Girls' Hoop takes 2nd, 3rd at pair of tournaments
Winless in its first two games certainly wasn’t how the Wilbraham & Monson Academy Girls’ Basketball team wanted to start its season.
The young Titans, though, responded before the school’s long winter break by taking third at one tournament and second in another, sandwiched around a regular-season win at home.
Coach Durelle Brown’s team, which consists of eight players, including just one senior, placed third at the Kingswood Oxford Invitational Tournament in Connecticut Dec. 13-15 before losing in the final at the Dexter Southfield Tournament Dec. 20-22 in Eastern Massachusetts.
Rhaymi Porter ’21, who missed the second half of the championship game vs. Dexter Southfield School at the host’s tournament, was named to the All-Tournament team at both events.
Coach Brown on playing at the KIT: “We entered the tournament 0-2 so we were looking for our first victory, so there’s a little bit of doubt there. The team is young. We’ve had some horses the last few years. We’re very black and white – there’s no gray area to us. So to bounce back from a tough loss to Greens Farms and muster things up to go win third place, I was really proud of them. I was impressed with how we showed up. Taking third and having players find out who they are and finding their rhythm and their roles on the team was really good.”
Coach Brown on why he wanted to play at the Dexter Southfield Tournament: “As our class has shifted a ton. You want to find out who are the bigger dogs in your class. Dexter has a really good team and she organized a really good tournament with a couple other Class C schools so I thought it would be good for us. And it put us at 10 games before break, which is unheard of.”
Coach Brown on playing at the Dexter Southfield Tournament: “The big one was getting to play Kimball Union again to avenge that loss. Getting up and playing them at 8 in the morning was difficult, but I was proud of the girls’ resolve. I was proud of them because we learned how to win a game late. We closed out that game. That was Saturday morning, and then we played Holderness that same night for our third game in two days. We did a great job mentally playing the game, and defensively we only gave up 36 points. In the championship against Dexter, it was a fantastic game until Rhay got hurt. Once she got hurt it kind of changed the game. We were up; we were clicking. But when she got hurt it took the wind out of our sails.”