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Winter Sports Highlights 12.23.19

First Boys’ Basketball
Millbrook Holiday Tournament at Millbrook School, Dec. 20 & 21
Dec. 20: Basketball - First Boys’ 44 vs. Pomfret School 51
In the first game of the Millbrook Holiday Tournament, the Martlets played a deep Pomfret team. The entire first half was up and down for both teams. At halftime, the Martlets were only down by several points. In the second half, at one point the Martlets took a brief lead but Pomfret continued to shoot the ball well from the outside. In the closing minutes of the game, Westminster fought back from being down 10 points and cut the lead to two points, 44-42 Pomfret. Chris Robinson '20 led the Martlets with 17 points and eight assists. Rafa Charfole '20 chipped in with 15 points and seven rebounds; Gabe Charleston '21 also had 10 points and six blocks.
 
Dec. 21: Basketball - First Boys’ 59 vs. Kent School 58 (OT)
This was the best game of the Millbrook Holiday Tournament. Kent is a big physical team and it had a good game plan. However, the Martlets were ready to meet the challenge. There was a nice flow to the game by both teams. At the half, the Martlets were down by six points. In the second half, the Martlets held their ground and fought hard. Kent went up by eight points midway through the second half. You could never count the Martlets out because they battled to tie the game in the last few seconds. After a late timeout, Teddy Mangiarotti '21 got a good look at the basket for the game winning shot but it hit the back rim. In OT, the Martlets went down by five early but they showed a ton of grit and pulled out the win. Rafa Charfole '20 and Mangiarotti both led the Martlets with 16 points each. Gabe Charleston '21 had 14 points. Captain Chris Robinson '20 had 10 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. The coaches want to give a huge shoutout to Wylie Clarke '21 who scored his first varsity points against Kent!
 
First Girls’ Basketball
The Ethel Walker School Holiday Invitational, Dec. 20 & 21
Dec. 20: Basketball - First Girls’ 42 vs. Hamden Hall Country Day School 66
Westminster gave a good effort this afternoon but never really contended. The team was down early 15-2, then 20-7 at the end of the first quarter and 41-18 at halftime. Hamden Hall's ball movement was too good and its shooting too precise. Westminster struggled to get its offense started but found a little better rhythm in the second half. Co-captain Bella Tawney '22 led the way with 12 points and 17 rebounds and played excellent help defense. Bianca D'Onofrio ’23 capitalized on 8-10 free throw shooting to tally a career-high 10 points, and co-captain Bethany Winters '20 added nine.
 
Dec. 21: Basketball - First Girls’ 37 vs. Canterbury School 27
This game had great defense, but poor shooting kept it close for four quarters. Bianca D'Onofrio ’23 sealed the win with a late steal and layup and then a pass to co-captain Bethany Winters ’20 for a layup that closed the scoring. Six players scored between four and seven points each.
 
Dec. 21: Basketball - First Girls’ 53 vs. Kent 31
Westminster started fast, lagged toward the middle, and finished very strong to earn its third win of the season. This is the team’s best win total going into vacation in at least 10 years. Co-captains Bethany Winters ’20 and Isabella Tawney ’22 each had 13 points to lead the way while guards Margaret Kennedy ’22 and Eliza Roach ’21 each added eight points. Allison Kijanka ’20 provided valuable passing, defense and rebounding off the bench.
 
First Boys’ Hockey
Flood-Marr Tournament, Dec. 20-22
Dec. 20: Hockey - First Boys’ 0 vs. Hotchkiss School 1 at Milton Academy
In the opening game of the 2019 Flood-Marr, the Martlets faced a stalwart Hotchkiss team that took advantage of an early opportunity to take the lead and never looked back. Westminster controlled much of the play in the game, but shots were from the outside, and more net-front presence was needed to distract Hotchkiss’ goaltender. Unfortunately that did not happen, and the Bearcats would stymie Westminster. Bennett Ostern ‘21 played well despite the early goal, and he gave his team a chance to win.
 
Dec. 21: Hockey - First Boys’ 0 vs. Andover 2 at Noble and Greenough
In game two of the 2019 Flood-Marr, Westminster again came up short. Facing a second shutout in two games, Westminster is in need of offensive energy and more determination to get to the hard areas of the ice. Credit goes to Andover’s goaltender, who came up with 34 saves on the day. Again, Westminster played hard and played fast, but more puck luck may be needed. Greyson Pane ‘22 played well in net. Two early defensive breakdowns resulted in good scoring opportunities for Andover, and the game ended 2-0.
 
Dec. 21: Hockey - First Boys’ 1 vs. Noble and Greenough 2 at Noble and Greenough
There is a trend developing this weekend, and goals have been hard to come by. In this game, Westminster would generate more grade-A opportunities, but Nobles had a little luck on its side. In the second and third period, the Martlets found themselves on the doorstep with bounding pucks jumping over sticks and rebounds that were just out of reach. Nobles plays fast, stretching the ice and overwhelming in its offensive end. But, just as in other games this weekend, Westminster controlled the tempo and momentum. Nobles scored early and the two goals it tallied would seal the deal. Bennett Ostern ‘21 again played well, but the Martlets fell short of a win.
 
Dec. 22: Hockey - First Boys’ 2 vs. Milton Academy 5 at Milton
It’s been a few years since Westminster played in the 8 a.m. game Sunday. This time they faced off against Milton. The locker room was energized, and players were ready to compete. Greyson Pane ‘22 started, and the Martlets looked good to start the game. As had been the case all weekend, Westminster found itself behind in the scoring early in the opening frame. This was unfortunate, as the bench was stunned. Wyatt Pastor ‘20 scored a zinger over the goalie’s shoulder, and Westminster was hopeful. With six seconds remaining in the first period, Milton shot a dagger into the net and captured the momentum heading into the locker room. Despite continued effort from the black and gold, Milton continued to put points on the board. The game ended 5-2 with an empty net goal in the last minute for Milton. A frustrating weekend to be sure, and hopefully the break and time away from school will rekindle this group’s flame heading into a busy January on the ice.
 
First Girls’ Hockey
Harrington Invitational, Dec. 20-22
Dec. 20: Hockey - First Girls’ 4 vs. St. Mark's School 2 at Noble and Greenough
Westminster had a rematch against St. Mark’s in the first game of the Harrington Tournament. Westminster took some time to adjust to the play, but did score a power play goal in a great play from Sam DeLeo '21, Jenny Guider '20 and Taylor Adams '20 who put away the rebound. St. Mark's put the pressure on and responded just four minutes later to leave the game tied 1-1 after the first period. Westminster took to the ice ready to find its rhythm in the second. About halfway through Hailey Tullo '22 brought the puck into the offensive zone, and after beating her defenseman, took a shot that flew off the cross bar. Luckily, Emma Gurnell ’21 was crashing the net and managed to collect and put away the rebound for the 2-1 lead. With just seconds remaining on the period, St. Mark's managed to pin Westminster in the defensive zone. Once fatigue set in St. Mark's made good use of the teams weak coverage and evened the score at 2-2 after two periods. The stakes were high in the third period as Westminster was eager to pull away. Early on the Martlets earned a power play, and defenseman Abby Munger '20 helped feed the play to the net to a cutting Guider in front. Guider took a quick shot and gave her team the lead 3-2. Westminster managed to find its momentum and discipline as the period went on, and in the end DeLeo took care to find the empty net and secure the lead. It was a good start to a challenging tournament.
 
Dec. 20: Hockey - First Girls’ 0 vs. Noble and Greenough 2 at Noble and Greenough
The tempo to start put Westminster on its heels a bit. The team tried to adjust, but got caught scrambling in its own end. Nobles was able to capitalize on the chaos and went up 1-0 halfway through the first. Westminster took the goal as a wake-up call and began to play with a bit more urgency and confidence. Forward Emma Gurnell '21 had some great chances and Liv Fernandez '23 just missed on a short-handed attempt. The second period was again a bit up and down as the team worked to even the shot count. Despite good tempo and defensive coverage, Nobles made an incredible play to take a 2-0 lead. Again, Westminster did not look for excuses, but rather looked to each other to respond. The team owned the second half of the period as it earned a five on three power play that produced incredible scoring chances. On the penalty kill, Hailey Tullo '22 stole the puck and went in for a breakaway. Tullo made the perfect move, but the Nobles goalie made an incredible save to deny Westminster's attempt to get on the board. The third period was the best of the weekend for the Martlets as they kept Nobles scoreless and had chances of their own hitting the post twice. The group was disappointed to not get on the board, but it really tested the Grit and Grace of the group, and they responded very well.
 
Dec. 21: Hockey - First Girls’ 3 vs. Lawrence Academy 0 at Milton Academy
 
Dec. 22: Hockey - First Girls’ 0 vs. Buckingham Browne & Nichols 1 at Noble & Greenough
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