Sports 01-08-2015


Girls hockey team

wins two, now 6-0

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldog hockey team took care of some important business this past week, defeating two key Northeast Hockey League rivals, Marblehead and Beverly, to improve their record to a perfect 6-0.v

Sunday’s contest against Marblehead at Salem State University saw the Lady Bulldogs fall behind early, 1-0, but then roar back with five unanswered goals to claim a 5-1 triumph.

Nicole Pucillo, assisted by Annie Mahoney, got the equalizer soon after the Marblehead tally to leave matters at 1-1 after one period. The Lady Bulldogs, led by the offensive firepower of its first line of senior captain Caroline McKinnon, Flora English, and Caroline O’Keefe, then assumed control in the middle stanza. McKinnon and English both scored two goals and added two assists (on each other’s goals), with O’Keefe assisting on two of the lamplighters.

“Our first line really took charge,” said WHS head coach Anthony Martucci. “Marblehead always plays us tough and they were undefeated coming into the game with us. But after they scored early, we rose to the challenge.”

Two days later the Lady Bulldogs hosted Beverly, which has been the top Winthrop rival in the NHL for the past two seasons, before a big crowd at Larsen Rink that was filed with youth hockey players for “wear your jersey night.”

The Lady Bulldogs did not disappoint their young admirers, battling the visitors up-and-down the ice throughout the contest. After a scoreless first frame, O’Keefe gave Winthrop a 1-0 edge in the second period when she took the puck at the blue line, moved in on goal, and slid a nice shot between the pads of the Beverly goalie  “It was the kind of play you typically do not expect from an eighth grader,” said Martucci. Linemates English and McKinnon (who now has 92 career points as she nears the 100-point mark) were credited with assists.

Beverly knotted matters before the period ended, but at the nine-minute mark of the third frame, Michaela Norris lit the lamp, assisted by Olivia Shkliew (whose typically-hard work along the boards made things happen) and Mahoney.

The teams engaged in a frantic battle in the final minutes, as Winthrop had a power play opportunity to add an insurance goal and Beverly pulled its goalie in the final minute in favor of a sixth skater.

However, Lady Bulldog goalie Gretchen Howard and the Winthrop defense held firm to hold onto the 2-1 triumph.

“Gretchen played her usual superb game for us,” said Martucci of the sophomore’s 19-save effort. “She always seems to play well against Beverly. She’s a Panther Killer.”

Martucci also had high praise for his veteran defensive pairing of senior captain Kasey Harris and junior Gabby Kenniston. “Kasey has been playing lock-down defense and Gabby is playing the best hockey of her career,” said the coach. Martucci also lauded the play of two other blue-liners, eighth grader Abby Stafford, who has been improving by leaps-and-bounds, and Megan Chavis, who is coming back from a knee injury.

The Lady Bulldogs will be back in action Monday at the Rivers School rink when they take on Wayland in a non-league contest and will host Marblehead Wednesday. Face-off at Larsen for that tilt is 6:10.

WHS boys hockey team

remains undefeated in NEC

The Winthrop High boys hockey team defeated Saugus, 5-2, Saturday to remain unbeaten in the Northeastern Conference. Coach Dale Dunbar’s Vikings now sit atop the NEC Large Division standings with a 3-0-1 record and are 5-1-1 overall.

Jonathan Griffiths and Marc Ferullo both scored two goals against the Sachems, with Pat Todisco also lighting the lamp. Dan Brogan assisted on two of the goals and Jon Casey, Noah Hodgkins, and Mike Norris each earned an assist. Ray Feeley picked up the win in net.

Earlier in the week the Vikings competed in the Saugus Holiday Tournament. Winthrop ran into a strong Melrose squad in the tourney opener, dropping a 4-1 decision. Freshman Steve Holgersen scored the lone Viking tally, assisted by Alex Anzuoni and Charlie Page.

However, Dunbar’s crew bounced back the following night to earn a 3-2 win over NEC rival Peabody, which tied the Vikings in an earlier meeting between the teams. Although the tournament contest was not a league game, it nonetheless was sweet to come out on top of the Vikings’ chief rival in the NEC’s North Division.

The encounter was a defensive struggle for 43:11 of its 45:00. After a scoreless first period, Page gave Winthrop a 1-0 advantage, assisted by Ferullo, in the middle frame. Matt Tarantino then gave Winthrop some breathing room with a tally midway through the final period, assisted by Gene August. However, Peabody got on the board with 1:49 to go to close the gap to 2-1. The Vikings responded quickly just moments later when freshman Henry Brooks, assisted by Page and Anzuoni, beat the Peabody goalie to make it 3-1, but the Tanners counterpunched with another quick tally to make it a one-goal affair.

However, WHS goalie Tom DiBenedetto slammed the door shut in the final minute when Peabody pulled its goalie for a sixth skater to preserve the Viking victory.

“Our scoring has been spread out, which has been a key to our success,” said Dunbar. “We’ve also been receiving fantastic goaltending from both Tommy and Ray. They’ve been doing a great job for us.”

Dunbar and his crew were set to host Beverly last night (Wednesday) and will entertain Gloucester Saturday evening at 6:30. They will travel to Salem State to face Danvers next Wednesday.

WHS gymnasts open

with win over H-W

The Winthrop High gymnastics team opened its 2015 season with a victory over Hamilton-Wenham Friday evening, 121.05-111.5

“It was a great way to open the season,” said WHS head coach Melissa Wiles. The Lady Vikings got off to a strong start on the bars, led by Christa Vaccaro with a score of 8.8. Captain Julia Duplin (7.3) and Captain Mackenzie Chiudina (7.0) also scored well for the Lady Vikings. Jamie Gobiel, Kaitlyn Carter, and Lacey Scott also competed for Winthrop.

Although beam is the team’s weakest event, Winthrop girls turned in some great routines, led by Vaccaro (8.1) and Taylor Reilly (7.1).  Senior Marina Huenchunir, competing for the first time ever in gymnastics, scored a solid 6.3.  Molly Janeilis, Gobiel, and Scott also competed for Winthrop on the beam.

Next up was the vault. “It’s a quick event, so it is one of our favorites,” noted Wiles, “and this was our highest scoring event of the night.”

Vacccaro posted the top score of the meet with a 9.0. Chiudina performed a powerful front handspring and scored an 8.25. Not far behind was Scott , also with a front handspring, that received an 8.2 from the judges. Other Lady Vikings who took part in the vault were Janielis, Carter, and Duplin.

In the floor exercise, the combination of Scott, Carter, Duplin, and Chiudina contributed to the final tally with a total of 30 points on floor.

“The meet was very smooth,” noted Wiles, who is receiving invaluable assistance this season from assistant coach Daria Millerick. “It was the first one of the year so I’m hoping all of the girls got their jitters out and now we can only go up from here.”

Wiles and her crew were set to journey to Salem for a meet with the Witches this past Tuesday.

WHS girls track

in Gloucester meet

The Winthrop High girls indoor track team came up short in its meet last week at Gloucester, dropping a 48-38 decision to the Lady Fishermen.

A trio of Lady Vikings came through with first-place performances in their individual events: Briana Campbello won the shotput with a toss of 22′-9″; Carly O’Keefe captured the 55 hurdles in a time of 9.5 seconds; and Kristen Ford ran to victory in the two mile with a clocking of 14:13.

Second place finishes were turned in by Olivia Cooney in the shotput with a throw of 22′-1″; Sela Zalwango, who tied for second in the hurdles in 10.7; Regina Garufo with a sprint of 51.0 in the 300 dash; Holly Benson with a clocking of 1:49.4 in the 600; and Heidy Benson with a time of 3:44.7 in the 1000.

Lady Vikings whose third-place efforts contributed a point to the Winthrop cause were Emily McGovern in the 55 dash in 8.7; Haley Holden in the 600 in 2:01; Nina Leone in the mile in 6:26.1; and Lucy Floyd in the two mile in 16:46.

The 4 x 400 relay team contributed the final five points to the Lady Vikings’ total with a victory in a time of 4:34.2, which was 5.7 seconds faster than their Gloucester counterparts.

The Winthrop girls will meet Danvers today (Thursday) and Marblehead next Thursday.

Bouche scores eight

points for trackmen

Marc Bouche accounted for eight of the 13.5 points earned by the Winthrop High indoor track team in the Vikings’ meet last week with Gloucester.

Marc captured first place in the high jump with a leap of 5′-7″ and then took second place in the 55 hurdles in a clocking of 9.2 seconds.

Other Vikings who contributed to the Winthrop scoring effort, all with third place efforts, were: Devin Racow in the hurdles in 10.7; Christopher Beaudry in the 600 dash in 1:38.1; Brian Perrin in the 1000 in 3:39.6; Cormac MacPhail in the mile in 6:03; and William Holden in the two-mile run in 11:55. Cal Garufo earned a half-point with his tie for third place in the 300 dash in 42.4.

The Winthrop boys are scheduled to face Danvers today (Thursday) and Marblehead next Thursday.

WHS basketball team

drops two close contests

“So near, yet so far away,” was a lyric from a Bobby Vinton tune (Halfway to Paradise) from the 1960s, but that has become the unfortunate theme song for the Winthrop High boys basketball team thus far this season. With the 2015 campaign at the one-third mark, the Vikings stand at 0-7, with four of those losses having been decided by one or two possessions. Two of those tough defeats came this past week in a 52-47 loss at Pope John of

Everett and a heartbreaking loss at Gloucester Monday in which the Fishermen sank a three-point basket at the buzzer to overcome a one-point Winthrop lead.

“We’re coming closer and closer, but we haven’t been able to close out these tight games,” said WHS head coach Mike DiMarino. Winthrop played what DiMarino termed his team’s ” best game of the year” against Gloucester and led all the way. The Vikings were up by six at the half and, though they never could break away, they appeared to be in control in the second half. However, with Winthrop ahead by a point, Gloucester had the ball with 10 seconds to go. The Fishermen missed their first shot, but the long rebound landed amidst a bevy of players, with the ensuing scramble resulting in the ball coming out to a Fisherman beyond the arc. He let the ball fly in desperation at the buzzer and it swished through the hoop for the Vikings’ demise.

In the contest with Pope John, Winthrop led at the half, 20-17, and trailed by two with nine seconds to go with a last chance at a tie. However, the Vikings lost the ball and PJ sank a trey at the buzzer for the five-point victory.

Terry Halvorsen led Winthrop with 21 points in the Gloucester contest, including six buckets from three-point land.   In the Pope John battle, Jake Chiudina had 14 and Bobby Fisher hit for 12.

The Vikings were set to host Swampscott last night (Wednesday) and will entertain Peabody Friday. They will travel to Lynn English Tuesday.

WHS Sports through the years

10 years ago

January 6, 2005

The WHS girls basketball team enjoyed a successful week, capturing the Stop & Shop Holiday Classic played at Chelsea High with a 60-42 triumph over Whittier Tech in the tourney final. Freshman Kristen Finn led Winthrop with 17 points, while Kristin Visco hit for 12 points and grabbed 10 rebounds. Rachele DeLeo, who had scored 24 points in the tourney semifinal, reached double figures with 10 points. The Lady Vikings then

returned to competition against their Northeastern Conference rivals and earned a

50-49 triumph over Lynn English in overtime. Visco led the way for coach Peter Grimes’s team with 20 points.

Senior Anthony Griffin hit for 22 points to lead the WHS boys basketball team to a 57-38 win over Lynn English. Griffin was 11-for-11 from the free throw line.

Winthrop’s B.U. hockey alumni, Mike Eruzione and Dale Dunbar, were among the invited guests who attended the opening of the Agganis Arena, B.U.’s new $95 million hockey facility, this past Monday.

20 years ago

January 12, 1995

Coach Peter Grimes’s WHS boys basketball team improved to 6-1 this week with a 74-65 triumph over Swampscott and a 75-58 win over Marblehead. Todd Doherty scored 18 points in the Swampscott victory and Lawone Bennett led the way with 14 against Marblehead.

The WHS hockey team improved to 5-1 in the NEC with a 5-3 win over Lynn English and a 5-0 shutout of Beverly. Steve Calla scored two goals and teammates Jck Cimino, Chris Ford, and Jim Clark scored a goal apiece against English. Michael Palmer lit the lamp twice and Calla, Robert Boncore, and Rich Coscia scored one goal each against Beverly.

30 years ago

January 9, 1985

Coach Bill Falasca’s WHS hockey team, the defending NEC champion, is riding high with a 6-0 record after a 9-2 win over Lynn English. Bobby Crossman has been the Vikings’ top scorer with 14 goals and 10 assists.

The WHS boys basketball team earned its first win of the season last week in thrilling fashion, defeating Lynn Classical 52-51. Senior Jimmy Lyons sank a jump shot with four seconds to go to give the Vikings the dramatic triumph. Center Tom Juravich scored a team-high 17 points. Winthrop then earned another dramatic win, 61-57 in overtime against

Salem. Lyons led Winthrop with 21 points and Sean Conway hit for 19 to pace the Vikings.

The WHS girls basketball team stands at 6-3 on the season, led by Maureen Sheltry, who is leading the Lady

Vikings in both scoring and

rebounding thus far this season.

Franci Dolan and Sheila Kennedy combined for 16 points to lead the unbeaten WHS girls indoor track team to an important 43-43 tie with Swampscott, thus setting the stage for a showdown for the NEC title with undefeated


40 years ago

January 15, 1975

Coach Bill Falasca’s WHS hockey team now is tied for first place in the NEC with Lynn English thanks to wins of 6-1 over Saugus and 3-1 over Salem. Sophomore

Jackie Burke scored two goals in the showdown with Saugus, as did “Mr. Lamplighter,” Bobby MacDonald. Viking goalie Ken Lorance made 40 saves in the Salem triumph.

Coach Henry McCarthy’s WHS boys basketball team made it five wins in a row with victories over Swampscott and Lynn English this past week. Steve Demetriou paced the

Vikings in scoring in both games with 18 and 17 points respectively.

50 years ago

January 14, 1965

Coach John Myers’s WHS basketball team, led by Capt. Mike Princi with 14 points, defeated Woburn, 70-56. Mike Kelleher added 12 points and Bob Kneeland hit for 10. However, Winthrop suffered its first league loss with a 61-54 defeat to Andover. Billy McGillicuddy led Winthrop with 16 points.

60 years ago

January 13, 1955

Capt. Tommy Flynn sank three of five free throws in the final minute to propel Winthrop to a 49-45 win over Marblehead, the second straight triumph for coach John Sheehan’s team, which opened its Northeastern Conference schedule with a 67-47 runaway victory over Amesbury.

70 years ago

January 11, 1945

The Winthrop High basketball team made its debut as a member of the Northeastern Conference an impressive one this week, with a 38-36 triumph over Amesbury and a 41-33 win over Newburyport. Capt. Billy Countaway scored 23 points in the win over Newburyport, the defending NEC champ. Myron Atlas and Milton Neal also played well in the big victory.

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