A one-point lead with 1:17 remaining on the clock. Tie game, 17 seconds left. Both of these situations would scare any high school team. The stakes get higher, and the game ends up being an edge-of-your-seat nail-biter. The Old Rochester Regional girls’ basketball team proved not once, but twice, that they are capable of performing under pressure, as they have advanced into the MIAA Division 3 South Semifinals with late-game wins over Bellingham and Ursuline Academy.
The girls, who are seeded fifth, faced off against Bellingham High School in the first round. The game was physical, and ORR was able to maintain a small lead at the conclusion of the first half, which ended with the score 23-20. The Lady Bulldogs managed to keep up the intensity in the second half, but Bellingham was able to sneak up and cut the Bulldog lead to only one point at the conclusion of the third quarter. With the score 37-36 with 1:17 remaining in the fourth quarter, Senior Captain Abby Offringa hit a huge three-point shot that gave the Bulldogs some wiggle room and a two-possession game. Bellingham could never recover, and the game ended with a 44-36 victory for ORR.
Offringa had a huge game for the Bulldogs, hitting two three-pointers en route to a 16-point game. Hannah Bouvette and her sister Michaela Bouvette also played well, especially on the defensive end, where they were able to attain rebound after rebound and stop Bellingham from catching up.
With the victory, the Lady Bulldogs were put to a tougher test where they had to face fourth-seeded Ursuline Academy, an all-girls Catholic school located in Dedham. Ursuline was coming off of a 71-52 victory over Wareham, a huge score for a girls’ basketball game. However, Old Rochester’s stellar defense was able to limit Ursuline to only 32 points the entire game.
Fittingly, it was Co-captain Katie Wilbur who was the hero of the girls’ second state-tournament game. With the game tied at 32 points apiece with 17 seconds left, Wilbur launched a three-point shot as time expired to upset Ursuline and win the game. Credit also has to be given to senior Casey Garstang who provided a key layup with 38 seconds left to tie the game.
With Ursuline completely shutting down Offringa, the star of the game went to sophomore Center Gabby Reuter, who notched 18 points to lead her team to victory. Wilbur would score 11, as well as the only three-pointer for ORR, although it proved to be a memorable one.
By Michael Kassabian