WA boys’ basketball devastated by Cambridge-Rindge and Latin on senior night

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WA boys’ basketball devastated by Cambridge-Rindge and Latin on senior night

Barisano looks for an opening while surrounded by Cambridge opponents.

Barisano looks for an opening while surrounded by Cambridge opponents.

Melanie Duronio

Barisano looks for an opening while surrounded by Cambridge opponents.

Melanie Duronio

Melanie Duronio

Barisano looks for an opening while surrounded by Cambridge opponents.

Keertana Gangireddy, Photography Editor

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On Friday, February 7, WA Varsity Boys’ Basketball was defeated by Cambridge Rindge &  Latin at home with a final score of 53-71. The Ghosts failed to keep up with Cambridge’s aggression and overall lacked in both their offensive and defensive aspects of play.

Before the game started, WA recognized the players of the team graduating this year, senior captains Josh Rosenstein, Declan Morse, Jake Barisano, and Ayush and Aryah Purandare, commemorating the end of their high school basketball career.

“They [the seniors] have given everything thing they have to the program – some for four years.  I hope everyone who was there saw how much they love playing for Westford Academy and how much work they put in to be a varsity basketball player,” head coach Chris Bramanti said.

During the first quarter, the teams were both relatively evenly matched. Although WA got off to a slow start, Barisano and Ayush Purandare made several three-pointers, closing Cambridge’s initial lead. The Ghosts were relatively strong both offensively and defensively but committed a plethora of fouls, which led to Cambridge getting ahead with free-throw points. The quarter ended with WA down at 15-23

WA picked up their game significantly during the second quarter and became much more aggressive. Successful rebounds and assists from several players resulted in frequent three-pointers scored by Barsisano and junior Matthew Sepe. However, seniors Leon Williams and Khai Smith from Cambridge consistently made baskets and maintained their team’s lead. The first half ended with a score of 30-39.

It was after halftime, that the Ghosts failed to compete against Cambridge’s strong defense, and make baskets. WA was given many opportunities to even out the score with free throws throughout the second half, but often times Westford would make none of the two free throws awarded to them after a Cambridge foul. WA’s struggle with offense resulted in them making only nine points the whole entire quarter. Cambridge thus drastically increased their lead, and the third quarter ended with a score of 39-53.  

In the final quarter, frustration started to arise from several of the Ghosts, and their desperation to make baskets and prevent Cambridge from scoring ended up with WA frequently committing fouls. Cambridge managed to further enlarge their lead by missing seldom of their free throw opportunities. The regular line-up, consisting of the seniors in the team, was replaced by an assembly of mainly juniors.

“We want seniors,” the student audience chanted, as the fear of defeat settled in among the crowd.

The new line up managed to make a few baskets but was severely outplayed by Cambridge. The fourth quarter concluded the game with a WA loss, which led to dismay among both the audience and the players.

“Execution is the biggest and most important issue we have.  When we executed tonight, we were okay.  When we didn’t, Cambridge took it to us,” Bramanti said.

Ultimately, the Ghosts failed to capitalize on free throw attempts, from fouls and struggled to consistently score in the second half of the game.

“The boys seemed really strong throughout the game, but [they were inconsistent]. Cambridge took advantage of the low points in their play, which led to the boys having to play catch-up,” spectator Kiani Barnard-Pratt said.

WA boys basketball has an away game at Lincoln Sudbury on Tuesday, February 11. Bramanti hopes to focus on the team’s defense in particular to bring home a win.

“Our defense has been our staple and we take great pride in, so we need to keep working on it to help us take it over the top […] We would like to finish strong and beat Lincoln-Sudbury at their place on Tuesday and beat Lowell Catholic and home next Friday.  These two games will be great preparation for the state tournament,” Bramanti said.