GROTON — The Groton School girls basketball team captured the Groton/Lawrence Academy Holiday Tournament for the second year in a row. Led by senior captain and tournament Most Valuable Player Kaitlin Mitchell, the Lady Zebras defeated Lawrence Academy, Brewster Academy and St. George’s School on their way to the title.
In the first game of the tournament, the Lady Zebras faced off against cross-town rival Lawrence Academy. Groton School entered the contest determined to avenge a loss to the Spartans six days earlier.
Tremendous defensive play by Groton School held the high scoring Spartans to only eight points with two minutes left in the first half, but a big three-pointer by Bradie Hutchinson, followed by two free throws by Lia Palmacci closed the Lady Zebras’ lead to 15-13 at halftime. Sophomore Paige McDonald of Acton led Groton School in the first half with eight points.
Groton School used pressure defense in the second half to seal a 35-28 victory. McDonald led the way with 10 points, three rebounds and two steals. Junior captain Gabby Flibotte of Cohasset finished with seven points and seven steals. Sophomore point guard Elizabeth Small of Leominster added seven points, five boards and five assists. Mitchell chipped in with five points, four rebounds and four steals.
Ellie Moore paced a balanced Lawrence Academy offense with eight points, followed by Katherine Deschene and Hutchinson with seven, and Palmacci with six.
Groton School then used their experience and speed to roll past Brewster Academy 63-27. The Lady Zebras were led by Danielle Rainer and Mitchell.
Rainer finished with 16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocked shots, while Mitchell added 15 points, five rebounds and three steals. Also contributing to the win were Kimmy Mitchell (two points, three rebounds, two steals) and freshman Adrianna Pulford, who went three-for-four from the floor and finished with six points.
In the final game of the tournament, Groton School earned the championship by defeating ISL rival St. George’s School of Newport, Rhode Island by a score of 51-38.
The Lady Zebras jumped out to a quick 9-2 lead, but the well-coached Dragons called a timeout. Capitalizing on some poor decision making by Groton School, the Dragons went on a 10-0 run to take a 12-9 lead with nine minutes left in the first half.
Groton School regrouped, hitting some key three-pointers and converting their free throws and built a 28-21 lead by halftime.
They maintained their momentum in the second half, opening up with an 11-2 run that proved to be too much for the Dragons.
Flibotte led the Lady Zebras with 15 points and five assists. Mitchell added 10 points and six rebounds, while Rainer chipped in with eight points, 11 rebounds and six blocked shots. Pulford again went three-for-four from the floor and finished with six points.
Groton School finished their December schedule with a record of 4-2 and will resume play on January 5.