Boston High School: Bishop Stang

D2 South: Case 6, Bishop Stang 5

June, 8, 2014
Jun 8
TAUNTON, Mass. - Despite having a young team, having battled injuries, and playing against a different level of competition, it has been business as usual for the Case softball team.

The Cardinals (18-5), who have dominated Division 3 for the past several seasons, will be playing in their first D2 South sectional final after a 6-5 victory over Bishop Stang (17-6) on Sunday afternoon at Jack Tripp Field.

“For a team with just one varsity [player] returning and the injuries that we’ve had…it’s amazing,” said Case coach Don DiBiasio.

He added, “The girls are stepping it up, you know. They’re a small school playing with the big girls and they’re handling it well. The South Coast Conference is a strong conference and they play up all year.”

Case jumped into the lead in the bottom of the first. Allison DiCesare led-off with a walk and moved to third on a base hit by Jenna Santerre. After a groundout, DiCesare would come home on a hard hit grounder that bounced off the shoulder of Stang shortstop Madison Machado.

The Cardinals added another run in the second and again it came after a walk to the leadoff hitter. Kaitlyn Kopecky drew the free pass and Julean Newman reached on a fielder’s choice as she attempted to bunt. Ellie Roberts dropped down a perfect bunt and then Kopecky scored on a sac fly by DiCesare.

Both teams struggled at times in the field and errors would get Stang back into the game in the top of the third. MacKenzie Shurtleff singled to start the inning and Addison Landry dropped down a bunt to mover her into scoring position. The throw to first got away allowing Shurtleff to come all the way around and then the throw back in was wild and Landry was able to come home and tie the game.

“The nerves got the best of them,” said DiBiasio. “They played the last five games with errorless ball, so to give up four unearned runs was unacceptable. Hopefully, tomorrow night the bugs will be out of them and they’ll come back and play errorless ball.”

Stang benefited from errors to get back in the game, but an error in the bottom of the third gifted Case a pair of runs to regain the lead. The first two hitters reached -- one on an error and the second from a walk. After Stang pitcher Hannah Carvalho got the lead runner at third twice, she struck out Kopecky, but the ball got away from the catcher and the inning continued.

Newman, the No. 8 hitter in the Case lineup, made Stang pay for the mistake with a single that drove in a pair of runs.

“Our youth showed today; we made some mistakes,” said Stang coach Dan Sylvia. “Maybe it was nerves or maybe the game was too big for them today. It’s a good learning experience for next season.”

DiBiasio was thrilled with the contributions from the bottom of the order. The bottom three hitters accounted for two RBI and scored three runs.

DiBiasio said, “They’ve been doing it all year long…helping us out making the runs go across [and] hitting the ball hard. They’ve been working hard.”

Stang got another unearned run in the fourth inning to make it 4-3 and it stayed that way into the top of the sixth. Machado (2-for-4, two runs scored) led off the inning with a double to left. Two batters later, with Machado at third, Courtney Carroll came through with a two-out single to tie the game again.

Case came right back in the bottom half with a pair of runs. A lead-off walk to Kopecky would be the spark. Newman bunted her into scoring position and Roberts was hit by a pitch. DiCesare drove in her second RBI of the game with a single to left. After a great sliding catch by junior captain Lindsey Florent in left, pitcher Leslie Denis helped her own cause with an RBI single.

“She was keeping us off-balance, keeping everything outside, and changing it up but the kids were on her all day, so I knew they would keep hitting her,” said DiBiasio about the response from his team in the sixth.

In the top of the seventh, Stang had its chance to keep the season alive. An error allowed Florent, who reached on a fielder’s choice, to score and make it 6-5. With runners at second and third and the heart of the order at the plate, Denis induced a pop-up to third from Machado and a grounder from Ferreira to send the Cardinals to another sectional final.

“When we needed a hit, typically we’d get it -- unfortunately not today,” said Sylvia. “We had plenty of opportunities at the end but unfortunately we didn’t do much with it. When your four [hitter] pops up and five [hitter] grounds out to end the game…that’s tough.”

When asked what his message was to his team heading into the seventh, DiBiasio smiled and responded, “Just get the outs; we just need three outs. Again, they played a little sloppy but they managed to pull through it.”

Case will play Bellingham in the D2 South final on Monday night at 7 p.m. at Jack Tripp Field in Taunton.

Recap: No. 11 Apponequet 9, No. 13 Stang 7

May, 21, 2014
May 21
DARTMOUTH, Mass. - For the second day in a row, Apponequet got the better of Bishop Stang in a match-up of league champions and Division 2 rivals, but Wednesday’s game was very different from the first meeting, according to Lakers coach Bob Huckabee.

“We played yesterday -- a battle of two heavyweights here in Southeastern Mass. -- and it was a softball game with bunting and running and everything,” he said about Tuesday’s 3-1 win. “Today, it was like round two of a heavyweight fight and everyone came out swinging for the knockout.”

On Wednesday in Dartmouth, the Lakers (16-2) overcame a four-run deficit after the first inning and stormed back to win 9-7 in a slugfest to sweep the season series behind a three-RBI day from Jill Miller and four strikeouts in a complete game from pitcher Sarah Eugenio.

“[It’s] a very satisfying win for us; these are those kind of statement games,” Huckabee said. “Down 4-0 early in the game and [Sarah’s] throwing well but they’re just dropping in and dropping in. It’s not like we were playing that bad -- they just kept dropping hits in.”

After a pop-up to begin the bottom of the first, the next six Spartans (15-4) would reach base. Nicole Vachon (1-for-2, RBI) would draw a walk and Hannah Carvalho followed with a single. Madison Machado loaded the bases with another hit then Miranda Ferreira got Stang on the board with a two-run double. Allie Thomas and Courtney Carroll each knocked in runs with singles, before Eugenio got out of the inning.

Bishop Stang coach Dan Sylvia said, “We started out and took advantage of a couple mistakes that they made and put four runs up on the board, which was the perfect start after the loss that we had yesterday.”

The lead would not last long, as the Lakers responded with four runs in the top of the second. Singles by Alee Wright, who picked up the win on Tuesday, and Eugenio got the inning started and both moved up on a groundout. An error on a grounder by Mackenzie Gomes would bring both runners around to score and cut the lead in half.

Lexi Valentin singled Gomes to third and stole second and leadoff hitter Kylie Barroso (3-for-4) picked up her second hit in as many innings to bring home both runners and tie the game.

“I was proud of the way that we answered,” said Huckabee. “We got down 4-0 and came right back and scored four so it was a whole new game. Then [Sarah] settled in and relaxed a little bit. I told her that this was one of the best games I’ve seen her pitch.”

The game would stay tied until the top of the fourth. With two outs, Barroso singled and then went first to third on a base hit by freshman Grace Boehler. Miller followed with a double to center that just bounced over the glove of the diving Carroll to score both runners. Jess DuBois singled to score Miller and make it 7-4.

Stang got one back in the bottom of the inning, but the Lakers tacked on two runs in the fifth. Eugenio walked and Gomes hit a grounder to short but the throw to second to get the lead runner ended up in right field. Valentin singled to get one run home and, after the bases were loaded, Miller would get a painful RBI when she was hit by a pitch to bring home the ninth run.

“The advantage they had too was they saw my pitcher two days in a row,” Sylvia said. “Hannah’s our ace and every time she goes out there we expect her to do the job. Unfortunately, we made some more uncharacteristic errors and mental mistakes…we have to do a better job of that.”

Huckabee said, “[Carvalho] threw a complete game yesterday against us, so we knew that she would get tired if we waited around a little bit longer and she left a couple pitches up that she normally doesn’t…and we put some good swings on them and hit the ball hard.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Lindsey Florent led-off with a triple to right center and would score when Vachon smacked a grounder through the right side. However, Valentin charged the ball and fired to first to get Vachon for the first out of the inning.

“I just pulled her in a couple steps…and we get the out,” said Huckabee. “That changed the whole game because he gets a run but we’re taking outs off the board and now he can’t come up and bunt, bunt and he can’t give away any outs.”

Stang would get one more in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI single by Meaghan Shurtleff, but Eugenio got a grounder to short to end the game.

Despite the defeat, Sylvia, whose team won the South sectional as the No. 13 seed last year, saw the two games against Apponequet as good buildup to another run in the tournament.

He said, “This becomes a learning experience for the girls. Seedings mean nothing; we showed that last year -- it’s how you’re playing when you enter the tournament. “

Stang wraps up its season on Thursday against Old Rochester, while Apponequet will face Dartmouth in the first round of the Peter Looney Grand Slam Tournament (with the potential to play No. 1 Silver Lake in the championship game).

D3 South final: Hanover 6, Bishop Stang 2

March, 9, 2014
Mar 9
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. – Parents of the Hanover High School boys’ ice hockey team’s players are going to have to deal with their sons’ lustrous hairstyles for a little while longer, and they’re probably just fine with that.

The Indians (17-7-0), who to a man have dyed their hair some variety of peroxide blonde, lit up the scoreboard at the Gallo Ice Arena today to reach the Division 3 state semifinals.

Hanover put the game away with three goals in the third period, pulling away from Bishop Stang to earn a 6-2 victory over the Spartans (15-9-1). They will meet Wayland in the EMass final on Wednesday evening back at Gallo.

Hanover took a slim one-goal lead into the third against a team that seemed to be on the comeback trail after a nice second period effort had allowed the Spartans to tighten things up. At crunch time, it was the Indians that responded with an unassisted goal by Pat Nevins, who had a pair of goals and a helper in the game, turning the tide in Hanover’s favor for good. Nevins picked up a loose puck in the offensive zone, near the top of the right circle, and let it rip to the upper far corner. The puck beat the glove of Jesse Pavao (29 saves) to make it a 4-2 game at the 4:35 mark.

Landon Hasenfuss scored on a breakaway up the right wing at 12:09 to ice the victory. He flew up the right wing and picked the far side to make it a three-goal game. Colin Mahoney banked an empty-netter in off the left wing wall from inside the defensive zone with 12 seconds left.

Hanover head coach Jonny Abban said his team finished the game the way it wanted to, and said that his team has plans to complete the season the same way.

“This is something we’ve talked about since the beginning of the year, finishing strong, and they’re not done yet,” Abban said. “They hear some of the older kids talking, they won a state championship in 2007 for Coach [Jim] Sylvia, and it’s been a great effort by the team, backed by community. It’s a great feeling.”

Hanover had some great feelings right from the start. The high-powered Indians offense got on the board first, just 5:04 into the game on a goal by Matt McDougall. One of the Indians’ four captains, McDougall finished off a hard work shift by his club by chipping a loose puck up and over a prone Pavao, who just missed getting a piece of it with a wave of his glove.

Hanover increased their lead to 2-0 about five minutes later on a goal by Mitch Beard at 9:52. The forward with the long flowing bleach blonde locks camped on the far post and tipped in a super cross by Mike Proctor off the right wing wall. McDougall also picked up an assist on the play.

Stang scored at 5:54 of the second period to cut the lead in half, but Hanover wasted no time getting the lead back to two. The Spartans’ Chace Correia tucked one through the five hole on a breakaway, with a nifty move.

However, before the goal was announced over the public address system, Hanover got it back. A slap shot from high in the zone, off a draw, by Matt Beard was deflected by Pavao by Nevins to make it 3-1.

Stang cut it back to a single goal at 8:20 of the second. That came off the stick of Kade Kaminski, who trickled one by Noah Clapp on a shot from the slot.

Down just one, heading to the last period, the Spartans had put themselves in a good position, head coach Ken Gouveia said, but it was Hanover that carried the play in the third.

“The next goal was the big one, and they got it. It was tough. We were down a defenseman tonight, so we only had four D. I thought our defensemen did a great job, being down to four, but it took away from the way that we wanted to play a lot. We couldn’t be as aggressive and pinch, with just four, so we had to be more conservative and that hurt.”

Hanover made the most of its opportunities. Five different players lit the lamp in the game, and nine put their names on the scoresheet.

“We’ve spread it around pretty well this year,” Abban said. “We had four or five guys with 30 points. It’s a great group effort every game that we show up.”

D3 South: Hanover, Stang to meet in final

March, 8, 2014
Mar 8
BUZZARDS BAY, Mass. -- The busiest man on Cape Cod last night might have been Tom Welch in the scorer’s booth at Gallo Ice Arena. Welch had to have been suffering from writer’s cramp after last night’s pair of MIAA Division 3 south semifinal games.

The two contests saw the four teams combine for 19 goals and far many more penalties.

Hanover (16-7-0) throttled Abington (11-8-5) in the late game at Gallo last night, outscoring the Green Wave by a 7-3 score. In the early game, Bishop Stang (15-8-1) gave a steady effort to upend Diman Voke (17-5-2) by a score of 6-3.

The teams will meet at the same rink on Sunday at 6:45 p.m. to determine the sectional champion.

The start of the night’s second game was delayed by about 20 minutes, and during that time the Hanover faithful broke out a telling chant of “it’s all over.” With four goals during the first six minutes and 25 seconds, they were on to something, as the Indians went on to win a penalty-riddled game that saw both teams reach double figures in infractions (Hanover was called for 15 penalties, and Abington 10).

The game marked the third meeting of the year between the Indians and Green Wave, and all three ended with a similar result. Hanover won the first game, 10-3, and the second one by a 5-0 count.

Hanover was hopping offensively from the first drop of the puck and it was apparent that they were hoping to hang another big number on Abington. Just 52 seconds into the game, with their first of many power plays, Colin Mahoney’s flutterer from the left circle beat Mike Morse to the near side. Morse was fighting the puck early, and the Indians made him pay for it as they scored goals on four of their first five shots.

The one shot that Morse stopped of the first five ended up in the net when Mitch Beard jammed in the rebound of Landon Hasenfuss’s wrist shot. Beard finished the night with a hat trick, with all three goals coming on special teams (two power play goals, and one shorthanded).

At 6:01, Trevor Doucette scored off a nice crossover, and then at 6:35, Drew Caldwell rung one in off the crossbar from a difficult angle.

Hanover ran their lead to five before the Green Wave got a pair of goals 29 seconds apart to make it somewhat interesting early in the second period. Abington had a chance to close the gap even further with a 5-on-3 power play midway through the period, but could not cash in any chances.

Hanover head coach Jonny Abban said that his team experienced a bit of a lull after their quick start, but that they bounced back.

“I think we got complacent when we were up by four, we let our guard down. (Abington) is probably one of the hardest working teams that we’ve come across in Division 3,” Abban said. “They won’t give up. They don’t have the depth that most clubs have, but they don’t give up. We had to grind it out, and we got into trouble with the penalties.”

Scoring power-play goals early in periods was a specialty for the Indians.

At the 51 second mark of the second period, Beard drove home a rebound with the advantage to make it 5-0. He also scored just 54 seconds into the third, putting home a power play goal on a break up the right side. That made it 6-2.

Each team got one more goal before it ended. Abington’s Joe Marella scored a power-play goal from the low slot at 6:34. Beard then finished his hat trick for the Indians two minutes later, converting a turnover into a goal.

Stang Stings Diman
Suave means smooth, and that certainly summed up the play of Bishop Stang’s brother combination of Luc and Max Suave.

Luc, a senior, found the back of the Diman Voke cage three times and his younger brother, Max, popped in two as the sibling led the 14th-seeded Spartans to a 6-3 win over the second-seeded Bengals in the other Division 3 South semifinal.

Stang head coach Ken Gouveia knew that the two forwards had led his team during the game. He just didn’t realize just how impactful they had been until afterward.

When asked about their importance, he countered with a query as to how many goals they’d scored. He was informed it was five.

“Well, there you go,” he said with a laugh. “There you go.”

Gouveia said his club battled butterflies early on. After getting a quick goal, just 49 seconds into the contest, from Luc Suave, Stang unraveled a little bit. Diman popped in two fast ones to counter, from Jay Silva and Tyler Gillet, and took a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.

“I thought we were a little tight in the first period, but then in the second…we started to take the game over and beat them to some loose pucks,” Gouveia said.

Over the last two periods it was all Stang. They took the game over with three goals in a span of just 2:35 to turn their 2-1 deficit into a 4-2 lead in moments.

The tying goal was scored on wrister from between the hashes by Max Suave at 7:32. At 9:36, Luc Suave got the middle marker in his hat trick as he drove for the far post and tipped in a nice cross from the left side by Chance Correia. Thirty-one seconds later, the Spartans got their lone goal from someone not named Suave as Tristin Costa fluttered a shot from the top of the left wing circle that beat the keeper low to the far post to make it 4-2.

Diman showed some heart and got that one back 79 seconds later, trimming the lead to one with their third of the night at 11:26. Cam Levesque stick-handled through traffic on his way to the net and scored with a nice crossover move.

In the third, Stang put it away. Luc Suave finished off his hat trick with a snap shot from the edge of the crease at 2:10 and then Max Suave jammed in a carom at 7:43 to cap the scoring.

D2 North softball: Burlington 6, Tewksbury 5

June, 10, 2013
LOWELL, Mass. — It looked as though Burlington might lose its four-run lead in the seventh inning of Monday’s Division 2 North softball final, but with the tying run on third base, Red Devils starting pitcher Kelly McCarthy stepped up.

McCarthy was able to battle her way out of the inning, after giving up three runs in the inning, as the No. 3 seed Burlington defeated No. 8 Tewksbury, 6-5, in the Division 2 North softball final.

The Burlington hurler was called upon for the entire game as she threw a complete game, and had little trouble with the Redmen’s offensive attack until the final inning.

“[McCarthy] battled for us a lot, and she has been battling for us all year,” Burlington head coach Kristen Mahoney said. “She did her job.”

Michaela Mazure helped ignite the Burlington (21-3) offense in the third inning after the Red Devils had gone down, 1-0. Mazure crushed a double to left-center, which knocked home two-of-the-four runs the Red Devils scored in the inning.

“I was just trying to help my team out by doing my part,” Mazure said. “I knew we were down, I knew we needed runs, so I was just looking for a base hit. It was a great feeling to score both of those runs.”

McCarthy helped out her own cause knocking in a run, and Kaela Hersee also had an RBI single capping off the four-run third.

Burlington’s No. 9 hitter went a little under the radar, as she didn’t record a hit, but Danielle Coveno did all the little things to help lead the Red Devils to victory. Coveno scored a run, and she helped move base runners over by laying down three sacrifice bunts.

“She was able to get those bunts down with the corners right on top of her, which isn’t an easy thing to do,” Mahoney said. “It was huge because that moves base runners [over] for us. If we can’t move base runners into scoring position our bats aren’t going to be able to [hit runs] in.”

Kayla Sheldon and Coveno scored runs in the fourth inning extending the Burlington lead to 6-1. Sheldon was hot the entire day as she was 3-for-3 with two runs scored.

“Kayla had three hits, what [more] can you ask of from your No. 8 hitter,” Mahoney said.

Burlington appeared to have a comfy 6-2 lead heading into the seventh inning, but Tewksbury (17-7) shortstop Tiffanie Marsh had something to say about that. She already had an RBI in the third inning, but with her team down 6-2 in the bottom of the seventh, she rose to the occasion.

After a lead-off walk from Sam Laferriere, Marsh smacked her second double of the day off the center field wall, missing a home run by only a few feet.

“[Marsh] is a special player for us, and an all conference player,” Tewksbury head coach Leo DiRocco said. “She’ll do anything for a win, she’s a very quiet player, and she leads by example.”

Burlington will play Bishop Stang (17-8) on Wednesday at Martin Field for the Division 2 Eastern Mass. title.

South softball: Milford, Bishop Stang advance

June, 10, 2013

TAUNTON, Mass. – In the biggest moments, the best players need to be counted on. Under pressure, teams rely on the stars to step up, raise their games, and find a way to win. On Sunday evening at Jack Tripp Field at Taunton High, the consensus best player in the state and three-time Gatorade Player of the Year demonstrated once again why she receives those accolades.

Milford’s Shannon Smith reached base in all four at-bats, smashed a three-run homer, and struck out nine batters to lead the Scarlet Hawks to a dominating 7-0 victory over Bridgewater-Raynham in the Division 1 South sectional final. It was a meeting of the sectional’s top two seeds and the top two teams in the statewide, Top 25 poll, but in the end it was all about Smith and the Hawks.

Smith explained her approach against the Old Colony League champs.

She remarked, “They have some pretty good hitters and I just tried to keep breaking different zones – inside/outside, up/down, just to make sure that they weren’t expecting one certain spot.”

Smith added, “After the first inning, I adjusted to the umpire and we were good to go.”

The Trojans had an opportunity to change the story in the bottom of the first inning. Madi Shaw led-off with a double down the leftfield line and Stacey Korotsky followed with a walk. Chelsea Correia popped it up on the infield, but a tangle at first base allowed the ball to drop and the runners to advance on the infield fly rule.

With two runners in scoring position and only one out, the Trojans looked like they were going to be the first team to score on Milford (23-1) in the postseason. But, cleanup hitter Emily Kurkul bunted a liner right back to Smith, who then fired to third to double up Shaw and escape the jam.

Smith spoke after the game about the importance of that sequence.

“We start off the game a little shaky defensively too; I think we’re a little unsure- there’s a lot of pressure,” Smith said. “It really gave us a lot of momentum, and a lot of confidence too, and it relaxed us to get out of that.”

The game was scoreless into the top of the third, when Smith struck with a blast to left. Prior to Smith’s at bat and with a runner on base, senior Lauren Hanna battled B-R’s sophomore pitcher Sarah Dawson and fouled away several two-strike pitches to draw a walk that continued the inning. Smith promptly stepped up and made it 3-0 by following the plan that the team scouted in B-R’s win over Silver Lake.

“We watched them on Thursday, I guess, and we saw that she really pounded the inside corner for pretty much the whole game,” said Smith about Milford’s gameplan against Dawson. “I knew that she was coming inside and in my first at bat I took it deep, but not quite out…I knew where it was coming the second time and I really got adjusted to her and got a good piece.”

After the game, Milford head coach Brian Macchi made sure to highlight Hanna’s contribution to the big inning.

He commented, “It was just a real hard-fought at bat by Lauren Hanna that I have to keep going back to that allows that to happen. Without that walk, Shannon never gets up with anybody on. So, it changes the whole complexion of that game.”

Smith settled into a groove and allowed only two base runners (both with two outs) after the first inning, while Dawson was struggling against a patient and potent Milford line-up. Macchi credited the team’s approach and the work that it did in the cage for being successful at the plate.

“We’ve been practicing for three straight days…working that inside corner and making sure that we’re ready to clear our hips and drive the ball,” he said. “The girls bought into it for three days of work and did an outstanding job today.”

The Hawks, who finished with nine hits, broke the game open by batting around in the fifth.

A hit, a walk, and an error loaded the bases for senior Caroline Fairbanks, who lined a two-run single to left to make it 5-0. Sophomore Taylor LeBrun drove in a run with a single and then freshman Jill Powers, who went 2-2 with a walk, brought home a run with a hit of her own.

The 6-8 hitters in the Milford lineup reached base a combined six times, which Macchi believes is crucial to the team’s success offensively.

He said, “We had an inning where Allie Piergustavo got a hit, Jill [Powers] got a base hit, and Lizzie [Stallone] just missed getting a hit, but it allowed us to get back up to Sam [Bonvino, lead-off hitter]. Turning that line-up over is just as good as getting RBI’s sometimes because it allows the top of the line-up to do the damage.”

The loss was the first of the season for the Trojans, who finish at 23-1. Meanwhile, the defending state champions will advance to the Eastern Mass. final on Tuesday night against the North sectional champs, Central Catholic.

D2 South Final: Bishop Stang 5, Dedham 3
In Sunday’s improbable afternoon match-up, the no. 13 seed Bishop Stang claimed the Division 2 South title with a 5-3 win over no. 18 seed Dedham. Neither team was expected to make much noise coming into the postseason, but the Spartans would take home the hardware at Taunton High.

Stang came into the game on the heels of an 11-inning, 5-1 victory over Eastern Athletic Conference rivals Coyle-Cassidy and jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Dedham answered back with a pair of runs in the second on hits by Kristina Mitchell and Brianna Dozier.

The Spartan stormed right back in the fourth highlighted by a two-run double from second baseman Katie Wood, which was followed by another a double from Nicole Andrade. A Dedham error allowed an unearned run to score and it was 5-2 after four innings.

Dedham would get a run back in the sixth but failed to create any chances in its final at bat, giving Stang an unlikely sectional championship.

New England Roundup: Rhode Island

February, 16, 2013
Officially, the nickname of the Classical High boys’ basketball team is the Purple.

Rhode IslandBut given how well head coach John Kavanagh’s team has played in recent weeks, perhaps that nickname should be preceded by the adjective “red-hot.”

Classical clinched the Division I-Central title by reeling off three consecutive victories – 79-75 over Hope, 82-58 over Smithfield and 89-70 over defending Division I state champion Central.

Ironically, Classical (14-3 in I-Central and 17-5 overall) is led by three of the shortest players on the team: 5-8 guard Kealen Ives, 5-10 forward Ismael Batista and 6-1 center Terrill Toe.

Ives is Classical’s leading scorer while Batista has proven to be a force on the offensive glass.

Toe buried a 3-point shot with 16.5 seconds left in regulation to break a tie and give the Purple a 79-75 victory over Hope. Ives celebrated his 17th birthday by scoring a game-high 34 points, which included 15-of-18 from the free throw line.

Ives just missed a triple-double when Classical belted Smithfield.

He finished with 21 points, 11 assists and eight steals while Batista and Toe combined for 51 points; Toe nailed seven 3-point shots).

Classical held its senior night on Feb. 12, and Batista made sure his classmates would go out as winners as he scored 19 points – including a quintet of 3-point baskets – which helped the Purple crown the Knights.

North Kingstown’s Skippers, who had been cruising along in Division I-South, dropped an ugly 53-46 decision to La Salle in a crossover game.

Ugly was defined by the fact North Kingstown shot a frigid 29.3 percent (17-of-58) from the floor and 53.3 percent (8-of-15) from the free throw line.

But the Skippers (15-2) held onto first place in their division by rebounding to beat St. Raphael, 55-52, on Kazre Cummings’ 3-point shot at the buzzer and South Kingstown, 58-33, with Justin Pratt and Owen Heath combining to score 30 points.

North Kingstown (20-2 overall) leads the power-point standings while Classical is in second.

Austin Cilley broke the career scoring record for Westerly boys’ basketball – one that had stood since 1952 – by pouring in 38 points during a 61-58 overtime conquest of Barrington in a Division II crossover game.

Cilley raised his career total to 1,399 points, which eclipsed the previous mark of 1,386 set by Bob Serra in 1952. In the game where Cilley broke the career record, he tossed in 38 points, including nine in overtime, as the Bulldogs beat Barrington, 61-58.

Three other boys surpassed the 1,000-point mark for their careers in recent games: La Salle’s Jared Thompson; Mount Pleasant’s Jovel Beckford; and Ponaganset’s Scott Peterson.

The St. Raphael Academy girls’ had their sights set on at least an undefeated season in Division II-Central. But Johnston derailed the Saints by handing them their first loss of the season, 65-63 when Isabella DiRaimo nailed a 3-point shot with 3.2 seconds left and, following a turnover, Alex DiRaimo tossed in a basket at the buzzer.

The Saints still led II-Central with a 10-1 record.

  • Exeter/West Greenwich coach Steven McGrane notched the 350th victory of his career when the Scarlet Knights belted Cranston West, 64-37, due in part to Taylor Buckley’s game-high 17 points.
  • Middletown (13-1) remained atop the III-South standings as the Islanders beat Hope, 58-31, with Chelsea Dowler posting a double-double (14 points and 10 rebounds).
  • Juanita Sanchez handed the Islanders their first loss, 53-47, and maintained a firm grip on second place (10-1).
Barrington High senior Charlie Ionata is inhaling rarified air after his performance at the East Coast Track & Field Invitational.

Ionata uncorked a heave of 77 feet, 6.5 inches in the weight throw, which not only captured first place, but, according to the U.S. High School Weight Throw Performance List, was the longest in the nation.

In addition, he beat the previous meet record of 73-feet and three-quarter inches and moved into 11th place on the all-time national list – good for second on Rhode Island’s all-time list.

Several Rhode Island high school football players inked National Letters of Intent during the recent signing period.

One of the more notable “signees” was La Salle’s All-State quarterback Anthony Francis – the 2012 Gatorade Rhode Island High School Football Player of the Year – who opted for Marist College.

Cumberland wide receiver Mitchell Baxter and North Kingstown tight end Alex Madoian signed with Bryant University.

Portsmouth native Charlie McKeeman, who played for Bishop Stang of Dartmouth, Mass., signed to play fullback for the University of Rhode Island.

Not only was Alex Butler one of the best basketball players ever produced by East Providence High – where he is the head coach these days – but he also was one of the best ever to play for Rhode Island College.

Not surprisingly, Butler was one of 11 players recently inducted into the Little East Conference Hall of Fame.

Butler, who was an All-Stater in high school, was a two-time Division III All-American at RIC.

Mike Scandura has been covering high school sports, college basketball, football and hockey plus minor league baseball in Rhode Island since the early 1970s. A native of Oswego, N.Y, he’s a member of the Words Unlimited Hall of Fame which is the statewide organization of sportswriters, sportscasters and sports publicists.

Stang LB McKeeman switches commitment to Rhody

January, 30, 2013
Bishop Stang linebacker Charlie McKeeman told tonight that he has switched his verbal commitment from Bryant University to the University of Rhode Island, for the 2013 season.

McKeeman initially committed to Bryant last summer, before the start of the 2012 preseason, but switched his pledge to Rhody on Monday after a visit last weekend to the North Kingstown, R.I. campus. He also had an offer from Assumption College, and fielded interest from both Sacred Heart and Bentley University but ruled those two schools out early.

The Portsmouth, R.I. resident has a history with Rhody. Both of his parents attended the school -- his father, Joe, played center for the Rams from 1977 to 1980.

"I'm excited obviously, I grew up watching games at URI and always said I wanna play there, it's where watched my first football game," said McKeeman, who first saw the Rams take on Hofstra as an eight-year-old.

McKeeman recorded 131 tackles at linebacker this fall for the 1-10 Spartans, and also totaled over 1,400 yards offense and 11 touchdowns at quarterback.

BC High's Luke Catarius commits to Bryant

December, 15, 2012
BC High senior linebacker/fullback Luke Catarius gave a verbal commitment to Bryant University yesterday, he told tonight.

The 6-foot, 225-pound Sandwich resident was named to ESPN Boston's MIAA All-State Team as a junior in 2011, after leading the Eagles to their second Division 1 Eastern Mass. Super Bowl in four seasons. In 10 games that season, he led the Eagles in tackles with 129, including 24 for loss, and also paved the way offensively as the lead blocker for running backs Preston Cooper and Deontae Ramey-Doe.

This past fall, Catarius suffered a hairline fracture to his right ankle in the Eagles' first preseason scrimmage, sidelining him for the first seven games of the season as the Eagles went 4-6 and missed out on the playoffs.

Catarius is the third Class of 2013 prospect from the Catholic Conference to commit to the Bulldogs. He joins teammate Brandon Owens, an outside linebacker/safety who committed last July, and Xaverian linebacker Hunter Taute, who committed this past Wednesday. Bryant also has commitments in the Bay State from Thayer Academy wide receiver Aaron Gilmer and Bishop Stang linebacker Charlie McKeeman.

"It is the right fit for me," Catarius said. "Brandon going and Hunter Taute committing really made my decision easy. They are both competitors just like myself, and we want to go to a program that can compete."

Recap: Coyle clinches EAC baseball crown

May, 16, 2012
TAUNTON, Mass. — Bishop Stang’s quick strike in the top of the first inning didn’t waver the confidence of Coyle-Cassidy head coach Ken Lalli.

He has preached patience with his group this season and the five years that he’s been at the helm, and ultimately he knew that this group of Warriors would be able to grind out a victory. The Warriors battled back from a three-run deficit in the first inning to grab their first Eastern Athletic Conference regular season title since 2003 with a 6-3 win at home over their bitter rivals.

The gameplan, which has netted the Warriors a 15-2 record, worked out just find for Lalli and company.

“I had complete confidence, because our game plan is to try and wear teams down and hit them hard in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings,” said Lalli, whose team is 7-0 in conference play with one game left to go. “I knew that we would come around and do that. Things weren’t going or way and they weren’t really taking it to us. They had a lot of crazy plays, but I had complete confidence in Mac that he would just keep throwing and had complete confidence in our team to put the runs on the board.”

Lalli was able to live with the Warriors ugly start in the field, which featured two errors and three runs by the Spartans. The Spartans only had one truly hard-hit ball in the inning as two runs came on a fielding error in centerfield and a botched pickoff play with men at first and third brought home Logan Sullo for a 3-0 lead.

Mac Stays the Course: Things could have gotten out of hand for Mac Curran in the first. Instead, the big left-hander buckled down to go the distance and not allow another run in his final six innings of work.

Curran lived around the plate with 81 of his 97 pitches going for strikes. He struck out seven and scattered eight hits — four of those being infield hits — while walking none for the complete-game victory.

“You just got to keep fighting,” said Curran when asked how he was able to put the first quarter behind him. “Our goal is a championship...It came together today when I had to.”

“He keeps his composure no matter what and keeps working hard,” added Lalli. “That’s what he’s been doing for us all season.”

The Spartans only put four men on in the final five innings and couldn’t keep a rally going long enough with the game being one of a one-run variety until a couple of late runs by the Warriors.

“We had some runners on base and we got the big hit in the first inning, but we couldn’t get it later on,” said Bishop Stang head coach Jason Pacheco, whose team lost 14-1 to the Warriors in the first outing.

Recap: Coyle-Cassidy 5, Bishop Stang 2

February, 2, 2012

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. -- In the middle of January, Coyle-Cassidy boys’ hockey had already lost their first league game of the season to Martha’s Vineyard and they were about to be run out of the rink again, down 3-1 to Eastern Athletic Conference rival Bishop Stang.

Then, something clicked. The Warriors came back to pull out a 4-3 win over the Spartans in their first meeting. That’s when C-C head coach Dave Borges said “the team learned how to win.”

The Warriors swept the season series with a 5-2 win over Stang on Thursday at Hetland Arena.

It started out as a dominant performance, with Warriors goaltender Brent Petrowski (22 saves) pitching a shutout until 2:29 remained in the third period. But C-C weathered the Spartans’ harshest charge and kept pace in the EAC title race with the Vineyarders.

“I thought we controlled the pace of the game and played well in our defensive end,” Borges said. “But at the end, they got a power play goal and that brought a little momentum to them. Then, we starting running around a little bit and we didn’t do what we needed to do the get the puck out of our end.”

The Warriors (5-5-1, 4-1-0 EAC) held a 3-0 lead until Spartans forward Kody Skolis finally beat Petrowski.

The goal set in motion a frenetic flurry to the end of the physically played match.

Stang (10-3-0, 3-3-0) senior forward Ben Lloyd whittled the lead to one goal, banging home a rebound with 1:15 to play. The Warriors responded immediately as Shea Powell turned a neutral zone turnover into C-C’s fourth goal six seconds later.

Nick Cambria added an empty-netter for his second goal of the game to round out scoring.

“I think we’re starting to come together now and we’re playing better hockey,” Cambria said.

C-C built a two-goal lead by the second intermission with goals in each of the first two periods. Junior captain Ryan Jones scored on a partial breakaway for a 1-0 lead at 5:08 of the first. Cambria then scored his first of the game at 3:35 of the second.

Warriors defenseman Steve Cogan picked up assists on both tallies, helping to set up the transition game out of C-C’s defensive zone.

Greg DiBona had the Warriors to a 3-0 lead at 8:38 of the third, again coming on a partial break stemming from a neutral zone turnover.

While their 5-5-1 record might not rock your socks off, the Warriors will again prove a tough out in the Division 2 South tournament – akin to their Thursday opponents and the D3 tournament.

C-C has traditionally scheduled aggressively, and this year has the tall task of playing four teams who participated in last year’s Super 8 tournament, in addition to D1 non-leaguers against St. John’s (Shrewsbury) and Xaverian.

It all makes for a battle-tested squad, which Borges believes is coming together at the right time.

“I like where we’re headed,” Borges added “We’re starting to play our best hockey of the season now.”

With the early warning shot fired in their earlier loss to the Vineyarders, the Warriors have learned to tighten up where it counts.

“A lot of it’s just doing hard work, keeping our heads up, finding the open man and making the right plays,” Cambria said.

Girls swimming: Feehan takes Div. 2 crown

November, 19, 2011
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Caitlin Schofield had been striving all year to get her backstroke time in the 100-yard event under the minute benchmark.

She picked a great time for it.

Schofield won the 100-yard backstroke with a time of 59.52 and the rest of her Bishop Feehan teammates had banner days as the Shamrocks won the Div. 2 state championship yesterday, at MIT's Zesiger Center.

“I’ve been preparing for this race all year,” said Schofield. “I’ve been trying so hard. I’ve been working so hard since the start of the season. I knew I could break a minute and that’s been my goal all year, so that was awesome for that to finally happen.”

The Shamrocks scored 363.5 points as a team to win its second state championship in the last three seasons. Last year’s champion, Reading, hung tough in second place with a team score of 319. Bishop Stang finished in third with a team score of 255.5.

“Everyone swam amazing, everyone did awesome,” said Schofield. “I am so proud of every single person who swam today. It was a team effort. There was no one person and we have the depth that just puts us over the edge.”

Schofield was joined as a first-place finisher with Marisa Reidemeister, who won the 100-yard butterfly and the 200-yard IM. Reidemeister swam the 200-yard IM in 2:09.12, and finished the 100-yard butterfly with a posting of 58.39.

Head coach Chris Payson echoed the depth that Schofield spoke of.

“We have a lot of seniors who wanted to prove a point in their last year and their last season,” said Payson. “We also had freshman who are trying to prove their place from the beginning. It was a very, very aggressive team.”

Reidemeister was also a key kog in the 400-yard freestyle relay that all but iced the meet with a time of 3:39.38. Caroline Capece, Maddie Myers and Caroline Steiner showed Reidemeister on the swim.

Reading, the defending champion, had a good showing by two of its relay teams. Olivia Gallugi, Alexa Bosley, Allyssa Woodman and Amanda Adreani came in second in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a time of 1:42.80.

Bosley, Adreani, Brenna Melanson and Erin Daly took second in the 400-yard freestyle relay behind Bishop Feehan with a time of 3:42.30.

Bishop Stang was paced by Olivia Decas’ victory in the 50-yard freestyle with a finish of 24.50. It also got a victory in the 200-yard medley relay from Decas, Andrea Gauvin, Maria Lopez and Elizabeth Rose (1:50.84).

Kirby Roberts, Gauvin, Rose, and Decas all posted a victory in the 200-yard freestyle relay with a finish of 1:42.09.

Westwood’s Irinia Chiulli won the diving competition with a final score of 491.10.

Here are the rest of the official results:

200 medley relay
1. Bishop Stang (Olivia Decas, Andrea Gauvin, Maria Lopez, Elizabeth Rose) 1:50.84; 2. Bishop Feehan (Caitlin Schofield, Marisa Reidmester, Maddie Myers, Nikkie Steiner) 152.79; 3. Reading (Brenna Melanson, Kasey Lamb, Olivia Gallugi, Erin Daly) 152.99; 4. Notre Dame – Hingham (Julie Coen, Taylor Ellis, Taylor Darling, Kyra Pellant) 155.19; 5. Westwood (Kate Vanasse, Jackie Kremer, Jackie McDonald, Maddie McDonald) 155.25.

200 freestyle
1. Kaylie O’Connell (Stoneham) 1:57.25; 2. Maddie Myers (Bp. Feehan) 1:57.28; 3. Erin Daly (Reading) 157.35; 4. Shannon Quirk (Wakefield) 1:58.94; 5. Reilly O’Connell (Sandwich) 1:59.11.

200 IM
1. Marisa Reidmeister (Bp. Feehan) 2:09.12; 2. Caroline Capece (Bp. Feehan) 2:13.97; 3. Elizabeth Rose (Bp. Stang) 2:13.98; 4. Amanda Adreani (Reading) 2:14.67; 5. Kasey Lamb (Reading) 2:15.00.n

50 freestyle
1. Olivia Decas (Bp. Stang) 24.50; 2. Kate Vanasse (Westwood) 24.62; 3. Brenna Melanson (Reading) 24.67; 4. Maddie McDonald (Westwood) 25.54; 5. Ellen Osborn (Belmont) 25.60.

1 meter diving
1. Irina Chiulli (Westwood) 491.10; 2. Sarah Jaklitsch (NDA-Hingham) 381.60; 3. Demi Marathas (Ursuline) 371.25; 4. Abby Garrahan (Sandwich) 367.35; 5. Kelly Gilmore (Dedham) 344.40.

100 butterfly
1. Marisa Reidmester (Bp. Feehan) 58.39; 2. Kaylie O’Connell (Stoneham) 58.90; 3. MacKenzie Niness (NDA-Worcester) 59.48; 4. Helen Smith (Mt. Alvernia) 1:00.20; 5. Olivia Gallugi (Reagin) 1:00.53.

100 freestyle
1. Kate Vanasse (Westwood) 53.34; 2. Olivia Decas (Bp. Stang) 53.96; 3. Reilly O’Connell (Sandwich) 54.11; 4. Erin Daly (Reading) 54.86; 5. Alexa Bosley (Reading) 55.38.

500 freestyle
1. Taylor Ellis (NDA-H) 5:03.30; 2. Shannon Quirk (Wakefield) 5:10.10; 3. Maddie Myers (Bp. Feehan) 5:14.19; 4. Caroline Capece (Bp. Feehan) 5:19.02; 5. Taylor Darling (NDA-H) 5:24.18.

200 freestyle relay
1. Bishop Stang (Kirby Roberts, Andrea Gauvin, Elizabeth Rose, Olivia Decas) 1:42.09; 2. Reading (Olivia Gallugi, Alexa Bosley, Allyssa Woodman, Amanda Adreani) 1:42.80; 3. Bishop Feehan (Catilin Callahan, Nikki Steiner, Caroline Steiner, Katherine Perry) 1:43.71; 4. Belmont (Ellen Osborn, Ana Pulak, Emily Butte, Unuce Lee) 1:44.12; Sandwich (Cat Felicetti, Emily McMahon, Kyra Grossman, Reilly O’Connell) 1:46.96.

100 backstroke
1. Catilin Schofield (Bp. Feehan) 59.52; 2. Brenna Melanson (Reading) 1:00.18; 3. Kaila Greene (Seekonk) 1:00.33; 4. Helen Smith (Mt. Alvernia) 1:01.11; 5. MacKenzie Niness (NDA-W) 1:01.31.

100 breaststroke
1. Taylor Ellis (NDA-H) 1:05.29; 2. Andrea Gauvin (Bp. Stang) 1:08.12; 3. Elizabeth Rose (Bp. Stang) 1:08.39; 4. Kasey Lamb (Reading) 1:08.39; 5. Maddison Garber (Milford) 1:10.89.

400 freestyle relay
1. Bishop Feehan (Caroline Caprece, Maddie Myers, Caroline Steiner, Marisa Reidmeister) 3:39.38; 2. Reading (Alex Bosley, Erin Daly, Amanda Adreani, Brenna Melanson) 3:42.30; 3. Westwood (Kate Vanasse, Jessica Ovalle, Bridget Burke, Maddie McDonald) 3:47.14; 4. Notre Dame – Hingham (Kyra Pellant, Julie Coen, Danielle Healy, Taylor Ellis) 3:47.76; 5. Bishop Stang (Kirby Roberts, Kaya Flanagan, Nicole St. Martin, Maria Lopez) 3:51.98.

1. Bishop Feehan 363.50; 2. Reagin 319; 3, Bishop Stang 255.50; 4. Notre Dame – Hingham 193; 5. Westwood 170; 6. Sandwich 156; 7. Belmont 136; 8. Seekonk 134; 9. Milford 94; 10. Wakefield 84.

Bay State Games: Day 4 Recap

July, 9, 2011
Courtesy Bay State Games media relations director Peter Cohenno:

New England Sports Center – Marlboro, MA

Boys Scholastic

Northeast 3, Metro 2
Northeast mounted a comeback to defeat Metro in a thriller, 3-2. Metro scored both goals with less than a minute to go in the first period. The first goal was scored on a perfectly executed two-on-one as Conal Lynch (Charlestown, Boston Latin) threw a centering pass to Kevin Cotrone (West Roxbury, Boston Latin) who finished it off for the first goal of the game. Just 40 seconds later, Northeast got an unfortunate bounce as Metro’s Brendan Kerrigan (South Boston, BB&N) fired a centering pass that deflected off a defenseman’s skate and into the net. Leading 2-1 going into the third period, Metro maintained its relentless fore check and kept Metro from sustained offensive pressure. With less than five minutes remaining, Northeast found momentum when Tyler McKelvie (Acton, Acton Boxboro HS) corralled the puck off the boards and drove the net, splitting both defenders and sliding the puck past the goaltender. Northeast continued the charge, scoring the go-ahead goal and eventual game-winning goal with two and half minutes remaining. Northeast was able to hold strong in the final minutes despite Metro getting numerous scoring chances, as Alex Buckley (Newburyport, Newburyport HS) stood tall in net.

Central 13, West 0
Central pulled away in the second period to defeat West, 13-0. West struggled to get an attack going after taking four first period penalties, but did play solid defense and only gave up one goal in the opening frame. The Central attack was led by the line of Tyler Kirby (Hudson, Hudson HS), Blake Seymour (Hudson, Hudson HS), and Kyle Griffin (Marlborough, Marlborough HS). Kirby tallied four goals in all. Seymour recorded three assists, and Griffin had a goal and four assists in the win. Nick Stasack (West Springfield, Loomis-Chaffee Prep) and Tommy McCarthy (Longmeadow, Longmeadow HS) combined for the shutout in net.

Coastal 5, Southeast 3
Junior forward Ryan Gouveia (Dartmouth, Dartmouth HS) scored twice including the game-winner and added an assist to lead Coastal over Southeast, 5-3. Joe Kingsbury (Plymouth, Plymouth North), Jonathan Hart (Bridgewater, Bridgewater-Raynham HS) and Daniel Magalhaes (Fairhaven, Bishop Stang) rounded out the scoring for the winners. For Southeast, Jason Riley (Dedham, Dedham HS) tallied two points with a goal and an assist.

Metro 6, West 2
Sophomore Brendan Kerrigan (South Boston, BB&N) scored twice to help Metro beat West, 6-2. Connor Demore (Watertown, Watertown HS) and Colin Defrancisco (Lincoln, Lincoln-Sudbury Reg HS) added two points apiece in the winning effort. For West, Trevor Berman (Turners Falls, Turners Falls HS) and Corey Deres (Leverett, Amherst Reg HS) each collected two points with a goal and an assist.

Girls Scholastic

Southeast/Coastal 4, Metro/Northeast 0
Southeast/Coastal got two goals from Samantha Fallon (Pembroke, Dexter) and Christina Frasca (Norwood, Norwood HS) pitched a shutout in net to guide their team to a 4-0 victory over Metro/Northeast. Haley Gaughan (Canton, Canton HS) and Emily Kelly (Norwood, Norwood HS) added tallies for the winners.

Waltham High School – Waltham, MA

Boys Scholastic

West 6, Central 0
West topped Central, 6-0, on Friday morning. Six different West team members scored in the outing. Goal scorers included: junior Kyle Cupka (Wilbraham, Minnechaug Reg. HS), junior Michael Pope (Springfield, Minnechaug Reg. HS), junior Jon Bzdel (West Springfield, Williston-Northampton), sophomore Ryan Dickinson (South Hadley, South Hadley HS), sophomore Edward Mercer (South Hadley, South Hadley HS), and sophomore Nate Fornier (Belchertown, Belchertown HS). In net for the West, goalkeepers junior Austin Lefebvre (Wilbraham, Minnechaug Reg. HS) and junior Tyler Stratton (Monson, Monson HS) combined for the shutout victory.

Metro 3, Northeast 2
Down 2-0, Metro made a strong second-half comeback to defeat Northeast, 3-2, on Friday. Junior John
Dumbuya (Medford, Medford HS) led the charge for Metro, scoring all three of the team’s goals, including the winning goal in the 58th minute. Sophomore Jack Heintzeman (Middleton, Masconomet HS) and junior Valerio Silva (Woburn, Woburn HS) each netted a goal for Northeast.

Southeast 0, Coastal 0
In what turned out to be a defensive deadlock, Southeast and Coastal played to a 0-0 draw. Both teams struggled to create scoring opportunities, as the defense on both sides was impenetrable. The goalkeepers on both sides turned in strong performances to help keep the contest scoreless. Sophomore keeper Alex Sarkis (Walpole, Walpole HS) anchored Southeast, while junior Mike Delgado (New Bedford, Greater New Bedford Voc. HS) and junior James Withers (Coyle Cassidy) split time in net for Coastal to secure the shutout.

Southeast 2, Metro 1
With all of the game’s goals coming in the first half, Southeast held on to take a 2-1 victory against Metro on Friday. Southeast scored two quick goals, as junior Jonathan Keys (Norfolk, King Philip HS) netted one in the 24th minute of play and sophomore Roy Butlin (Milton, Milton HS) made good on a penalty kick in the 28th minute. Metro struck in the 33rd, when junior Brent Lo (Arlington, Arlington HS) found the back of the net, but the squad was unsuccessful in its comeback attempt. Junior Colby Gavigan (Canton, Canton HS) recorded the win in goal for Southeast.

Northeast 5, West 3

Coastal 2, Central 0

Girls Scholastic

Metro 1, Southeast 0
With both teams deadlocked through 68 minutes of play, Metro scored with two minutes left to edge past Southeast, 1-0. A defensive battle for most of the game, the lone goal of the game was scored by sophomore Victoria Clancy (Dorchester, Boston Latin School) on a penalty kick in the 69th minute of play to lift Metro to victory. Sophomore Autumn Scanlon (Waltham, Waltham HS) recorded the shutout in net for Metro.

West 3, Central 0
West earned a decisive, 3-0, shutout victory against Central on Friday afternoon. Freshman Mary
Edwards (East Longmeadow, East Longmeadow HS) broke the game open for West in the 25th minute, when she found the back of the net on a penalty kick. The squad never looked back as sophomore Jordan Bates (Chicopee, Chicopee HS) added a goal of her own and Edwards struck again for the third and final goal of the game to seal the victory for West. Freshman Shelby Hall (West Springfield, West Springfield HS) and junior Briana Kubik (Blandford, Westfield HS) combined for the complete game shutout in net for the West.

Northeast 3, Central 2
Northeast edged past Central to secure a 3-2 victory on Friday afternoon. Central struck first, as junior Hannah Millea (Sutton, Sutton HS) found the back of the net in the eighth minute of play. Northeast retaliated, scoring three goals in a row. Sophomore Megan Cullen (Amesbury, Amesbury HS) scored in the 33rd and 65th minute, while junior Lanie Jowett (Atkinson, NH, Central Catholic HS) netted one to make it a 3-1 game in favor of Northeast. Miller struck again in the 68th minute for Central, but the squad was not able to tie it up before time expired. Junior Melissa Toomey (Saugus, Saugus HS) secured the win in goal for Northeast.

West 3, Southeast 0

MIAA field hockey brackets released

November, 1, 2010
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association field hockey playoff brackets are now posted on its website.

Taking a quick look around the state:
  • In the North region, Acton-Boxborough took the No. 1 seed over Andover in Division I. Both teams earned perfect 18-0-0 records during the regular season. Watertown took the top spot in D-II North.
  • Walpole earned the top seed in Division II South after the Porkers enjoyed a clean regular season slate. Bishop Stang has a first-round bye after taking the No. 1 seed in Division II South.
  • Quabbin (14-2-2) and Uxbridge (16-2-2) are the No. 1 seeds in the Central Division I and II fields, respectively.
  • Longmeadow (17-1-0) was granted the top seed in Division I West over South Hadley (17-0-1). Although South Hadley beat Longmeadow earlier in the season, strength of schedule served as the prime mitigating factor for the swap at the top. Longmeadow has won six of the last eight Western titles. South Hadley now competes at the Division I level in field hockey because it has male players on its team. In Division II, Mohawk takes the top seed over defending sectional champion Smith Academy.

What We Learned: Week 3

September, 27, 2010

Now that the dust has settled on Week 3 of the Massachusetts football schedule, here’s what we learned from this weekend’s action:

OK, so we were slightly wrong about Xaverian...
Turns out our friends at the Boston newspapers had it right and we had this No. 1-2 thing in the wrong order. Xaverian, on the heels of a 23-20 double overtime instant classic over Brockton, is our new No. 1.

But differences aside, we've all agreed that, man oh man, last Saturday's showdown at the Hawk Bowl was one of the best in the history of the series. And these two teams almost always seem to fight to a seven-point win or four-point defensive stalemate.

The Boxers have plenty of hype this season, and rightly so with the likes of Miami-bound Albert Louis-Jean joined by fellow seniors Ralph Cherry, Paul Mroz, William Carruthers, Trevon Offley and Jacques Janvier. But the Hawks showed plenty of toughness in the win. Junior quarterback Chris Calvanese fought through cramps to orchestrate the comeback win, delivering the game-tying pass to Mike Muir -- who, a few plays prior, separated his shoulder and popped it back in.

Hey, who said Xaverian kids aren't tough?

...But when healthy, Brockton's Trevon Offley is a bull to take down
Mahar's Isaiah Jones put it ever so simply last week in our Q&A: "My coach always says squatting is going to do everything for you."

It's clear after last weekend that the 5-foot-6 Offley abides by a similar mantra. And, as All-Pro running back Maurice Jones-Drew demonstrates every Sunday, leg power with a low center of gravity is a vicious combination.

From the second quarter on, Offley was just a chore to take down. Just when the Hawks had him for a 5-yard loss, he'd rip through an arm tackle, sidestep and shimmy his way back out to the line of scrimmage and then some. Other times, he'd keep his legs churning and drag the pile for an extra two or three yards. Offley, who carried the rock 19 times for 117 yards and all three of Brockton's scores in the loss, had been out with a shoulder injury since the first half of the Boxers' 16-6 season-opening win over Boston College High. But when he's healthy, he's as reliable as they come.

Methuen's offensive line kicks out and kicks off?
Methuen quarterback Cal Carroll emerged as one of the region's toughest playmakers with the Rangers' 36-26 stunner of No. 9 Billerica, but just as impressive was his offensive line. Since losing to Plymouth North, 13-7, in Week One, the guys in the trenches have been blowing teams off the ball. A week and a half ago, they took it to Malden's massive defensive line in the second half en route to a 42-12 win. Last Friday, the guys paved the way to over 200 yards on the ground against the Indians.

Led by seniors Steve DiZazzo and Dan Cormier on the left side, the Rangers' line might not always be the biggest, but they proved that when on the same page, they can bang heads with anybody on a given night.

"Our o-line, they're tough, man," senior wide receiver Raudy Minaya said. "They hit hard, they hit every single play, and we get extra yards. That last (Carroll carry), we got the first down with ease and Cal got the touchdown, that's because of our o-line. We never give up. Up seven, doesn't matter, we need to get up the field and get the first down, and we ended up getting a touchdown with it."

Said head coach Pat Graham, "Offensive line-wise, it was essential to control the clock and to be able to run the ball, and I think our kids did a good job with that."

The 6-foot-4, 300-pound Cormier, by the way, has an impressive right leg. After Eric LaCroix kicks the extra point, the Rangers line up in a standard five-and-five kickoff formation, and some may be surprised to see Cormier raising his hand to the officials. But Cormier's got quite the boot, as he routinely blasted it to around the Billerica 5-yard line Friday night, with plenty of hang time.

Gloucester is really that far, at least
Andover, coming off a 38-13 drubbing by the Fishermen, hung 39 points on MVC Small dark horse Tewksbury last Friday, which makes one wonder: just how good is Gloucester?

The Fish's defense, led by linebacker Chris Unis, was touted as a wagon before the team even started up their famous annual summer beach training regimen. The first unit hasn't allowed more than a score from opponents. Meanwhile, the Gilbert Brown-led offense has been explosive, averaging 38.3 points per game.

The rest of the Northeastern Conference, however, hasn't been sitting idly. Revere, led by bulldozing tailback Trae Weathers, is 3-0 for the first time in a while. Cross-town rivals Lynn Classical and Lynn English have also proven adequate to start the season, too.

We'll find out next month how capable the rest of the NEC Large contenders are of unseating the defending Division 1A Super Bowl champs, but for now we'll enjoy the ride.

Key EAC matchups could have bearing on December
Yeah, it’s a little premature, but we can’t help but wonder how a couple of this weekend’s Eastern Athletic Conference games might impact the long-term playoff picture in Division III.

There was a battle of unbeatens on Slocum Road in Dartmouth with Somerset traveling to meet Bishop Stang. The Blue Raiders rolled to a convincing 43-13 win over Stang, riding running backs Jaron Spear and Seth DeMello, who combined for five rushing touchdowns.

Meanwhile, heading north along Rte. 140, Martha’s Vineyard took care of business against Coyle-Cassidy. The Vineyarders escaped with a 41-32 win over the Warriors thanks to quarterback Randall Jette’s 192 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.

While it appears that Somerset and the Vineyard control their own destinies in the EAC, we’ll see if Bishop Feehan has anything to say in the situation. It’s hard to figure what the Shamrocks have after losses to Attleboro, No. 18 North Attleborough and Abington — three quality teams. Feehan has two more games out conference, including next week’s out-of-state matchup with Barrington (R.I.), before hosting C-C.

“This is a tough division,” Somerset head coach Nick Freitas said Saturday after his team’s win.

He continued, “Hopefully, we just remain healthy. I think that will be the key.”

Blue Raiders quarterback Alex Ledoux left the game to an injury during the second quarter of Saturday’s game. At the time, Freitas didn’t have information on the severity of Ledoux’s injury.

What was clear was the Blue Raiders’ statement made on the field.

Playing with heavy hearts
Friday night’s Hockomock game between Attleboro and Franklin almost was for not.

Attleboro’s school community woke Friday morning to the news that senior Myles Brastow had died in a motorcycle accident. Hours before the game administrators and coached from the representative schools huddled to discuss whether it was appropriate to hold the game in light of Brastow’s death.

“We talked to the administrators and the coaches to see what they wanted to do with the game,” Franklin athletic director and head football coach Brad Sidwell said in a telephone interview on Sunday. “We certainly understood if they wanted to reschedule the game. But they felt that they wanted to try have a sense of normalcy and have the game like any other Friday night.”

The Blue Bombardiers paid homage to their fallen classmate with a dramatic 20-13 win over the Panthers. Attleboro was led by quarterback Nate Robitaille, who was cleared for the game after suffering a concussion during the previous game against King Philip, and running back J.J. Jolaoso. Robitaille march the Blue Bombardiers down the field on the game-winning drive inside the two-minute warning and Jolaoso punched in the winning score on a 7-yard touchdown run.

"It's a tribute to the kids," Attleboro head coach Kevin Deschenes told Mark Farinella of The Sun Chronicle after the game. "They had a rough day today, and for these young adults to bounce back after a very traumatic day, losing a friend, I thought they responded very well."

The Franklin football community was also dealing with the loss of one of its own. Longtime Panthers head coach Gerry Leone Sr. passed away last week

“He was a legendary part of Franklin football,” Sidwell said. “I know there are even some parents of current players who played for him and I know the lessons taught to them by coach Leone in high school are things that have stayed with them throughout their lives. That’s the kind of man he was.”

The North Carolina State-bound Knight kicked off the much-hyped Spartans’ ISL title defense in grand fashion, carrying the ball 14 times for 308 yards and two scores in a 36-14 defeat of Milton Academy. We’ve seen 300-yard games before from schoolboy athletes, but on just 14 carries? That averages out to 22 yards a carry, or essentially a first down every time he touched the ball, so in that regard we’ve got to add a shout-out to his offensive line.

Blaise Branch, Sr. RB, Cardinal Spellman – The 6-foot, 200-pound Branch had three scores on the ground and totaled 201 rushing yards on the day, ironically to give his head coach Ron St. George his 201st win, as the Cardinals rolled to a 35-8 win over Carver.

Andrew Coke, Jr. RB, Andover – Coke accounted for all six of the Warriors’ touchdowns in a 39-32 win over Tewksbury to open MVC play. He rushed 30 times for 214 yards and a school record five touchdowns; was 2 of 2 passing for 28 yards, including a 12-yard scoring strike to Brian Miller; and added 65 return yards for 311 all-purpose yards.

Dylan Colarusso, Sr. RB, Weymouth – He carved quite a name for himself following his performance in Friday’s 41-14 win over Milton, carrying 25 times for 262 yards and three scores.

Dave Dubin, Jr. DE, Holliston – For all of the talk of the Panthers’ offensive weapons, it was Dubin’s work on defense that stood out in the 48-24 win over Millis/Hopedale. He had 11 tackles, including five sacks, and contributed to holding the Mohawks to minus-27 yards of offense in the first half.

Randall Jette, Sr. QB, Martha's Vineyard - Jette captained the Vineyarders' Navy-style option offense with 17 carries for 192 yards and five touchdowns in their 41-32 win over Coyle-Cassidy.

Ben Patrick, Sr. RB, Rivers – The Roxbury resident, who ran for over 900 yards in six games last season, continued his good ways with an impressive ISL debut. He carried 20 times for 269 yards and two scores, and also came up with two interceptions, as the Red Wings downed St. Paul’s, 40-18.

Ben Shelton, Sr. QB, Wayland – The Warriors turned a lot of heads with its stunning 36-7 win over highly-ranked Westford, and Shelton was the catalyst. He was 12 of 17 passing for 209 yards and two touchdowns, and carried the ball 11 times for 97 yards.

Jaron Spear, Sr. RB, Somerset - The Blue Raiders asserted their will on the ground in a 43-13 victory over Bishop Stang and Spear headed the charge with 21 carries for 215 yards and four touchdowns.