The Westbrook girls’ basketball squad punched its ticket to the Class S State Tournament for the first time in nine years on Feb. 10 with a 36-23 victory over East Hampton. The win also sends the Knights to the Shoreline Tournament.
“Qualifying is a big deal and they’re goals we tried to set,” said Coach Bill Bernard. “This is my fourth year coaching this team and we’re excited about it. We’re still looking to improve our seeding and knew we needed to win the last two out of four games.”
Westbrook lost to East Hampton the first time it faced the Bellringers and, according to Bernard it was due to “East Hampton beating our press for layups.” However, this recent game saw the Knights use their press to contain East Hampton. Westbrook led 12-11 at halftime and then held the Bellringers to just five points in the fourth quarter.
“We executed well and our girls did a good job on the defensive end,” said Bernard. “It was a low-scoring, grind-it-out-game and there wasn’t a lot of fast-break scoring.”
The high scorer for the night was freshman Adara Bochanis, who notched 12 points to aid in the Knights’ victory, which was also helped along by success at the free throw line from senior guard McKenna Atkinson, who shot 3-for-4 in the final minutes.
The Knights then went on to beat Hale Ray on Feb. 14 by the score of 43-40. Westbrook had the lead and the Noises tacked away, but the Knights went 12-for-13 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, which ultimately was the difference in the game. Robin Schreck was the leading scorer with 17 points, while Bochanis notched 12.
Westbrook then beat Old Lyme 34-32 on Feb. 16 despite giving up 23 turnovers. The Knights were down eight points in the fourth, but outscored the Panthers 15-5 on mostly foul-line points. Atkinson had 10 points and Angelina Raffone scored eight. Westbrook finished its regular season 10-10.