TOWNSEND — The North Middlesex girls basketball team hung tough for a half, but Wachusett center Sarah Borchelt proved too tall a task in the paint as she led the Mountaineers to a 56-36 win.
Borchelt finished with 24 points and nine rebounds as the visitors stuck to their game plan and found her with passes for lay-ups.
“We just had no answer for Borchelt,” said North Middlesex coach Pat Murphy. “She has improved a lot since last year. I thought we did a good job of staying close, but we were flat in stretches in the second half.”
North Middlesex took a 4-0 lead on a perimeter jumper by Justin Chenelle and a lay-up by Ally Watkins, off a nice pass from Sarah Valacer.
Wachusett finally got their offense untracked and rallied to take an 11-9 lead after one quarter as five players contributed to a quarter-closing 11-5 run.
The Mountaineers maintained their momentum to start the second quarter, shutting down the North Middlesex offense for three minutes while scoring eight unanswered points to move in front 19-9. Borchelt scored four of the points.
After Chenelle broke the Lady Pats’ drought with a lay-up, the teams battled on even terms over the remainder of the second quarter as Wachusett took a 27-19 lead to intermission.
North Middlesex battled hard off the boards, finishing the first 16 minutes with 16 rebounds to 17 for Wachusett.
Wachusett put the game out of reach with a 10-0 burst to open the third quarter. Jen Lane converted after grabbing an offensive rebound, Borchelt hit a free throw, Jess Auger scored on a drive, Borchelt scored a follow-up basket, before Auger’s three-pointer made it 37-19.
Emily Durette came off the North Middlesex bench to provide instant offense, finishing with ten points, including a pair of three pointers.
Kelly Donovan, who led the Lady Pats with 13 points, scored nine points after intermission, including a pair of free throws to make it 44-28. That was a close as they would get as Borchelt and Auger hit back-to-back lay-ups to extend the advantage to 20.
“Emily Durette shot very well and I thought that Ally Watkins played tough inside,” said Murphy. “I was very happy with the play of the younger kids in the game.”
Auger finished with 12 points, five rebounds and four steals. Jackie Boffoli added nine points, five rebounds and four steals.
Chenelle added four points and five rebounds for the Lady Pats.