The Winthrop High boys basketball team won two of its three encounters this past week, defeating non league rivals Lynn Tech and St. Clementâ€™s, but dropped a key encounter with Northeastern Conference South Division rival Saugus.
The latter defeat resulted in the Vikings sharing the NEC South championship with Danvers, whom Winthrop had defeated Monday.
Quinton Dale and Joe Dâ€™Amore powered the Vikings to a 70-63 triumph over Lynn Tech last Wednesday. Dale pumped in 26 points and pulled down 14 rebounds, while Dâ€™Amore hit for 16 points and grabbed nine caroms.
Two nights later the Vikings traveled to Saugus for what would turn out to be a hard fought battle from beginning to end. The stakes were high for both teams, with Winthrop seeking to clinch an outright NEC South title, while Saugus needed a win to qualify for the post season state tourney.
Winthrop took a 39-30 advantage into the locker room at the half, but Saugus came out on fire after the intermission, hitting a series of three pointers that soon allowed the Sachems to climb back into the contest. The teams battled back and forth to the final buzzer, with Winthrop having chances to tie matters from the free throw line and then on two offensive rebounds after the missed FTs in the finals seconds, but the ball would not fall.
â€œIt was a tough loss for us, but give Saugus credit, because they played well,â€ said WHS head coach Dave Brown.
Dale turned in another double-double effort with 21 points and 10 rebounds. Josh Babb hit for 16 points and dished out nine assists, while backcourt mate Jeff Laguerre struck for 13 points and had five assists. Ervin DeJesus also made a key contribution with eight points.
Winthrop got back on the winning track with a 65-58 victory over St. Clementâ€™s on Monday. Dale was immense, pouring in 32 points and snaring 13 boards. Babb added 12 points and DeJesus reached double figures with 10. The triumph gave the Vikings an outstanding 16-6 record on the season, which should earn them a high seed in the MIAA Division 4 North Sectional as Brown and his crew embark on a Journey to the Tourney in hopes of defending their D-4 state title. Announcement of the tourney seedings and opening pairings is expected tomorrow (Friday).
Post season accolades for WHS boys hoop
Accolades of all sorts poured in for the Winthrop High boys basketball team this week, which finished with a 16-6 overall record and 13-3 in the Northeastern Conference, earning the Vikings a tie with Danvers for the NEC North title. The 13-3 mark also was the best (with Danvers) among all of theÂ NEC teams in both the North and South divisions.
NEC all star recognition for Quinton Dale, Joe Dâ€™Amore, and John Babb came at the beginning of the week, with the trio being named to the North Division all star squad. In addition Dale, who achieved a double-double in scoring and rebounding in 21 of Winthropâ€™s 22 games, was named the MVP of the South Division.
Joining Dale at the top of the Southâ€™s achievement list was his head coach, Dave Brown, who once again was recognized as the Southâ€™s Coach of the Year.
Both Brown and Dale also achieved even greater fame with their being named the Division 4 North Coach and Player of the Year respectively by the Boston Herald .
â€œThis is a great honor for Quinton,â€ said Brown. â€œHe was a dominant force for us all season long, no matter who the opponent was.â€
As for his own selection as the top coach in the area, Brown commented, â€œThis is a reflection of the achievements of this team, this season. We had only two players coming back with any real varsity experience, but the team came together and matured much faster than I ever could have expected.Â I have to admit that at the beginning of the year I never could have imagined that we would be South co-champs and have a 16-6 record.â€
WHS boys hockey team falls to Beverly
The Winthrop High boys hockey team saw its hopes for a share of the championship of the North Division of the Northeastern Conference slip away Saturday evening with a 3-2 loss to Beverly at Larsen Rink.
Beverly came into the contest as the hottest team in the league, having won eight straight games after a slow start. The Panthers showed why they rated as one of the pre season favorites in the NEC in the early going, grabbing a 1-0 lead in the opening period and enlarging it to 2-0 after two frames.
However, the Vikings came out flying to start the third stanza and potted two quick scores, the first from Jake McKinnon on a wraparound goal (assisted by Mitch Paulson) and the second by Matt Todisco (assisted by Chris LeBlanc and Dan Eruzione) to knot matters at 2-2.
With the packed house at Larsen energized by the Viking strikes, the scenario seemed set for Winthrop to take control and complete its march to an NEC co-championship. But Beverly (and the refs) had other ideas. An iffy tripping call gave the Panthers a power play and
Beverly took full advantage, lighting the lamp with a bit less than eight minutes to play for its second power play goal of the contest.
Although the Vikings, who needed a win to keep pace with first place Danvers atop the NEC North, pressed to the end, they were unable to dent the Beverly net the rest of the way.
Three nights earlier the Vikings had taken the necessary first step on the path to being in a position to share the title with a 2-1 win at Gloucester. Sophomore Chris Page scored both goals for the Vikings, the first on a shorthanded situation.
â€œChris has become a very valuable member of this team for us,â€ said WHS head coach Dale Dunbar. â€œHe is a great player who has a tremendous work ethic.â€
Winthrop, which now stands at 11-6-2 on the year and finished at 10-3-2 in the NEC (two points behind Danvers), was set to wrap up the regular season last night (Wednesday) against Mansfield at Larsen. The evening will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities at which a large contingent of team members of the WHS Class of 2012 will be honored: Chris LeBlanc, Matt Todisco, Steven Waites, Bobby Clewer, Hershey Beard, Drayton Chastain, Mike Paulson, Mitch Paulson, Adam Lundberg, Jimmy Barker, Matt Pisani, and Billy Hetherton.
Five Vikings named to NEC all star team
Five members of the Winthrop High boys hockey team were named to the all-star team of the North Division of the Northeastern Conference: Chris LeBlanc, Dan Eruzione, Matt Todisco, Mike Paulson, and Jimmy Barker.
In addition, LeBlanc was named to the All-Conference team for the second straight year and was runner up in the voting for the North Divisionâ€™s Most Valuable Player.
Girls hoop team defeats Saugus
The Winthrop High girls basketball team kept alive its chances of reaching the post season MIAA state tournament with a scintillating 40-37 win over Saugus Friday night.
The contest was a nip and tuck battle all the way. The Lady Vikings held a slim 22-17 lead at the half which became even narrower, 31-28, by the end of the third frame.
The contest came down to Winthrop nursing a 38-37 advantage in the wild final minute, with matters not resolved until just a few ticks were left on the clock when Lady Viking Ashelyne Babb sank two free throws to seal the triumph.
Babb ended up as high scorer for Winthrop with 11 points. Kristen Siscamanis reached double figures with 10 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. Liana Ferullo added seven points, followed by Jen Adamson with four, Taylor Duplin and Angie Favaloro with three each, and Alyssa Mackey with two.
In addition, Ferullo and Adamson made huge contributions on defense in shutting down Saugusâ€™s top scorer in the box-and-one defense employed by WHS head coach Ignacio Oyola, which played no small part in reversing the 16 point defeat suffered by Winthrop in the teamsâ€™ first meeting earlier this season.
The triumph put a fitting exclamation point on Senior Night festivities at which seniors Shawna Alioto, Duplin, and Favaloro were honored for their contributions to the Lady Viking hoop program.
â€œIt was a great win for our seniors in their final home game,â€ said Oyola, whose squad was set to conclude its regular season last night (Wednesday) at Malden.
The Winthrop girls still have an outside chance at qualifying for the state tourney if their appeal of a ruling by the MIAA is successful. The Lady Vikings were scheduled to meet Wayland for a second time this season, but Wayland (which fell to Winthrop in their initial meeting) inexplicably cancelled the rematch.
If the MIAA agrees to deem that outcome as a forfeit, Winthrop (which has an overall record of 7-13) will have a .500 record against schools in Division 3 and will qualify for the tourney via the so-called Sullivan Rule.
Lady Vikings compete at state divisional meet
A contingent of the Winthrop High girls track team competed in the Division 4 State Meet held this past weekend at the Reggie Lewis Track Center.
Ashley Jurovich was the top finisher for the Lady Vikings. Ashleyâ€™s shotput toss of 29-9.25 placed her in 14th spot in the field. Carly Oâ€™Keefe finished in 21st in the 55 meter hurdles in a time of 9.96; Cecilia Moreira ran the mile in 6:07.93; and Jordan Griffiths ran the 600 dash in 1:55.30.
The quartet of Griffiths, Lexi Vaccaro,Â Oâ€™Keefe, and Amy Sena finished in 19th place in the 4 x 400 relay team with a time of 4:35.34.