Medway’s 1-3-1 zone caused Medfield all sorts of problems early on.
By James Kinneen
Hometown Weekly Reporter
For essentially three quarters, the Medfield girls’ basketball team was getting killed by Medway.
Then, a riveting fourth quarter comeback had the stands going wild, Medway in chaos, and sportswriters looking for dramatic metaphors.
But Medway’s Julia Dowling was not going to let her team lose. Up just three points with a minute and seventeen seconds left, Dowling hit a huge three that essentially ended the game. In the end, Medway would win the game, 46-39, and for coach Joe Iannone, there was no question who came up big.
“Julia played fantastically for us,” said Iannone. “You’ve got to see her shoot the ball in practice, she is one of the best shooters I’ve ever had. It was so nice to see her on a big stage tonight come up with some huge shots. I’m sure she had at least 15 points, and a couple of huge threes. She also did a nice job in the game breaking their pressure. I’m really happy for her, she’s a great kid.”
As well as Dowling played, the game never looked like it was going to be close. After the first quarter, a flummoxed Medfield trailed, 13-2. At the half, they were still down, 23-9. Medway was running the rarely-seen 1-3-1 defense, which is partly designed to confuse offenses that don’t see it every game.
“The 1-3-1 has been sort of one of our staples for the last few years, we play it a couple of different ways. It causes some problems for some teams because not many teams see it, and now that our girls like it as our go-to defense, it gives them a little passion.”
But Medway, in some ways, shot themselves in the foot.
With a big lead, Medway still played fast (due in large part to Medfield’s adoption of a full court press) rather than holding the ball and killing as much time as they could. Coach Iannone acknowledged this, saying that he told his girls to stay aggressive, but they lost their composure in doing so.
Despite the Warriors having harangued and outplayed the Mustangs in the second half, beating them by a 30-23 margin, it was the visiting team that held on for the win.
“What’s funny is I told our girls to stay aggressive, stay aggressive, stay aggressive,” said Iannone. “And I felt like we missed a lot of easy shots when we got the ball in good position, and then they would go down and convert. I would say for a good six minutes we lost our composure but got it back just in time. We know they’re a really good team and coming into the game I think both coaches were looking to use this game to see how good are we really? And I think the result is we’re both pretty good. We feel like we played great for three quarters, then we feel like they turned up the pressure and we faltered a little bit, but we pulled it together just in time.”
With the win, Medway moved to 4-2 with a four-game win streak, while Medfield’s moral victory brought them to 3-3.