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Medfield Sports Report: Warriors Finding Early Success this Winter

Many of the Medfield High School winter athletic programs are off to strong starts this season. Here’s how each team looks coming out of winter break.

The winter sports teams are showing early signs of strength that could lead to long-term success for many of Big Blue’s programs.

Three weeks into the 2011-2012 winter seasons at Medfield High School, two programs are unbeaten (boys’ hockey and girls’ basketball), while two others boast winning records (girls’ hockey and boys’ and girls’ track). Here’s a team-by-team look at how the Warriors have fared in the early going this season.

Boys’ Basketball (3-3, 2-2)

The early season highlights include beating defending Tri-Valley League champion Hopkinton, 72-58 on Dec. 16 and rival on Dec. 20.

Warriors’ head coach over the holiday break when Medfield beat Belmont, 57-53 on Dec. 27. After losing by 12 to Norton in the season opener, Medfield has made steady improvements despite losing to TVL foe Medway on home court, 46-42 and out of conference opponent, , 62-52. The Warriors have been competitive in each of the team’s first six games and will look to improve a 2-2 TVL record moving forward. First up for the Warriors when TVL play resumes will be Holliston at home on Jan. 3 at 6:30 p.m.

The Warriors will rely on its depth, team defense and athleticism. Johnny McCarthy can hit shots from anywhere on the floor and the post presence of Tommy Conlon and Drew Shea give Medfield size in the paint. Sam Tawa’s versatility on the floor gives Grace lineup options and will be a key to long-term success on the court this season.

Girls’ Basketball (5-0, 4-0)

No surprise here for the Lady Warriors as head coach Mark Nickerson’s team is off to another fast start on the hardwood.

Medfield, , has won its first four league games of 2011-2012 and knocked off a tough Fontbonne Academy team on the road.

and according to Nickerson, anything less than that, including a fourth straight TVL title, “is nice” but not the ultimate goal.

Medfield’s strength is clearly its depth as it has a first and second unit that can run with anyone on the floor. Nickerson has fielded another strong defensive team and found scoring options in Jen Narlee, Lauren Petit, Kristen Fechtelkotter and Kate Thomas. These Warriors are young but they are talented and that has been evident through the first five games of the season.

Medfield has scored 296 points in five games, an average of 59.2 points per game. The defense has been stingy, allowing just 31.8 points per game. What’s more impressive is in four TVL games, the Warriors have reached 60 points in each contest, including big wins over Hopkinton, 61-39 and Medway, 60-43. The Warriors resume play on Jan. 3 in Holliston at 6:30 p.m.

Boys’ Hockey (4-0, 2-0)

Before the season started, Medfield head coach . Through the first four games of the season, the Warriors look like a team hungry for a state title shot.

Perhaps the biggest question heading into the season was how the offense would look without the playmaking ability of Jim MaGrath on the ice. The answer has been explosive. Led by Ben Cox, Medfield has scored 23 goals in four games and thanks to the strong defense and goaltending of Conor Roddy, the team has allowed just two goals against, including two shutouts.

Early season highlights include a 3-1 victory over rival Westwood in the season opener, a 9-1 victory over Bourne in the Big Ham Cup tournament opener and a 1-0 victory over Scituate for the Big Ham Cup championship the following night. Medfield returns to the ice Jan. 3 against Bellingham at 7:30 p.m. at Veterans Arena in Franklin.

Girls’ Hockey (4-1, 2-1)

After dropping its season opener to rival Dover-Sherborn, 3-2, Medfield has rattled off four straight victories, including a 7-1 victory over D-S on Dec. 29 to capture the team’s second straight Blue and White Cup – a tradition between the two schools.

Goaltender Mimi Borkan has posted two shutouts, allowing just four goals in five games. The Warriors are getting contributions from all lines and showing the type of balance needed to make a run against the upper echelon teams in the state. Medfield gets back on the ice after a busy winter break (7-1 victory over D-S and 1-0 victory over Shrewsbury) on Jan. 4 against Westwood at Ponkapog at 4:30 p.m.

Boys’ and Girls’ Indoor Track (2-1, 2-1)

Medfield clearly fields the second best teams in the Tri-Valley League – second to Hopkinton, which handed the Warriors lopsided defeats earlier this season.

The boys’ fell to the Hillers, 68-18 and the girls’ lost 60-26. Medfield’s tracksters will keep working on improving and reaching personal bests throughout the teams four remaining meets before the TVL Championships on Feb. 5 at Reggie Lewis Center. There, the Warriors will get another shot at Hopkinton. Until then, Medfield returns to the field house on Jan. 4 against Ashland at 3:30 p.m.

Boys’ and Girls’ Swimming

The Medfield boys’ and girls’ swim teams are under the direction of a new head coach this season. Sara Callahan leads the Warriors young program and has the boys’ at 1-2 and the girls’ at 0-2 (girls’ results against D-S not reported) in the early going. The Warriors get back in the pool on Jan. 4 against Holliston at 7:30 p.m.

Gymnastics

Medfield won its season opener against Acton-Boxboro, 137.85-128.7. Its score against Brookline on Dec. 20 was not reported as of Jan. 2. The Warriors return to the mat on Jan. 9 against Chelmsford at 7 p.m.

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