By Jean DePlacido
---- — The dream season ended in the Division 3 Final Four for Williams College women’s basketball player Kellie Macdonald of Danvers. The sophomore from Danvers, who started 30 of 31 games this season as a versatile guard/forward was a key member of the record setting team that posted the highest finish ever in the school’s 39-year history.
“It was a great experience,” said Macdonald, who starred for Danvers High. “Going to the Final Four was one of our team goals. At the beginning of the season we said we wanted to go as far as we could, and we did it.”
That journey took the team to Hope College in Holland, Michigan for the Final Four earlier this month. The Ephs faced unbeaten DePauw (the eventual champion) in the semi-finals while Amherst took on Wisconsin-Whitewater. Williams lost, 59-56 while NESCAC rival Amherst fell, 64-62 in overtime. In the consolation game Williams and Amherst met for the fourth time this season with the Ephs winning, 57-53 to finish third in the nation in D3.
“It was great to get that far,” said Macdonald, who is majoring in psychology and political science. “DePauw had a very good team, but we were able to stay with them and only lost by three points. It was a great tournament, and we ended our season with a win.
“We will graduate six seniors, who all contributed, but we have a strong core group coming back. This year I started as a 3 (guard), but sometimes I moved up to the 4 (forward). Next year I think I’ll be at the 4 a little more, but I really don’t care. I’ll play anywhere the coach wants me to in order to help the team.”
Macdonald averaged 22.3 minutes and five points per game this season. She had 52 assists, 90 rebounds, 26 blocks, and 15 steals. Williams finished with a 27-6 record overall, 9-1 in NESCAC play, and posted an incredible 15-1 record at home.
Macdonald will get busy lifting and playing pick up games once she returns to school and will continue during the summer to get ready for next season.
“We’ve been on spring break so it was great to get two weeks off to rest up. After the Final Four ended we flew from Michigan to where we were going for break. It was fun to host both the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 this season. We got to cut down the nets on our own court which was really cool.
“I love Williams, and the whole town was very supportive of our team. It was such a great experience to be able to play a part in my sophomore year.”