Lynnfield girls basketball dominant in win over Charlestown

Lynnfield's Caroline Waisnor (left) scored nine points in Wednesday's win. (Item File Photo)

LYNNFIELD — How long has it been since the Lynnfield girls basketball team won a tournament game?

You have to go all the way back to 2009.

That all changed Wednesday night at Lynnfield High when the No. 6 Pioneers (13-8) manhandled No. 11 Charlestown (9-10) in front of a large and enthusiastic crowd, defeating the Townies in a rout, 53-9.

Freshman Cate MacDonald scored a game-high 12 points with four rebounds, five steals and a block, while sophomore Caroline Waisnor scored nine points with three steals and two rebounds. Junior twin captains Tori and Melissa Morelli had solid all-around games with six points each. Melissa also chipped in six rebounds, a steal and block, while Tori added six rebounds, a block and a steal. Freshman Lucy Cleary was strong in the paint, coming in off the bench and grabbing a game-high seven rebounds.

With the win, the Pioneers punched their ticket to the Division 3 North quarterfinal round where they will take on top-seeded Greater Lawrence (15-5) Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.

“This is the type of game where you walk a fine line and the girls knew that so I think instinctively they didn’t have their strongest motor going,”  said Lynnfield coach Peter Bocchino, this year’s Cape Ann League Kinney Division Coach of the Year. “The good news is we were able to rest some of our kids who are nursing injuries and we got everyone a lot of minutes. Once again, we had a slow start and our 3-point shooters didn’t shoot the ball well, but we didn’t have to. It will be a different story in the next one, that’s for sure.”

Both teams started tentatively and turned the ball over on their first two possessions. Melissa Morelli broke the ice about a minute in with a turn-around jumper, then converted a free throw after grabbing two offensive boards to make it 3-0.

Lynnfield held a considerable size advantage, which the Pioneers leveraged into a 14-0 lead after the opening quarter. Charlestown, which did not get a shot off until the fifth minute of the game, continued to struggle at both ends of the court the rest of the half.

After Waisnor drained a 3-pointer to start the second quarter, Charlestown finally got on the board with a free throw by junior guard Alizey Marshall (team-high 6 points) to cut the Pioneers’ lead to 17-1 with 6:35 left in the half.
That was as close as the Townies came. Lynnfield went to the bench and it closed out the half with a 29-1 lead.

Charlestown showed some life in the third quarter and put seven points on the board but it was too little too late.

“Lynnfield was tough, they came right out and punched us in the face,” said Townies first-year coach Chris Bilodeau. “We struggled from the start to get on track, but I was proud of our effort, especially Alizey, who was playing with a sprained ankle but gave it her all tonight. We’ve had a great year and with most of the girls coming back next year, I think we have something to build on in the future.”

For Lynnfield, freshman Riley Hallahan and freshman Anna Radulski (five rebounds, steal) had four points each, while freshman Abby Adamo (2 steals) hit one 3-pointer for three points. Cat Ciolfi (steal) and Morgan DeGrazia (steal) chipped in two points each.

Bocchino is optimistic about the Pioneers’ chances against Greater Lawrence.

“They had a great season, but from the video I’ve seen, I like the way we matchup against them,” Bocchino said. “I expect it will be a good game.”

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