WATERTOWN — The thrill ride is done for the Amesbury girls basketball team (11-11) after Watertown (12-10) ended the Indians’ Cinderella run in the second round of the state tournament 47-32.
But for the second lowest seed in the Division 3 North sectional, the 14th-seeded Indians had quite the resurgent season, earning their first trip to the state tournament in seven years by winning twice as many games as a season ago, and then topping it all off with a first-round victory over a 16-win Excel team.
Tied at 16 after a scrappy first half in which both teams had trouble creating open looks or breaking down their opponent’s defense, Amesbury faded in the third quarter as the home-side took control of the game.
“The difference was they stepped up their defense in the second half, I thought, and we just couldn’t hit baskets,” Amesbury coach Chris Perry said. “They’d make a shot and we’d immediately come down in their end, make a turnover and it was one of those things that just kind of snowballed.”
Perry cited Courtney Borkowski for a stellar performance, chipping in seven points and 14 rebounds.
“They were a really tough team, so I wanted to match up,” Borkowski said. “I wanted to show intensity, not let them push around, so I tried my best, really hustled and tried to get the rebounds, and tried to play good defense.”
Emily Martin led the Indians with nine points and also had 11 rebounds.
“As the season went on we were better at working as a team and that helped today,” Martin said. “Courtney Borkowski had an extremely good game and she was really key on defense. Her rebounding was off the charts, and on defense she wasn’t going to let the other team have the ball.