WORCESTER - Archbishop Williams ran away with its second straight state title.
With senior guard Christine Duffy (11 points) serving as field general, the Bishops used their fast-paced game, superb shooting, and quick passes under the basket yesterday to burn Quaboag, 69-47, in the Division 3 final at the DCU Center.
"The game went exactly as we wanted," Bishops coach Jim Bancroft said. "I couldn't be more proud of our performance."
Forward Casey Capello hit four 3-point shots and had a game-high 19 points for the Bishops, and sophomore center Valerie Driscoll dominated under the basket, scoring 18.
"We're not used to seeing a team shoot the ball that well, and they can shoot the lights out," Quaboag guard Cory Spencer said.
After a competitive first period that included eight lead changes, Archbishop Williams's running game took over. Relying on their fast-break offense, the Bishops outscored Quaboag, 20-3, in the second quarter.
"We knew we had to step up our defense and our running game [after the first quarter]," Bancroft said. "Our goal was to stretch the lead in the second quarter."
Duffy and Driscoll led the charge, combining for 10 points in the period. Duffy found Driscoll open under the bucket, and the sophomore converted shots and knocked offensive rebounds back into the Bishops' hands. On the defensive end, Driscoll dominated, blocking three shots in the quarter.
"We started running the ball more and they just couldn't keep up with us," Duffy said. "Our fast break kills a lot of teams, and we were able to use it to beat them."
The Cougars struggled against the Bishops' 3-2 zone defense and looked rattled and fatigued throughout the final three periods. Their only points in the second came at the buzzer, a 3-point shot by senior Macey Gaumond. It provided little solace for Quaboag, as Archbishop Williams went to halftime with a 32-19 lead.
"Their zone gave us a lot of problems," Quaboag coach John Vayda said. "We got a little lackadaisical. We lost our emotion and that can't happen if you want to overcome a team like this."
Quaboag, which won state titles in 2004 and 2006, wasn't able to get its inside game going. Two 3-pointers by center Meaghan O'Keefe (13 points) enabled the Cougars to get within 45-29 in the third quarter, but the Bishops' lead was too large to overcome.
The Bishops' celebration was subdued, just some handshakes and hugs with some of the assistant coaches. A close-knit group, the team was upset it wouldn't be playing together again. "We're glad we won but we honestly wish we had another game," a teary-eyed Duffy said. "Everyone's asking when our next practice is. We can't believe it's over."