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Greylock ousts Senators

WILLIAMSTOWN — Lucy Barrett isn’t just a co-captain, and she’s not just the coach’s daughter – she’s a pretty good basketball player, and a deadly shooter.

Barrett put on a show in the second half, scoring 22 of her game-high 30 points over the final 16 minutes to power seventh-seeded Mt. Greylock Regional High School to a 56-53 win over No. 10 seed Mahar Regional School in the first round of the Western Massachusetts Division III Girls’ Basketball Tournament Monday night.

“We came out in a nice zone that took them out of their game for almost three quarters,” said Senators head coach Larry Fisher, “but Barrett made a couple of bombs from way beyond the line and those hurt. She’s a good shooter.”

The Senators (10-11) held a four-point halftime lead but Barrett scored the Mounties’ first 8 points – including consecutive 3-balls – to tie it at 31-31.

Keanna Whitmore tried her best to help Mahar stem the tide with 6 of its 11 points in the stanza, but 6-foot-2 freshman center Jenna Benzinger finally gave the hosts their first lead of the evening on a putback with 1:48 left in the third quarter. A minute later, with the score tied, Arianna Walden drained a trifecta to give the Mounties a 41-38 lead heading into the final period.

After Barrett (6-for-16 from behind the arc) and Mahar’s Natashia Patria exchanged 3s, Walden hit her second triple at the 6:31 mark to put Greylock up six, 49-43.

Unfazed, Patria’s eight-foot runner helped spark a 7-0 run, capped off by Aly Parker’s 3-ball from the left elbow to put Mahar back in front, 50-49. It could have been as much as a four-point lead, but the Senators missed three free throws during that span and it eventually cost them in the end.

After two more lead changes, Barrett buried a 3 from the right elbow to push Greylock back in front to stay, 54-52, with 1:49 left.

Mahar got the ball with 20.4 seconds left, and Parker drew a foul on a drive to the hoop with 12.7 seconds left, but only made one of two to cut the deficit to one, forcing the Senators to foul. Barrett immediately got the inbounds pass and was fouled. She drained both freebies for a three-point advantage, and Parker’s last-second 3-point attempt to tie fell short.

Playing without senior captain Mackenzie Flynn (flu), Greylock looked tight early and missed several open looks, allowing a more relaxed Mahar squad to take advantage and jump out to an early 6-1 lead that it extended to 14-6 by the end of the opening quarter. Barrett was especially nervous, missing on her first five attempts from behind the arc before hitting her first with 1:57 left in the quarter.

Mahar was able to keep it a two-or three-possession game throughout the second period until a late Mounties surge cut the Senators’ eight-point lead to two, including consecutive fastbreak layups.

Patria, who scored 6 of the Senators’ points in the second, sank a 10-fooot baseline jumper just before the buzzer to put Mahar back up by four entering the break.

Walden added 8 points for Greylock, which heads to Northern Berkshire rival and No 2 seed Hoosac Valley High School in a quarterfinal game on Thursday night.

Parker led Mahar with 16 points. Whitmore threw in 12 and Patria finished with 11. Cassie Verheyen finished with despite dealing with foul trouble.

“I’m proud of the girls,” said Fisher. “Nobody gave us much of a chance to go far this year, or to even make the tournament, but here we are.”

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