WESTBOROUGH, Mass. — Strong drives from Amy Wilichowski kept Westborough close throughout the first quarter of the Westborough Invitational semifinals, after that point, Algonquin never looked back.
Behind a game-high 21 points from junior Amanda Murphy, the Tomahawks (15-3) went on an 18-1 run, split between the first and second quarter. The run turned a 10-8 deficit into a 26-11 lead, and they never looked back, winning 54-29.
"It took us a while to kind of get going, but I give credit to (Westborough) and their defense for that," said Algonquin coach Ron Jones. "We're lucky enough to have Amanda Murphy on our team, and she can score a lot of points in hurry. That puts a lot of pressure on them when you open up the lead."
Behind rebounding and superior size, Algonquin drew fouls constantly throughout the game and held Westborough (10-9) to just one point in the third quarter.
The foul discrepancy resulted in 32 Algonquin free throws, of which they converted 18.
Sophomore Dorian McMenemy and junior Olivia Giorlandino each added eight points for the Tomahawks, while constantly hitting the boards throughout the game.
"Some kids came off the bench and did a really good job," Jones said. "Our depth was a big key tonight."
Westborough's Tori Flahive fouled out midway through the third quarter, and Westborough coach Scott Kittredge said his team was playing from behind early after getting into such deep foul trouble.
"We just didn't play good enough defense with our feet in the first half, and the fouls piled up," he said. "Algonquin plays great defense ... They have great athletes and they get into you."
Wilichowski scored a team-high 15 points to lead the Rangers, who qualified for the district tournament by finishing second in Mid-Wach B competition.
The Westborough Invitational Tournament will continue Friday at 7 p.m., when Algonquin takes on Holy Name, which beat Doherty, 56-33, in the other semifinal matchup.
Jones said he considers Holy Name, a team the Tomahawks lost to earlier this year, to be the best team in Central Mass.
"It's nice to challenge yourself against the best team and see what you can do," he said. "We're looking forward to it."