Girls’ basketball comes out on top against Billerica

Varshini Ramanathan, Editor-in-Chief

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The WA Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team pulled a 45-39 win against Billerica Memorial High School on Friday, January 18, after four quarters of close play.

Billerica took the first basket of the game, but was soon followed up by a shot from senior captain Brooke Pillsbury to tie the score at 2-2. This score pattern persisted throughout the first quarter, with neither team gaining more than one basket over the other, building up to a 9-9 tie by the end of the quarter.

The second quarter started once again in Billerica’s favor and was once again followed by a neat basket by Pillsbury, not letting Billerica take the lead. For the first half of the quarter, the girls battled for a one-point lead, as first Billerica then Westford edged ahead.

The trend seemed to break with a shot from junior Alexandria Giovino that brought the Ghosts up 19-15, but Billerica was close on their heels with two baskets that brought the teams to a 19-19 tie. With ten seconds left in the half, Westford pulled ahead to 21-19.

After a somewhat slow first half, the Ghosts started strong in the third quarter as Giovino solidified their lead just seconds in. Two minutes later, though, Billerica once again made up the difference to bring the score to 23-23 and another back-and-forth began between the teams.

Though WA managed to secure a 29-24 lead about halfway through the quarter, the score stagnated for a few minutes as both teams put up solid walls of defense. Sophomore Jennifer Martin broke through to bring the girls up 31-25, and though Billerica caught up to bring the score to 31-29, Martin landed another basket in the quarter’s last minute to rousing cheers from Westford fans, and a shot from Pillsbury finished the quarter at 36-32.

The girls took this momentum further in the fourth quarter, as strong blocking work from Pillsbury and senior captain Tess Keele kept Billerica from scoring on their multiple attempts at the basket, and Martin secured another basket to lead 38-32. A shot and two free throws brought the girls to an eleven-point lead. The score stagnated one again until a burst from Billerica, two minutes from the game’s end, brought them to 43-37, then 45-39. However, they were unable to make up the remaining six points in the 30 seconds remaining, and as the buzzer sounded the Ghosts walked off the court with a 45-39 win.

Head Coach Russell Coward praised the team’s defensive work, especially that of Pillsbury, Keele, and senior captain Morgan Rose, but pointed out the team’s sluggish offense.

“I don’t think we necessarily played our best game today,” he said. “I thought we were a little lazy on offense, we didn’t move around as much as we should have.”

The girls’ next game is at home on January 25, where they will be playing Acton-Boxborough Regional High School.