Westwood 4th graders are hoops champs

Back row: Coach Mike Loweny, Owen McGuire, Asher Shilling, Vedanth Iyengar, Mattheu Lowney, Patrick Otey, Trevor Ferreira, Coach Scott Easton, Coach Micah Smith. Front row: Nicolas Castro, Jaron Minsky, Andrew Easton, Aidan Smith, Kyler Khoury.

This year the 4th grade Westwood (black) team has won the Metrowest Division 3 championship.

The team finished with a 8-4 record in the regular season, earning them a two seed in the Metrowest playoffs. “We were undefeated this year when we had our full complement of players. But in games when we didn’t, the other boys got great experience, which helped in the playoffs,” said Assistant Coach Scott Easton

The 4th graders went on to win four straight games to take home the title.

Westwood played a team from Southboro on March 11 at Mass Premier Courts in Foxboro. The team quickly was down by 11 points in the first quarter, but stormed back, led by a stout defensive team effort by Nicolas Castro, Asher Shillin, Vedanth Iyengar, Kyler Khoury, and Owen Maguire in the second quarter. Southboro's lead was cut to two points at the half.

“We have been stressing team defense all year, and that is what brought us back into the game in that 2nd quarter” said Head Coach Mike Lowney.

It was a back-and-forth game throughout the second half, with timely shots by Jaron Minsky and great offensive ball movement from Mattheu Lowney, Aidan Smith, and Andrew Easton. With the game tied and 45 seconds left in the contest, Patrick Otey who scored a whopping 40 points on the day, hit a running layup to take the lead by two points.

“Patrick played great all season - especially in the championship game - and all the kids fed off his energy and aggressiveness,” said Assistant Coach Micah Smith.

The defense stepped up again and received a timely rebound from Trevor Ferreira to help seal the game 48-46.

The team was used to close games throughout the playoffs, having beaten Milton by three points (39-36), West Roxbury by one point (44-43), North Attleboro by seven points (42-35), and Southboro by two points (48-46).

After winning the Metrowest Championship, the 4th graders elected to participate in the New England Regional and Massachusetts State Tournament, where the team was looking to add another championship. The team made it to the Elite Eight with a 2-1 record on day one, including a thrilling 38-37 win against a familiar opponent (West Roxbury), sealed by a three-pointer from Patrick Otey with 20 seconds left. However, chasing after a loose ball with seconds left, Otey twisted his ankle and would be out for the rest of the tournament.

Without their team leader, the group would fall to Nipmuc (Mendon-Upton) the next day and was bounced from the tournament. The team finished the season with an impressive 18-6 record.

The three 4th grade Westwood Boys teams that competed in Metrowest this season all did well, with a combined record of 32 and 13 in the regular and postseaon. It will certainly be exciting to see how the kids do in the future.

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