Senior Crusaders end with a strong run

Courtney Norton (center, with ball), Jennie Meagher (left) and Fredi DeGuglielmo (right) are three of Fenwick's four seniors. (COURTESY PHOTO )

WOBURN — The Bishop Fenwick girls basketball senior class has been through a lot together.

Of the four seniors, two of them — Jennie Meagher and Fredi DeGuglielmo — have been to four consecutive Division 3 North title games and played in 16 total tournament games. All four of them — Meagher, DeGuglielmo, Courtney Norton and Mary O’Brien — were on the team that won the state championship in 2016. And on Wednesday evening, their storied Fenwick careers came to a close in the state semifinals at the hands of Archbishop Williams.

“This whole senior class is a tough, hard working group that never quits,” said Fenwick coach Adam DeBaggis after the Crusaders’ 69-51 Division 3 state semifinal loss to Archbishop Williams.

“They’ve been through a lot together over the past few years,” he said.

DeBaggis had nothing but positive things to say about each one of his seniors, saying that Meagher, the lone senior captain, has shown massive improvements.

“This year, Jennie has shown bigger improvement from year to year than any player I’ve seen in a long time,” he said after Meagher put up 10 points, 14 rebounds and four blocks in Wednesday’s loss.

As for DeGuglielmo, she’s the heart and soul of the Crusaders, even playing through an Achilles injury on Wednesday night.

“Losing Fredi is going to be tough because she is so enthusiastic out there,” DeBaggis said. “She was playing through some pain tonight and still put up the same fight and intensity that she always has.”

DeBaggis also pointed to O’Brien, a role player, as the hardest worker on the whole team.

“Mary is the hardest working girl we have at practice everyday,” he said. “I didn’t tell her enough how great she’s been this year, but she really has.”

And then there’s Norton, who went from role player last year to starting point guard this year.

“Courtney is just a great person and a great personality on the team,” DeBaggis said. “Going from a small role last year into a starting role this year was big for her and she handled it beautifully.”

As the final seconds wound down in their loss to Archbishop Williams, the seniors remained on the floor until the final buzzer sounded. Despite fighting off tears while on the court, the Crusaders fought hard until the very end, even diving after a loose ball with under 30 seconds to go and down by 18 points.

“That’s just how this team plays every night,” DeBaggis said. “I asked the seniors if they wanted to stay on the floor at the end, and they did, even fighting through the tears. These girls have played together for four years, some of them for nine years if you count the AAU ball, and it’s an emotional thing when you look up and see that your season is ending like that. But these girls have been a huge part of our program for years now, and they’ll definitely be missed.”

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