LOWELL — The storylines were easily apparent long before the girls basketball Division 2 North final tipped off last night. Sixth seed Gloucester came into the matchup averaging 60 points per game; No. 5 ranked Arlington Catholic had held opponents to 32.3 points per game.
Gloucester featured speed and accurate outside-shooting. Arlington Catholic brought height and grit in the paint. Sisters Heather Cain and Hannah Cain started for Gloucester, while the Cougars started the Buckley sisters, freshman Maura and senior Rachel.
Arlington Catholic came away with the victory, putting up a 62-49 win at the Tsongas Center in Lowell Saturday. The Cougars head to TD Garden Monday, taking on the South sectional champion in the D-2 state semifinal at 6 p.m.
“This is so great, we get to go back to the state tournament and have another chance to fight for the state title,” said Rachel Buckley. “Being here my final year and getting to do this with my sister in her freshman year is very cool. This was definitely a tough matchup for us tonight because we knew they had a really good offense.”
Arlington Catholic’s journey to the Tsongas Center saw it beat Lynn Classical, rival Arlington and second seed North Andover. The Fishermen earned their ticket to the sectional championship with wins over Marblehead, Salem and No. 1 Reading.
“Our defense has been the cornerstone of the way we play since day one and we knew it would have to stay that way to be successful in the playoffs,” said Cougars head coach Dave Brady. “Especially, with a team like Gloucester, who we knew had very strong shooters and who could get a good lead on the opposition very easily.”
Junior guard Emma Roberson led the Cougars with 21 points, while junior Nicole Catizone put up 16. Maura Buckley added 15 points and a game-high 11 rebounds. Leading the Fishermen were Hannah Cain and Audrey Knowlton with 16 points apiece. Heather Cain sank 15 points while Katrina Munroe poured in 9.
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- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
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