Published January 4, 2019
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose Lady Raider basketball team are 5-1 as they finish their first quarter of the season, thanks to recent wins over Lowell and Watertown. They remain a ranked, top 20 team who hopes to continue on a victorious path as they battle Wakefield tonight on the road.
A minor blip on the schedule was Melrose’s first defeat of the season that came at the hands of Tewksbury on December 26 at the Tony Romano Christmas Tournament. Despite taking a 22-20 lead at halftime, Melrose was edged by Tewksbury in the final frame, 44-38. But they bounced back on Dec. 27 when they beat Lowell in the consolation game, 55-50. It was a hard fought battle for Melrose against a very competitive Lowell team.
“I was impressed with [our Lowell] win,” said Melrose head coach Bill Hirschfeld. “It was a real battle and we had to give them everything we had.”
Melrose sophomore Sam Dewey led with a massive 29 points and senior captain Peri McDonald impressed with 18. While Melrose’s offensive engine revved, their defense was as equally impressive.
“I liked our defense, I thought Lily [Cunningham] had a great game and Sam Smith has been really strong on both sides of the ball,” says the coach.
Leading the team in scoring six games into the season is Sam Dewey, with 95 points. Right behind her are Lily Cunningham and Peri McDonald.
On the horizon, Melrose faces some stiff competition that could reveal where they fit in a postseason field. Next week they travel to Belmont to face the undefeated Marauders (6-0) before hosting Reading (5-1) on January 15.
“We’re focusing one game at a time, but we have some big tests coming up next week that we are preparing for,” says the coach.
Tonight, they travel to Charbonneau Field House in Wakefield to take on the 2-3 Warriors. Tip off is at 5:15 p.m.
Freedom League Standings
Melrose 4-0 5-1
Wilmington 2-2 3-2
Burlington 2-2 2-2
Wakefield 2-2 2-3
Watertown 1-3 5-3
Stoneham 0-4 0-4