On record, it will show that the Saugus High School girls’ basketball team lost its last four games of the 2022-23 season. In reality, the Sachems put forth a very strong campaign. They faced two highly rated Div. 1 teams and competed well in their final three regular-season contests and were then defeated in a close game on the road by the 11th-seeded Archbishop Williams Bishops in the Div. 3 Round of 32 last Friday.
Against the Bishops, the 22nd seeded Sachems, who finished with a 13-8 overall record, found themselves in a battle, tied at 44 apiece with two minutes left in regulation. Saugus was unable to score over the remainder of the game while the hosts put up the final eight points to come away with a 52-44 triumph.
Saugus Head Coach Mark Schruender said the game was pretty much a toss-up affair throughout. “By all indications it was an even game. They attempted 62 shots [from the field] and we attempted 61,” he pointed out. “We attempted 17 free throws and they attempted 15. We turned the ball over less by a very thin margin as well.”
Junior Ashleigh Moore had her best offensive game of the season by pouring home a team-high 19 points, while fellow junior Ashleen Escobar collected 12. Freshman guard Peyton DiBiasio chipped in with 11. Junior Jessica Bremberg played a strong defensive game with seven rebounds and two steals and held her own guarding a player who had a five-inch height advantage.
“I was thoroughly impressed with our team’s focus and toughness,” said Schruender. “[The players] executed the game plan and knew exactly how to guard each player on the Archbishop Williams team. Given that we were on the road and were the under-seeded team, I thought that our team did not back down at all.”
Next season looks bright and promising for the Sachems, who had no seniors on this year’s squad and will be returning their entire roster. Every member of this year’s team made a strong contribution on the court. “Knowing how close we were to beating Archbishop [Williams], I’m sure our players are very hungry going into next season.” said Schruender, who mentioned that the Bishops had advanced to the final eight of the Div. 3 tourney.
“My hope for all our players is that they invest time and sweat every day in the offseason to try to be back and better at this time next year,” Schruender observed. Saugus finished as co-champions in the Northeastern Conference’s Lynch Division. The conference all-star team – which will no doubt include several Sachem players – was set to be announced later this week.