Lee girls basketball tops Mount Greylock in overtime to win Berkshire South title
WILLIAMSTOWN — Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Lee's Karli Retzel had just missed a potential game-tying, 3-point basket with 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter. Seconds later, the Wildcats' Kendra Williams went sailing out of bounds to save the ball. She passed it back to Shannon Finnegan, whose 3-pointer with 5 seconds left tied the game. Then Williams hit the first bucket in overtime, giving the Wildcats the lead for keeps.
Thursday night's 40-39 win in overtime at Mount Greylock clinched the Southern Division championship for the Wildcats, who beat the Mounties on Tuesday by 15.
"I was just thinking that our team worked really hard for this game and we really wanted to win this division," said Finnegan.
The win makes the Wildcats 16-2 overall and 5-1 in the South, while Greylock is 14-6 and 4-2. The win is the next step on the long climb back for the Wildcats.
"It's crazy. Throughout our early years, as freshmen and sophomores we were building. It was building year after building year," said Lee's Karli Retzel, who scored her 1,000th point Tuesday night and added nine on Thursday to bring her to 1,013. "It's like all coming together. We've jelled as a team. It just feels great."
Lee rallied in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Mounties 20-10. It was a far cry from the first half, where the Mounties held Lee to five baskets on 28 attempts. The Wildcats scored three points in the first quarter, on a 3-pointer by Retzel, on 1-for-14 from the field.
"We got a great defensive stop and [Williams] saved the ball out of bounds, and you have to give them credit. Finnegan hit a big three," said Greylock coach John Jacobbe. "As much as I'm disappointed with the loss, I'm very proud of the effort my team put in.
"We got beat pretty good down in Lee. We gave up 60 points almost, and we gave up in the 30s in regulation. Defensively I thought we played great."
Lee got very little going offensively through three quarters, and trailed 27-17 going into the final stanza. After scoring nine points in the first half, Retzel was quieted, primarily by Maddie Albert's defense.
But Lee, led by Williams, got back into the game. She scored eight of her team-high nine points in the fourth quarter, aided by five from Brianna Hawley. It was Hawley's 3-point hoop with 52.7 seconds left that made it a one-point game.
Maddie Albert and Sarah Stripp each made 1 of 2 from the line, giving Greylock a 3-point lead. The next thing you know, Finnegan drains a 3-ball and OT beckoned.
"I did. It felt nice," said Finnegan, when asked if she thought the shot was going in. "It was only because of Kendra's save. That was a beautiful pass she made to put us into overtime."
Finnegan made the first bucket of overtime, rebounding her own miss with 2:40 left, and the Wildcats never trailed again. Retzel forced a turnover in the waning seconds of overtime to lock up the win.
Retzel, Williams and Hawley all had nine points each for Lee. Jenna Benzinger had a game-high 18 for Greylock.
Williams 4-1-9, Fera 2-0-4, Finnegan 2-0-5, Retzel 4-0-9, DiSantis 1-0-2, Hawley 3-2-9, Walker 1-0-2. Totals 17-3-40.
MOUNT GREYLOCK (39)
Schwarzer 1-0-2, Albert 2-1-5, Musse 0-0-0, Howard 3-3-9, Benzinger 6-6-18, Sheedy 0-0-0. Totals 14-11-39.
Lee 3 10 4 20 4 — 40
Greylock 6 11 10 10 2 — 39
3-point goals — Lee 3 (Finnegan, Hawley, Retzel).
Reach sports writer Howard Herman at 413-496-6253 or @howardherman.
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