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Season ends for Saugus girls’ basketball team in Round of 32

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  The Saugus High School girls’ basketball team took part in numerous low-scoring games this season. More often than not, the Sachems were able to grind their way to low-scoring wins. But their propensity to struggle at times on the offensive end proved to be their undoing in a 55-30 Div. 3 Round of 32 playoff loss last Thursday to the Bishop Stang Spartans.

  Visiting Saugus was not only up against the 13th-seeded Spartans but a raucous home crowd at the Bishop Stang gymnasium. The combination was too much to overcome for the No. 20 Sachems.

  The season-ending loss didn’t take away from what had been a strong season overall for the Sachems, who finished with a 12-9 record after losing three of their first four games. Head Coach Mark Schruender and his squad recovered nicely from a tough, pandemic-shortened 2020-21 campaign when Saugus managed to win only twice.

  “We came off last season winning just two games,” he told the press after last Thursday’s defeat. “Obviously, it was crazy with the pandemic. This year we went 12-8, and I’m so proud of everybody for coming together. Our seniors, in particular, did so much.”

  Three seniors suited up in a Saugus uniform for the final time. They were co-captains Fallon Millerick, April Aldred and Cassandra Israelson. No Sachems player reached double figures in the defeat. Ashleen Escobar was high scorer with nine points while Millerick and Ashleigh Moore each netted six.

  Saugus found itself looking up at a 33-18 deficit at halftime after shooting just seven of 25 from the field over the first two quarters. From there, the Sachems were unable to muster a comeback and scored just 12 points over the final 16 minutes.

  Schruender acknowledged that producing 30 points isn’t going to win many games, especially in the playoffs. “It’s a credit to [Bishop Stang’s] defense. They were outstanding all night and made it hard to start our offense,” he observed. “We were nervous a little bit and had shots that did not go down for us. That’s part of playing in a state tournament game.”

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