Gamberoni, Wigington Lead Wahcoah into Western Mass Final

By Kevin Sports
Print Story | Email Story
DALTON, Mass. — The Wahconah girls basketball team clinched a spot in the Western Massachusetts Class B Finals with a 68-49 win over Easthampton on Wednesday night.
Grace Wigington and Olivia Gamberoni led the way for Wahconah with a big night from downtown. Wigington scored 26 and Olivia had 23. Emma Belcher added eight in the win.
It wasn’t the greatest start from Wahconah shooting the ball in the first quarter, but as the old saying goes, shooters shoot. And that’s exactly what they did.
The biggest boost came from the offensive glass giving Wahconah plenty of second chance opportunities to keep the lead from Easthampton. Wahconah scored seven points off second chance efforts in the first quarter and that helped spark a 17-12 lead. 
“We knew it was important to get off to a fast start,” Wahconah head coach Liz Kay said. “We are fortunate to be at home and you want to play well at home, but our press didn’t really work so we wanted to make sure we took that off and we dialed in a lot better later in the game.”  
In the second half, Wahconah caught fire not only on the offensive end but on defense as well. Gamberoni had a few steals at the top of the zone which led to easy transition points that really got Wahconah going. The trio of Blecher, Gamberoni, and Wigington got hot and hit a combined five 3-pointers in the quarter. Wahconah outscored Easthampton 27-8 in the quarter alone and really set the tone for the rest of the game. 
“When you have a kid like Grace on the floor she opens things up for so many people.” Kay said. “Danny [Barry] hit one and Emma hit a couple, we are so much more confident when we are able to get paint touches which we did in the second quarter to get higher percentage shots from the outside.”
Wahconah took a 44-21 lead into the break and never really looked back. Both teams traded baskets in the third quarter but Wahconah was able to maintain their lead even with Grace Wigington in foul trouble and on the bench.
It wasn’t until the start of the fourth quarter when Easthampton stepped things up on the defensive end and started to use that momentum on the offensive side. Easthampton started the quarter on a 12-2 run to inch closer in the game. Fortunately for Wahconah, it was able to maintain a double digit lead throughout the game with a big 3-pointer from Grace Wigington who was also fouled on the play. She missed the free throw but got her own rebound for the putback, giving her a 5-point play and closing the game off from any Easthampton comeback.
Wahconah will play Pittsfield on Saturday for the Western Mass title at a place and time to be announced.
Print Story | Email Story