What started as a defensive battle ended as a thriller as Melrose defeated Arlington Catholic, 46-44, in overtime Tuesday in the first round of the Division 2 North girls’ basketball playoffs.
Both teams struggled mightily from the field to start the game, with 14th-seeded Arlington Catholic missing its first 10 shots and third-seeded Melrose scoring just 8 first-quarter points.
Arlington Catholic, which got seven blocks from 5-foot-11-inch center Kristen O’Keefe, was able to maintain a slim lead for most of the game thanks to a defensive intensity that forced 15 first-half turnovers, and 25 overall.
But the Red Raiders, who forced 26 turnovers, were able to bide their time until senior captain Alexis Doherty came alive in the second half.
“Our strong side all year has been defensively,” said Red Raiders coach Bill Hirchfeld. “So we tried to tell them to go back to what’s strong for us and what got us here. And then the offense comes in off that once Alexis Doherty starts hitting shots and loosening up.”
Doherty was held to just 2 points in the first half but finished with 17. In the midst of 10 second-half lead changes and six ties, Doherty was Melrose’s lead playmaker, forcing three steals and hitting a clutch 3-pointer with less than 30 seconds left in regulation to give the Red Raiders a 35-33 lead.
Isabella Petrillo’s driving layup for Arlington Catholic with nine seconds left sent the game to overtime.
“I think I was anxious at the beginning,” Doherty said. “But I was like, ‘This is going to be my last game if I don’t pull it together.’ So my team really came together with me and was like, ‘We need you in this game.’ So I just got it back together.”
Division 2 South
Stoughton 52, Dighton-Rehoboth 35 — Aliyah Wright and Sydnee Hyacinthe combined for 20 points to lead the Knights (13-8).
Division 2 Central
Nashoba 51, Grafton 39 — Sarah Gillooly scored 17 points and Abby McNulty tallied 11 to lead the host No. 7 seed Chieftains (15-6) over the No. 10 Indians (12-9) in a first-round matchup. Nashoba advances to play at second-seeded Ashland at 7 p.m. on Friday. Anya Kopyra led Grafton with 15 points and teammate Abby Rogers chipped in 10.
Medfield 71, Wayland 56 — Maggie McCarthy led all scorers with 26 points for the Warriors (16-5).
North Middlesex 48, Worcester South 30 — Hadley Beauregard led all scorers with 30 points to pace the visiting No. 11 Patriots (13-8) over the No. 6 Colonels (14-7) in a Central Division 2 first round matchup. North Middlesex will play at third-seeded Medway at 7 p.m. Friday. Rachel Mensah scored 11 points for South.
Milford 63, Burncoat 27 — Emma Piergustavo had game-high 18 points and Kate Irwin added 16 to power the ninth-seeded Scarlet Hawks (13-8) past the No. 8 seed Patriots (13-8) in a Central Mass. Division 2 first round game in Worcester. Katie Pasquale led Burncoat with 10 points and Maire Gallagher was held in check with seven points. Milford will face top-seeded Groton-Dunstable in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Division 3 North
Bishop Fenwick 48, East Boston 16 — Freshman Liz Gonzalez paced the Crusaders (12-9) with 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.
Division 3 Central
Blackstone-Millville 69, Ayer Shirley 57 — Aidan Ryan led all scorers with 30 points and Taylor McNamara chipped in 14 to push the host No. 7 Chargers (13-6) past the No. 10 Panthers (13-8) in a Central Mass. Division 3 first round matchup. BMR will play at second-seeded Sutton at 7 p.m. Thursday. Rhyschel Perez collected 28 points for Ayer-Shirley and teammates Hayley Sheriff (12 points) and Riley Murphy (11 points) also contributed.
Oakmont 46, Millis 34 — Hannah Cravedi had 11 points and seven steals, Kylie Lison added 11 points and seven boards and Leah Pelkey dropped 10 points and eight rebounds to power the third-seeded Spartans (17-4) over the visiting No. 14 Mohawks (11-10). Oakmont will host No. 11 Notre Dame at 7 p.m. Thursday in a quarterfinal.
Northbridge 56, Oxford 30 — Jacqueline Puda scored a game-high 16 points as the host No. 5 Rams (17-4) beat the No. 12 Pirates (11-10) in a Central Mass. Division 3 first round game. Northbridge advances to play at No. 4 Tyngsboro at 7 p.m. Thursday. Oxford’s Gina Parmenter had eight points, while Felicity Steiger scored seven.
Notre Dame (Worcester) 61, Lunenburg 44 — Elizabeth Potvin led all scorers with 27 points and Ally Walker added 12 to power the visiting No. 11 Rebels (13-8) over the No. 6 Blue Knights (15-6) in a Central Division 3 first-round game. Notre Dame advances to play third-seeded Oakmont at 7 p.m. Thursday. Sarah Morse led Lunenburg with 11 points.
Division 4 North
Mt. Alvernia 42, Saint Joseph Prep 36 — Senior forward Dakota O'Bryant led the Mustangs (12-9) with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
BU Academy 39, Woodward 33 — Senior Juliana Bongiorno gave BU Academy (14-1) the GIL title with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
Division 1 North
Lowell 74, Lynn Classical 60 — Nate Siow and Alex Rivera each scored 15 points as all five starters scored in double figures for the fourth-seeded Red Raiders (17-4). Classical (12-9) stayed in the game thanks to a game-high 23 points from senior Edwin Solis.
Division 1 South
BC High 54, Wellesley 42 — Senior Travis Evee scored 25 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and recorded 4 steals for the eighth-seeded Eagles (15-6).
Division 1 Central
Algonquin 73, Acton-Boxborough 53 — Kyle Henderson (23 points) and Nick Redden (22 points) paced the host No. 7 Tomahawks (14-7) past the No. 10 Colonials (10-11) in a Central Mass. Division 1 first round matchup. Algonquin will play at second-seeded Wachusett at 7 p.m. Thursday. Brian Duffy tallied 14 points for Algonquin and teammate Will Goss chipped in 10 points.
Division 2 North
Woburn 66, Somerville 62 — The Tanners (14-7) overcame a 16-point first half deficit, with senior guard Isaiah Cashwell-Doe’s 20 points leading the way.
Marblehead 70, Winchester 61 — Senior captain Derek Marino led the scoring for the 11th-seeded Magicians (13-8) with 30 points.
Division 2 South
Westwood 80, Walpole 61 — Senior Reed Wilson scored 26 points for the Wolverines (11-12) at home.
Division 3 North
Watertown 77, Essex Tech 32 — Seniors Wenston Rodriguez (19 points, 7 rebounds) and John Korte (18 points, 8 rebounds) led the Raiders (15-6), the defending sectional champs, at home.
Newburyport 67, Lynn Tech 63 — Casey McLaren poured in 29 points to lead the Clippers (14-7) in first round action.
Hamilton-Wenham 70, Wilmington 46 — Senior James Lustig (15 points, 10 rebounds) and senior Cole Dwyer (13 points, 10 rebounds) led the host Generals (18-3).
Division 3 South
Cardinal Spellman 77, Norton 67 — Senior Mikey Spencer’s 27 points topped the scoring for the Cardinals (15-6) at home.
Rockland 63, Fairhaven 35 — Senior Zach Sharland scored 19 points to lead the Bulldogs (18-3).
Division 3 Central
Whitinsville Christian 54, Dover-Sherborn 48 — Brett Stark had a game-high 26 points for the visiting 14th-seeded Raiders (10-11), but three Crusaders tallied double figures, including 14 points by Tyler Gorman, to pace the No. 3 seed Crusaders (15-6) to a Central Mass. Division 3 first round victory. Whitinsville Christian will face the winner of Wednesday’s game between Bellingham and Greater Lowell in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Friday. Justin VanderBaan added 12 points for the Crusaders, and Gabe Brookhouse tallied 11.
Division 4 Central
Marian 80, Monty Tech 76 — Savon Hughes (33 points, 13 rebounds), Nick McDermott (17 points, 18 rebounds) and Joseph Novelli (14 points) couldn’t help the host No. 5 Bulldogs (13-8) overcome the No. 12 Mustangs (11-10) in a Central Mass. Division 4 first round matchup. Marian advances to play No. 13 Southbridge at 7 p.m. Friday.
Advanced Math and Science 68, Notre Dame (Fitchburg) 66 — Nick Gopaul recorded 24 points and 15 rebounds and Zach Marchese (12 points) made a layup with 8 seconds left to lift the host No. 8 Eagles (13-8) over the No. 9 Crusaders (11-9) in a Central Mass. Division 4 first round matchup at the Yawkey Way Center in Marlboro. AMSA advances to play at top-seeded Worcester Tech at 6:30 p.m. Thursday. Mark Bibiu (11 points), Andrew Cash (8 points, 10 rebounds) and Nico Ciolino (7 points, 7 assists) also contributed for AMSA.
Maynard 71, Blackstone Valley 54 — Corey Olivier had 22 points and Chris Bastien added 20 points and 20 rebounds to power the No. 3 Tigers (20-3) over the No. 14 Beavers (8-13) in Maynard. The Tigers will host sixth-seeded Innovation at 7 p.m. Friday in a quarterfinal. Drew Galicki buried seven 3-pointers and finished with 26 points to lead Valley Tech.
Abby Kelley Foster 74, Bay Path 63 — Sultan Adebisi dumped in a game-best 22 points and grabbed 16 rebounds, and Rodolpho Obregon added 17 points, as the 10th-seeded Bears (12-9) broke open a close game hitting 8 of 10 from the free-throw line down the stretch to claim a Central Mass. Division 4 first round win over the No. 7 seed Minutemen (12-9) in Charlton. Abby Kelley will face the winner of Assabet-Millis in a quarterfinal at 7 p.m. Friday. Caiden Ellis had 19 points for Bay Path.
Southbridge 67, St. Mary’s (Worcester) 46 — Justin Reyes scored a game-high 19 points and Jared Figueroa added 14 points as the No. 13 Pioneers (11-10) beat the No. 4 Eagles (14-7) in a Central Mass. Division 4 first-round game at Worcester Academy. Southbridge plays at Marian at 7 p.m. Friday. Aidan Lorusso (13 points), Adrian Taveras (12) and Angel Rivera (10) led St. Mary's.
Division 4 North
Austin Prep 62, Maimonides 52 — Senior guard Stephen Reddy scored 24 points and forward Denis Taylor added 19 points and six rebounds for the Cougars (17-4).
Mystic Valley 76, Snowden 62 — Junior forward Ben Soto’s 17 points and 12 rebounds helped the Eagles (16-5) earn their first tournament win in school history.
Girls’ indoor track
Three days after winning the 55-meter hurdles at the MIAA All-State meet, Belmont junior Anoush Krafian won the pentathlon title at Reggie Lewis Center with 3,361 points. Pentucket’s Saige Tudisco (3,229) was second, pacing her team to the team title (8,515), followed by Medway (8,457).
Globe correspondents Nate Weitzer and Owen Pence contributed to this report.