The Staples girls basketball team fell short of winning the Notre Dame Catholic High School Appalachian Classic basketball tournament on last Wednesday.

Staples dropped to 4-3 in a 40-29 loss to Mansfield, the defending Massachusetts Division 1 South Sectional champion, in the Notre Dame tournament championship game. Mansfield raised its record to 6-0.

Lady Wrecker senior captain Nicole Brill said, "This was a bitter sweet game for me because I was proud of how everyone played, but I really wanted to win the tournament."

Going into the game, Staples was aware Mansfield would be tough competition. Senior captain Julie Strickland says, "We knew Mansfield was a very strong team, as evidenced by their last year Massachusetts South Sectional championship and convincing win over St. Joe's in the first round. They had an experienced roster with seven seniors, and we knew we would have to play well in order to win."

The problem in this game for the Lady Wreckers was their inability to score in the second half. Brill explained, "We did not score for about 15 minutes, which really hindered us on the scoreboard."

However Staples was able to keep itself in the game by playing great defense. Senior captain MaryKate Van Sant said, "We played very good defense keeping them to no more then 40 points."

Although Staples did not win, it was pleased with its second place finish in the tournament. Strickland said, "Considering the caliber of teams at the tournament, I was very proud of the team finishing second."

Brill and Van Sant were selected as members of the all-tournament team for their performances against both Mansfield and Notre Dame.

Van Sant said, "It was an honor to get all tournament with Brill and the other players. We all worked hard in the tournament and it was nice to get recognition for our accomplishments."

Brill added, "I was really honored to be selected for the all-tournament team. The whole team and I worked very hard to do our best in the tournament."