Wellesley 65, Millbury 44

Nothing amiss for Wellesley

Email|Print|Single Page| Text size + By Maggie Cassidy
Globe Correspondent / March 16, 2008

WORCESTER - With the final seconds ticking away at the end of the third quarter, Blake Dietrich received a pass from Mary Louise Dixon and started her drive down the left lane.

Her team was already sitting on a comfortable 13-point lead, but the waning seconds were enough time to do more damage. As the clock hit 1, she got to the baseline, steadied her stance, and arched a 3-pointer - a pristine shot that kicked the lead up to 48-32.

Millbury coach Steve Reno called the play a "punch in the stomach."

It was just one of many hard-hitting punches Wellesley's offense threw yesterday, when the Raiders kicked their scoring into high gear to earn a 65-44 win over Millbury in the Division 2 state final at the DCU Center.

The Raiders (23-3), who managed just 38 points in Tuesday's EMass championship win over Lincoln-Sudbury, drained basket after basket against Millbury.

"It wasn't that I didn't expect them to be that big; I didn't expect them to be that fast," Reno said. "They came out and they played fast, and in the Lincoln-Sudbury game they didn't; it was a slow-paced game."

The Raiders wasted no time building their lead, as Lindsay Sydness's 6 early points and Jesse Miller's 5 fueled a 19-14 advantage by the end of the first quarter.

After Wellesley opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run, Millbury chipped away at the lead to make it 36-31 by the half. But Dietrick's pair of 3-pointers, plus another from Dixon, highlighted the Raiders' 17-6 third quarter, which gave them control of the game.

Even when Millbury threatened in the opening quarters, the Raiders remained calm and composed. Wellesley was 5 of 7 from the line, and each of the nine Raiders who saw playing time managed at least one field goal. Sydness and Miller led the team with 18 and 15 points, respectively.

Although the Raiders started three seniors, they received significant contributions from their younger players. Dixon, a sophomore, finished with 10 points, while freshman Dietrick had 8.

"We stay focused by knowing that if we keep our composure, we're capable of winning state championships," Dixon said. "We didn't play very well offensively vs. Lincoln-Sudbury, but the reason why we won was our defense. But this game we played a lot better offensively and defensively. We stopped their guards and shooters and we did a pretty good job both ways."

Millbury's high scorer, Sydney Bloomstein, finished with 11 points, and teammates Julie Frankian and Kirsten Orrell had 8 apiece.

Sydness agreed the Raiders have played well defensively, but said the team stepped up its offensive efforts and stayed out of foul trouble yesterday to take home the trophy.

"Our shots were falling. It was awesome," she said. "I think that was really frustrating us and getting to us at the Garden. We don't like to take as many outside shots at the beginning; we like to take a lot of layups to get used to it. But, definitely, our outside shots were falling, which just gives us the momentum."

Sydness credited Dixon and Dietrick with sinking many of those outside shots, playing like they had 10 years' experience, and opening things up for the post players to chuck the ball out wide.

"I think that's one little flaw that teams think that it's just the big girls that score," said the 6-foot-1-inch senior. "But if they collapse on us, it leaves the guards wide open, which you can't do. So [our system is] just kind of unstoppable."

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