Winthrop High School Sports Roundup

WHS boys hockey team edges  Marblehead for fourth straight

The Winthrop High boys hockey team rolled to its fourth win in a row with a tight 1-0 victory over Marblehead Saturday at Salem State College. The triumph marked the third successive shutout for Viking netminder Ray Feeley and also avenged a 2-1 loss to Marblehead two weeks earlier.

Winger Chris Page potted the game’s only goal in the second period, assisted by linemate Pierce Lamberton and Steven Goddard. “Chris has really been doing it all for us lately,” said WHS head coach Dale Dunbar of his talented junior, who has accounted for five goals and four assists during the Vikings’ winning streak.

However, Page was hardly alone in the Star of the Game spotlight for Winthrop. The aforementioned Feeley turned in another solid game between the pipes and came up big when Marblehead pulled its goalie in the final minute.

Dunbar also had high words of praise for his second line of senior Jake McKinnon, sophomore Zack Deeb, and sophomore Dylan Driscoll, who neutralized  Marblehead’s big first line for the entire contest. “They were right on top of them the entire game,” said Dunbar. “The Marblehead first line has some size, but our guys matched them in terms of physicality.

“It was a total team effort,” continued Dunbar. “Everybody did their job and we shut them down the whole way.”

The win culminated a nice mid-season run for the Vikings, who now stand at 6-2-4 on the year and sport one of the top goals-against average in the state, yielding about 1.0 goals per game.

Two of the victories in the skein came against non-league rival Lynnfield by identical scores of 3-0. In their first encounter at the Peabody rink, Winthrop scored a goal in each period: Lamberton (from Page and Pat Todisco); Mark Ferullo (from Lamberton); and Page, unassisted on a wrap-around goal in which he tucked the puck inside the post.

The second meeting saw Page open the scoring (assisted by Todisco and Ferullo) and sophomore linemate Todisco light the lamp twice (assisted by Page and Lamberton and then Ferullo).

Sandwiched in between those twin wins was a thrilling, come-from-behind triumph over Lynn. After spotting Lynn an early 2-0 advantage, Lamberton got one back before the first period ended, assisted by Todisco and Page. The teams traded markers in the second frame with Todisco (who also has been on a roll of his own of late) lighting the lamp for Winthrop, assisted by Page.

The Vikings still had to erase a 3-2 deficit entering the final period, which they did in style. McKinnon and Page got Winthrop even at 4-4, but it was Page who sparked the red light for the final time in the final minute to give the Vikings a dramatic 5-4 victory, much to the delight of the Viking faithful.

Dunbar and his crew, who are nearing qualification for a spot in the state tourney, will host Longmeadow this evening (Thursday) at 6:00. They travel to Peabody Saturday and to Gloucester next Wednesday.

Lady Vikings earn  two more tough wins

“Siscamanis stole the ball!!!” is a phrase that may not ring a bell for the Winthrop High girls basketball team (and perhaps not even for some of their parents), but the steal and subsequent free throws by the Winthrop sophomore in the waning seconds that propelled the Winthrop High girls basketball team to a 47-46 win over Lynn Classical Tuesday evening in the Holland gymnasium certainly will go down as a classic in Lady Viking annals. (Though admittedly not to the extent that Johnny Most’s call of John Havlicek’s steal against the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference championship series more than 50 years ago has become entrenched in Celtics’ lore.)

Siscamanis’s play (described below) capped off a nice run for the Winthrop High girls basketball team, who completed their schedule against the six teams from the North (Large) Division of the Northeastern Conference in fine fashion by earning victories over Beverly Friday and Lynn Classical Tuesday. After dropping their first two encounters with North teams (Lynn English and Peabody), Coach Ignacio Oyola’s crew has reeled off four straight wins over their NEC large school foes.

Friday’s 50-41 win over Beverly was tighter than the final score would indicate. Beverly moved out to a 30-26 lead at the half, two periods of play which Oyola labeled as “the worst defensive effort in my three years here as coach” in a halftime talk to his squad.

His words obviously had their intended effect as the Lady Vikings came out with fire after the intermission and limited Beverly to just four points in the third period and seven in the fourth for a total of 11 over the final two frames.

Winthrop maintained its offensive production at the other end and eventually pulled away for the triumph. Siscamanis led the Lady Viking scoring chart with 14 points, followed by Liana Ferullo with 12, all of which came on a quartet of treys. “Liana really kept us in the game when we were struggling in the first half,” noted Oyola. “She hit two three pointers in the second period when Beverly was making a move and then hit another in the fourth quarter that held them off.”

Other scorers for Winthrop were Ashelyne Babb, Jen Adamson, and Nina Bartlett with six points each, Nikki Tsiotis with four, and Polli Tsiotis with two.

Tuesday’s encounter with always-tough Classical was a battle royale from the opening tap. Classical led 11-10 after one period; Winthrop held a 25-22 edge at the half; and Classical had a 37-35 advantage after three frames.

The decisive play came with Classical inbounding the ball from the sideline in their end of the floor. Siscamanis was on the Classical opponent inbounding the ball as Winthrop pressed man-to-man. As a five seconds violation neared, it appeared as though the Classical girl resorted to trying to bounce the ball off Siscamanis’s leg to go out of bounds in order to get a new five seconds.

But Kristen backed off slightly as the ball came at her and she ended up grabbing the loose ball for the big steal. She then took off for the Classical basket and as the Classical girls converged on her, she was fouled. Kristen stepped to the line and sank both throws from the charity stripe on the one-and-one to boost Winthrop into a 47-46 lead with 5.8 seconds to play.

Classical called a play and got off a shot, but it fell short as the Lady Vikings and their fans exploded with delight.

Siscamanis ended up with 12 points, followed by Bartlett with 11 and Babb with eight. Temison Meggison, who snared some key rebounds in the final period, hit for six, Alyssa Mackey added four, and the trio of Jen Adamson, Nikki Tsiotis, and Ferullo contributed two apiece.

“It was a real nail-biter,” Oyola noted in a bit of an understatement. “But I told the girls afterward that good teams win the close games and that’s what we’ve been doing so far.”

The Lady Vikings, who now are 11-3 on the season and have punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney, will engage in rematches with their NEC rivals from their own South Division (against whom they went 5-0 at the start of the season) starting Friday at Swampscott. They will entertain Gloucester Tuesday.

Boys hoop team’s rally falls short vs. Classical

Although the Winthrop High boys basketball team dropped all three of its contests this past week, the Vikings showed that their never-say-die attitude is earning respect throughout the Northeastern Conference.

A case in point was Tuesday’s encounter at Lynn Classical in which Winthrop found itself down 38-13 at the half and by as much as 35 points in the third period. However, the Vikings, paced by Josh Babb (who poured in 33 points over the final 16 minutes), pumped in 58 points after the intermission and came as close as nine points (with the ball) before finally succumbing, 83-71.

“We probably played our worst half of basketball this season in the first half,” said WHS head coach Mike DiMarino. “But the team never gave up and hustled and fought right to the final buzzer.”

The 58 point team total and Babb’s 33 may be some sort of WHS school records for a half. (The late, great Bob Remer probably would have known.)  In any event, they foretell the possibility of good things to come for the Vikings as they enter their final third of the season.

“We play great basketball in spurts, but we have not had the consistency we need in order to win,” said DiMarino. “We’re hoping that in our final seven games we’ll cut down on the sorts of mistakes that have kept us from maintaining the momentum in close games.”

Ervin DeJesus and Curtis Lockett both reached double figures vs. Classical with 16 points apiece.

Last Wednesday the Vikings trekked to Dorchester to take on Snowden Academy, the only Division 4 opponent on the Winthrop schedule. A victory over Snowden in one of the two games between the teams will give the Vikings a berth in the post-season state tournament. However, that goal will have to wait until the teams meet again on February 18 as Snowden emerged with a 74-69 victory.

A slow start in the first half once again placed Winthrop at a disadvantage (38-29), but the Vikings fought gamely after the intermission to make it a close contest. DeJesus enjoyed a banner game with 30 points and Lockett pitched in with 17.

Friday evening’s tilt with Beverly saw the Vikings take an early lead, 19-18 after the first frame, but the host Panthers opened things up in the second period to take a 41-28 advantage at the half. Winthrop closed the gap for a span in the second half, but Beverly eventually pulled away for a 75-56 win. Babb and DeJesus led Winthrop in the scoring department with 20 and 15 points respectively.

The Vikings will host Swampscott Friday and make the long ride to Gloucester Tuesday.

Kids get free admission for Friday’s boys’ hoop game

All elementary and middle school children will be admitted free of charge to Friday evening’s Winthrop High boys basketball game with Swampscott which will feature shooting contests and prizes at halftime for the younger set.

“We want to encourage the younger kids to come to the game and see what Winthrop High basketball is all about,” said WHS head coach Mike DiMarino.

The opening tip-off is set for 7:00.

Track teams compete against Swampscott

The Winthrop High girls and boys indoor track teams took on Swampscott last Thursday.

On the girls’ side, Michaela McCarthy took first place in the high jump with a leap of 4-8. Teammate Julia Wallace took second with a jump of 4-6.

Other Lady Vikings who placed three points on the Winthrop side of the scoresheet with second place finishes were Carly O’Keefe in the 55 meter hurdles in 9.6 and Holly Benson in the 1000 with a clocking of 1:51.7.

Third place efforts, worth one point for the Winthrop cause, came from Elizabeth Anderson in the 55 dash in 8.6, Jordan Griffiths in the 300 in 49.5, and Abigail love in the two mile in 14:10.

For the boys, Jordan Corbett Frank took second in the 55 dash in 6.9 seconds and Shawn Preble grabbed third in the two mile in 13:23.

Girls hockey team to host Beverly Sat.

The Winthrop Lady Bulldog hockey team moved one point closer to punching their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney with a 2-2  tie at Cambridge last Wednesday. In their other encounter this past week, against perennial girls hockey powerhouse St. Mary’s of Lynn on Saturday, the Winthrop squad came out on the short end of a 6-0 decision in the non-league battle.

Coach Anthony Martucci and his Lady Bulldogs have a huge game Saturday when they host undefeated Beverly at Larsen at 5:00. Beverly, which is in first place in the Northeast Division of the Girls Eastern Mass. Hockey League and whom Winthrop is chasing for the division crown, nipped Winthrop 1-0 in their first encounter earlier in the season.

The Lady Bulldogs travel to Everett next Wednesday.

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