Earn league wins over Burlington, Wilmington
Published in the February 5, 2016 edition
By JENNIFER GENTILE
MELROSE — The MHS boys’ basketball team is entering a critical final stretch of season looking to lock a tournament bid. At 8-7, Melrose can earn a post season by taking 2 of their next 5 games or maintain their second place spot in the Middlesex Freedom League. Fortunately for coach Mike Kasprzak’s Raiders, back-to-back thumpings over Wilmington and Burlington this week have helped the cause.
Melrose began their winning streak on Friday, Jan. 29 with a strong home effort against Wilmington, beating the Wildcats 65-30 thanks to the shooting of Julian Nyland (15 points) and James Liles (13 points). On Tuesday, the team hosted Burlington, a team who topped Melrose in their first meeting of the season. But it was a reversal of fortune for Melrose, who knocked off the Red Devils 62-50 in front of a home crowd. The Raiders took a commanding lead of 12-2 in the opening stanza and played solid in the first, battling to a 27-27 tie at halftime. Melrose was led in scoring by T’Mahri Mercer with 17 points and 8 assists and Julian Nyland with 14 points.
Melrose currently sits second in the M.L. Freedom League behind Wakefield (10-5, 9-4) and remain a few games ahead of Watertown, whom they face Tuesday. Melrose will continue Freedom League play in the next several days, including Stoneham and Wakefield, whom they beat earlier in the season. Melrose needs two victories in five games to return the Div. 2 North playoffs.
Middlesex Freedom Standings
Wakefield 10-5 9-4
Melrose 8-7 6-6
Watertown 4-9 4-9
Stoneham 3-7 5-9
Burlington 3-9 4-11
Wilmington 0-11 0-11
Fri. 2/5 7 p.m. @ Wakefield
Tue. 2/9 7 p.m. @ Watertown
Fri. 2/12 7 p.m. vs. Stoneham
Mon. 2/15 5:30 p.m. vs. Lynnfield
Thu. 2/18 5 p.m. @ Chelsea