DARTMOUTH — A Southeast Conference championship was on the line during Friday night’s girls basketball matchup between Dartmouth and Bridgewater-Raynham.
Despite a late push from the visitors, Dartmouth was able to hold on and take a 48-39 victory to emerge as sole league champions.
Dartmouth (16-1) had already clinched a share of the title going into the game while Bridgewater-Raynham (13-4) was hoping to stake a claim with a victory. However, simply tying for the league title with the Trojans was not going to be enough for Dartmouth, as the rival had won 10 consecutive league titles and the Indians felt like it was time for a change.
“It’s been 10 years, I’ve never won it,” said Dartmouth junior Katherine Cheesebro, who led all scorers with 17 points. “To win it is a really big achievement for us. That was one of our goals to start the season and now that we have achieved it, we feel really good about ourselves.”
Dartmouth head coach Brian Jalbert said the sustained run of league dominance from Bridgewater-Raynham was inspirational and is something his program hopes to emulate.
“They set the standard,” Jalbert said. “I learned so much from them and now I really hope that we can try to somehow match what they have done.”
The opening quarter saw Dartmouth put together a dominant effort. The Indians began on an 11-0 run, and a late three-pointer from Trojans’ senior Reese Bartlett was all it would surrender as Dartmouth took a 11-3 lead into the second quarter.
The next quarter was much more even, with Dartmouth holding a 13-11 advantage. This included one 8-0 run for the Trojans. However, Dartmouth still carried the pace of play and entered halftime with a comfortable 23-14 lead.
The third quarter was the best effort from Bridgewater-Raynham to that point. The Trojans pulled to within three and outscored Dartmouth 13-10. This momentum carried into the fourth quarter, and it looked like the Trojans were poised to take a lead for the first time all game.
Instead, senior Hailey Martins secured a clutch rebound and drew a foul after scoring the layup. She nailed the free throw and Dartmouth cruised to the win.
“It meant a lot to me because I’m not a scorer on the team,” Martins said. “Rebounding is my place on the team, and to get points out of it is really enjoyable for me.”
The senior finished with seven points and five rebounds on Senior Night. As the lone senior on the team, she said the moment and clinching the league title was very special.
“I think we came in with a lot of adrenaline tonight,” Martins said. “Now we’re able to celebrate after.”