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Smith's Career-High 25 Leads Tewksbury over Melrose, 61-51

Dec 30, 2014 05:31AM ● Published by Rick Spencer

Tewksbury's Emily Velozo (10) scored 16 points as Tewksbury upset Central 52-48.

Gallery: Tewksbury Girls v. Melrose [7 Images] Click any image to expand.

From a purist’s point of view, Tewksbury High senior forward Shannon Smith’s performance against Melrose High on Monday night may not have been a work of art.

But they don’t put pictures on the score sheet, only numbers, and if you ask TMHS head coach Mark Bradley, Smith’s numbers were a thing of beauty.

“That was one of her better performances, maybe her best,” said Bradley after Smith hustled, muscled and scrapped her way to a career-high 25 points while pulling down nine rebounds in leading Tewksbury to a 61-51 non-league victory over Melrose. “She had that 14-footer going tonight and she made some powerful moves. She had some real big baskets for us tonight.”

Smith, a senior captain and four-year varsity letter winner, scored at least four points in every quarter as Melrose refused to go quietly in this one. Perhaps her biggest moments came in the third quarter, though, when she wrestled the momentum back from Melrose by scoring 10 of her game-high 25 points in a four-minute stretch.

“I think they (Melrose) out-matched our intensity level for a while, but we rebounded pretty well from that,” Bradley said. “Shannon had some big baskets during that stretch."
Smith got lots of help from junior point guard Emily Velozo, who tossed in 19 points and came up with five steals as Tewksbury’s full court press forced Melrose to cough up the ball at some critical moments.

“We started to get into that aggressive mode we wanted to get into, and we created some turnovers,” Bradley said. “Emily can create some problems for the other team. She’s sneaky smooth and she works hard defensively. I think those minutes she played last year behind Sara Semenza were important. She learned a lot of things from Sara. She’s non-stop. She just keeps going like the Energizer Bunny.”

Tewksbury jumped out to a 15-7 first quarter lead behind five points from Velozo and four from Smith. Neither team could get things going in the second quarter and Tewksbury took a 29-20 lead into the locker room.

Melrose came out strong in the third period, and closed to within three at 33-30, but that’s when Smith and Velozo took control. Tewksbury outscored Melrose by a 14-7 margin over the last five minutes of the period, and went into the fourth quarter leading 47-37. Smith had 10 points and Velozo had six points and two steals during that stretch.

The final eight minutes of the game were a foul-fest, but Tewksbury converted nine-of-15 from the free throw line while Melrose went six-for-11, and the Redmen were able to hold off the visiting Red Raiders, in spite of the fact that Smith fouled out with two minutes to go.

“We gutted it out,” Bradley said. “It was a good win.”

Amanda Brown added six points for TMHS, Karalyn Gallella had four, Katie Garcia chipped in with three including two big free throws in the fourth quarter, and Kirsten Dick and Marissa Doherty had two points each.

Tewksbury, now 2-3 overall and 1-2 in Merrimack Valley Conference play, gets right back at it Tuesday night with a 7:00 p.m. non-league game at Tyngsboro High.

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Sports, Schools Mark Bradley, Shannon Smith, Emily Velozo

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