Girls Basketball Tournament Preview: Walpole vs Notre Dame

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Peter Hoegler

Walpole players huddle before a game.
Walpole players huddle before a game.

Winners of six of their last seven, the Walpole Girls Basketball team is entering the State Tournament as one of the hottest teams in the field. The Rebels (12-8)  finished the regular season with five straight wins against Herget Division opponents and earned an eight seed in the South Sectional Division 2 Tournament. For the first time in four years, Girls Basketball will be having a home tournament game–a goal that was set at the beginning of the season–on Tuesday, February 25 at 6:30. Now, all of the focus is on No. 9 Notre Dame Academy, who stands in the Rebels’ way as they look to make a long tournament run.

“We are very confident heading into the State Tournament,” said junior Julie Moser, who has led Walpole at the point guard position this season. “Notre Dame is a very good team and will be very good on the offensive end, but we think if we play our best, we will be in good position to win this game.”

Notre Dame finished the season 17-7, but 5-5 in the CHSAA League. The Cougars are led by Kendra Delahunt, who has consistently been their leading point scorer all season. Notre Dame Academy’s weakness is their inexperience: they have a very young roster, consisting of two freshmen, five sophomores, six juniors and one senior. All season, the Cougars have had trouble closing out games, so the Rebels will have the advantage in this hostile environment tomorrow night.

Walpole and Notre Dame shared one opponent this season: Bourne. In two games, the Gators lost both by nine and five points, respectively. The Lady Rebels played Bourne in the first round of the February break tournament and fell 59-51 in a game in which junior Summer King dropped 28 points. So, all sign indicate that this No.8 vs No.9 matchup is going to be close from start to finish.

Last season, Girls Basketball was bounced in the first round by Bishop Feehan, so Coach Jim Gallivan and the girls are determined to get farther this year. Maybe a home game is exactly what the Rebels need.