Notre Dame Ends ME Girls Hoops’ Postseason Run


The Manchester Essex girls’ basketball team needed some time to warm up in their Div. 4 Sweet 16 matchup against Notre Dame.  The Hornets were able to get it going and play like their usual selves as the game progressed but eventually ran out of time in their attempt to make a comeback.

As a result, the Hornets lost to Worcester-based Notre Dame by a 48-40 score on March 7, with the loss knocking the team out of the MIAA tournament.

“We competed until the very end and showed a lot of heart,” explains Manchester Essex girls basketball coach Lauren DuBois.  “We started the game a little nervous and fell behind by eight in the first quarter, but once we got past the nerves, we played the rest of the game even with them.  We know we can compete in the Division 4 state tournament.”

Harper Brooks led the Hornets with 11 points, while Ella Arntsen had eight points and five steals.  Mechi O’Neil scored seven and Kendall Newton had five points in the loss, while Calista Lai pulled down 10 boards to go with her four points.  Also contributing in this were Lily Oliver and Phileine Dewidt.

“The girls played hard throughout the game and executed the defensive game plan perfectly, getting 12 steals and taking a charge,” says DuBois.  “We just started a little slow on the offensive end.  We were undersized as we usually were this season, but we were able to out-rebound them on the offensive boards and got more second-chance points.”

With the 2022-23 season now in the books, Manchester Essex can look to next season.  The team loses two seniors to graduation in the spring in Lai and Newton.

“Both were captains and had tremendous seasons,” DuBois says of the outgoing seniors.  “They were leaders on and off the court and were instrumental in the chemistry of this team.  Both were selected as Cape Ann League All-Stars.”

While the duo will be missed, the good news is that the Hornets will bring back 10 players from a team that played well against top-notch competition all spring and now has postseason experience under its belt.  DuBois states every one of those returnees is considered an, “impact player.”

“Juniors Mechi O’Neil, Phileine DeWidt and Mackay Brooks with return as the teams’ most experienced leaders,” the coach explains.  “Sophomores Tess Carpenter, Ella Arntsen, Isabella and Charlotte Donnellan Valade will return, bringing a lot to both ends of the court, and Freshmen Lily Oliver, Kacey O’Connell and Harper Brooks bring a spark to the game every time they step on the floor.  They will be a fast break team and will continue to create offense out of their defense and score in transition.  They will have one more year of experience under their belt.”

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