Due to the rapidly deteriorating health crisis, which hit a crescendo this past Wednesday night when both the NCAA and NBA suspended their operations, the three Attleboro Travel basketball teams remaining in the playoffs had their season end when the Metrowest League also abruptly cancelled the remaining playoffs for all teams on Thursday.
Given the dangerous circumstances at play, the league made the right call, but it still left players, coaches, and fans of all three teams wondering “what if”.
For both the girls of the 8th grade D1 Blue team, and the 8th grade D4 White teams, the announcement was difficult as it ended their travel basketball careers just as they were on the verge of realizing team goals. For the undefeated and #1 ranked boys 7th grade, which had advanced to the final four in a brutally tough D1 bracket, the decision froze what could have been the completion of an historic run by any Attleboro team.
The 3rd seeded 8th girls blue team, who have posted winning records for the past 5 years, including 1 state championship in the 5th grade, was set to face off against #7 seed Norwood in the final four. Norwood had been their nemesis for the past four years with no Attleboro wins recorded against them. This year, however, Attleboro turned the tables, having convincingly beaten Norwood twice while poised to make it three in a row on their march to the finals. The girls had won their first playoff game over Brookline 54-39, and would have faced the winner of the #1 North Quincy vs. #4 Easton. They end their season with a sparkling 8-4 league record and 10-4 overall.
The #5 seed 8th girls white team also won their first game over Acushnet 46-33, and were ready to take on #1 seed Seekonk (12-1 on the season) with big plans for the upset win. The girls finished the season with a strong 7-6 league record. The 8th grade girls class overall is a deeply talented class, and represents the only grade from Attleboro to have two teams competing. The group will sure to be a bright spot for local varsity basketball in the years to come.
Finally, the magical season for the #1 seeded boys 7th grade blue ended with the team still ranked #1 out of more than 120 boys 7th grade teams, and ranked #2 in the overall power ranking for more than 1,200 teams representing all grades and genders in the Metrowest league. Unfortunately, the boys will not be able to realize their goal of claiming the first D1 tournament title for Attleboro teams since 2015. The team had won both of their opening round games over #17 seed Needham 51-41, and an overtime thriller over #9 Arlington on Tuesday. The team was set to play their rival and #4 seed Dartmouth in the final four - a group they had faced five times over the past two years with Attleboro winning three of the five. Dartmouth was the last team to beat Attleboro 7th blue, dropping them in the first round of last year’s playoffs. The contest was sure to be an epic battle, but one in which the outcome will never be known. Had the boys won, they would have faced either #2 Cambridge or #3 Lawrence in the finals. They finished the 2019-2020 metrowest year 14-0 in league and playoff action. Combined with their undefeated summer league season, this team is 24-0 in league or playoff action since this past June. Truly a promising group for future local hoops.
This marks the official end of the 2019-2020 Attleboro Metrowest Travel season, and we congratulate all of our players, coaches, and fans with a job well done. Please stay safe as we head into uncertain waters in the coming weeks and months.