LITTLETON – For the Bromfield girls’ basketball team, their post-season experience is going to revolve around a series of what-ifs. For starters, what if Catherine Johnson was healthy? What if home-court advantage went to the team with the better head-to-head record? What if they didn’t hit just 3 of their 11 free throw attempts? But what was true was that the Lady Trojans season is over after dropping a 39-35 decision to Littleton.
“We weren’t aggressive enough and didn’t get after the ball like we should’ve and that was a big factor tonight,” said Bromfield coach Tom Hill. “I am just upset that we chose tonight to play one of the, if not the worst game of the year. We were coming off great practices, but we weren’t able to carry our practice energy into game situations all year long.”
Both teams were offensively challenged over the first ten minutes as they combined for 15 turnovers and 11 total points, with a number of poor shots.
Bromfield’s Lindsey Burke broke the ice with a short jumper three minutes into the game, before Henley Siegrist buried a 17-footer for a 4-1 lead.
Littleton drew even three times in the first half, twice on three-pointers by Brooke Johnson and Carly Otis, the latter making it 10-10 with 1:30 left in the first half.
Bromfield answered back with the next four points to grab the momentum. Siegrist hit a runner, before setting up Robin Neschke for a lay-up to send the Lady Trojans to intermission on top 14-10.
When the second half began, Littleton quickly drew even. Two free throws from Rachel Wallace and a driving lay-up by Kim Martel moved the Lady Tigers into a 14-14 tie. Bromfield answered right back with a 6-2 run keyed by Rebecca Reusch’s four points, including an offensive rebound and put back that made it a 20-16 game.
A quick response was mounted by Littleton as they scored eight of the next 11 points to take their first lead of the night. Ali Yoshida capped off the run by taking a Bethany Bush feed and banking home a three-pointer from the top of the key to make it 24-23 with 9:35 to play.
Burke came alive over the next four minutes as Bromfield seemingly regained control of the contest. The junior center hit for seven points during a 9-3 run, including a single free throw that made it 32-27. Unfortunately, that was the last point the Lady Trojans scored until the final minute.
With Bromfield’s offense going ice cold (four missed field goals, five turnovers) over a crucial five minute span, the Lady Tigers charged to the lead with 10 unanswered points. Four different players scored at least two points, led by four from Bush. When Sonia Basma connected on a pair of free throws, Littleton had grabbed a five-point lead at 37-32 with 55 seconds remaining.
A brief ray of light at the end of the tunnel came for the Lady Trojans courtesy of Lydia Maurer. From the top of the key, the senior guard connected on a three-pointer that made it 37-35. Bromfield’s defense held, but the offense failed to convert, turning the ball over for the 28th time of the night. Yoshida was fouled and knocked down a pair of free throws to put the game away as the Lady Tigers advanced to the quarterfinals with a hard fought win.
“I thought our defense played great and even with out Catherine, this is a game we should have won,” said Hill. “Our inability to take care of the ball has cost us all year and it was a big factor again tonight. I am very disappointed by the outcome tonight.”
Burke paced the Lady Trojans with 14 points and 16 rebounds. Siegrist contributed eight points and three assists. Maurer finished with five points while Morgan Smith grabbed nine boards.
Martel led Littleton with 10 points and three steals. Basma finished with seven points and four rebounds while Yoshida (nine rebounds) and Wallace (four boards and three steals) each added six points.