THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, March 8, 2019 Page 9 Excellent season comes to an end for girls By Greg Phipps I t didn’t seem appropriate for the Saugus girls’ basketball team to have to endure a 33-point defeat in the final game of an overall excellent season. Unfortunately, that’s what transpired last Thursday night in the quarterfinal round of the Div. 2 North playoffs. The No. 7 seed Sachems had advanced past the opening round by virtue of a doubledigit win over Marblehead earlier last week. But they couldn’t maintain the momentum from that victory in round two on the road against second-seeded Tewksbury, which emerged with a 53-20 win. The Sachems officially finished with a 14-8 record and can take away a number of positives from the 2018-19 campaign. Not the least of which included making a third consecutive postseason appearance and earning a co-championship finish in the Northeastern Conference (NEC) South. Saugus shared the NEC title with Danvers. “We accomplished a lot this year: making it to the tournament again and being cochampions of the NEC South,” head coach Mark Schruender told the press after the Tewksbury loss. “Obviously this is a tough loss, but we can still be proud of what we were able to do this year.” The Sachems actually took an early lead against Tewksbury but couldn’t hang close due to the home team’s defensive pressure. Schruender said it was a tough shooting night for his squad. “We played well early and took a lead, but Tewksbury is a very talented team and they played great defense on us,” he pointed out. “We also missed a lot of shots. It just wasn’t our night out there.” No Saugus player produced double figures offensively in the loss. Alessia Salzillo led the Sachems with seven points, aided by fellow seniors Marissa Stockwell, Alana Aldred and DJ Munafo, whom the coach praised for their overall effort. All four played their final game in a Saugus uniform, and Schruender admitted they will be missed after helping to turn around a struggling program. “When those four showed up, we had won six games in three years. Now we’ve been to the tournament three years in a row and won a conference title,” he said. “It’s a testament to their hard work and dedication.” Saugus seniors Alessia Salzillo (left) and Alana Aldred are two of the four graduating players from this year’s girls’ basketball team that finished as co-champions of the NEC South. (Advocate Photos by Greg Phipps) WE WORK FOR YOU! * Have your car repaired by Real Manufacturer Certiified Technicians * An I-CAR GOLD CLASS SHOP Highest Certificate in the Repair Industry * Premier Insurance Co. Collision Repair Shop for Geico, Liberty Mutual, Metlife, Progressive and more! * Over 30 Years of putting families back on the Road Safe & Fast! * ATLAS Stands Behind All Repairs with a Limited Lifetime Warranty 1605 North Shore Road, Revere * 781-284-1200 Visit us at: www.AtlasAutobody.com or call (781) 284-1200 to schedule your appointment today!

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