Lady Raiders hand rivals first loss of year

Published in the January 20, 2017 edition

ALEXIS DOHERTY scored nearly 40 points in two games for the Melrose High girls’ hoop team who stunned Watertown last week, 43-37. (Steve Karampalas photo)

ALEXIS DOHERTY scored nearly 40 points in two games for the Melrose High girls’ hoop team who stunned Watertown last week, 43-37. (Steve Karampalas photo)


MELROSE — The Melrose Lady Raider basketball team picked up an impressive league win over a tough Watertown squad on Friday, January 13 by a score of 43-37 to improve to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the league. It was a key win for Melrose to topple the previously undefeated Raiders of Watertown, 11th ranked and leading the league prior to play.

Melrose had to contend with Holy Cross-bound center Shannon Murphy of Watertown, a mega-scoring 2016 All Scholastic. But Watertown had to contend with Melrose’s own talented Alexis Doherty (20 points, 11 assists) who proved tough to handle offensively, along with some of the best defensive work of the season from Melrose’s starting five: Cat Torpey, Caroline Nolan, Leonora Ivers, Alexis Doherty and Lily Cunningham, who clamped down on Murphy (and teammates Hannah and Jenna McMahon), to stun their rival Raiders, who were 7-0 entering the contest.

It’s been an unpredictable ride ML Freedom League teams. Watertown and Wakefield sit at the top of the league while Melrose has plenty of opportunity to fight for a title.

Wakefield in particular have been a bit of a Cinderella story, and that was evident when they faced Melrose on Wednesday, Jan. 11 at the Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle school Gymnasium and escaped with a53-48 victory. Melrose was led in scoring once again by Alexis Doherty (15 points) and Cat Torpey (10 points).Wakefield came out strong in the start of the game, taking a lead of 11-2 before Melrose fought back to tie the game 11-11 and the end of the first quarter, making it anyone’s game. Melrose posted ten unanswered points during the second quarter but Wakefield narrowed the gap at 21-17 at halftime.

The Warriors enjoyed a strong third quarter and thanks to some solid shooting from Hannah Dziadyk and Olivia Dziadyk to give Wakefield a solid 30-23 lead. Melrose relied on Doherty to keep them in the game, and she tied the game with a steal and layup, 30-30, and the two teams remained deadlocked 33-33 at the end of the third. Doherty remained hot with a three pointer that put Melrose up 44-40 in the fourth but Melrose saw Wakefield reclaim the lead, though a shot  by Melrose’s Cat Torpey made it a 49-47 game, advantage Wakefield. However baskets from Wakefield’s Hannah Dziadyk and Emma Butler clinched victory for the Warriors.

With another round of interleague play scheduled for later in the season, the ML Freedom is anyone’s game. Melrose has a chance to knock off another league rival when they host Stoneham tonight at 7:00 p.m. at the Melrose Middle School gym.

ML Freedom Standings

Wakefield     6-1     8-1     2-1     6-0     50.2     38.6

Watertown    6-1     7-1     5-1     2-0     39.8     32.9

Melrose        4-3     6-3     3-2     3-1     50.4     42.2

Wilmington   3-4     5-4     0-3     5-1     55.1     51.6

Stoneham    1-6     2-7     0-4     2-3     35.7     45.6

Burlington     1-6     1-8     0-3     1-5     42.2     50.6