Warriors (4-0) back in M.L. play tonight at Burlington

Published in the January 2, 2018 edition.


WAKEFIELD — The WMHS girls’ basketball team hosted Marblehead on Friday night, looking to keep the momentum of a great start to the season and head into the new year on a positive note. The Warriors protected home court against the Magicians, seized control early and never looked back on their way to an impressive 66-20 victory, and a 4-0 record.

“Our goal today was to really try to execute and pay attention to the details and the little things,” said Wakefield head coach Jason Pavey. “We have a senior team and a lot of experience so they knew from the start that we wanted to play fast, play hard, set the tempo and not let them get comfortable.”

That start included aggressive play from the defense and strong drives to the basket. Senior forward Allee Purcell picked up two quick buckets and Marblehead needed a timeout after the Warriors broke a Magician press with excellent passing followed by a layup from senior Hailey Lovell for an 8-0 start.

Wakefield kept up the pressure on both ends of the floor, employing a full court press and trap to magically change Marblehead turnovers into points. The Warriors seized complete control by the end of the first quarter, taking a 22-10 lead and accomplishing coach Pavey’s goal of refusing to let a young Marblehead team stay in the game and get comfortable.

“Marblehead is a young team; they play really hard and sometimes if you let them hang around a bit, funny things happen so I give a lot of credit to the seniors who set the tempo,” said Pavey.

It was more of the same for Wakefield in the 2nd quarter, as the defense and press continued to lead the way. Purcell picked up two more quick baskets after a Lovell picked up a steal and an assist and senior Olivia Dziadyk did the same on the next possession. The score at the half was 38-14 with Purcell (16 pts.) and Olivia Dziadyk (8) leading the scoring.

The second half saw Wakefield shift their focus with a big lead. It is often a difficult position to be in, especially for a team that is at it’s best on the run, but the Warriors slowed down put the emphasis on half-court play.

“Our strength is our athleticism and speed so we know we can play fast but can we slow down and execute in the half court?” said Pavey. “We know if the other team wants to get in a track meet we are comfortable doing that so I was glad that we were able to change speeds and tempos and still execute and run the half court stuff whether it was man or zone. That’s really what we were focusing on in the second half.”

The bench got a chance in the second half and coach Pavey was happy with their effort as well as the enthusiasm and commitment from the starters who cheered on their teammates all the way to the final buzzer.

“Even when we were up, everybody 1-12 was still diving on the floor, the bench was still into it so that was something I was really happy to see,” said Pavey. “Those kids no matter who was in competed for 32 minutes and they supported each other throughout the whole game.”

Wakefield will now turn their attention back to the Middlesex League, starting on the road against Burlington, 6 p.m. tonight as the schedule ramps up to a rapid pace.

“We’ve played four games in a month and next week we play three,” said Pavey. “It’s going to pick up really quick. We’re excited to get going and excited to go up against the Middlesex League and compete; it’s not going to be easy.”