HARVARD-Tuesday night's tilt between Littleton and Bromfield has been hyped up from the start of the season, both teams are stacked with talent and determination to make a run come tournament time.
Bromfield's athleticism and heart earned them a berth in the Central Mass. Div. 3 playoffs, after defeating league powerhouse Littleton, 45-41.
" I told the girls that we're going to have to play very well to beat them, and they're going to have to do the same to beat us," said Bromfield head coach Mike Dube. " Rylee Osgood did a great job defensively on Dorey who is going to be a phenomenal player for them. Osgood is arguably the best on-ball defender in our league."
Seniors Montana Burke and Casey Magrath paced the Lady Trojans with 15-points each. Burke is just 19-points shy of the 1,000 point threshold.
Osgood locked down Littleton's leading scorer Erin Dorey to just four points, and she record four steals. Bromfield relinquished their lead only once in the game late in the third quarter, but the Trojans harnessed the killer instinct and silenced the Tigers late flurry.
Bromfield bounded out to an early lead in the first quarter sounding off an 8-1 run highlighted by baskets from senior captain Casey Magrath, and Burke. Burke's lay-up was one of majestic beauty as she knifed her way through a double team and kissed it off the glass with 5:07 remaining in the quarter.
Littleton would go on a bit of a run at the end of the quarter outscoring the Lady Trojans 6-2 down the stretch to pull within seven. Littleton sophomore Kelly Larsen penetrated the lane with a hop-step as she scooped the ball into the cup, with less than a minute left to cap off the first quarter scoring. Bromfield took a slim 10-7 lead into the second.
Bromfield started the first quarter on a 6-0 run. The Tigers were reeling after a spot-up 10-foot jumper from Burke that gave the Lady Trojans their largest lead of the night, with 6:00 remaining in the half. Bromfield continued to try and gain some breathing room, but the Tigers kept shutting the window.
Littleton stormed back to bring the game within one at the end of the quarter on a forceful drive to the cup by Britt White with 1:12 remaining. Bromfield owned a slim 20-19 lead at halftime.
The Lady Trojans came out in the second half recharged, and energized with a three-point projectile by Burke that got the Bromfield faithful off the bleachers to extend their lead to 23-19.
Burke flushed another three-point basket at the top of the key, two minutes later off a brilliant feed from Suzanne Ross to push the Lady Trojans' lead to 28-21. Burke's three-point missiles didn't break the spirit of Littleton as they continued to slither their way back into the game. White hit a couple key baskets at the end of the quarter to bring the Tigers within three, 30-27.
Kellie Larsen provided the Trojans their first and only lead of the game with 6:20 remaining in the game on a strong drive to the basket, 34-33. Bromfield weathered a late 6-0 flourish by the Tigers with a clutch steal by Ross who found Osgood to give the Trojans a three point lead, 42-39 with 32 seconds left.
Magrath swished both free-throws in the final seconds to clinch the Lady Trojans a berth in the postseason.
"Our girls wanted to be in first place after tonight," said Dube. "We had a little bit of an incentivewith the win, we qualify for districts. Littleton is very well coached, and it is going to be a battle when we play them again."