Women's Basketball Falls to Clark in City Tournament Championship Game

Rachel Pineda

Worcester, MA --- Clark had four players in double figures and the host Cougars won their second straight and 21st overall Worcester City Women's Basketball Tournament with a resounding 60-42 win over WPI on Saturday afternoon at the Kneller Athletic Center. 

Tournament MVP Ashleigh Condon (Hull, MA) followed up her 18 point performance in Friday's win over Becker with 12 points and five rebounds to lead the Scarlet and White to the 18-point victory. Ironically, after playing a close game in the title contest a season ago, Clark and the Engineers have now seen their last three games decided by an average of 20 points. 

It was actually WPI that took the early lead, dropping in a pair of three-pointers courtesy of Rachel Pineda (Shrewsbury, MA) and Dani Davis (East Granby, CT) a little more than two minutes into the game. 

Clark answered with a 16-0 run, holding the Engineers without a basket for nearly ten minutes as they took a 16-6 lead. WPI sprinkled in four free throws during their basket-less drought and by the time Haili Welton (Southbury, CT) dropped in a short jumper, the Cougars were ahead, 20-12. 

Another Scarlet and White scoring run, this one a 7-0 spurt keyed by Aretha Sullivan (Worcester, MA) and Brooke Brennan (Weston, MA) put Clark ahead by double digits at 27-12. 

The first half advantage maxed out at 16 at 29-13 following a pair of Condon free throws, but WPI fought back and when Pineda swished her buzzer-beating jumper, the score was 29-19 heading into halftime. 

Any thoughts of an Engineer comeback came to an end early on in the second stanza as they opened the frame going 2-for-11. Meanwhile, the Cougars took advantage and when Megan Grondin (Cumberland, ME) found a cutting Sullivan for an easy finish at 11:05, the lead had ballooned to 43-24. 

After not scoring in the first half, Emily Reilly (Marlboro, MA) scored all of her game-high 13 points in the final 20 minutes, including an excellent conventional three-point play the pushed the Cougars edge to its peak at 56-28 with a little less than seven minutes remaining. 

The Clark effort on the defensive end proved to be the difference as they held the Engineers to less than 30 percent shooting, including a 3-for-12 performance from behind the arc. 

Highlighted by three more steals from Reilly, who had seven in the win on Friday, the Cougars forced 20 WPI turnovers which they converted into 25 points. 

Clark also held a 30-14 edge in point in the paint and a 12-0 advantage in fast break points. 

Freshman Tess Nogueira (Merrimac, MA) paced the Crimson and Gray with 11 points and six rebounds while all-tournament team honorees Pineda (nine points) and Amaia Gritsko (Milford, CT) (three points, six rebounds, two blocks) did their part. 

In addition to her game-high 13 points and three steals, Reilly added five rebounds and three assists, while Sullivan posted 12 points, three rebounds and three steals. Brennan was the other Cougar in double figures, scoring all 11 of her points in the first half and Grondin chipped in with eight points, four rebounds and four assists. 

WPI (1-1) will open the home portion of its schedule on Wednesday when they host Mount Holyoke, while the Cougars travel to league preseason favorite Smith for a tilt on Wednesday as well. 

In the day's opening game, Worcester State got a tournament-high 20 points from sophomore Keisha Jones (Worcester, MA) and the Lancers rolled past Becker, 74-55 in the consolation game. 

2013 Worcester City Women's Basketball All-Tournament Team
Ashleigh Condon - MVP (Clark)
Brooke Brennan (Clark)
Rachel Pineda (WPI)
Amaia Gritsko (WPI)
Meghan Burns (Worcester State)
Haley Ooms (Becker)

Release Courtesy Clark Sports Information