‘Aires clinch spot in WMass title game

The Lenox girls’ basketball team celebrates its win over Ware Monday night at the Cage. (Photo by Matthew Tonis)

AMHERST — Standing on the free throw line with 3.6 seconds remaining, Lenox senior guard Jade Alward had just one thought on her mind: Don’t give Ware another chance.

“I just wanted to push them away,” Alward said. “I didn’t want to end up in the last two seconds like the last time we played them having a chance to sink a 3 on us.”

A year after the Millionaires were eliminated by the Indians in the Western Massachusetts Division IV quarterfinals on a buzzer-beater from Aidyn Welsh, Alward clinched her team’s revenge, sinking a pair of free throws to put the finishing touches on a 59-54 win for Lenox.

“It feels really good,” Alward, who finished the day with a game-high 27 points, said. “I mean, I know how it feels, so it sucks for them, but it was our turn.”

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