Oliver Ames Girls' Basketball Team Finishes Regular Season Undefeated
The Tigers trounced Stoughton, 65-17 on Senior Night to finish the season 18-0
Davenport Division Champions.
Hockomock League Champions.
Does it get any better than that?
According to Oliver Ames girls' basketball coach Elaine Clement-Holbrook, who has won two state titles in the past seven years, there is much more work to do.
"That’s what’s so amazing about this group of kids," she said after the Tigers beat Stoughton, 65-17, on Senior night Friday to finish the regular season undefeated.
"It’s hard for me to put my finger on it. I had this discussion with them before we came out tonight. Senior night can be kind of emotional and it’s the end of something. But, I said to them, this isn’t the end of something – this is just the beginning."
She may be right.
The Tigers are hitting on all cylinders offensively, defensively and in the rebounding game. Keeping a playoff-caliber team in the teens is a feat in itself.
"To hold a team like Stoughton to 17 points in a game- we’ve just been so focused on our defense and to hold them to that number – it’s just incredible," Clement-Holbrook said.
Stoughton dropped to 12-6 (10-6 Hockomock) with the loss. The Black Knights were unable to get anything going against a stifling Tigers 'D' and transition game.
It started from the beginning as OA blanked Stoughton in the first quarter, finishing the period with a 12-0 lead.
"We came out flat tonight," Stoughton coach Janet Sullivan said. "OA controlled the boards and had a great transition game going. That’s why they’re 18-0 right now."
The Black Knights were led by senior center Nicole Daniels, who had 7 points. They will play against Holliston and Notre Dame next weekend to contend for a high State Tournament seed.
"We have to put this one behind us and we have to start working towards the tournament," Sullivan said. "We have two games over February vacation. We’re at 12-6 right now. We have to work hard if we’re hoping to get a home game. We have our work cut out for us over February vacation."
Fittingly, Oliver Ames was led by its two senior captains on senior night.
Caitlyn Abela and Asia Mitchell both finished the night with 15 points. Three of Mitchell's points came on a buzzer beater from half-court to finish the first half.
The two captains joined seven other Tigers to put points on the board. Juniors Michaela Lievi and Kate Holleran finished with 11 points. Kelsey Bliss finished with 5 points and Meghan Hurley finished with 4 points.
"They’re just willing to do their jobs," Clement-Holbrook said. "To get them to understand that in this day and age that you can be unselfish and play for each other, I’m so proud of them – I’m really proud of them."
Oliver Ames will take part in the Walpole Tournament next week before the State Tournament begins.
Clement-Holbrook said last year's unexpected early exit isn't a focus. Instead, the 2012-13 Tigers are focused on creating their own legacy.
"We’re trying to focus on the here and now," she said. "It’s done. We can’t change that. But, what we can do now is make a new mark and I think that’s what we’re really looking at."