The Mass Premier Swish 9th graders competed in both the 10th and 11th grade divisions in the inaugural NEAAU Super Regional at MPC in Foxboro. The Swish captured the 10th grade title handily over MT Elite (67-42) and lost by one in the 11th grade final four to the Boston Showstoppers (62-61). In all, the Swish played eight games on the weekend and finished 7-1.
The Swish started off the weekend with a win in the 11th grade division over the Boston Showstoppers (Drew), 54-40. Bishop Feehan high school classmates Nicole Gallagher and Anna Shaughnessy set the tone offensively in the first victory.
In the second game of the day, the Swish drew another Showstoppers team, this one their flag ship squad coached by Clinton Lassiter. It was an extremely physical game, but the youngsters didn’t allow themselves to get bullied. Swish versatile wing Tess Sussman (Rivers) did a nice job scoring or setting up her teammates while doing a phenomenal job on the glass. Kiera Fernandes (Worcester Academy) provided some much needed toughness and great outside touch all game. Megan Hill (Mansfield) played a key role on the defensive end and on the glass.
After being down by five at halftime, the Swish made a great second half comeback spearheaded by nearly a handful of Kaylin Reen (Norwood) 3-pointers and a smooth floater from the Swish guard.
This was a breakout game for starting point guard Jenna Roche (Braintree). New to the squad this spring, Roche really asserted herself as a dominant ball handler and took control of the team despite immense pressure. She scored, pushed the ball and got after it defensively.
After turning the ball over late in the game, the Swish found itself down one point with eight seconds left and had to foul to extend the game. The Showstoppers player missed the front end of the one-and-one and Sussman grabbed the rebound and quickly advanced it to Roche who pushed the ball into the front court and hit a running bank shot 3-pointer to beat the Showstoppers, 57-55. The Swish finished 2-0 on the day in the 11th grade division.
The Swish survived the day limping to the finish line with wins in the 10th grade division over Team BSB (62-58) and MT Elite (53-51) to cap off a 4-0 Saturday.
Like Saturday, the Swish opened up Sunday’s competition with games the 11th grade division. In its quarterfinal match up, Swish beat Team Evolution, 52-36, behind a total team effort. In the semi-final, the MPC Swish turned in its worst performance of the weekend by playing flat on both ends against a third Boston Showstoppers team. Hot shooting throughout the game gave the Showstoppers a sizable lead. A late Swish push to steal a victory was thwarted by a big low post bucket to seal the win for the Showstoppers, 62-61.
After being eliminated in the 11th grade division, the Swish dedicated its attention to winning the 10th grade division. The Swish ran over from MPC Court 3 to MPC Court 2 and quickly asserted themselves against United Conquerors Basketball by jumping out to a 9-0 lead and never looked back in a 53-32 victory, which set up a rematch against MT Elite in the championship.
In the Swish fourth game of the day on Saturday, they escaped with a victory over a hot shooting MT Elite squad, 53-51. On Sunday, again on its fourth game of the day, the Swish put together its best performance of the weekend capturing the 10th grade title over MT Elite, 67-42.
Tess Sussman absolutely dominated MT Elite’s zone. Anna Shaughnessy displayed great touch, scored a boatload and controlled the glass. Nicole Gallagher played fantastic, hard-nosed defense and was able to score when she wanted. Jenna Roche pushed the tempo as a great point guard should and displayed an ability to pick her spots to score. Erika Ochenduszko (Rockland) made several key hustle plays and scored inside and out. Megan Hill asserted her dominance and scored a bunch, not only inside, but stepping out hitting jumpers. Kaylin Reen was consistent on both ends by being the loudest defensively and knocking down shots on the other side. Kiera Fernandes brought her typical inside-outside game, but also stepped up to the challenge of guarding MT Elite’s best player at times – and did it well. Jenn Butka (North Quincy) registered another solid performance and provided toughness on the glass and great shooting touch. Kaitlyn Guenet (Cardinal Spellman) looked most comfortable out there in the championship game while still recovering from injury as she knocked down a couple outside shots and was strong defensively.