By Mark Carpenter
“We just got hit by a buzz saw” were the only words that Manchester head coach Jason Franklin could use to describe what happened to his Lady Greyhounds in last Saturday’s sectional championship game at Northwest High School. The Lady Hounds faced a familiar foe in the North Adams Lady Devils for the sectional title and for a half, it looked like the two county rivals were going to fight it out right down to the wire.
Manchester actually led in the first half and trailed just 30-25 at the break but after the intermission it is safe to say that the Lady Devils dominated every facet of the game, outscoring the Lady Hounds 22-1 in the third quarter and 23-6 in the fourth and it was the North Adams girls who would cut down the nets and celebrate a sectional title and return to district play, as they pounded the Hounds by a final score of 75-32.
“We came out and turned up the pressure in that second half,” said North Adams head coach Rob Davis. “We started knocking down some threes and that changes everything.”
Looking back, perhaps the opening three minutes of the game were an omen of later things to come as the Lady Devils led 7-0 after a Brittany Stout “3” at the 5:05 mark of the first quarter. The first Manchester points came on a Hannah Rideout basket and after a Tess Burns put back and two Summer Wilbur free throws, the Lady Hounds had regained their composure and trailed just 9-6.
With the aid of a pair of three-point goals, one by Staci Dinsmore and one by Taylor Gast in the final seconds, the Lady Devils extended their advantage to 17-11 after the first eight minutes of action.
In the second quarter, the Lady Devils led 20-14 after a Mikayla Jodrey free throw, but Manchester struck the next blow with a 7-0 run to take their first lead of the game. Two baskets by Rideout and a Morgan Johnson three put the Hounds up 21-20 and another Rideout bucket at the 2:35 mark kept Manchester on top 23-22. The final two minutes of the first half turned out just to be a precursor pf what was coming later as North Adams finished on a 8-2 run, spurred by the play of Staci Dinsmore, and regained the lead at the break, 30-25.
Whatever Coach Davis told his troops at the half, described later by one of his assistants as “calm”, must have been magic as his team came out of the locker room and just destroyed the Lady Hounds in the third quarter. The ambush began with Jodrey hitting two free throws and then converting an “and one” inside, forcing a quick Manchester timeout. After the timeout, the onslaught continued from long distance as Stout fired in two treys and Sara Dinsmore adding another. Five minutes into the third quarter, the Lady Hounds had not scored and the North Adams lead had ballooned to 45-25.
The only Manchester score of the period came on a Jaylynd Boyd free throw with less than a minute to go, but around that the Lady Devils got another pair of Jodrey free throws and a stick back by Rylee Copas and when the third quarter smoke finally cleared, North Adams was firmly entrenched in control of the contest, leading 52-26.
Copas began the fourth quarter with an old-fashioned three-point play and she added two baskets and two more from the line before the Lady Hounds got their first basket of the second half, a lay up by Rideout with 5:16 left in the game. Gast answered that with her second three of the day and another Jodrey score made it 70-29, and at that point Coach Davis cleared his bench. Off the bench, Taylor Wylie banged in the eighth three-pointer of the game for the Lady Devils, before Rideout finished her high school career with the game’s final basket in a 75-32 runaway victory for the green and gold of North Adams.
For the winners, it was a banner offensive night with five players in double figures, led by Rylee Copas with 17 points. Copas made it a double double performance by hauling in 12 rebounds, 8 of them on the offensive end. Mikayla Jodrey added 16 points and 8 boards, with Brittany Stout having one of her better games of the season, getting 11 points and 6 steals on the defensive side. Taylor Gast and Staci Dinsmore contributed 10 points each, with Dinsmore adding 7 rebounds and 3 assists.
For Manchester, Hannah Rideout led the way with 15 points, with Tess Burns and Rainelle Casey adding 4 each to an offense that went totally stagnant after halftime. The Lady Hounds also bid farewell to four seniors, Rideout, Casey, Haylee Adams, and Jaylynd Boyd who saw their final action in the blue and gold.
For the Lady Devils, the win earned them a trip to the district semi-finals where they will face a very tough South Webster team tomorrow night at 8 p.m. at Jackson High School. Advance tickets to that game can be purchased at the school.
Mark Carpenter can be reached at 937-544-2391 or on Twitter @adamscosports.
11 14 1 6 —32
17 13 22 23 —75
Manchester (32): Burns 2 0-0 4, Adams 1 0-0 3, Johnson 1 0-2 3, Boyd 0 1-2 1, Wilbur 0 2-4 2, Rideout 7 1-2 15,
Casey 1 2-4 4, Team 12 6-14 32.
N. Adams (75): Staci Dinsmore 3 3-3 10, Wylie 1 0-0 3, Gast 3 2-2 10, Copas 6 5-9 17, Stout 4 0-0 11, Boerger 1 0-0 2,
Jodrey 5 6-7 16, Sara Dinsmore 1 3-4 6, Team 24 19-25 75.
Three-Point Goals: Manchester-Adams 1, Johnson 1
N. Adams- Staci Dinsmore 1, Wylie 1, Gast 2, Stout 3, Sara Dinsmore 1