Hoosac denies St. Mary's girls in Division 3 final

03/16/2019 Worcester MA- St Mary's #13 Pamela Gonzalez (cq) during early game action. St Mary's vs Hoosac Valley Division 3 Girls MIAA Basketball State Final. Jonathan Wiggs/Globe StaffReporter:Topic:

WORCESTER — Stitches can wait. Riley Robinson wanted to celebrate.

Robinson left the court after suffering a bloody laceration above her eyebrow on a foul under the basket in the first quarter of Saturday’s Division 3 state final at WPI. But the junior guard returned to the Harrington Gymnasium floor to spark a game-changing run as Hoosac pulled away from St. Mary’s of Lynn, 66-50, for the program’s first championship.

“I just wanted to go in and play,” said Robinson, who, after being patched up with temporary stitches, contributed 9 points and 4 assists.

“I wasn’t really scared. I knew my team would have my back and they did. I’m proud of each and every one of them.”

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Robinson returned to an ovation with 6:25 to play in the second quarter. She helped extend an 18-4 Hoosac run for a 35-24 cushion with 2:44 left in the half that would go unchallenged.

Hoosac coach Ron Wojcik said he was “scared“ and “nervous,” at the time of the injury, but minutes later, Robinson delivered.

“Riley’s the heart and soul of our team,” said Wojcik, whose program from Cheshire has appeared in five of the past six finals. “That’s a gutsy effort by that kid.”

In a rematch of the 2014 final, in which St. Mary’s prevailed, the Spartans (18-7) could not stop Hoosac (21-4) and its many weapons.

Lexi Mercier posted a game-high 21 points, including four 3-pointers. Freshman Averie McGrath and senior Alie Mendel each had 11 points, and Robinson posted 9 points and 4 assists.

“I was a little concerned coming into the game because of the way they play,” said St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newhall. “They play with a ton of energy.”

Hoosac locked down defensively.

Senior wing Pamela Gonzalez delivered a team-high 16 points and 12 rebounds for St. Mary’s, and Yirsy Queliz had 12 points, but no other player reached double figures.

“We were really concerned about the 3-point shooters coming in,” Wojcick said. “We knew Gonzalez was going to give us trouble.”

at WPI, Worcester

St. Mary’s (18-7)20  8 11 10 — 50

Hoosac Valley (21-4)20 19 18  9 — 66

ST. MARY’S (50) — Pamela Gonzalez 4 8 16, Yirsy Queliz 5 0 12, Jannise Avelino 3 0 6, Nicolette D’Itria 1 2 5, Gabriella Torres 1 0 3, Christina Nowicki 1 0 3, Van Nguyen 1 1 3, Olivia Matela 0 1 1, MaryEllen Riordan 0 1 1. Totals 16 13 50.

HOOSAC VALLEY (66) — Lexi Mercier 5 7 21, Alie Mendel 3 4 11, Averie McGrath 4 2 11, Riley Robinson 3 2 9, Shaleigh Levesque 2 2 6, Annabelle Canales 1 0 5, Sarah Field 1 0 3. Totals 19 17 66. 3-pt. goals: SM Yirsy Queliz 2, Nicolette D’Itria, Gabriella Torres, Christina Nowicki; HV Lexi Mercier 4, Alie Mendel, Averie McGrath, Riley Robinson, Annabelle Canales 3, Sarah Field.

Hoosac’s Alison Mendel (left) battlles with St. Mary’s Pamela Gonzalez (13) for a loose ball.
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
Hoosac’s Alison Mendel (left) battlles with St. Mary’s Pamela Gonzalez (13) for a loose ball.
Hoosac’s Riley Robinson pushes her way past a St. Mary’s defender.
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
Hoosac’s Riley Robinson pushes her way past a St. Mary’s defender.
Olivia Matela pushes the ball up court for St. Mary’s in Saturday’s Division 3 state final at WPI.
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
Olivia Matela pushes the ball up court for St. Mary’s in Saturday’s Division 3 state final at WPI.
Hoosac players celebrated their 66-50 win over St. Mary’s and the program’s first state title at WPI Saturday.
Jonathan Wiggs/Globe Staff
Hoosac players celebrated their 66-50 win over St. Mary’s and the program’s first state title at WPI Saturday.

Greg Levinsky can be reached at greg.levinsky@globe.com.