The girls’ game was a thrilling win by Sturgis East, who led by 11 points at halftime and held on to beat the Navigators, 37-30. Izzy Roberge scored a game-high 17 points, with her most important point being a free throw that gave East (6-12 final record) a 29-28 lead with 2:55 left in the game that they would not relinquish. The Sturgis West Navigators (8-7) struggled to rebound against the taller Storm forwards, and junior Ashley Da Cruz’s impressive offensive rebound after Roberge missed her second free throw produced another foul and free throw for a 30-28 lead.
Caroline Sullivan hit five free throws and nine total points in the closing minutes of the match to keep the Storm out of trouble. Not only did the win avenge a 41-34 loss to Sturgis West last month, it also improved the Lady Storm’s record to 5-1. Special congratulations to seniors Izzy Roberge, Meg Borowski, and Sarah Clifford, who all played superbly in their last games in Sturgis uniforms! Though the girls’ basketball team barely missed the state tournament, their impressive run to close the season bodes well for next year.
Sawyer Gibbons steals the ball from Sturgis West to break West’s five game winning streak
The subsequent boys’ basketball match between East and West was just as nail-biting. The Storm tenaciously roared back from a 16-point deficit to upset Sturgis West 56-49 at the Hyannis Youth and Community Center on a freezing Thursday night. The Storm (11-8 overall), despite trailing by seven points with only four minutes remaining, played ferociously during a 15-2 run to close out the rivalry match. The win propels East into their first ever basketball state tournament with more momentum than ever before.
Despite converting only two of ten free throws in the first two quarters, the Storm, made an astonishing 17 of 23 free throws after the break. Three-year varsity member Sawyer Gibbons led the comeback with 19 points in his chase for 1000 points, while Cole Woodbury and Jake LaMotte were no less impressive as they scored 18 points and 15 points, respectively.
The win put the Storm in a favorable position as they await the seeding for the MIAA South Sectional State Tournament bracket. With an above-.500 record, the Storm may have just earned a home state tournament game through their grit and hard work. Congratulations to seniors Carter Otis, Kelly Britton, Max Putman, Chris Neuman, and Caleb Clarkson, whose leadership has indubitably helped the Storm reach its first ever state tournament in basketball!