Melious’ 60 Proves Too Much in Wagner Hoops’ Win Over Dewitt Clinton

The first part of the 2022-23 season has had Wagner’s Nicole Melious composing a beautiful symphonia, one for the ages, as she has been surpassing milestones and breaking all sorts of high school girls’ basketball scoring records.

With that being said, the senior basketball virtuosa had the Falcons playing one of their best games of the season, scoring a career-high 60 points in a tilt, as they routed Dewitt Clinton, 101-57, in a non-league contest Wednesday at Cathedral High School in the second day of the Skills Sharpen Skills Challenge basketball tournament.

Melious added 11 assists and grabbed 16 rebounds, often following up her own shots to prove she is just as determined and hungry for the ball as she is gifted at putting the rock through the hoop.

As for setting a new personal best, which was 57 points on a few occasions, Melious, who is committed to LaSalle and captured the tournament MVP, flashed her megawatt smile while enjoying the moment with her family by her side.

“It feels amazing,” Melious said of setting a new single-game scoring record for herself. “Obliviously, I wasn’t thinking about the record. I was just trying to play within myself and for my teammates, trying to get better for the next level.”

While Melious–who was still in the contest in the fourth quarter due other players fouling out–enjoyed an outstanding game, she did not do it alone. Junior Samantha Harrell scored 21 points, senior Alexis Anderson had eight points and a game-best 17 boards, and junior Saniyah Wilkerson dished out eight assists and collected nine rebounds.

Alexis Anderson on defense.

Wagner jumped out to a 29-6 lead in the first quarter. The Falcons ended the first half ahead by the score of 56-21. Though Dewitt Clinton outscored the Falcons, 24-22, in the third period, it was not nearly enough to overcome the 33-point deficit going into the fourth period.

“When we’re able to rebound the ball and get out in transition, we’re a fun team to watch,” Wagner head coach Tom Rizzo said. “You saw how the girls root for each other and want to distribute the ball. As many points as Nicole puts up, I think you also notice why she leads our team in assists. She’s just a phenomenal player. It’s just good to see that selflessness move to all the other girls who were on the floor,”

One area that Rizzo said he would like to see the Falcons improve upon is play better defense.

“Defensively, I still think we have a way to go,” he said. “But that will be something we’ll correct in practice. For now, we’ll have fun, we’ll look back at the tape, and go from there.”

The Falcons travel to New Dorp next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

Nicole Melious drains a three-pointer.

— Jerry Del Priore


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