There is no question the Harborwomen came to play in their biggest game of the year, so far. As the 4th seed, their opponent was the 1st seed Norwood Mustangs, who only lost once all year. Who would have thought the closest Norwood would ever be to Hingham was tied 0-0 at tip off.
The 1st quarter belonged to Hingham and Senior Captain Ryley Blasetti. To say Blasetti took control of the game would be an understatement. She started the game with 2 consecutive 3 pointers. Just 2:34 into the game, the Harborwomen jumped out to a 10-0 lead and Norwood had to take their first timeout.
While Blasetti was hitting everything she shot, the rest of the team was playing outstanding defense. Senior Captain Jess Johnson and Sophomore Caroline Connelly smothered the Mustangs every time they touched the ball.
Johnson and Freshman Colette Hanney fighting for a loose ball in their defensive end. Hanney is the mix of almost every jump ball situation on the floor it seems like.
Sophomore Perry Blasetti also played great defense stealing the ball early on in the game. Unfortunately, she got into early foul trouble and had to sit most of the 1 half, but made an impact while she was in there.
Ryley Blasetti finished with 15 of the Harborwomen's 22 1st quarter points. Thanks to her, Hingham held a 9 point lead at the end of the 1st quarter.
Not to be outdone by her co-captain and fellow senior, Grace Bennis had 2 big 3 pointers in the second helping Hingham fight off Norwood's 2nd quarter surge.
Ryley Blasetti dives across the court for a loose ball late in the 2nd quarter as Norwood was making a comeback. Bennis hit a 3 with seconds left in the half, but Norwood buried a 3 of their own as time expired cutting Hingham's lead down to 3, 33-30.
Fully expecting the Mustangs to come out shooting, it was Hingham who started the half the same way they started the game, on a big 8-0 run, started by a 3 from Grace Bennis seconds into the second half.
Jess Johnson and Colleen Connelly continued their stout defense in the second half making it almost impossible for Norwood to get any easy shots.
Back in the game, Perry Blasetti hit 2 big 3 pointers in the 3rd quarter. She ended up fouling out of the game in the 4th quarter but ended up with 9 points for the game.
Coach Buczynski had his team ready to play. He continued to hammer home during timeouts not to let up and keep playing their game. Looks like they were listening because they extended their lead back to 9 points at the end of 3 quarters.
Ryley Blasetti continued to be aggressive with the ball into the 4th quarter. Driving to the basket and getting fouled multiple times.
Caroline Connelly comes down with a huge offensive rebound half way through the 4th quarter. She finished the game with 8 points and 10 rebounds.
Colette Hanney was in the game often and made some pretty big and timely baskets in the 4th quarter. She finished the game with 5 points off the bench.
Grace Bennis was almost unstoppable in the second half. Norwood tried different defenders but seemed to work. Bennis finished with a game high 23 points, 12 coming in the second half.
Up by 13 with under 4 minutes to play, Hingham faced a 10-0 run by Norwood to cut their lead down to 3. Unfazed by the Mustang's surge, Hingham's leaders, Ryley Blasetti and Grace Bennis, ultimately came through in the end. They were determined to win the game and Bennis made the last basket which sealed the game and gave them the 62-57 win.
Perry Blasetti meets to celebrate with her older sister Ryley as the final buzzer sounds. What a great effort by the players, coaches, and fans who traveled down to Taunton on a Monday night. The Harborwomen will now face the 2nd seed Foxboro on Saturday in Taunton. Time has yet to be determined.
Congrats to Coach B and his entire staff on the huge win. They are back in the South Divisional Title game for a second straight year looking to avenge last year's loss to Pembroke.
Congratulations girls! See you Saturday.