WHS Girls Basketball Wins NEC South Championship

The Winthrop High girls basketball may be peaking at the right time with the state tourney just around the corner. The Lady Vikings won all four of their games this past week, brushing aside three foes and then taking the measure of their nemesis team, St. Mary’s of Lynn, in the final of the Spartan Basketball Tourney. Winthrop first took care of business in the Northeastern Conference/Soutb Division, securing an undisputed title with victories over Marblehead, 43-27, and Swampscott, 48-23. The Lady Vikings now stand at 9-0 in the South, with a makeup game left against a Gloucester team that Winthrop easily handled in their first meeting, Nina Bartlette was the big gun for Winthrop in both victories, scoring 21 points (on 6-of-9 shooting from the field and 9-of-11 from the free throw line) against Marblehead and 18 against Swampscott (while also puling down nine rebounds).  Kristen Siscamanis forwarded a double-double against Marblehead with 12 points and 10 rebounds and reached double figures against Swampscott with 11 points. Niki Tsiotis turned in a strong, two-way effort in both encounters, scoring six points with five steals against Marblehead and hitting for 12 points with four steals and seven rebounds against Swampscott. Allie Love sank a three-pointer in both contests, chipping in four points and six rebounds against Marblehead and five points vs. Swampscott.  Courtney McSwiney added two points in the Swampscott win. The contest with Hoosac Valley, the defending Division 3 Western Mass. champ, in the opening round of the Spartan Classic began as a rout, with the Lady Vikings jumping out to a 14-2 lead by the first buzzer. Hoosac battled back in the second frame and pulled within 20-18 at the half, but Winthrop reasserted control after the intermission to move out to a  40-27 lead after three frames, from where the Lady Vikings cruised home to a 48-38 triumph. Bartlette was an unstoppable force for Winthrop, pumping in 22 points and pulling down 13 rebounds. Siscamanis likewise was a powerful double-double performer with 16 points and 16 boards. Poli Tsiotis contributed four points and dished out four assists and twin sister Niki hit for four points. Maura Lanza chipped in two points to complete the Winthrop scoresheet. That brought Winthrop face-to-face with the Lady Vikings bete noire in Division 3 South, St. Mary’s of Lynn, the host of the tourney. Last year the teams engaged in an epic contest for the D-3 South crown, with St. Mary’s prevailing by a 47-45 margin. The Lady Spartans then went on to defeat Hoosac Valley in the state final to win the state championship.

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