Sports 01-17-2019

WHS sports roundup

WHS girls defeat Danvers in overtime

The Winthrop High girls basketball team earned one of the biggest wins in the recent history of the program with a 59-57 triumph in overtime over Danvers this past Friday evening at the WHS gymnasium.

The Lady Vikings came out strong offensively, outscoring the Lady Falcons, 16-13, in the first quarter. The Winthrop defense stepped up in the second quarter with a combination of traps and zone defenses and held the visitors to only four points to increase their lead to 27-17 at the half.

Danvers came out after the intermission and scored six quick points to get back into the game. Although both teams were playing solid defense, the offenses on both sides found ways to score. At the third buzzer, the Lady Vikings still maintained a 10-point advantage 41-31.

However, in the fourth period the visiting Lady Falcons finally figured out how to use their height advantage. The Danvers front court began to take over the contest, accounting for 12 points in the period, that catapulted Danvers into a five-point lead, 50-45, with three minutes to go.

However, resiliency has been a trademark of the Lady Vikings this season and that trait once again came to the fore.  Emma Turner sank a three-pointer from the left wing and after the Lady Vikings made a stop on defense, Caroline Earl connected on a mid-range jumper to bring the game back to level at 50-50 with just under two minutes remaining in regulation. The defenses on both sides then took control, leaving matters deadlocked at 50-50 at the buzzer.

The teams traded buckets in the opening minutes of the OT session, with Danvers, led by their top scorer, Nessinger (24 points on the night), moving out to a 56-54 edge with 34 seconds to go. But once again the Lady Vikings refused to quit and responded in strong fashion. Maura Dorr, inbounding the ball from the baseline, found Lily Pulsifer in the corner for a three-pointer that seemingly barely touched the net as it fell through hoop to push Winthrop ahead, 57-56.

The Lady Vikings then bore down on the defensive end, making a stop and securing the rebound. Danvers intentionally fouled Earl, who calmly and clutchly sank both ends of the 1-and-1 to make it 59-56.

Nessinger eventually went to the line with one second to go on Danvers’ next possession, but managed to hit only one free throw for the 59-57 finale.

Earl ended up with a huge night, hitting for 20 points, one of four Lady Vikings to reach double figures, the others being Pulsifer with 15, Dorr with 11, and Turner with 10.

“We knew we were going to need to come out and play a complete game because Danvers is a well-coached, disciplined team that plays very hard and has a lot of size,” said WHS head coach Rick Pulsifer. “I think this was our best defensive game of the year. We played four different defenses and used three different traps.

“We also shot the ball really well,” the coach added. “I couldn’t be any prouder of these girls”

The scintillating victory came on the heels of a 52-24 runaway triumph at Salem three nights earlier. The Lady Vikings wasted no time in establishing control against the Witches, utilizing their full-court trap defense and an offense led by Dorr, who dropped in 10 points in the opening quarter, to get Winthrop off and running to a 15-6 lead at the first buzzer.

The second quarter continued with more pressure defense from the Lady Vikings, who held Salem to only six points once again in the eight-minute span and moved out to a commanding 25-12 bulge at the half.

The third quarter proved more of the same, with Winthrop’s team defense limiting Salem to just five points and their offense opening up a 39-17 lead.

At that point Pulsifer had an opportunity to utilize his entire squadron of Lady Vikings to close out the 52-24 triumph.

“It was great to have an opportunity to get everyone in the game and for the second group to come in and maintain solid defense and score some baskets,” noted Polisher.

Dorr led all scorers with a career-high 28 points. Turner hit for seven, followed by Earl with six, and Grace Galuris and Carolyn Kinsella with four points each.

Pulsifer and his crew, who now stand at 5-3 overall and 5-2 in the Northeastern Conference, were listed in the Boston Herald Weekly Power 6 Rankings as the No. 6 team in Division 3 North. The Lady Vikings are undefeated on their home floor, the Chris Tsiotis Court, where they will host Everett tomorrow evening (Friday) at 7:00. They then will travel to Revere Tuesday evening.

Vikings defeat Beverly, 3-2; host Fenwick tonight

The Winthrop High hockey team got back on the winning track with a well-played 3-2 victory over Northeastern Conference North Division rival Beverly this past Saturday afternoon at Larsen Rink.

After a scoreless first period, the Vikings lit the lamp twice in the middle stanza, the first goal coming on the power play by Corey Cherico, assisted by Sam Yarrow and Chris Finn, and the second by Noah Evangelista, assisted by Brian Chalmers.

Beverly got on the scoreboard before the period ended, leaving matters at 2-1 entering the final 15 minutes of play. However, Joey Holgersen boosted the Vikings back into a two-goal advantage, with assists from Andrew DiMento and Yarrow, early in the third period.

Beverly scored late in the game for the 3-2 finale.

WHS goalie Ryan Skocyzlas went the entire way in the net, turning aside 27 Panther shots, to earn the “W.”

Coach Dale Dunbar and his crew, who stand at 7-3 overall and 4-1 in the NEC North, have a busy week ahead. They will host non-league, Division 1 foe Bishop

Fenwick this evening (Thursday) at 6:10 and then will entertain always-tough NEC North rival Saugus Saturday afternoon at Larsen at 1:30.

The Vikings will trek to Peabody next Wednesday.

WHS girls hockey splits non-league tilts

The Winthrop High girls hockey team split two games this week against non-league rivals at Larsen Rink, defeating HPNA (a co-op team consisting of Haverhill, Pentucket, and No. Andover high schools) last Wednesday, but then falling to Longmeadow on Saturday.

Both contests were hard-fought affairs. In the 4-2 win over HPNA, the teams were knotted at 1-1 after the first period. Bella Perrotti lit the lamp for the Lady Vikings, scoring an unassisted goal.

Winthrop notched two unanswered goals to start the middle stanza, the first from Emma Carleton, assisted by Mia Martucci, the second on a power play by Mia Norris (the first career goal for the eighth grader), with assists to Emma and Julia Holmes.

HPNA sliced the led to 3-2, but Carleton, assisted by Martucci, restored the Lady Viking cushion to two goals, with the assist from Martucci, to leave matters at 4-2 at the second horn.

The teams battled furiously in the third period, but neither proved able to reach the back of the other’s net. HPNA had a golden opportunity to draw closer when penalties gave the Hilllies a 5-on-3 advantage with five minutes to play, but Winthrop successfully killed off the penalties and locked the game down from there.

Shots-on-goal for the game were close, with Winthrop enjoying a slight edge, 34-29.

“Our goalie, Summer Tallent, made 27 saves, and some of the 10-bell variety,” enthused WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “She has been nothing shy of unbelievable for us this year. Summer just has that something that all athletes wish they had — it is just something that great players possess.”

The 5-3 loss to Longmeadow on Saturday was a penalty-filled affair from the outset. The refs sent five Lady Vikings to the penalty box in the opening period alone, and Longmeadow cashed in on two of those power-play opportunities to take a 2-0 lead at the first horn.

The refs then gave Longmeadow their turn in the sin bin, whistling a pair of penalties on the visitors that gave the Lady Vikings two power play opportunities. Carleton, assisted by Martucci and Olivia Holmes, cut the deficit to 2-1, then Norris, assisted by Julia and Emma Holmes, drew the Lady Vikings back to level.

“It was nice to see our power play find the back of the net,” noted Martucci. “It has not struggled, but we have kind of just been average with the man-advantage.”

However, Longmeadow received another power play before the period ended and took full advantage to skate into the locker room with a 3-2 lead after two periods.

Winthrop briefly came back to tie the game when Carleton reknotted matters early in the third period with a beautiful goal on a breakaway.

“Emma has been there for this team with big goals all season,” said Martucci. “She is just a heart and soul player with no ‘off’ switch.”

The contest turned into a fierce, up-and-down battle back until Longmeadow got a goal off a deflection from a shot from their defense.

“We did not get to our spots off a face off,”  said Martucci. “They got the puck to the net quickly from the blue line and it deflected in front and went in.”

Winthrop had a chance late in the game to tie matters after pulling Tallent in favor of a sixth skater, but after the shot missed, Longmeadow came back the other way and lit the lamp wth an empty-netter.

Freshman net minder Tallent once again earned plaudits from Martucci for her 28-save effort. “Summer has been fantastic for this team from game one and it is tough when an effort like that goes without the reward of a win,” noted the coach.

“However, on a good note this was the second game in a row that Mia Norris has scored a goal,” said Martucci. “The eighth grader is starting to find the hot hand and if we can get her going, we will have another dangerous weapon.

“In addition, the play of our only two juniors, Sydney Mignosa and Olivia Driscoll, is rising with each game,” Martucci continued. “Olivia has been great, playing in all situations, and getting points along the way, while Mig is a bull. She will not go around you, she will go through you. With her it is all about straight lines, because her size and speed make her hard to stop.”

Martucci and his crew, who now stand at 7-3 on the season, need two more victories in order to qualify for the post-season state tourney. They were set to host Medford last night (Wednesday) and will travel to Endicott College to face Beverly next Wednesday.

“We need two more wins to qualify for the tourney,” said Martucci. “It will not be easy, with a very tough eight games remaining, but this group never gives up and they will battle all the way.”

WHS gymnasts defeat Peabody, Marblehead

The Winthrop High gymnastics team earned a pair of well-deserved victories, defeating league rivals Peabody and Marblehead/Swampscott this past week.

Freshman Emily Rodriquez got the Lady Vikings off to a nice start at Peabody, scoring an 8.0 on the vault. Charlotte Hurley tied Emily with an 8.0 of her own, followed by Megi Zogasi, who scored an 8.1, sticking her handspring vault.

Not to be outdone, Mary O’Donnell received an 8.25 on her vault, but the top scores for Winthrop belonged to Rachel Farley and Danielle Carter, who tied for first place with an 8.5.

The Lady Vikings started off uneven bars with a second place performance by Zogasi, who earned a score of 7.8. Then, in a very unusual sequence of routines, the next four Winthrop girls received the exact same score of 7.6.

“Alayna (Ronan), Rachel, Mary, and Danielle all ended up with the same score, which is something I’ve never seen before,”  said WHS coach Pete Gobiel.

Brandi DiCicco, despite nursing an ankle injury, took first place on the bars with a mark of 8.45.

Moving onto the balance beam, first up for Winthrop was Jill Lerner, scoring a 6.1. O’Donnell and Carter tied for fourth place with scores of 7.1. Third place went to Zogasi, who is a freshman, with her mark of 7.7. Alayna Ronan came in second with an 8.3. Coming in first with a solid beam routine was DiCicco with an 8.5.

Rodriquez opened for Winthrop on the floor exercise, the Lady Vikings’ strongest event, and scored a 7.85.

Gabriella Giuffre scored a 7.0 followed by Carter with an 8.4. DiCicco received an 8.55, with Farley earning an 8.6. Ronan took hime first place honors in the event The final tally showed Winthrop with 130.85 points to 123.8 for Peabody.

Heading to the Marblehead YMCA this past Monday, the Lady Vikings competed in their closest meet of the season.

Zogasi was first up on bars, performing a nearly-flawless routine to score an 8.2, a mark that tied Megi for third place in that event with O’Donnell.  Second place went to DiCicco with an 8.4. Marblehead/Swampscott took first place with an 8.45.

Juliana Guzman, performing In her first meet as a high school gymnast, scored a 7.5 with a great handspring vault. O’Donnell scored a 7.9, followed by Zogasi and DiCicco with an 8.0. Though competing a little bit under the weather, Carter scored an 8.05. Farley earned an 8.3, finishing in second place.

After those first two events, Winthrop led Marblehead/Swampscott (let’s call them the Big Blue Magicians) by the narrow margin of 0.45 points, 64.75 to 64.3.

Winthrop moved on to the floor exercise, their strongest event, and didn’t disappoint the crowd that was made up mostly of Winthrop parents.

Giuffre scored a 7.8, with teammate Rodriguez coming through with an 8.1. Ronan took a fourth place with an 8.2. DiCicco impressed the crowd with her third place finish, scoring an 8.65.

Carter grabbed second-place with a gutsy performance, coming through with a score of 8.75, her highest mark of the season. But it was Farley, introducing some fancy new tumbling skills, who took first place with a mark of 8.85.

“At that point in the meet we really needed a big score and Rachel came through for us,” said WHS coach Daria Millerick.

That left the Lady Vikings with their final challenge, the balance beam, an event  that has been giving the team trouble all season. Conversely, Marblehead/Swampscott was heading to the floor exercise, their strongest event.

First up on the beam was O’Donnell with a score of 6.7, followed by Sage D’Amelio with a 7.2.

The typically sure-footed Zogasi and Ronan usually stay on the beam, but both fell, scoring a 7.6 and 7.9.

Next up — and definitely running a fever — Carter gave a brilliant performance, scoring an 8.0. Last up for Winthrop was DiCicco, who turned in a nearly-perfect routine that featured a new dismount to take second place with an 8.4.

The final tally showed the Lady Vikings scoring a season-high total of 131.1 points to edge the Big Blue Magicians, who tallied 128.5.

The Lady Vikings will host Beverly tomorrow evening (Friday) at 7:00 at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy that will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities.

Winthrop then will entertain Essex Tech Wednesday evening.

WHS track teams take on Swampscott

The Winthrop High girls and boys indoor track & field teams traveled to Swampscott last Wednesday to take on the Big Blue.

On the girls’ side, Soneida Dahlquist was the lone winner in her individual event. Soneida captured the 600 dash in a time of 1:52.9.

A number of Lady Vikings scored three points for the Winthrop cause with second-place finishes:

Clare Nargi with a high jump of 4:2″; Marykate Pote with a shot put throw of 29′-6″; Daniella Zanelli in the 55 meter hurdles in 10.2; Nora McCarey in the 300 dash in 49.8; Brianna Marley in the mile in 6:38; and Camilla Miranda-Llovera, who was edged for the first time this season in the two-mile, running a 12:48.

Adding single points for their third-place performances were: Nargi in the hurdles in 10.5; Alexandra Gibbons in the 55 dash in 8.3; Devon Barry in the 1000 in 4:26.9; and Anyra Silva in the two-mile in 14:58.

The Winthrop 4 x 400 relay team circled the track in 4:51.1 to defeat their Swampscott counterparts by six seconds.

For the boys, Cormac MacPhail gutted out the closest race not only of the meet, but of the entire season, to win the 1000 meter contest in a clocking of 2:59.4, just 0.3 of a second faster than his Swampscott rival.

Mike Morano was the next-best finisher for Winthrop, taking second place in the shot put with a throw of 34′-10″.

Bobby Hubert scored a point for Winthrop with his third place effort in the 55 meter dash in 6.9, Pat Haskell added a point in the 600 with his third place effort in 1:42, and Ryan Cash did likewise in the mile in 6:19.4.

A number of Vikings turned in strong performances even though they did not figure in the scoring: Brandon Preble finished fourth in the shot with his throw of 32′-6″ and Billy Hubert came in fifth with his heave of 32′-4″; Julian Osorio finished fourth in the high jump with a lap of of 5′-2″; Andy Peti came across in fifth in the 55 dash in 7.6; and Ian Harris finished sixth in the dash in 8.2.

Both the boys and girls were set to be back in action this past Tuesday against Salem and will meet Lynn Classical next Wednesday.

JV Lady Viking sdefeat Salem, 43-18

The Winthrop High junior varsity girls team split its two games this past week. Last Tuesday the JV Lady Vikings defeated Salem, 43-18. The Winthrop squad displayed both fine team defense and offense throughout the contest, with 10 Lady Vikings figuring in the scoring.

Winthrop grabbed an 18-0 lead in the opening period and never looked back. The Lady Vikings’ scoring was led by Polina Bell and Julia Marcoccio with eight points

apiece, Alana Grillo and MacKenzie Acevado with six points each, and Lily Skomro and Alexis Tallent both with four points apiece.

The jayvees came out strong there nights later agains Danvers and grabbed a 14-2 lead in the opening period. Danvers narrowed the margin to 20-13 at the half and drew within 20-17 after three periods.

Both teams picked up the pace in the final eight minutes, with Danvers eventually drawing even at 29-29 with 12 seconds to go. Both teams had a chance to win in regulations, but missed their opportunity and went into overtime, presaging the varsity game later in the evening.

However, the junior Lady Vikings, plagued by foul trouble in which three girls fouled out, were unable to pull out the victory in OT, falling by a score of 37-31.

The Lady Vikings’ leading scorers were Tessa Ferrandi and Marcoccio with 10  points apiece, Sam Galuris with five, and Acevado with four.

Olevitz earns assist for St. Michael’s

Winthrop’s Andrew Olevitz, a sophomore, was credited with an assist for the St. Michael’s College hockey team in a 3-2 loss in overtime to Assumption College this past Saturday.

Olevitz, a 6′-2″, 200-pound defenseman, has appeared in 14 of his team’s 16 games this season. He has a goal and three assists.

The Purple Knights are 4-2-1 in the Division 2 Northeast-10 Conference.

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