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Hoosac Valley outlasts Hampshire Regional girls in double overtime

  • Sarah Kober of Hampshire, left, goes in for a rebound during the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013. Brianna Weltlich of Hampshire, center, and Emily Rosse of Hoosac, look on.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Sarah Kober of Hampshire, left, goes in for a rebound during the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013. Brianna Weltlich of Hampshire, center, and Emily Rosse of Hoosac, look on.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Sarah Kober of Hampshire, center goes in for a rebound while being defended by Madi Ryan of Hoosac, left, and Erika Lucia during the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Sarah Kober of Hampshire, center goes in for a rebound while being defended by Madi Ryan of Hoosac, left, and Erika Lucia during the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Laura Whiteley of Hampshire, right, moves the ball down the court while being defended by Jen Gale of Hoosac, left at the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

    Laura Whiteley of Hampshire, right, moves the ball down the court while being defended by Jen Gale of Hoosac, left at the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013.

    SARAH CROSBY Purchase photo reprints »

  • Sarah Kober of Hampshire, left, goes in for a rebound during the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013. Brianna Weltlich of Hampshire, center, and Emily Rosse of Hoosac, look on.<br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Sarah Kober of Hampshire, center goes in for a rebound while being defended by Madi Ryan of Hoosac, left, and Erika Lucia during the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY
  • Laura Whiteley of Hampshire, right, moves the ball down the court while being defended by Jen Gale of Hoosac, left at the Western Massachusetts basketball quarterfinals held Hampshire Regional High School on Friday, March 1, 2013. <br/><br/>SARAH CROSBY

WESTHAMPTON — Following the Hampshire Regional girls basketball team’s loss in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 quarterfinals Friday night, a visibly dejected Rich Moussette said what every person in the gym must have thought all night.

“When you look back, you’re not going to have a better high school basketball game than that,” he said. “That’s what I told my girls afterward. Being on the losing end is heartbreaking, but our girls left every ounce of sweat they had on the floor.”

Hampshire and Hoosac Valley needed 40 minutes and every possible possession, but the No. 7 Hurricanes upset the No. 2 Raiders 65-61 in double overtime.

Senior Sarah Kober scored a game-high 25 points with 23 rebounds and four steals in the loss. She played the final three minutes of regulation and both overtimes with four fouls.

“You have to go with your best at that point, I just told her to be disciplined,” Moussette said. “But they were smart enough to go at her in the end, knowing she couldn’t play as aggressively as usual.”

Trailing 60-58 with roughly a minute remaining in double overtime, Kober blocked a shot and started a fast break. She hit Chelsea Moussette cutting to the hoop for the layup and a foul. Moussette made the free throw for a 61-60 advantage.

However, following a Raiders turnover, Celina Sistrunk put in a layup as Hoosac regained the lead. Hampshire had two more opportunities but struggled just to get off a shot.

Sistrunk scored all four of her points in the second overtime after replacing forward Tori Rumbolt, who had fouled out. Emily Rosse, who scored 17 points, also fouled out as Hoosac played both extra sessions without two of their starters.

“I give credit to Hoosac, they’re a great basketball team,” Moussette said. “They had to play without two of their best players late in the game. But my girls dug, they worked. I can’t say enough about the effort. It’s too bad this was just a quarterfinal game, that was played like a final.”

Both teams appeared to have the game locked up at different points. Hampshire (17-4) went on a 9-0 run early in the fourth quarter to take its biggest lead at 45-39 with just under five minutes to play. But Hoosac outscored the Raiders 10-4 to force overtime.

Then with the Hurricanes (17-5) up 56-53 in the final seconds of the first overtime, Jess Kowal (11 points) nailed a 3-pointer from the top of the key as the buzzer sounded.

“What a big-time shot Jess made at the buzzer, just one of many things that happened in this game,” Moussette said. “It’s kind of a shame that shot gets lost in all the action. There were a ton of big shots on both sides.”

Hampshire hurt its own cause with nine missed free throws over the final 12 minutes of play.

“The turning point was that we missed some big free throws and they made them,” Moussette said. “We had a chance to put them away in regulation but couldn’t. That’s a hard game to lose for any team.”

Hoosac guard Jen Gale (team-high 22 points) made 11 of 12 from the line, 10 coming in clutch situations. She made six after Hampshire took its 6-point lead, then hit four more in the second overtime.

The Raiders trailed for just about the entire first half, their only leads being 2-0 and 14-13. The Hurricanes led 26-22 at the half, but Hampshire started the third quarter with a 14-8 run to go up 36-34.

Anna Dziok hit a 3-pointer from the right wing to tie at 34, then Kowal put them ahead by 2.

Hampshire utilized a full-court press coming out of halftime to jumpstart the rally.

“Our pressure did a nice job but we could only do it for so long because I kept my bench short,” Moussette said. “But the press got us back into it and helped us get a lead.”

After Hoosac responded with five points to take a 39-36 advantage early in the fourth, Bri Weltlich spearheaded the 9-0 run with five of her 11 points. Weltlich added eight rebounds and four assists.

Chelsea Moussette played a solid game at the point dealing with the Hurricanes’ trapping pressure. The freshman finished with seven points and four assists. Dziok scored five points and Laura Whiteley added two.

It was the final high school game for seniors Kober and Miranda Boucher.

“The leadership that Sarah and Miranda have brought to this team is tremendous,” Moussette said. “Sarah has grown so much over these four years. She’s going to be a really good college player for some school. I’m really grateful for the hard work they both put in. They’ll both be dearly missed.”

Michael Wilkinson can be reached at mwilkinson@gazettenet.com. Follow him on Twitter @mjwilk1237.

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