WA Boys’ Basketball faces elimination


Josh Rosenstein, Staff Writer

As the regular season comes to a close for the Westford Academy Boys’ Varsity Basketball team, the last game will determine whether or not they qualify for the playoffs. The boys’ team currently sits at 9-10, and a tenth win is necessary to make the postseason. One last win awaits to claim this vital opportunity, as the Grey Ghosts are set to take on Cambridge Rindge and Latin on Monday, February 19 at 7:00 PM in the Westford Academy main gym.

“We’re taking it as it’s a do or die. We are going to come in here, we’re going to win, and we’re not thinking of it any other way,” senior captain, Robert “Robbie” Hudson, said.

Cambridge is currently in first place in the DCL large division and boasts an impressive 15-2 record. Westford comes in at third in the highly competitive division, and hopes to take down this year’s DCL champions.

“There’s a lot on the line here tomorrow, so I’m hoping that we come in and we’re ready to play,” head coach, Chris Bramanti said.

In the first matchup against Cambridge, WA suffered a tough 18-point loss on the Falcon’s home floor. Westford is determined not to let that happen again, and to come out strong against the talented Cambridge team.

“We have to slow the game down. We did a pretty decent job in the first game to do some of the things we wanted to do. We just couldn’t execute offensively. […] I know we’re playing better right now. I know our offensive is playing better,” Bramanti said.

The Grey Ghosts expect Cambridge to play extremely physical as they are known to do, but they have played them before and know what they have to do to not let it affect them.

“I think their physicality is what scares most teams. […] We just need to play smart basketball. […] Make them play at our speed and not have to play at their speed,” junior captain, Benjamin Lawrence said.

Westford was missing Hudson due to a separated shoulder injury in the 63-45 loss to the Falcons in the first meeting. He, as well as the rest of the team, is ready for this rematch in what could be the seniors final game for WA basketball.

“I know we’re going to come out and play. We’re going to give it our all, because everything is on the line. We want to make the tournament. It’s going to happen,” Hudson said.

WA has come a long way since the first matchup against Cambridge, which came on only the second game of the season.

“I think we’ve improved in every single aspect, and I couldn’t be more proud of the team and how far we’ve come. […] I think the big thing with us right now is the trust that we’ve built in one another,” Lawrence said.

Westford looks to take full advantage of the home court and being backed up by their fans. WA is expecting a larger crowd than usual due to the importance of the game.

“Recently our fans have been showing up, and they’re not being loud, but I know everyone I’ve talked to is coming here, and they’re going to be as loud as possible. […] It’s going to be a tough place to play for them,” Hudson said.

The Grey Ghosts have had a great rebound season after going 4-16 the previous year, and losing both of their games to Cambridge as well.

“I know how hard every single kid has worked on this team, and we all know that we have earned the right to be in this position. […] We just have got to go out there and make sure that we leave everything out on the court, so when we come off of it, win or lose, we have no regrets,” Lawrence said.

WA holds three DCL all-stars on its team in junior Adam Scaramuzzo, senior Paul “PJ” Crann, and Lawrence, yet they are still seen as the underdogs heading into the matchup on Monday. That does not mean that the Grey Ghosts do not have a chance, and they know exactly what they are capable of when they play their best. Coach Bramanti may have summed up their role as underdog best.

“If we can keep them close, who knows what happens at the end,” Bramanti said.