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March 17, 2013

Walsh lives out dream in title game

WORCESTER — You could almost see the weight lifted from Courtney Walsh’s shoulders early in the first half when she hauled in a long pass and swished her first hoop of the game.

“I hit my first shot off a breakaway and that really relaxed me and calmed some of the nerves,” said Walsh. “That really helped a ton.”

That basket was the start of another golden day for the junior guard known for her clutch play.

Walsh came though again on the biggest stage, scoring 13 points and doing everything asked in a 53-48 Division 1 state title win over Holy Name yesterday.

“We’ve been dreaming of this for the last three years and even before we got to Central,” said Walsh. “I don’t think I have ever had a feeling like this. It is amazing.”

Walsh didn’t leave the court, playing every second of the game and contributing everything from points — including eight in the first half — to defense and handing the ball.

She was the perfect Robin to star Casey McLaughlin’s Batman, taking the heat off the star while directing the attack.

“Courtney ruled the point,” said Amanda Williams. “She always put the ball where it needed to go, and she hit some huge shots. She knows how to play basketball. She knows the game. She came up huge!”

But that is exactly what has become expected of Walsh in her varsity career.

“Courtney is a big-time player,” said guard Alex Nagri. “She plays her best in the big games, and we know that. That is what we need. We need her to be a scorer with Casey (McLaughlin), and we will play defense.”

Title even sweeter

The Central girls may have been frustrated by the tourney losses each of the last two years, but finally hoisting the Division 1 state title trophy made the entire journey worth it.

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