The MPC Swish earned its second straight MA D1 state tournament title with a 57-43 victory over the Bay State Jaguars in the 9th grade division. For the second straight year, the Swish defeated all opponents by double digits en route to the title.
On Saturday, MPC Swish left no doubt in its first two games defeating Mass Ducks (77-26) and United Conquerors (69-47) to earn the number-1 seed for bracket play and a bye into the Elite 8.
The MPC Swish drew Mass Mavericks in this round and after only leading 3-0 for the first six minutes, the Swish opened things up en route to a 61-20 victory.
In the final four, the MPC Swish drew Bay State Magic Elite and created a rematch of last year’s final four. BSME proved to be a formidable opponent due to their toughness, shooting and defense. BSME was very well prepared to play the Swish, but the Swish survived 52-41 thanks to a better second half performance and playing better defense that it had in the first half.
The Swish advanced to the championship to set up a rematch of last year’s title game against the Bay State Jaguars. Like last year, the game was very close for the first 10 minutes of the game before MPC Swish ran away with it, 57-43.
The front court duo of Anna Shaughnessy and Tess Sussman got the offense going for the Swish as Sussman repeatedly found Shaughnessy for easy buckets in the paint, shredding the Jaguars zone defense. Shaughnessy has been the Swish’s rock all season with strong post play on both ends.
Nicole Gallagher was the offensive catalyst from the backcourt as she connected on three 3-pointers and scored in a variety of ways going to the basket.
Point guard Jenna Roche put an exclamation point on her best weekend in a Swish uniform by playing mistake free ball and setting the tempo. She put the finishing touches on the victory as she nailed both free throws following a flagrant foul as she sliced to the lane for a lay-up and got shoved in the back.
The Swish also received a strong game from Erika Ochenduszko. The inside-outside wing scored, played great defense and cleaned up on the boards – especially on the weak side.
Swish bench fire power Kaylin Reen and Kiera Fernandes each played solid minutes and threw in a 3-ball apiece in the win. Post player Megan Hill continued her impressive season by providing quality minutes in her first D1 MA state title game. She is rapidly becoming one of the best well round post players in the state regardless of age.
To watch complete championship film, follow this link: http://www.krossover.com/intelligence/shared/554ead741dcff
Swish championship game highlights:
Other Odds & Ends
- Bishop Feehan players play hard. I get to watch Gallagher and Shaughnessy on regular AAU basis, and appreciate the way they compete. I witnessed Lauren Manis (MT Elite) and Katie Nelson (Honey Badgers) tussle for a loose ball and Manis fired it off Nelson’s stomach and the ball caromed out of bounds to regain possession. I thought it was a bit much, but the way Nelson didn’t bat an eyelash makes me think that that’s how those kids get after it during practice at Feehan.
- Speaking of Feehan, in that same game wing Emily Miccille buried a game winning 3-pointer for an exciting ending to an overall exciting game. Miccille was robbed a few possessions prior from the same spot, but calmly sank this one to solidify the “W” for MT Elite.
- Sticking with MT Elite, I didn’t see a better true point guard than Norwood’s Meghan Reen on the weekend. Before I get accused of favoritism for my bias towards my winter stud, I define true point guard as a player that makes it hard for her coach to take her off the floor, makes her teammates better by pushing pace and setting them up, calling sets when things break down and picking spots to score. Reen is an A+.
- Although I don’t necessarily consider Keelah Dixon (Braintree) a true point guard, she had it working for the Jaguars every time I caught them play this weekend. In the final four against the MA Huskies, she put her team on her back at times with some fantastic finishes in the paint and great shooting. Worth noting, her teammate Allie Morin (Westwood) also helped lead the charge against the Huskies with some sharp outside shooting.
- In the semi-final 9th grade game, BSME’s Emma Squires (Tabor Academy) really stood out. She played very good defense and was able to find holes in the Swish defense en route to 14 points. She is a long wing that has great touch.
- A great run worth noting is the one that the MPC Blue Fire 9th grade squad went on. After going 0-2 in pool play, Paul Mordarski’s Blue Fire went on to beat the Rhode Island Breakers and Boston Showstoppers to get to the Final Four. While in the semi-final game, MPC gave the Bay State Jaguars all they could handle and even held a slight lead in the second half.