North Quincy Girls’ Basketball Battles, Bows To W-H In Div. 2 Tournament

NORTH QUINCY High School girls’ varsity basketball team earned the #20 seed in the Div. 2 tournament but bowed to #13 Whitman-Hanson on the road Feb. 28. The Raiders finished the season at 12-10. From left to right: junior Iris Gjoka, senior Molly Toland, senior Mary Saccoach, freshman Nora Geary, senior Jillian Jaehnig, senior Caroline O’Donnell, senior captain Ava Bryan, senior captain Autumn O’Campos, senior Grace Pickering, sophomore Harper Mergel, freshman Maeve Powers, sophomore Ella Lynch, senior Emma Cramond and sophomore Maeghan Smith. Head coach is Liana Cunningham and assistant coach Alyssa Camara. Courtesy Photo


How many teams can say they’ve erased a 15-point deficit in the fourth quarter?
Not many, but the North Quincy High girls’ basketball team is one of them.
The #20 Raiders, who trailed by that much going into the final quarter of their MIAA Division 2 Round of 32 playoff game against the #13 Whitman-Hanson Panthers on Wednesday, Feb. 28, battled to the very end but came up short bowing 63-60. North had tied the game with under a minute remaining but were unable to make a full comeback. They ended up dropping a tight one by three points on the road. With the loss, the Raiders finished their season at 12-10.
Much of the first half was competitive, though Whitman-Hanson pulled away late in it.
The Raiders were sharp early, taking a 4-2 lead in the first minute of the game – but then Whitman-Hanson’s offense woke up. Autumn O’Campos (18 points) hit two free throws after Ava Bryan (19 points) made a basket, giving the team an early lead. However, Whitman-Hanson responded with a 7-0 run started by a three-pointer.
Back-to-back-to-back layups from O’Campos then gave the Raiders a 10-9 advantage, but Whitman-Hanson erased this lead in the final 90 seconds of the first quarter. The team hit a three-pointer and a layup, taking a 14-10 lead.
Whitman-Hanson then built on that lead late in the second quarter.
That 5-0 run late in the first quarter ended up being a 10-0 run for Whitman-Hanson that extended into the second quarter, as the team added five more points unanswered before the Raiders could respond.
The Raiders chipped away at that deficit. A three-pointer from Maeve Powers (12 points) and two free throws from two trips to the line for O’Campos made it a two-point game, 25-23, with 1:12 left in the first half, but Whitman-Hanson got some breathing room after that.
Whitman-Hanson scored eight unanswered points in the final minute of the first half: two three-pointers and a layup; the team went into halftime leading the Raiders by 10 points, 33-23.
Whitman-Hanson kept that momentum going in the third quarter, expanding its lead.
While Bryan scored six points at the free throw line alone in the third quarter, Whitman-Hanson outscored the Raiders 19-14 over those eight minutes and led 52-37 going into the fourth quarter.
The Raiders slowly but surely chipped away at that lead. Whitman-Hanson started the fourth quarter with a layup, extending its lead to 17 points. However, the Raiders responded with a 14-0 run that made it a three-point game, 54-51.
Powers hit a layup and a free throw to start the run. Then O’Campos made two free throws, and Caroline O’Donnell made back-to-back shots underneath the basket. A layup from O’Campos and a three-pointer from Bryan added five more points, making it a one-score game.
With 2:20 remaining, the Raiders made it a two-point game, 58-56, after Bryan hit a wide-open three-pointer; this came about 30 seconds after O’Campos hit a free-throw.
Then, thanks to free throws, the Raiders tied the game. Whitman-Hanson went to the line with 1:29 remaining and missed both free-throw attempts. However, when O’Campos went to the line with 33.7 seconds left, she hit both of her shots, tying the game at 60 apiece. She got the ball back for the Raiders after stealing it from a Whitman-Hanson player.
Ultimately, the Raiders were unable to make a comeback. They fouled a Whitman-Hanson player with 18.5 seconds remaining, and the girl hit a free throw, giving the team a 61-60 advantage. Whitman-Hanson then stole the ball in Raiders territory, and a foul with 3.5 seconds left sent an opposing player to the free-throw line. Whitman-Hanson hit both of its shots, giving it a 63-60 advantage.
Then, as the Raiders looked to make a couple of passes and then attempt a long three-pointer, Whitman-Hanson intercepted one of those passes, ending the game.
Whitman-Hanson advanced to the Round of 16 of the playoff tournament with the win.
The playoff game against Whitman-Hanson was a rematch for the two Patriot League teams. The Raiders hosted Whitman-Hanson on Valentine’s Day and lost a close one, 45-42.
A strong regular season finish helped the Raiders not only clinch a playoff spot but also secure better seeding. With three games left in the regular season, the team was 9-9 and needed to win a majority of its games to earn an automatic spot in the playoffs. The team did one better — winning each of its final three regular-season games to punch a ticket to the postseason tournament.
The Raiders had some experience on their side this season, with eight seniors on the roster. The team this year includes: senior guard Mary Saccoach, sophomore guard Maeghan Smith, senior guard Emma Cramond, senior forward Jillian Jaehnig, senior forward/center and captain Autumn O’Campos, junior guard Iris Gjoka, senior guard/forward and captain Ava Bryan, sophomore guard Ella Lynch, freshman guard Maeve Powers, senior guard Molly Toland, freshman guard Nora Geary, sophomore guard Harper Mergel, senior forward Grace Pickering, and senior forward/center Caroline O’Donnell. Quincy High alum Liana Cunningham served as the team’s head coach.



North Quincy Raiders Defeat Quincy Presidents 43-20 In 91st City Football Championship

North Quincy Raiders celebrate their 43-20 win over the Quincy Presidents in the 91st City Football Championship at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium Thanksgiving Day. With the win, North Quincy finished the season with a 5-6 record. Quincy finished at 3-8. The Quincy-North Quincy football series record now stands at Quincy 49 wins, North Quincy 37 wins and 5 ties. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy junior running back Ben Hudach scored three touchdowns (4-yard pass, runs of 9 and 3 yards) in the Raiders’ 43-20 win over Quincy. Here Quincy junior defensive back Jayden Francois tries to bring Hudach down. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy senior wide receiver Ben Walinjom makes a sensational catch in the first quarter that helped set up the Raiders first touchdown. Defending for Quincy is junior defensive back Jayden Francois. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Quincy’s Jonas Alas (left, #32) and Leo Steinberg (right) celebrate in the end zone after Steinberg ran 67 yards for Quincy’s first score against North Quincy. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy junior quarterback Mikey Galligan was a two-way offensive threat against the Presidents both passing and running the ball. Here he picks up some yards as teammate senior guard Brody Baker blocks. Galligan  threw three touchdown passes to Ben Hudach (4 yards), Nate Sampson (13 yards) and Jordan Mahoney (33 yards) iin the Raiders’ 43-20 win over Quincy Thanksgiving Day. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
Quincy freshman running back Jonas Alas picks up some yards for the Presidents against the North Quincy Raiders in the 91st city football championship. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy senior wide receiver Nate Sampson (right) celebrates his 13-yard touchdown reception from quarterback Mikey Galligan with teammate Ben Hudach. Sampson’s touchdown gave North Quincy a 15-0 lead with 30 seconds left in the first quarter. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy sophomore quarterback Tim Toland scored the Raiders’ first touchdown on a 9-yard run in the first quarter. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth
North Quincy junior quarterback Mikey Galligan receives congratulations and a pat on the helmet from head coach Ryan Craig after leading the Raiders to a 43-20 win over the Quincy Presidents in the 91st city football championship Thanksgiving Day at Veterans’ Memorial Stadium. More coverage in the Nov. 30th issue of The Quincy Sun. Quincy Sun Photo/Robert Bosworth