Top Burlington, can win banner outright in Watertown showdown Thursday
Published in the February 15, 2017 edition
By DAN BYRNE
WAKEFIELD — On Tuesday night at the Charbonneau Field House it was a varsity girls’ basketball feature presentation with the Wakefield Memorial High School varsity team taking on Burlington High School.
The Warriors didn’t start the game the way that head coach Meg O’Connell would have liked, but they got a big boost from junior guard Olivia Dziadyk in the second quarter and the rest of the team found its rhythm in the second half to top the Devils 44-40.
Wakefield’s record is now 12-3 in the Middlesex League Freedom division as it clinched at least a share of the league championship with its victory and Watertown’s 47-28 loss to Melrose last night. Watertown, which fell to 11-4 in the league, will be visiting the Warriors for the league finale tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Charbonneau Field House. Wakefield will seek to win the title outright while the Red Raiders hope to prevail and earn a share of the crown.
As for last night’s game against Burlington, Wakefield got the first two points of the game as Dziadyk laid one in on the first possession, but the offense hit a roadblock afterwards and Burlington jumped out to a 9-2 lead.
Wakefield fought back, with some intense defensive pressure by juniors Allee Purcell and Hailey Lovell forcing Burlington into turnovers. Purcell had five of her seven points in the first quarter.
Senior captain Julia Hanley provided some offense in the first quarter with a pair of layups to help get the offense going. Fellow captain, Emma Butler, had her only two points in the first as well.
At the end of the first Wakefield had fought all the way back and tied the score at 13-13 heading into the second quarter.
The beginning of the second quarter was concerning for Wakefield as it gave up a couple of baskets to the Red in the early stages, and it failed to score for the first four minutes of the quarter.
As mentioned earlier, the second quarter belonged to Olivia Dziadyk. With points at a premium, Dziadyk knocked down a three to make it 17-16 Burlington. The next possession it was another three from Dziadyk. After possession changed hands a few times, Dziadyk found herself open from deep again, finding her mark to put the Warriors up by five with another three.
The 9-0 run by Dziadyk gave the Warriors a cushion that would prove vital as the game grinded on.
“Olivia’s threes in the second were huge and they helped separate us,” O’Connell said after the win.
Purcell and Ally Coggswell added field goals in the second quarter and Lovell added a free throw, while Burlington was held off the board. Wakefield ended up outscoring the Red Devils in the second quarter, 14-4, and held a 27-17 halftime lead.
The third quarter was a dead heat, with the two teams scoring an equal nine points apiece. Burlington got to the free throw line and made four out of six from the charity stripe.
Wakefield countered with Hannah Dziadyk getting involved in the three-point action, as she showed that her sister isn’t the only one with range. Hannah’s deep three-pointer to beat the buzzer was her only points, but her value was on display on both ends of the ball, as her defense and ball handling played a key role in the Warriors holding on for the victory.
The Warriors also got baskets by Purcell and Coggswell along with senior captain Brianna Smith’s only two points of the night to give the Warriors a 36-26 lead after three quarters.
Burlington outscored the Warriors in the fourth quarter 14-8, but the Warrior defense, led by Lovell, held onto the lead and Wakefield pulled out the win.
Burlington’s Jordan Dalla Santa and Erin Mackey had four points each in the fourth quarter for the Red Devils.
Wakefield got three points from Lovell in the 4th quarter, but Coggswell saved the game with five of her nine points coming in the final frame.
“We didn’t score well consistently in the second half, but we scored when we needed to,” Coach O’Connell said. “Ally Cogswell had five points to close the game, that was huge.”
No other Warrior scored in the fourth as the offense struggled all night. The defensive intensity never wavered, and that was enough on Tuesday night to pull off the victory.
“At the end of the day we pulled it out, it wasn’t pretty but we closed it out. Offensively I feel like we had a lot of one and done shots,” the coach said, remarking on their struggles on offense as Burlington rebounded as well as any opponent they’ve faced this season. “We didn’t get them back on the boards, but give Burlington credit, they’re a scrappy team
“They play great defense, we knew coming in it was going to be a tough matchup,” the coach added. “They’ve played everybody in our league tough this year. We’re glad we were able to pull it out, but Thursday night against a tough Watertown team we have to execute for a full 32 minutes. We can’t take plays off.”
WAKEFIELD 44, Burlington 40
At Charbonneau Field House
Burlington (40) — Flaherty 1 2 4; Moreira 2 0 4; Rosberg 2 2 6; Lupo 1 1 4; Della Santa 1 1 4; Mackey 2 0 4; McGurl 2 0 4; Orchanian 2 6 10. Totals 13 12 40.
WAKEFIELD (44) — H. Butler 0 0 0; Smith 1 0 2; Hanley 2 0 4; Coggswell 4 1 9; Lovell 2 2 6; O. Dziadyk 4 0 11; E. Butler 1 0 2; Purcell 3 1 7; H. Dziadyk 1 0 3. Totals 18 4 44.
Score by Quarters — Burlington 13-4-9-14 — 40. WAKEFIELD 13-14-9-8 — 44.
Three-point FGs — Bur, Lupo 1, Della Santa 1. Three-point FGs — Wak, O. Dziadyk 3, H. Dziadyk 1.