Perez lifts Raiders over Rebels

Junior guard Matt Ouellette (24) rushes up the floor on a fast break. Photos by Mike Flanagan

By Mike Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor

The Wellesley and Walpole High School varsity boys basketball teams played their lone meeting of the 2019-2020 season on Friday night in Wellesley.

The Raiders (2-0, 2-0) entered following a prolonged holiday break due to multiple postponements. Meanwhile, the Rebels (1-6, 0-4) entered looking to get back on a winning note following three consecutive defeats to Weymouth, Norwood and Needham.

 Junior guard Anthony Perez (2) moves the ball up the floor.

Junior guard Anthony Perez (2) moves the ball up the floor.

Behind a game-high 19 points by junior guard Anthony Perez, the Raiders jumped out to a big lead early and held off the Rebels for a 65-35 victory. Senior forward Will Secor also led Wellesley by contributing nine points. Sophomore TJ Farrell led Walpole with a team-high nine points.

Wellesley began the game hot, starting on a 15-0 run that featured three-pointers by junior guard Matt Ouellette (eight points) and senior captain and forward Tate Blasco (six points). The Rebels called a timeout and responded with a 9-0 run to cut the deficit to 15-9 following a three-pointer by junior Charles Nicolas (five points). Perez responded for the Raiders by drilling a three-pointer in the closing seconds of the quarter, ending Walpole’s run at nine and extending Wellesley’s lead to 18-9 at the end of one.

A three-pointer by junior Brian Malone (four points) cut the deficit to 18-12 for Walpole early in the second quarter. Back-to-back lay-ups by junior guard Wedner Cadet (seven points) allowed the Raiders to build their lead back to double digits at 22-12. Perez put home a pair of lay-ups in the closing minutes of the second quarter and finished the half in double figures with 10 points. Wellesley took a 10-point lead into halftime at 26-16.

The third quarter served as the game’s turning point as Wellesley seized control with a 21-6 run, highlighted by a pair of three-point plays by Anthony Nakhle (four points) and Ouellette. Also in on the big Wellesley run was Perez, who shot home a three-pointer to extend Wellesley’s lead to 23 at 42-19. Following the big run, Wellesley brought a commanding 47-22 lead into the final quarter. Wellesley continued to bulk their lead throughout the fourth to salt the game away, going ahead by as many as 30 to come away with a 65-35 victory.

Walpole will look to get back on track on January 10 at Bishop Feehan, while Wellesley will try and stick to their winning ways when the Raiders travel to face rival Newton North the same night.

For funny and insightful sports analysis as well as video highlights of games, follow Mike Flanagan on his personal Twitter and Instagram @flano0.

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