Medway Ends Winning Streak For Norton Boys Basketball
Lancer girls also drop hard-fought game to Mustangs on Tuesday night.
Free throws spelled the difference as the Medway High boys’ basketball team ended the six-game winning streak of Norton with a 49-43 victory during a Tri-Valley League game Tuesday night in Medway.
With the win, the Mustangs remained in a tie for first in the TVL with Hopkinton. Medway is 16-3 overall and 16-1 in the league. The Hillers (16-2 overall, 16-1 in the TVL) held on to their piece of first with a 75-68 home win over Ashland on Tuesday.
A win by the Mustangs over Westwood on Friday night at home would most likely give Medway the top seed in the upcoming Division 3 South Sectional Tournament.
“Of all the teams in the bracket, I think they are the most well-balanced and I appreciate how they also have a commitment to solid half-court defense,” said Norton head coach Marc Liberatore, whose team has suffered two of its six losses this year to Medway.
The defeat on Tuesday dropped the Lancers to 14-6 overall. They are also third in the TVL with an 11-6 mark. Medfield is now just one game behind the Lancers at 10-7 both overall and in the league. Dover-Sherborn stands fifth at 11-8 overall and 9-8 in the TVL.
On Tuesday night in Medway, the Mustangs outscored the Lancers 15-4 from the free throw line in the game, including an incredible 9-0 difference in the fourth quarter.
Norton held a two-point advantage at the half, 20-18, but the hosts outscored the Lancers 10-8 in a hard-fought third quarter to pull even at 28-28 after three. But using those nine free throws, Medway outscored Norton 21-15 in the final period for the six-point win.
Much like he did during the team’s first meeting in Norton, a 58-40 Mustang win, Matt Zajac made some big plays in the fourth quarter, including an important traditional three-point play. Pat Sheehan later hit a key three-pointer with about two minutes remaining in the game to give the hosts a two-possession lead.
“It was a hard-fought battle for the entire game between two strong defensive teams,” Liberatore said. “Neither team had more than a three-point advantage the entire night until the end. It was just a back and forth game. I was proud of our team’s effort and defense, especially holding them to only 16 field goals the entire night.”
“The difference was really at the line as they went 19 times and we went six. The fourth quarter especially when they were 9 for 10 and we didn’t get to the line once. We actually had more field goals in the game than they did, but the difference at the line was huge.”
Senior captain and two-guard Joe Wilkes played well on both ends of the floor. He led the team in scoring with 14 points, while holding Tri-Valley League MVP favorite Joe Henry to just 13 points. “Joe had a solid, two-way effort,” Liberatore said.
Junior forward Colin Feeney added yet another double-double to his ledger, collecting 11 points and 12 rebounds. Junior guard Steve Burrill also had 11 points. Matt Ford had 11 points and 12 rebounds for Medway. Zajac finished with 15 points and seven rebounds.
After defeating a talented Medway team 62-52 on the road earlier this year, the Norton girls played well at times against the Mustangs again on Tuesday night at the Lawrence Larocque Gymnasium. Finding themselves trailing by as many as 15 points in the second half, the Lancers made a furious comeback before falling 60-55 in a TVL contest.
Norton’s loss, it’s fifth straight and seventh in the last eight games, dropped the team to 7-13 overall and 5-12 in the TVL. Medway improved to 12-5 overall and in the TVL.
The Mustangs jumped out to a nine-point lead after the first quarter, 20-11. The teams then battled through a tight second quarter with the visitors holding a nine-point lead at the half, 35-26. Medway pushed its lead to as many as 15 points in the second half before the Lancers began their comeback. Junior guard Meg Brown scored 14 of her game-high 21 points in the second half, but Norton could not come all the way back.
Senior forward Alex Grimes collected 12 points and six rebounds for the Lancers. Sophomore guard Rebecca Wasylow also scored 12 points, while senior captain and forward Shannon Hansen contributed six points and six rebounds.
Sarah Hope led four players in double figures for Medway with 19 points. Ali Hart and Sarah Coakley also scored 11 points apiece, while Kayla Corshia had 10.
Both the boys’ and girls’ teams will host TVL foe Medfield on their respective Senior Nights on Friday. The boys’ game will begin at 5 p.m. with the girls’ contest starting 6:30 p.m. The seniors from both teams will be honored prior to the start of each game.