The Winthrop High Lady Bulldog hockey team won two both of its games this week in convincing fashion, a 7-0 shutout of Matignon and a 5-1 triumph over Marblehead, to improve to a sterling 7-1 record at the almost-halfway mark of the season. Last Wednesday’s contest at Larsen against Matignon saw WHS head coach Anthony Martucci use many of his younger players liberally throughout the contest. After taking a 1-0 lead into the locker room at the first intermission, the Lady Bulldogs lengthened their advantage to 3-0 at the second horn and then lit the lamp four times in the final frame for the 7-0 finale. Seven different Lady Bulldogs reached the back of the Matignon net: Cat Salvetti, Ariana Dembro, Olivia Shkliew, eighth graders Emma English, Michaela Norris, and Catie O’Shea, and Jessica Ford. For the latter trio, the lamplighters marked their first career varsity goals. “It was nice to see some of our unheralded players get into the scoring column,” said Martucci. “Jessica Ford in particular is one of those girls who is a great teammate and who leads everybody by example with her hard work.” Kayla Yarrow went all the way in the net to earn the shutout, her second of the season. “Kayla played really well,” lauded Martucci of the ninth grader, who made 16 saves on the night. Top playmakers for Winthrop were Caroline McKinnon and Kasey Harris with two assists each. The Lady Bulldogs returned to the ice at Larsen three nights later to take on Marblehead, a team that over the past few years has battled evenly with Winthrop in many hard-fought games. However, with the Lady Bulldogs outshooting their rivals by a wide 48-19 margin, this contest did not turn out to be a replay of the battles of those previous years. Winthrop jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first period and made it 3-0 in the second frame before Marblehead responded with what would prove to be its only goal of the game. The Lady Bulldogs got that one back before the middle frame ended and added an extra piece of insurance in the final stanza to coast to the 5-1 triumph. Eighth grader Savannah Norcross, who centers the WHS second line between English and Shkliew, enjoyed her best-ever performance for the Lady Bulldogs with a hat trick and two assists. Caroline McKinnon, who also had an assist, and Jillian Olivetz scored Winthrop’s other two goals. Gretchen Howard made some fine saves in between the pipes to earn the “W.” “It was a superb team effort,” said Martucci. “Savannah really turned it on for us. She sees the entire ice very well and always seems to make the right decisions with the puck.” The Lady Vikings, who are 4-0 in the Northeastern Hockey League (NHL) and just two wins away from qualifying for the state tourney, will meet three NHL rivals in the coming week. The Lady Bulldogs will host Masconomet at Larsen tonight (Thursday) at 6:10; travel to Medford Saturday evening (7:00); and return home on the holiday Monday afternoon to entertain Cambridge with a 1:00 face off.
WHS hockey team skates past Salem, 9-0
Pat Todisco notched the hat trick and linemate Chris “Buddy” Page lit the lamp twice to pace the Winthrop High hockey team to a 9-0 runaway victory over Salem Saturday evening at Larsen Rink. Both Todisco and Page tallied five points on the evening with three assists and two assists respectively. Freshman Mike Casey also turned in a big night for the Vikings with two goals. “Mike has been coming on stronger with every game,” said WHS head coach Dale Dunbar of Casey, who centers Winthrop’s third line. Steve Goddard assisted on both of Casey’s goals. Dylan Driscoll, who has been out of action for most of the season with an injury, scored his first goal of the year (assisted by Dan Brogan). Zack Deeb, from Driscoll, also hopped onto the lamplighting bandwagon to account for the other Winthrop tally. John Orlando was a multiple point-scorer, earning two assists on teammates’ goals. Dunbar split the goaltending chores three ways, with Ray Feeley, Thomas DiBenedetto, and Brandon Creador each playing a period and sharing in the shutout. Last Wednesday the Vikings trekked northward to take on an undefeated Beverly squad that is ranked in the top 20 in Eastern Mass. The teams battled to a scoreless standoff through the first 40 minutes of play before Beverly broke the deadlock with about five minutes remaining in the game with a power play goal. The Panthers then added an insurance marker for the 2-0 finale. “We played very well,” said Dunbar. “We skated with them the whole way. If the game had remained at even-strength for the final few minutes, it would have been a 0-0 game. But Beverly is a very opportunistic team and you can’t give them an advantage because you’ll pay for it.” Dunbar lauded the play of his goalie, Feeley, for his fine play throughout the contest. The Vikings, who now are 5-4 overall on the season, have three games on tap in a six day stretch, all of which will be in the cozy confines of Larsen. Dunbar’s crew was looking to avenge a season-opening loss to Danvers last night (Wednesday) and then will host Peabody Saturday (6:30 face off) and entertain non-league foe Scituate on the holiday Monday at 6:10.
WHS girls win two of three
The Winthrop High girls basketball team raised their record to a superb 7-2 mark with a pair of wins in their three outings this past week. The Lady Vikings avenged what had been their only loss of the season with a 55-45 triumph over Peabody last Wednesday on the local floor. Winthrop trailed 26-21 at the half, but changed their defensive look after the intermission, limiting Peabody to just six points in the third frame, to close the gap to 32-31 entering the final eight minutes. Coach Ignacio Oyola’s crew then put together one of their finest periods of basketball of the season, outscoring Peabody 24-13 in the decisive fourth quarter, to pull away for the victory. “Defensively, we neutralized Peabody’s taller players by packing it in with a 2-3 zone, while also staying on top of their best outside shooter,” said Oyola. “In the fourth quarter we started beating them down the court in the transition game and that led to some easy buckets.” Theresa Jones led the charge in the final eight minutes, scoring 12 of her game-high 16 points in that time span. Ashelyne Babb also was a force in the fourth period, hitting for six of her 14 points, including a three pointer. Kristen Siscamanis reached double figures with 10 points and the trio of Poli Tsiotis, Nikki Tsiotis, and Nina Bartlett contributed five points apiece. Tuesday night the Lady Vikings battled one of their perennially-tough Northeastern Conference rivals, Lynn Classical, and prevailed by a 47-39 score that was closer than that eight point margin would indicate. The Lady Vikings dominated the first half, taking a 12-8 advantage after one frame and enlarging it to a 29-11 bulge at the half. However, the Lady Rams refused to quit and slowly began to chip away at the Winthrop lead after the intermission, slicing it to 37-23 after three periods and then making a big run in the fourth to get within two points with 1:30 to go. “We began to get careless with the ball and we allowed Classical to get back into it,” said Oyola. “Then they started to build some momentum and we lost our composure. However, fortunately we got it back together and did what we had to do to win the game.” Siscamanis hit two key buckets down the stretch, while Jones (Winthrop’s best free throw shooter) sank a pair of key free throws and Nikki T. hit a huge bucket off a feed from Siscamanis when the game was a two-point affair in that final 1:30. Siscamanis led the Lady Vikes with 15 points, followed by Babb with eight, Jones and Poli T. with six each, Nikki T. and Bartlett (who was plagued with foul trouble) with five apiece, and Jen Adamson with two. Sandwiched between those two wins was a loss to the Lady Bulldogs of Lynn English, who truly are the big dogs of the NEC this season. Winthrop hung close at the half, trailing 26-11, but English pulled away for a eventual 56-23 victory, handing Winthrop’s its first NEC loss of the year. Oyola and his crew will play at Beverly tonight (Thursday) and then travel to Somerville of the Greater Boston League Monday afternoon on the holiday for a 1:30 tip-off. Tough stretch for boys basketball team
Although the Winthrop High boys basketball team came up on the short end of their three contests this week to powerful rivals Peabody, Lynn English, and Lynn Classical of the Northeastern Conference’s Large School Division, coach Mike DiMarino and his crew remain upbeat as they look ahead to the second half of their season. “I have a great group of boys who are working hard and improving every day,” said DMarino. “The NEC always is tough for us because of our size, but we’re giving 100 percent in every game and we’re looking forward to our upcoming contests with schools in our own division.” After hosting NEC rival Beverly tonight (Thursday) for a 7:00 tip-off, the Vikings will play two Division 4 rivals, traveling to Pope John of Everett Monday and hosting Innovation Academy Wednesday evening (7:00 tip-off). If Winthrop wins one of those two D-4 encounters, they will qualify for the state tourney.
Gymnastics team opens season
The Winthrop High gymnastics team got underway this past week with the season-opener held before a full house at the WHS gym Friday evening for a contest against Salem. “This was the second year in a row we were able to have a meet at the high school,” said WHS had coach Melissa Wiles. “The girls love to be able to have meets there because it can fit a lot of spectators. The stands were packed and it was a great turnout.” Winthrop got off to a strong start on the vault. High scorers were Julia Duplin with a 7.8, Mackenzie Chiudina with an 8.0, Caitlin Page with an 8.0, and Christa Vaccaro with an 8.0. Francesco Vigliotta and Krystal Burbank also competed in this event for Winthrop. On the bars, the Lady Vikings’ high scorers were Mackenzie Chiudina with a 7.5, Kaitlyn Carter with a 7.1. Jessica LoGiudice with a 7.2, and Christa Vaccaro with an 8.6. Also competing on bars for Winthrop were Julia Duplin and Caitlin Page. “Bars is a tough event and the girls really came together,” noted Wiles. “Christa has the toughest bar routine with a release hold. She is a strong performer and really helped the team boost our bar score.” On the beam, high scores came from Krystal Burbank with a 7.5 and Christa Vaccaro with an 8. “This is Krystal’s best event,” said Wiles. “You can tell she loves it because she is always smiling at the judges. She has been working hard all season and she nailed her routine.” Also on beam for Winthrop were Samantha Mooney, Kaitlin Carter, Jessica LoGiudice, and Taylor Reilly. The last event was the floor. “On floor this night we had Dakotah Squire who just learned her routine three days before competing,” said Wiles. “She had been practicing non-stop and it really showed.” Other Lady Vikings on floor were Carolyn Hetherton who scored a 6.6, Caitlin Page with a 7.25, and Christa Vaccaro with an 8.7. Mackenzie Chiudina also competed on floor for Winthrop. “The home team always has floor as their last event,” added Wiles. “This is because it is the most flashy event. The girls really get to show off their tumbling and the heights that they can reach.” The final tally showed Salem eking out a 124.4-121.85 victory. “Salem gave us a good challenge and they were a great eye-opener. The girls know they need to work harder to rise up to our opponents,” said Wiles. Winthrop’s next meet was Monday against Masconomet.”Masco started their meets in late December so they already had a few under their belts,” said Wiles. “They were very confident in their routines and it showed in the final score (Masco won the meet, 131.5-124.2).” However, Wiles was pleased with her team’s effort. “All I want to see is that the girls are working hard,” said the coach. “We scored two points higher in this meet and our routines were much stronger.” On vault, Winthrop was led by Francesco Vigliotta with a 7.6, Julia Duplin with a 7.85, Caitlin Page with a 7.9, and Christa Vaccaro with an 8.95. “Christa has a tough vault,” said Wiles. “It is called a yerchenko pike. She has been working hard on it and we are really looking forward to that score being a 9 sometime this season. As with the first meet, vault was our strongest event.” Also on vault for Winthrop were Julia Duplin, Krystal Burbank, and Mackenzie Chiudina On bars, Winthrop had Mackenzie Chuidina with a 6.5, Carolyn Hetherton with a 7.1, Jessica Logiudice with a 7.7, and Christa Vaccaro with an 8.7. “It was nice to have Carolyn on bars tonight to help support the team,” said Wiles. “She has a very clean bar routine and is an essential part of the line up.” Also on bars for Winthrop were Julia Duplin and Caitlin Page. Winthrop scorers on beam included Kaitlyn Carter with a 7.0. “Kaitlyn is a new addition to the team this year as a freshmen,” said Wiles “I couldn’t be happier with how hard she works. She’s always asking for tips or critiques. You can tell she has done her beam routine hundreds of times because she goes through it with such ease and really fast, too.” The Lady Vikings also had Krystal Burbank with a 7.3, Jessica LoGiudice with a 7.4, and Christa Vaccaro with an 8.2. “Beam is our weakest event so I was very happy with what I saw the girls accomplish,” said Wiles. Also competing on beam for Winthrop were Taylor Reilly and Samantha Mooney. On the floor event, Mackenzie Chiudina scored a 7.7, Jessica LoGiudice a 7.7, Caitlin Page an 8.7, and Christa Vaccaro an 8.9. “The girls finished up the meet with our second strongest event,” commented Wiles. “Everyone had great tumbling and really showed off their skills.” Carolyn Hetherton and Dakotah Squire also competed on the floor for Winthrop. “Even though we didn’t win this meet, it will only make us work harder for the next,” concluded Wiles, whose gymnasts will travel to Hamilton-Wenham Friday for their next meet.