WESTBOROUGH — The dominating 2021-22 season for the Westborough High School women’s basketball team ended hard at home against Amherst-Pelham on Friday night, with the Hurricanes beating the Rangers 48-38.
Things rocked back and forth in the first three quarters of the game. In the end, however, a strong finish for Amherst-Pelham secured victory, knocking Westborough out of the state tournament.
“We were hoping to wrap it up with a win here at home before we hopefully play a game next week,” Westborough head coach Liz Orlando told the Community Advocate after the loss. “But I’m so proud of them.”
Amherst-Pelham took a slim 6-5 lead in the first quarter.
They widened their advantage before half-time, leading at that point by a score of 26-18.
Westborough edged Amherst-Pelham by a 2-1 margin in the third quarter, nearly leveling the game before their final period.
Westborough entered the fourth quarter with a 33-32 lead. However, they fell even further from there, with Amherst-Pelham extending their lead for the win by 10 points.
Orlando and his team were disappointed with the loss.
However, looking back on a season that saw this team make a long-awaited return to the playoffs, Orlando reiterated its pride in the accomplishments of its players.
“[It was] definitely a good feat,” she said. “[This was] not, of course, what we were hoping for. But we gave it our all. »
Rangers began their season with a 12-0 start, remaining unbeaten until the first week of February.
They finished the regular season with a 15-4 record, earning them 16th place in the state power rankings of Division III teams.
Orlando attributed some of that success to the program’s senior class.
“These seniors have really helped transform this program,” she said.
Rangers basketball players Makenna Thrush, Kristin Wilichowski, Callie Henderson and Grace Burns are all members of the Class of 2022.
While this team will lose those players, ten other members of this year’s roster will be able to return to the WHS field next year if they choose to do so.
Orlando sees that future and said she hopes the team can continue to grow.
“I’m just happy that they had the opportunity to experience this senior group,” she said of her young players. “They worked so hard. It’s just gonna be built from that [in the future].”
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