The many Winthrop High fans who made the trek to the Tsongas Center in Lowell saw a thrilling high school basketball game between our Lady Vikings and St. Mary’s High School of Lynn. Though St. Mary’s held on for the victory, Winthrop’s performance showcased the tremendous skills of our players and how far the program has risen under the direction of head coach Ignacio Oyola.
As the smallest school in the Northeastern Conference, the Vikings put together an amazing 21-win season that included an NEC South title. This team had fantastic senior leadership in Theresa Jones, Ashelyn Babb, and Jenn Adamson (now there’s a famous name out of Winthrop’s gloried sports tradition) and its underclassmen were truly some of the best players in the area. Niki Tsiotos can do it all on the basketball court and is probably the best defensive player in the state. (And dare we compare her superior floor generalship to the great Lisa Monteleone Ferrara?) Kristen Siscamanis is another superb player whom we know will work hard in the off season and be even better next year. Nina Bartlette, a sophomore, showed tremendous improvement this season and it’s only a matter of time before the 6-foot center starts receiving correspondences from many college coaches. And let’s not forget, Niki’s twin sister, Poli Tsiotos, who is fundamentally sound at her position and appears ready to move into the starting five next season.
We too, couldn’t help but think “Kelley Mahoney Miracle” as Niki Tsiotos’s half-court shot was in the air Saturday as the buzzer was sounding. Alas, the ball didn’t fall on this day for Winthrop, but the future is so very bright.
Max Tsiotos, proud uncle of the talented Tsiotoses, knew in his heart that the stakes were high in Saturday’s St. Mary’s-Winthrop. rematch. Not only was the winner heading to the TD Garden, but it was clear by the immense talent and superb coaching of both teams that the winner of the game was destined to be the state champion and sure enough, St. Mary’s bested Archbishop Williams in the state semifinals and looms as a big favorite for the title.
We congratulate coach Ignacio Oyola, his staff, and the Lady Vikings on a very successful season and we look forward to jumping on the Lady Vikings’ bandwagon in 2015.