Harper, Hupp reach 1,000 point mark in 60-33 title game win over Manchester –
By Mark Carpenter –
Championship Night of the 2017 McDonald’s Classic could not have been more memorable for Coach Rob Davis and his North Adams Lady Devils. Besides handily winning their fourth consecutive Classic title and 16th overall, the Lady Devils experienced something that is rarely if ever seen in a high school basketball game- two teammates eclipsing the 1,000 point plateau in the same game. Seniors Avery Harper and Lakyn Hupp both needed eight points coming into the game and when Harper hit a layup in the first quarter and then Hupp a third quarter three-pointer, both players made history and etched their named forever in the annals of Lady Devils basketball.
“I thought we got off to a good start tonight,” said Coach Davis. “They we leveled off a little bit and I had to get on them a bit and then we went on a big run and picked it up a little bit. Our defense picked up and I thought Taylor Hesler was the key there, she has really been playing well this year for us. Madee shot the ball well and Grace did too and overall it was another great team effort.”
“I’ve never seen two girls in the same game hit 1,000,” added Davis. “They’re just two great kids on and off the floor and I can’t ask for more from either of them. They work hard every day and are both leaders for our team and special kids. I am so glad I was able to coach them for four years and they know how much I care about them.”
The opponent for the Lady Devils in the championship game was the Manchester Lady Greyhounds, who earned their berth with a win the previous day over the West Union Lady Dragons. The two teams had met on Dec. 18 with North Adams winning 60-24 and the Lady Devils lived up to the billing of heavy favorites and best in the county as they used runs of 17-0 and 13-0 to roll past the Lady Hounds by a final score of 60-33.
Coach Davis’s squad established the tone early, racing out to an 8-1 advantage, but baskets by Brooke Kennedy and Emily Sweeney pulled the Lady Hounds to within 10-5. The game’s next basket came with 4:25 left in the first quarter and was the first historic one as Harper scored inside on a left-handed layup to hit the 1,000 mark for her career. The game was stopped and the senior was presented with a game ball, which she in turn presented to her parents.
In the final half of the first period, the Lady Devils got a three-pointer from Madee Shipley while the Lady Hounds got the same from Emily Sweeney and the first eight minutes ended with North Adams in front 18-8.
Another Sweeney trey began the second quarter, but any hopes of a comeback that the Manchester girls may have had disappeared quickly as the Lady Devils proceeded to reel of 17 straight, getting three-pointers from Harper and Shipley plus baskets by Hupp, Taylor Hesler, and Grace McDowell, to take a commanding 35-13 advantage. Sweeney stayed hot from the outside with a three-pointer late in the half, slicing the North Adams halftime lead to 35-16.
For those who knew the situation, the third quarter was a wait to see when Hupp could hit that 1,000 point mark. The senior guard also knew that as she pressed a bit and missed a few easy shots that she normally never would miss, and Coach Davis even took her from the game to calm her down. With 3:40 left in the third period and her team on top 42-19, Hupp got her magic moment, draining a three-pointer from the wing to join Harper in the 1,000 point club. Again, the game was halted and a game ball was presented to Hupp, who also delivered that to her parents before play resumed.
When the third quarter did come to a close, it was just a matter of playing out the string for the final eight minutes as the North Adams girls held a comfortable 52-22 lead.
After baskets by Hupp and Wylie Shipley opened the final period, the Lady Hounds showed a little spark, running off nine straight that included three-pointers by Kennedy and Josie Campbell, but that only cut the deficit to 56-31, and a pair of buckets by Delaney Harper for North Adams and one by Sydnie Cox for Manchester closed out the scoring in a 16th Classic championship for the Lady Devils, winning this one by the final count of 60-33.
Avery Harper was named the Most Valuable Player of the 2017 Classic and she led her team in the title game with 17 points, with Hupp, who was named to the All-Tourney Team, adding 14. Senior Madee Shipley scored 12 for the winners, all coming on a quarter of three-point goals. Grace McDowell added 8 for the Lady Devils, whop improved to 8-2 on the year, winning their fifth consecutive game.
After the game, the North Adams dynamic duo was asked about their 1,000 point accomplishments.
“I had no idea I was close to 1,000,” said Harper. “When they blew the buzzer, I thought they were taking my basket away. I could not have done this without all of the girls that I have played with and I love every single one of them. It feels really good to know my name will be up there on the wall with the other 1,000 point scorers.”
“I knew that Avery and I needed the same amount of points so when she got hers, I looked up and knew I was close,” said Hupp. “I could not make a basket for anything and I was getting emotional and frustrated. It feels awesome and I am so happy that I did this the same night as my best friend.”
“Coach Davis was such a big part of this,” agreed both girls. “He pushes us every day to be better as do our parents.”
Manchester (6-5) was led by 15 points from Emily Sweeney, who was also named to the All-Tournament Team, along with teammate Darrington White. Brooke Kennedy also hit double figures in the final game, scoring 10 for the Lady Hounds.
8 8 6 11 –33
18 17 17 8 –60
Manchester (33): White 0 1-4 1, Cox 1 1-2 3, Smith 0 1-2 1, Campbell 1 0-0 3, Kennedy 3 3-4 10, Sweeney 5 2-2 15, Team 10 8-14 33.
N. Adams (60): Hesler 1 0-0 2, W. Shipley 1 0-0 2, Hupp 6 1-1 14, M.shipley 4 0-0 12, McDowell 2 4-4 8, D. Harper 2 1-2 5, A. Harper 8 0-0 17, Team 24 6-7 60.
Manchester (5): Campbell 1, Kennedy 1, Sweeney 3
N. Adams (6): Hupp 1, M. Shipley 4, A. Harper 1