Wahconah Girls Handle Easthampton

By Kevin ShakeriBerkshires.com Sports
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DALTON, Mass. – The Wahconah girls basketball team booked a trip to the Division 4 Quarter-Finals on Tuesday with a 49-30 win over Easthampton. 
It was the second time these two squads met in postseason action this year, the first being the semi-finals of the Western Massachusetts Class B tournament and however different the start of Tuesday’s matchup the result was the same.
Wahconah started the rematch by missing its first 10 shots from the field In fact, Wahconah didn’t score its first field goal until less than one minute remained in the quarter. This was no cause for concern from Wahconah, as it held its own on the defensive end, keeping Easthampton to just seven points in the quarter.
 “Our togetherness and cohesiveness leads to sticking together in times of a little bit of adversity,” Wahconah coach Liz Kay said. “We’ve come out and missed shots early in games often, but we can always control our defense and we knew that was going to lead to some offensive opportunities. We felt like even in the first quarter we were keeping them off balance which would lead to our balance going further.”
The second quarter was where the game was won for Wahconah as it not only continued that constant pressure on the defensive end, but the shots started to fall, especially for Grace Wigington, who scored the first 11 points of the quarter on her way to 16 on the night.
Olivia Gamberoni also had 16 on the night and seven in the second quarter.
Wahconah got their run up to 18-0 before allowing the only points of the quarter with a minute left to go in the half to blow this one open. 
The second chance points and turnovers that led to break outs really dictated this game for Wahconah, and as soon as the shots started to fall it was no surprise for the quick turnaround in the game. Wahconah took a 29-9 lead into the break and never looked back. 
“Nerves kicked in early, but we know it’s a game of runs and I thought our defense was tremendous and that led to a lot of opportunities in transition,” Kay said. “We have kids that know how to put people in positions to be successful whether it's Grace hitting shots or paint touches. It leads to a lot of good looking shots and we were able to do that in the second quarter.”
After the break, it looked like Easthampton might be able to make a run back into the game, scoring on back-to-back plays to start the half, but Wahconah just had too many weapons and as the game went on they wore Easthampton down. It extended the lead in the third quarter and finished it off by controlling the tempo in the fourth.
This will be Wahconah’s first trip to the elite eight in the newly structured State Tournament, where it will host Malden Catholic on Saturday evening.
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