Sports 01-29-2015


WHS boys hockey shoots for NEC title tonight

Larsen Rink should be rockin’ and rollin’ with the Viking Faithful this evening (Thursday) when the Winthrop High hockey team hosts Saugus and shoots for an undisputed Northeastern Conference North Division title.

Thanks to an exciting 2-1 triumph over Marblehead Saturday, coach Dale Dunbar’s squad stands alone atop the NEC North with a 6-1-1 record. Winthrop’s closest rivals, Danvers, Peabody, and Marblehead, all have three losses and a tie, which means that the Vikings need just a tie in either of their final two NEC North contests with Saugus and Beverly (whom Winthrop plays Sunday) to clinch the 2015 North Division championship.

Saturday’s 2-1 win over the visiting Magicians was a classic battle from the opening face-off, much to the delight of the big crowd which included a large number of WHS hockey alumni who were on hand for the celebration later that evening of the 50th anniversary of the hockey program at Winthrop High.

Alex Anzuoni gave Winthrop a 1-0 lead in the opening period with a goal, assisted by Mike Norris and Sean Gillis, in which the puck was dumped into the Marblehead end and Alex beat the Magician defender to the puck. “It was a real hustle goal on Alex’s part,” said Dunbar.

After a scoreless middle stanza, Marblehead knotted matters in the final frame with about 6:30 to play in the game. However, Anzuoni brought the partisan crowd to its feet just two minutes later when he tipped the puck past a Marblehead defenseman and once again raced in and beat the Magician goalie. Charlie Page and Pat Todisco earned assists on the lamplighter.

The Winthrop defense and goaltender Ray Feeley (30 saves) then held on the rest of the way for the 2-1 finale. The Vikings, who are 9-2-1 overall, have outscored their NEC North opponents 33-17 thus far this season, which is almost a 2-1 margin, with a 1.41 goals against average.

Winthrop defeated tonight’s opponent, Saugus (1-6 in the NEC North) by a score of 5-2 in their first encounter. After Sunday’s 12:30 tilt with Beverly at Salem State, the Vikings will play at non-league opponent Belmont next Thursday.

WHS boys working hard, but still looking for wins

The Winthrop High boys basketball team will be seeking its first victory of the season when the Vikings host Gloucester Friday evening at the WHS gym. Winthrop, which had been scheduled to play Revere this past Tuesday (but was snowed-out), dropped a 68-49 decision to Salem last Friday. Terry Halvorsen enjoyed a fine night for the Vikings, hitting for 14 points.

“We’re having difficulty scoring,” said WHS head coach Mike DiMarino. “But the team is working hard and has a great attitude. They give it their all every game right to the final whistle, which says something about the character of this team.”

After the Gloucester contest, the Vikings will travel to Danvers to take on the high-flying Falcons, one of the top five teams in the state.

Lady Vikings edge Salem, 38-36

The Winthrop High girls basketball team turned in what head coach Ignacio Oyola termed, “our most complete game of the season,” with an exciting 38-36 win over a strong Salem squad Friday evening.

The Lady Witches entered the fray sporting a 9-1 record in the Northeastern Conference, including victories over Beverly and Peabody, two teams who had defeated Winthrop in the previous weeks.

However, Winthrop had center Nina Bartlette, who had been out of action for the past two weeks with a sprained ankle, available for limited duty against Salem. Although Nina played only 13 minutes, her contribution extended beyond the eight points and three blocked shots she made to the Winthrop cause. “Nina makes a huge difference for us,” said Oyola of the junior, who checked into the game in the second period. “She has excellent footwork and knows how to get position down low. She was an important factor against a team like Salem, which has a very good tall girl of their own.”

The teams battled about as evenly as possible from the opening tip to the final buzzer. They were deadlocked at 8-8 after one period and 17-17 at the half. Salem held a 30-29 edge after three frames before the Winthrop defense tightened up and limited the Witches to just six points in the final eight minutes.

Kristen Siscamanis led Winthrop with 12 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Niki Tsiotis reached double figures with 10 points and made four steals. Allie Love added seven points (including a huge three-pointer with 4:30 to go that erased a three-point Salem lead and knotted matters at 32-32), and Poli Tsiotis chipped in a free throw.

The final minutes were intense after Love’s clutch trey tied the score. Bartlette sank two free throws to break the deadlock, but Salem tied it up again at 34-34 with 2:50 to play. The teams traded buckets and then Siscamanis nailed a jumper from the elbow with 40 seconds left on the clock. The Witches had their chances to tie, but a steal by Maura Lanza with 20 seconds to play, and then a deflection by Maura (after an ensuing Winthrop turnover) left Salem with a poor shot at the end.

Winthrop was scheduled to meet Revere this past Tuesday, but Mother Nature had other plans. A rescheduled date has not been set. Oyola and his crew will make the long trek to Gloucester Friday evening and will host Danvers next Tuesday at 7:00.

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