(Byfield MA) Twelve days ago, the Lawrence Academy girls hung on at Byfield for a, 37-36, win over Governor’s Academy. The rematch today figured to be a close game and it was.
Governor’s Academy controlled the beginning and the end this time around and that was enough to defeat Lawrence Academy, 45-36, in the NEPSAC girls’ quarterfinals on Wednesday afternoon.
The Govs (13-8) put ten straight points together to start this game but the Spartans recovered and even had the lead in the second half.
Lawrence Academy (12-9), however, did not recover from a 2 1/2 minute scoring drought at the end of the game. LA was within two points (38-36) but all seven points the rest of the way were GA free throws.
Governor’s Courtney Cashman paced her team with seventeen points. Courtney (sophomore) swished four straight free throws in the last two minutes.
Sophomore Gabrielle Reuter led LA with sixteen points.
Governor’s advances to the Class B semi-finals at Tilton School. The #1 seed Rams are 19-3 and buried GA, 68-28, at Byfield on January 11th. Tilton won the Class B championship last year and has been in the championship game five straight times. They will be a formidable opponent for GA to say the least!
In my opinion, Lawrence Academy lost this game because of turnovers. They had twenty-seven miscues, by my figuring, and all of them were in the frontcourt. Way too many empty possessions because of dangerous passes by the visitors from Groton (MA).
The Spartans had five turnovers in the first 4+ minutes and no points. Meanwhile, GA junior Carli Citrano was cooking for the Govs. Carli started the scoring with a three and later had two inside baskets as the Govs raced off to a 10-0 start.
The visitors were still down by ten (16-6) halfway through the half before a GA scoring drought and a run of nine straight LA points aligned themselves. Sophomore Gabrielle Reuter had a jump shot, layup, and free throw in the LA comeback segment. Lawrence Academy was within one (16-15) with 3 1/2 minutes to go in the first half.
GA led, 22-18, at the half.
Lawrence Academy pulled in front, 27-25, early in the second half on a run of six points featuring a fastbreak layup by Jalian Marquez and four free throws.
Two minutes later, Courtney Cashman converted her own miss and GA had the lead back (29-28) with eleven minutes left. The home team would stay ahead the rest of the game.
A layup by Gabrielle Reuter on a pass from Emily Pratt had LA behind just, 36-34, with 6 1/2 minutes remaining.
The GA lead was still only two (38-36) with 2 1/2 minutes left. I was anticipating another one-point game between these two teams. It never happened.
The Spartans couldn’t make a shot and were forced to foul to stop the clock. The Govs hit seven of ten pressure free throws to ice this one for the #4 seed.
Both teams had the same record and LA had defeated the Govs during the season yet Governor’s still got the home game. Why? They had defeated better opponents.
Some GA boys’ team arrived in a group to offer encouragement to the girls’ team.
The unsung hero for the Govs was Isa Berzansky. At some point in the second half, Isa took over defending Emily Pratt and did a terrific job. Emily struggled to get shots off and had only two points in the second half.
The Govs ended up with twenty-one turnovers.
Both Gabrielle Reuter and Emily Pratt were chosen for the NEPSAC Class B East All-Star team.
Is there a faster combo than the look-alike Ham sisters? When seniors Jackie (#2) and Kendall (#3) are on the floor at the same time, mistaken identity becomes a strong likelihood. I’m reaching for excuses for messing up their stats!
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)