FALL RIVER — On paper, this had all the makings of a blowout.
Fall River entered Wednesday’s WIAA Division 5 regional quarterfinal with a record of 20-1, a third-place ranking in the Associated Press Division 5 poll, and also having recently clinched its sixth straight conference crown. Plus, it was Senior Night.
Wayland, on the other hand, entered the tournament with only one victory on the season. The 15th-seeded Big Red also took the court on Wednesday down two starters due to injury.
The second-seeded Pirates, thanks to a game-high 16 points from senior Morgan Tramburg, overcame a pesky Big Red squad as well as the emotions of Senior Night to advance in the Division 5 bracket with a 51-14 victory. Tramburg scored eight points apiece in both halves, including two 3-pointers early in the second half that fueled a 16-0 run to open the period and give the Pirates (21-1) a 37-6 advantage.
“We came out a little slow tonight because the kids were a little emotional because of our five seniors,” said Fall River coach Jim Doolittle. “It just seemed like no one could get on track. We had the shots but they just weren’t going in.
“In the second half, you saw the real Fall River. We came out and really executed well. We took over the game.”
While the Pirates were waiting for their offense to jell, defensively they showed their mettle. They held Wayland to only five field goals in the game and also forced 24 steals.
“I thought our defense was good all night,” Doolittle said. “In the end, our defense is where we hang our hat.”
Sophomore Tamaki Hashiramoto led Wayland (1-16) with 11 points, including hitting 3-pointers. Hashiramoto’s two treys accounted for all of Wayland’s points in the first half. Senior Courtney James-Atkins was the only other Big Red player to get in the scoring column.
“Fall River is a really good team,” Wayland coach Carl Michaletz said. “We played hard, but the team with more talent came through.
“We didn’t have many opportunities to sub, so we did get tired at the end, but in the first half we were extremely aggressive and we played really well.”
Hashiramoto’s treys had Wayland trailing only 9-6 with 8:14 to play in the first half, but the Pirates closed out the half with 12 straight points.
Fall River sophomore Sam Leisemann finished with 10 points, five rebounds and five assists, while senior Corrin Waterworth added seven points as well as a team-high seven rebounds.
The Pirates will now face 10th-seeded Deerfield in the regional semifinal on Friday. The Pirates defeated the Demons 48-36 in a nonconference game in January.
FALL RIVER 51, WAYLAND 14
Wayland 6 8 — 14
Fall River 21 30 — 51
Wayland (14) — Hashiramoto 11, James Atkins 3. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 5 1-2 14.
Fall River (51) — Tramburg 16, Van Gysel 5, Colotti 6, Gregorio 3, Waterworth 7, Rozinski 4, Leisemann 10. TOTALS (FGS FTM-FTA PTS): 19 10-22 51.
3-pointers: W 4 (Hashiramoto 4), FR 3 (Tramburg 2, Van Gysel 1). Total fouls: W 15, FR 9.