SUDBURY, Mass. -- The pregame festivities for Lincoln-Sudbury had a little bit of everything on Senior Night. But when the ball was tipped, the first quarter action may have topped it all.
The Warriors (13-5) raced out to an 18-point lead in the first and never looked back in their 58-38 win over Wellesley, in a nonleague battle on Friday night.
The two teams faced off earlier in the season, with the Warriors being on the opposite end of a large first half deficit. So when the Raiders (16-2) came out sloppy with the ball and cold from the floor, Warriors head coach Liza Feldman was pleased to see her team take control of the game.
“(Wellesley) is a team that you have to take advantage of their misses, because they don’t miss much,” said Feldman, whose team has won five straight games. “I thought we did a good job of knowing when to push the ball and score early versus knowing when to work the ball around.”
Lindsey Jones was doing a little bit of everything in the first quarter for the Warriors, as the senior scored 11 of her game-high 22 points. Ashley Lutz added 15 points and five rebounds for the game, while the Warriors defense did a good job of limiting Raiders’ star Blake Dietrick to 11 points on 1-of-12 shooting from deep.
The Warriors took advantage of three early Raiders’ turnovers to score the first nine points. Shelby Witherford went 1-of-2 from the free throw line to score the Raiders first point with 3:21 left in the quarter, but the Warriors would use a 14-4 run to close out the quarter.
Jones did most of her work inside the paint with lay-ups in transition, but she also canned a straightaway 3-pointer to show off her range.
“I had to step up my offense, because it’s been a little slow this season,” said Jones.
The Raiders started to put some resemblance of their offense together in the second quarter, but the Warriors stayed with them stride for stride. Nyah Berg’s floater off the glass with three seconds remaining in the half gave the Warriors a 34-18 lead.
Wellesley turned it over on its first two possessions of the third quarter, and Jones’ second three of the game started a 11-0 run before Grace Miller’s continuation stopped the bleeding.
Feldman was throwing all sorts of looks at Dietrick, but it was the work of Meghan Sanford that stood out the most. Sanford was given the responsibility of guarding Dietrick from pretty much the moment she got her hands on the ball. On several occasions, Sanford forced the Raiders’ Princeton-bound leader into bad turnovers and uncharacteristic decision-making.
“She’s an excellent player so I had to be on my toes and move my feet, because I didn’t know she might get by me,” said Sanford. “We were trying to put pressure on her (in the backcourt) so they couldn’t run plays and couldn’t score.”
“She’s a phenomenal player and we didn’t want her to get hot at all,” added Feldman. “I thought our kids did a good job of forcing her in to some tough shots. She’s not easy to guard and I think the kids executed the game plan the way that we hoped.”
The Raiders did manage to pull to within 11 points because of some sloppy play from the hosts, but again the Warriors put together an 11-3 run, mostly on made free throws, to close the game.