It's very possible that Whittier Regional Athletic Director Kevin Bradley was disappointed to see 2011 come to an end.
Both of his basketball teams are undefeated in the early portion of the season. The Whittier boys have won their first five games, while the girls team is off to a 7-0 start.
"This is unbelievable," said Bradley, who also is the head coach of the girls basketball team. "I have to check to make sure that my feet are still on the ground."
The hot start was punctuated by the girls' dramatic 67-61 overtime victory over Brockton last Friday afternoon. The Wildcats got off to a slow start, trailing by as many as eight in the first half, but the determination of seniors Catherine Roche (14 points) and Christina Medley (13 points) paid off for them.
Down two points with under 10 seconds to go, Brockton was at the line to ice the game and things looked bleak for Whittier. But Medley got a rebound off a missed free throw and drew a foul coming up the court. She calmly sunk two free throws with 4.4 seconds to go to send the game to overtime.
In overtime, two unsung heroes sparked the Wildcats. Freshman Andrea Terranova and senior Kendra Brasil each hit clutch 3-pointers to spark a 7-0 run, which cemented the game for the Wildcats.
The win came against a Division 1 opponent, after the first six games were against weaker foes whom Whittier handled easily.
"This was awesome," Bradley said after the victory. "This is why we get our teams ready to play these types of games. We were just hoping to have a good showing and see what we can do. This gave us a great opportunity to see where we were as a basketball team and we ended up playing them really tough."
The win for the Wildcats was a big one, but their road does not get any easier from here. They will travel to Shawsheen on Friday to face Shawsheen, a team that beat Whittier twice last season. The Wildcats then have another marquee matchup against Pentucket on Sunday.