Boys beat Snowden to qualify for tourney
The Winthrop High boys basketball team punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney in convincing fashion with a 54-47 victory over Snowden Academy Monday evening before a packed house at Holland Gymnasium that also featured Senior Night festivities.
The Vikings had yielded 74 points to Snowden in the teams’ first meeting a few weeks ago (when Snowden drained 10 three-pointers), but a stout defensive effort, especially in the first half, proved the key to the Viking victory in the rematch. Winthrop held a 10-9 lead after one quarter, but expanded their advantage to 32-16 at the half.
“We had a total team effort on defense,” said WHS head coach Mike DiMarino. “We played them man-to-man full court the entire game to make them work for every basket and every trip down court. We used a lot of our players to wear them down and that proved to be the big difference from the first game.”
Winthrop maintained its double digit lead after the intermission to take a 43-28 edge into the fourth period. Snowden never could get closer than 10 points, hitting some foul shots down the stretch that made for the 54-47 finale.
Josh Babb turned in a superlative all-around performance, scoring 12 points, grabbing eight rebounds, and dishing out seven assists, while directing a Winthrop offense that had great success against Snowden’s defensive pressure, which proved to be another big difference from the first encounter. Curtis Lockett was high scorer for Winthrop with 17 points and Ervin DeJesus also hit for double figures with 10 points.
“It was a great atmosphere for Senior Night and I’m really happy for the team,” said DiMarino. “One of our goals this season was to be playing our best basketball in February and to reach the tourney. The team has worked hard all season long and never gave up. They truly deserve it.”
The six seniors who were honored for their contributions to the Viking basketball program were Babb, DeJesus, Jeff Laguerre, Mike Lessard, Max Floyd, and Rob Ascolillo.
Winthrop, which qualified for the Division 4 state tourney under the so-called Sullivan Rule by which they achieved a .500 record against fellow D-4 opponents (which in this case was just Snowden), now will await the announcement, which is expected Friday, of their seeding ans first round opponent.
“We feel that the strength of our schedule (Winthrop plays in the Northeastern Conference against predominantly D-1 and D-2 schools) and the way that we’ve won games in recent days with our bask to the wall will serve us well in the tourney,” said DiMarino.
Indeed, one such contest came last Thursday at Saugus, a thrilling 63-62 victory, in which Winthrop battled back from a deficit that was as large as 18 points early in the third period.
The Player of the Night for Winthrop indisputably was Laguerre, who turned in what DiMarino termed “one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen by a high school basketball player.”
To say that Laguerre was on fire would be an understatement: Jeff shot 15-for-17 from the field, including six from three point land for a total of 36 points.
However, Jeff’s amazing performance would have been just a footnote had Winthrop not tightened up its defense in the second half to overcome a 43-26 deficit at the intermission. DiMarino singled out Lessard, who despite giving away five inches, shut down Saugus’ 6-5 center to take away their inside game, and DeJesus, who also is undersized underneath, for their gritty and gutsy efforts on the defensive end.
Two Vikings, Babb and DeJesus, were named to the NEC South all-star team. Winthrop most likely will start play in the Division 4 North Sectional at the beginning of next week.
Girls hockey team ends regular season with 9-1 win
The Winthrop Lady Bulldog hockey team capped its regular season with a 9-1 rout of St. Joseph’s Prep Tuesday afternoon at Larsen Rink in a contest that had been postponed by Blizzard Nemo.
Seven Lady Bulldogs lit the red lamp, paced by two goal performances by Kara Donati and Flora English. Freshman Julia Dembro and sophomore Angela Sarette potted their first career varsity goals. Also reaching the back of the net for Winthrop were Caroline McKinnon (who has 11 goals and 28 points on the season), Julianna Kennedy, and Emma English.
The contest never was in doubt, as Winthrop grabbed a 3-0 lead after one period and led 7-1 after two frames. Gretchen Howard and Kayla Yarrow split the duties in net.
The Lady Bulldogs came out on the short end of a 3-1 decision to Masconomet Saturday in a contest that was highlighted by Senior Night festivities in which seniors Donati, Erin O’Leary, and Tori Matos were recognized for their contributions to the Lady Bulldog hockey program.
McKinnon was the lone Winthrop player to beat the Masco goalie, who is one of the top netminders in the girls’ ranks and who turned aside 47 Lady Bulldog shots on goal.
Winthrop pulled its goalie for a sixth skater in the final minute with the score at 2-1. However, Kennedy hit a post and Masco capitalized on the empty net for the 3-1 finale.
Coach Anthony Martucci and his Lady Bulldogs, who finished with a stellar 9-5-4 mark on the season, now will await word of their seeding and first round opponent in the upcoming Division 1 state tournament.
Boys drop 4-2 contest to Beverly
The Winthrop High hockey team almost made it all the way back from a 3-0 deficit with a pair of goals in the third period, but a penalty late in the game gave first place Beverly a power play on which the visiting Panthers capitalized to skate away with a 4-2 victory Tuesday evening at Larsen Rink.
The contest was a nip-and-tuck 1-0 affair after two periods in favor of Beverly, the first place team in the North Division of the Northeastern Conference and one of the top ranked teams in EMass. The Panthers, who have only one loss this season, then appeared to be in the driver’s seat when they potted two goals early in the third frame to move out to a 3-0 advantage.
However, the Vikings never gave up and took advantage of two power play opportunities, with Pierce Lamberton and Jake McKinnon lighting the lamp, the latter with about four minutes to play.
However, a questionable call by the ref returned the favor to Beverly for a power play of their own and the subsequent goal made it a 4-2 contest. The Vikings pulled goalie Ray Feeley for a sixth skater inside the two minute mark, but despite heavy pressure in the Beverly end, Winthrop was unable to pull closer.
Earlier this past week, Winthrop tied Danvers 3-3. Chris Page struck twice for Winthrop and Alex Anzuoni potted his first career varsity goal. In a non league encounter Monday with Mansfield, Winthrop came out on the short end of a 4-0 decision in which WHS head coach Dale Dunbar (whose team was in the midst of a stretch of three games in four days) gave significant ice time to many of his charges who ordinarily do not get a lot of PT.
The Vikings, who now stand at 9-5-5 on the year, will close out their regular season tonight (Thursday), hosting Blue Hills Regional. Senior Night festivities will highlight the evening’s fun at Larsen.
O’Keefe finishes 8th in hurdles at D-4 Meet
Carly O’Keefe won a ribbon at the Division 4 State Meet held Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in the 55 meter hurdles. Carly had the sixth fastest time in the preliminaries (9.39) and then came home in eighth in the finals in a time of 9.49 to earn Winthrop’s only point for the team standings.
“Carly did a great job at States,” said WHS girls head coach Mark D’Amico. “In the preliminary round she ran her best time of 9.39 which bettered her previous best time by 1.2 seconds, which is a lot in the 55 meter hurdles. In the finals she ran her second best time of 9.49 and came in eighth place overall out of 25e girls. She was one of only two sophomores to make the finals which is very impressive. The rest were juniors and seniors.”
Other Lady Vikings who competed were Holly Benson in the 600 meter run in 1:50.42; Michaela McCarthy and Julia Wallace in the high jump; Elizabeth Anderson in the shotput with a toss of 27-0; and the 4 x 400 and 4 x 800 relay quartets.
“Holly Benson did well in the 600 meter dash, running her second best time of 1:50.42,” said D’Amico. “Elizabeth Anderson had a good day throwing for 27 feet.
“In the 4 x 400 relay, Jordan Griffiths put in a great last performance in the opening leg with a split of 66.0 to put the team in second place to start,” continued D’Amico. “Carly O’Keefe then took the baton and ran a personal best split of 66.34, keeping us in second place. Third leg alternate Ashley Jurovich (Amy Sena had injured herself the week before in a meet) did a fine job filling in and ran a 72.91, dropping us to fourth place, but anchor leg Holly Benson grabbed the baton and raced back to grab second place in their heat with her best time of 67.99 and a overall time of 4:33.54.
“In the 4 x 800, eighth grader Heidy Benson put the team off to a great start, running her best time of 2:48.86. Then she passed the baton to Michaela McCarthy, who ran a time of 3:02.9. Our third leg was Maria Rago, who ran a split of 2:58.5, and anchoring was Abbie Love, who ran her best time of 2:48.9, passing a girl in the last 100 hundred meters for a time of 11:39.4.
“The girls ran well this meet and did a great job finishing up the season,” concluded D’Amico. “They all set personal goals this season and achieved their goals and more. I would like to thank the seniors for doing a great job all season and for their leadership.”
On the boys’ side, Jordan Corbett-Frank was the lone Winthrop representative, competing in the 55 meter dash in a time of 7.33.
Oyola named Coach of Year, trio named all-stars
Winthrop High girls head basketball coach Ignacio Oyola has been named the Coach of the Year for the South Division of the Northeastern Conference. Oyola guided his squad to an NEC South title in which they won all 10 games against their five NEC South rivals.
Three members of the team were named to the NEC all-star team: senior Temison Meggison, junior Ashelyne Babb, and sophomore Kristen Siscamanis. The girls’ game all-star game will e played Friday evening at Marblehead at 6:00.
The Lady Vikings will wrap up their regular season tonight (Thursday) against Somerville. They then will await word of their seeding and first round opponent in the North Sectional of the MIAA State Tournament.