Warriors post first victory of the season with 73-52 rout

SENIOR GUARD Chris Calnan (#11) scored a game high 23 points, had seven assists and three steals in Wakefield’s 73-52 victory over Reading last night at the Charbonneau Field House. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

SENIOR GUARD Chris Calnan (#11) scored a game high 23 points, had seven assists and three steals in Wakefield’s 73-52 victory over Reading last night at the Charbonneau Field House. (Donna Larsson File Photo)


WAKEFIELD — The Warrior boys’ basketball team has played better and better each game. Not coincidentally, Wakefield has become healthier after a rash of early season injuries.

The Warriors earned their first victory of the 2014-15 season as they surged past Reading, 73-52, last night at the Charbonneau Field House.

Wakefield increased its record to 1-2 on the season, while the Rockets fell to 0-3.

“It’s nice to get a win,” said Head Coach Brad Simpson. “This stretch has been a test of our grit. We played better the other night than we did against Woburn. Either Reading or Wakefield was going to their first win tonight. This is really sweet. It’s a nice Christmas present.”

Wakefield trailed the Rockets, 15-12, after one quarter. But in the second period, the Warriors outscored Reading, 28-13, to take a 40-28 lead to the locker room. Wakefield led 52-37 after three quarters and increased its margin of victory in the fourth quarter as both teams had emptied their benches over the final few minutes of the contest.

“We have been preaching team defense and our team defense tonight was very good,” said Simpson. “We took their top two scorers, (Mike) Algeri and (Chris) Merullo, out of the game.”

Merullo, a junior guard, had eight points and Algeri, a senior guard, recorded six points.

“We’re also finally getting healthy,” said Simpson. “Corey Imbriano has been cleared to play and he practiced a little bit. He should be back by next weekend for the Malden Tournament.”

A deeper bench has helped the Warriors and last night having junior forward Andrew Auld back gave Wakefield some height inside the paint and it helped along the boards.

However it was senior point guard and co-captain Chris Calnan that assumed control and led Wakefield. Calnan had a game high 23 points including a pair of three-pointers. Calnan just didn’t score points, but he set up his teammates as well as he had seven assists. On defense, the senior had three steals.

Junior forward Tighe Beck also had a strong game as he ripped the cords for 14 points. Senior co-captain and guard Brian Dickey chipped in with 11 points.

Off the bench, Wakefield got a nice lift offensively from sophomores Kobe Nadeau and Alex McKenna. Nadeau scored 10 points and McKenna had nine.

“Chris Calnan stepped up for us tonight,” said Simpson. “Tighe Beck’s motor is going full speed all the time. He never takes plays off and he makes things happen for us. We also got a big lift from our bench with Alex McKenna, Kobe Nadeau, John Miller, Elijah Nardone and Neil Fitzgerald. When they came in the lead expanded. They had a good night. McKenna scored eight points in the second quarter and that was huge for us.”

Junior forward Jared Johnson-Thorpe (nine points) scored the first basket to give the Rockets the lead. Sophomore Zach Price scored on the fast break. Reading then scored five straight points as Merullo made a layup, senior forward Carter Swaebe hit a baseline shot, and Algeri sank one of two free throws.

The Warriors answered as Beck hit a mid-range jumper and Calnan drove to the basket to cut the lead to 7-6. After a pair of baskets by Johnson-Thorpe with a Beck hoop in between, Beck hit a baseline shot and Calnan recorded a layup to give Wakefield a 12-11 lead. But the Rockets scored the final four points of the quarter to take a 15-12 lead. Junior guard Carl Gillies sank two foul shots and sophomore forward Corey DiLoreto (10 points) scored from inside to give the visitors the advantage after one.

Nadeau sank a field goal despite being fouled and then hit from inside with 6:51 left in the second quarter as the Warriors regained the lead. After a basket by Algeri, Wakefield went on a 10-0 run to take a 26-19 lead.

Calnan hit a baseline jumper, McKenna scored on the fast break and Calnan recorded a layup with 5:18 left. After a missed free throw by Reading on the front end of a one-and-one, Beck put back a missed shot and McKenna scored on a pass from Calnan to give the Warriors the nine point advantage with 4:07 left in the second.

Swaebe hit one of two free throws and Gillies canned a trey to cut the lead to 26-21. But Calnan hit a basket to end the run. After Swaebe again hit one of two foul shots, Calnan hit a jumper and Beck scored on a pass from Calnan with 1:54 left in the half.

Merullo hit a three-pointer and Johnson-Thorpe sank one of two free throws with a Dickey jumper in between. Wakefield then scored six straight points with McKenna hitting two baskets and Calnan one. Gillies scored on layup right before the buzzer as the Warriors held a 40-28 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, neither team put the ball in the basket very much as Wakefield outscored the Rockets, 12-9.

Dickey and Algeri traded layups. Then Dickey hit a trey and recorded a layup to give Wakefield a 17 point lead (47-30) with 5:08 left.

DiLoreto hit one of two free throws before Beck put back a rebound of a missed shot. Swaebe made one of two free throws and Johnson-Thorpe drove to the basket. Calnan and Merullo traded three-pointers as Wakefield led after three by 15 points.

Wakefield maintained that double digit lead in the fourth quarter and led by as many as 19 points (65-46) with the starters in as Dickey scored a basket to put Wakefield up by 19.

After that, both teams went deep into their benches and Wakefield increased its lead even more. With the score, 65-48, the Warriors sent on a 6-0 run to take a 23 point lead, 71-48. Senior MJ Urbano, Nardone and Nadeau each scored baskets. After a Reading basket, Nadeau scored again to give the Warriors a 73-50 advantage.

Reading’s Nathan Walker recorded the final two points of the game as Wakefield walked away with its initial triumph of the season.

“It’s nice to get our first win,” said Simpson.

Wakefield’s next game will be on Sunday afternoon (2:30 p.m.) in the first round of the Malden Holiday Tournament. The Warriors will face Salem at Malden High School.


WAKEFIELD 73, Reading 52

At Charbonneau Field House


Reading (52) — Swaebe 1 3 5; Gillies 2 3 8; Johnson-Thorpe 4 1 9; Algeri 2 2 6; Merullo 3 0 8; Raucci 0 0 0; DiLoreto 3 4 10; Malinski 0 0 0; Fischer 0 0 0; McLaughlin 0 0 0; Tierno 0 0 0; Robinson 1 0 2; McFadden 0 0 0; Walker 2 0 4. Totals 18 13 52.

WAKEFIELD (73) — Beck 7 0 14; Price 1 0 2; Auld 0 0 0; Dickey 5 0 11; Calnan 10 1 23; Fitzgerald 0 0 0; Nadeau 5 0 10; Nardone 1 0 2; Miller 0 0 0; McKenna 4 1 9; Urbano 1 0 2. Totals 34 2 73.

Score by Quarters — Reading 15-13-9-15 — 52. WAKEFIELD 12-28-12-21 — 73.

Three-point FGs — Rea, Merullo 2, Gillies. Wak, Calnan 2, Dickey 1.