Lose to Holy Name 59-47
Ciara McKissick (22) drives past Ama Biney. Don Cote photo.
By Steev Riccardo
Worcester - The Shepherd Hill Rams girls basketball team was knocked out of the playoffs by the top-seeded Holy Name Naps last Thursday night in an emotionally fueled third game between the two Central Mass powers, played at Clark University.
The Rams (16-6) suffered their third loss of the season at the hands of the powerful 23-0 Naps, who are regarded as the best team in Central Mass and for good reason.
It was also the last hoorah for Rams senior star Meghan Fornaro, the leading scorer in Central Mass, who finished her career with a 26- point effort despite being blanketed with defenders throughout the contest.
The Naps were paced by a huge opening quarter effort from senior star Bianca Langford, who scored 14 points and was dominant inside, leading her team to an early 16-13 lead despite 8 early points from Fornaro.
Fornaro and company battled hard in the second quarter but the Naps answered the bell every time and maintained a 5 point 30-25 lead at half time.
The Rams came out inspired and had their best quarter in the third, outscoring the Naps 16-13 and actually tying the game at 41 on a three-pointer by Fornaro, before a late hoop by Naps freshman Gabrielle “Gigi” Guenther made it 43-41 heading into the final quarter.
It was all Naps in the final quarter and they took control of the game, holding the Rams to only 6 fourth quarter points, and holding on for the victory.
Fornaro fouled out with 11 seconds left and the senior’s storied career in a Rams uniform was over, but she held her head up high afterwards. “We played together as a team and we gave it our best shot and that is all I could ask for. It was a pretty good game at the half and we kept up with them, they played well.”
Rams head coach Jim Hackenson put it all in perspective. “We played them three times and they beat us by the same amount each time. I thought tonight we played them harder, Langford is very strong and I thought that we did a very good job on her despite the great game that she had. We worked hard, it was a tough loss.”
As far as seeing his star player and leader play in her last game, he said, “Meghan is a special one. They don’t come around very often. She has been with me for four years and it’s emotional and it’s tough to see her go.”
Fornaro played her final game with great passion, playing through leg cramps and calf spasms, but still leading her team with 26 points against an excellent Naps defense.
Rams junior Taylor Daniels also played well in the loss with 10 points, while sophomore Brooke Packard finished with 6 points and played very well defensively.
Holy Name guard and Webster’s own freshmen Gigi Guenther, who scored 2 points and played some spirited defense for the Naps said, “We were hoping for the best when we made it this far. We wanted to continue this great season and we put pressure on them and were focused and that is what helped us achieve this,”
Taylor Daniels (24) chases down a loose ball. Don Cote photo.
Julie Preissler (30) drives to the hoop past Bianca Langford (21).
Don Cote photo.
Meghan Fornaro (13) protects the ball as she drives past
Ayuna Perez (25). Don Cote photo.
Brooke Packard (12) takes a layup as Melissa Saad tries for the block.
Don Cote photo.
- Saturday, 10 March 2012
- Posted in Categories: : Sports