With just over five minutes remaining, in the most lopsided match of this season, little Derek Tavares turned to his grandmother next to him and announced “this game is OVER gi-gi…”
The three-year old had been watching the game intently, nestled in between Dedham`s Mike and Carolyn Tavares, while his “uncle” Brian and the 8th grade Dedham boys Metrowest Basketball Team fell further behind a strong squad from Weston. In spite of their less than stellar record this season, the Dedham boys had been in every game up until now.
This past week saw Coach John Maida`s team play 2 scheduled games, have 3 full practices, and compete in a non-league scrimmage. It has been a long road for these boys, since practice began for them last November. They were moved up to play Division 2 ball, they lost their starting center and point scorer Davin Sweeney to a back injury, they`ve added a couple of new players, learned a bunch of new plays and signals, and saw it through school vacations, flu-like symptoms, and repeated snowstorms.
The week began with an hour-long journey out to Northboro. The Metrowest boys were playing their 10th different opponent in this 12 week season. This week would be a special one for the team though. Doctors had just given starting center Davin Sweeney their OK to return for limited action. Just to see one of their team leaders, back with the squad, and out on the court was motivating.
Despite being within a basket for most of the game, Northboro`s 3-point shooting (11 in all) proved too much for the short-handed Dedham team, and the local boys lost 65-57.
The week ended for the team this past Sunday. Their lackluster performance left Coach John Maida fine-tuning the lineup and looking forward to their last regular season game at home on Sunday against Brookline.
The Dedham boys scored a season low total of 29 points in this past game against neighboring Weston (53-29L). After the game, Coach Maida explained that his team “struggled to get their offense going, and Weston picked up their defense early in the second half.” He told his team to remain focused and if they did well in the coming playoffs, the regular season record wouldn`t matter.
Story and Photos by: Joe Kilroy