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Granby girls shut down Hopkins, advance to Division 3 semifinals

GRANBY — Anchored by a strong defensive effort and the stellar play of Rebecca Sapoukey, the Granby girls basketball team defeated Hopkins Academy 49-42 Friday in the Western Massachusetts Division 3 Tournament quarterfinal round.

Sapoukey made her presence felt on both ends of the court, scoring a game-high 17 points to go along with seven rebounds and a blocked shot.

“We played hard defense,” Sapoukey said. “We tried to keep them out (of the paint) and we tried to keep the Sullivans (Mackenzie and Kate) off the ball. Those two are basically their entire team.”

The third-seeded Rams (18-3) advance to the semifinals where they will play No. 2 Lee (16-5) at 5 p.m. Tuesday at the Curry Hicks Cage. Lee beat New Leadership 70-24.

“We’re going to the Cage,” Sapoukey said. “Lee has beat us multiple times in the Cage. We’re looking forward to hopefully beating them.”

The Rams applied excellent ball pressure on Golden Hawk guards and repeatedly prevented Hopkins’ key players — Olivia Mathieu, Mackenzie and Kate Sullivan — from getting to the ball in favorable scoring positions. They relegated the Golden Hawks to the perimeter, rarely allowing them inside for easier shots.

The Rams also won the battle on the boards.

The Golden Hawks (13-9) played well in transition. They got their hands into the Rams’ passing lanes and pushed the ball for easier shots.

Hopkins trailed 28-21 at halftime but closed to within 41-36 entering the fourth. Granby senior Brooke Labrie sealed the Rams’ win with two free throws down the stretch.

“We knew it was going to be a tough matchup,” Labrie said. “We beat them in the regular season but we knew that they were going to come back strong so we had to work out hardest to beat and we did that.”

Olivia Mathieu finished her Hopkins career with 13 points. Mathieu reached the 1,000-point milestone this season. Celeste Beaulieu also played her final game for Hopkins.

Kate Sullivan added 12 point, while her sister Mackenzie had nine.

Meghan Sullivan had 11 points for the Rams, while Labrie and Briannah Mercier each had eight.

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