TOURNEY TIME FOR WHS TEAMS
‘This the season for March Madness, and once again the Winthrop High athletic program has achieved a successful winter sports season, with all four teams qualifying for post season play in the MIAA state tournaments. Here’s a recap of where the teams stand as the Sun-Transcript was going to press Wednesday evening:
Boys hockey team tops Triton, 2-1; meets Lincoln-Sudbury Friday
The Winthrop High boys hockey team earned a tight 2-1 victory over Triton in the first round of the Division 2 North state hockey tournament Tuesday evening at Salem State College.
Coach Dale Dunbar and his crew, who compiled a 10-5-5 record in the regular season and are the seventh seed in the North Sectional, now will travel to the Stoneham Arena tomorrow evening (Friday) to take on the second seeded Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors, who finished the year with a 15-2-3 mark. Face-off time is 5:30 p.m.
Winthrop led all the way against Triton. Junior Chris Page lit the lamp in the first period, assisted by Pierce Lamberton. An apparent goal by Pat Todisco early in the second period was waved off by the refs for interference with the goaltender (though no penalty was called), but the Vikings got an insurance goal with about 6:00 to play in the game when Stephen Goddard scored from the point, assisted by Page and Lamberton.
Triton pulled its goalie in the final minutes in favor of a sixth skater, a strategy that paid off with a goal with about 30 seconds to play. However, the Vikings held the fort after that for the victory.
“It was a total team effort,” lauded WHS head coach Dale Dunbar of his team’s performance. “Everybody did their job in all aspects of the game and out goaltender, Ray Feeley, made some superb saves when we needed him to do so as he has all season.”
Looking ahead to tomorrow night’s tilt with second seed Lincoln-Sudbury, Dunbar noted, “We don’t look at another team’s record or reputation. We’ll play our game and try to execute our game plan, making adjustments as necessary.”
One drawback for the Vikings in the Triton win was the loss of Zack Mills with an apparent concussion which will keep him sidelined for the remainder of the tourney.
If the Vikings are successful tomorrow, they will play Monday at Chelmsford (a time has yet to be determined) against the winner of the Wilmington vs. Boston Latin contest in the other quarterfinal matchup on their side of the North Sectional bracket.
Viking hoopmen play at St. Mary’s tonight
The Winthrop high boys basketball team will open play in the Division 4 North Sectional of the MIAA state basketball tournament this evening (Thursday) at St. Mary’s of Lynn. Tip-off is set for 7:00.
The Vikings, who finished the season with a 6-12 record, are seeded 11th of the 11 teams in the North Sectional, while St. Mary’s is seeded sixth in the North with a 12-8 mark.
“We’ve had a good week of practice and the coaching staff and players have been working hard,” said WHS head coach Mike DiMarino. “We know that St. Mary’s is the defending state champion and we’ll be playing them in their home gym, but we’re ready for the challenge.
“We’ve seen them play a couple of times and we’ve been watching film,” continued DiMarino.
“They are a solid, all-around team. They are strong in the backcourt and underneath, so we definitely will have our work cut out for us.
“But as I said to the players, getting to the tourney is what we play all season for,” added DiMarino. “It’s going to be a packed gym with a playoff atmosphere. We want the opportunity to be playing in the post-season and we’ll be prepared. Games like this come down to who makes the least number of mistakes and who makes the most plays. If we play 32 minutes of consistent basketball, we like our chances.”
If the Vikings are successful tonight, they will advance to the quarterfinal round Saturday afternoon at 3:00 at Pope John of Everett, the number three seed in the North with a 14-6 record, which earned a first round bye.
Lady Vikings hosted Weston last night
The Winthrop High girls basketball team opened its play in the Division 3 North Sectional last night (Wednesday), hosting Weston of the Dual County League. The Lady Vikings, who finished at 16-6 on the year, are seeded fifth in the North, while Weston is seeded 12th with a 10-10 mark. WHS head coach Ignacio Oyola expected a tough battle with Weston, which plays in the Dual County League and, like Winthrop, is a small school that plays a lot of higher-division teams throughout the year.
“Weston plays in a tough conference, so their record is deceiving,” said Oyola. “They have a girl who is a 1000 point career scorer and who is capable of scoring 40 points. So we know we’ll have a very challenging game facing us.”
If the Lady Vikings prevail, they will face the winner of the Ipswich-North Reading contest in the quarterfinals, which most likely will take place Saturday, although a date and time had not been set as of press time. If Ipswich (the number four seed) wins, Winthrop will play at Ipswich. If North Reading, the 13th seed wins, Winthrop will host the game.
Although the Lady Vikings dropped its last three games of the season, Oyola was pleased with his team’s overall performances against a trio of high-quality opponents. Winthrop played in the Spartan Classic during the vacation week, coming out on the short end to the host school, St. Mary’s of Lynn, and Bedford. Both teams are among the top seeds in the state tournament.
In the season finale last week, the Lady Vikings fell to Somerville (a Division 1 school that also is a state tourney qualifier), 62-51, on Senior Night at which departing seniors Alyssa Mackey, Liana Ferullo, and Temison Meggison were recognized for their contributions to the WHS girls hoop program.
“We were in all three of those games going into the fourth quarter,” said Oyola.. “But we’d had a stretch of four games in five days, so that took a toll on us. We knew that our schedule at the end of the season would present strong competition, but we feel that it will make us a better team for the tournament.”
Ashelyne Babb led the way for Winthrop with 14 points in the Somerville encounter. Theresa Jones hit for 12 and Kristen Siscamanis added 11. Mackey and Meggison chipped in five apiece, with Poli Tsiotis scoring two points and Ferullo and Nina Bartlett both sinking a free throw.
Three Lady Vikings, Babb, Meggison, and Siscamanis, were named to the Northeastern Conference South Division all-star team, which was coached by Oyola. Siscamanis scored 10 points for the South stars.
Girls hockey team ousted by Andover, 2-1
The Winthrop Lady Bulldog girls hockey team dropped a 2-1 decision to Andover in a preliminary round contest of the Division 1 girls state hockey tournament Monday evening at Larsen Rink.
The Lady Bulldogs were seeded 16th in the tourney with a 9-5-4 record, while Andover was the 17th seed with an 11-7-2 record. All of the goals were scored in the second period. Andover got on the board first early in the frame, but Ariana Dembro knotted matters for Winthrop just 1:30 later. Andover scored what would prove to be the game-winner later in the stanza.
Winthrop eighth grade goalie Gretchen Howard turned in a stellar performance in the net, turning aside an official 42 shots on goal.
Although the Lady Bulldogs’ exit from the tourney was a quick one, they nonetheless enjoyed yet another fine season under head coach Anthony Martucci, who will have most of his players returning next season.