Champions Again

Photographer%3A+Drew+Forsberg
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Champions Again

Photographer: Drew Forsberg

Photographer: Drew Forsberg

Photographer: Drew Forsberg

Photographer: Drew Forsberg

Zach Welch, Writer

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On March 3, the Worcester Academy Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team won the NEPSAC Class AA Finals for the second year in a row, led by third-year Head Coach Sherry Levin! After an incredible 24-1 season, their fourth season in a row with at least an 80% win percentage, we reflect on the culmination of tremendous effort from starter, role player, and coach alike, from start to finish. And better yet, they were rewarded for their efforts in a title game against the same opponent they bested a year earlier, Tabor Academy. I sat down with star player Aliyah “Peaches” Boston to get an inside view on just how the championship game felt at each stage of the intense contest.

In a game highlighted by incredibly efficient shooting, proficient ball movement, and a heartened team effort on both ends of the floor, the girls displayed some of their best basketball of the season when it mattered most, ensuring that they would not trail for a single moment of the game. It’s safe to say they handled Tabor pretty comfortably in the first half entering halftime with a comfortable lead and a solid 28 points. Everything was working for them; they were clicking on all cylinders.

The Hilltoppers felt comfortable at the half, with victory practically within reach, but the game was not yet done, and neither was Tabor. As Worcester Academy was preparing to enter the home stretch, their opponent came roaring back on a huge tear, clawing their way back into the game. This newfound pressure inspired a strong performance by each and every member of the Hilltoppers as they aimed to thwart the comeback attempt, scoring 42 additional points, led by Boston’s 18 point second half. When prompted as to what helped Worcester to quell the opposition and turn the tides back in their favor, Boston said definitively, “The difference-maker was our energy. After they went on their run, coach called a timeout and told us to pick it up immediately and we just got busy”. And they sure got busy, ending up winning the game 70-59, sealed by six clutch free throws in a row.

Victory! For the second year in a row, the Girls’ Varsity Basketball Team did Worcester Academy proud by raising a championship banner in the Rowe Gymnasium. I asked Boston how she felt at that moment, having won her second title with the school, and she said that it “felt amazing because it was good to go out of senior year with two championships under her belt” and that “The championship feeling was just as good as the first time because they beat the same team”- having beat Tabor 59-54 in last year’s Finals. After such a perfect finale to her career at Worcester Academy, and before going on to join the South Carolina Gamecocks next year, I asked Boston if she had anything she’d like to say to our community; She responded, “Thank you to the Academy for such a great experience… I wouldn’t trade it for anything else”. To Aliyah and the rest of the team, for your valiant efforts on and off the court this season, on behalf of the whole Worcester Academy community, thank you.