The Burlington girls’ JV basketball team currently holds an undefeated 5-0 record. Burlington started the season with comfortable wins against Winchester and Watertown before challenges came against Melrose, Reading and Stoneham.
Burlington showed their discipline against Winchester and managed to shake off an aggressive Watertown squad. Tight defense was the key to both games as Burlington kept the Sachems scoreless in the fourth quarter and held the Raiders to two field goals throughout the game.
Burlington faced a decorated program in Melrose, but the Lady Devils were up to the challenge and shocked the home crowd. Burlington struck first with two free throws from Miranda Woods, however the Lady Devils were held scoreless the rest of the quarter as the Red Raiders built a 10-2 lead. Burlington played even with Melrose in the second quarter, but the deficit remained at 7 going into the half. The Lady Devils climbed back in the third quarter by clamping down on defense, while staying aggressive on the offensive end. Katie Han hit a three-pointer drown the stretch and Burlington iced the game by running out the clock for the 32-30 win. Clean defense and free throws were the difference makers in the game, as Burlington committed six less fouls and got to the line nine more times than Melrose.
Reading visited two days later with the most size of any team Burlington had faced. The two teams played even in the second and the Lady Devils held onto a one point lead at the half. Reading took over in the third quarter by switching to a trapping press and zone, but Burlington adjusted to both. The Lady Devils managed to shoot 4 for 5 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter, while solid defense under the basket from Emily Miliano and on the wings by Erin Murphy held the Rockets to one field goal for the 29-23 victory.
Burlington had its greatest scare in Stoneham after their two week game hiatus during winter break. The Lady Devils started slow and found themselves down after the first quarter. However they bounced back in the second, scoring 12 points and holding the Spartans to four, to take a three point lead at the half. Burlington wouldn’t score a field goal in the third quarter, but shot 6 for 8 from the line to stay even with Stoneham at 26 going into the last quarter. The game remained close, with Abby Joyce contributing offensively throughout the contest. The Lady Devils couldn’t capitalize on a one and one situation with less than a minute remaining and clinging to a two point lead. The Spartans were able to draw a foul and the resulting two shoot bonus tied the game to force overtime. Burlington sent in fresh legs for the 4 extra minutes and they were the difference makers as the tired Spartans began to foul and the Lady Devils were able to pull away by shooting 6 for 8 from the free throw line. Christina Raso was the only Lady Devil to play the final minutes of regulation and overtime, and she took advantage by hitting 3 of her 4 free throws to add to the 42-36 win.
Burlington’s success comes from tight defense and a balanced offensive attack, as each game has featured eight or more players scoring and different offensive leaders. The Lady Devils hope to keep their streak alive against Belmont on Friday, avenging two losses to the Marauders last season.