarter.

"We got to go outside. When we came back in, it was like wow, it's only 10 points," Alward said of the lead. "We were like we had to pick it up again, and we did."

"I said we're going to try and change our defense right now," Lenox coach Nicole Patella said when they returned to the court. "We kind of concentrated on their shooters a little bit. They had to focus. It was good."

The run started when Anna Najimy found Amelia Reis inside for two. Torres, who had a game-high 26 points, missed a shot on the Jayhawks' next possession. Kat Nichols rebounded and Sophie Patella hit Alward for a hoop. All of a sudden it was a 14-point lead for Lenox, and the rout was on.

Of those final 12 points, 10 of them came off of assists. The last two points were scored by Mia Giardina on an offensive put back.

"We're rebounding really well right now, and they're looking for one another, which is huge," Nicole Patella said. "We had a lot of girls score, and some really good assists. Everyone's looking for the open person on offense."

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In fact, out of 29 made baskets, 18 of them came with assists. Grace Wigington had a team-high four assists, while Alward and Najimy had three each.

The Millionaires came out playing quality defense. Jumping out to the 14-0 lead, Lenox forced 10 turnovers. The Jayhawks, on the other hand, committed eight turnovers before attempting a shot.

Torres had six, 3-point hoops for her 26 points. Each time she shot, it was from deeper on the court. A couple of her treys were from the 25-foot neighborhood. But the rest of the Jayhawks scored 12 points, combined.

The Millionaires led 35-13 at halftime, thanks to 11 of Alward's 13 points. Reis scored all six of her points in the first half.

"These girls have gone through a lot, but they've come together really well," the Lenox coach said. "They have a goal. We had our first goal, to win the South. Now we have our second goal [reaching Curry Hicks Cage], and it's next on the list."

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DUGGAN (38)

Dudley 1-2-4, Sanchez 0-0-0, Bates 0-0-0, Oquendo 1-1-3, J. Torres 9-2-26, Aubin 1-0-2, S. Torres 1-0-3, Alvarez 0-0-0, King 0-0-0, Arroyo 0-0-0, Feliciano 0-0-0, Perry 0-0-0, McCoy 0-0-0. 13-5-38.

LENOX (65)

Alward 5-2-13, Reis 3-0-6, Patella 2-0-4, Wigington 3-0-6, Paul 0-1-1, Nichols 2-0-4, Najimy 3-0-6, Lipton 4-2-10, Ano 0-0-0, Pignatelli 0-0-0, Nicotra 3-0-7, Giardina 4-0-8. Totals 29-5-65.

Duggan     7     6     19     15     —     38

Lenox     21     14     14     16     —     65

3-point goals — D 7 (J. Torres 6, S. Torres). L 2 (Alward, Nicotra).

Howard Herman can be reached at hherman@berkshireeagle.com, at @howardherman on Twitter and 413-496-6253.


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