2002 Varsity Girls’ Basketball
25-0 Undefeated Season • NEPSAC Class A Champions
Tabor Academy’s 2002 Varsity Girls’ Basketball team had something to prove. They knew they were a solid team with depth, talent, and good chemistry. They had these qualities the previous two seasons as well, however, and both seasons Tabor’s team had been knocked out of the playoffs in the semi-finals by Phillips Andover. Those losses were tough and stung the team because they felt like they could not get over that last hurdle and they wanted to send the message that Tabor was one of the elite teams that belonged in the Class A Division.
The 21 games of the 2002 regular season were intentionally tough. The Varsity Girls’ Basketball team had added games against two college JV teams and the Naval Academy Preparatory School (NAPS) to put the girls in physically challenging games before the playoffs. This commitment to leveling up their play paid off. The girls easily cruised through a home quarter-final game and faced their first real challenge of the post-season in a neutral site semi-final game against Loomis Chaffee. The team was down at the half and not playing cohesively. Everyone was trying to do too much instead of doing their jobs. At halftime the team regrouped, talked about where they’d been, and what they’d overcome. Most importantly, they talked about what they’d done in the 2002 season to be ready for this moment. The girls settled in and overcame a four-point halftime deficit to win the game by 18, setting up the championship that all New-England girls’ basketball wanted to see.
The final game against Andover was tight from buzzer to buzzer. Neither team was able to gain more than a five-point lead, and the lead changed hands frequently. With Tabor up by two, and seconds left on the clock, Andover scored off an inbounds play to send the game into overtime. Again, neither team could take control of the period and it ended dead locked. In the second overtime, the teams traded baskets and the lead seemed to change hands on each possession. With Tabor leading by one, and under ten seconds on the clock, Andover’s point guard tried to cross over in front of junior Whitney Ffrench ’03, and drive for the win. Whitney flicked the ball away, grabbing possession. She was fouled with 1.6 seconds on the clock and headed to the foul line with the game on the line. Whitney made both shots to give Tabor a three-point lead. A last-second heave at the buzzer by Andover clanged out and the celebration began. It was the beginning of Tabor’s dominance at the highest level and laid the foundation for what the program has become. Propelled by this success, Tabor went on to win the next three championships and set a record with seven consecutive trips to the championship game.
Over the last 20 years, Tabors’ varsity girls’ basketball program has advanced to the finals 16 times and won seven championships. This success started with the 2002 Varsity Girls’ Basketball team that refused to accept anything other than a championship title. They knew they were the best and proved their championship mentality to the whole of New England.
Naimah D. Abdullah ’03; Sarcia T. Adkins ’02, Captain; Kristina L. Baugh ’03, Captain; Jaunelle R. Chapman ’03, Manager; Whitney J. Ffrench ’03; Bethany Anderson Jackson ’02; Mary E. Lewis ’03; Leah M. Mendes ’03; Tara L. Miller ’05; Courtney Beal Scalice ’05; Alina K. Wolhardt ’03; Sierra Yaun ’02, Captain; Caitlin Milbury Young ’03; Maggie J. Zayko ’02
Head Coach: Will Becker
Assistant Coach: Airami Bogle Bentz