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vs. Wilbraham & Monson Academy
February 27, 2019 @ 3:30 pm
Ethel Walker traveled to Wilbraham & Monson on Wednesday afternoon for a quarterfinal game in the Class C NEPSAC Tournament. As the 5 seed, Walker’s made the trip to Wilbraham, where the two met earlier this season and WMA earned a 13 point win. The re-match got off to a slow start, with both teams struggling offensively while providing tenacious defense. Both coaches clearly emphasized a defensive approach in the days leading up to the game. Just minutes into the game, Walker’s leading scorer Hannah Iwaszkiewicz injured her ankle, and was unable to return for the remainder of the match-up. Even without the junior, Walker’s trudged to a one point halftime lead, using a strong first-half performance from Mariah Dunn ’19.
In the second half, Walker’s continued to adjust to WMA’s relentless pressure defense. The Titans forced plenty of Wildcat turnovers, but Walker’s continued to do enough on the defensive end to keep a narrow lead throughout the half. Reagan Kerecz ’20 hit several big 3s for Walker’s, and Kay Lawlor ’20 provided an inside presence offensively that the team lacked in the first half. However, WMA never backed down, hitting crucial baskets at the right time to remain in the game. Walker’s emphasized limiting WMA’s strongest shooter, but she still found her way to get into the scorebook at pivotal times.
With under a minute left, Lawlor hit a big basket for Walker’s to put them up by 2. WMA followed with a missed shot, but a costly Walker’s turnover gave the Titans the ball under their own basket with 23 seconds left. Off a few passes after the inbounds, WMA hit a big three to take a 1 point lead. Two made free throws with 6 seconds left gave WMA the 3 point win.
Walker’s finishes the season 14-7. While the tournament loss stings, Walker’s will head to the offseason proud of their first tournament berth in 4 years and, with a strong returning group for next year, hopes of more postseason success in 2020.