WA Boys’ Basketball grabs a victory over Billerica


Jack Zwirn

Senior Justin Jones takes a jump shot after senior Yuvi Gahlaut inbounds the ball.

Jack Zwirn, Reviews/Opinions Editor

Westford Academy Boys’ Basketball took home a victory over Billerica on Wednesday, Feb. 15, with a final score of 66-58. This improved their record to 9-8, putting them one win away from a spot in the state tournament. The team was led by senior Justin Jones, who put up an impressive 27 points.

Coming off of learning that they had in fact not won the DCL tournament as they had previously thought, the boys could have let that get to them. Their performance showed their resilience and they played as best as they could and it paid off.

WA started off strong. They grabbed the opening tip off and took an early 7-5 lead after a 3-pointer by senior Yuvi Gahlaut. After Billerica took the lead, sophomore Vishal Rampur hit a jump shot over a heavily contesting Billerica defender. This put WA back on top, 12-11.

WA took this momentum from Rampur’s shot, and proceeded to go on a 8-4 run with senior Jack Sullivan scoring on three straight possessions. This led to the end of the first quarter with WA on top 20-15.

After Billerica fouled Sullivan, Gahlaut inbounded the ball to Jones, who immediately scored on a jump shot. Billerica then proceeded to call a timeout with 6:45 left in the second quarter. WA led at the time of the timeout, 26-15.

After the timeout, senior Zander Movessian scored his first two points of the game after being fouled. After some back-and-forth baskets, particularly by Jones, the first half came to an end with WA leading 36-29.

When the action resumed, Jones scored a jump shot, and Rampur, a layup. WA then called a timeout with 5:51 * left in the third, making the score 40-29 in WA’s favor.

Even though WA was up by 11 points, the gap quickly closed as Billerica cut it down to two points at 46-44 WA. At this point, Coach Chris Bramanti was forced to call another timeout to rethink WA’s strategy. This timeout came right before the end of the third quarter. WA led 48-47 when the quarter came to a close.

The timeout and the third quarter coming to a close could not have come at a better time for WA. Jones quickly hit a couple of mid-range jumpers, which extended WA’s lead to 54-47 before Billerica called a timeout with 5:44 left in the game.

This put Billerica into desperation mode, which was their downfall. They commited two fouls on Gahlaut, which led to another four points for WA, and the lead increased to 10 at 62-52

With one minute remaining, WA called a timeout, leading 62-54. As the clock winded down, Billerica committed more fouls to stop the clock as much as possible, trying to get possession of the ball. Billerica’s strategy did not work in its favor. WA let the clock wind down during their possessions, and when the buzzer sounded, WA led 66-58, ultimately winning the game.

Jones had an incredible game. He scored 13 points in the first half, and added another 14 in the second half. Consistent play from one of WA’s best players led the team to this victory.

The amount of fouls slowed down the action-packed game. WA had 15, while Billerica had 18 fouls, leading to many free throws. WA proved to be consistent in making those free throws, going 14 of 17 from the line.

“These guys came in with a cloud hanging over their heads. They were told that they were DCL champs, and then all of a sudden, they’re not,” Bramanti said. “I wasn’t really sure how they were going to react in this game, but they came out like champions and played hard every possession.”

WA Boys’ Basketball will play their next game at Burlington on Friday, Feb 17 at 7 p.m.