By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
The Bay State Conference champion and No. 4 seed Walpole High School girls varsity basketball team welcomed in No. 29 Notre Dame Academy (NDA) on Friday night for the MIAA Division II round of 32.
Behind a trio of double-digit scoring performances by junior captain and guard Brooke Walonis (14 points), junior guard Chloe Bindon (13 points) and junior power forward Catie Hurley (11 points), the Timbs rolled to a 52-33 victory.
Defensively, Walpole played almost the perfect first half, with Hurley leading the charge with seven rebounds and a pair of blocks throughout the first two quarters. Meanwhile, Walpole began the night on fire from beyond the arc (four for five) as a pair of 3-pointers each by Walonis and Bindon helped the Timbs to a commanding 27-10 lead at halftime.
NDA’s Ava Orlando opened the second half with eight consecutive points, part of an 11-5 run to get the Cougars within 11 at 32-21, forcing Walpole to a timeout. Following the break, Walpole paid heavy attention to Orlando and forced NDA to spread the ball around. The adjustment paid off as a steal by Haley Brigham led to a layup the other way by freshman guard Izzy Adams (five points), followed by 3-pointers from Brigham and Walonis to extend Walpole’s lead to 40-24 at the end of three.
A highlight-reel layup-and-one by Walonis, as well as a pair of hard-nosed baskets in the paint by Hurley, helped Walpole build their lead to as many as 21 points at 52-31. The Timbs went on to win by a final of 52-33 to advance to the Sweet 16.
At the time of print, Walpole will host South High School (Worcester) on March 8 at 6 p.m.
For funny and incisive sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram handles @flano0.