Although the most successful season in 17 years for the Everett High girls basketball program came to an end Monday evening with a 71-55 loss at Peabody in the opening round of the MIAA Division 1 North sectional tournament, EHS head coach Tammy Turner reminded her team that they had much to be proud of.
“The team, particularly the seniors, were not ready to see their season end,” said Turner. “But I told them after the game how much they had achieved and what a great accomplishment it had been just to make the tourney.”
The Lady Crimson Tide shrugged off an early 10-0 run by Peabody at the start of the game and responded with a 14-2 tear of their own to take a 14-12 advantage at the end of the first period.
The teams battled evenly over the next eight minutes, though Peabody went into the locker room with a 32-26 lead. “We played very well in the first half,” said Turner. “I had told the girls that they could match up against Peabody (which was the fourth seed in the North bracket and sported a 16-4 record coming into the game) and to have confidence in themselves.”
The lone setback for the Lady Crimson Tide in the first half was foul trouble to senior Lisa Aylward, who has been a force for Everett over the last part of the season. Lisa had to hit the bench for part of the second quarter which hurt the Everett cause.
However, the third period saw Peabody move quickly to assert control of the contest. The Lady Tanners feature eight seniors and they soon showed why they finished only behind undefeated Lynn English in the Northeastern Conference.
By the time the third buzzer had sounded, Peabody had outscored the Lady Crimson Tide by a 25-6 margin to move out to a commanding 57-32 lead. Although Everett battled gamely over the final eight minutes and cut into the Peabody lead, it proved too little, too late.
Aylward capped her fine career with a 17 point effort to pace the Lady Crimson Tide in the scoring department. Tori Cyrus also reached double figures with 15 points, while Michelle Fenelon struck for nine. Amanda DeSouza hit for six points, followed by freshman Lexi Sowards with five and Taylor Sweeney with three.
The Lady Crimson Tide had tuned up for their tourney contest with a 59-45 win over Whittier Tech in their regular season finale last week, a triumph that assured Everett of a better than .500 record with an 11-9 mark for the regular season.
Fenelon led the point parade with 19 points, followed by Aylward with 16, Sweeney with 12, DeSouza with eight, and Jackie Hanlon and Cyrus with two points apiece.
Two members of the Lady Crimson Tide, Fenelon and Aylward, were named to the GBL all star team.
“Both Michelle and Lisa were great leaders for us and stepped up their game when we needed them to do so,” said Turner. “They have set a great example for the younger players in our program. Their selection as GBL all stars was well deserved.”