Davis hits 20 pts.; Melrose 1 win from postseason
Published in the February 3, 2017 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE—The Melrose Red Raider hoop team’s quest for clinch a playoff spot was made easier on Friday, January 27 with a 49-39 win over Woburn in front of a crowded home fanbase at the Melrose Veteran’s Memorial Middle School gym. Senior captain Avery Davis had a huge night for Melrose with 20 points and six rebounds to help Melrose (9-4) clinch their ninth win of the season, one away from clinching their seventh straight playoff bid.
Melrose maintained a lead nearly the entire contest, save for an opening three pointer by the Tanners that gave them a lead of 3-0 before Avery Davis scored a basket and fed an assist to Dylan Vienot, who made it a 4-3 game. Melrose defense clamped down behind the efforts of Malik Monteiro, Devondre Williams and T’Mahri Mercer and the Raiders took a lead of 7-6 at the end of the first. The Tanners came right back to a 16-11 advantage behind the shooting of Ryan Ludwig. Melrose flipped that around thanks to the hot hands of Melrose junior Joe Stanton, who shot two consecutive treys, which had the fans on their feet. A basket at the buzzer by Melrose’s Davis made it a 19-18 game, advantage Melrose.
After the half Melrose’s Sean Donovan helped extend the lead with six points, while Davis lit up on the floor with baskets and assists to Sean Pendergast and Donovan, who was steady the foul line and added defense that kept Melrose ahead 32-28 after three.
Davis broke out again for Melrose in the fourth with six unanswered points, while T’Mahri Mercer fed Davis a number of assists. Davis’s offensive rebound led to a basket that gave Melrose a lead of 41-36 with just minutes left, while Donovan remained a bull on defense. Malik Monteiro made the most of his minutes with a terrific run in the fourth with a basket that drew a foul. Davis finished the night going 2-2 on the foul line and Melrose took the win with final score of 49-39.
At 9-4 overall (7-4 in league) Melrose remains in second place behind Watertown in the Freedom League. Tonight, they host Wilmington at seven p.m. A win tonight will punch their ticket into playoffs.