Sports 02-05-2015

WHS SPORTS ROUNDUP

Boys hockey team wins NEC North title

The Winthrop High boys hockey team claimed an undisputed Northeastern Conference North Division title in fine fashion this past week, defeating Saugus 5-1 last Wednesday at Larsen Rink and then avenging their lone NEC North loss of the season with a 4-2 triumph over Beverly at Salem State College Saturday.

“The team did a great job, as they have done all year,” said WHS head coach Dale Dunbar, whose Vikings went 8-1-1 in the NEC North, far outpacing second-place Danvers, which has a 5-3-1 record in the NEC North. “They’ve worked hard all season and everybody on the team has contributed to our success.”

The Vikings’ dominance this year in the NEC North is evidenced by their 29 goals-for and 11 goals-against statistic against their North rivals. More impressively, Winthrop demonstrably has been getting stronger as the season has progressed. In addition to defeating Beverly in their rematch, Winthrop’s tie came against Peabody early in the years, but the Vikings defeated the Tanners on both occasions in their next two encounters (one of those games took place in the Saugus Holiday Tourney).

In the win over Saugus which officially clinched the NEC North crown in front of the hometown fans, Mike Norris, assisted by Dylan Driscoll and Henry Brooks, gave the Vikings a 1-0 lead in the first period.

Charlie Page (unassisted) and Brooks (assisted by Page and Pat Todisco) made it 3-0 in the second. Alex Anzuoni (assisted by Brooks and Todisco) and Marc Ferullo (assisted by Todisco and Tyler Mignosa) completed the WHS scoring.

In the Beverly encounter, Matt Tarantino, assisted by Gene August, lit the lamp for Winthrop that left matters at 1-1 after the first period. Norris (from Noah Hodgkins) and Driscoll (from Norris) scored in the middle frame and Page (from Anzuoni) added an insurance marker in the third.

Dunbar’s squad, which sports an 11-2-1 overall mark, now is ranked fourth in Division 2 in the MassHShockey.com ratings, behind only Medfield, Westwood, and Tewksbury.

The Vikings’ stamina will be tested hugely in the coming week with Winthrop scheduled to play five games in seven days, starting Thursday when they travel to Belmont. They will entertain Lynn Saturday at Larsen (6:30 face-off) and then will play in the Eddie Burns Memorial Tournament in Arlington Sunday and Monday. The sure-to-be weary Vikings then will return home Wednesday for an encounter with Mansfield (face-off at 6:30).

Lady Vikings top Revere, Danvers

The Winthrop High girls basketball team earned a pair of victories in its two games this past week, defeating Revere, 40-32, and Danvers, 33-19.

Sunday’s encounter with the Lady Patriots at the Winthrop High School gym was a classic heavyweight battle between two of the top teams in the Northeastern Conference. Revere, which plays in the North Division, entered the fray with an 11-1 record, while Winthrop came in at 9-4. Both teams left it all on the floor, with the Lady Vikings proving just a bit tougher down the stretch to hold onto the victory.

After Revere grabbed an 8-6 lead in the opening period, Winthrop outscored their rivals 13-7 in the second frame to hold a 19-15 edge at the half. The teams traded punches to finish at a 10-10 draw in the third quarter, setting the stage for a climactic final eight minutes with Winthrop nursing a slim 29-25 lead.

Both squads looked to go to their strengths inside down the stretch. For Revere that was its senior captain, Tiphani Harris, and for Winthrop, it was the Lady Vikings’ junior center, Nina Bartlette.

“Nina is our most impactful player,” said WHS head coach Ignacio Oyola of Bartlette. “Our goal was to get her the ball down low in the final minutes, especially on our set inbound plays.”

Bartlette, who was playing only her second game after sitting for two weeks with an ankle injury, ended up as Winthrop’s high scorer with 13 points on six-of-eight shooting from the field. Nina also turned in a solid, two-way game with six blocked shots, seven rebounds, and four steals.  Harris was the game high-scorer with 16 points, of which 10 came at the free throw line.

Lady Viking Niki Tsiotis reached double figures with 12 points, hitting on four-of-five attempts from the free throw line, including some key FTs down the stretch. Twin sister Poli was a perfect six-for-six from the charity stripe, while also contributing four steals and making some nice assists to Bartlette in the final minutes.

Kristen Siscamanis contributed six points and six rebounds and Maura Lanza sank three free throws. A key to the Lady Viking victory was the team’s 14-of-22 proficiency (64 percent) from the free throw line, which was appreciably better than their usual, just-under 50 percent charity stripe performance.

Two nights later the Lady Vikings hosted Danvers in a tilt that at times resembled a baseball game more than a basketball contest. After Winthrop grabbed a 10-3 lead in the opening period, the offenses on both sides stalled, with the result that Danvers outscored Winthrop 3-2 in the eight-minute stretch of the second frame.

Both sides picked up the tempo after the intermission, with the Lady Vikings, led by Bartlette (who scored eight of her game-high 16 points pointsin the third period) and Siscamanis (six of her 10) leading Winthrop to a breakout lead of 28-16 at the third buzzer.

However, the teams resumed their defensive battle in the final period, with the Lady Vikings outscoring their guests 5-3 for the 33-19 final score.

In addition to Bartlette and Siscamanis, Niki Tsiotis added six points and Poli T. hit a free throw to complete the Winthrop scoring sheet.

The Lady Vikings, who at 11-4 have qualified for the post-season state tournament, will conclude their regular season with a busy stretch starting tomorrow (Friday) evening at Saugus. They will play at Marblehead Monday, host Swampscott Thursday, and trek to Gloucester next Friday before playing in the St. Mary’s of Lynn Tourney on the holiday weekend. They will wrap things up against Pope John of Everett during the vacation week.

Key stretch for

girls hockey team

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldawg hockey team will be seeking to claim an undisputed Northeast Hockey League (NHL)  title this week when they face Beverly/Danvers Tuesday at Kasabuski Rink in Saugus and Peabody the following night at Peabody.

Coach Anthony Martucci’s squad, which was snowed out of its games the past week, stand atop the NHL with a 7-1-0 record (9-3-0 overall),  just ahead of Masconomet and Beverly, both of whom have one loss and a tie. Both of the Lady Bulldawgs’ remaining conference contests promise to be hard-fought affairs. Winthrop defeated Beverly 2-1 in their initial encounter this season and edged Peabody 1-0 in their first meeting.

The Lady Bulldawgs, who now have been off for almost two weeks thanks to Mother Nature, will have a chance to get their sea legs back when they host Wayland/Weston tomorrow evening (Friday) at Larsen. Face-off is set for 6:10.

Benso earns medal

in MEC Meet

Holly Benson brought home a fifth place medal for the Winthrop High girls indoor track team in the Northeastern Conference Meet held last week. Holly took fifth in the 600 meter dash in a time of 1:46.60 in a very competitive race in which the winning time was clocked at 1:44.03.

Near-medalists for the Lady Vikings were Carly O’Keefe, who barely missed the winners’ circle with a seventh place finish in the 55 meter hurdles with clocking of 9.58, just .12 behind the sixth place hurdler.

Emily McGovern also was a seventh place finisher in her event, the 300 dash, in a time of 46.64.

The Lady Viking 4 x 400 relay grabbed fourth place with a time of 4:29.41.

On the boys  side, Marc Bouche was the top Viking competitor, tying for seventh place in the high jump with a leap of 5’-6”. Chris Beaudry turned in an eighth place showing in the 600 in 1:30.86, just behind the sixth place time of 1:29.83. William Holden ran a strong race in the two mile run with a clocking of 11:03, which was good for ninth spot.

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