Storybook Ending for Oliver Ames Hoops Legend

Laney Clement-Holbrook
Oliver Ames’ legendary girls basketball coach Laney Clement-Holbrook announced her retirement after winning the third state title of her 46-year career. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

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Laney Clement-Holbrook sits down on a bench just a few steps from the gym where she has spent nearly five decades building the Oliver Ames girls basketball program into a state power and creating lasting relationships with generations of players. It has only been a few weeks since the Tigers beat Norwood to claim the Div. 2 title, and she is proudly wearing a 2022 state champion shirt as a reminder.

The championship trophy has been paraded through the Easton schools, the players recently met in the lobby and got sized for their state championship rings, and the final administrative details are being put on another impressive winter for a program that has become accustomed to consistent success.

It is school vacation week, so the atrium is quiet and Clement-Holbrook is taking a moment to reflect. This is not an ordinary off-season conversation.

After 46 years in charge, 44 playoff appearances, 19 league titles, four South sectional titles, three state championships, and a record-setting 733 wins (an average of about 16 wins per season), Clement-Holbrook announced that she is retiring.

She is stepping away as a champion, an unrivaled winner, a pioneer, a mentor, an inspiration, and unquestionably (although she would never agree to this label) as a legend.

“Oliver Ames girls basketball is going to miss her tremendously,” said 2010 state champion and current Princeton assistant coach Lauren Battista, “but she’s put in so many years of sacrifice and hard work and giving her all to that program to make it what it is and she deserves to go out as the top dog and enjoy these years.”

Kerry Bourne played for Clement-Holbrook, worked with her as a coach in the youth program, and watched her daughter Hailey win a state title for OA this winter. “She wants the girls to win but she wants them to be leaders,” Bourne explained. “She wants them to be compassionate. She always wants them to play fair. It’s her life. She’s put everything into it. She’s given 150 percent to Oliver Ames basketball.”

It didn’t take long after the Tigers lifted the trophy in Lowell for rumors to swirl about whether this might have been Clement-Holbrook’s last year, and whether she would take the opportunity to go out on top, but she said the decision was actually made months before the season started. She came to the realization in August, after speaking with friends, that it was the right time to, as she put it, have some fun while she can.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

“I need to leave a little life left for me so I can enjoy time with the people who I’ve spent my life with in the world of basketball,” she said. “To be able to be free and say, do you want to go to this game or go watch this? I want to have some time to enjoy that because this is a 12-month, 24/7 operation. It’s not like you start thinking about the season the Monday after Thanksgiving.”

Even though OA goes into each new season with the goal of winning a state title, and has since Clement-Holbrook took over the program in the 1976-77 season, how perfect would it be to win one in the final season of a legendary career, to let Clement-Holbrook walk away after all this time and effort as a champion? (And, as a Dedham High Hall of Famer, to have the added bonus of beating Norwood for the final win of her career?)

“It was just the storybook ending,” said assistant coach Christine Hochstein. “She didn’t tell any parents, didn’t tell any of the kids, because she did not want this to be about her and her farewell tour because it’s all about the girls.”

Brittany Engle, who has been an assistant for the past six years and was a star on the first state title team in 2006, added, “I’m so, so happy for her. We were so in the moment that I never thought we’d come up short and then once it finally happened it was, ‘Oh thank God that we can finish on top for Laney.’ It’s so cool and so fitting, she deserves it.”

Laney Clement-Holbrook
Celebrating a new record for wins in a career. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Creating opportunities and fighting for equality

Clement-Holbrook started at OA as a teacher in 1975. Because she had been a catcher in college at Bridgewater State, longtime athletic director Val Muscato appointed her as head softball coach. She was also named freshman field hockey coach and JV basketball coach, working with Sue Rivard, another member of the OA Hall of Fame. She was also in grad school at Bridgewater State working towards a Master’s in Education (which she finished in 1981). One year later, Rivard retired as basketball coach and Clement-Holbrook took over the program.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

OA was a good fit at the start because it was a short drive from the Bridgewater campus, but it quickly became a welcoming place to start her teaching and coaching career, and eventually, it grew into her home. Now, almost five decades later, the school and Clement-Holbrook are synonymous. It is difficult to think of one without the other.

She started coaching in a very different era. Title IX was only four years old. Massachusetts had just recently progressed from six-player girls basketball (with three players in each half who weren’t allowed to cross midcourt). The girls were only given one hour of practice per day (boys got two hours) and games were played in the afternoon, unlike the boys who got to play at night. None of that sat well with the new coach.

“I had a meeting with the superintendent for them to explain why that was,” said Clement-Holbrook. “It didn’t go very well, but it was a start. These kids’ parents are working, they want to come see their daughters play. I’m grateful there was that transition. You see the passion for basketball in this community and, to me, because it’s a basketball town that helped quite a bit.”

Moscato and OA boys coach Bill Nixon created a basketball camp at Stonehill College. Clement-Holbrook added a girls basketball camp to give more opportunities to local players. In 1986, her former roommate at Bridgewater State, Barbara Stevens, took over at Bentley University (on her way to more than 1,100 wins and a place in the Naismith Hall of Fame), and started a camp for local coaches that became, as Clement-Holbrook described it, “a think-tank for anyone coaching girls or young women.” They also started attending the annual WBCA convention at the NCAA Women’s Final Four and did so for more than 30 years.

“It was so much fun because we learned so many things from that education,” she explained. “When you learn from the best, you would be remiss if you didn’t take some of what you learned and try to apply it and that’s what we did.”

Lisa Downs, who has played and coached against Clement-Holbrook during her time at Foxboro, said, “I really credit her for stepping up and fighting for the girls to receive as much acknowledgment (as the boys). It brought a lot more of the spotlight on girls basketball than it had years back and she’s a pioneer with getting the word out and really pushing the issue to get the girls the credit they deserve.”

Downs continued, “She’s a pioneer in so many ways and I don’t think people realize what she’s done for the sport, not just for Oliver Ames, but for girls everywhere.”

There are significantly more opportunities for female coaches now than in the 1970s. This past winter, eight of the 12 Hockomock League teams were coached by women, including four who were coaching at their alma maters and six who had played at the collegiate level. It is a development that Clement-Holbrook relishes and something she has encouraged for years. She was not only the first woman president of the state coaches association, where she pushed for recognition and opportunities for female coaches but has also added coaches with top-level playing experience on her own staff. Current assistants Engle (Marist), Hochstein (Assumption), and Chrystal Holland (AIC) each played in college.

As she moves into the next phase of her life, Clement-Holbrook is confident that her fellow coaches will continue pushing for equality and that they understand the importance of creating more opportunities for future generations.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

“Yeah girlfriends, it’s time for you to take it and run with it now,” she said. “We got you to this point, now it’s your turn and I love the fact that they’re as passionate about it as I am. You know you did your job and you know you inspired them and you know that you taught them things.”

Laney Clement-Holbrook
Laney Clement-Holbrook along with assistants Brittany Engle (left) and Christine Hochstein (middle) after win over Norwood. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

Bringing the title home to Easton

“She challenged me,” Engle recalled about the build-up to her senior season in 2005-06. “She told me, ‘You have to be a better leader because there are girls on this team who are afraid of you because you yell at them when they make mistakes and that’s not making them better players, it’s making them play scared.’ Because I wanted to win so badly and it was my last chance, I said fine I’ll try it your way, and she was right.”

Winning a state title is hard. Sometimes the most talented teams don’t win. Sometimes even the best teams, the best players, have off nights, and in the playoffs, you are facing the best teams in the state, which are all ready to pounce when you might not be at your best (and sometimes even when you are).

Laney Clement-Holbrook

OA won its first South sectional title in 2000 but lost in the state semifinal at the Fleet Center. Heading into the 2006 season, Clement-Holbrook’s 29th, confidence was high that the Tigers had the potential to make a run at a championship. There was a strong core of seniors, including Engle (who would reach the 1,000-point plateau that year), but to make it work, to make the personalities mix in a way that would bring the ultimate success, both players and coach needed to adapt.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

Engle explained, “It seemed like Laney gave in and had fun with us, so it felt like we were all in it together. She would give in to our goofiness and let us be ourselves, so as we got closer to the end not only did we think about our goal as seniors but the idea that this will be the first time and that Laney is such a legendary coach that it will be huge for her too.”

Clement-Holbrook said, “You have to get a total buy-in from the kids that they understand they have to give whatever it takes. I was lucky in 2006 because I had a group of seven or eight seniors and the buy-in was huge.”

She joked, “Before we won that first one, I said I want to win a championship before I’m dead and then we won and it was like, well that was fun, maybe we can try it again.”

After the first title, Easton displayed its adoration for the Tigers. The team was given a police and fire escort into town, parents lined the street to welcome the bus back to the school, and a new tradition was born when the Tigers took the championship trophy on a tour of the elementary and middle schools. It was a chance for the players to be recognized and be celebrated by the younger grades, but also provided inspiration for the next group of players who now wanted the same experience.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

“When I was in eighth grade watching that team, they were like our idols,” said Battista, who would go on to score more than 1,000 points in her career and was named Gatorade Player of the Year as a senior. “I remember a few of them came to our little travel basketball banquet and it was like Diana Taurasi was there, LeBron James, that’s how big a deal they were to us at that moment. That’s what Oliver Ames girls basketball was all about, winning state championships and competing at the highest level.”

Many of the members of the 2010 state championship team were in the stands at the Fleet Center when the Tigers won four years before. They wore their MetroWest jerseys and winner’s medals and they dreamed of adding their own state championship banner in the Nixon Gym. Four years later, they would get their chance, although not without a moment of adversity in the season opener.

“Our whole preseason was, this is it, last chance, we’re going to make it happen and then we went out and lost our very first game,” Battista recalled. Clement-Holbrook remembered that before the season opener she broke her long-held superstition against going to pre-game team pasta dinners. She said, “I went into the team room at Foxboro and they’re all sitting on the floor in the locker room and they’re all crying their eyes out. I remember walking in and looking at them all and I said, ‘Stop crying, nobody died!’”

Battista laughed when thinking about that moment, “She broke the tension. It was what we needed to kick our butt a little bit and get back to work in practice.” The kick in the butt and the new mantra of ‘Lose the first, Win the last’ worked pretty well, as the Tigers went on to win the next 25 games and bring home a second state title in five years.

“She always has these Laney-isms,” Battista continued, “and sayings that in the moment you’re just like, ‘Oh that’s just Laney being Laney,’ but she delivers it and she sticks to those values in a way that transcends time. It doesn’t matter if you’re coaching a team from the 1990s or today, those same values are what makes her great. It’s always about what’s best for the team and how you are making the people around you better. I’m sure me and my teammates gave her some gray hairs. We know how to push her buttons sometimes, in a good way, but it was such a good and positive environment.”

When Clement-Holbrook set the state record for wins by a girls basketball coach, passing the 633 wins of fellow Bridgewater State grad Vi Goodnow, members of the current state title-winning squad were in the stands holding up signs and cheering for their future coach. The desire to be a part of the OA program and add to the program’s legacy is developed at an early age.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

Bourne, who has been a long-time coach in Easton youth basketball, explained, “If I didn’t have such a wonderful experience at Oliver Ames with Laney as my head coach, then I wouldn’t have started in fourth grade talking about how it’s such an honor to play for Oliver Ames, to play for Laney, to take them to games, to go support OA, and then to now have eight girls still from those 10 (in fourth grade) on the team today.”

“It 100 percent is about reaching out,” Bourne said, adding that the current fourth-grade team was in the stands for the title game in Lowell. “Laney is the one who made sure that the trophy went to every single school and got them excited about it.”

Laney Clement-Holbrook
OA players surround Laney Clenent-Holbrook when she reached win No. 700. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

Legacy that extends beyond the record books

After the Tigers beat Dracut in the Sweet 16, the players and their families gathered at Maguire’s for dinner. They filled up the tent outside the building and celebrated an impressive win against a strong team.

All season long, the players had talked about honoring the 2021 team, which missed its chance to play for a state title because of the pandemic, and they had written that message on the whiteboard in the locker room before every game. Clement-Holbrook went into the tent to address the team. While they hadn’t yet reached the end of the journey, she told them that she appreciated what the whole team, from the starters to the team managers, had done to get the Tigers to that point.

“I talked about the puzzle,” she recalled. “I said, remember when I talked about there’s something special about you? Look at what you’ve accomplished, and I couldn’t be more proud of you, and everybody here has had a part in all of this. We’re not measuring the size of the (puzzle) part, what we’re measuring is the value of all those parts together.”

There are two common threads that come up in every conversation about Clement-Holbrook’s longevity as a coach and her lasting impact on OA basketball – culture and relationships. Whether you’re speaking to current or former players, her staff, or opposing coaches, they all agree that she set a standard for the whole community (from youth levels to varsity) and it’s a standard that everyone readily buys into. They want to play, and to win, for her and for OA.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

The speech on the first day of tryouts hasn’t changed in years. “If you’re fortunate enough to be chosen and to wear the Oliver Ames on your jersey,” Clement-Holbrook explained, “I point to all the banners on the wall, then you’re playing for something bigger than yourself.” It is a message that resonates with the players to this day. In separate interviews throughout the 2022 playoff run, each of the players mentioned, unprompted, the legacy of OA basketball and how meaningful it is to play their part in it.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

“She wants to develop strong women, not just good basketball players,” Engle said. “She wants to equip us with the character and the tools to take advantage of opportunities or make opportunities for ourselves. That’s not just talk because she lived that, so I think it means so much more.”

Bourne added, “I was telling the girls, you get to play for a legend. I was telling them that in fourth grade, so I think I made them a little nervous. I told them, ‘You have an amazing opportunity to play for such an incredible program.’”

When Battista played for the Div. II national title at Bentley, Clement-Holbrook was in the stands in Erie, Pa. to watch. It was an unforgettable moment for one of OA’s best players and for her best friend from college and Clement-Holbrook made sure that she was there to share the experience with them.

“She’s been involved in every major thing in my life, especially with basketball,” Battista said. “Having that kind of connection between playing for her and playing for Coach Stevens means the world to me and I think means the world to her as well.

“Just the attention to detail, the team-over-me mentality, the communication, the relationships, the genuine care for the people that they’re coaching, winning is just a byproduct of all of that stuff. I’m just very lucky that I got to experience this for a long period of time.”

The relationships don’t end in March or even at graduation. In the midst of the celebrations following the win over Norwood, Clement-Holbrook looked into the stands and saw the father of former player Erin Sheehan and he was wearing a state championship jacket from the 2006 season. There are always former players in the stands at home games and there is always a host of people waiting to talk to Clement-Holbrook when she emerges from the locker room.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

Her smile widens and her eyes light up as she talks about the players’ children she meets doing trophy parades, about having a former player give her grief that she is going soft because today’s team did a drill differently than they did years ago, or about having the youth teams line up at the door to high-five the players as they come out of the locker room for warmups. At the end of the day, at the end of her career, these things will be missed more than results on the court.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

Hochstein noted, “She has a relationship with every single player who’s ever played for her. I think Laney could text any one of them and ask for something and they would do it because that’s just the type of person she is. She would do anything for them and when she asks for something, Brittany and I joke that we’re still doing this, you can’t say no to Laney.”

Laney Clement-Holbrook

“Honestly, I think, my greatest strength is people development, not necessarily basketball skill development,” Clement-Holbrook said when asked about establishing connections through the years. “You have to change, of course. I think that one of the keys to success is to read the room, know what you had to do, know what the benchmarks were that you had to set because kids are always different.”

Laney Clement-Holbrook
Laney Clement-Holbrook reacts to the win over Norwood and her third state title. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)

Hollywood ending to a legendary career

“It’s not a job to her, it’s part of her life,” Engle replied when asked if she could pinpoint what it takes to coach at one program and maintain an unparalleled level of success for 47 years.

“She invests herself in this. It’s 12 months out of the year. She’s texting us in the off-season, she’s going to Summer League, she’s going to camps. I’ll get a random email about a drill and I’m like, ‘Laney it’s July, what are we doing?’ But, that’s just how she’s wired. It’s such an integral part of her life and who she is.”

Her passion for the game has never wavered. While this was her final season in charge of the Tigers, no one believes Clement-Holbrook is going to simply walk away from the program. They fully expect to see her in the stands next winter and she is still going to be invested in her current and former players.

Laney Clement-Holbrook

Hochstein said, “She’s dedicated her life to this. This is her commitment to giving back to the community. She’s so committed and passionate about coaching and teaching these girls.”

None of the players knew that this was it. As Caroline Peper stepped to the free throw line in the closing seconds and sealed a state title, no one was thinking that this was going to be the final seconds of Laney Clement-Holbrook’s storied career.

“She just hasn’t aged in my eyes,” Downs said with a laugh. “I feel like she looks and she acts and she coaches the exact same way as she did when I was in high school in the ’80s playing against her. Her love not just of the sport but of coaching girls…I just kept thinking she’s got a couple more years in her.”

Bourne was thrilled that her daughter got to be part of this final season. She said, “It’s been unbelievable. I’m very, very, very grateful that [Hailey] had this opportunity and it’s been a blessing. I can’t even imagine what was going through [Laney’s] mind that night. She knew it was her last night ever to coach and I wish I’d known.”

It seemed to still be sinking in for Engle, who was a player on the first state title and a coach on the last one. “We were so focused on each possession,” she said. “So I think we were just so focused on each little step and being present for each step that afterwards it was like, ‘Oh my gosh,’ and then days later we’re like, ‘Oh my gosh!’ The fact that I can be a part of the bookends of her career…I just feel lucky.”

“It went by kind of fast,” Clement-Holbrook said about her time on the OA sidelines. “I didn’t think to myself, this is the last time I’m going to do this or the last time I’m going to do that. I was so focused on the moment that I never really thought about it. Even on the bus ride home from Lowell, I wasn’t thinking this is it because I wanted to savor the moment. I didn’t want to make it a sad moment because we were having way too much fun.”

So, how about winning a state championship in her final game? How amazing was it to be able to end her career by lifting the trophy? She leaned back on the bench and smiled.

“I couldn’t have ever asked for a happier ending. Someone up there was thinking of me. I’m a lucky kid.”

Quotes

Laney Clement-Holbrook

“There are some coaches who walk into the gym and probably know who your starting five are going to be and that’s about it, but she knows every single thing about your team, so I try to do the exact same thing to play her because I know what we’re going to be facing. It’s a ton of fun as a coach. It’s almost like a chess match because you know what they’re going to be doing, maybe not fully, and then you have to counteract that. It keeps it fun because you’re coaching against someone who is so good and has so much basketball IQ.”Lisa Downs, Foxboro girls basketball coach

“People like Laney paved the way for all these opportunities for us to pursue this as a profession. When she started, I can’t even imagine the battles she had to fight just to get the opportunities that the boys team was getting. When I was growing up in Easton, I always thought the girls team was better than the boys team and that’s because of her and what she put into it. I always thought that was the normal, that’s how things were, and now that I’m a little more experienced I know that’s not the case. I was lucky that I got to grow up in her sphere of influence because she had such a great influence on basketball and 100 percent on my life and my career trajectory in coaching.”Lauren Battista, 2010 state champion

“I’m very thankful for this year obviously. Honestly, it was a whirlwind and it almost doesn’t feel real yet. We talked about it for so many years, ‘You guys really have a chance to win the state championship.’ Even though it’s so difficult to do, I really believed in them and now that it’s actually happened it’s just unreal. I understand that Laney didn’t want to tell us beforehand but I wish I knew that day was her actual last day.”Kerry McLaughlin Bourne, Class of 1990

“We say these kids grow up watching OA basketball, they want to play for Laney, they want to play for their hometown high school. The kids really want to be part of this program that they’ve grown up watching since they were little. That’s Laney. She puts the time in. We won the Dracut game and the next day I think eight of our players showed up at the fourth-grade championship game for Metro. Those are the kind of kids that she’s coaching and that’s what she’s teaching them, that you’re part of something bigger. Those little girls are looking up to you. That’s the kind of program that she’s built at OA.”Christine Hochstein, OA assistant coach

“She tried to really broaden my perspective as a player and it took until my senior year to see the value in that lesson and what she was trying to get across. I gave a little and she gave a little and she allowed me to be the best version of myself. You know when you go bowling with little kids and you have the bumpers on the side? I think that’s what she tried to do my senior year, allow me to think it was my idea but she was keeping me in the lane. High school basketball didn’t make me a better three-point shooter, but it definitely made me a better teammate, it definitely made me a better leader, definitely helped prepare me for challenges that I would face in college and as a coach. I think the fact that she brings so much of herself to the table, her character, and that she lives the values she preaches to us that eventually, she’s going to get through.”Brittany Engle, 2006 state champion, OA assistant coach

Clement-Holbrook Retires After 47 Years at OA

Oliver Ames girls basketball
OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook celebrates with her players after earning the 700th win of her career. (Josh Perry/HockomockSports.com)

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After more than 40 years on the sidelines, Oliver Ames girls basketball coach Laney Clement-Holbrook has announced her retirement. Clement-Holbrook finished with a state record 733 career wins in her 47 years, averaging more than 15 wins per season. She won three state titles (2006, 2010, and 2022) and 19 Hockomock League titles, including at least one in each of the past five decades.

Clement-Holbrook is a member of the Dedham High, Bridgewater State University, New England Basketball, Massachusetts Basketball Coaches, and Oliver Ames Halls of Fame. She was also the first female president of the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association and in 2017 was selected to coach the McDonald’s All-American game.

Just last week, Clement-Holbrook led the Tigers to a win over previously undefeated top seed Norwood to win her state title.

Read the full press release from Oliver Ames athletic director Bill Matthews below:

EASTON — Superintendent Lisha Cabral and Athletic Director Bill Matthews announce that girls basketball Coach Elaine Clement-Holbrook has retired following close to 50 years coaching athletics at Oliver Ames High School. She began coaching at OAHS in 1975 as an assistant field hockey coach, assistant
basketball coach and the head softball coach. She became the head basketball coach during the 1976-77 season. Coach Clement-Holbrook’s overall record is 733-244. In January 2016, she broke the Massachusetts record for most wins by a girls basketball coach, passing the previous record of 633 wins.

Her teams have qualified for the State Tournament 44 times in 46 years. The team won the championship in 2006 and 2010, and for a third time earlier this month. Other team accomplishments with Coach Clement-Holbrook at the helm include:
19 Hockomock League Titles
Four Division 2 South Sectional Championships
Two Division 2 Eastern Mass Championships
Two-time Division 2 State Semifinalists
Three-time Division 2 South Sectional Finalists
Four-time Division 2 South Sectional Semifinalists

Coach Clement-Holbrook has been named the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association (MBCA) Coach of the Year four times, and recognized by both the MBCA
and Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) with Victory Club Awards for each time passing another 100 wins, the latest recognition being for 700 wins in 2020. She has also been recognized as Coach of the Year by the Brockton Enterprise, Boston Globe, Hockomocksports.com, National Federation Interscholastic Coaches Association for District 1-Northeast, and the WBCA-District 1.

During her career, she additionally received the Oswald Tower Award for Professionalism and Ethics in Coaching in 2011, and was selected to be Head Coach
of the East for the McDonald’s All American Game in Chicago in 2017.

“Coach Clement-Holbrook will leave an amazing legacy with Oliver Ames athletics. She has mentored and coached hundreds of Oliver Ames students during her career, and has served as an excellent role model demonstrating patience, dedication, enthusiasm and humility,” Director Matthews said. “She has achieved many incredible coaching milestones and consistently set her teams up to succeed year in and year out. More importantly, she has instilled character and values in her team members. She will be missed by our student-athletes and athletics staff. We wish her the best in her retirement.”

Added Superintendent Cabral, “Coach Clement-Holbrook’s abilities, experience and dedication are extraordinary. She will leave a lasting legacy and example for others in Easton that is almost impossible to recreate. Her impact is far beyond athletic coaching. Her athletes and students alike have benefitted from her consistent model of courage, passion and excellence that will touch their loves forever. We are fortunate that she will continue teaching at Oliver Ames, but she will be missed tremendously as a member of our coaching staff.”

Coach Clement-Holbrook has served as a district representative for the MBCA and as the MBCA’s first female president, and on the WBCA High School Coaches Committee. She is an inductee of the Northeast New Agenda Hall of Fame (1992), Dedham High School Athletic Hall of Fame- Inaugural Class (1999), Bridgewater State College Athletic Hall of Fame (2001), New England Basketball Hall of Fame (2006), Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame (2008), and the Oliver Ames High School Athletic Hall of Fame (2018).

She has officially retired from coaching following the conclusion of the 2021-22 season. She is currently continuing to teach classes at Oliver Ames.

2022 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars, selected by the coaches in the league.

Hockomock League MVP

Kiara Cerruti, Canton

Hockomock League All Stars

Meg Gordon, Attleboro
Lindsay Perry, Attleboro
Kiara Cerruti, Canton
Fay Gallery, Canton
Kailey Sullivan, Foxboro
Camryn Collins, Foxboro
Olivia Quinn, Franklin
Stef Padula, Franklin
Katie Peterson, Franklin
Olivia Lafond, King Philip
Abby Wager, Mansfield
Maddie Mannucci, Milford
Summer Doherty, North Attleboro
Caroline Pepper, Oliver Ames
Jasmyn Cooper, Oliver Ames
Jasmine Davis, Sharon
Kameron St. Pierre, Taunton

Honorable Mentions
Kayla Goldrick, Attleboro
Sydney Gallery, Canton
Erin Foley, Foxboro
Brigid Early, Franklin
Emily Sawyer, King Philip
Kara Santos, Mansfield
Brooke Ferreira, Milford
Hailey Bourne, Oliver Ames
Rachel Hager, Sharon
Jess Maddalena, Stoughton
Katrina Varnum, Stoughton
Cali Mello, Taunton

Below are the official 2022 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. Below are the official Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars and honorable mentions, selected by the coaches in the league. 2022 Hockomock League Girls Basketball All Stars

Player of the Week: Jasmyn Cooper, Oliver Ames Basketball

Jasmyn Cop[er
 
By HockomockSports.com Staff

Oliver Ames sophomore Jasmyn Cooper has been selected as the HockomockSports.com Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, for March 6 through March 20. Cooper is the 24th player chosen as Player of the Week for the 2021-22 school year and the 13th of the winter season.

Cooper capped off a stellar sophomore season by helping the Tigers beat top seed, and unbeaten, Norwood in the Div. 2 state title game on Saturday night at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. Cooper scored a game-high 22 points, including 12 of OA’s 14 points in the third quarter, and grabbed 10 rebounds, all while being OA’s primary ball-handler. She was one of OA’s star performers throughout the tournament, culminating in a third state title for the Tigers.

“Jasmyn can play the point, she can play the post, she can play the wing,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook following the state title game. “She’s so calm and she’s so collected for a sophomore, it’s just amazing to me.”

After a big win over North Middlesex in the opening round, Cooper led the Tigers to a third win this season against division rival Foxboro. Cooper scored 22 points, including six of OA’s 10 points in the decisive run in the fourth quarter that put the game away. In the quarterfinal round, Cooper scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, as OA scored 84 points as a team to beat Dracut. Cooper also showed her versatility on the defensive end, holding Ashlee Talbot to just three points in the third quarter (she finished with 40 on the night) to help the Tigers pull away.

In the semifinal, facing a Medfield team that had beaten the Tigers twice in the regular season, Cooper filled the stat sheet with her all-around game. She scored 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds, dished out eight assists, and had three steals. OA beat the Warriors in overtime to get to the final. At the Tsongas Center, Cooper was matched up against Norwood star Megan Olbrys and took advantage of the matchup to score eight points in the first and get OA in front early. On the other end of the floor, Cooper chased Norwood guard Erin Reen and made it difficult for her to get clean looks from the perimeter.

The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Jasmyn Cooper
Jasmyn Cooper The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Jasmyn Cooper The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Jasmyn Cooper The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Jasmyn Cooper The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Jasmyn Cooper The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Jasmyn Cooper The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Jasmyn Cooper The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision. Jasmyn Cooper The Player of the Week, presented by Morse Insurance, is selected by the HockomockSports.com staff. Nominations can be submitted throughout the week up until Saturday night at midnight. There may be a poll posted on every Sunday with the nominations. The results of the poll influence the selection but do not strictly dictate the decision.

Murphy’s Return Was Final Piece To Oliver Ames’ Puzzle

Anna Murphy Oliver Ames
Oliver Ames senior Anna Murphy dribbles to the basket in the first half against Norwood. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 LOWELL, Mass. — Legendary Oliver Ames head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook likes to describe her squad as a puzzle, the players fitting together to create a true team.

The Tigers temporarily lost one of the pieces to its puzzle in the middle of February when senior Anna Murphy was forced out of action with a concussion in a win over Foxboro.

Anna Murphy

Murphy didn’t play the final four games of the regular season, which included two of OA’s three losses this entire year, missed the first-round win over North Middlesex, and saw very little action in the playoff rematch with Foxboro, essentially missing a half dozen games to close the season.

Click here for a photo gallery from Oliver Ames vs. Norwood.

“It was difficult, I just remember thinking how bad I wanted to be back, I really wanted to be back but I wasn’t getting better as quick as I wanted to but I wanted to be ready for the tournament,” Murphy said. “And Laney knew that too, she kept telling me to take my time. It took a little longer than I wanted, even though it wasn’t the same as before, it worked out perfectly fine.

“It was unfortunate because I had to stay indoors, I missed everyone so much. I was FaceTiming them at the pasta dinners…it was unfortunate it happened but I think it helped us grow and it made me appreciate the time I had with all of them. It makes me sad to think it’s over now.”

Now back in the fold, Murphy played a vital role in helping Oliver Ames clinch the Division 2 State Championship with a 53-48 win over previously undefeated Norwood.

“Getting her back, absolutely completed [the puzzle],” Clement-Holbrook said. It broke our heart that she missed six games because of that concussion. It was just like God looking over our shoulders and this made things right. The fact that she contributed in that way, especially tonight, it was like all the pieces were back together.

“I always talk about a puzzle, we are one big puzzle. Just because someone’s piece is bigger or someone’s is smaller, if you pull it out, it’s not a complete puzzle anymore.”

The senior reserve has been a big boost in the early goings throughout the playoff run, getting six points in the win over Dracut and adding a basket in the first half of OA’s overtime thriller against Medfield in the state semifinals.

It continued on Saturday night at the Tsongas Center, converting a layup in the first quarter for a 15-10 lead, and then adding a floater (20-14) and a putback in the second, the latter bucket giving the Tigers a 24-21 lead at halftime.

“We absolutely missed her,” said classmate Caroline Peper. “With her out it was a missing part of our team. Even in the Medfield game, we knew she was going to be the key component that was missing in our previous games. We knew she was going to make a great impact and just needed to do what she was doing before she left.”

While her offensive contributions in the first half were important, her points in the fourth were gigantic for the Tigers. OA was forced into some lineup changes due to foul trouble, and the Norwood defense was zoned in on stopping Peper and sophomore Jasmyn Cooper. That left plenty of opportunity for others to step up and Murphy took advantage.

Anna Murphy

She hit nothing but net on a tough elbow jumper with under four minutes to play that put the Tigers ahead 44-38. And she wasn’t rattled by the bright lights or loud crowd either as she sank a pair of free throws to make it 48-43 with two minutes to go.

“She’s so consistent, such a great role model,” Cooper said. ”She gives us great energy off the court and on the court. It really brings the energy up in the gym.”

The Mustangs battled back into the game, a quick 5-1 burst capped by a strong take from Erin Reen got the top-seed within one with 25.9 seconds left. After missing the free throw, Murphy hauled in a huge defensive rebound and was fouled.

Cool as a cucumber, the senior sank both free throws to push OA’s lead back to three at 51-48 with 21 seconds left in the game. OA got a final stop and Peper iced the game with two free throws with just seconds left.

“I think everyone believes in everyone else on this team, which is amazing,” Murphy said. “We’re all so skilled and developed players that we aren’t afraid to take it when we need to. Pep was being guarded like crazy, Kaydance [Derba] was in foul trouble, and it’s those times that the whole team works together. At that point, it was just finding the open player.”

On top of her offensive showing, Murphy had her hands full on the defensive side. Classmate Hailey Bourne, one of the best defenders in the region, picked up two fouls early on and battled foul trouble all game. That meant Murphy was tasked with guarding Villanova-commit and 1,000-point scorer Megan Olbrys.

Click here for a photo gallery from Oliver Ames vs. Norwood.

While Olbrys finished with a team-high 21 points, she was consistently and constantly heavily defended by Murphy and others.

Anna Murphy

“Without question [everyone had their moment]. The only two players who had the physicality to handle [Meg Olbrys] were Hailey [Bourne] and Murph. When Murph came in, she stepped up.

“It was just so satisfying for me because I just felt like she had been so cheated but it ends with us winning a state championship so I couldn’t be happier.”

Murphy’s return proved to be the final piece needed in Oliver Ames’ puzzle, and that resulted in the D2 State Championship.

OA Corrals Norwood, Wins Third State Championship

Oliver Ames girls basketball
Oliver Ames players celebrate after clinching the 2022 Division 2 State Championship with a win over Norwood. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
Josh PerryFollowJoshPerry


LOWELL, Mass. – There were less than three seconds remaining in Saturday night’s Div. 2 state title game at the Tsongas Center when Oliver Ames senior guard Caroline Peper stepped to the line. Despite not having scored to that point in the game and with raucous crowds on both sides of the gym making a deafening noise, OA’s leading scorer, who reached the 1,000-point mark for her career in the playoff opener, had the chance to seal a championship.

Peper (eight rebounds), a 97-percent foul shooter this season, barely hesitated, knocking down both free throws to knock out top seed Norwood. Oliver Ames (22-3) led practically from start to finish, walking away with a 53-48 victory, handing the top seed its first loss of the season, and claiming the program’s third state title.

“This to me is the most magnificent moment these kids will ever have and it’s all because of each other,” said OA coach Laney Clement-Holbrook, who earned career win No. 733 on Saturday. “It’s been like a family for the entire year and it couldn’t have ended any better for that family. I’m incredibly proud of them.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

When asked what was going through her mind with a chance to clinch a title, Peper explained, “I knew they were going to go in and that was going to be it. A little different knowing there wasn’t a game after. I don’t know, I never expected it [to end] this way. I’m sure it will hit me tomorrow but I’m so glad that I did it with this team. I absolutely love them, they’re my favorite people, and they deserve it 100 percent.”

The focal point entering the game was Norwood’s star forward Megan Olbrys. The Villanova-commit had the type of size and all-around game that could cause OA problems on both ends of the floor. Rather than Norwood’s experience, it was OA’s youth that took control of the game early on.

Oliver Ames girls basketball

Sophomore Jasmyn Cooper (game-high 22 points and 10 rebounds) was matched up with Olbrys on the offensive end, so the Tigers made her the primary ball-handler. Cooper got an early bucket on a nice pass by classmate Kaydance Derba, drove past Olbrys for a layup, got out on the break after a Peper steal and look-ahead, and took a feed from fellow sophomore Sarah Hilliard (15 points, two blocks, three steals, and three assists) for another finish at the rim.

Clement-Holbrook said, “We set up our offense based on the fact that we were going to keep Olbrys away from the basket and Jasmyn can play the point, she can play the post, she can play the wing. She’s so calm and she’s so collected for a sophomore, it’s just amazing to me.”

With Cooper scoring eight points and Hilliard adding five, OA jumped out to a 13-8 lead. On the defensive end, Hailey Bourne picked up two quick fouls guarding Olbrys (team-high 21 points) in the paint, so Anna Murphy (12 points) came off the bench to take on that challenge. They held Norwood’s star to just three free throws in the first. Murphy also got a basket to make it 15-10 after one.

Oliver Ames girls basketball

Hilliard got the second quarter started with a long three. The eight-point lead would be the largest of the night for the Tigers. Norwood crept back into the game. Erin Reen (14 points) drilled a three and Olbrys finally got free in the paint for a basket.

A second three from Reen cut the lead to just one, 22-21, but Murphy battled for an offensive rebound and scored to push the lead back to three at the break. It was a scrappy quarter for the Tigers, but energy off the bench from Murphy, Maddie Homer, and Sophia Krinsky helped keep OA in front.

The third quarter turned into a duel between Olbrys and Cooper. The Norwood senior knocked down a pair from beyond the arc and then a free throw from Tricia Wlodkowski tied the game at 28-28. Cooper answered back. She spun through the lane and finished, drove past Olbrys for a layup, and then got out in transition to finish off a two-on-one following a Hilliard steal.

Cooper scored 12 of OA’s 14 points in the third and had the Tigers up 38-35 heading to the fourth. She said, “It’s amazing having this amazing team, amazing coaching staff, to celebrate this moment with me. I feel like the crowd, the environment of the gym just kept me going and kept me pushing to the end.”

After shooting only two free throws in the first half, OA also got to the line eight times in the third, making them all, and would finish the game shooting 18-of-20 from the charity stripe.

OA looked like it was going to break the game open in the fourth. Hilliard drove baseline for a layup and then took off straight down the lane for another bucket to open up a seven-point gap. Alexa Coras drilled a corner three, her only points of the night, to cut the lead back to four but Murphy was clutch again, hitting two at the line and nailing a long jumper that made it 48-41 with less than three minutes remaining.

Oliver Ames girls basketball

In the semifinal against Medfield, the Tigers let and eight-point lead slip and had to go to overtime to get the win. On Saturday, Norwood put together the late rally. Olbrys scored on a put-back and Wlodkowski scored on an inbounds play to make it a one-possession game. After an OA turnover, Reen burst through the lane and scored plus a foul, but she was unable to make the free throw (Norwood was 10-for-22 from the line) and Murphy grabbed the rebound with 22.6 on the clock.

“My mantra is always defense, rebounds, and free throws, and tonight that was really the answer,” Clement-Holbrook said. “Especially late, especially when it was in bonus, Hilliard, Peper, Cooper, Murphy, they were all money. It was awesome.”

Murphy, who missed several games near the end of the season with a concussion, drilled both of her free throws to put OA up three. After Norwood missed two chances on the other end, the ball ended up in Peper’s hands to put the final touches on a championship season.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“One hundred percent confidence she was making both of them,” said Cooper. “She’s a great free throw shooter, great captain, just a great person to look up to overall.”

The sophomore added, “It’s good that we shared all of our moments together. I feel like collectively as a team we didn’t play selfish basketball, we played good team basketball to get this win. We all have confidence. We’re going to get that bucket no matter what.”

“Everybody has a part,” said Clement-Holbrook. “I always talk about a puzzle. Just because somebody’s piece is bigger than another or smaller than another, you pull that out and it doesn’t look like a puzzle any more.

“We really felt like we had a difficult challenge on our side of the bracket and I think with each progression and each game that we won I could see such incredible personal growth in each one of my players to the point where it was like building momentum for us…I’m so incredibly proud of them.”

Oliver Ames girls basketball

Oliver Ames Books Spot In Final After Overtime Thriller

Oliver Ames girls basketball
Oliver Ames celebrates after its overtime win over Medfield in a D2 State Semifinal matchup. (Ryan Lanigan/HockomockSports.com)
ByRyanLanigan_2016FollowRyanLanigan_2016
 
 
 
QUINCY, Mass. — For the first time in over a decade, the Oliver Ames girls basketball team is heading back to the Division 2 State championship game.

The third time proved to be the charm for the Tigers against Medfield as Oliver Ames, who had lost back-to-back games to the Warriors at the end of the regular season, emerged from a hard-fought battle with a 62-59 overtime win to earn a spot in the D2 Final.

The victory wasn’t secure until the last second — all tenths of it — ticked off the clock and the final buzzer sounded in overtime. The journey to get there was full of twists and turns, punches and counter punches, and momentum swings you couldn’t script in a Hollywood thriller.

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

“When you play the same team three times, all sorts of things happen,” said Oliver Ames head coach Laney Clement-Holbrook. “You’re just so very familiar with each other and what each other does…it comes down to execution. There were moments I thought we had it, and then there were times we made it a little too easily for them. But the thing I’m most proud of is their resiliency because they didn’t quit, they didn’t give up, and they came back.”

While Medfield had the edge for the first two quarters, Oliver Ames surged ahead during the second half. But even with some big runs, the Tigers couldn’t quite put the Warriors away in regulation.

Similar to their 10-0 run in the third quarter, Oliver Ames hit its stride in the fourth quarter and looked poised to run away with the win. The Tigers rattled off a 13-6 run over a four-minute span, a triple from sophomore Kaydance Derba (nine points, four assists) shortly after OA broke the press put OA ahead 51-43 with two minutes to go in the game.

But similar to how the Warriors responded to OA’s big run in the third (a 7-0 run of their own), Medfield quickly turned the game on its head. Ann McCarthy (28 points, eight rebounds) drew back-to-back fouls for four straight free throws. After a traveling call on OA, McCarthy attacked the rim for two more to make it a two-point game.

Medfield kept the pressure up and forced another turnover and McCarthy splashed in a triple to complete a personal 9-0 run as the Warriors suddenly jumped ahead 52-51 with under a minute to go.

Oliver Ames girls basketball

OA had a shot blocked and then turned it over on the ensuing inbounds play, giving Medfield the ball with the lead and just 19.1 seconds to go.

There was no quit in the Tigers as both senior Hailey Bourne (three steals, three blocks) and sophomore Jasmyn Cooper (14 points, eight rebounds, eight assists, three steals) read the inbounds play perfectly and combined for the steal. Cooper found classmate Sarah Hilliard (six points, 10 rebounds, four assists), who alertly dished it off to senior Caroline Peper (26 points, eight rebounds, three blocks) for an easy layup and OA was back up 53-51 with 12 seconds to go.

Bourne came up with a steal on Medfield’s ensuing inbounds but after a foul, the Warriors got a steal of their own, and McCarthy was fouled. The Medfield star hit the first to tie the game but was short on the second. OA grabbed the rebound, was fouled instantly but their 1-and-1 chance from the line with 0.2 seconds left was off and the game headed to overtime.

“I want to give kudos to our crowd,” Clement-Holbrook said. “We’ve had a couple of the boys come to practice with us the last week and they showed up and brought more people, and they were so important. Those foul shots at the end, I just kind of turned to them and they ramped up the noise. That’s high school basketball.

“These kids just love to play, the senior class has been absolutely amazing in terms of paying it forward for these young kids. They are demonstrating the right things, saying and doing the right things, both on and off the court. I’m so proud of them.”

After each team hit a free throw to open overtime, Cooper came down with an offensive board and put it back in to give the Tigers a 56-54 lead. A baseline make from Medfield tied it but Derba fired a beautiful bullet pass to Cooper cutting to the rim for two and another lead.

Although OA got a stop, the Tigers turned it over trying to take it over half. Bourne had another terrific play, coming up with a block that was called a jump ball, and OA had the possession arrow.

The Tigers couldn’t add to the lead and McCarthy came back with another layup to tie it, but Peper was fouled and went to the line in the double bonus.

She sank both.

Medfield answered with one of their own, but with under 30 seconds to go, the Warriors had to foul and OA made sure to get the ball to Peper.

She sank both, again.

“Yeah, that’s a situation I want to be in, that was the plan to get the ball,” Peper said. “I’m pretty confident in my free throw shooting, I shoot a lot of them in practice. I was ready to be in that position.”

With a 62-59 lead, the Tigers got another final stop, and one last halfcourt heave from the Warriors was off the mark to seal the win.

“When it went to the situation in overtime where they had to foul, we want Peper at the line,” Clement-Holbrook said. “She’s got ice in her veins. We wanted her to get her hands on the ball.”

Oliver Ames saw a pair of eight-point leads disappear, once in each quarter. The latter putting the Tigers just seconds away from a defeat, but Bourne credited her teams’ resiliency for being able to bounce back.

“We never put our heads down, we just kept going,” Bourne said. “Even when there was just one second left on the clock, we never put our heads down. We all came together and just really looked at each other and said, ‘We got this.’ No one dropped their head at all. I think that just goes to show how determined we are.

“It’s very hard to beat a good team three times and we felt like we had nothing to lose.”

It was a slow start on the offensive end for the Tigers, who got early baskets from Cooper and Peper, and a late one from Anna Anna Murphy but trailed 12-6 after a quarter.

Oliver Ames girls basketball

Once OA was able to get its outside scoring going, the offense opened up. Peper hit a pair of triples and Derba added one of her own to get the Tigers within one. After Medfield responded, Peper hit nothing but net on another triple, and Cooper found Hilliard down low for two as the Tigers cut the deficit to 24-22 at the break.

“[Peper] and Kaydance got the offense going,” Clement-Holbrook said. “We wanted to get the ball inside but Medfield did a great job of taking it away, there was not a lot of space. I have three sophomores in my starting lineup, so this was really their first time with this environment. Just from an emotional standpoint, the noise, the crowd, I thought they handled themselves beautifully.”

Click here for a photo gallery from this game.

Hilliard returned the favor to Cooper three minutes into the second and that sparked a 10-0 run for OA. Peper hit another three and then found Maddie Homer for a layup. A steal from Hilliard ended up with yet another three from Peper and the Tigers surged ahead 38-30. Medfield applied its full court press and closed the quarter with a 7-0 burst to make it 38-37 going into the fourth.

“We knew the pressure was on them,” Peper said of playing Medfield for a third time, having lost the two meetings. “We believed we could beat them because we had some of our players missing on those games that are pretty key components to our team. We weren’t ourselves those games so we came into this game wanting it so bad.”

Oliver Ames girls basketball will take on the winner of #1 Norwood and #5 Whitman-Hanson in the Division 2 State Championship at the Tsongas Center, with the date (either Friday, Saturday, or Sunday) and time to be announced.