Tag Archives: Alana Gilmer

Brianna Rudolph brilliant in St. Mary’s 47-45 win over Archbishop Williams – Hoosac Valley next in D3 title game

Sharell Sanders gets open in the lane for game winner after pass from Brianna Rudolph

Sharell Sanders gets open in the lane for game winner after pass from Brianna Rudolph

Jennie Mucciarone signals the win as Brianna Rudolph (31 points) dribbles out the clock.

Jennie Mucciarone signals the win as Brianna Rudolph (31 points) dribbles out the clock.

(Amesbury MA)  St. Mary’s 47, Archbishop Williams 45.

Quite a remarkable game.  I saw the end of it and took some pictures of the excitement.

Anyone who saw that game on Tuesday afternoon at the TD Garden will use two words to explain how St. Mary’s won: Brianna Rudolph.

The MIAA may have had Brianna’s name wrong in the program (“Nicole,”) but both teams were keenly aware of her.  I never saw a Spartans’ possession in the frontcourt where the ball wasn’t in her hands.  For the Archies, every Brianna free-throw attempt was an opportunity to swing into the Christmas spirit with a student-section rendition of “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”

Brianna Rudolph took thirty shots including this tough one in traffic

Brianna Rudolph took thirty shots including this tough one in traffic

The second-half numbers clearly reveal the impact Brianna had in getting St. Mary’s a Division 3 state semifinals win.  The Spartans’ senior was directly responsible for twenty-three of St. Mary’s twenty-seven second half points.  After Brianna reached nineteen points in the second half she then assisted on the tying basket (Kayla Carter) and the winning basket (Sharell Sanders) late in the game.

Brianna (UMass Lowell commit) did finish with thirty-one points but those last two assists were more important to the final score than any of the points.

The entire early run of stories about the St. Mary’s/Archbishop Williams game missed the significant point that Alana Gilmer was defending Brianna.

The last two games I saw the Archies play were in last year’s D3 state semifinals and finals.  Alana put up points but it was her defense that paved the way for AW wins over Pentucket and Lee.

Alana Gilmer had six blocks including this one on Brianna Rudolph

Alana Gilmer had six blocks including this one on Brianna Rudolph

Against Pentucket (state semifinals), 6-foot Alana limited Coley Viselli to three points.  Against Lee (state finals) Alana held Stephanie Young also to three points.  Both of those talented seniors were 1000-point scorers who had shot over and driven around many previous defenders.  But not Alana.  She is tall enough to make the 3-point shot less wide open and fast enough to keep contact on a drive.  She is very good at blocking shots and got Brianna several times.

Anyhow, my point in that this was no random defender on Brianna.  But she got thirty-one points.  How?  Speed and a quick jump shot off the dribble.

That jump shot allows a shorter player to be into the jump shot before the taller defender is set to block the attempt.  Brianna used that jump shot to get open several times against Alana who is four inches taller.

The Archies did a terrific job against the Spartans’ 1000-point scorer Jennie Mucciarone.  A very helpful stat sheet (Thank you, MIAA!) revealed that Jennie missed all fifteen shots she took.  There’s more to that story………at least ten of those shots were blocked!  AW had sixteen blocks.  The Archies were able to throw Jennie off her game the same way Alana had thrown Coley Viselli and Stephanie Young off their games the previous tournament season.

St. Mary’s last two baskets were very similar.  Brianna drove in from the left into a double-team.  Both times she had the good basketball sense to realize that teammates were open……..and they were open in close.  First it was sophomore Kayla Carter in the low key wide open, and then it was senior Sharell Sanders in the same spot for the eventual game-winner.  In both cases, Brianna’s passes turned into perfect setups.

Alana Gilmer (18 points) takes a last-minute shot defended by Kayla Carter and Sharell Sanders

Alana Gilmer (18 points) takes a last-minute shot defended by Kayla Carter and Sharell Sanders

Archbishop Williams had a timeout and twenty seconds to do something about STM’s two-point (47-45) lead.  I never doubted that Alana (18 points) would get the final shot.  She ended up with a contested (Kayla Carter & Sharell Sanders) jump shot along the baseline which rimmed out.  After a scramble, Kayla came up with the rebound and called a timeout with 2.3 seconds left.  After a timeout, the Spartans got the ball into Brianna’s hands to dribble out the clock.

The win earns St. Mary’s a trip to the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday for a title game against Hoosac Valley at 10:45AM.

Hoosac Valley is from Cheshire which is in the northwest corner of Massachusetts about fifteen minutes from the New York and Vermont borders.

The Hurricanes are 23-1 and won their state semifinals game by two points over Bellingham.  HV lost that same game last year.

Brianna gets inside Alana for two

Brianna gets inside Alana for two

Their only loss?  To a team from Ohio (Austintown Fitch) in Florida during winter break.

In twenty-two of the Hurricanes’ wins they have won by more than ten points.

According to Hoosac’s coach (Ron Wojcik), Austintown Fitch was the, “only team able to handle our pressure and keep turnovers down.”

St. Mary’s had only six turnovers against Archbishop Williams.  Look for them to keep the ball in the hands of Sharell Sanders and Brianna Rudolph.

St. Mary’s won the state title in 2011 over Lee.

Halftime box

Full-game box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

team picture

team picture

Leah Spencer (14 points) leads a break

Leah Spencer (14 points) leads a break

Alana Gilmer

Alana Gilmer

Brianna Rudolph shoots

Brianna Rudolph shoots

Jennie Mucciarone gets her shot blocked by two Archies

Jennie Mucciarone gets her shot blocked by two Archies

Sophomore Victoria Dean

Sophomore Victoria Dean

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Archbishop Williams routs Lee 60-33 to win Division 3 state title

Archbishop Williams - 2012-13 Division 3 state champs

Archbishop Williams – 2012-13 Division 3 state champs

Stephanie Young guarded by Alana Gilmer

Stephanie Young guarded by Alana Gilmer

(Worcester) Archbishop Williams (23-5) will be switching from Division 3 to Division 1 next season.

Unfortunately, for the Lee Wildcats (19-6) they had to face the Bishops in this year’s state D3 finals and were routed, 60-33, on Saturday morning at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Both Lee and Pentucket (state semifinals) had few answers for the size and skill of the girls from Braintree.

In both of those games, the Archies were able to virtually shut down a top player on the other team.  It happened to Coley Viselli (3 points) of Pentucket and this morning Stephanie Young (3 points).

Both girls were 1000-point scorers for their respective teams but against ABW, and specifically 6-foot Alana Gilmer, the half-court openings were scarce.

MassLive reported that Stephanie Young was one-for-sixteen.  By the time the Western Massachusetts Player-of-the-Year made her only points Lee was behind, 52-27, in the final quarter.

6-3 Jaylen Williams (14 points) swings into the lane for two

6-3 Jaylen Williams (14 points) swings into the lane for two

This game got out of hand in the first four minutes.  During that segment all five ABW starters had scored and the Bishops were away on a, 13-0, advantage.

In the very first possession, the Archies had three offensive rebounds before Sara Ryan nailed a three.  The second, and even third, chance opportunities were frequent for the tall Bishops.

The Wildcats were able to get within eight (21-13) in the second quarter after a Courtney Picard jump shot but the Bishops closed 8-2 the rest of the half and led, 29-15.

Alana Gilmer (14 points) started the second half with a three after getting a rebound and then was on the scoring end of a fast break.

Eileen Dooley (16 points)

Eileen Dooley (16 points)

Lee answered with a three from Eileen Dooley (16 points).

Back came 6-3 Jaylen Williams (14 points) with a spin move for a layup and then a 10-foot jump shot.

The work of the two sophomores (Alana and Jaylen) boosted the Bishops margin to twenty (38-18) with fourteen minutes left to play.  The outcome mystery had been solved early.

Plenty of reserve action by both teams the rest of the way.

The Archies had nine different players score including senior (1000-point scorer) Sara Ryan.

Getting the biggest cheer was Julie Bloomer, put in by Coach Bancroft with just a few seconds left.  The Bishops junior was wearing a conspicuous knee brace.

Freshman Ednaija Lassiter (11 points) came off the bench to tally nine points in the third quarter for ABW.

sophomores Alana Gilmer and Jaylen Williams

sophomores Alana Gilmer and Jaylen Williams

The Bishops ended the season winning fourteen of their last fifteen.

Lee won nine of their last ten with the loss today.

This was Lee’s third time in the state finals in the last four years.  The Wildcats defeated Pentucket in 2010 to get the state title.

5-2 senior Eileen Dooley paced Lee with sixteen points.  Her quickness enabled her to get plenty of shots off.

Lee has won the Western title nineteen times in the last twenty-five years.

Stephanie Young is considering UMass, WPI, and RPI.

Jaylen Williams has verbally committed to Penn State.  Not bad for a sophomore!

Alana Gilmer has offers from UMass, Quinnipiac, and URI.  BC, Georgetown, and Villanova are also interested.

Archbishop Williams boxscore

Lee boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Stephanie Young defended by Alana Gilmer

Stephanie Young defended by Alana Gilmer

Olivia Conrad and Hadley Cook

Olivia Conrad and Hadley Cook

Leah Spencer looks to drive

Leah Spencer looks to drive

Bishops captains Kayla Free and Sara Ryan

Bishops captains Kayla Free and Sara Ryan

Jaylen Williams lines up a free throw

Jaylen Williams lines up a free throw

Alana Gilmer (14 points) breaks in

Alana Gilmer (14 points) breaks in

loose ball

loose ball

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Archbishop Williams defeats Pentucket 52-38 to reach state Division 3 finals

Coley Viselli faces defender Alana Gilmer

Coley Viselli faces defender Alana Gilmer

Archbishop Williams - state Division 3 finalists

Archbishop Williams – state Division 3 finalists

(Boston) The Boston Globe had Archbishop Williams as the second-best team in the state behind Reading before today’s state semi-finals.

The #7 seed Archies (22-5) looked awfully good in their, 52-38, Division Three state semi-finals win over Pentucket at the TD Garden on Monday afternoon.

When I learned that Reading had been beaten by Medfield later today in the Division 2 semifinals, I think that it is safe to say that Archbishop Williams is now the best in the East in all divisions.

Lee will be the Archies’ opponent on Saturday at the Worcester Centrum (10:45AM) for the state Division Three title.  Just to caution the overconfident in the East: the Lee girls basketball program has won more state titles than any school in Massachusetts.

Alana Gilmer (12 points)

Alana Gilmer (12 points)

The Bishops were able to gain separation (18-9) from the Sachems with a ten-point run in the last three minutes of the first quarter.  A new three (Kayla Free), a converted rebound (Alana Gilmer), an old-fashioned three (Leah Spencer), and a layup at the buzzer (Jaylen Williams) provided the decisive 10-spot.

The Sachems (24-2) chased the Archies the rest of the afternoon. The undersized girls from West Newbury were within four (20-16) in the second quarter and five (28-23) in the third quarter.

The Sachems had their best moments in the final quarter when their pressing defense forced two turnovers and four quick points (two Kelsi McNamara free throws and Tess Nogueira layup from Kelsi).  Pentucket was suddenly within six (40-34) with six minutes left.

Those who have seen Pentucket play, envisioned the start of a big run and an interesting finish.  Didn’t happen.  Sara Ryan answered with a three.  Kelsi followed with two free throws. That put the difference at seven (43-36).

Pentucket then went into a five-minute scoring drought that sealed their fate.  During the same time frame, Archbishop Williams added eight points to their lead (51-36), and the reserves from both sides finished the last minute.  Jaylen Williams tallied from in close twice and Leah Spencer and Katryna Veasey had the other baskets in the late-game run.

There were few easy baskets at any time for Pentucket.  6-3 sophomore Jaylen Williams patrolled the lane on defense and the usual drives of the Sachems were discouraged.

Leah Spencer did a good job of keeping Kelsi McNamara (13 points) from getting looks at 3-point attempts.  Kelsi had only one three in the game.

6-3 Jaylen Williams

6-3 Jaylen Williams

Sophomore 6-footer Alana Gilmer (12 points) put the defensive blanket over Coley Viselli (3 points).  Just getting by Alana was difficult for the talented Pentucket senior and there was always 6-3 Jaylen Williams ready to pick up the defensive slack if Coley was driving.

If you had to narrow Pentucket’s twenty-four wins down to two reasons, I would say that one was being able to force turnovers that lead to quick points and the other was making three’s.  Neither one of those went the Sachems way on this day.

By my count, Pentucket had fourteen turnovers and the Archies only ten turnovers.  Only one of the Archie miscues led to a quick Pentucket basket.

The Sachems made only three long ones.  They really had trouble, because of the Archbishop Williams’ height, getting open looks even from long range.

Coley Viselli was injured early in the second quarter but came back before halftime.

At the end of the game, four seniors (Emily Dresser, Coley Viselli, Tess Nogueira, and Alex Moore) had ended their Pentucket hoop careers.

arpe A13 Emily, Coley, Tess, Alex

During Coach John McNamara’s seven seasons with Pentucket, the team has always been able to reload the following season despite graduation losses.  Don’t bet against it happening again.

Plenty of support on hand at the TD Garden for both teams.

I continue to wonder why those in charge of the chanting student sections don’t discourage them from taunting each other.  Directing positive chants toward their own team would make a lot more sense and create fewer hard feelings………but what do I know?

Archbishop Williams boxscore

Pentucket boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Kelsi McNamara (13 points) drives on Leah Spencer

Kelsi McNamara (13 points) drives on Leah Spencer

Alex Moore gets her shot blocked by Sara Ryan

Alex Moore gets her shot blocked by Sara Ryan

Tess Nogueira was six-for-six from the line

Tess Nogueira was six-for-six from the line

Coley Viselli heads for the hoop

Coley Viselli heads for the hoop

McKenna Kilian gets into the lane

McKenna Kilian gets into the lane

Tess Nogueira reacts to her 5th foul

Tess Nogueira reacts to her 5th foul

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