By Michael Flanagan
Hometown Weekly Sports Editor
Whether it’s the mutual dislike the two teams share towards one another, or the abundance of talent present on both sides, the Westwood and Medfield High School varsity basketball teams always put on an incredible show whenever the two teams meet on the hardwood.
Back on January 10, the Wolverines (15-3, 12-3) fell at Medfield (11-7, 11-5) 65-61 in a thrilling back-and-forth heavyweight bout. Friday’s second and final meeting between the two teams in 2016-2017 was no different. A late comeback by Medfield forced the game to come down to the final possession, with Westwood’s Tim Giovino nailing a three-pointer with 5.6 seconds remaining to propel the Wolverines over the Warriors, 57-54, to remain unbeaten at home on the season (10-0).
The Wolverines jumped out to a big lead on the Warriors early, going ahead 23-10 at the end of the first quarter. The Wolverines extended their lead to 32-19 at the half thanks to a collective effort of incredible defensive pressure as well as some slick three-point shooting from Tim Giovino and Reed Wilson.
Medfield came out of the break determined to get themselves back into the contest, and after going on a 12-4 run to start the second half, the Warriors were able to cut the deficit to just four with three minutes remaining in the third thanks to consecutive power moves in the paint by the monstrous senior center, Christopher McGory. However, Westwood went on a 7-0 run to end the third quarter and pull ahead by 11 entering the final frame of regulation.
Whatever Medfield head coach Herb Grace said to his team following the third quarter obviously fired them up, as Medfield battled back to tie the game at 53 with just under a minute left to play following a 13-2 run. Both teams exchanged free throws to keep the score tied at 54 with 32 seconds to play and Westwood possessing the ball. On the ensuing Westwood possession, the Wolverines got the ball to Tim Giovino who swished home a three-pointer with 5.6 seconds left to play to give Westwood back the lead. Medfield inbounded the ball and got it to senior guard Jack Fitzgerald, who fired up a three that was no-good at the buzzer and the Wolverines hung on for the three-point victory.
Friday’s loss to Westwood is the third straight for Medfield following an excruciating 53-52 defeat at the hands of conference-leading Medway (14-3, 13-3) at the buzzer on February 2 before an 85-63 loss to Holliston on February 7. The Warriors will look to right the ship when they conclude conference play against Ashland on February 17. Meanwhile, Westwood will look to keep it going as they pursue a TVL regular season title when they host Hopkinton on February 17 before concluding the regular season in the Riley Winter Classic against Bishop Feehan on February 19.