Down To The Wire


The Hollis Brookline Girls Basketball Team fell to Pelham during the quarter finals of their game, 60-59. Elizabeth Stapelfeld ‘22 (#23) was top scorer with 22 points, followed by Maggie Crooks ‘22 (#24) with 19 points respectively. After the game Stapelfeld said, “I’m proud of our commitment and attitude as a team. With Covid, we lost a lot of games and time, but everytime we got the chance to play, we gave it our all.”

Adam Razzaboni, Sports Editor

Sunlight glistened through the white shades on the morning of Sunday, March 7th. It started like any other day for senior Brooke Allanch. A staggering walk downstairs for a cup of coffee, followed by a trip back upstairs to relax in her bedroom before the game later tonight. This was the calm before the storm.


“What will be the biggest challenge for the team tonight?” I asked.

She replied, “Coming into the game with the confidence to win. We lost to them earlier on in the season and we need to be ready to play a tough game.”


And a tough game it was. The Cavaliers faced off against the Pelham Pythons in the quarter final round of the playoffs. Pelham had come to Hollis Brookline just a month ago and given them a 66-50 road win, solidifying their presence atop of the Division II teams. But everything is different in the playoffs, a new sense of urgency, a new will to win.


The first half of the game started off strong for the Cavaliers, as junior guard Elizabeth Stapelfeld was able to capitalize on many takes to the rim and tough finishes. However, Pelham’s presence inside the paint was too much for Hollis Brookline to handle. They forced second chance points and knocked down a variety of shots from inside the key.


After a monstrous first half by Stapelfeld, I wondered, “Coming out of that first half, down only four with another half to go, what was the strategy offensively and defensively?”

She said, “[The team] looked to come out strong and fast in the second half. Our goal was to try to get a bigger lead before slowing the pace down.”


Stapelfeld came out of the halftime with a will to win for the Cavaliers. She stole the ball off of an intercepted pass and took it the full 94 feet as she scooped in the layup with a beautiful right hand finish through two defenders. Followed by a eurostep finger role to give the Cavaliers a six point lead in the third quarter. That was only four of the 22 points Stapelfeld finished with at the end of the night.


Another boost in the Cavaliers offensive load was carried by junior forward Maggie Crooks. She finished the game with 19 points, being a key slasher for Hollis Brookline in the second half. Dominating the paint and sealing her defender for easy second chance points. Although Pelham was still able to capitalize on deep shots from three and easy buckets in the paint, pushing the game into overtime.


I asked her, “Was there anything the team wanted to change heading into overtime?”

“We wanted to keep control of the tempo, it got away from us in the last minutes and we needed to calm down. We worked hard getting to this point and we were determined to finish the game strong”, said Crooks.


Hollis Brookline came out hot in overtime, finding sophomore forward Cheyenne Colbert for an easy layup and baseline jumper to push their lead ahead. But Pelham kept working, slashing through the paint for two, and capitalizing on the Cavalier turnovers. The Pythons seemed to have every answer on both ends of the floor against Hollis Brookline down the final stretch. At the end of the game, Pelham finished on top defeating the Cavaliers 60-59 in the final seconds of the game.