Monday night’s early season matchup between the Winthrop High basketball team and No. Cambridge Catholic, the teams that have battled in the final of the Division 4 North State Sectional the past two years, had been billed as a preview of coming attractions come March Madness time.
But Coach Dave Brown and his Viking wrecking crew put to rest any notion that No. Cambridge will be a serious contender for the crown that Winthrop seeks to wear in 2010, as Winthrop took control of the game in the second quarter and cruised to an 89-49 rout of their post season nemesis in the opening round of the Winthrop Holiday Tournament.
“There was a bit of a revenge motive in our minds,” said WHS head coach Dave Brown. “But we were surprised a bit to see that this is not the same team we’ve seen in the past couple of years.”
No. Cambridge made a game of it through the opening period as Winthrop held a 17-15 lead at the first buzzer, but then the Vikings went on a big run in the second frame to move out to a 20 point lead at the intermission.
High flying Jake Connors led Winthrop with 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds for another solid double-double for his night’s work. Dino Mallios was next on the point parade with 17, followed by Mark Jenkins and Robert Swanson with 11 each.
Other Vikings who got into the scorebook were Gavin Mahoney and Jared Bingham with seven points, Mike Griffin with six, Joe D’Amore with five, Quinton Dale with four, and Will Milano with two.
Last week the Vikings made the long journey to Gloucester (which was made all the longer thanks to a big traffic jam that delayed the Winthrop bus by more than an hour) and came home with a 67-58 triumph over the Fishermen in a contest that was not as close as the final score might indicate.
Winthrop led at each of the quarter marks and built a 17 point advantage at the end of the third frame. Mallios, who clearly is coming along with each passing day as he comes back from a torn ankle ligament injury he suffered this fall, pumped in 22 points to lead the Vikings in that category. Bingham, a transfer student new to the team this year, hit for double figures with 10 points. Other scorers were Jenkins with nine, Connors with eight, Swanson with six, Mahoney with four, Milano and Griffin with three, and J.P. Doherty with two.
Brown and his crew now will face the Prout School of Wakefield, Rhode Island, in the tournament title game Wednesday evening. Prout defeated Swampscott in the other preliminary contest.
After the New Year, Winthrop will host Saugus on Monday and Malden next Wednesday.