Battle for league supremacy was a 2-night affair

Published in the January 19, 2018 edition


WAKEFIELD—It took two evenings of play for the Melrose and Wakefield girls’ varsity hoop teams to conclude their highly anticipated match up, and it happened on Tuesday, Jan. 16 at Wakefield High in a heart stopping 51-50 loss for Melrose (7-2), up against an unbeaten Warrior team, now 9-0 on the season. It was memorable, down-to-the-wire thriller, with Wakefield glad to be escaping their closest game of the year. 

The fun started on Friday evening at Charbonneau Field House at Wakefield High, when the two teams met for their first of two meetings this year. Melrose and Wakefield played two quarters and at the start of the third, with Melrose trailing 30-25, floor conditions proved too slippery to continue, with precipitation and humidity outside making floors challenging there and throughout the state. Referees, coaches and other officials in Wakefield agreed to suspend the game and reschedule it for Tuesday evening. 

MELROSE FRESHMAN Sam Dewey wrangles the ball from Wakefield’s Hannah Dziadyk during Melrose’s 51-50 loss on Tuesday evening. (Steve Karampalas photo)

The game commenced this past Tuesday with a quarter and a half left to play, same score. 

Melrose had found themselves down 30-25 after Friday’s action with Wakefield’s Aly Cogswell and Hannah Dziadyk scoring for the Warriors. At halftime the Warriors led 28-25. At the start of the third last Friday, a few Melrose players had slipped while in action on court, which prompted the suspension. 

The game resumed on Tuesday with Wakefield in possession, in the lead, 24 seconds into the 3rd quarter. Down 31-25, Melrose picked it up to outscore Wakefield 7-0 to take a 32-31 lead. Melrose’s Sam Dewey had a game high 16 points and was a nuisance for the Warriors under the basket. Her six points to open Tuesday night helped Melrose take the lead. 

The teams traded leads before Wakefield ended the third with a 40-36 advantage, behind the work of Olivia Dziadyk. Melrose would rely on defense from Lily Cunningham, Abby Cunningham, Peri McDonald and Sam Smith and sharp shooting from Alexis Doherty (15 points) as they opened the fourth. Melrose outscored Wakefield, 10-3. Things looked bleak for Wakefield as the Lady Raiders took a lead of 48-43, before Warrior Olivia Dziadyk sank a three-pointer to narrow the edge to 48-46 with three minutes to go.

Melrose took a lead of 50-46, but Wakefield cut that lead to one after a rebound and foul shot. With just thirty seconds to play, Wakefield scored again and forced a turnover that sealed the deal.

With Wakefield breathing a sigh of relief and Melrose chomping at the bit for another chance at them, both teams will re-match each other on Feb. 13 in Melrose. Until then, Melrose will continue league play, including Burlington, whom they host this Friday evening at the Melrose Middle School gym at 7:00 p.m.