(Danvers MA) Whittier overpowered Newton South, 64-49, in the consolation game on Monday afternoon in the IAABO Board 130 Basketball Classic held at St. John‘s Prep.
Sophomore Emily Chang of Newton South led all scorers with twenty-three points including six three’s.
Juniors Michaela Martin (18 points) and Kayla Riley (17 points) paced Whittier.
The Wildcats (15-6) dropped a tight one (40-38) to Boston Latin on Sunday in the opening round. In that game, Whittier had chances down the stretch but didn’t finish. A lot of Whittier’s problems were caused by 6-2 Maggie Mulligan. The BL senior registered a triple double (12 points/19 rebounds/10 blocks) in the Wolfpack win.
Newton South did not have a shot blocker of Maggie Mullins (going to UMass) caliber and so Whittier spent most of this afternoon driving with confidence to the basket. Whittier’s inside shots didn’t always go in but fouls were called (26) and free throws were awarded (44).
Newton South (5-13) was content to fire from long range and they did make eleven 3’s. Impressively effective from downtown was Emily Chang who had the green light every time she saw daylight.
The Wildcats had the lead (7-5) five minutes into the first quarter before the Lions struck from long range three times over the next four minutes.
Emily Chang connected twice and senior Jessa Rubera once, as part of 15-2 Newtown South surge. Lauren Levey hit a jump shot and an old-fashioned three at the end of that run.
So, one minute into the second quarter NS was in front, 20-9, and hardly looking like a team with only five wins this season.
But that terrific four minutes of Lions’ shot making shut down for the next five minutes. The NS lack of offense was not related to turnovers, the Lions just kept missing.
Meanwhile, Whittier started to roll up the points. There were 3-pointers and layups (Kayla Riley & Michaela Martin had both) as well as free throws (five). By the time NS got a stop-the-bleeding three by Emily Chang the Wildcats had put together a run of seventeen unanswered points.
The lengthy point splurge gave Whittier the lead, 26-20, with 2 minutes left until halftime. The Wildcats would keep the lead the rest of the way.
The Lions moved back within two (31-29) one minute into the second half but Whittier followed with nine straight points to boost their margin to double figures (40-29) with 2:25 left in the third quarter. Samnell Vonleh, Andrea Terranova, and Michaela Martin turned up layups in the run.
Newton South was unable to get closer than seven points the rest of the way.
Whittier ended up winning by fifteen but when you look at their free throw stats you can envision what could have been. The Wildcats made only twenty-one of forty-four free throw attempts!
Whittier is in Division 4 while the other three girls’ teams in this tourney are in Division 1. The Wildcats have played a number of higher division teams this season. Sometimes facing tougher opponents pays off when tournament time rolls around.
The Wildcats were 22-2 last year and lost to Fenway in the Division 4 North final to Fenway. It looks as if Whittier will again have to go through (15-2) Fenway to get the D4 North title.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)