Girls’ Basketball falls to Wachusett 45-38


Anthony Cammalleri

Alison Mulhern taking a shot in the first quarter.

Anthony Cammalleri, Staff Writer

The Westford Academy Girls Varsity basketball team lost to Wachusett 45-38 at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Sunday March 6th, removing the Grey Ghosts from district playoffs, and ending their season. Head Coach Russ Coward felt confident, yet apprehensive in the moments preceding the game.

“I feel confident that we’re going to play well. I don’t know if that’s going to be enough to beat them, they are very good. I think that it’s a 50-50 chance,” said Coward.

Yet, as the game progressed, the 50-50 chance dwindled slowly.

At around 5:40 pm, the teams made their way onto the court. The Grey Ghosts shuffled across the court practicing defensive slides so synchronized, they resembled the infamous oompa loompa dances of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They passed their fans, who danced and cheered in an adrenaline-pumped WA pride, before they began to take practice shots.

The Wachusett Mountaineers ran to their half of the court; however, they were greeted whole-heartedly by the same crowd who had just stopped cheering, only to take their seats and compete in a booing contest for their rival team.

The first quarter seemed to have sped by, with sophomore Alison Mulhern making a three-point shot and junior Angela Alibrandi making one foul shot, but missing the other, as Mountaineers fans chanted “Miss, Miss, Miss!” on the top of their lungs before the ball left her hands. Meanwhile, four two-point shots and one foul shot were made by Wachusett. By the time the buzzer rang, Westford was only behind by two points, with a score of 9-7.

It was in the game’s second quarter that the point gap between the teams began to widen, the Grey Ghosts scored another seven points with two two-pointers shot by freshman Brooke Pillsbury and Alibrandi, along with a three-point shot that was delivered by junior Taylor Pillsbury. Meanwhile, the performance of Hanna Everidge from the Mountaineers, scoring a series of two-pointers along with two foul shots and a three-point shot, brought the halftime score to 22-14.

Fans from both sides competed in a jeering contest, with Mountaineers fans chanting “That was awful!” and the Westford crowd repeating “Why so salty?” in response.

At halftime, both sides remained energetic and hopeful. Westford Academy students, regardless of the fact that their team was trailing, stood up in an almost rehearsed-looking wave and synchronized dance. Mountaineers fans jigged with delight, and chanted in pride of Wachusett’s success.

In the third and fourth quarters, WA played aggressively but they were not able to catch up to their competitors. The Grey Ghosts performed strongest in the third quarter of the game, scoring thirteen points, including four foul shots by sophomore Emily Bramanti, and a three-point shot delivered by Amanda Smith. While Wachusett scored twelve points, with four two pointers, and one final three-pointer by Everidge. The Grey Ghosts were able to produce thirteen points.

Heat and energy emanated from the crowds in the last period, with fans and coaches screaming at referees, and Mountaineers fans chanting “If you’re losing and you know it clap your hands!” until a few WA students gave in, standing up to clap their hands. Both sides were able to score eleven points against one another. The Grey Ghosts, now playing extremely defensively, with Bramanti being the top scorer of the final quarter, making one two-point shot, along with a three-pointer that allowed Grey Ghost fans to cheer something back at the Wachusett fans, mocking them. Alibrandi also put up a strong fight, cleanly delivering a pair of two-point shots.

Even in the midst of defensive and aggressive nature, Wachusett High was able to match the Grey Ghosts, stopping their attempts to catch up, ending the game 45-38.

While the Mountaineers reveled in victory, Grey Ghost fans were disappointed, and cleared out rather quickly, with mournful faces.

“I’m disappointed,” said Coward, “ But I’m very proud of them, they fought the whole time, and we had a great season. Obviously I wish we could have kept going, but I thought that we played very well this season, I’m very proud of what they did,” he said.