Drop seven point game to Watertown in regular season finale
Published in the February 15, 2016 edition.
WATERTOWN — The Warriors boys’ basketball team was hoping to earn a home game in the state tournament in a couple weeks. That is up in the air now as Wakefield suffered a 53-46 setback in the regular season finale against Watertown on Friday night at Kelley Gymnasium.
The Warriors wrapped up the regular season with a 12-6 overall record and 11-5 record in the Middlesex League Freedom division.
Wakefield got off to a slow start and was down 15-5 at one point before the first quarter ended with the Warriors trailing 18-11. The Warriors closed the gap and were down 26-20 at halftime.
In the third quarter, Wakefield held Watertown to just five points and scored 13 points itself as it took a 33-31 lead heading into the fourth quarter. However the Red Raiders made some big shots in the fourth quarter and went to win by seven points.
“We didn’t shoot the ball particularly well,” said Coach Brad Simpson. “In the fourth period, Watertown made some big shots. We had the slow start and that probably made the difference. Jon Miller got our first basket of the game. They got a big lead early and were up 15-5 at one point.
Watertown was led by Derek DiPietrantonio who netted a game high 18 points. Twelve of those points came in the first half.
“Watertown played very well in the first and fourth quarters. I thought we did a great job holding them to five points coming out for the second half which allowed us to take the lead. But it was not meant to be. We fought to come back, but Watertown plays very well in its own gym. It was their Senior Night and there was a good turnout for the game. I want to say we came out flat, but I think a lot of the credit should go to Watertown.”
The Warriors were also without senior forward Tighe Beck who was out with a knee injury. His presence was missed.
Still, Wakefield had some good efforts from two of its seniors. Forward Andrew Auld and guard Corey Imbriano each recorded 10 points apiece. Auld also had six rebounds and three assists. Imbriano, who sunk both of Wakefield’s three-pointers in the contest, also had four rebounds, two steals, and two assists.
Junior Zach Price had another good floor game for the Warriors. Price scored seven points and had seven rebounds. He also had two assists and a steal.
Wakefield will now have some time off before the hoop pairings for the state tourney are done on Friday, Feb. 26. As it stands now, Wakefield could be a lower seeded team and be on the road. But Simpson said several other teams in Div. 2 North have games remaining. Depending on what happens in those contests could help the Warriors. They now have to wait and see, however.
“We need some teams to help us. We aren’t in control of that anymore,” said Simpson. “Overall, we’ve had a very good season. We won the Freedom division. We had a big win against Melrose in overtime at home. We never really had a losing streak which helped. We seemed to always bounce back. We beat some really good teams.”
Simpson said that his team had the long weekend off and will be back to practice tomorrow. The Warriors also have a scrimmage scheduled for Friday and one next week as well to stay sharp during the break.
“The extra week could be a fortuitous thing. We can get some rest and Tighe Beck might be back in three to four days,” said Simpson. “After the long week off, we will be right back at practice tomorrow. We will be busy.”