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Defining moment: With Jasmine Day-Cox stepping forward, Cathedral girls’ basketball runs to another Division 4 title

Cathedral's Yedidya Lubunga (23) hoists the Division 4 championship trophy as teammate Sabina Kaba (25) celebrates after the Panthers' 75-53 win over Wahconah at Tsongas Center.Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

LOWELL — Jasmine Day-Cox wasn’t sure what her role would look like when she transferred to Cathedral after winning Boston City League MVP honors playing for O’Bryant.

Throughout this season, her place has become clear: impact presence on a state champion.

Top-seeded Cathedral dominated Sunday’s Division 4 girls’ basketball championship against third-seeded Wahconah, leading by as many as 37 points before coasting to a 75-53 victory at the Tsongas Center. Day-Cox was a pivotal piece with a team-high 19 points.

It is the program’s fifth title in eight years (including a co-championship in 2020).

“I feel good knowing that I’m here for a reason,” Day-Cox said. “I’m here to help my team, and I helped them to get this victory. I’m just so happy.”


From a 10-all game, the Panthers (20-3) exploded starting late in the first quarter. They hustled up and down the floor — much larger than their own home court — and caught fire from beyond the arc. Senior guard Sara Thompson ended her high school career by scoring 17 points, including five 3-pointers.

“Honestly, the first shot [felt good],” she said. “After I made that, I felt like this was my game.”

By halftime, Cathedral had pushed the margin to 45-21 with nine 3s as a team. Then the Panthers laid down a 15-2 surge to start the third quarter. Their 75 points fell just 3 shy of the all-time record for a girls’ basketball final, set by Masconomet in 1996.

“Our speed and this big Lowell court helps us out because we can get running, and running, and running,” Cathedral coach Clinton Lassiter said.

Hijjah Allen-Paisley (13 points) and Yedidya Lubunga (11 points) also reached double figures for the Panthers. Grace Wigington did her best for Wahconah (21-4) with 25 points.

Cathedral was the heavy favorite entering the tournament because of its depth of star talent. It requires sacrifice to make such a roster successful, and Day-Cox said it took her about the first 10 games of the season to understand what her team needed from her.


Cathedral's Jasmine Day-Cox steals the ball from Wahconah's Olivia Gamberoni in the Division 4 state final in Lowell. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Eventually, she leaned on her past experiences with her Boston Showstoppers AAU teammates on the Panthers and found a rhythm. On Sunday, Day-Cox showed her strengths, jumping passing lanes for steals, igniting fast breaks, and canning spot-up shots.

“That’s how I really found my spark,” she said. “They try to pass them to me whenever they see me [open]. So I feel like I was scoring and scoring, getting my teammates open, and it just kind of came to me, and that’s how I fit in.”

Even though the Panthers were the heavy favorite entering the tournament, Lassiter said they still feel like underdogs in Boston, where men’s sports typically receive more attention. They put in the extra work to insert their team into the city conversations.

“They want to prove themselves every single time,” Lassiter said. “They know we can’t be selfish. We’ve got to be working hard at all times . . . If we all get better, the team is going to get better as a whole.”

Cathedral's Malani Smith shoots over Wahconah's Olivia Mason in the second half. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Cathedral 75, Wahconah 53

at Tsongas Center, Lowell

Wahconah (15-2) 10 11 9 23 — 53

Cathedral (21-4) 17 28 18 12 — 75

WAHCONAH — Grace Wigington 8 5 25, Olivia Gamberoni 3 7 13, Dani Barry 2 3 8, Ava Massaro 1 0 2, Emma Belcher 1 0 2, Olivia Mason 1 0 2, Madison McCarthy 0 1 1. Totals 16 16 53.


CATHEDRAL — Jasmine Day-Cox 8 0 19, Sara Thompson 6 0 17, Hijjah Allen-Paisley 5 0 13, Yedidya Lubunga 4 2 11, Keyona Raines 2 3 7, Leilani Benson 2 0 4, Malani Smith 1 0 2, Sabina Kaba 1 0 2. Totals 29 5 75.

3-pt. goals: W Grace Wigington 4, Dani Barry; C Jasmine Day-Cox 3, Sara Thompson 5, Hijjah Allen-Paisley 3, Yedidya Lubunga.

For the fifth time in eight years, Cathedral celebrated a state championship. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff
Cathedral's Sabina Kaba pulls up for a jumper under pressure from Wahconah's Madison McCarthy. Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Ethan Fuller can be reached at