WHS Sports Roundup

Two More Wins for WHS Boys Hockey; Ranked #2 in D-4

The Winthrop High boys hockey team chalked up two more victories this past week in impressive fashion over non-league rival Medford and Northeastern Conference (NEC) foe Beverly.

Last Wednesday the Vikings trekked to LoConte Rink in Medford and corralled the Mustangs with a 6-3 victory in a fast-skating battle against the top team in the Greater Boston League.

After spotting Medford an early 1-0 lead, Winthrop responded with a pair of goals. Luke Gthinji, assisted by Aidan Survilas, scored his first goal of the season to bring the game back to level and captain Petey Silverman potted his first of three markers on the night, assisted by assistant captain Billy Hayes and Duncan Fife, to give Winthrop a 2-1 lead.

The Mustangs knotted matters early in the second period, but with 10 seconds remaining in the period, Billy Hayes capitalized on a designed face-off play, assisted by captain Jack Hayes and Silverman, to move Winthrop back into the lead.

The pesky Mustangs refused to yield quietly and deadlocked the contest once again to start the third period, but the Vikings asserted control in the final 10 minutes. Jack Hayes, assisted by senior Colin Banfield, gave Winthrop the lead for good and then one minute later, Silverman, assisted by Jack Hayes, made it a 5-3 contest.

Medford pulled its goalie for a sixth skater in the final minutes, but Silverman put the game away with an empty-netter for his third goal of the evening.

This past Saturday the Vikings trekked to Endicott College in Beverly for a contest with the Panthers at Ray Bourque Arena and skated home with a 7-0 victory.

Wimthrop seized the initiative in the opening period and never looked back. Jack Hayes, assisted by junior Glenn Calla, and Silverman, assisted by Jack Hayes, lit the lamp in the opening period for a 2-0 lead.

The Vikings broke the game open in the middle period with three tallies: Silverman (assisted by Jack Hayes and Banfield); freshman Colin O’Leary (assisted by Jackson Andy); and Survilas (assisted by Billy Hayes and Phil Boncore).

In the third period, Jack Hayes (from Mike Holgersen and Boncore) lit the lamp with a power play goal and Boncore (from Billy Hayes and Calla)  concluded the scoring for the 7-0 finale.

Netminders Nicholas Babine and Mike Donahue split the duties in goal to share the shutout.

WHS head coach Dale Dunbar and his crew, who stand atop the NEC North standings with a 5-0-1 mark, are 10-2-1 overall and are ranked second in Division 4, behind only Norwell, the defending  D-4 state champ.

The Vikings have some key NEC contests on tap this week. They hosted Danvers last night (Wednesday) and then will journey to Salem State College to meet Marblehead on Saturday evening at 8:00.

They will host Beverly in a rematch on Monday at 5:30 at Larsen Rink.

WHS Girls Ranked 11th in Division 4

The Winthrop High girls basketball team, which is ranked 11th in Division 4, engaged in a pair of battles with Northeastern Conference  opponents Saugus and Gloucester this past week.

Last Friday evening the Lady Vikings trekked to Saugus and dropped a heartbreaking 63-61 decision to the Lady Sachems in overtime.

“It was one of the best high school basketball games that I’ve been a part of both as a player and a coach,” said WHS head coach Anthony Hatzisavas of the exciting contest.

Winthrop jumped out to an 18-11 lead after the first quarter, but foul trouble to some key Lady Vikings allowed Saugus to narrow the gap to 30-27 at the half.

For the rest of the contest to the final buzzer in OT, the rivals battled fiercely, but the Lady Sachems prevailed.

Grace Fleuriel and Kaylee Farrell each had 16 points for Winthrop. Maddie Stiglets also reached double figures with 11 points despite battling foul trouble throughout the game. Reese Brodin made a major contribution — “One of Reese’s better games,” said Hatzisavas — hitting for 12 points, grabbing  six rebounds, dishing seven assists, and making some big steals on defense.

Sophia Lindinger hit a couple of key three-pointers, including a trey that gave Winthrop a two-point lead toward the end of regulation.

“It was an absolute battle from start to finish, but at the end of the day you look back on things we could have changed and have done better,” said Hatzisavas. “We shot 9-for-21 from the free throw line and we had three players foul out in overtime. Saugus is a very good basketball team, and the head coach does a tremendous job as well.

“Their top scorer is a tremendous player for them and we went into the game saying someone else was going to have to beat us,” Hatzisavas continued. “She scored 18 points, but was averaging about 25 points per game. However, one of their other players stepped up for them and had a career-high 23 points.

“Our girls battled from start to finish and it was a great environment for a high school basketball game that gets you ready for a good tournament run,” Hatzisavas continued. “I couldn’t be more proud of the way we played. “

This past Tuesday, the Lady Vikings hosted Gloucester in a rematch of their first encounter in which Winthrop came out on the short end of a 43-40 decision.

However, the Lady Vikings turned the tables on the Lady Fishermen in their second meeting, coming away with a 42-30 victory.

After grabbing a 9-8 lead at the end of the first period, Winthrop expanded its advantage to 20-14 at the half. The Lady Vikings then came out on fire after the intermission, outscoring Gloucester 14-3 in the third period to break the game open, 34-17, from where Winthrop never looked back.

As usual, a number of Lady Vikings made key contributions to the winning effort.

Fleuriel turned in another tremendous game with a powerful double-double of 15 points and 12 rebounds, while also blocking two enemy shots and hitting a three-pointer that provided a huge spark for Winthrop.

 Stiglets also had a superb all-around performance with 11 points, eight boards, and five assists. Brodin hit for doubles with 12 points and made eight steals.

“Reese has done a tremendous job on defense for us all season,” noted Hatzisavas.

“I told the girls this game was a perfect opportunity to show how much we have improved in a month, especially against a tough team,” said Hatzisavas. “At halftime we talked about needing more energy on the defensive end and they came out and executed. It was a great defensive performance that led to timely baskets when needed.”

In between the battle with their NEC rivals, the Lady Vikings took on St. Mary’s of Lynn, the number one ranked team in Division 3 with a 14-1 record (their lone loss coming to Cathedral, the top-ranked team in D-4, by three points) and which has outscored its opponents by an average of 67-37.

“St. Mary’s is as good as advertised,” said Hatzisavas in the aftermath of an 83-25 loss.. “We have faced some stiff competition this season, but I don’t think any match the level they are currently at.”

Fleuriel had a great game for Winthrop, scoring 13 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Hatzisavas and his crew stand at 7-9 overall and are 6-3 in the NEC..

“I believe we are better than what our record shows,” said the coach. “We have faced some of the best competition in the state week-in and week-out and it really shows the mental toughness of these girls to be able to keep it together and work just as hard each day.”

The Lady Vikings will entertain Masconomet tomorrow (Friday) evening for a 6:00 tip-off and will travel to Danvers next Tuesday.

WHS Gymnasts Top Essex Tech

The Winthrop High girls gymnastics team turned in some of its best performances of the season in its meet this past week with Essex Tech that was held in Middleton.

Winthrop started on the vault. Sara Jurovich did a clean handspring, scoring an 8.05.

Brooklyn Banfield followed with another handspring vault, tying with captain Shannon Abbott with a score of 8.2. Julia Hurley and Isabella Rice both completed their twisting vaults, scoring an 8.6.

Captain Alayna Ronan stuck her full twisting handspring, receiving a season-high of 9.15 to give Winthrop a slight edge after the first event,  34.55-33.20.

The Vikings then turned in one of their best performances of the season on the uneven parallel bars. Banfield competed first with a score of 6.6., followed by Abbott and O’Donnell, who both earned scores of 7.4.

Freshman Zoe Ray then hit for a season high of 7.8. “Zoe has been a bright spot in our lineup all season,”  said WHS co-coach Christa Vaccaro.

Ronan and Rice both hit their routines and recorded scores of 8.6, giving Winthrop a commanding advantage in the event of 32.1- 20.8.

The Vikings had a tough time in their previous meet on the beam, but excelled vs. Essex. Rey and O’Donnell both hit their routines, each receiving a score of 7.9. Hurley tied for third place in the meet with an 8.15. Ronan followed with a stuck routine, scoring an 8.75.

Rice, the team’s all-around, then turned in the routine of the night, adding a new twisting dismount and scoring a season-high and personal-best score of 9.2, boosting Winthrop into a win on the beam, 34.00-30.15.

“So far, that’s the highest score anybody on the team has scored all season,” said co-coach Pete Gobiel.

In the floor exercise, the final event of the evening, all of the Vikings scored in the 8s for the first time this season.

Hurley and Abbott both scored an 8.1. Ray and O’Donnell both tallied an 8.4 with solid routines. Rice followed with an 8.45 and Ronan added a new twisting layout to her routine for the first time this season to take first place with a score of 8.65.

Winthrop travels to Peabody today (Thursday) and will host Marblehead this Saturday evening at 6:00 at the Winthrop Gymnastics Academy (WGA).

They will take on defending state champ Masconomet next Friday, February 10, at 7:00 at the WGA.

WHS Boys Hoop to Face Masco, Danvers

The Winthrop High boys basketball team, which currently is ranked 29th in the MIAA’s Division 4 power rankings, will journey to Masconomet tomorrow (Friday) and then will return home to host Danvers next Tuesday with the opening tip set for 7:00 on the Chris Tsiotos floor.

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