Warriors come up short in overtime against Dracut
Published in the February 17, 2016 edition
By JIM SOUTHMAYD
SOUTH HAMILTON — The Warrior girls’ basketball team was looking to get into the state tournament the old fashioned way by earning enough victories to gain entry.
That didn’t happen so Wakefield will revert to Plan B which is accepting the automatic bid to the postseason by finishing second in the Middlesex League Freedom division.
The Warriors dropped the consolation game of the third annual General Patton Tournament as they lost in overtime to Dracut by a 47-37 tally last night at Hamilton-Wenham Regional High School.
Wakefield wrapped up the regular season with a 9-11 overall record. But the Warriors had a 9-7 record in the league which resulted in them finishing in a two-way tie for second with Melrose. Since there is no tiebreaker (Melrose beat Wakefield twice in head-to-head competition), both the Warriors and Red Raiders will be competing in the state tournament in a couple of weeks.
As for last night, the contest was close throughout as Dracut entered the game needing one more win to get into the state tournament. The Middies qualified at Wakefield’s expense with two more games remaining on their schedule.
Wakefield led 10-7 after the first quarter. But by halftime the teams were tied at 15-15. Wakefield led 28-23 after three quarters and the two clubs were knotted at 36-all which resulted in the four minute overtime period.
In the extra session, Wakefield scored just one point while Dracut netted 11 points which ultimately was the difference.
“It was another hard fought game,” said coach Meghan O’Connell. “I thought we had a really good first and third quarter. We had a couple of scoring droughts where our shots weren’t falling. I’m proud of the team. They were really working.
“We’re in the state tournament. It’s not the way we wanted to get in but we finished 9-7 in a tough Middlesex League. We tied with Melrose for second which put us in. We plays some tough teams and we beat Belmont (a good team in the M.L. Liberty division),” added O’Connell. “We play in a strong league which helps.”
Wakefield knew that facing Dracut would be tough since the Middies also play in a strong league, the Merrimack Valley Conference.
“Dracut plays in the MVC which is a strong league as well,” said O’Connell. “They also needed this win to get in the state tournament. They were in a similar situation as us.”
In the overtime session, senior guard Mia Joyce missed a three-point attempt and when the ball was tied up on the ensuing rebound, Dracut was awarded possession.
Senior center Julia Sanborn (a game high 15 points) drove the baseline to the basket and was fouled. She made the free throw to complete the three-point play with 3:18 left to put the Middies up by three, 39-36.
Sophomore guard Hannah Dziadyk (eight points) forced a jump ball with Wakefield getting possession. Sophomore forward Hailey Lovell (eight points) missed a shot before Dziadyk tied up the ball again with Dracut getting possession.
Melissa Iannuzzo, a sophomore forward, missed the front end of a one-and-one with 2:08 left but senior forward Shaye Lane got the rebound and fed Iannuzzo for the basket to put the Middies up 43-36 with 2:01 left.
At the Wakefield end, senior guard Grace Hurley (eight points) missed an attempt and then the Warriors were forced to foul down the stretch to preserve the clock.
Lane missed the front end of a one-and-one with 1:37 left and then senior guard Emma Thibodeau missed a pair of foul shots.
Olivia Dziadyk, a sophomore guard, missed a three-point attempt with 1:24 left. Senior forward Valerie Hines (10 points) made 1-of-2 from the charity stripe to put Dracut up 44-36 with 1:22 left.
Hurley, who named one of the tournament all-stars, missed a three-point attempt but sophomore guard Allyson Coggswell (four points) got the offensive rebound. Hannah Butler, a freshman forward, missed a shot herself as Wakefield couldn’t get the ball through the cylinder despite some good looks at the basket.
Dracut was called for a traveling violation with 1:06 left and Dziadyk drove to the basket but her layup attempt was short with 1:00 left. Sanborn, who was named one of the tournament all-stars, missed both foul shots but Dziadyk came up short again on a layup with 46.2 seconds left.
Hines made both free throws to put Dracut up by 10, 46-36. After a Warrior turnover, Wakefield got the ball shortly after and senior Gabby Joly’s three-point attempt missed the target. Lovell made one of two free throws with 22.3 seconds left for Wakefield’s only point of the overtime.
Lane made one free throw with 19.3 seconds remaining for the 47-37 final score.
Sanborn scored on a hook shot for the first basket of the game with 7:35 left in the first quarter but Wakefield tallied the next seven points. Junior forward Emma Butler put in a rebound of a missed shot, sophomore forward Allee Purcell hit one of two foul shots and Hurley recorded a layup and a sank an outside shot to give the Warriors a 7-2 lead with 5:57 left in the first period.
Iannuzzo banked a shot off the glass before Hurley sank two free throws with 4:22 left. Purcell scored Wakefield’s final point of the quarter with a free throw with 3:55 left. The Warriors didn’t score a point again until there was 5:54 left in the second quarter.
However Dracut only scored three more points in the first quarter against the Warrior defense. Sanborn hit a free throw and then sank an outside jumper with 31.6 seconds to cut the lead to 10-7 after one.
Junior guard Kayla Gooch got a free throw to fall and then sophomore forward Erin McMeniman had a steal and a layup to tie the score at 10-10 with 6:09 left in the second quarter.
Dziadyk hit 1-of-2 free throws to end the scoring drought for the Warriors but Iannuzzo canned a three-point shot and then recorded a layup to put the Middies up 15-11 with 3:58 left in the quarter.
Lovell answered with a trey and Dziadyk went 1-of-2 from the charity stripe with 2:57 to the tie at 15-15.
The score remained that away as neither team scored a point the rest of the quarter (Wakefield did miss three fouls shots).
Hannah Dziadyk put back a missed shot and sank a trey to give the Warriors a 20-15 lead with 6:14 left in the third quarter.
Sanborn hit a jumper with 5:02 left for Dracut’s first basket of the second half. Hines then hit an outside shot with 4:00 showing on the clock to cut the lead to 20-19.
The Warriors went on a 6-0 run to take a 26-19 advantage with 2:17 left in the third. Hurley sank two foul shots and then Lovell scored from inside the paint and recorded a layup after stealing the ball.
Hines recorded a layup and then Sanborn hit two free throws to cut the lead to 26-23 with 1:14 left in the third. But Coggswell pulled up and sank a jump shot with 1:00 left to give Wakefield a 28-23 lead after the third period.
Olivia Dziadyk hit a free throw to put Wakefield up by six but Sanborn netted an outside shot and senior guard Rebecca Fischer recorded a three-point shot with 5:35 left to cut the lead to 29-28.
Coggswell drove to the basket and laid the ball through the cylinder but Hines canned a trey with 4:38 left to tie the game at 31-31 with 4:38 left. Dracut then got a layup from Iannuzzo and Sanborn sank a foul shot to put the Middies up 34-31 with 3:01 left.
Hannah Dziadyk launched a three-point shot to tie the game at 34-all with 2:36 left. Wakefield took the lead on a baseline basket by Purcell with 1:36 left. But Iannuzzo hit a runner with 1:14 left to knot up the game at 36-36.
Both teams had chances in the final minute but the score remained deadlocked so the extra session was needed to determine the winner.
Wakefield will now await the state tournament pairings which will be done on Friday, Feb. 26.
Dracut 47, WAKEFIELD 37 (OT)
At Hamilton-Wenham High School
Dracut (47) — Iannuzzo 6 0 13; Lane 1 1 3; Sanborn 5 5 15; Thibodeau 0 0 0; Hines 3 3 10; McMeniman 1 0 2; K.Gooch 0 1 1; Martinez 0 0 0; Fischer 1 0 3. Totals 17 10 47.
WAKEFIELD (37) — Purcell 1 2 4; Joly 0 0 0; E. Butler 1 0 2; Hurley 2 4 8; H.Dziadyk 3 0 8; Lovell 3 1 8; Joyce 0 0 0; H.Butler 0 0 0; Coggswell 2 0 4; O.Dziadyk 0 3 3; Hanley 0 0 0. Totals 12 10 37.
Score by Quarters — Dracut 7-8-8-13-11 — 47. WAKEFIELD 10-5-13-8-1 — 37.
Three-point FGs — Dra, Iannuzzo 1, Hines 1, Fischer 1. Wak, H.Dziadyk 2, Lovell 1.