Watertown Girls Basketball Cruises in Second Half to Grab State Tournament Win

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Watertown senior captain Lily Lambo lead the Raiders in scoring in the Round of 32 State Tournament victory over Old Rochester on Friday. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

The Watertown High School girls basketball team pulled away in the second half to cruise to a State Tournament victory, but the game abruptly ended with 37.6 seconds left when a referee collapsed and required medical attention.

The referee was conscious when he was take to hospital in an ambulance after being treated by Watertown Police officers and others in attendance at the Watertown Middle School Gym. UPDATE: The Boston Herald reported that the referee later died en route to the hospital.

The 11th-seeded Raiders won 47-28, but their opponent in the MIAA Div. 3 Round of 32 game, 22nd seed Old Rochester, did not make it easy during the first half of the game. The Raiders led 8-4 after the first quarter, and extended the lead early in the second quarter to 13-6. The Bulldogs battled back to take a 14-13 lead in the middle of the second quarter. Watertown went on a run to end the half with a 20-14 lead.

Senior Emma Garapetian scored 10 points against Old Rochester in the State Tournament game. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Old Rochester’s defensive pressure made an impact on the Raiders in the first half, said Watertown Head Coach Michael Tempesta.

“Their trap zone sped us up and it was just ball faking, and settling down on offense,” Tempesta said. “I was never concerned with our defense, we’ve been playing great defense all year. Once we settled down, moved the ball, made the right passes, got good looks, I think that was the difference in the second half.”

Junior Adiranna Williams scored four points in the State Tournament game against Old Rochester. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

The Raiders extended their lead to 25-18 with 4:40 left in the third quarter, and went into the last period leading 31-25. Watertown’s defense almost shutdown Old Rochester’s offense in the fourth, and the Raiders cruised to a 47-28 win.

One of the keys was rebounding, said Tempesta.

“We talk about gang rebounding: everyone going for it,” he said. “I don’t care if you are the smallest person on the biggest person on that team, you have go to go for that ball.”

Senior Laura Biagiotti (front) and senior Sarah Morrissey look up for the rebound in the Round of 32 State Tourney game. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

Senior captain Lily Lambo scored half of her 12 points in the fourth quarter. Emma Garapetian, a senior, added 10 points, including four in the last frame. Senior Sarah Morrissey scored a basket in each quarter for eight points. Junior Adrianna Williams and senior Laura Biagiotti added four apiece.

Watertown also got contributions off the bench. Junior Caroline Andrade scored five points, and junior Victoria Dicker added two points. Junior Alani Garey also saw significant playing time.

“Everyone has a role and that role can change from game to game, and they were ready for it,” Tempesta said. “Those three, their defensive pressure, their patience on offense rebounding ability — that’s huge. We need all three of them, so I am very happy for them.”

Junior Caroline Andrade came off the bench to score five points for the Raiders against Old Rochester in the State Tourney. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

The Raiders improved to 16-5 and will host the Sweet 16 game after Newburyport (11-10) defeated sixth-seeded Norton, 52-41, on Friday. Watertown will play on Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. at Waltham High School. Tempesta looks forward to an other home game.

“We played well here all year,” he said. “It’s the tournament. You never know what’s going to happen so we are going to treat Newburyport like they are a higher seed. I’m sure their a great team. We’ll have to watch some film on them.”

Watertown senior Sarah Morrissey scored eight in the Round of 32 game. (Photo by Charlie Breitrose)

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