Warriors are 2-0 to start the season

Published in the December 20, 2017 edition

WAKEFIELD’s Allee Purcell goes up for two on Tuesday night at Charbonneau Field House. Purcell finished with 12 points. The Warriors defeated the Rockets 50-41. (Jim Vaiknoras Photo)


WAKEFIELD — The Wakefield Memorial High School girls’ varsity basketball team suited up for their first home game of the season as they welcomed Reading to the Charbonneau Field House. The Warriors came in at 1-0 after capturing a victory in their first game of the season last week against Winchester.

The defending Middlesex League Champion Warriors came out and established a lead in the first quarter and never let up throughout the game. When the final horn sounded, the Warriors stood at 2-0 with a 50-41 triumph over the Rockets.

First year Head Coach Jason Pavey spoke following the game.

“That’s a super tough team,” he said. “We knew going in that they were going to fight for 32 minutes. That’s exactly what happened, so it was kind of what we expected. We expected this to be a dogfight, but I really don’t think there is a tougher group than our team right now.”

SENIOR GUARD Hannah Dziadyk drives to the basket on Reading’s Isabella Zagami. Dziadyk scored 10 points to help the Warriors defeat the Rockets 50-41. (Jim Vaiknoras Photo)

Wakefield got out in front with a strong 1st quarter performance on the defensive side, only allowing Reading to score six points on three field goals.

“We focused on two kids tonight,” Pavey said. “But they had other kids on their team that stepped up.”

The Warriors got the offense rolling as Hailey Lovell had a pair of field goals for 4 points, and Allyson Coggswell had 6 points on three shots. Allee Purcell added a pair of free-throws and the Warriors held a 12-6 lead after one quarter.

Wakefield kept up the stout defending in the 2nd quarter, holding the Rockets under double digits again, allowing just 9 points on three made baskets. Reading went 2-2 from the free-throw line in the 2nd quarter.

“It’s not always pretty, but defensively those kids get after it,” Pavey said.

“Individually, the games that Allee Purcell and Hailey (Lovell) had covering those two kids all night long, Allee didn’t come out, Hailey got like a one-minute breather, they were all over those kids all night,” the coach added.

Purcell played the entire game and made her mark with at least three rejections on 3-point attempts by the Rockets. Her perimeter defending must have stuck in the Rockets’ shooters minds as they were off all night.

Lovell played almost the whole game, holding Reading point guard Isabella Zagami to just 8 points, all of which came in the 3rd quarter.

On offense, Wakefield increased their lead over Reading as four players contributed to a 15-point effort before the break.

Hannah Dziadyk had a strong quarter for the home-team as she put up 6 points, including a 3-pointer. Hannah Butler also got into the action with 4 points of her own, two of which came from the free-throw line. Purcell added 3 points to her total in the 2nd quarter with a basket and a free-throw, and Lovell had her third field goal of the game as the Warriors went into the halftime break with a 27-15 lead.

Towards the end of the 2nd quarter, in an incident at mid-court that resulted in a no-call by the officials, Wakefield lost Olivia Dziadyk to a head injury for the rest of the game. Her status for the next game is undetermined.

Coach Pavey’s team responded to losing a key player by hanging onto the lead in the 2nd half and securing the win.

“We had to play shorthanded when Olivia went out early,” Pavey said. “She is such a big part of our team that, to have other people step up definitely made it a team win tonight.”

“It’s a credit to all the kids because they stepped up, some kids played more of a role than they probably expected tonight,” the coach said.

Reading came back in the 3rd quarter as they got 8 points from Zagami, helping the Rockets to a 16-11 advantage after halftime.

“We were in control that entire game,” Pavey said. “But with a team like Reading, they’re going to make a run. They’re going to fight all the time. So it was a really good test for us. There is definitely some things that we can work on, but I’m glad with where our team was mentally.”

Allyson Coggswell got into the action again with a pair of buckets to keep the Rockets from slicing too deep into the lead.

Purcell added a basket and a free-throw, while Hannah Dziadyk went 2-2 from the line. Jaime Greatorex got into the scoring column with a basket in the 3rd for the Warriors, as they headed to the 4th quarter with a 38-31 lead.

Reading managed to continue to push the pace in the final quarter as they put another 10 points up on the board, but they could not chip away at the lead because the Warriors shot 8/12 from the free-throw line in the 4th quarter.

“It’s hard playing with the lead,” Pavey said. “We just need to make sure at the end that we still continue to be confident.”

Coggswell and Hannah Butler had the only field goals of the quarter for Wakefield. Purcell hit 4/6 from the charity stripe, as she and Coggswell led the team with 12 points each. Hannah Dziadyk and Hailey Lovell added two free-throws each as the Warriors sealed the victory with a 12-point 4th quarter.

Wakefield now stands at 2-0 in the early goings of this young season. Coach Pavey’s team is picking up where they left off a year ago, taking care of business in the Middlesex League. They’ll look to improve to 3-0 when they head to Lexington on Thursday, game time at 6 p.m.

“Lexington is going to be tough,” Pavey said, looking ahead. “It’s always tough going to that gym. They’re a really well-coached team. They’re going to throw a lot of different looks at us, and we only have the one day of practice to prepare for them.”

“But we’re going to get back at it,” he said concluding. “Hopefully we can close out with a win and go into the holidays on a good note.”