Leicester, Mass. --- Chelsea Blair (Holland, Mass.) scored 19 points and pulled down eight rebounds as the AMCATS of Anna Maria defeated the host Hawks of Becker, 80-73, in the consolation game of the 2011 Worcester City Women's Basketball Tournament on Saturday at the Leicester Gym.
Becker begins its 2011-12 campaign with a 0-2 mark while Anna Maria's record stands at 2-1.
Blair had the hot hand for AMCATS as she made her first four shots from the floor and finished the game shooting 77 percent. Liz Sama (Windsor, Conn.) totaled eleven points with three rebounds. Alison McCarthy (Lynn, Mass.) scored ten points with three three-pointers, seven assists and three steals. Samantha Ashton (Worcester, Mass.) filled up the stat line with nine points, ten rebounds, four assists and three steals. Amanda Hevy (North Brookfield, Mass.) contributed ten points and two steals while coming off the bench. Three-point shooting was key for the Anna Maria as the AMCATS buried ten of thirty from beyond the arc.
Becker's Chelsea Joubert (Westborough, Mass.) led all scorers with 20 points, hitting three-of-five from behind the arc. Tatiana Mojica (Worcester, Mass.) was a revelation inside as she scored 15 points and hauled in 14 rebounds. Mojica hit nine of her ten free throws. Haley Ooms (Valatie, N.Y.) overcame a rough shooting day to score ten points with 11 assists, seven rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
The AMCATS took an early 11-3 lead, capped off by a fast-break layup by Sama. Poor ball-handling and a stingy Anna Maria defense would plague the Hawks early on as they turned the ball over seven times in the first six minutes and finishing with 19 turnovers in the first half alone. The visitors took a 14 point lead after a three pointer by McCarthy gave the AMCATS a 31-17 advantage with 5:45 remaining. Just over a minute later, another three by McCarthy extended the Anna Maria lead to 17 with a 34-17 advantage. The AMCATS would take a 41-25 advantage into halftime.
In the second half, an aggressive Becker attempted to rally with a 14-8 run, capped off by a free throw by Joubert and cutting the AMCAT lead to ten. The Hawks outplayed Anna Maria for most of the second half as they slowly chipped away at the once seemingly insurmountable deficit. With just five minutes remaining, Becker would cut the lead to 70-61 on a layup by Jacqueline Chila (Monroe, Conn.). Less than a minute later, Desnoyers hit a three from the corner to bring the Hawks to within seven, 71-64. Later with just 2:23 remaining in the game, Joubert hit a three to cut the lead to four, 75-71. Then with one minute remaining, Griczika hit two free throws to take the Hawks to within three, 76-73. The Anna Maria lead would ultimately prove too much to overcome, however, as the AMCATS hit four free throws down the stretch, ultimately winning 80-73.
Anna Maria's Ashton and Becker's Joubert both earned All-Tournament honors. The Engineers of WPI will play the Lancers of Worcester State in the tournament championship game at 3 p.m.
Becker will look to earn its first win of the season on Tuesday, November 22nd, as the Hawks host the Trailblazers of MCLA at 7:00 p.m. Anna Maria faces their next opponent on Wednesday, November 30th as they travel to Elms to face the Blazers.