WA dominates Algonquin at sectional quarterfinals

Varshini Ramanathan, Co-Managing Editor

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WA took an impressive 75-31 win against Algonquin on Wednesday, February 28, setting them up to play on Sunday in the regional semifinals.

WA, the #2 seed, had high expectations against Algonquin, which stood at #10 coming into the game.

“We’re the higher seeded team, so obviously I think that we’re favored. I think if we play the way we’ve been playing for the past two weeks, we should be able to win the game,” head coach Russell Coward said on Tuesday.

Sure enough, the girls took the momentum from the start of the game, racking up a 7-point lead within a minute.

Though Algonquin managed to score points here and there, WA’s quick offensive plays dominated the first quarter. Senior captain Emily Bramanti took possession from a rebound and raced down the court, letting senior captain Elizabeth Arnold score. Soon after, freshman Jennifer Martin netted a three pointer, bringing the team to 21-6 lead by the end of the first quarter.

“Our shooting is always very good. When we’re able to get three-pointers, we’re usually really tough to beat,” Coward said.

Algonquin picked up speed in the second quarter, netting one basket a few seconds in. For the first half of the quarter, WA continued their shooting streak, with plays from freshman Elizabeth Nolan and Arnold helping the girls up to 37-15.

Despite the wide gap, Algonquin did not back down on defense. As the quarter went on, they deflected more and more of WA’s plays before they could make the basket. The score stood at 38-19 at the half.

“[Algonquin’s] man-to-man defense is very strong,” Coward said before the game. “But I don’t think they like to run up and down the court, I think they like to walk up the court and take their time, so we plan on fast-breaking them a lot.”

WA made good on those words in the third quarter as they broke through Algonquin’s defense while also shutting down their offense. Two three-pointers by Bramanti helped bring the score to a comfortable 61-26 lead by the end of the third quarter.

After a three-pointer by junior Tess Keele at the start of the last quarter, gameplay slowed down a little. Though the gap widened between the teams, standing at 72-27 a little over halfway through, there were less dramatic offensive plays as the clock ticked on.

With less than a minute left, Algonquin scored, drawing cheers from their side though they knew the game was already decided. At the final buzzer, the score was 75-31.

With the regional quarterfinals behind them, WA is looking toward the future and a run through the state championships.

“Because we’re the #2 seed, we expect to try and make the sectional finals, so we would hope to win the sectional finals on Sunday, and hopefully past that,”  Coward said.

The girls’ next game is against Shepherd Hill at Worcester Polytechnic Institute on Sunday.