Hoophall Classic: South Hadley girls basketball wins slugfest with Granby

  • Sophie Gatzounas, left, of South Hadley, drives to the basket after getting past Abi Beauregard, of Granby, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Sophie Gatzounas, center, of South Hadley, splits Granby defenders Julia Frappier, left, and Nora Young, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Bella Earle, right, of South Hadley, moves the ball between Granby defenders Kaeleigh Croteau, left, and Kayla McCreary, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Mallory Beauregard, left, of Granby, and Alyssa Ippolito, of South Hadley, try to win a rebound Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kaeleigh Croteau, left, of Granby, and Maeve Fitzgerald, of South Hadley, try to win the ball Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nora Young, left, of Granby, and Marley Medina, center, of South Hadley, try to win a rebound Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. Bella Earle looks on. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Alyssa Ippolito, left, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Nora Young, of Granby, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Nora Young, right, of Granby, moves the ball against Marley Medina, of South Hadley, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Granby defenders Mallory Beauregard, left, and Nora Young, right, try to box in Emily Grochowalski, of South Hadley, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Mallory Beauregard, center, of Granby, begins a pass against South Hadley, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Mikhaila Edge, of South Hadley, shoots against Granby, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Marley Medina, left, of South Hadley, shoots against Kaeleigh Croteau, of Granby, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Mikhaila Edge, left, of South Hadley, looks for a shot against Granby defenders Kaeleigh Croteau, front, and Kayla McCreary, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Alexa Blaney, right, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Kaeleigh Croteau, of Granby, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Marley Medina, right, of South Hadley lines up a shot against Granby, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. Mikhaila Edge and Granby coach Tom Burke look on. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Abby Edge, right, of South Hadley, moves the ball against Kaeleigh Croteau, of Granby, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Sophie Gatzounas, left, of South Hadley, shoots against Mallory Beauregard, of Granby, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

  • Kaeleigh Croteau, right, of Granby, moves the ball against Alexa Blaney, of South Hadley, Friday during the 16th annual Spalding Hoophall Classic at Springfield College. —GAZETTE STAFF/JERREY ROBERTS

@kylegrbwsk
Published: 1/13/2017 8:48:56 PM

SPRINGFIELD — Defense reigned over the early stretches of the South Hadley and Granby girls basketball game Friday at the Hoophall Classic.

There were only two points scored in the first five minutes of action. Total turnovers outnumbered total points well into the second quarter.

Then South Hadley’s Sophie Gatzounas took matters into her own hands and the ball to the basket. She scored 12 straight points late in the first half, extending the Tigers lead from four to 13.

“I thought we were trying to do too many things at once. When it came down to it, our best look was to settle on offense,” Gatzounas said. “Trying to run out sets really helped. I just shot the ball, went for layups.”

She finished with 28 points and 20 rebounds, and South Hadley kept Granby at arms length for the rest of the game, a 42-30 win at Springfield College’s Blake Arena.

Before Gatzounas’ personal scoring run, South Hadley (9-0, 1-0 Central) led 10-6. The Tigers were up 22-10 at halftime.

They held Granby scoreless in the first quarter.

“Our defense was great right out of the chute,” South Hadley coach Paul Dubuc said. “Better than it’s been in a while.”

The Rams (4-4, 0-1 Central) didn’t score until Nora Young made two free throws with 7 minutes, 47 seconds left in the second quarter, which made it 9-2 South Hadley.

“The offense was hard to come by,” Granby coach Tom Burke said.

Young scored Granby’s first seven points, all from the free-throw line. She finished with 13 points and nine rebounds.

“They were doubling her every chance they got,” Burke said.

The Tigers pounced again coming out of halftime. They scored the first eight points of the second half and led by as many as 23.

They built that lead by scoring 20 points off 20 Granby turnovers and outrebounding the Rams 52-30. That led to 23 second-chance points compared to six for Granby.

“We didn’t hit a lot of our first shots, we were able to get second-chance shots, and that’s what it came down to,” Gatzounas said.

Granby has experienced growing pains this season with five freshmen in its rotation. The Rams’ two senior guards, Kate Sarnacki and Kate Sullivan, are recovering from ACL surgeries. Sullivan is expected to be cleared to play Feb. 1. Only seven players were available Saturday. Regular starter Maddie Sexton had to attend to other commitments and missed the game.

“I’m pretty happy with this group right now with what they did this week with seven players,” Burke said. “We’ll get better as a group going forward.”

From that group, Mallory Beauregard had eight points and hit two 3s in the fourth quarter, and Kaeleigh Croteau made a jumper to cut South Hadley’s lead to 10 with 2:03 left.

The Rams also held South Hadley to its lowest scoring output of the season.

Granby next plays Wednesday against Frontier Regional at home, while South Hadley can qualify for the postseason with a win in its next game, a Wednesday date with Hopkins Academy at home.

“This kind of kicks off league play. We want another league title, but we want that Western Mass. championship even more,” Gatzounas said.

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




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