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Wellesley Girls Basketball Improves To 10-0

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By Robert Rosen
Hometown Weekly Staff

Wellesley girls’ basketball team is off to a 10-0 start and has qualified for the state tournament after beating a tough Natick team on Friday night on the road, 42-34.

“Of course [the Natick game] was in doubt,” coach Glen Magpiong said after the game. “That’s a good team. They made a run down the stretch. It was always in doubt.”

The final score of the game was not indicative of how close it really was, as it went down to the final minutes. The Raiders hit several clutch free throws and junior Leo Sperling hit a huge three-pointer that silenced the crowd down the stretch.

“This is by far the closest game we’ve had all year,” said Caroline Sullivan, one of Wellesley’s captains. “We’ve had some close games but most of the time by halftime we start to pull away."

“I think it shows our mental toughness, that we are ready for anything and we prepare for each game differently. We knew coming in this game was going to be competitive.”

This year’s Raiders’ season has been a total team effort. A different player has stepped up each night; there has been no real star. Sperling hit the big shot against Natick, but it was after she had missed all of her previous shots, yet she never lost confidence.

Sullivan was huge on the boards and in the paint against Natick, especially defensively, and on other nights some of the players who have come up big include junior captain Dorian Cohen, sophomore guard Kelcie Zarle and senior captain Emily Cronin, who guards the opponent’s toughest player each game, although other players have stepped up big as well.

“I think this year we have amazing team chemistry,” Sullivan said. “We understand everybody’s strengths and weaknesses and how to help them. We also really trust each other. We’re cheering on the bench. We’re cheering on the court. We’re just ready and focused.”

The Raiders faced Dedham on Tuesday and they’re not looking past the Marauders. They’re going to continue to take one game at a time, because Magpiong is a firm believer in “what have you done for me now?” and keeping the team focused on the hear and now and not what they’ve already accomplished or what they might accomplish.

“If you had asked me at the beginning of the season I was hoping to get at least 10 wins and get into the tournament,” Magpiong said. “I told the girls, ‘you just punched your ticket. We’re going.’ Now we just have to work on seeding. We have some tough opponents. We have a tough road ahead of us. Anything can happen.

“I love this team. It’s terrific. I love coaching you guys. This team will run through a wall for us as coaches. I love it. It’s a great group of ladies. I’m having the time of my life.”

Robert Rosen can be contacted at and followed on Twitter @roberterosen.

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