STAMFORD, Conn. – Westhill High School basketball star Meg D’Alessandro has been the focus of opposing defenses nearly every game this season for the Stamford school. It has not stopped her in the slightest.
D’Alessandro has been the leading scorer and rebounder as the team has ripped 10 straight victories. The senior has been selected The Stamford Daily Voice Athlete of the Month.
“This streak has been awesome,’’ said D’Alessandro, who poured in 28 points in Friday’s 52-34 win over Greenwich. “We’ve never won that many games in a row since I’ve been here. In some seasons we only won 10 or 11 games all year.”
She has been the catalyst: She scored 23 points in a season-opening win over St. Joseph and hasn’t slowed since. In the final game of the Westhill Christmas Tournament, she scored 21 points in a victory over Foran. She had 28 points in a 49-44 win over Fairfield Ludlowe on Jan. 15 and scored 24 in a 49-47 win over Stamford on Jan. 29.
"Meg has been the cornerstone of the team this season, leading the team in both points and rebounds,’’ coach Mike King said. “Her determination is inspiring. She is a great player and person. It has been a pleasure to coach her.”
The Stamford victory was one of Westhill’s best of the season. D’Alessandro was typically brilliant, but Tyler Evans added 12 points and Jackie Paasman scored the game-winning basket in the final seconds. The win showed the team's depth.
“That was awesome,’’ D’Alessandro said. “We were so happy for Jackie, for her to make that shot in that situation. We were so happy and proud of her for that.”
D’Alessandro, who also plays softball and volleyball, has been a four-year starter for the Vikings. She has been at her best this season, which she credited to improving her game in the off-season.
“The biggest difference is I’m rebounding more,’’ she said. “If teams guard me with a box-and-one, I know I need to rebound to generate some scoring opportunities. My teammates have also been making some great passes that have been making it easier to score.”
D’Alessandro started with her brother’s youth league team and played for Stamford Youth Basketball. She remembered getting a start against Ridgefield in her freshman year as part of her varsity baptism and scoring seven points. “I have a lot of memories from that game,’’ she said. “I can still picture a lot of what happened in that game.”
Now she’s heading into the final month of her high school career. She does not plan to play in college, preferring to focus on academics. But she believes the Vikings still have room for improvement. A visit to unbeaten Danbury on Tuesday could be telling.
“Coach King keeps saying we haven’t reached our full potential yet,’’ D’Alessandro said. “We’re not playing as well as we should. Once we get to that level, we’ll be even better. It was nice to go undefeated in January, which was one of our goals. But we still have work to do.”