Boys’ basketball defeats Londonderry 60-44 in the first round of the Winter Tournament


Victoria Farley

Senior Yuvi Gahlaut shoots a free throw during the fourth quarter.

Victoria Farley, Staff Writer

Westford Academy Boys’ Basketball defeated Londonderry 60-44 in the first round of their Winter Tournament on Dec. 27 at Lowell High School.

Right out of the gate in the first quarter, both teams struggled offensively. It took over three minutes for WA to score their first basket, which came on a layup by sophomore Vishal Rampur.

Although their offense was lacking early on, WA’s impressive defensive play allowed them to stay tight in score with Londonderry in the first quarter.

Senior Yuvi Gahlaut woke up WA’s offense on a smooth backdoor pass to senior Ben Jones for a layup with 2:22 left in the opening frame. The two teams stayed neck-and-neck from there, with WA in the lead 9-8 as the first quarter came to a close.

Gahlaut continued being the main source of offense for WA, scoring two more points midway through the second quarter, along with giving a pass to junior Nick Russo for a swished mid-range shot.

Along with Gahlaut, the other seniors contributed well defensively. Seniors Asa Geller, Alexander Movsessian, and Jack Sullivan provided strong rebounding, hustle, and leadership on the court, helping WA to a 21-18 lead at the end of the first half.

Head coach Christopher Bramanti recognizes these efforts in his team’s win.

“I was encouraged by the performance of our team last night,” Bramanti said. “They displayed great poise and resilience […]. We had great effort throughout the game and I hope that effort continues as we move forward in the tournament.”

Londonderry hit a three early in the third quarter tying the game at 21. Seconds later Geller knocked down two free throws, which was then followed by a steal by Movsession and another strong finish by Gahlaut, extending WA’s lead.

Then, WA went on a key 15-2 run during the third quarter, highlighted by many steals as a result of their 1-2-2 full-court press. This run allowed WA to maintain their lead, even though Londonderry cut it to only a 10 point differential by the end of the third quarter.

Throughout the fourth and final quarter, WA held onto their lead. Once WA was leading by 15, the starting lineup was subbed out.

With 1:45 remaining, junior James Farley made a strong cut to the basket, received a pass from junior Tarun Sreekanth, and finished a layup for the last points of the game, making the final score 60-44 in favor of WA.

“Londonderry was a good energy spark for us.” Gahlaut said. “It was our first game where we were truly satisfied. The seniors really stepped up and took charge offensively too, which is something we needed.”

The way WA played well offensively is how they hope to consistently play moving forward.

“We are hoping to stay in the win column moving forward, but we know every game will be a battle,” Gahlaut said.

WA’s next game is on Jan. 3 at home against Boston Latin at 7 p.m.