Published in the February 25, 2016 edition
By DAN NUNN
NORTH READING — The Lady Hoopsters improved to 17–2 with their Senior Night victory over Austin Prep. They are currently ranked 6th in the Boston Globe Top 20 and with a win over Triton in their final game will clinch a share of the Cape Ann League Kinney Division crown.
Squeak past Austin Prep, 41–38
The Hornets celebrated Senior Night on February 17 with a tight 41–38 victory over the Austin Prep Cougars. Senior captain Jess Lezon led the way with her 14 double-double of the season with 15 points and 20 rebounds. Junior Katerina Hassapis was the only other player in double digits with 11.
Before the opening tip, all nine seniors were recognized. Tri-Captains Carly Swartz, Julia McDonald and Jess Lezon along with Gretchen Burgholzer, Carli Marie Eldridge, Tristan Hoffman, Ciera Mastascusa, Julie Miele and Katherine Welch were honored. And then, in a case of role reversal, they took the opportunity to honor Kathy Lally, their coach from fourth to eighth grade with flowers and gifts at center court.
Both offenses got off to a slow start in the first quarter. At the 1:19 mark of the first the Cougars led 7-4. But North Reading eventually found their rhythm. They went on a 10-0 run to go up 17-7 midway through the second quarter. By halftime the lead was 20-14 Hornets.
The offense continued to play well for most of the third quarter and the Hornets increased the lead to 29-18. But Austin Prep refused to go down without a fight and stormed back. The Cougars went on a 19-6 run and took a 37-35 at the 3:29 mark of the fourth. North Reading didn’t panic though. The Hornets closed the game on a 6-1 run to escape with the win on their home court.