By Jeff Kiesling
The Dover-Sherborn Raiders boys varsity basketball team commenced its 2022-2023 season in impressive fashion on December 13 with a 71-39 win at home against the Millis High School Mohawks.
The Raiders controlled the opening tip and then went on a 6-0 run to start the game. Millis employed a full-court press against DS from the start, but the Raiders were able to break through with quick passes and skilled ball handling. Luke Rinaldi led all scorers in the first with 6 points and Max Glick hit a three-point bomb as the quarter wound down to give DS a 15-6 lead.
The Raiders continued to solve the Mohawks’ press defense and hit transition baskets in the second quarter, while the visitors were plagued by turnovers and poor shot opportunities. It allowed DS to extend its lead to 32-16 going into the half.
Rinaldi set the tone for the second half when he stole the ball on Millis’ first possession and broke away for a thundering slam dunk. Luke Spellman followed with a three-pointer, and an alley-oop to Rinaldi resulted in another dunk that made the score 41-16 early in the third quarter. DS pushed the ball up the floor aggressively and their shots continued to fall, giving them commanding 54-29 lead after three.
Millis continued to struggle while Dover-Sherborn continued to score in the fourth quarter. Rinaldi (who led all scorers with 32 points) put on a display by drilling a deep three-pointer and converting a nifty steal into a breakaway for his third emphatic dunk of the night. DS cruised to a lopsided 71-39 win.
On December 16, the Raiders (2-0) squared off against a much stouter opponent, the Dedham High School Marauders (0-2), and despite a tight contest in the first half managed to come away with a 57-39 win at home. The contest proved the adage that basketball is a “game of runs” as Dedham scored the first five points before DS pulled off a 17-2 run to charge out to a 17-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Dedham would respond in the second quarter with a run of their own as the Raiders went cold and the Marauders led at the half, 34-26.
Coach Rick Grady’s pep-talk at the half righted the ship and DS out-hustled the visitors in the third quarter and outworked them on the boards. The Raiders pulled even midway through the third and the two teams traded the lead back and forth for the remainder of the frame, with DS leading 39-38 at the end of three.
Max Glick drained a deep three from the left corner for the Raiders to start the fourth which set the tone for the remainder of the game, and it was all Raiders from that point on. DS relied on strong guard play as Jono Wendle and Mason Melchionda hounded Dedham’s ball handlers on defense and worked the half-court offense to create open shots that fell in bunches. The Raiders saved their best run for last by outpacing their suddenly overmatched opponent, 18-1, in the fourth, resulting in a convincing 57-39 win. Olson led all scorers with 16 points and Melchionda and Wendle contributed 11 and 7 apiece, respectively.
This story was generously contributed by a member of the Dover-Sherborn community. Hometown Weekly welcomes the submission of varsity sports photos and game stories to firstname.lastname@example.org.