ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Jeylly Medrano puts up a shot over Ely Guity and Dorathy Ezemba.
By STEVE KRAUSE
LYNN — It’s been a year of growing pains for the Lynn English girls basketball team. Yet for the second time this winter, the Bulldogs gave crosstown rival Classical a game.
It wasn’t like it was in January, when the Rams had to launch a furious fourth-quarter rally to overtake the Bulldogs. But a stubborn defense on the part of the Bulldogs kept Classical from running away with the game, and the Rams were able to come away with a 45-35 win.
“They play good defense against us,” said Classical’s Tom Sawyer. “We got some good looks, though. Some of them went in, and some of them didn’t.”
It was a curious game, to say the least. The first and third quarters were virtually devoid of scoring. It was only 6-4, in favor of English, after the first eight minutes. Then, Classical went on a 21-point second-quarter scoring binge to go up 25-15 at the half.
“That was strange,” said English coach Mackenzie Charles. “They took the same shots in the first and third quarters that they took in the second and fourth. They didn’t go in, though.”
Neither team came back from the break on fire. Classical, after scoring only four points in the first quarter, put up a whopping seven in the third. English could only counter with six, meaning that even though Classical shot terribly from the floor, the Rams actually led by 11 (32-21) after three quarters.
The Rams righted the ship offensively in the final quarter, though, scoring 13 points.
“I thought our defense was good,” said Charles, “but we just have trouble scoring points.
“I have to give Classical all the credit in the world, though,” Charles said. “They have a good team. I wish them a lot of luck in the tournament.”
Both Paris Wilkey of Classical and Dorothy Ezemba of English led their teams with 20 points.
“Paris is really a talented offensive player,” said Sawyer. “We have to talk to her about her defense.
“But tonight,” said Sawyer, “I saw another level of competitiveness about her, and I thought that was pretty nice to see.”
Irianis Delgado was second in scoring for the Rams with 12 points, and talk of it put a smile on Sawyer’s face.
“She hit two threes, and I think they were of the ‘no, no, no YES!’ variety. And she went coast-to-coast on one basket, so she’ll probably want to play point guard next year,” he joked.
The win moves Classical to 16-5 with one game remaining — tonight at home against Marblehead. Sawyer said it’s been at least 10 years since the Rams have had this many wins.
“My first year, as an assistant under Gene Constantino, were 20-0 (and made the Division 1 North final),” he said. “A couple of years after that, we were 16-4.
“I think I have to attribute it to having a team that works well together, is dedicated, and listens,” he said.