The Dublin girls' Varsity team travelled with high hopes to Loomis Chaffe School in Connecticut to compete in the New England Prep School Athletic Conference tournament. With the boys' Nordic team having won Dublin's first ever NEPSAC Championship last week, the girls hoped to bring back a second trophy to the school. Unfortunately, with a one point, last second loss in the finals, the weekend didn't end completely as they had hoped.
The Dublin played a strong team from Oakwood Friends School from Poughkeepsie, NY in the semi-finals. Oakwood was unable to find a way to contain Dublin's fast break game. The girls were loose and looked to make the extra pass and find the the open player. Shaneil Wynter '17 returned to play after a being sidelined last game with a sprained ankle, and her energy was immediately felt on the court, pulling down rebounds on both the offensive and defensive ends. Stella Davis '18, led all scorers with a career high of 43 points, and point guard Bette Imhoff '18 added 24 points of her own. Oakwood made Dublin's zone defense work hard, taking advantages, when they could, of missed rotations. Dublin scored a record high 82 points in the win over Oakwood and felt confident as they looked towards their match-up against Providence Country Day School in the finals on Sunday.
As the Dublin girls' team stepped on the floor on Sunday, they were making history: the first time in a Dublin basketball team was in the NEPSAC finals. Dublin looked loose and confident as they warmed up but this wasn't to be their day.
Providence Country Day School came out with a smothering press from the start of the game that Dublin wasn't able to overcome. This resulted in a number of turn-overs and easy baskets for PCD and never allowed Dublin to settle into its game. Dublin tried to force its offense against PCD's zone, but they were unable to finish or draw the fouls. Dublin held on to a narrow lead for most of the first half until the final minutes and ended up going into the half down by 1. Coming out of halftime, PCD started to build on their lead, but the Dublin girls were not going to go down with out a fight. They chipped away at PCD's lead, eventually overtaking them. In the final minutes of the game it looked like Dublin again had control, but PCD made some key shots and cut the lead to 1 point with only seconds left on the clock. Against a tough Dublin defense, PCD was able to inbound the ball and make a final shot as the buzzer sounded, ending Dublin's championship hopes.
The team put in a tremendous effort and left everything on the court. Katia Dermott '17 played an amazing game under the basket, working for position and pulling down rebounds. NEPSAC all-star, Stella Davis '18, and point guard, Bette Imhoff '18, fought to try to get the offense started, ending the game with 22 and 18 points respectively. Co-captain, Sabrina Hayden '17, was perfect from the foul line and made some key shots in the second half, giving everything she could to keep her team in the game. Tatiyana Dunkers '19 came off the bench and added immediate defensive pressure on PCD's ball handlers.
This may have been the first time a Dublin team has been in the championships, but it won't be the last.