Just like Ol’ Man River, the Winthrop High boys basketball team just keeps rollin’ along.
The Vikings, who won their holiday tourney last week with wins over non league opponents No. Cambridge Catholic and the Prout School of Rhode Island, handily disposed of Northeastern Conference rival Saugus on Tuesday, 72-50, to improve to a perfect 7-0 record on the season.
The Vikings found themselves trailing 15-14 after the first period thanks to a tenacious Saugus defense. But enter Robert Swanson, the Vikes’ long range missile specialist.
“Swannie” soon enough started bombing away, and by the time he was done for the night, he had connected on 6 of 8 treys, good for 18 points, leaving Saugus a shell shocked group of Sachems.
More important, Swanson’s perimeter act opened up the Saugus defense and exposed its inside underbelly for Jake Connors (another great game with 18 points and six rebounds) and Mark Jenkins (16 points and seven assists).
Dino Mallios, the object of the Saugus defensive game plan, was “held” to nine points on the night, but Dino dished off seven assists and grabbed eight rebounds.
“The nice thing about our team is that if our opponents want to concentrate on one of our players, we have plenty of other guys who can step up and put the ball in the basket,” said WHS head coach Dave Brown. “We also have a lot of unselfish players who will find the open man.”
Brown once again lauded the play of point guard Gavin Mahoney, who chipped in with six points and eight assists. “Gavin really spreads the ball around,” noted Brown. “He gets everybody involved in the offense.”
The holiday tournament championship game victory over the Prout School, a 62-49 triumph, featured an 18 point night by Connors and a 13 point effort by Mallios. Connors, who scored 19 points in the opening round win over No. Cambridge, was named the tourney MVP and Mallios was named to the all tourney team.
Brown and his crew, who are only three games away from qualifying for a berth in the post season state tournament, now enter a rigorous part of their schedule as they take on the teams from the Large School division of the NEC. The Vikings travel to Peabody (which lost to Chelsea last week) on Friday and then will host Lynn Classical on Tuesday, a contest that always seems to shape up as a classic NEC affair.