Warriors rebounding the difference in 58-49 triumph
Published in the January 18, 2016 edition.
By DAN BYRNE
WAKEFIELD — The Charbonneau Field House was the site for a Middlesex League doubleheader on Friday as the Red Raiders of Watertown High came to take on the Warriors. The boys’ teams kicked the evening off before the girls took the floor.
Wakefield came in to the game Friday hoping to build on its mid-week win over Burlington. The Warriors came into Friday’s game with a 5-4 record, while Watertown’s record stood at 4-4.
Head Coach Brad Simpson’s team made it two wins in a row, riding a strong second quarter performance to a 58-49 victory, its sixth win of the season.
Wakefield put up 15 points in the first quarter but Watertown managed to put up 13 against the 1-3-1 zone defense the Warriors began playing.
“Our game plan was to mix in a little man-to-man defense with a lot of 1-3-1 quarter court zone, no traps, to take away their whole inside presence and not allow any second and third chances,” Coach Simpson said of his team’s defensive strategy following the win. “I thought we executed that to perfection.”
Seniors Tighe Beck, Corey Imbriano and Andrew Auld started the game with four points each in the opening frame. Junior starter Kobey Nadeau added three from the free throw line and Wakefield held a two point lead going into the second quarter.
The second quarter started with two points from a Zach Price drive and lay-in along the baseline. Watertown then came down and hit back-to-back three-pointers to take a two point lead over the Warriors at 19-17. Alex McKenna tied the score for Wakefield, then Beck made 2-of-2 from the line to put the home team up a pair at 21-19.
McKenna made the next Warrior basket after some stingy defense and some tough rebounding on the offensive glass. Beck got into the action on the offensive rebounds and Nadeau made a three-pointer to make it 26-19 in favor of the hosts.
Next time down, junior John Evangelista drove to the basket and got fouled, making 2-for-2 from the free throw line and giving the Warriors a 28-19 lead. The second quarter concluded with a Watertown basket by Derek DiPietrantonio followed by a Nadeau trip to the free throw line where he hit 1-of-2 free throws.
At half-time, the hometown Warriors led Watertown 29-21.
The third quarter was all-out dominance by Wakefield on the offensive and defensive boards. The senior front court combo of Auld and Beck cleaned the glass and scored six points apiece to account for 12 of Wakefield’s 18 third quarter points.
“We were hoping to get some offensive rebounding,” Simpson said. “Andrew Auld had seven offensive rebounds and Tighe Beck had three.”
Nadeau recorded his second three-pointer in as many quarters and McKenna had a three-point play the old fashioned way, taking contact on a layup and making the free throw.
The Warriors could do little to stop the long range attack of Watertown throughout the game but in the third quarter in particular. The Red Raiders sank eight three-point shots on the evening, but four of them came in the third quarter. In fact, they didn’t score a single field goal inside the three-point arc in the third quarter.
After three quarters, the Warriors held a 47-39 lead.
In the fourth quarter, Wakefield got some clutch shooting from Imbriano and some more big boards from Auld and Beck.
“Tighe Beck and Andrew Auld worked the high-low on offense and we scored on four out of five possessions in a row,” Simpson said.
Imbriano had two huge treys in the fourth quarter.
“Corey Imbriano is getting better and better,” his coach said after the game. “ He hit two threes that were daggers in the second half. He’s very smooth, sometimes you don’t notice him because he doesn’t make many mistakes and he doesn’t do a lot of flashy stuff. But he does a great job for us, he played the whole game.”
The first of his bombs came to open the quarter and gave the Warriors a double digit lead at 50-39. His second was the final points for Wakefield and once again stretched the lead, this time putting the Warriors up 58-42 and all but knocking out the Red Raiders. Watertown went on and scored seven points after the second Imbriano trey, but it was far too little, too late and the game ended with a final score of 58-49.
“It was a very good performance, probably our best 32 minutes of the season,” said Simpson. “We knew we’d give up some threes. But we felt if they only had one shot and they were basically all outside shots, that we could really do some damage defensively in terms of limiting them in their second chances which was crucial for us tonight.
“We’ve been struggling a little bit against the zone so that was good for us,” the coach concluded reflecting on his team’s win. “We’ve come out of the first round of games in the Freedom Division four and one.”
The game against Winchester this afternoon will be at 4 p.m. at the Charbonneau Field House, following the girls’ game.
WAKEFIELD 58, Watertown 49
At Charbonneau Field House
Watertown (49) — Fulcar 2 0 5; Chase 4 3 14; Laskaris 1 0 3; Korte 0 2 2; DiPietrantonio 5 5 17; Nebiye 1 0 3; Foley 1 0 2; Hairston 1 1 3. Totals 15 11 49.
WAKEFIELD (58) — Evangelista 0 2 2; Miller 0 0 0; Fils-Aime 0 0 0; Beck 6 3 15; Imbriano 4 0 10; Carmilia-Smith 0 0 0; Murray 0 0 0; McKenna 3 1 7; Nadeau 2 4 10; Price 1 0 2; Auld 6 0 12; McGunigle 0 0 0; Redmond 0 0 0. Totals 22 10 58.
Score by Quarters — Watertown 13-8-18-10 — 49. WAKEFIELD 15-14-18-11 — 58.
Three-point FGs — Chase 3, DiPietrantonio 2, Fulcar 1, Laskaris 1, Nebiye 1. Wak, Imbriano 2, Nadeau 2.