A perfect season in the Tri-Valley League may not be anything new for the _Medfield High School_ girls’ basketball team but it never gets old either.
“It's great,” said Medfield head coach Mark Nickerson after Friday's 73-24 win over Millis. "The girls have been talking about it for awhile, if you've been around the Tri-Valley League for a long time you talk about Westwood. The Westwood girls dominated the league, they had 19 seasons in a row of being undefeated, which I can't even fathom that. ... We're starting to become a little bit like they used to be."
Medfield (20-0, 18-0) completed its second straight perfect season in the TVL and third in four years with Friday's win over Millis (1-17). It’s Medfield’s fourth straight TVL title and seventh overall.
“It's a great accomplishment," Nickerson said. "Teams know when they come in here they're going to have their hands full. They're hoping to compete with us but thinking in their minds maybe they can't do that and we are doing a lot to make them actually believe that."
Kristin Fechtelkotter led Medfield’s attack Friday, netting 16 points to go with three assists and two rebounds in limited action. Ali Mileszko (11 points, four steals), Lauren Petit (nine points, five steals, three assists), Delaney Lawson (nine points, two steals) and Jess McBrien (seven points, two rebounds) contributed to Medfield’s potent attack that took a 45-10 lead over the Mohawks at halftime.
"We shot the ball well,” said Nickerson. "We had a lot of players shoot the ball well from the perimeter, I think we had five different players make threes, we finished inside pretty well, those are all good things."
No Seniors, No Problems – for Medfield
The last home game of the regular season typically means Senior Night for players and coaches but that wasn’t the case Friday as there are no seniors on Medfield’s roster this season. That’s great news for Nickerson and terrible news for the rest of the TVL – especially for a group of girls that have won 36 straight TVL games.
“They never lose,” said Millis head coach David Fallon.
Nickerson said: “I've never been so happy not to have a senior night, knowing all of these girls are going to be back, we are going to be bringing the same team back next year. It's not a real comforting feeling for our opponents when they hear the starting lineup and they don't hear one senior ... it's great for us and probably a little trouble for the rest of the league.”
Prepping for the State Tournament
With the regular season over and February vacation beginning, the Warriors will look to stay sharp in preparation for the state tournament by playing in a two day tournament at Walpole High School, Feb. 20-21. The Warriors will play Walpole Feb. 20 at 7:30 p.m. and either Oliver Ames or Norwell on Feb. 21 at 6 p.m.
"It's always a good tournament for us," Nickerson said. "Walpole and Oliver Ames we could see in the state tournament so that's good preparation ... that's why we schedule it."
Lessons Learned from Last Year’s Tourney Exit
Medfield will undoubtedly recall its early exit from the MIAA Division 2 South quarterfinals against Bishop Feehan after completing a perfect TVL season last year.
Nickerson hopes that despite having a young team, the experience they've gained this year and the heartbreaking experience of losing at home to Bishop Feehan last March will serve as a valuable lesson this time around.
"We are young this year, we were real young last year," said Nickerson. "We had four starting seniors that had experience but we had key players coming off the bench that had no experience. I'm hoping that they've played more now this season and have experienced more games. I think their confidence level is at a different level than maybe it was last year. I think we are more prepared than we were last year, which is a good thing."
Regardless of how teams performed in their respective leagues during the regular season, the MIAA Division 2 South field is always challenging.
"It's difficult because the Division 2 South tournament is tough," Nickerson said. "The teams out there, Scituate, Hopkinton, OA, Bishop Feehan, who knocked us out last year, these are real good teams. We got to play well and get a little lucky but we are as good as anybody in the tournament."
Nickerson said the key to tournament success is simple – play well.
"If we play poorly, we are going to get knocked out early," Nickerson said. "If we play well, we have a chance to go all the way."
Bottom line: Make a Deep Tourney Run
While another perfect season in the TVL is a noticeable accomplishment, it is not what Medfield is playing for.
"We still have a lot of work ahead of us," said Nickerson. "There's a lot of teams out there that are collecting uniforms, winding down the season and saying goodbye to each other and I hope we will be playing for another month or so. There's a strong desire to keep playing."