Warriors falter in home opener
Published in the December 22, 2015 edition.
By DAN BYRNE
WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Memorial High School varsity boys’ basketball team hosted Arlington at the Charbonneau Field House on Monday evening.
The Spy Ponders put the pressure on the Warriors and came away with a victory over the home team by a 72-60 final score.
Head Coach Brad Simpson’s Wakefield team found itself in some trouble early on, when the Spy Ponders went to the full court press. The pressure by the visiting team exposed the Warriors lack of a press-breaking ball handler, something they had a pair of last season.
“We practiced one day for their pressure,” Simpson said after the game. “Clearly our practice couldn’t simulate the type of pressure they can apply.”
Arlington jumped out to a 12 point first quarter lead, before the Warriors cut it back down to 10 before the second quarter.
In the second quarter, the press continued to give the Warriors fits, leading to turnovers and points off turnovers for Arlington.
Arlington was led by their junior captain Colin McNamara, who had 15 first half points as the Spy Ponders took a 12 point lead into the locker room over the Warriors. He finished with a game high 20 points.
Kobey Nadeau had eight first quarter points and two second quarter points to make him the lone Warrior in double figures at halftime.
Wakefield came back in the third quarter, outscoring Arlington 22-16 behind the senior front court combination of Andrew Auld and Tighe Beck. Auld had the first basket of the quarter and four of his 10 points in the third. Junior John Evangelista hit a three-pointer with the Warriors down 12 to cut it down to nine.
Wakefield continued to chip away and exchange baskets with Arlington. Andrew Miller had a layup late to cut the lead to five points at 57-52, but a last second free throw from Arlington pushed the lead back out to six going to the fourth quarter.
Arlington turned up the heat defensively once again coming out in the fourth quarter, turning the Warriors over a number of times and converting them into points at the other end. In the fourth, the Spy Ponder outscored Wakefield 14-8 as they closed out the 12 point win.
Wakefield got another three from Evangelista to start the fourth and the lead was just three points. A pair of two point baskets from Beck and Nadeau were all the Warriors could manage after they cut the lead to one possession.
“When we closed it to three points,” Simpson said, “As a team we committed some very undisciplined fouls. We got a “T.” When we cut it to three we put them on the line three possessions in a row and they got the lead back up again.”
Arlington hit a pair of free throws to bump the lead back up to five at 60-55, then Auld was hit with a technical foul and the mood of the game changed.
Arlington would go an 8-1 run following the “T” and re-establish a 12 point lead at 68-56.
It was not the Warriors’ night but despite the fact that they didn’t have their “A” game, they were never out of the contest and fought hard to stay in the game.
“I thought our biggest weakness was undisciplined play late in the game,” Simpson said post-game.
Wakefield will have to work on keeping its composure and finding a way to pull out these close late games.
They’ll have a chance to get a win the next time out as Stoneham comes into the Charbonneau Field House Wednesday at 5 p.m.
Arlington 72, WAKEFIELD 60
At Charbonneau Field House
Arlington (72) — Clifford 1 0 2; Slebodnick 6 5 17; McNamara 7 4 20; Gasciogne 2 5 9; Burns 2 0 4; Marfiote 1 2 4; Black 1 4 7; Kim 1 0 3; Wasco 1 3 6. Totals 22 23 72.
WAKEFIELD (60) — Evangelista 2 0 6; Miller 2 0 4; Beck 5 2 12; Imbriano 0 1 1; Smith 0 0 0; McKenna 1 4 6; Nadeau 6 3 15; Price 2 0 4; Auld 5 0 10; McGunigle 1 0 2. Totals 24 10 60.
Score by Quarters — Arlington 24-18-16-14 — 72. WAKEFIELD 14-16-22-8 — 60.
Three-point FGs — Arl, McNamara 2, Black 1, Kim 1, Wasco 1. Wak, Evangelista 2.