End of the line for Lee girls: Wildcats beaten in D-III state basketball final


WORCESTER -- The Lee girls basketball team saw the end of an era on Saturday.

Facing the trees of Archbishop Williams, the Wildcats couldn't get going in a 60-33 loss in the Division III state championship game inside Worcester's DCU Center. Eileen Dooley had 16 points while fellow senior Stephanie Young was held to just three points -- all in the fourth quarter.

It was the final game for Dooley, Young, four other seniors and coach Gary Wellington.

"I've had a blast," Wellington said. "I wouldn't want to do it with any other team. If you told me you could switch teams here today, I wouldn't do that. I'll keep my team. I'll keep those kids."

Wellington's club just didn't match up well with 6-foot-3 Jaylen Williams and 6-foot Alana Gilmer. Each had 14 points, and Williams ripped down 14 rebounds. She had seven in the first quarter alone.

"Being out there with their height, it was hard," Dooley said. "The plan was to box out and just try to get the rebounds. They were just so big. They came over us."

Without a strong rebounding presence, the Wildcats couldn't get into the fast break style of game they prefer. Lee was still within nine late in the first half before Archbishop Williams went on an 8-2 run to end the half. The Bishops scored the first five points of the third quarter to stretch the lead.

A run of three state finals in four years came to an end two quarters later, with the Wildcats falling short of an eighth state title.

"I'm just thankful to have the team and family that I have," Young said. "I'm really proud of everything I've been able to do because of them."

For more, read Sunday's Eagle.


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