OA Girls' Basketball Seniors Leave Lasting Legacy
Despite early tourney loss to Fontbonne Academy, OA's seniors leave strong legacy after four years.
With a record of 18-3, the Oliver Ames girls’ basketball earned its second straight Davenport Division championship going undefeated against the Small Hock, while also playing for their second straight Hockomock Cup in the Crossover game, that resulted in a loss to Franklin.
With high expectations in this year’s state tournament, however, the Lady Tigers were shocked early in the first round of the Div. 2 South sectionals against Fontbonne Academy.
“It’s really difficult,” said head coach Elaine Clement-Holbrook after the loss to Fontbonne on Feb. 29. “We hate to see this end because the team just loved each other.”
Despite the loss, this year’s senior class has planted the seeds for the future of the program.
Led by Lexi Gold, Jen Byron, Lindsay McNeice and co-captains Candace Steadman and Emily Romans, the class of 2012 has kept things afloat just two years after the team’s last state title victory in 2010. During that two-year span, the Lady Tigers triumphed over the rest of the Small Hock, while also earning a trip to the Div. 2 South semifinals in 2011.
“It’s been a pleasant experience to have both Candace and Emily as co-captains,” Clement-Holbrook said about her seniors. “Lexi Gold, Jen Byron and Lindsay McNeice have all played a vital part in the growth of this program and they have left a great legacy for the younger players.
“This senior class, I really hate to see graduation happen because they left it all out on the floor and have been tremendous leaders both on and off the court.”
While the seniors left their mark in the development of the program, the impressive list of underclassmen should give Clement-Holbrook another shot towards state glory.
Two members of starting five Caitlyn Abela (an all-Hock selection), and Asia Mitchell return for their senior seasons in 2012-13 along with classmates Allie Brennan (who missed the last few games of the year with a hand injury) and Kristin Ellis, who were both key contributors off the bench.
Sophomores Kate Holleran, Kelsey Bliss and Michaela Heffernan earned playing time in their first varsity seasons and are expected to return next year, while Michaela Levi and Emma Williams were called up from the JV team before the tournament and could see some playing time on the varsity squad next season.
With an impressive nucleus returning the Lady Tigers should once again be favored to win the Davenport for a third straight year while also sustaining their status as a power in the Hock, even with the additions of Taunton and Milford next season.