Danika Dell’Anno took a third place medal out of 45 gymnasts Sunday at the Mass. State Individual Meet and was chosen to be on the High School National team.
She was selected with 20 of the best female senior gymnasts in the state. They will compete in May in Fort Myers, Florida.
“Danika has been working toward this goal for two years,” said WHS head coach Pete Gobiel. “She got up at 6:00 in the morning, six days a week, all summer long to work out. She then had a 2:00 workout three days a week, followed by Monday through Thursday gymnastics practice from 5:00 to 8:00.
“There’s a reason Danika has won the hardest worker trophy on our team for three years in a row,” added the coach. “This was a great way to end the high school season.”
Dell’Anno is the first gymnast from Winthrop to achieve the distinction of being selected for the national team.
Vikings pummel Peabody, move into contention for title
Venerable Larsen Rink, which is approaching its 40th anniversary, was rockin’ and rollin’ with a huge crowd last Wednesday night and the Winthrop High hockey team did not disappoint their fans, as they demolished defending Northeastern Conference champion and current contender Peabody, 9-0.
The Vikings controlled, indeed dominated, Peabody from the outset at both ends of the ice. Not only did the Winthrop front lines light the lamp nine times, but the defense limited the visitors to just 12 shots on goal.
“We were emotionally ready for this game and the big crowd had the team pumped from the moment we set foot on the ice,” said WHS head coach Dale Dunbar. “The team played physically and executed well on both defense and offense.”
Chris LeBlanc got the Vikings off to a 1-0 lead a few minutes into the contest, assisted by Nick Clewer and Joe Scarfo, and Scarfo made it 2-0 before the period ended with assists going to Ryan McKinnon and LeBlanc.
Chris Page (assisted by Dan Eruzione and Bobby Clewer) and Matt Todisco (assisted by Jake rand and Mike Paulsen) notched goals in the middle period. The Viking fireworks exploded in the final period with five more goals: Scarfo from Jim Barker; Tyler Pettee, unassisted; LeBlanc from Nick Clewer; Bob Clewer from Eruzione and Mitch Paulsen; and Mitch Paulsen from Pettee.
However, as big as the Peabody victory was, Winthrop still had to take care of business Saturday night against Danvers at Salem State Arena. Although the Vikings did not have as much success in the scoring department as they had in the Peabody tilt, they managed to eke out a 2-1 triumph. Scarfo (from LeBlanc) and Bob Clewer (off a face off play from Todisco) lit the lamp for the Vikings, who had to stave off a Danvers comeback bid when the Falcons scored with 2:47 to play.
“It was not a pretty game, but we did what we had to do,” noted Dunbar. “At this stage of the season, you’ll take two points any way you can get them.”
So with the two triumphs, the Vikings have put their fate in their own hands for earning a share of a Northeastern Conference title as they now try to catch Beverly. Winthrop was set to host Gloucester last night (Wednesday), a team whose record of 5-9-2 is deceiving. The Vikings edged Gloucester 2-1 in their first meeting and will have to be on top of their game if they want to hook the Fishermen a second time.
A victory will set the stage for a first place showdown Saturday night at Salem State with Beverly. Winthrop most likely will be in a “must win” situation because they trail the Panthers by two points.
“We’re hoping for a big crowd to come up to Salem for Saturday night’s game,” said Dunbar, who expressed his appreciation to Vinny Crossman and the Viking Pride Foundation for the T-shirt donations for the Peabody game as well as to Winthrop Youth Hockey, which wrote a nice check to the high school to cover the cost of tickets for WYH players who were admitted free if they wore their WYH jerseys.
Winthrop will host Revere in a makeup game Sunday to close out their NEC schedule and will wrap up their regular season next Wednesday at Melrose. They then will await the announcement of their seeding and opening game opponent in the state tourney.
Griffin’s shot with 0.4 to go wins for Vikings
Michael Griffin drained a 15 footer from the elbow with 0.4 seconds showing on the clock to give the Winthrop High boys basketball team a dramatic 56-54 triumph over Gloucester Tuesday night.
The contest had been a nip and tuck affair all the way, with Winthrop holding a slim edge at the half, 25-23, until Griffin’s buzzer beater provided the final two points of separation.
Anthony Hatzisavas powered his way to yet another double-double with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Griffin ended up with 13 points and Quinton Dale added 11.
“The key to our victory was our free throw shooting,” said WHS head coach Dave Brown, noting that his squad hit on 17 of 21 attempts from the charity stripe. “You need to make your free throws in a close contest.”
Winthrop did not have as much luck Friday evening in a 57-51 loss to Danvers. Some hot shooting by the Falcons, including six three pointers, was in contrast to a Viking team that had an off night from the field.
Hatzisavas once again double-doubled with 10 points and 15 boards. Griffin hit for 16 points, Joe D’Amore contributed 13, and Dale chipped in with nine.
The Vikings, who now sport a fine 12-6 record, will host Saugus Friday evening and Lynn Tech Sunday evening. They will meet Beverly at Salem High Tuesday and close out the season at home next Thursday against Malden.
Girls still in fight for tourney spot
The Winthrop High girls basketball team came out on the short end of both of its contests this past week, falling to Danvers 41-31 on Friday and to Gloucester 63-44 on Monday.
The Lady Vikings held their own against a Danvers team that is among the top three in the Northeastern Conference this season. However, early foul trouble to Johnna Fisher and Temison Meggison, both of whom picked up two personals in the second period, sent the Winthrop front court duo to the bench and allowed Danvers to stretch an 8-5 lead at the end of the first period into a 23-14 advantage at the half.
Although Winthrop played Danvers evenly after the intermission, the Lady Vikings were unable to cut into the deficit. Fisher led the Lady Vikes with 13 points and Meggison hit for 10. Angelina Favaloro and Theresa Jones scored three points each and Alyssa Mackey added two .
Monday’s contest with Gloucester saw Winthrop grab a 6-5 at the end of the first period, but then yield to Gloucester in the second frame, as the Lady Fishermen struck for 30 points over the eight minute span to pull away to what would prove to be an insurmountable 36-20 lead at the intermission.
Fisher had a nice night with 24 points. Meggison chipped in with seven, Jones added four, Nikki Tsiotis contributed three, and Mackey, Taylor, and Liana Ferullo scored two points each.
Despite the losses, head coach Ignacio Oyola and his squad, who now are 6-12 on the season, still are in good shape to qualify for the state tournament if they can attain a .500 or better record against opponents in their division. A big game for the Lady Vikings is tomorrow (Friday) at Saugus, whom Winthrop defeated by 15 points in their first meeting and which also is in Division 3 with Winthrop. A win will put the Lady Vikings in a good spot to punch a ticket for the Journey to the Tourney.
Next week Winthrop will host a vacation tournament. On Monday, Hull will meet Fontbonne Academy in the opener and Winthrop will meet Ursuline Academy in the nightcap. The winners and losers then will play on Wednesday in the consolation and championship games.
Girls hockey teams rolls on
The Winthrop Lady Bulldog hockey team, which is now ranked seventh in the Boston Globe Division 1 poll, continued to roll along this past week, defeating Everett 4-2 and Masconomet 7-0.
Coach Anthony Martucci and his squad were set to be back in action when they travel to Beverly Saturday.