It’s been a tough season for the Westbrook girls basketball team, but on Tuesday night as they celebrated senior night, the Blazes girls got a huge win as they dominated Marshwood for four quarters and pulled out a 50-38 victory.

The win improved the Blazes’ record to 3-11 and bumped them up two places in the latest Class A Heal Point standings, from No. 15 to No. 13. Marshwood falls to 7-8 with the loss.

In honor of their final home game, the Blazes started all five of their seniors, Danielle Miranda, Jamie Levecque (who scored a game-high 10 points), Stephanie Wagner, Ashlyn Bourgeois and Sabrina Crucianelli, and they got Westbrook out to a fast start and an early lead. Miranda connected on a 3 in the first quarter and Ciera Bellino also hit from outside the arc as Westbrook jumped out to a 16-9 lead. Marshwood actually started to cut into the lead late in the quarter, but the Hawks were hurt by late mistakes that allowed the Blazes to run off five unanswered points off offensive rebounds and turnovers in the last 30 seconds to rebuild their lead.

It was a good thing that the Blazes built a cushion in the first quarter, because points, especially field goals were tough to come by in the second quarter. The teams combined for 17 points in the quarter, with Westbrook outscoring Marshwood 11-6, but all but six of those points came from foul shots. Westbrook’s lone field goals in the quarter came from Jessica Harris and Miranda and Nicole Lachance scored the Hawks’ only field goal.

Coming out of the half with a 27-15 lead, Westbrook continued to keep up the offensive pressure, getting a long 3 from Bellino (who finished with seven points) to put Westbrook up 34-19 with 3:47 left in the quarter. Marshwood’s Mallory McPherson answered with a 3 of her own on the next possession, but Westbrook was able to hold off the Hawks’ and went into the fourth with a 38-24 lead.

Things got a little dicey in the fourth quarter as the Hawks tried to ratchet up the pressure and cut into the Blazes’ lead. With just over six minutes to go in the game, Westbrook got a big boost from Ashlee Richards as she came up with two quick buckets to put the Blazes up 42-28.

But, as they had all game, Marshwood employed a tight, pressing defense in an effort to trap the Blazes and force turnovers and it began to work. Coming out of a time out with 5:32 to go, Marshwood’s Jorden Mitchell got a layup and then stole the ball and scored again, and suddenly the Blazes’ lead was cut to 42-32. Marshwood would cut the lead to 44-36 with just over a minute to go, but Westbrook settled down and began to hit their free throws, including two clutch ones from Megan Niehoff to make it 46-36, cooling off the Hawks’ momentum and allowing Westbrook to hang on for the win.


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