Sam Dewey leads the way with 35 points

Published January 18, 2019


MELROSE—The Lady Raiders had little trouble disposing of Burlington last Friday, winning 52-39.

From the get-go, it was apparent that Burlington had no answer for the size of Melrose’s Sam Dewey, who scored 25 point on the night—nearly half of the team’s total. Still, Melrose had a somewhat sluggish start, as they struggled converting open looks from the perimeter and were bothered by the active hands of Burlington on defense. At the end of one, Melrose was ahead, 10-7.

In the second, Melrose moved the ball very well and had an easy time getting it down low to Dewey, who had her way on the offensive glass. For the most part, the Lady Raiders were unfazed by Burlington’s press, though they had some trouble capitalizing on opportunities once they beat it. Some half-second-too-late passes and missed layups cost Melrose a few points, but they still led going into the half, 22-14. Burlington’s sharp cutting on offense allowed them to keep it somewhat close after two.

“We usually handle those presses like that, but no one’s perfect all the time,” said Melrose head coach Bill Hirschfeld.

PERI MACDONALD helped lead a strong Melrose team who topped Burlington last week, 52-39. (Donna Larsson photo)

After Burlington stepped up its intensity on defense in the third, Melrose had to work harder on its offensive possessions, but Dewey continued to dominate on the offensive glass and go to work, notching 10 points in the quarter. Melrose continued having some trouble converting transition opportunities, as they seemed to try to force passes that weren’t there. Regardless, the Lady Raiders pulled ahead to an 18-point lead by the end of the quarter, thanks in part to some solid minutes off the bench by Maggie Sullivan and Kira Maté.

“We try to get an inside-outside game going as well,” said Hirschfeld, “and [Peri] MacDonald had a couple of nice shots from the outside to open that up a little bit as well, and Lily Cunningham as well. So, it was a positive side there.”

Melrose continued to get good minutes from its bench in the fourth. Burlington stepped up its press defense, and play got a bit sluggish as the fouls piled up. Burlington got some momentum going when it scored back-to-back baskets off of turnovers, but the ball-handling and decision-making of Peri MacDonald, Sam Dewey, and Lily Cunningham took care of the Lady Raiders down the stretch.

“It could’ve been a little tighter,” said Hirschfeld of how his team handled the final stretch of play. “I think with the point spread—the differential in the points—kind of laxed it off a little bit, which we shouldn’t be doing.”

Kelly Joyce led the way for Burlington with 10 points. The game was a nice bounce-back for the Lady Raiders, who came into the matchup following a 53-39 loss to Belmont. Tonight they travel to Wilmington for a 5:15 game against the Wildcats.