St. Mary’s Girls Basketball Receives MIAA State Championship Trophy

Special to the Journal

After a 104-day wait, the St. Mary’s High School girls basketball team received its MIAA Div. 3 state championship trophy Friday in a brief ceremony at the Tony Conigliaro Gymnasium.

MIAA Associate Executive Director Richard Pearson delivered the hardware, which the Spartans earned by winning the North sectional championship and defeating Rockland in the state semifinals at TD Garden. The Spartans were set to face Hoosac Valley in the state final, but the game was canceled due to the global pandemic.

MIAA Associate Executive Director Richard Pearson presented the Division 3 state championship trophy to St. Mary’s High School basketball captains Gaby Torres, Jannise
Avellino, and Olivia Matela during a ceremony in the Tony Conigliaro Gymnasium.
St. Mary’s High School girls basketball captains Olivia Matela, Gaby Torres, and Jannise Avellino hold the team’s Division 3 North Sectional Championship Trophy after winning the title at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.

St. Mary’s beat Hoosac Valley in the regular season, 62-32, at Hoosac.

The state championship was the third in 10 seasons for the Spartans, who won the title in 2011 and 2014 under Coach Jeff Newhall.

“Everyone was disappointed when we didn’t get to play the final game, but we understand that couldn’t happen under the circumstances,” said Newhall, who is also the athletic director. “This was a good opportunity for us to get together and for the girls to get their recognition. We appreciate Richard and the MIAA making the effort to deliver these trophies to the schools.”

St. Mary’s went 25-2 and set a school record for wins in a season and most consecutive wins, with 18. The Spartans defeated Austin Prep, Bishop Fenwick and Amesbury to capture the North title before rallying to defeat Rockland. The Spartans won their four MIAA tournament games by an average of 23 points.

The state championship continued a streak for the athletic program at St. Mary’s, which has won at least one state championship the last 13 years.

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