Sports 02-10-2011

Brown’s leadership helps key girls hockey team

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldog hockey team took its show on the road to far off Gardner Saturday evening. Gardner is ranked among the top teams in Division 2, but the Lady Bulldogs showed the hometown fans why Winthrop is one of the most highly regarded teams in the state with a 5-1 triumph that was not as close as the final score might indicate, as evidenced by a 42-16 Winthrop advantage in the shots on goal department.

Winthrop scored early and never looked back. Defenseman Taylor Brown put the Lady Bulldogs on the board when she gathered the puck in her own end, skated through center ice, split the defense, and came in cleanly on the Gardner net, firing a low, hard shot, for an unassisted goal.

“Taylor is a great leader and captain for our team,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “She knows how and when to take control and has been doing it all season.

Eighth grader Anna Fucillo made it 2-0 on a power play goal, assisted by McKenzie Clarke, and then Clarke made 3-0 before the period ended, with assists going to Courtney McTague and Hannah LoPresti.

The Lady Bulldogs continued to add to their advantage with a  marker in the second frame. Seventh grader Nicole Pucillo lit the lamp for Winthrop, energizing her fellow Lady Bulldogs who were delighted to see their young teammate reach the back of the Gardner net. Cat Salvetti was credited with the assist.

The final stanza saw Martucci liberally use all of the girls on his bench. Clarke potted the final Winthrop marker on an end-to-end rush after she had back checked a Gardner opponent, taken the puck away, and then skated in for the unassisted goal.

Gardner finally gave their hometown fans something to cheer about with a goal with just 0:16 on the clock. But by then Winthrop already had given an ample demonstration of Lady Bulldog hockey, something Martucci’s skaters have accomplished on many occasions this season to other opponents en route to their sterling 10-2-1 record.

Winthrop was set to be back in action last night (Wednesday) at Everett and will host Masconomet Saturday afternoon at 4:00 at Larsen.

WHS boys top Marblehead, 50-46

The Winthrop High boys basketball team bounced back into contention for at least a share of the Northeastern Conference South Division title with a big 50-46 win over first place Marblehead Friday night.

“We played a great game,” enthused WHS head coach Dave Brown, whose Vikings have come a long way since an early season loss to Marblehead in December. “We played strong defense and we did what we had to do down the stretch,” added the coach, referring to the 9 for 10 foul shooting from the charity stripe by the combo of Taj Generazzo and Michael Griffin that held Marblehead at bay in the final minutes.

Free throw shooting proved the key difference in the game for Winthrop, which held slim advantages at all of the markers, including 22-19 at the half and 35-31 after three frames, as the Vikings shot 12 for 16 on the night for a nice 75 percent figure.

Balanced scoring also was a main ingredient in the win as four Vikings hit for double  figures, led by Quinton Dale with 14 points. Griffin (11), Joe D’Amore (11), and Generazzo (10) also reached twin digits.

Tuesday’s 63-41 rout of Swampscott was a close affair for a half as Winthrop held a tight 25-20 lead. But the Vikings came out roaring after the intermission and played a tenacious defense that allowed them to outscore Swampscott 16-6 in the third frame to build a comfortable 41-26 advantage at the third buzzer from where Winthrop cruised to the victory.

Anthony Hatzisavas turned in a nice double-double with 20 points and 15 rebounds, while Dale also double doubled with 14 points and 20 boards. Griffin hit for 10 points and D’Amore made a nifty contribution with eight points and seven rebounds.

Brown and his crew, who are 11-5 overall and 7-5 in the NEC, host Danvers Friday and travel to Gloucester Tuesday.

Girls hoop team wins two straight

The Winthrop High girls basketball team posted two consecutive victories with triumphs over Marblehead and Swampscott this past week.

“The team really seems to be coming together,” said first year WHS head coach Ignacio Oyola. “We had some excellent practices and it really paid off in our two wins,” added the coach, whose Lady Vikings are in prime position to reach the state tourney with a 3-3 record against teams in their own division.

Friday’s tight, 36-33 win over Marblehead was a close affair all the way. Winthrop trailed 19-16 at the half, but bore down on defense after the intermission and held Marblehead to just five points in the eight minute quarter to  move out to a 27-24 advantage.

The final stanza saw both teams battle each other well defensively, but the key for Winthrop occurred during a stretch when the Lady Vikings successfully worked the ball into the low post to the duo of Johnna Fisher and Temison Meggison for four straight buckets.

Fisher ended up with 15 points and 18 rebounds and Meggison added five points with 11 caroms as the twosome controlled the boards at both ends. Angelina Favaloro made a key contribution with eight points and five rebounds. Alyssa Mackey scored five points, Lauren Kostegan chipped in with two, and Liana Ferullo sank a free throw.

Tuesday’s 36-24 win over Swampscott, which had just come off a win over a Gloucester squad that is playing very well this season,  saw the Lady Vikings lead all the way, 11-5 after one period, 21-13 at the half, and 28-15 after three. A staunch team defensive effort once again proved the key to the victory. “We’ve been working hard on our defense,” said Oyola. “The girls are communicating and executing very well on the defensive end.”

Fisher once again was the main force for the Lady Vikings with 16 points. Meggison added eight, Favaloro had six, and Mackey and Ferullo chipped in with three apiece.

Oyola and his crew have a busy week on tap. They host Beverly tonight (Thursday), travel to Danvers Friday, and host Gloucester Monday for Senior Night festivities.

Viking skaters fit to   be tied, 2-2

The Winthrop High hockey team learned the truth of the age old sports axiom, “A tie is like kissing your sister,” after Saturday’s 2-2 deadlock with Saugus at Larsen Rink.

Winthrop dominated the contest from the outset, but could not find the back of the Saugus net beyond being able to take a 2-1 lead into the third period.

Saugus actually drew first blood with a marker just a few minutes into the game, but the Vikings controlled the play thereafter. Winthrop soon tied matters five minutes later on a power play goal by Chris LeBlanc, assisted by Joe Scarfo and Nick Clewer. The Vikings continued to apply pressure and kept the puck in the Saugus end throughout the rest of the frame only to come up empty handed thanks to some fine goaltending by the Saugus netminder.

Winthrop seemed poised to take control of the game in the second stanza when they broke through to make it 2-1 at 5:56 on a lamplighter by Chris Page, assisted by Dan Eruzione and Bobby Clewer. However, despite many opportunities to break the game open, Winthrop could not apply the coup de grace that would have given the Vikes some breathing room with a two goal lead.

Winthrop’s inability to score when it had the momentum ultimately proved fatal when Saugus knotted matters on a power play with 3:42 to go. Only a few seconds remained on the power play, as Winthrop initially had successfully staved off a five-on-three Saugus advantage, but the Vikings just fell short of  killing off the entire second penalty.

The late, game-tying tally by Saugus also proved the truth of another axiom, “Live by the sword, die by the sword,” as the Sachems avenged a similar fate that had befallen them earlier in the season when Winthrop rallied from a 3-0 deficit to earn a 3-3 tie in the waning seconds of their first encounter.

Coach Dale Dunbar and his Vikings took on Peabody last night and travel to Danvers Saturday. They host Gloucester next Wednesay at Larsen at 6:10.

Viking gymnasts do   well in league meet

The Winthrop High gymnastics team competed at the conference meet last week at the Yellow Jackets facility in Middleton. Each team puts up two athletes on each event.

Competing on uneven bars for Winthrop were Captains Danika Dell’Anno and Jessica Fahey.  Jessica had a great routine and finished in fourth place out of  20 competitors with a score of 8.7. Danika was right behind with a score of  8.6 for fifth spot.

Marissa Perrotta and Sam Amico went up on the balance beam for the Lady Vikings. Melissa scored a 6.0 and Sam had a great performance and scored a 7.8 for sixth place.

On the floor exercise Winthrop put up Dell’Anno and Sam Amico.  Sam did a nice routine and scored an 8.4, her second highest score of the season. Capt. Danika had her best floor routine of the season, scoring a 9.25, to earn a tie for second place.

On the vault Winthrop had Brandi Holland start off with an 8.0, tying her for eighth place.  Fahey scored an 8.1 to take seventh place.

Overall the Lady Vikings had a great meet with almost every gymnast coming in the top 10. Capping the night, Dell’Anno was awarded a spot on the conference all star team in the vault with an average of 9.33, having beaten out all other gymnasts on the vault throughout the season.

On Sunday Dell’Anno competed in the Senior Super Bowl, an invitational meet that attracted 60 of the top seniors in the state.  The meet is run by the coaches association to give seniors a chance to compete possibly for the last time in their careers. Places are not kept but scores can be used to qualify for the state individual meet held Feb 13 at Algonquin High School. It also gives the national team coaches a chance to look at seniors eligible for the national team.

“Danika had a pretty good meet, scoring an impressive 9.4 on vault,” aid WHS head coach Pete Gobiel. “That was her highest score on the season and she stuck her vault right in front of three of the national team coaches.”

Danika was able to use all four of her scores to up her average on every event and on Tuesday, Gobiel got the word from the MIAA that Danika had qualified for states in three of the four events, missing out on the balance beam by just tenths of a point. This Sunday she will compete in Algonquin for the states individual championships. The national team will be announced at the end of the competition.

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