Warriors pull out 49-40 triumph over Rockets
Published in the December 21, 2015 edition.
By DAN BYRNE
READING — After dropping its opener to Lexington, Meghan O’Connell’s WMHS varsity girls’ basketball team went into Reading seeking its first win.
The team came together and pull out a win on the road to the tune of a 49-40 final score on Friday night at Hawkes Field House.
“It’s exciting,” Coach O’Connell said following the win.
Senior Gabby Joly was out of the starting line up and did not play after being out of practice due to illness during the week. So coach O’Connell had to call the number of sophomore Allee Purcell.
Purcell delivered in her first career start for the Warriors scoring 12 points while shooting 2-for-2 from the free-throw line.
“She really stepped right in,” O’Connell said. “She’s a great athlete and she finished really well.”
Purcell scored the first six points for the Warriors in the first quarter as the Rockets and Warriors traded buckets with the Rockets just edging ahead with a Haley Lightbody three-pointer.
Lightbody was impressive in the loss for the Rockets as the freshman scored 13 points with the three-pointer.
The Warriors got another good outing from their own freshman, as Hannah Butler had her only field goal in the first. She finished with three points. However the freshman’s biggest impact came in the paint as the forward grabbed 10 rebounds and was a force in the center of the 2-3 zone on defense.
Butler came in for her sister, senior Emma Butler, who started the game but headed to the bench after getting into some early foul trouble.
Wakefield cut the lead to one point to open the second as Olivia Dziadyk slashed in for a quick score. Reading came right back with a three-pointer from Emily Allardi. After a pair of free-throws from Emma Butler and Dziadyk cut the lead to 18-14, Grace Hurley knocked down a trey to cut the lead to one at 18-17. Hurley then went 2-for-2 from the free throw line and gave the Warriors a one point lead at 19-18.
Hurley played a crucial role all night long, handling the ball against the Rocket’s full court defense at the point guard.
“Reading’s defensive pressure for the 32 minutes was awesome. Grace really just settled us down and took that leadership role, made free-throws and made big plays when we needed them.”
In the final minute of the second, Hannah Butler went 1-for-2 from the line and Haley Lovell had a close-range field goal to make it 22-18. Wakefield really locked down Reading on defense as it held the Rockets to just five second quarter points.
The start of the second half marked the arrival of Hannah Dziadyk, as the Warriors sophomore had eight of her 10 points after the break. Wakefield outscored Reading 15-13 in the third and held a 37-31 lead going into the fourth quarter.
Reading opened the fourth on a 5-0 run to cut the Warrior lead to one before Olivia Dziadyk and Hurley scored baskets for Wakefield to ree-stablish a five point lead.
Reading came back with two of its own, but the next time down for Wakefield Olivia Dziadyk converted a three-point play, scoring a bucket and a free throw to give the Warriors a 44-38 lead.
Reading came back down and scored to make it 44-40, but the Warriors closed the game out at the free throw line, shooting 5-of-6 from the stripe down the stretch. First Hannah Dziadyk knocked down a pair of free throws, then Hurley went 1-of-2 on her trip to the line, followed by Purcell converting on her two attempts.
With the win the Warriors improve to one win and one loss, heading into the home opener Monday night against Arlington.
“We’re excited for the home opener,” O’Connell said as she looked ahead to this week.
WAKEFIELD 49, Reading 40
At Hawkes Field House,
WAKEFIELD (49) — Derendal 0 0 0; H.Butler 1 1 3; Hanley 0 0 0; Hurley 2 3 8; Joyce 0 2 2; Coggswell 2 0 4; Lovell 1 0 2; O.Dziadyk 3 2 8; E.Butler 0 1 1; Purcell 5 2 12; H.Dziadyk 3 3 9. Totals 17 14 49.
Reading (40) — Zagami 0 0 0; McGurn 1 0 2; Sullivan 2 0 5; Doherty 0 1 1; McGinness 1 1 3; Allardi 1 0 3; Lightbody 6 0 13; Nestor 4 5 13. Totals 15 7 40.
Score by Quarters — WAKEFIELD 10-12-15-12 — 49. Reading 13-5-13-9 — 40.
Three-point FGs — Wak, Hurley 1. Rea, Sullivan 1, Allardi 1, Lightbody 1.