by Kevin McCaskill Jr.
12/23/22 * 11:00 AM
(SOUTH END, SPRINGFIELD) - On Tuesday night, Hampden Charter School of Science - West was on the road to take on Baystate Academy/Paulo Freire @ the South End Community Center. Both teams were looking for their 1st win of the season.
Baystate/Paulo Freire jumped out to an early 6-0 lead. In the first quarter, Baystate/Paulo Freire got multiple fast-break opportunities. Those opportunities came from Hampden Charter missed shots and turnovers.
Hampden Charter Senior Captain, Egypt Wilson scored the 1st basket for her team, making the game closer, 6-2.
In the second quarter, Baystate/Paulo Freire continued to take advantage of Hampden Charter’s mistakes. Baystate/Paulo Freire was ahead 23-11, with 3 minutes left to go in the quarter. It seemed like Baystate/Paulo Freire was going to coast to victory.
In the final three minutes of the 2nd quarter, Hampden Charter started to make their run to get back in to contention to win the game. They made a 7-2 run to end the half.
Hampden Charter Guard Da’Naysia Banks hit a couple of shots down the stretch to cut into the Baystate/Paulo Freire lead.
Baystate/Paulo led at halftime 25-18.
Hampden Charter fought their way back into the game. Baystate/Paulo Freire started to force shots and they missed easy, make-able shots. Hampden Charter took advantage on the other end and started to make their shots. They were also getting more offensive rebounds, which led to multiple shot attempts.
In the fourth quarter, Hampden Charter finally tied the game. Wilson made a jumper from the left wing that tied the game at 30. Baystate/Paulo Freire Guard Natalise Arroyo made a layup that put Baystate/Paulo Freire back in the lead 32-30.
(Egypt Wilson makes jumper that ties the game @ 30)
Both teams traded baskets. Banks made a 3 for Hampden Charter that put them ahead 38-36. Baystate/Paulo Freire Guard Jayshalynn Oquendo made a layup to tie the game @ 38.
The game clock was waning. Wilson was fouled as she attempted a shot. She made one FT; Hampden Charter led 39-38. Banks added another jumper that extended the lead to three, 41-38.
There was only 40 seconds left in the game and Baystate/Paulo Freire was down three, in a game where they led most of the way. They needed to come back quickly and they did behind their best player, Oquendo.
She made a layup with 19 seconds left to cut the lead to one, 41-40.
Baystate/Paulo Freire got the defensive stop they needed. Now they needed one basket and Oquendo came up big for her team:
(Jayshalynn Oquendo gets offensive rebound and makes floater. Natalise Arroyo steals inbounds; Baystate/Paulo Freire wins 42-41.)
Baystate/Paulo Freire won a nail-bitter over Hampden Charter 42-41.
Jayshalynn Oquendo scored a game-high 33 points!
Da’Naysia Banks scored 20 points; Egypt Wilson had 12 points. Hampden Charter HC Rheya Neabors said Wilson is “the heart and soul of our team…a leader in every way”.
After the game, Baystate/Paulo Freire HC Jasmine Lovejoy said “It feels good” to get her first win as a HC but she is, “more happy for [the] girls [getting] their 1st win as well”.
Baystate Academy plays tonight @ Commerce, @ 6 PM. Hampden Charter plays @ Pathfinder on Monday 12/26, @ 5:30 PM.