As students headed out on winter break, Walker’s varsity basketball team stayed on campus for an extra day to host our Seventh Annual Holiday Basketball Tournament. Since the construction of the Centennial Center and its double basketball courts, we have hosted seven prep schools for two days of competition as schools begin their holiday vacation. This year, Walker’s was joined by Canterbury School, Cheshire Academy, The Hotchkiss School, The MacDuffie School, Millbrook School, Miss Porter’s School, and Westminster School. Each team played three games within 24 hours, and after day one, teams were moved into the winner’s or the consolation bracket.
Walker’s played Westminster in an evening game on the first day of the tournament. We played strong defense and used a great second quarter to pull away from our Simsbury counterpart, earning a 20-point win and a trip to the semifinals. Ana Milanovic ’25 led the team in the scoring column in the win. Millbrook, Miss Porter’s, and Hotchkiss also won their first round games to move to the winner’s side of the bracket.
On Saturday morning, Walker’s played a tight contest against a strong Millbrook team. Trailing by as many as 13, Walker’s showed great growth in getting defensive stops when they needed it and scoring baskets at crucial moments. They were led by Allison Hayes ’25, who had a career high of 20 points. She was joined by Taelor Arnold ’27 with 18 points and Milanovic with 16 points. Walker’s won by eight to move into the championship game, where we faced a veteran and tough Hotchkiss team in the championship game. Undoubtedly worn out from our semifinal, Walker’s made uncharacteristic mistakes on which Hotchkiss was able to capitalize. Walker’s fell behind early and was never able to come back, dropping the final game.
“Of course we would have loved to win that championship game,” said Head Coach John Monagan, “but as a young group that is still learning to play together, we grew a lot over our three games. I think we are starting to understand our potential and also see the work we have to put in to get there. We saw the highs and the lows of what we are capable of putting out on the floor, and need to push ourselves to achieve more of the good than bad each game.”
Walker’s will hit the court again on Saturday, January 6 when we host Westminster in our first regular season game after break.