Wakefield finishes strong in final 15 minutes of Friday’s postponed game

Published in the January 17, 2018 edition


WAKEFIELD — It’s finally over.

The girls’ varsity basketball game between Wakefield and Melrose played out the final 7:36 to it’s conclusion last night, with Wakefield coming out on top 51-50.

The game began on Friday, with the teams playing the first two quarters and the start of the third. Twenty-four seconds passed in the 3rd quarter before Melrose, finding themselves trailing 30-25, decided that the court surface was too slippery to play on, walked off back to their locker room, got on the bus, and went home.

HAILEY LOVELL makes a strong move to the basket during part two of the Wakefield vs. Melrose girls’ basketball game that was finished last night at the Charbonneau Field House. Wakefield won 51-50. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

A discussion between the referees, coaches, and WMHS athletic director Brendan Kent deemed that the court was indeed unsafe, and the game was concluded on Tuesday, picking up from the point of interruption.

First year Warriors head coach Jason Pavey spoke following the win in his first game at the helm of Melrose vs. Wakefield saying, “We can’t have 15 minute games again,” referring to the fact that the game had to be played over two-days.

“That was too intense for too short a period of time,” he said with a relieved chuckle. “It took four days, but that was a good win,” the coach said.

In the first half, Wakefield’s strong defense caused Melrose to turn the ball over a number of times. Wakefield was able to work the ball around on offense as all five starters got in the scorebook in the first quarter.

Ally Coggswell and Hannah Dziadyk led the way for Wakefield in the first half with 7 points each.

Melrose got aggressive with the ball and their attacking play led to eight free throw attempts in the 2nd quarter.

Coggswell and Dziadyk combined to score 10 of Wakefield’s 15 2nd quarter points, with Hannah Butler chipping in 3 and Jaime Greatorex getting a bucket to put the Warriors up 28-25 at halftime.

On Wakefield’s first possession of the 3rd quarter, Allee Purcell made a pair of free-throws to put Wakefield up 30-25. As the inbounds pass was contested, a scramble for the ball ensued and a Melrose player slipped prompting the refs to call for the janitor to sweep the floor. After a short delay, Melrose brought the ball up, and was pressured into a turnover by Wakefield’s defense. In the race to get back on defense, another Melrose player slipped, which prompted the suspension of the game.

THE CHARBONNEAU FIELD HOUSE got the job done last night as Wakefield and Melrose completed their game that was postponed from Friday night due to the humidity causing a slippery court. Wakefield held on in an intense final 15 minutes to beat the Red Raiders 51-50. (Dan Pawlowski Photo)

It was at this point on Tuesday that the game resumed, with Wakefield in possession up 5 points 24 seconds into the 3rd quarter. A short warm-up followed the conclusion of the boys’ game against Northeast, before the game resumed. Wakefield started out with the ball, and a Hannah Dziadyk free-throw added a point to the Warriors’ lead.

Coach Pavey talked about how he got his team ready to go back out and finish this game.

“Our message the last couple of day was to forget Friday. Forget about being mad the game got called off. Just forget it, because playing frustrated like that is not going to put the ball in the hoop.”

“It was different, but it was still basketball, and I give them a lot of credit for accepting that mentality,” Pavey said.

At 31-25 Melrose went on a 7-0 to take a 32-31 lead. Lady Raider’s freshman Samantha Dewey was a force in the low post, as Wakefield struggled to matchup with her size. Dewey had 6 points in the 3rd quarter and led all scorers with 16 points for the game.

After Melrose took the lead, the teams traded baskets and the lead changed hands a couple of times before Wakefield finished the quarter on a 9-4 run to lead 40-36 after three quarters.

Olivia Dziadyk came up big for the Warriors in the conclusion of the third quarter and the fourth. On Friday, she had one ‘3’ but was held off the scoreboard outside of that lone shot. She would not be kept quiet on Tuesday, as she sank a pair of shots from deep in the 3rd quarter to boost her team back into the lead to start the 4th.

Melrose would not be held down, and they went on a 10-3 run to begin the 4th quarter. With the score 48-43 the Warriors were struggling to find their shot as the time ticked on. With the Raiders looking poised to pull away, Olivia Dziadyk made a play on the defensive end, then found space behind the three-point line and sank a huge shot to cut the lead to 48-46 with just over three minutes to play.

After a Melrose basket put them up by 4 at 50-46, Allee Purcell had an offensive rebound and a put-back plus a free-throw to cut the lead down to one with the 3-point play with under a minute to play.

A stop on the defensive end led to Wakefield working the ball into Purcell and she came through to put the Warriors ahead 51-50. Wakefield then forced a turnover and had the ball back with 30 seconds to play.

The final play of the game saw Wakefield nearly force a turnover, then with the ball trickling towards the baseline, a hustle play to keep the ball inbounds by Ally Coggswell meant the clock kept running. Melrose’s coach was screaming for a timeout, but with no possession of the loose ball it wasn’t granted. Time ran out on the Red Raiders as Wakefield pulled through in the clutch, coming away with the 51-50 win.

“To the kids’ credit,” Pavey continued, “Those kids, they’ve been around for a while and they’re seniors. I’m over here about ready to pass out from the intensity, and they’re just as cool as possible.”

“They’re telling me, ‘don’t worry coach we got it,’ they’re so calm under pressure,” he said. “That’s something that comes with a lot of experience and playing with each other.”

He continued to heap praise on his team for the poise they displayed over the two-night event.

“There was never a doubt in my mind,” Pavey added. “Up five, down four, they’re just so even-keeled, nothing seems to affect them pressure-wise.”

“Melrose is a really good team, those kids are going to be hard to handle night in and night out,” the coach said. “Part of it was those kids played really intense defense. Towards the end we were just a little bit more physical, a little bit more intense.” 

“It was a big game, but now that that’s in the rearview mirror, the girls can enjoy it tonight and then get ready for Stoneham on Friday.”

The Warriors will host Stoneham at 7 p.m. on Friday at the Charbonneau Field House.