Winthrop Boys Hoop Team Improves to 6-0

The Winthrop High boys basketball team completed a clean sweep of their rivals in the South Division of the Northeastern Conference with a pulsating 72-59 triumph over Saugus on Monday.  The Vikings now are 5-0 in the NEC South (6-0 overall) after the first go-round of contests with their NEC South foes.

The victory was an atypical shootout for Coach Dave Brown’s squad, which usually limits the opposing team to scores in the 40-point range. “We didn’t play badly on defense,” said Brown, “but Saugus has some good shooters and made some plays on offense.”

Winthrop jumped out to a 23-17 lead after one quarter, the big score being an indication of the offensive fireworks to come the rest of the way, and clung to a one point margin at the half, 36-35.

However, the Vikings asserted their trademark stinginess on defense after the intermission, outscoring Saugus 20-10 for a 56-45 advantage, to effectively take control of the ballgame.

“We stepped up the defensive pressure, made no mental mistakes, and got out on the fast break,” said Brown, explaining his team’s formula for breaking the game open. Four Vikings reached double figures in the high scoring affair, as Winthrop shot 51 percent from the field and 41 percent from three point land. Josh Babb led the way with 20 points and dished out seven assists in a superlative, all around performance.

Quinton Dale pumped in 16 points to go with his five blocked shots; Joe D’Amore tingled the twine for 15 points and pulled down a team-high eight rebounds; and Jeff Laguerre hit for 10 points. Dan Feeley also made a nice contribution, especially in the second half when he chipped in with four points, grabbed three offensive rebounds, and deflected a number of Saugus passes.

Last week the Vikings took the measure of non league opponent Bedford in the consolation game of the Winthrop Holiday Tournament. Winthrop got off to a slow start, trailing 15-5 in the first period, but sliced the Bedford lead to two, 32-30, at the half. The Vikings maintained their momentum after the intermission and cruised to a 61-52 triumph.

Dale was immense at both ends of the floor, sinking a game high 18 points, pulling down 17 rebounds (for yet another double-double), and blocking six Bedford shots.

Amar Zebic came off the bench and provided a big spark for Winthrop, hitting for 13 points, including a trio of treys. Babb added 11 points and handed out five assists.

“For us to be 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the NEC South is a pleasant surprise,” said Brown. “It’s not the sort of thing you expect at the start of the season. We’ve had a couple of very close victories which could have gone either way, but the team has taken to heart the concept that defense always will keep you in a game and will be the deciding factor in a tight game.”

Winthrop was set to host Arlington Catholic last night (Wednesday) and then will embark on its series of games with the big dogs of the NEC’s North Division, starting at Peabody Friday. Brown and his crew then will travel to Lynn English, one of the top rated teams in Division 1, on Tuesday.

Girls indoor track team defeats Revere

The Winthrop High girls indoor track team raced to its first win of the season, a 50-36 triumph over Revere last week. Five Lady Vikings turned in first place efforts in their individual events to pace the Winthrop victory.

Julia Wallace leapt to a win in the high jump with an effort of 4-8; Ashley Jurovich captured the shotput with a toss of 29-1; Lexi Vaccaro sped to victory in the 55 meter dash in 7.8; Amy Sena outraced the field in the 1000 in 3:56.3; and Carly O’Keefe claimed the mile run in 6:15.4.

However, track is a team sport and depth is an essential element to outscoring your opponent. Second place finishes that added three points to the Winthrop score sheet were turned in by O’Keefe in the 55 hurdles in 9.7; Holly Benson in the 300 dash in 51.1; Jordan Griffiths in the 600 in 1:57.3; Victoria Scorzella in the mile in 6:49.6; and Wallace in the two mile in 14:55.3.

Third place efforts, earning one point for the Winthrop cause that sealed the victory, were turned in by Amy Sena with a high jump of 4-4; Rachel DelSolio in the 300 in 52.6; Michaela McCarthy in the 600 in 2:01.8; Maria Rago in the 1000 in 3:59.1; and Katlyn Fennell in the two mile in 14:56.1.

The 4 x 400 relay team defeated their Revere counterparts with a time of 4:56.2, compared to 5:12.3 for Revere.

On the boys’ side, two Vikings earned points for Winthrop. Robert Ascolillo took second place in the 55 hurdles in 9.6 seconds and Jorge Roman grabbed third in the 55 dash in 7.3.

Winthrop girls take second place at NEC Fr./Soph. Meet

The Winthrop High freshmen and sophomores turned in one of the most outstanding performances by a Winthrop track team in many years, capturing second place among the 12 teams of the Northeastern Conference at Saturday’s Freshman/Sophomore Meet held in Beverly.

Although the Lady Viking underclassmen did not take home any first place medals, the plethora of points earned by the Winthrop contingent demonstrated their superior depth.

Four Winthrop girls turned in second place efforts: Ashley Jurovich in the shotput with a toss of 28-8; Carly O’Keefe in the 50 yard hurdles in 8.5; Lexi Vaccaro in the 50 yard dash in 6.8; and Cecilia Moreira in the mile in 6:09.19.

Amy Sena brought home a third place ribbon in the high jump with a leap of 4-4; Elizabeth Anderson earned fourth place honors in the shotput with a throw of 25-2; and the mile relay team captured sixth spot.

Lady Vikings win triple OT thriller

The Winthrop High girls basketball team earned a victory for the ages, a triple overtime thriller, defeating Wayland last Friday, 57-51.

The Lady Vikings trailed early in the contest, falling behind 15-7 after the first period. Winthrop began to claw back in the second frame, but still trailed 25-18 at the half.  However, a concerted effort on defense by Winthrop after the intermission limited Wayland to just four points in the third stanza, allowing the Lady Vikings to slice the lead to 29-26 at the third buzzer.

Winthrop continued its defensive intensity over the final eight minutes, holding Wayland to just seven points in that stretch, to make it all the way back to 36-36 at the end of regulation.

The first four minute OT session saw the teams pick up the tempo on offense and trade baskets to leave matters at 43-43 at the end of the period. By contrast, the second OT was a defensive struggle, with Wayland scoring two points and Winthrop none through the first 3:50. However, Lady Viking freshman Kristen Siscamanis stepped to the free throw line and calmly sank her two charity stripe tosses with 10 seconds to go to force a third OT.

The Winthrop girls then discovered their scoring touch, exploding for 12 points in the final four minutes (which was more than they had scored in any full, eight minute period all game) to pull away for a 57-51 triumph. Winthrop took the lead at the outset of the third OT, forcing Wayland to play catch up. However, Angie Favaloro and Ashelyne Babb took turns draining three pointers to deliver the proverbial daggers and provide the margin of victory.

For freshman Siscamanis, who has been seeing more and more time in the center for Winthrop, the game was a coming out party. Kristen not only hit the two clutch free throws in the middle OT, but led Winthrop with 14 points and hauled down 16 rebounds.

Babb was next on the point parade with 13 points. Favaloro tingled the twine for 11 points, snared 13 rebounds, and made four steals. Liana Ferullo added eight points and also made four steals, followed by Theresa Jones with five points, and Taylor Duplin and Niki Tsiotis with three apiece.

The exciting win was sandwiched between two losses, the first to Georgetown the night before and then to Saugus on Monday. Winthrop had defeated Georgetown on the latter’s home floor two days earlier, but for the second year in a row, Georgetown returned the favor, topping the Lady Vikings 57-50.

Winthrop held a 24-23 advantage at the half, but Georgetown came out firing after the intermission and moved out to a 41-35 lead after three frames. Winthrop firmed up defensively, holding Georgetown to just three points in the first 5:30 of the final quarter to knot matters at 44-44.

However, the Lady Vikings could not sustain their momentum and Georgetown pumped up the volume in the final 2:30, scoring 13 points in that short time span, to pull away for the win.

Favaloro came through with another fine all around game with 11 points and eight rebounds. Siscamanis also reached doubles figures with 10 points and pulled down seven boards. Jones and Babb scored eight points each, Duplin added seven and Ferullo chipped in with six.

In Monday’s contest with Saugus, a poor second quarter, in which the Lady Vikings mustered just seven points, proved fatal as Saugus moved out to a 31-18 lead at the half.

Winthrop closed the gap to 39-30 by the end of three frames, but Saugus pulled away in the final quarter for a 58-39 win. The Lady Vikings missed the presence of Siscamanis, who was ill, as Saugus controlled the boards at both ends of the floor. “Saugus has some height and we simply could not match up against them with Kristen out of the lineup,” said Oyola.

Jones and Babb paced Winthrop in the scoring column with 12 points apiece. Favaloro added seven,  Ferullo hit for three, Duplin and Niki Tsiotis had two each, and Jenn Adamson chipped in one point.

The Lady Vikings, who stand at 4-4 on the season, will entertain two tough opponents from the North Division of the NEC, Peabody on Friday and highly ranked Lynn English on Tuesday.

Viking sextet earns a tie in final minute

Although it was a frustrating past week for the Winthrop High hockey team, the Vikings ended it on a high note which hopefully will be a sign of good things to come in the weeks ahead when Adam Lundberg potted a goal in the final minute of play to boost  Winthrop into a 4-4 tie with Gloucester Monday evening at Larsen Rink.

The Vikings had trailed all the way, spotting Gloucester a 2-0 lead early in the first period before Pat Todisco lit the lamp to make it 2-1 at the first horn. Nick Amatucci and Drayton Chastain assisted on the goal.

However, the visiting Fishermen scored twice more in the middle frame, as did the Vikings, to leave matters at 4-3 after 30 minutes of play. Matt Todisco (assisted by Dan Eruzione and Mike Paulson) and brother Pat, his second of the night (assisted by Chastain and Steven Goddard), lit the red lamp for Winthrop.

That set the stage for a the dramatics in the third period in which Winthrop dominated the action, but could not put the puck in the net.  But with about a minute to go, WHS head coach Dale Dunbar called a timeout and pulled his goalie to create a 6 on 5 advantage. Lundberg then gave the big Winthrop crowd a happy ending with his lamplighter, assisted by Eruzione and Matt Todisco.

Last week the Vikings dropped a 3-2 decision to Acton-Boxboro in the championship game of the Mike Millbury Tournament in Walpole. After a scoreless first period, Eruzione scored for Winthrop, assisted by Chris LeBlanc on a beautiful goal in which LeBlanc had stolen an A-B pass and then threaded a nice pass to his linemate, who beat the A-B goalie with a nifty top shelf shot.

That marker tied matters at 1-1 after two frames. Winthrop then grabbed the lead in the third stanza when Mitch Paulson, who earned tournament MVP honors for his three goals and an assist in the two games (Winthrop had defeated Walpole in the opening round), lit the lamp, assisted by Chris Page and Goddard.

However, a victory was not to be in the cards for the Vikings, as A-B scored two unanswered tallies to move out to a 3-2 advantage. Winthrop had a 6 on 4 advantage in the waning moments, but could not find the handle despite many opportunities to notch the equalizer.

“We’re not playing consistently,” said Dunbar, whose Vikings’ record of 2-2-2 underscores his point. “We just as easily could be 5-1, but we have to cut down on the mistakes that are hurting us.”

The Vikings have a tough stretch ahead. They traveled to Salem State University’s Rockett Arena last night (Wednesday) to take on a potent Beverly team and will return to Rockett Saturday to face Salem. Winthrop will stay on the road to play at Revere’s nearby Cronin Rink at 6:30.

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