The Lynn Classical girls basketball team made its longest road trip of the season Friday night, travelling to Gloucester on Cape Ann for an NEC encounter with the Lady Fishermen.
It proved to be a memorable excursion for the Lady Rams, especially for senior guard Rebecca Walker, who scored a career-high 17 points in Classical’s 52-37 victory. The Lady Rams led by five after three quarters, but Walker’s eight-point surge helped lock up the key win, advancing the Rams one step closer toward a state tournament berth.
Classical Coach Tom Sawyer proudly provided a play-by-play of Walker’s exploits during a break in his free youth basketball clinic Saturday at the school gymnasium.
“She got it started in the first quarter when she had nine points and she finished the game off for us with eight points in the fourth quarter,” said Sawyer. “It was a five-point game after three, and between Rebecca Walker and Skyler Crayton, they got us out to a comfortable lead.”
Walker scored baskets in transition, drove the lane, and hit outside shots and free throws. “Rebecca played her game, which is getting up and down the court,” said Sawyer. “She also had some great outlet passes from her teammates.”
Known athletically as an excellent shortstop similar in style to former superstar Afton Dean, Walker has emerged as the hoop team’s best defensive player, usually drawing the assignment against the opponent’s leading scorer.
“But she’s also capable of scoring points as she showed against Gloucester,” said Sawyer. “We ask everybody to play defense and everybody to score and Friday night was her night.”
Walker, who is assisting with her teammates at the popular instructional clinic, was asked whether she anticipated a career performance while on the bus as it traveled down Route 128 North.
“It just felt like a regular game,” said Walker. It was a long bus ride, but we were ready when we took the court. It feels good to get those points. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my teammates.”
Walker is excited that the team is one win away from a berth in the State Tournament.
“I think this year is exciting and there are a lot of new players starting (Classical lost four starters to graduation including 1,000-point scorer Paris Wilkey),” said Walker. “A lot of us had to adjust to new roles. I say ‘thank you’ to Coach Sawyer and my teammates for pushing me hard at practice every day, she said.”
Classical hosts Swampscott on Teacher Appreciation Night Thursday and Medford on Alumni Night Friday.