The girls varsity basketball team defeated Thayer Academy 53-38 on Sunday, March 6, to win its first ever New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class A championship.
The team has qualified for the NEPSAC Class A tournament every single season since 1992.
After defeating Phillips Andover at home in the first round 76-51 on Wednesday, the team traveled to Choate Rosemary Hall on Saturday for the semifinals and defeated the Wild Boars 40-37 in a tight contest. From there, the team traveled to Thayer, the No. 1 seed in the tournament, for the championship game.
The first quarter of the championship game was a defensive battle, as the Pelicans’ zone defense kept the Tigers from getting inside and forced them to take shots from outside the three-point line. A couple of late baskets from the Pelicans in the remaining seconds of the first quarter gave them a 9-7 lead going into the second.
The second quarter was an entirely different story as the Pelicans’ offense got hot and started hitting their shots, all while keeping Thayer away from the basket. Junior Carys Baker and freshman Abby Congdon sunk a couple of three-pointers, and all of a sudden the Pelicans were up 25-10 headed into halftime.
Determined to build off their hot shooting, the Pelicans continued to suffocate the Thayer offense in the third quarter, and halfway through the third the Pelicans led 41-14. In the fourth quarter the Tigers outscored the Pelicans 15 to 8, but Loomis stuck with its game plan and took home the victory.
“I’m so proud of this team,” head coach Adrian Stewart said after the game. “We had a game plan, and our girls trusted it and stuck to it. They played so hard on defense, and we were fortunate to shoot the ball well. These girls should be incredibly proud of what they accomplished this year.”
Baker, who was named the tournament MVP at the end of the game, finished the day with 17 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Sophomore Ke'iara Odume finished the game an impressive 17 rebounds, 16 points, and four assists.
The team celebrated the victory after the bus ride home by ringing the school’s Victory Bell and then headed home for spring break.
Sunday’s win was Adrian’s 201st as head coach of the basketball team and the second time this year he has coached a team to a New England championship. The football team, for which Adrian is the defensive coordinator, won a New England title in the fall.