Division 2 girls basketball: No. 8 Pittsfield stuns No. 1 Northampton, 50-49

View Photo Gallery
  • Emily Sledzieski, right, of Northampton, shoots against Jamie Duquette, of Pittsfield, Friday. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caroline Tanner, top, of Northampton, drives to the basket on a breakaway and draws a foul from Randi Duquette, of Pittsfield, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Emily Sledzieski, center, of Northampton, shoots against Pittsfield defenders Emma King, left, and Randi Duquette, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jill McGrath, top, of Northampton, shoots amid Pittsfield defenders Jamie Duquette, from left, Randi Duquette and Emery Sime, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Olivia Dubuque, top, of Northampton, shoots against Jamie Duquette, of Pittsfield, Friday at Northampton High School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Riley Allen, of Northampton, shoots against Pittsfield, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Jill McGrath, left, of Northampton, drives to the basket against Emma King, of Pittsfield, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Caroline Tanner, left, of Northampton, moves the ball against Jamie Duquette, of Pittsfield, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amanda Mieczkowski, left, of Northampton, shoots against Alexi Sonorini, of Pittsfield, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Northampton bench cheers for their team during the final minutes of their loss to Pittsfield, Friday at Northampton High School. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Amanda Mieczkowski, top, shoots beside Pittsfield defenders Jordyn Lummus, left, and Emery Sime, Friday at Northampton High School. Caroline Tanner looks on. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Northampton girls basketball team walks off the court after their 50-49 loss to Pittsfield in the Western Massachusetts Division 2 Tournament quarterfinal, Friday at Northampton High School. Visit gazettenet.com for more photos. STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Northampton coach Perry Messer shouts instructions during his team's loss to Pittsfield, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

  • The Pittsfield team celebrates their win as Jill McGrath, of Northampton, walks off the court, Friday, Feb. 28, 2020 at Northampton High School. —STAFF PHOTO/JERREY ROBERTS

Staff Writer
Published: 2/28/2020 11:04:51 PM

NORTHAMPTON — Caroline Tanner could only watch.

The Northampton senior hunched over at the right block with her hands on her knees as Pittsfield senior Jordyn Lummus held the basketball at the free-throw line.

The top-seeded Blue Devils and No. 8 Generals were tied Friday after Lummus made her first free throw with a second left. Another make would send Pittsfield to the Western Massachusetts Division 2 semifinals and end Northampton’s two-year reign.

“It’s completely gut-wrenching,” Tanner said.

Lummus jumped as she let the shot go, and it sank all nylon. Jill McGrath’s three-quarter court heave fell short, and Pittsfield celebrated a 50-49 win and a return to the sectional semifinals.

The Generals (11-10) will face No. 4 East Longmeadow in the next round at a time and place to be determined. They mobbed Lummus at half court once the buzzer sounded. She jumped into Emery Sime’s arms and wrapped her legs around Sime’s waist.

“That was the best feeling in the world,” Lummus said. “Senior year, semifinals, eighth seed beating the one seed, it’s just surreal.”

Lummus, who scored a game-high 15 points, was fouled with a second left after dribbling most of the game’s last 15 second searching for an opening. Pittsfield had the opportunity to inbound the ball for that opportunity because of a Northampton turnover.

Blue Devils senior point guard Amanda Mieczkowski was called for an offensive foul immediately off an inbounds play after two Generals trapped her near the baseline.

“I thought she was just holding the ball and they just kind of swarmed her, and I think a girl just fell over and they called an offensive foul,” Tanner said. “I think you could ask anyone on the team and any of the coaches and they say it was a pretty bad call.”

Tanner (13 points) put the Blue Devils ahead 47-46 with her only 3 of the game, burying a jumper in front of Sime with 2:55 left. Mieczkowski then extended Northampton’s lead to three with a layup 34 seconds later. The Blue Devils didn’t score again.

“We made a couple key adjustments trying to bind them up in the lane, and it worked,” Pittsfield coach Joseph Racicot said.

The Generals needed a massive second-half rally to even put themselves in position for Lummus’ heroics. Northampton led 32-15 at halftime after beginning the game with an 8-0 run.

“We were running the ball really well in transition, looking for the open man,” said Mieczkowski, who scored 10 of her team-high 14 points in the first half.

Pittsfield adjusted at halftime. The Generals opened the third quarter with a 10-2 run and outscored Northampton 20-6 in the frame.

Lummus sliced the deficit to one for the first time with a 3 with 1:33 left. She then gave the Generals their first lead 42-40 with a 3 with 5:05 left.

“They shot the crap out of the ball with hands in the face,” Northampton coach Perry Messer said. “You have to tip your cap, they played extremely well and extremely tough.”

Northampton didn’t fold after giving up the lead, though. Tanner gave the Blue Devils the lead 44-43 with 3:55 left after an incisive pass from Riley Allen.

“That’s just always the way we go, we fight to the very end,” Tanner said.

Friday’s loss marked the end of a dynastic run for Northampton’s seniors. Mieczkowski, Tanner, Sydney Lewandowski, McGrath and Emily Sledzieski won sectional titles as sophomores and juniors, and reached the sectional semifinals as freshmen. Olivia Dubuque returned to the Blue Devils for her senior season after playing for them as a sophomore.

“They’re my best friends in the world. We’ve been through it together since middle school,” Tanner said. “They mean literally everything to me. I’m going to miss them so much. That’s probably the hardest part.”

Kyle Grabowski can be reached at kgrabowski@gazettenet.com.



Daily Hampshire Gazette Office

115 Conz Street
Northampton, MA 01061
413-584-5000

 

Copyright © 2020 by H.S. Gere & Sons, Inc.
Terms & Conditions - Privacy Policy