WA Girls Basketball becomes DCL champions


Srinithi Raj

WA Girls’ Basketball gains title of DCL Champions.

Srinithi Raj, Co-Editor-in-Chief

Marked by quick recoveries and a strong defense, Westford Academy Girls Basketball took home the DCL Championship title tonight, after having defeated Lincoln-Sudbury (LS) 40-30 in the DCL Semifinals and Concord 54-42 in the finals.

Beginning with a stalemate in the semifinals on Wednesday Feb. 16, WA rebounded with ease, but missed layups and inconsistent scoring led to an early lead from LS. Unable to get past LS’s defense, WA was forced to take shots from behind the three-point line and missed on several occasions. After three and two pointers from senior Carly Davey and junior Ali Mammola, the quarter ended with a slim WA lead of 8-7. 

Bolstering its offense in the second quarter, LS managed to convert on nearly all of its scoring opportunities, specifically from the efforts of their small and power forwards while WA missed on a handful of its opportunities. Leading by five points in the second quarter, LS mounted a score of 13-8.

However, this five-point advantage didn’t last long. WA senior Abby Chambers rebounded the ball well, giving the Ghosts more possessions throughout the quarter. By simultaneously concentrating on offensive and defensive strategy, WA evened out its deficit with a string of layups from Davey and Chambers. Ending the quarter with a score of 20-18, WA in the lead, the Ghosts managed to pull ahead of their opponents. 

“Abby and I hit our shots when we needed them. Our teammates found us in the right spots and played great defense and rebounded really well,” Davey said.

The second half of the semifinals saw a new energy from WA. The team continued to have a strong passing and rebound game, and changed up its defense to provide a better cover against LS’s small and power forwards. This gave Davey and Chambers the ability to recover the ball more aggressively for WA to maintain possession of the ball, ending the quarter with Westford in the lead 26-24.

The final quarter paralleled the previous in its energy and strategy. Davey began the quarter with a three-pointer, and these were followed by consecutive layups by Chambers. WA capitalized on fouls by making all of its free throws, and a final three-pointer by Chambers sealed the team’s win, 40-30.

After a neck-and-neck game, Coward is proud of the team and its strategy for stabilizing its lead in the third quarter, although he believed the team needed some work on its offense.

“I thought we played very well defensively in the second half, but our offense was a little off.  I think it’s because the team was very excited to be in this playoff game,” Coward said.

Keeping this in mind for the DCL Championship tonight Feb 18., game against Concord, WA gave Concord little breathing room throughout the four quarters through its aggressive offense.

In the first quarter, Chambers and senior Kiani Barnard-Pratt consistently added points on the board with their frequent shots. The “highlights” of the night, in the words of Davey, junior Alanna Saunders made a layup coupled with back-to-back threes from Mammola. This put WA in the lead 34-22 at halftime.

With an even more critical offensive moment in the third quarter, Mammola made a clutch three-pointer, and after a Concord fumble saw a steal from Barnard-Pratt, she made a two-pointer to bring the score to 40-24.

With assists from the senior captains Davey, Chambers, and Kayley Carignan WA took advantage of weaknesses in Concord’s defensive formation to score multiple two and three-pointers in the following quarter. Although Concord tried to steal the ball from the Ghosts, Westford’s protective defense allowed for the team to score on their opponent’s already diminished defense while preventing Concord’s possession of the ball.

Although the final quarter saw missed opportunities for both teams, Concord made a few early layups and three-pointers, which were countered by a crucial basket from Davey. Although there was some back-and-forth action between the teams, as the clock hit all zeroes, Westford maintained a twelve-point lead, taking home the DCL Championship title 54-42.

Fostering an environment of confidence, Davey cites the importance of supporting her team in order to usher such positive outcome.

“One of our roles as captains is just to make sure everyone is feeling confident and ready to play. Tonight we just made sure everyone was ready and focused to come out and play hard,” Davey said.