Girls basketball: Williston holds off Deerfield Academy late for 43-36 NEPSAC win (PHOTOS)

Deerfield Academy’s Charli Firestone (3), right, drives to the basket while defended by Williston’s Kat Mayer (21) during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Deerfield Academy’s Charli Firestone (3), right, drives to the basket while defended by Williston’s Kat Mayer (21) during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Deerfield Academy’s Anna Dyjach (14) dribbles against Williston during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Deerfield Academy’s Anna Dyjach (14) dribbles against Williston during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Deerfield Academy’s Avery Izzo (12) drives against Williston during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Deerfield Academy’s Avery Izzo (12) drives against Williston during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Deerfield Academy’s Charlotte Coody (33) is fouled while putting up a shot in traffic against Williston during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Deerfield Academy’s Charlotte Coody (33) is fouled while putting up a shot in traffic against Williston during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Deerfield Academy’s Charlotte Coody (33) and Willistons Skyler Walker (23) battle for a rebound during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Deerfield Academy’s Charlotte Coody (33) and Willistons Skyler Walker (23) battle for a rebound during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Williston’s Erin Reilly (1) makes a pass against Deerfield Academy during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Williston’s Erin Reilly (1) makes a pass against Deerfield Academy during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Deerfield Academy’s McKenzie Goltermann (4) makes a pass against Williston during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Deerfield Academy’s McKenzie Goltermann (4) makes a pass against Williston during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Williston’s Meg Carey (14), right, and Skyler Walker (23) surround Deerfield Academy’s Charlotte Coodduring NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Williston’s Meg Carey (14), right, and Skyler Walker (23) surround Deerfield Academy’s Charlotte Coodduring NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Williston’s Morgan Dulude (4), right, makes a pass while defended by Deerfield Academy’s McKenzie Goltermann during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Williston’s Morgan Dulude (4), right, makes a pass while defended by Deerfield Academy’s McKenzie Goltermann during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

Williston’s Skyler Walker (23) tries to block a shot from Deerfield Academy’s Charlotte Coody during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday.

Williston’s Skyler Walker (23) tries to block a shot from Deerfield Academy’s Charlotte Coody during NEPSAC action in Deerfield on Wednesday. STAFF PHOTO/JEFF LAJOIE

By THOMAS JOHNSTON

Staff Writer

Published: 01-17-2024 6:58 PM

Modified: 01-18-2024 6:42 PM


DEERFIELD — The Williston Northampton School girls basketball team controlled the majority of Wednesday’s NEPSAC contest against Deerfield Academy, but the Big Green didn’t go down without a fight late.

The Wildcat defense held the Big Green to just one field goal in the opening four minutes of the fourth quarter, and Williston led 36-30. DA suddenly found a rhythm on offense, as Eleanor duPont, Anna Dyjach and Charlotte Coody each scored for the Big Green – Coody’s basket tying the game at 36 with 1 minute, 30 seconds to play. 

After playing lockdown defense for the majority of the game, the Wildcats settled in and kept Deerfield off the scoreboard the rest of the way. Skyler Walker scored down low with 1:10 left and knocked down five free throws in the final minute, helping Williston walk away with a 43-36 victory at Class of 1953 Court. 

“They definitely made a push down the stretch there,” Wildcats coach Liam McMahon said. “Deerfield has a good competitive squad and it was good for our girls to hang on and get the win there.” 

The Big Green (2-6) were shorthanded on Wednesday, missing three key players in the defeat. Giving minutes to younger players, DA coach Julie Schloat said she was proud of the effort from her team.

“We have three players out right now, including two of our most skilled players,” Schloat said. “If we had them it’s a totally different game. I’m proud of what the girls were able to do with new players in there. We have a lot of girls who aren’t basketball first. We’re getting the most out of the girls we had. We didn’t give up and I’m proud of that.” 

It was the second close game in a row for Williston (6-4), which overcame an 18-2 first quarter deficit against Cushing last Friday and stormed back to win the game, 38-33. 

Finding different ways to win games is something McMahon said he hopes pays dividends down the road. 

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“That win over Cushing was huge,” McMahon said. “We were able to battle back and it was a big confidence boost. We lost our junior captain, Margaret Edwards. Getting them going without her was great for them.”

Dyjach and Charli Firestone knocked down 3’s for the Big Green in the first quarter, giving Deerfield a 12-11 lead after eight minutes. 

The shooting from deep dried up from there, as the Wildcat defense didn’t allow DA to make another 3-pointer the remainder of the way. 

It was Erin Reilly who took over the game for Williston in the second quarter, knocking down a pair of 3’s while adding two free throws. Her final 3 just before the halftime buzzer gave the Wildcats a 23-19 lead at the intermission. 

Walker and Stella Michalski both tallied four points for Williston in the third quarter while Coody kept the Big Green in the game with six points in the third, as the Wildcats took a 34-27 lead after three quarters. 

Walker led the way with 20 points for Williston. Reilly finished with eight points, Michalski scored seven points while South Hadley’s Meghan Carey recorded five points in the win. 

Coody finished with 11 points, duPont scored six points, Dyjach tallied five points while Sophie Kamil scored four points for Deerfield. 

Nearing the midway point of the season, McMahon said he’s hoping to see his young team continue to grow and get better with each game. 

“We’re about midway through,” McMahon said. “We’re still a young team. We only have one senior on our team. To see them come together and get it done is great.”

Schloat also has a young team with the Big Green, having remade the roster over the summer. Like McMahon, Schloat is hoping to see strides forward for the remainder of the season, as well as better luck in the health department. 

“I have a lot of young players,” Schloat said. “We only have four seniors. We brought in a ninth grader and two sophomores this year. There’s a lot of enthusiasm about the future of the program.”