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Meg Lynes seals victory for South Hadley in Hoophall

  • The South Hadley team celebrates their 39-38 win against Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College. Meg Lynes, far right, scored the winning goal with a free throw.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    The South Hadley team celebrates their 39-38 win against Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College. Meg Lynes, far right, scored the winning goal with a free throw.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • The South Hadley team celebrates their 39-38 win against Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    The South Hadley team celebrates their 39-38 win against Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Meg Lynes of South Hadley, left, shoots against Meghan Sullivan of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Meg Lynes of South Hadley, left, shoots against Meghan Sullivan of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Hadley players Meg Lynes, left, and Meg Ginley eye a rebound beside Rebecca Sapoukey of Granby Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS

    South Hadley players Meg Lynes, left, and Meg Ginley eye a rebound beside Rebecca Sapoukey of Granby Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Briannah Mercier of Granby, front, begins a shot while defended by Meg Lynes of South Hadley Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Briannah Mercier of Granby, front, begins a shot while defended by Meg Lynes of South Hadley Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Brooke Labrie of Granby, front, shoots against Meg Ginley of South Hadley Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Brooke Labrie of Granby, front, shoots against Meg Ginley of South Hadley Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Briannah Mercier of Granby, left, hooks a loose ball beside Gracie Bailly of South Hadley during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Briannah Mercier of Granby, left, hooks a loose ball beside Gracie Bailly of South Hadley during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Vic Mielnikowski of South Hadley, front, hooks a rebound against Kiley Baran of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Vic Mielnikowski of South Hadley, front, hooks a rebound against Kiley Baran of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Tess Gauthier of South Hadley, left, reaches for the ball as Noelle Menard of Granby begins a pass during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS

    Tess Gauthier of South Hadley, left, reaches for the ball as Noelle Menard of Granby begins a pass during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Kara Callahan of Granby, right, drives to the basket against Meg Lynes of South Hadley during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Kara Callahan of Granby, right, drives to the basket against Meg Lynes of South Hadley during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • South Hadley players Meg Ginley, top, and Kelly Pouliot, right, try to box in Rebecca Sapoukey of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS

    South Hadley players Meg Ginley, top, and Kelly Pouliot, right, try to box in Rebecca Sapoukey of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Tess Gauthier of South Hadley, left, reaches for the ball as Noelle Menard of Granby begins a pass during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS

    Tess Gauthier of South Hadley, left, reaches for the ball as Noelle Menard of Granby begins a pass during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • The South Hadley team celebrates their 39-38 win against Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College. Meg Lynes, far right, scored the winning goal with a free throw.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • The South Hadley team celebrates their 39-38 win against Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Meg Lynes of South Hadley, left, shoots against Meghan Sullivan of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • South Hadley players Meg Lynes, left, and Meg Ginley eye a rebound beside Rebecca Sapoukey of Granby Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Briannah Mercier of Granby, front, begins a shot while defended by Meg Lynes of South Hadley Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Brooke Labrie of Granby, front, shoots against Meg Ginley of South Hadley Friday during the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Briannah Mercier of Granby, left, hooks a loose ball beside Gracie Bailly of South Hadley during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Vic Mielnikowski of South Hadley, front, hooks a rebound against Kiley Baran of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Tess Gauthier of South Hadley, left, reaches for the ball as Noelle Menard of Granby begins a pass during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Kara Callahan of Granby, right, drives to the basket against Meg Lynes of South Hadley during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • South Hadley players Meg Ginley, top, and Kelly Pouliot, right, try to box in Rebecca Sapoukey of Granby during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Tess Gauthier of South Hadley, left, reaches for the ball as Noelle Menard of Granby begins a pass during the Spalding Hoophall Classic Friday at Springfield College.JERREY ROBERTS

SPRINGFIELD — Meg Lynes admits she doesn’t have a very good memory, but the South Hadley girls basketball senior is pretty sure she’s never scored a late game-winning basket.

Before Friday, that is.

Lynes knocked down a game-tying 3-pointer with 26 seconds left and then made the winning free throw with 2.9 remaining as the Tigers defeated rival Granby 39-38 at the Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College.

“For a kid to step up to the line in a game like that and take a foul shot, your knees are knocking a little bit,” South Hadley coach Paul Dubuc said. “To knock down one out of two, she really stepped up.”

Lynes’ baskets capped a South Hadley (8-3, 2-2 Bi-County Central) comeback from being down 11 points late in the third quarter and ended an unbeaten season for Granby (10-1, 2-1).

“We really wanted to beat Granby,” Lynes said. “They are our rival. They are undefeated. We just put our minds to it. We really wanted to win.”

Lynes finished with 11 points and was named the team’s player of the game.

Meg Ginley led South Hadley with 13 points, 10 rebounds and six steals.

Granby junior center Rebecca Sapoukey scored a game-high 18 points to go with 11 rebounds and five blocks. She was named her team’s player of the game.

“Meg Ginley did a great job on” Sapoukey, Dubuc said. “She is a great player and we made her work for everything she got and she gave us a double-double (on offense). That was the first thing that jumped out at me” on the scoresheet.

Meghan Sullivan added eight points and nine rebounds in the loss.

After seeing her team’s lead evaporate down the stretch, Sapoukey twice scored baskets to put Granby ahead in the final 1:11 only to see South Hadley answer.

First, Brooke Labrie (three points, five rebounds, four steals) drove the lane and kicked it to the 6-footer, who buried the jumper from the left baseline for a 35-33 lead with 71 seconds remaining.

“We got it to (Sapoukey) late for some big hoops,” Granby coach Tom Burke said. “That was the goal, to try and use her as much as we possibly could. I don’t think we were doing a real good job of it early on, but the ball was flying everywhere early.”

Kara Callahan answered 12 seconds later, driving through the lane and flipping the ball in with her left hand.

Briannah Mercier then found Sapoukey underneath. Sapoukey converted the basket and drew a foul on Ginley with 34.8 seconds. Sapoukey converted the free-throw attempt for a 38-35 lead.

Burke then took a timeout to set up his defense.

“We said we don’t need a 3, but if one presents itself” take it, Dubuc said. If “we can get something going to the rack, we’re going to, but if you come off a screen and you are wide open, you all have the green light to shoot it. (Lynes) stepped up. She’s a tough kid.”

The ball ended up in Lynes’ hands at the top of the key and she knocked down her lone 3-point attempt with 26 seconds left to tie the game.

“I usually don’t shoot 3s,” Lynes said. “I was just chancing it and it went in. At first I didn’t (think it was going in) and then it did. I was so excited.”

Granby missed on its next attempt and Callahan grabbed the rebound and pushed the ball down the floor, eventually finding Lynes ahead of the pack, where she was fouled on a layup attempt with 2.9 seconds left.

She missed the first try.

“It was nerve-racking. When I missed the first one, I was really nervous and really shaky,” she said. “I knew (the game) depended on whether I made it or not.

“I kind of just took a deep breath, tried to calm myself down and not think about it. I just shot it like I normally do and it went in.”

The second attempt went in and, after a Granby timeout, Ginley stole the ensuing inbound pass to end the game.

“Tommy (Burke) and I go back a long ways,” Dubuc said. “His kids play hard. (Our games) are always like that.”

It took some time for both teams to find their grooves on the big court and they were tied 4-4 after the first quarter.

For the game, they made a combined 48 turnovers.

“The whole thing is probably nerves,” Burke said. “That’s a lot of it for sure. After the first quarter I said, ‘OK, did we get all the nerves out?’”

After a Ginley free throw opened the second quarter, Granby took control with sisters Meghan and Katie Sullivan scoring five straight points to spark the Rams to a 14-3 run to end the half.

“We got into a little better groove on both ends of the floor,” Burke said. “But it was tough. Both teams are good defensive teams.”

Dubuc said he felt pretty confident considering his team went into the half with just eight points scored on 3-for-26 shooting.

“I was pleased with our defense. I thought (Sapoukey) was excellent in the middle, but I thought we got good shots,” he said. “I looked at the shot chart and a lot of our shots were in the paint. We said, ‘let’s just make some shots and get a stop.’

The teams traded baskets throughout the third quarter and Granby took a 26-17 lead into the final frame.

But South Hadley cut the lead to two via a 9-2 run and tied the game at 33-33 when Lynes made a runner in the lane, drew a foul and knocked down the free throw.

“When we get on a run and we get going, we are tough,” Dubuc said.

That set up the big final shots down the stretch for Callahan and Lynes.

“It’s a pretty great memory,” Lynes said. “One to remember.”

Jim Pignatiello can be reached at jpignatiello@gazettenet.com.

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