The Winthrop High girls basketball team posted two more victories this past week, 51-46 over Danvers and 54-32 over Saugus, to reach the one-third mark of the season with a perfect 7-0 record.
“The girls have been playing very well,” said WHS head coach Ignacio Oyola. “We’re working very hard on defense with our full court presses, which is creating a lot of opportunities for our offense.”
The Lady Vikings got off to fast starts in both victories, as neither Danvers nor Saugus could handle Winthrop’s man-to-man (with a 2-2-1 zone thrown in against Saugus) full-court pressure. The Lady Vikings moved out to a 17-7 advantage over Danvers after one period and a commanding 14-2 margin over Saugus at the first buzzer.
Danvers closed the gap to 31-23 at the half, but Winthrop held steady after the intermission, maintaining a 42-34 lead after three frames. Danvers moved a bit closer in the final eight minutes, but some clutch free throw shooting down the stretch by Jen Adamson, who sank three- of- four from the charity stripe, held Danvers at bay.
Three Lady Vikings hit for double figures, led by Kristin Siscamanis with 12 points, Adamson with 11, and Temison Meggison with 10. Meggison also pulled down 10 rebounds for a neat double-double.
“Temison is one of the best rebounders in the league,” lauded Oyola. “She is a fierce offensive rebounder who keeps a lot of possessions alive for us.”
Ashelyne Babb hit for eight points, followed by Nikki Tsiotis with six, and Liana Ferullo and Liana Ferullo with two apiece.
The Saugus contest was a blowout from the start. After sprinting to a 14-2 lead through the first eight minutes, the Lady Vikings built their advantage to 28-9 at the half. With the score at 44-20 after three quarters, Oyola was able to use all of his players liberally.
Siscamanis led a balanced scoring attack with 10 points. Theresa Jones popped in eight, Meggison added seven, Nikki Tsiotis hit for six, and Liana Ferullo chipped in five. Alyssa Mackey, Nina Bartlett, Adamson, and Babb all contributed four points and Ferullo and Polli Tsiotis scored two points each.
Rebound leaders were Siscamanis, Meggison, and Jones with four boards each.
The Lady Vikings thus completed their first round of games with a 5-0 mark against their quintet of rivals in their own South Division of the Northeastern Conference. Oyola and his crew now will embark on their six game set against the North Division teams, which began last night (Wednesday) at Peabody. The girls stay on the road to Lynn English tomorrow (Friday) and then return home next Tuesday to host Revere.
Boys basketball team beats Saugus for 1st win
The Winthrop High boys basketball team earned their first win of the season and gave first year head coach Mike DiMarino his first career triumph at Winthrop with a 73-67 victory at Saugus Monday night.
“We played a complete game,” said DiMarino of his team’s performance. “We committed just 10 turnovers in the entire game and only two in the second half. When you protect the basketball, you’ll always give yourself a chance of winning.”
Four Vikings reached double figures, led by Josh Babb with 19 points. Ervin DeJesus and Jeff Laguerre both hit for 18 points and Curtis Lockett struck for 14 to complete the well-balanced Winthrop attack. Senior captain Mike Lessard provided a big spark for Winthrop in the second half, hitting a key three pointer and making some nice defensive plays.
Winthrop led all the way, taking a 37-33 lead at the half and extending it to a 49-38 advantage after three periods. The Vikings continued their torrid offensive pace in the fourth quarter, extending their lead to 71-57 by late in the game.
Saugus made a last-ditch effort to get back into the contest, employing a full court trap to run off 10 straight points, narrowing the margin to 71-67 inside the final minute. However, sophomore Jake Chiudina hit Laguerre with a superb pass for a bucket as Jeff was cutting to the basket with 20 seconds to play that sealed the win.
DiMarino and his crew were set to host Peabody last night (Wednesday) and will make the short trip to Revere Tuesday. Friday’s scheduled contest with Lynn English has been rescheduled to January 20.
Viking boys rebound, sweep past Saugus, 7-3
The Winthrop High boys hockey team split its two games this past week, dropping a hard-fought 1-0 decision to Beverly last Wednesday, but then coming back and taking the measure of Saugus,.7-3, at a rollicking Larsen Rink Saturday evening.
Both Beverly and Winthrop were undefeated coming into the contest, though the Vikings had three ties on their record. Beverly was ranked in the top 20 in EMass and had outscored its opponents 29-5 in its first five contests.
However, executing Coach Dale Dunbar’s game plan to near-perfection, the Vikings shut down the high-flying Panther forward lines. The combination of a staunch defense and goaltender Ray Feeley’s solid effort in net stymied the Panthers through the first two periods and most of the third stanza.
However, Beverly got a break thanks to a close call that resulted in a Winthrop penalty giving Beverly a power play. The whistle proved fatal for the Vikings, leading to the winning Beverly goal with about six minutes to play.
“The team played superbly and everybody did his job,” said Dunbar. “We executed our game plan 98 percent of the way. But you can’t give a team like Beverly that kind of a break, because they’ll take advantage of it. But all in all it was a great game and we had our chances to score, but just couldn’t finish.”
Three nights later the Vikings were back in the comfy confines of Larsen to host Saugus, which was 2-2 coming into the contest. Larsen was filled to capacity, thanks both to the Vikings’ fans and the fans from the WHS girls’ hockey game which was played just beforehand.
However, Winthrop started off as slowly as they have in any game in the past few seasons, spotting the visiting Sachems to a 3-0 lead after one period.
“We’d had two great practices on Thursday and Friday and we had the big crowd, so it was very disappointing that we came out flat,” noted Dunbar. However, his Vikings came out firing on all cylinders to start the second period, scoring three unanswered goals to even the count at 3-3 at the second horn. Mark Ferullo, Zack Mills, and Pierce Lamberton took turns lighting the red lamp for the Vikings.
With the momentum squarely in their favor, Winthrop continued to press the play in the final frame, adding four more unreturned tallies from the sticks of four more Vikings: Pat Todisco, Jake McKinnon, Chris Page, and Alex Anzuoni.
“We had a balanced scoring attack which was nice to see,” said Dunbar of his team’s seven-goals-by-seven-players scoresheet.
Dunbar and his crew, who now stand at 2-1-3 on the season, were set to face a tough test against Danvers last night (Wednesday) at the Salem State Arena. The Vikings will return home Saturday to host Marblehead at 7:00. The contest will be the second game of another twinbill with the WHS girls (who play at 5:00) and will feature a special fundraiser for Breast Cancer Awareness. (See the editorial in this week’s Sun-Transcript for details.)
Girls hockey team bows 1-0, wins 10-0
Unfortunately for Winthrop High hockey fans, the score of 1-0 proved to be an unlucky combination for both the Winthrop High boys and girls in their games with Beverly last week, as both squads suffered their first losses of the season last Wednesday by identical margins.
Although the Lady Bulldogs were playing without the services of two key players, first line winger Ariana Dembro (who was ill) and top defenseman Kasey Harris (an injury from a previous game), WHS head coach Anthony Martucci made no excuses for the loss.
“Beverly is a good team and they played well,” said Martucci. “We played well too, but we were unable to take advantage of our chances, while they made the most of theirs.”
Beverly scored the lone goal of the contest in the second frame on a power play. WHS goalie Gretchen Howard, whom Martucci lauded for playing “an outstanding game,” made two successive saves on a shot and a rebound, but the second rebound came out to the Beverly player who found the back of the Winthrop net.
Some home cooking Saturday proved just the remedy for the Lady Bulldogs to get back on the winning track, which came in the form of a 10-0 romp over Everett. Winthrop started fast and never looked back, with two first period goals that set the stage for more fireworks to come.
Seven Lady Bulldogs joined in the lamplighting fest, paced by Kara Donati, Emma English, and Julianna Kennedy with two goals apiece. Ally Scarfo, Caroline McKinnon, Jillian Olevitz, and Flora English also lit the red lamp.
Martucci made special mention of Kennedy, who scored her fifth and sixth goals of the season. “Julianna has become our most offensive defenseman,” said the coach, noting that she potted 10 goals last year as an eighth grader. “She’s really coming into her own and playing with a lot of confidence. Her overall play is at a very high level and sets an example for the entire team.”
Martucci and his squad, who now stand at 5-1-1 on the season, will host Marblehead Saturday at 5:00 at Larsen. That contest will be the first of another twinbill with the boys and will be part of a Pink the Rink fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. (See editorial in this week’s Sun-Transcript.)
WHS gymnastics team performs well in opener; has meet at WHS Friday
The Winthrop High gymnastics team opened its season this past Friday against Beverly, which last year was undefeated and won the league championship. Although the Lady Vikings came out on the short end of a 140.05-130.7 decision, there were many fine performances turned in by the Winthrop girls.
“We knew Beverly would be very good so we were expecting strong challenge,” said WHS head coach Melissa Wiles.
On vault, captain Krystal Burbank started Winthrop off with a strong front hand spring to score a 7.4. Shannon Spillane was second up and scored a 7.65. Winthrop’s highest-scoring vaulter was Marissa Perrotta, with an 8.7. A close second was Christa Vaccaro with an 8.6. Others who helped the Winthrop cause on vault were Julia Duplin and Mackenzie Chiudina
On bars, Isabella Kennedy led the way, scoring an 8.3. “Isabella’s routine has a lot of difficulty and she works hard at perfecting it,” said Wiles.
Vaccaro took second place with an 8.1. She was followed by Julia Duplin in third with a 7.3. Other Lady Vikings who competed on bars were Mackenzie Chiudina, Marissa Perrotta, and Carolyn Hetherton.
“Bars is a really tough event and these girls tackled it with all they had.,” noted Wiles. “This ended up being our second strongest event.”
Beam turned out to be Winthrop’s strongest event. Demitria Buccieri started off on beam scoring a 7.0. “Demitria is a natural on beam. She just looks like she belongs up there,” enthused Wiles.
Perrotta once again ended up scoring the highest on this event with an 8.6.
“Marissa performs some skills that most girls won’t even attempt. She floats across the beam with a strong attitude,” said Wiles.
Other Winthrop girls who contributed on beam were Paige McGovern, Hetherton, Kennedy, and Vacarro.
Floor was the last event. Chiudina started off for Winthrop with what Wiles called “a great routine. She just learned this routine a few weeks ago and she has been working so hard on it. It is easy for me to say she is the hardest worker on the team.”
Next was Hetherton, followed by Winthrop’s other captain, Caitlin Page, who also turned in a superb performance to score an 8.4.
“Caitlin is one of our strongest tumblers,” said the coach. “She flies through the air with such ease.”
Vacarro ended floor for Winthrop with a sterling 8.9. “Christa has a very clean routine and you can see that the judges love it,” said Wiles. “She is a great performer.” Other Winthrop girls who performed on floor were Hetherton, Perrotta, and Kennedy.
Wiles also mentioned the all-around effort turned in by Vaccaro. “Christa is one of our all arounds, competing in all four events,” said Wiles. “Only two people from each team are allowed to do this. Christa is a very talented girl and happens to be one of the youngest girls on the team. It is more common for juniors and seniors to be all arounds, so to have her at such a young age is great since we will still have her for a few years to come.
“We have 20 girls on the team this year,” said Wiles. “This is the biggest team we have had in a very long time. They are a very positive group and are a pleasure to work with each practice.”
Wiles and her crew were in action last night (Wednesday) at the WGA against Gloucester. They then will return home for a meet at Winthrop High School on Friday at 7:30 PM against Marblehead. This will be the first WHS gymnastics meet that has been held at the high school in over 20 years and many supporters of the team are expected to be on hand.