For the second consecutive year and the third time in four seasons, the Tilton School Varsity Girls’ Basketball team won the NEPSAC Class B Championship on Sunday, March 5, with a 54-52 win over Berkshire School (Sheffield, Mass.). This was Tilton’s eighth straight trip to Championship Sunday and the second time they have faced and defeated, the Berkshire Bears in the finals. The Rams beat Berkshire in last year’s NEPSAC Class B Championship with a score of 62-52.
Leading up to Sunday, the Rams earned the No. 1 seed in the NEPSAC Class B Tournament for the second straight season and breezed through their quarterfinal match-up against St. George’s School, 67-34. The semifinals were more of a struggle as the Rams found themselves down by as many as 15 points in the first half against Pomfret School. Tilton used aggressive defense to storm back to win 63-51 over the fourth-seeded team and earn another trip to the NEPSAC Championship. Tilton was also crowned Lake Region champions for the eighth straight year, finishing with an overall 2017 season record of 24-6.
Senior captain Olivia Orlando ’17 (Georgetown, Mass.) was named the NEPSAC tournament’s Most Valuable Player on Sunday. She led the Tilton team with 10 points, 14 rebounds, five assists and three steals. Orlando finished her four-year Tilton career as the all-time leading scorer (1,524 points), all-time leading rebounder (1,018), all-time leader in assists (520), and all-time leader in steals (432). She is also a four-time Lakes Region and NEPSAC All-Star. Orlando has signed with Providence College for 2017-2018.
Other game leaders on Sunday included senior captain Mayson Kimball ’17 (Webster, N.H.) with 14 points and eight rebounds and senior captain Ashley Berube ’17 (Londonderry, N.H.) with 12 points and nine rebounds. Kimball has signed with Merrimack College; Berube has signed with Central Connecticut State University.
Head Coach Tara Brisson has led the Rams since joining Tilton in 2009. “This group never gave up,” she said of her team this season, “they never stopped fighting, and they always kept improving, As a coach I couldn’t be more proud of them for learning the importance of defense, nutrition matters, and the only way we achieve our goals for the season is if we work together.
“I can’t thank them enough for believing in the process, for listening to my countless metaphors and always seeing challenge as opportunity. I’m truly fortunate to have had the chance to coach this group of girls this year,” Brisson said during the Winter Athletic Awards at Tilton on Monday, March 6. This is also Brisson’s third year as Tilton athletic director.
Along with Orlando, Kimball and Berube, the Tilton School team will lose two other seniors to graduation this May: Ciara Dillon (West Roxbury, Mass.) undecided, and Kaitlyn Hess (Milford, N.H.) Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
“Each of these seniors has made a lasting impression on this program and Tilton School, and for both of those I’ll be forever grateful,” said Brisson. “I cannot begin to describe what the five of them have meant to me and I can’t wait to watch them continue their careers at the next level.”