Warriors create separation in fourth quarter in 59-53 win


CHRIS CALNAN, a senior point guard, played tremendous defense on Burlington’s Chris DiMartinez which helped Wakefield prevail by a 59-53 score. Calnan scored three points, had six rebounds and four assists. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

CHRIS CALNAN, a senior point guard, played tremendous defense on Burlington’s Chris DiMartinez which helped Wakefield prevail by a 59-53 score. Calnan scored three points, had six rebounds and four assists. (Donna Larsson File Photo)

BURLINGTON — On Friday night, the Wakefield Memorial High School boys’ basketball team traveled to Burlington and managed to come away from the Red Devils home court with a 59-53 win, improving their record to 5-5 on the season.

Burlington got out to an 8-3 lead before Wakefield turned the scoring on in the first quarter.

Senior Brian Dickey found his range from long distance sinking three of his 19 points to start things off for Wakefield.

Junior forward Tighe Beck tied the game at 9-9 early on with an offensive rebound and a put back from down low. Beck had another big game recording 14 points. The junior also had 16 rebounds and two steals.

“Tighe Beck was Tighe Beck again with a few more monster rebounds,” Head Coach Brad Simpson said of his standout junior.

The teams battled back and forth and were tied at 14 after one quarter.

Burlington got the better of the Warriors in the second quarter and managed to take a three point lead into the locker room with the score 28-25 in favor of the Red Devils at the break.

Wakefield benefited from contributions from eight different scorers on the day. Corey Imbriano got a handful of minutes in the first half as starter Chris Calnan picked up two fouls early and headed for the bench. The reserve junior point guard chipped in with a bucket as well as some solid defense to close out the first half.

MJ Urbano had four points, one steal, one assist and one rebound off the bench for Wakefield.

Alex McKenna came in and gave Andrew Auld a rest in the first half and scored a bucket in reserve as well for the Warriors.

In the third quarter Wakefield came out and turned up the defense, holding Burlington to just 10 points.

“We played very good defense in the third quarter,” Simpson said.

Senior captain Calnan’s work on Burlington’s scoring leader, Chris Di Martinez, who is averaging over 20 points per game for the Red Devils, was outstanding.

Calnan shut down DiMartinez and took him out of the game plan for the Red Devils.

“He deserves a nod for playing an All-League player like that,” said Simpson.

DiMartinez wasn’t alone in his struggles as the Warrior defense clamped down and nobody could find their stroke for the Red Devils.

“They have a couple other kids who are good shooters,” Simpson said. “But we were doing a good job on their shooters.”

Giving up just 10 points in the third quarter was critical as the Warriors put 15 points on the board in the third and took a two point lead into the fourth quarter.

Urbano made a critical play to stop Burlington on the fast break and grab a steal to end the third quarter by jumping into the passing lane to intercept what would have led to a sure layup for Burlington as time expired.

In the fourth quarter the game swung back and forth as the two sides battled for supremacy. Burlington surged ahead out to a three point lead to start things off before Wakefield went on an 8-0 run to pull ahead and never look back.

Sophomore Zach Price hit a three-pointer from the top of the key at the end of a possession and sparked the run. Price finished with five points, all coming in the fourth quarter.

Later, Calnan split Burlington’s zone defense with the dribble and drew out the central defender before he dropped a beautiful bounce pass to junior Auld who finished the layup for two of his 10 points.

Auld had a nice game as he added 14 rebounds to go along with his 10 points.

“It was his best game to date,” Simpson said of his junior big man.

Dickey, a captain, was as effective as ever, he had 19 points, five assists, and was 2-for-5 from three-point range on the night.

“He’s been our bellwether in terms of scoring all year,” Simpson said of his senior captain.

Calnan had six rebounds and four assists to go along with his three points.

Calnan went to the line for a crucial one-and-one situation with 13 seconds left and Wakefield up by four points. He converted both ends to give the Warriors a six point lead at 59-53, effectively sealing the victory for Wakefield.

Wakefield didn’t shoot the ball particularly well and, outside of Beck, Dickey and Auld, Simpsons’ team struggled offensively.

The Warriors shot 42 percent from the field on the night but they shot just 3-for-17 from three-point range and 50 percent from the free throw line going 8-for-16.

“Generally we shoot better than that,” Simpson said. “I don’t think that tonight was indicative of who we are as a team. We managed to win the game despite our shooting. Everybody was off a bit tonight outside of Brian and Tighe,” said Simpson.

“Our defensive effort was the story, especially our work on their scorer, DiMartinez,” added Simpson after the win. “It was a team effort. But Chris Calnan was the guy who played him man-to-man in the second half and really took him out of his rhythm down the stretch. “I think he held him to about five points in the second half.”

But the coach was satisfied with his team for pulling out the win saying, “We’ve been ahead before and not played well, I think we showed some good basketball intelligence and made sure we took good shots and worked the clock.”

Wakefield won’t have long to celebrate its winning ways as its game Monday against undefeated Arlington will tip off around 5:30 p.m. following the conclusion of the girls’ game.


WAKEFIELD 59, Burlington 53

At Burlington High School


WAKEFIELD (59) — Dickey 19; Beck 14; Auld 10; Price 5; Urbano 4, Calnan 3, McKenna 2, Imbriano 2. Total 59.

Burlington (53) — Not available.

Score by Quarters — WAKEFIELD 14-11-15-19 — 59. Burlington 14-14-10-15 — 53.

Three-point FGs — Wak, Dickey 2, Price 1.