WHS Sports Roundup

Girls hoop team wins two more

The Winthrop High girls basketball team posted two more victories this past week to improve to a sterling 13-2 overall on the season and 11-1 in the Northeastern Conference.

On Tuesday evening, the Lady Vikings encountered a tough Danvers squad that had knocked off Peabody (which had made the top 20 of the Boston Globe poll) a few nights previously. After a hard-fought first half in which Danvers grabbed a 24-23 lead, the Lady Viking picked up the tempo on defense after the intermission and moved out to a 33-29 advantage after three frames en route to garnering a 47-37 triumph.

“Our defense really did the job in the second half,” said WHS head coach Ignacio Oyola, whose Lady Vikings limited Danvers to just 13 points over the final two periods. “We were able to force turnovers and make some steals (Winthrop had 21 thefts in the game) that led to easy baskets for us in transition.”

Senior point guard Ashelyne Babb turned in a fine all-around performance, pacing Winthrop with 15 points, while also dishing out seven assists and making five steals. Nina Bartlett hit for 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds and Kristen Siscamanis tallied 10 points and pulled down six boards.

Theresa  Jones made a strong, all-around contribution with six points, seven rebounds, and five steals. Jen Adamson and Polli Tsiotis scored two points apiece and Nikki Tsiotis hit a free throw and accounted for three steals.

Winthrop enjoyed a breeze of a game Friday evening with a 55-27 rout of Gloucester despite the absence of Babb, who was out with a back injury, and Bartlett, who was battling the flu. After a 17-12 first period in Winthrop’s favor, the Lady Vikings clamped down in the second quarter, holding Gloucester to just two points to take a 29-14 lead into the half. Winthrop continued to build its lead after the intermission, enjoying s 44-19 bulge after three stanzas.

Nikki Tsiotis led Winthrop with 14 points and Siscamanis hit for double figures with 13. Adamson contributed eight points, Jones chipped in seven, Maura Lanza added six, Poli Tsiotis scored five, and freshman Alli Love had two.

The Lady Vikings host non-league foe Fontbonne Friday at 7:00; journey to Marblehead Sunday at 12:30 for a make-up encounter; and then host Marblehead Tuesday at 7:00.

Big win for WHS girls hockey

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldog hockey team took a big step toward claiming a Northeastern Hockey League title with a 1-0 victory at first-place Beverly last Wednesday. The triumph moves the Lady Bulldogs into a tie in the NHL with Beverly. Both teams have one loss and are scheduled to meet this Monday at 6:00 at Larsen Rink in a make-up of a previously-postponed contest that most likely will decide the NHL champ.

Savannah Norcross potted the lone goal of the evening, assisted by Emma English and Caroline McKinnon. The trio set out on a 3-on-2 break, with English making a nice pass to McKinnon, who then left a drop pass for Norcross in the area of the hash-marks. Savannah let loose a high wrist shot that went top shelf to beat the Beverly goalie.

From there on the contest was a defensive battle. The Lady Bulldog “D” and goaltender Gretchen Howard played flawlessly for the entire 45 minutes, with Howard turning in what WHS head coach Anthony Martucci termed a “tremendous game. Gretchen was confident, technically-sound, and on top of her game from the opening face-off to the final horn,” said Martucci. “Gretchen was immense in the final minute when Beverly pulled their goalie for a sixth skater and they threw everything at us. She made five or six super saves and preserved the win.”

Martucci also was high in his praise of his defensive corps, mentioning Katie Jenner and Jillian Olevitz, who often hit the ice to block Beverly shots with their bodies.

A few days later the Lady Bulldogs hosted Duxbury in a non-league contest and came out on the short end of a 9-0 decision. “Duxbury is a very strong team and played very well, but after we fell behind early, we got down on ourselves and never got to play the kind of hockey that we’ve been playing all year,” said Martucci.

Duxbury hails from the South Shore and until this year had been in Division 2, where it has claimed a couple of state titles in the past few years.

“I’d like to see us play them again,” said Martucci. “I think we can do a lot better than what we showed Saturday.”

Indeed, with Duxbury a likely winner in the D-1 South Sectionals, the Lady Bulldogs would do well to emerge as the North Sectional titlist, setting up a rematch in the state semifinals.

But for now, the Lady Bulldogs (who are 11-3 on the season) have to take care of business in the stretch run of their regular season, starting Monday evening at Larsen (6:00 face-off) in the rematch with Beverly. Winthrop then is off until next Wednesday, when they travel to Masconomet.

WHS hockey team beats Gloucester, falls to Beverly

The Winthrop High hockey team’s hopes for staying in contention for a possible shot at a Northeastern Conference title fell by the wayside Saturday with a 3-1 loss to first place Beverly Saturday evening before a capacity crowd at  Larsen Rink.

Beverly came into the contest undefeated (and once-tied) and was ranked 15th in the state in the Boston Globe poll, a rating even more impressive considering that the Panthers are fourth among the public schools in the poll, the other 11 places going to Catholic schools.

The Vikings entered the fray on a roll of their own, having won seven straight, their last defeat coming at the hands of those same Panthers at Beverly on January 8 by a score of 2-0 in which Beverly scored both of its goals in the latter part of the third period.

As expected, the teams engaged in a defensive battle with the score deadlocked at 0-0 after the first period. The middle stanza saw both teams get on the board, with Chris Page, assisted by Steven Goddard and Marc Ferullo, lighting the lamp for Winthrop.

However, as was the case in their first meeting, Beverly took control in the final 15 minutes, scoring just 30 seconds into the frame and then adding an insurance marker later.

The Vikings had tuned up for the Beverly game with a 3-1 triumph at Gloucester last Wednesday, which at the time marked Winthrop’s seventh straight “W” and eight of their previous nine. John Orlando, Chris Page, and Pat Todisco scored the Winthrop goals.

The Vikings, who now stand at 11-5 on the season, host Revere tonight (Thursday) at 6:10 in a make-up of Wednesday’s postponed game.  Winthrop then is off until next Wednesday when they host Concord-Carlisle, also at 6:10.

WHS gymnasts defeat Gloucester, Peabody

The Winthrop High gymnastics team earned a pair of victories this past week, defeating Gloucester and Peabody.

In last Monday’s meet at Gloucester, the Lady Vikings made their long trek north a worthwhile one with a 128.76-118.4 triumph.

High scores on bars for Winthrop were recorded by Christa Vaccaro with an 8.8, Caitlin Page and Jessica Logiudice with an 8.1, and Julia Duplin with a 7.65. Carolyn Hetherton and Mackenzie Chiudina also competed on bar for Winthrop.

“The girls did great on bars,” said WHS head coach Melissa Wiles. “This was the first meet where I saw fluid routines and the girls seemed confident with each skill.”

On the vault, Vaccaro led the way for Winthrop with a 9.2, followed by Duplin with an 8.15, Page with an 8.1, and LoGiudice with an 8.0. Chiudina and  Krystal Burbank also competed on vault.

“This vault runway was only 54 feet (the runway at Winthrop Gymnastics Academy is 75 feet),” noted Wiles. “This makes vault very difficult when you are used to a runway that it is 20 feet longer. Christa (Vaccaro) scored her highest score on vault, which was very impressive considering her limited running space.  Vault was our strongest event.”

On the floor, Vaccaro once again was the Lady Vikings’ top scorer with an 8.8. Page came in with an 8.0, followed by Hetherton with a 7.9 and LoGiudice at 7.75. Chiudina and Dakotah Squire also competed on the floor for Winthrop.

“Carolyn (Hetherton) really put on a great show tonight,” said Wiles. “She has been working hard on cleaning up her routine and this night she earned a great score. Her routine is very different and you can tell that her favorite event is floor.”

Vaccaro topped the Winthrop scorecard on the beam with an 8.5. Kaitlin Carter was next with a 7.5, followed by Logiudice with a 7.3 and Burbank with a 7.0. Also competing on beam for the Lady Vikings were Samantha Mooney and Taylor Reilly.

“I am continuously impressed with Kaitlin Carter,” said Wiles. “She has really earned her spot as a freshman on this team. She is always working hard and I find that I can always depend on her for a great beam routine.

“This was an away meet and it was at a very small gym,” continued Wiles. “The girls seemed to enjoy the small atmosphere as it put less pressure on them.”

This past Friday the Lady Vikings registered their highest score of the year en route to a 130.4-117.25 victory over Peabody. The match was highlighted by presentations at the start of the meet honoring the WHS seniors, captain LoGiudice, Mooney, and Squire. “It was our last home meet and a lot of people came to watch,” said Wiles. “I think the girls were excited to have a bigger audience because their scores drastically improved.”

Winthrop started out on bars and once again it was Vaccaro setting the pace with a score of 8.7. LoGiudice came through with a really clean routine to score an 8.3, followed by Mackenzie Chiudina with a 7.4 and Page with a 7.2. Duplin also competed on bars.

On the beam, Vaccaro was the top Lady Viking with an 8.8. LoGiudice scored an 8.0, Mooney a 7.8, and Burbank a 7.2. Also on beam for Winthrop were Reilly and Page.

The floor saw Winthrop register some fine scores, led by Vaccaro with an 8.9,  Page with an 8.3, LoGiudice with an 8.0, and Chiudina with a 7.7. Squire and Mooney also competed on the floor exercise.

The vault saw Vaccaro record her highest score ever with a 9.3. Chiudina also turned in a fine performance with an 8.45, followed by Duplin with an 8.2 and LoGiudice with an 8.15. Burbank and Francesca Vigliotta also competed for Winthrop on vault.

“Christa had an all-time high on vault. It was probably the best vault I’ve ever seen her do,” said Wiles. “Mackenzie also shone that night on the vault. She was really clean and the judge even commented on that.

“This meet really showed the girls’ strong skills,” commented Wiles. “We are hoping to stay at this level for the next few meets. They deserved every score they got and I’m proud to finally see them performing in a meet the way I see them do in practice.”

Wiles and her crew were back in action this past Tuesday at Beverly and at Marblehead last night (Wednesday). They will wrap up their season Sunday at the league meet where three girls from each team in the league will compete on every event.

Winthrop trio competes in Senior Super Bowl

The three senior members of the Winthrop gymnastics team competed in the annual Senior Super Bowl Meet Sunday. Viking seniors Jessica LoGiudice, Samantha Mooney, and Dakotah Squire took part in the meet, with Jessica competing in all four events and Sam and Dakotah competing on beam and floor.

“Each girl did really great,” said WHS coach Melissa Wiles. “The Senior Superbowl is all about having fun. They don’t flash scores and they are allowed to do pretty much any type of routine they want. The girls decided to choreograph a beam routine (with all three of them) all together. It was really fun and the judge loved it so much, at the end of the meet, they won the award for most unique routine.

“They all did their normal floor routines and Jessica finished off her last two events strong,” Wiles continued. “This meet every year is always so fun I am always looking forward to it. You see skill levels ranging from almost never having done gymnastics, to girls who have done it their whole lives and show off some pretty amazing skills. i was really proud of my seniors for not only performing well, but for having fun and making a memory that they will remember for years.”

WHS girls track team does well at NEC Meet

The Winthrop High girls indoor track team competed in last Friday’s Northeastern Conference League Meet at the Reggie Lewis Center and turned in a number of fine performances.

Senior Lexi Vaccaro ran what WHS head coach Mark D’Amico termed “the race of her life” in the finals of the 55 meter dash.  In the preliminaries, Lexi had the second-fastest time at 7.75 seconds, beating her best time at the Reggie Lewis Center by 1.5 seconds. In the final, she topped that clocking with a time of 7.68, which initially put Vaccaro in a tie for first place. The judges then had to go to the thousandths of a second to determine a winner and Vaccaro was edged, 7.673 to 7.679.

In the 600,  sophomore Holly Benson ran the best race of her career to earn a fifth place medal in a time of 1:46.76. Her sister, freshman Heidy, finished in ninth overall in the 1000 with a  personal record (PR) time of  3:32.4, which was six seconds faster than her previous best.

In the hurdles, junior Carly O’Keefe had the fifth fastest time in the field in the prelims to qualify for the finals.  However, in the finals Carly clipped a hurdle and placed eighth.

Junior Abbie Love ran a PR of 6:31.0 in the mile, bettering her previous best by four seconds.  Lizzy Anderson threw well in the shotput with a toss of 28′-6″, giving her eighth place overall.

One of the better races of the night was the girls 4 x 400 relay in which the Lady Viking quartet turned in their best performance of the year. Holly Benson got Winthrop off to a superb start with a fast leg of 62.7, giving the Lady Vikings a huge lead, Heidy Benson next took the baton and kept it going, running a PR of 68. Abbie Love, filling in for Carly O’Keefe, stepped it up, running her best time of 73. Finishing strong was Vaccaro with an anchor leg of   66, giving Winthrop an overall time of 4:32, good for a third place medal.

Other competitors for Winthrop at the meet were Anderson in the 55 meter dash, Sela Zelwango in the 55 meter hurdles, Christine Haskell in the 300, Olivia Rago in the 1000, Victoria Helle and Kristen Ford in the two mile with times of 13:56. and 14:25, and Katherine Texiera in the shot-put.

In the 4 x 200, the Winthrop quartet of Anderson, Valentina Ramous, Christine Haskell, and Taylor Thomas came home in ninth place.  In the 4 x 800, the Winthrop foursome of Helle, Ford, Lucy Floyd, and Olivia Rago came across in eighth spot.

A number of Lady Vikings will compete next Wednesday evening in the Division 5 State Meet. Vaccaro will be running in the 55 meter dash; O’Keefe in the 55 meter hurdles; Holly Benson in the 600; Amy Sena in the 1000 and the high jump; Anderson will be throwing the shot put; and the 4 x 400 quartet of the Bensons, O’Keefe, and  Vaccaro also will be running.

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