Warriors shut down Concord-Carlisle in 39-18 rout
By DAN BYRNE
CONCORD — On Wednesday afternoon, the Wakefield Memorial High School varsity girls’ basketball team took a New Year’s Eve trip to Concord-Carlisle to play in a non-league game against the Patriots.
Wakefield came out focused and determined claiming a statement victory, 39-18.
It was just the result Wakefield’s coach, Meghan O’Connell, was hoping for and prepares the Warriors for their next test in the Middlesex League, a Friday night trip to Watertown.
On Wednesday, the Warriors played a team from CC that was overmatched and Wakefield recognized its weak opponent and made sure there was no mistake in claiming the victory.
“We came out a little flat, after our break having not played in a while,” the coach said of her team after they hadn’t played a game in nearly a week. “(We) Came out flat offensively. But it didn’t affect how we played defense and it allowed us to generate offense from our defense which is key to get things going.”
Wakefield was led by some stout defense, specifically the pressure it put on the player handling the ball. But also Wakefield’s repeated ability to get its hands in the passing lanes and cause turnovers made this win easy for the Warriors.
“The girls just gutted it out defensively,” said the coach. “They came in today ready to go.”
The inclusion of Mia Joyce in the starting five not only gave the team a boost defensively but it allowed Grace Hurley to come off the bench to add some scoring and athleticism as well as discipline to the second unit.
Three Warriors led the way putting points on the scoreboard, seniors Amanda Boulter, Daniella Iannuzzi and Nicole Galli all had eight points in the game. Fellow senior Jillian Raso chipped in with six points.
The story in Concord wasn’t Wakefield’s scoring, but its defense. Wakefield’s style of team defense meant that no one player stood out above the rest. The defense picked up noticeably in the second and third quarters as Gabrielle Joly made the most of her playing time, nabbing three steals and hitting a three-pointer in the second quarter.
Julia Derendal also put in some quality time off the bench, grabbing a pair of steals herself and finding her way into the scorebook in the first half.
Coach O’Connell was able to stretch her bench and nine Warriors saw playing time in the first half. It is very nice luxury for the coach to be able to run out nearly two completely different line-ups with very little drop off in production.
The turning point of this game occurred after halftime. The Warriors cranked up the “D” in the third and fourth quarters.
“I thought they did a real good job full court pressing without committing fouls,” O’Connell said, “And just putting that pressure on and letting the other team make mistakes from there and we did a good job converting off that. Our goal was to get into full court man to man and get steals and deflections in the passing lane as opposed to trying to reach in, just containing, trying to get steals and deflections in the passing lane.”
For the entirety of the third and half of the fourth quarter the Patriots were unable to change their halftime score. They made a pair of free throws with 4:30 remaining in the fourth quarter to finally break the ice. But the game was well in hand for the Warriors by then.
It was a step in the right direction for O’Connell’s Warriors team as their record improves to 3-1 on the season. Next up, the Warriors head to Watertown tonight to test their resolve against one of the best the Middlesex League has to offer. Game time is at 7 p.m.
“Watertown is going to be a good game, it’s going to be tough,” O’Connell said, looking ahead after her team’s latest victory. “I’m excited for it, these kids are up and they’re ready for a challenge.”
WAKEFIELD 39, Concord-Carlisle 18
At Concord-Carlisle High School
WAKEFIELD (39) — Boulter 4 0 8; Iannuzzi 2 4 8; Galli 3 1 8; Derendal 1 0 2; Raso 2 1 6; Joly 1 0 3; Rossino 0 0 0; Hurley 0 2 2; Joyce 1 0 2; Butler 0-0-0; Story 0-0-0; O.Dziadyk 0 0 0; H.Dziadyk 0 0 0. Totals 14 8 39.
Concord-Carlisle (18) — Myers 0 0 0; Morahan 2 0 5; Clarke 4 0 8; Melendez 0 0 0; Brennan 0 0 0; McGinness 1 1 3; Shorey 0 0 0; Sunpson 0 0 0; Robertson 0 0 0; Kungman 0 0 0; Haney 1 0 2; Debalak 0 0 0; Wolffaht 0 0 0. Totals 8 1 18.
Score by Quarters — WAKEFIELD 7-14-5-13 — 39. Concord-Carlisle 6-5-0-7 — 18.
Three-points FGs — Wak, Galli 1, Raso 1, Joly 1. CC, Morahan.