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By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Westwood High School girls varsity basketball team hosted Wellesley on Sunday night in the annual Riley Winter Classic.
The Wolverines (13-6, 10-6) entered Sunday’s contest in search of their third consecutive win and looking to build some momentum heading into the postseason, while the Raiders (5-14, 4-9) looked to snap a three-game losing skid.
Thanks to a pair of double-figure scoring performances by junior forward Hattie Noble (game-high 11 points) and sophomore guard Katie Kissell (10 points), the Wolverines fought their way to a 44-25 victory. Junior guard Kaelagh Malloy (eight points) led Wellesley.Westwood began the game strongly, shooting their way to a 12-4 lead at the end of one, thanks to a 3-pointer by Kissell, as well as a pair of 2-point jumpers by junior guard Caitlin Fleming and senior captain Olivia Holbrook.
A 3-pointer by junior Chloe Callahan (seven points) and a layup by freshman Olivia Williams (nine points) extended Westwood’s lead to 17-4 and forced Wellesley to take a timeout. Following the break, the Raiders went on a quick 6-0 run that featured free throws by Malloy and a 2-point jumper by senior guard Emily Willrich to make it a 17-10 game and forcing Westwood to a timeout. Callahan drilled a 3-pointer immediately following the break, followed by a layup from Kissell to push the lead back into double figures at 22-10. The Wolverines would carry a 22-12 lead into halftime.
The start of the third quarter brought about a resurgence from Wellesley. The Raiders began the second half on a 6-0 run to trim the deficit down to four at 22-18. Malloy sunk a pair of free throws to go along with a layup, as well as a 2-pointer from senior captain Allison Goehringer. Five straight points by Noble on the other end, which included a layup followed by a layup-and-one, extended Westwood’s lead back to nine at 27-18. Back-to-back buckets by Williams, a 3-pointer and a layup to close out the quarter gave Westwood a 32-20 lead at the end of three.
Kissell drilled a 3-pointer to begin the fourth quarter. Freshman Arianna Katzman banked home back-to-back buckets to make it a 17-point game at 39-22. The lead grew to as many as 21 points, thanks to layups by Noble and Kissell. Westwood chewed out the remainder of the clock and came away with the 44-25 victory.
For funny and insightful sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.