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Bulldogs bite Rockets

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

Needham High School girls varsity basketball traveled to Westwood on Sunday to square off against Canton in the Riley Winter Classic.

Needham jumped out to a quick 4-0 lead, thanks to a pair of hardworking buckets in the paint by junior guard Talia Weinstock (eight points) and senior forward Alaina Ouligian. Canton punched back to take a 5-0 lead, but back-to-back buckets by senior forward Avery Johnson (seven points) and Weinstock gave the Rockets an 8-7 lead at the end of one quarter. 

Canton opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run, highlighted by a pair of 3-pointers by Fay Gallery (17 points), as the Bulldogs took a 14-8 lead and forced Needham to a timeout. Canton’s lead grew to as many as nine at 22-13 before Johnson buried a 3-pointer to pull Needham to within six at halftime at 22-16. 

The third quarter saw Canton’s Gallery sisters, Fay and Sydney (15 points), take over the game. Fay drilled a 3-pointer on the first possession of the third quarter, followed by back-to-back layups from Sydney. Fay hit another 2-point jumper and suddenly, the Bulldogs took a comfortable 32-18 lead into the fourth after outscoring Needham 9-2 throughout the third.

Canton bulked its lead to 16 points at 36-20 following a layup by Erin Beatty and a 2-point floater by Ciara Cerruti. A layup-and-one by Weinstock, along with a 3-pointer by senior captain Lucy Dorion (nine points), helped cut the deficit to 38-25. Unfortunately for Needham, the damage done throughout the third quarter by Canton was too much to overcome. A highlight reel fake and layup by Fay Gallery proved to be the nail in the coffin as the bucket put Canton ahead by 15 points at 40-25. The Bulldogs would go on to win by a final of 45-29

For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.

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