WHS Sports Roundup: It’s March Madness Time in Winthrop!!!

WHS Boys Hockey Plays in Tourney Opener at Larsen Today

The Winthrop High boys hockey team, the undisputed champion of the Northeastern Conference with a 9-1-1 record, will open play in the MIAA Division 4 hockey tourney this afternoon (Thursday) when coach Dale Dunbar and his crew take to the ice at Larsen Rink for a Round of 32 contest.

The opening face-off is set for 4:00.

The Vikings, who are seeded #3 in D-4 with a 16-3-1 overall record, are scheduled to meet the winner of the contest between #30 Belchertown and #35 Nashoba Valley Regional who were playing last night (Wednesday).

Dunbar’s squad dominated the NEC for which they received numerous post-season accolades. Dunbar was named the NEC’s Coach of the Year and junior Petey Silverman was named the conference’s MVP for a season in which he scored 25 goals and had 27 assists.

Senior captain Jack Hayes (19 goals, 24 assists) and senior goalie Nico Babine (14-2-1 record with a GAA of 1.70) were chosen for the prestigious all-conference team, which recognizes only the top eight players among all of the eight NEC schools.

In addition, junior defenseman Billy Hayes (five goals, 22 assists), sophomore forward Phil Boncore (14 goals, 13 assists), and freshman defenseman Colin O’Leary (two goals, five assists) were named to the 16-member NEC all-star squad.

If Winthrop is successful today, the Vikings will advance to the Sweet 16 to take on the winner of the matchup between #14 Assabet Regional and #19 Amesbury.

WHS Boys Win State Tourney Opener, 68–55; Trek to Wareham Tonight

The Winthrop High boys basketball team overcame a slow start to defeat Mahar Regional High School, 68-59, in a preliminary round contest of the MIAA Division 4 state tourney Monday evening before a packed house at Winthrop High School.

Winthrop entered the tourney as the 32nd seed in Division 4 with a 7-13 record, while Mahar Regional, which is located in Orange, was seeded 33rd with an 11-9 mark.

The visiting Senators jumped out to a 20-11 lead in the opening period and held a 25-14 advantage midway through the second frame. However, that is when the Vikings turned the tide, closing out the half with a 12-0 run that gave Winthrop a 26-15 edge at the intermission.

“We stiffened our defense, but the key to that run, as was the case throughout the game, was the team’s hustle,” said WHS head Mike Triant. “We hit the floor for every loose ball and created second-chance opportunities out of missed shots.”

Both teams came out hot to start the second half, with Winthrop outscoring Mahar 18-16 in the third period to take a 44-41 advantage heading into the final eight minutes.

Both teams continued their torrid scoring pace in the final period,  but it was the Vikings who had a bit more of offense, outscoring the Senators 24-18 in the final eight minutes, for the 68-59 triumph.

Senior captain Zack Bogusz (who was 7-for-9 from the free throw line and hit three three-pointers) and Jeremy Matias both struck for 22 points. George Galuris also reached double figures with 19 points.

Vasili Tsiotos added three points and Andrew Faretra chipped in two points.

“We watched a lot of their film and saw that they have two excellent bigs, 6’-5” and 6’-6”, so we knew that we had to push the ball with every chance we had,” said Triant. “Even when we were up by nine midway through the fourth quarter, we didn’t let them get comfortable. The combination of our defensive pressure, with Zach and George on the ball, and then pushing the ball upcourt, is what made the difference,” said Triant. “We used eight players and every one of them left everything out on the floor.”

The coach also complimented the support of the Winthrop student body. “They were loud and really gave us a boost,” said Triant. “Our players really fed off their energy.”

The Vikings now proceed to the Round of 32, earning the right to travel to the South Coast to take on Wareham, the top-ranked team in D-4 with a 17-3 record, this evening (Thursday) for a 6:00 opening tip.

“We’ve been watching a lot of film of Wareham and we are aware that they’re a very good team,” said Triant. “But we are too, and we will go down there and give it everything we’ve got.”

Girls Basketball Hosts Monomoy Friday Evening

The Winthrop High girls basketyball team, the co-champs of the Northeastern Conference’s South (Lynch) Division, will open play in the Division 4 MIAA state basketball tournament when coach Anthiony Hatzisavas and his crew entertain Monomoy Regional tomorrowe (Friday) evening in the Round of 32.

The Lady Vikings enter the tourney as the 12th seed in D-4, while Monomoy is seeded 21st.

“Monomoy is a good team from the Cape who just recently beat 11th-seeded Bourne a week ago,” said Hatzisavas. “The Herald and Globe both have this game as the best first round matchup in Division 4, so it should be a good one.

“We have been dealing with a couple injuries,” said the coach. “Maddie Stiglets has been out the last couple games, but she will be back Friday, so it will be nice to have our captain back on the court for the state tournament. She really has had a great season and has been a great leader for us.

“Zoey Bogusz has stepped up in her absence to be our point guard along with Reese Brodin, who has also been dealing with an ankle injury,” Hatzisavas continued. “Grace Fleuriel and Kailey Farrell have been tremendous for us down low all season and I expect them to have a big impact on the game Friday night.

“This will be my first game as a head coach for a state tournament game and I am very excited for the challenge and I know the girls are as well,” Hatzisavas added. “We’ve had four great days of practice leading up to this contest. The biggest thing we can do is take it one day/game at a time and never get caught looking ahead. We’ve faced many tough opponents this year and I hope they have prepared us for Friday night.” The winner Friday night will advance to the Sweet 16 where they most likely will travel to 5th seeded Cohasset, which is taking on the winner of the Monument Mountain vs. Fellowship Christian encounter.

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