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Win Sends Sharon Girls Basketball to States

Eagles defeat visiting Burncoat.

The Sharon High School varsity girls basketball team clinched a state tournament spot Friday night, defeating visiting Burncoat, 58-28.

The Eagles (10-8) needed three wins in its final five games to reach the states. The team has since won three straight, defeating visiting Dighton-Rehoboth, 48-39, on Tuesday; Attleboro, 40-32, on the road Thursday; and Burncoat.

"It feels great," Sharon head coach Kate Horsmann said.

"The girls just played with so much heart. Honestly, I thought we played beyond what I thought we would be, as young as we were. I'm happy for all of them."

Sharon honored its seniors -- tri-captains and guards Anne Fritzson, Melissa Mulvaney and Jessica Shenkel -- with flowers before the opening tipoff.

The Eagles then aced their latest test, outscoring the Patriots 16-4 in the second quarter to take a 28-10 lead into halftime.

An 8-0 run opening the third quarter gave Sharon a 26-point lead.

Sophomore guard Karlie O'Driscoll led Sharon with 16 points, 12 in the first half. Junior guard Katie Lowerre added 10, and sophomore guard Andrea Bender had 9.

For Burncoat (5-15), junior guard Shanelle Sims had 9 points and senior forward Kelly Bates had 8.

"We made some shots," Horsmann said.

"I thought the seniors played great. Andrea came off the bench and hit some good shots for us. (Sophomore guard) Lily (Abarbanel) played really well.

"I think everybody was just ready tonight. It was Senior Night. They wanted to play well for Senior Night. When you sense you have an opportunity to be in the tournament, you don't want to be sloppy."

Last season, Sharon qualified for the states by winning its 2011 regular-season finale, defeating visiting Holliston, 48-37. Sharon earned the 14th seed in the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association Division 2 South Sectional Tournament. The Eagles defeated third-seed John D. O'Bryant School of Mathematics and Science, 57-38, in the opening round. Sixth-seed Oliver Ames then defeated Sharon, 54-39, in the quarterfinals.

Sharon hosts Holliston again this week as part of the two-day Sharon Girls Showcase.

Monday, Stoughton plays Holliston at 1 p.m., followed by Sharon playing Notre Dame Academy at 3 p.m.

Tuesday, Stoughton plays Notre Dame at 5 p.m., followed by Sharon playing Holliston at 7 p.m.

"We're going to try to keep everybody rested, but we're going to try to win," Horsmann said.

"Notre Dame is really big, and that's going to be a real tough match-up for us. So, we'll see how that goes early on. We might try to save the girls for the Holliston match-up. I think they're a little smaller, although they're big. We'll see how it goes."

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