Boston High School: Allexia Barros
March, 14, 2011
By Corey J. Allen | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- Less than a minute left, down by four, New Bedford is inbounding the ball and all they can think about is scoring another basket, making it a 6-0 run for the Whalers. Ally Fazio from Andover had another plan; steal the ball, get it into Nicole Boudreau’s hands, who will score the final four points of the game from the free throw line, sealing the 54-46 win for Andover tonight at the TD Garden.
“Ally is a huge part of this team,” said Andover junior guard Nicole Boudreau (28 pts, 12 rebounds, five steals, two blocks). “We know she has great driving skills, and offensive skills, but we really need her for defense. She’s a great on the ball defender.”
“I’m really confident in Nicole shooting foul shots for us,” said Fazio (6 points, four rebounds). “We got a pretty good lead… so I was confident.”
Early in the third quarter, New Bedford (23-1) took the lead on an Alexia Barros (17 points, eight rebounds) three pointer. Nicole Boudreau tied it up at 31 with a field goal, but then the Whalers’ Brianna Perry (eight points) and Barros both scored, putting New Bedford up by four at 35-31.
“I could see my kids dropping their heads a little,” said Andover coach James Tildsley. He then called a time out. “‘Hey, we’re getting good shots, we’ve just got to hit them,’” Tildsley told the girls during the break.
Lo and behold, they started hitting shots. By the end of the barrage, the Golden Warriors (25 -1) outscored New Bedford 14-2 for the remainder of the quarter, going up 45-37 heading into the fourth quarter.
“I thought we were carless with the basketball on two or three occasions, which led to easy baskets that didn’t allow our defense to set,” said New Bedford head coach Mickey Gonsalves. “When it comes down to it, seems like that could have been the difference in the game.”
New Bedford’s 5-foot-11 Arielle Gomes had 16 rebounds and ten points, but Tildsley was proud of his 5-foot-5 sophomore Jackie Alois who he felt did a good job on Gomes.
“She got her tired, but she is a great player,” added Tildsley, after praising the resilience of the entire New Bedford team for staying in the game.
The fourth quarter was even scoring wise, with both teams scoring nine, but six of Andover’s nine came from Boudreau who was 4-6 from the line in the quarter, 8-10 for the game.
“I probably got more assists than points,” said Natalie Gomez-Martinez, who literally jumped into the Will McDonough media room, tapping the door frame as if it were a backboard. She was correct, as she had 10 assists and five points. But she was OK with her shots not falling, as she felt comfortable playing her role. “I’m a playmaker first, then a scorer… I had a low scoring game, but I’d rather have the win.”
Besides dishing out dimes to her teammates, Gomez-Martinez spent some face time with the famed parquet floor making sure that her team had the chance to make their shots.
“She wasn’t hitting her shot, and those will come, but she didn’t drop her head,” said Tildsley. “She had a great defensive game on Roach and she kept us together. She gets after those loose balls. She hits the floor too. She wants to win.”
“I usually carry [the hustle] throughout the season but tonight was definitely more special,” said Gomez-Martinez. “Playing my last game here at the Garden as a senior, when we were close in the game, I tried going all over the court and just play my heart out, because who knows, it could have been my last game. So I don’t regret anything, I went for loose balls and I did all that because that’s my game, and it was awesome.”
March, 11, 2011
By Lucas Shapiro | ESPNBoston.com
BOSTON -- When a team averages a margin of victory of nearly 20 points per game, you would expect there to occasionally be a close one and there was in the Division 1 South final at the TD Garden tonight. The undefeated New Bedford Whalers faced the underdog Mansfield Hornets and squeezed out a 47-46 victory, despite going 5-of-18 from the free throw line and a late half-court shot by Mansfield’s Michaela Bowes.
"It was a little concern because we were missing free-throws. We are not that bad at the free throw line, “said New Bedford coach Michael Gonsalves. “That young lady hit that half court shot and if we did not get that last free throw, we'd still be out there in overtime."
“Last game, we shot well from the free-throw line. I don’t know what it was today,” said New Bedford senior Alyssa Roach.
The game started off with Kathryn Campbell attacking the rim and getting good looks for her teammates. Campbell, who finished with 15 points, helped Mansfield go on a 6-0 run to end the half with her great court vision for teammates streaming down the court. Mansfield’s 3-2 zone got them many steals and good looks in transition.
"I thought they were outstanding. We were trying to figure them out. We were doing our weave at the top, which we are famous for.
They were just switching people off and we have routines where we have kids cut through and it seems the kid in the back was picking up the cut, so we told our wings to stay a little wider.
Going into the fourth quarter, the with the wings spread out, Allexia Barros -- who finished with a team high 23 points -- hit a three-point with 3:01 remaining and Roach hit a three-pointer from NBA range with 2:05 to go, New Bedford put the game to 45-40.
After Campbell hit a three-pointer a few plays later to put it to 45-43, Barros got fouled, went to the line, missed the free throw, and Arielle Gomes grabbed the offensive rebound and got fouled. Barros hit one of two free throws to put it at 46-43.
The play of the game was made by Roach after she got a steal in the press from Michaela Bowes and got fouled. While Roach missed both free throws, Gomes came up with another clutch offensive rebound, got fouled, and hit one of two free throws.
"I thought our defense stepped up with the intensity,” said Gonsalves. “I thought we had of good looks for most of the evening. I don't think we shot a good percentage. But we spread the floor, opened up the gaps and were lucky to get open for a couple of threes down the stretch which gave us some breathing space."
The key to the game came down to which team made the adjustments and stayed focused. While New Bedford’s free throw shooting almost cost them the game, they broke the 3-2 zone well and adjusted their defense to force many key turnovers.
Said Gonsalves, "What we did was take someone off the ball. When we had someone on the ball and they were double-screening away and it gave them numbers on the way back. So we took somebody off the ball and they had to get through our pressure and get all the way down the court."
It wasn’t one of New Bedford’s typical high scoring game and Gonsalves gave credit where credit was due.
"We played one hell of a Mansfield team."
Quiet But Effective
While she was not her team’s high scorer, Gomes was just as important as any of her other teammates. Gomes had 13 points, 18 rebounds, and five blocks against Mansfield’s Colleen Copley, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. The two were battling on the boards all night long, but one thing that made Gomes happy with was her shot blocking.
“I’m getting back from an injury, so I haven’t been jumping a lot. I’m just getting back into the swing of things and getting the side that I usually had back.”
With New Bedford headed to the semifinals, it certainly is a good time to be getting back into the swing of things.