Special group honored for girls’ hoop Senior Night

Feb 12, 2018 by

Wilmington crashes party with big 4th quarter

THE WMHS girls’ basketball team honored their seniors on Friday night at the Charbonneau Field House. Pictured with their families and their WBA throwback portraits are the Wakefield Six: Ally Coggswell, Hailey Lovell, Allee Purcell, Nicole Catino, Hannah Dziadyk and Olivia Dziadyk with team manager Mikayla Alden. (Donna Larsson Photo)

Published in the February 12, 2018 edition.

By DAN BYRNE

WAKEFIELD — With so much success in front of their hometown fans, the Charbonneau Field House was packed with people to see the Wakefield Memorial High School girls’ varsity basketball team take on Wilmington on Friday night.

Being the last scheduled regular season home game, the Warriors honored the team’s six seniors with Senior Night festivities led by AD Brendan Kent, who MC’d the event.

Just after the game, head coach Jason Pavey spoke about his senior leadership and what it means to coach this group.

“I don’t take for granted the fact that I’m lucky to coach these kids,” Pavey stated. “When Megan [O’Connell] left, one of the reasons I wanted to stay on board in some capacity was to be with these kids for their senior year,” he added.

“It’s a special group, we’ve been through a lot together, not just this year, but the last four years, and it’s something I really wanted to see through with them.”

Wilmington, a team that also starts five seniors, gave the Warriors a tight game in their first matchup on Jan. 9, with the Warriors prevailing 51-47. Friday night would be another close game.

Right off the opening tip, Hailey Lovell knocked down the first shot of the game to put the Warriors ahead. Lovell had 8 points in the first quarter, and 10 for the game. However, Wilmington came right down and scored at their end, as the two teams matched basket for basket in the 1st quarter, with Wakefield coming out ahead 15-13.

Wakefield went on a 5-0 run to open the 2nd quarter and open a 7-point lead, but Wilmington stayed aggressive offensively, taking the ball inside and getting to the free-throw line. The Wildcats erased the lead with a 5-0 run of their own. Wakefield managed to hold Wilmington to just one field goal in the 2nd quarter, but the Wildcats made 6/10 free-throws as they kept pace with the Warriors’ offense.

Wakefield got 6 out of 12 points in the quarter from Allee Purcell, as they held a 27-22 halftime lead.

The third quarter was similar to the first, in that the Warriors got rolling on offense, but the Wildcats were able to hold on and keep pace. Wakefield won the quarter 15-13, with Olivia Dziadyk leading the way with 6 of her 7 points coming in the frame. All of the five starters scored in the 3rd quarter for Wakefield.

Wilmington got 6 points from Morgan Bresnahan and 5 points from Caroline Andersen, as the two teams traded baskets throughout the third quarter.

With three quarters in the books, Wakefield held a 42-35 lead, and there was nothing to indicate and nobody would have predicted what would transpire in the 4th quarter.

With a 7-point lead heading into the 4th, Wakefield’s offense disappeared. A scoreless 4th quarter saw the lead slip through their fingers, as the Warriors took a defeat at the hands of Wilmington 45-42 on Senior Night.

Coach Pavey then spoke about the game as well.

“We still have a long way to go as far as this season goes, but for their sake I wish we had a little better outcome tonight,” he said.

“Wilmington was determined to win that game,” the coach added, as he went into what went wrong.

“Our big issue in the first quarter was their height,” he said. “That’s kind of been the story all year with us, we kind of got buried on the offensive boards.”

“Then in the 2nd half, especially in the 4th quarter, our failure to execute offensively and their ability to dial it up defensively was kind of a recipe for disaster.”

Allee Purcell had a basket late in the 3rd quarter to put the Warriors ahead 40-30, little did anyone know that the team would score just once more the rest of the way, but coach Pavey noticed a shift in his team’s mentality.

“We were up by 10,” he said, “And people were looking up at the scoreboard, and I had that feeling like we were playing not to lose, as opposed to playing aggressively and attacking them and doing what we did to get that lead.”

“Give Wilmington a lot of credit for fighting, they hit some big shots, and they made some huge stops down the stretch,” Pavey added.

When asked if having a big week coming up helps ease the pain of this loss, the coach said, “This has to burn them, this has to make people kind of upset.”

“We still have a shot at a league title, but still have Melrose and Stoneham, so we don’t have time to feel sorry for ourselves,” Pavey said.

“We have to bounce back, I’m sure Melrose is going to be ready to play, so will we.”

Pavey said he didn’t want his team to forget what happened on Friday, but he knows there are much more important games ahead.

“It’s a fine line,” he said. “You let it go, but you don’t want to forget what you did to put yourself in that position. We have to make sure that that execution and inability to get rebounds, just can’t happen anymore.”

“We don’t want to dwell on it, but we don’t want to forget because some of those things are inexcusable.”

With the loss, the Warriors record falls to 13-3 with a huge game coming up Tuesday night in Melrose. Only one point separated the two teams in their earlier meeting, and the Red Raiders will be looking to avenge their loss at the hands of the Warriors at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

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