Boston High School: Joey Crane

Top MIAA hoop performances: Feb. 27

February, 28, 2014
Each and every night throughout the MIAA basketball playoff season, we will highlight the state's top performances. Here are my top performances from Thursday night's slate of MIAA basketball state tournament play.

As a reminder, readers are encouraged to submit their top performances via email ( or tweeting at ESPN Boston High Schools editor Brendan Hall (@BHallESPN). Deadline for all submissions each night is midnight.

1. Alyssa Guyon, Jr. F, Ludlow
Monster night on the boards for Guyon, as she recorded 26 points and 21 rebounds in the Lions' 58-47 D2 West win over Quabbin.

2. Bridget Herlihy, Jr. F, and Brianna Herlihy, Soph. F, Braintree
The sisters combined for 29 points and 26 rebounds in the Wamps' 58-39 Division 1 South quarterfinal win over King Philip.

3. Tom Nadeau, Sr. G, Stoneham
Scored 26 points and added six assists in the Spartans' D3 North win over North Reading.

4. Kendra Hicks, Sr. F, Springfield Central
Notched a double-double in the Golden Eagles' D1 West win over Shepherd Hill, recording 15 points, 14 rebounds and two blocks.

5. Lauren Carnevale, Sr. F, Pittsfield
Had a double-double in the Generals' 57-42 D2 West win over Belchertown, recording 18 points and 15 rebounds.

6. Chris Lockett, Jr. F, St. Mary's (Lynn)
Had 24 points in the Spartans' 70-48 rout of Maimonides in D4 North.

7. Steve McGrath, Sr. F, Stoneham
Along with 23 points, had eight rebounds, six steals and three blocks in the Spartans' win over North Reading

8. Joey Crane, Sr. F, Cardinal Spellman
Recorded a double-double in the Cardinals' rout of Dedham in D3 South, with 20 points and 10 rebounds.

9. Karlie O'Driscoll, Sr. F, Sharon
Came up with 15 pts, nine rebounds and 8 steals in the Eagles' 52-50 thriller over Oliver Ames in D2 South.

10. K.C. Cunningham, Jr. G, Worcester South
Had 20 points in the Colonels' 63-51 upset of top-seeded Fitchburg in D1 Central Quarterfinals.

Video: Crane brings down the house

February, 5, 2014
BROCKTON, Mass. -- Last night in front of a rowdy home crowd, No. 23 Cardinal Spellman blew out No. 21 St. Bernard's, 71-36, avenging last month's loss in Fitchburg. The night was accentuated with a thunderdous Joey Crane dunk late in the third quarter that made it a 30-point game.

Courtesy of Brian Donohoe, here is video of that dunk, which includes the wild crowd reaction:

Recap: No. 23 Spellman 71, No. 21 St. B's 36

February, 4, 2014
BROCKTON, Mass. -– Almost as soon as he got on the bus departing the St. Bernard’s Activity Center last Jan. 19, the 62-52 loss to the Bernardians still fresh on the mind, Joey Crane wanted a second crack at them.

Tuesday night in front of a rowdy home crowd at Cardinal Spellman, that anguish came full circle –- in fact, it exploded. Crane tomahawked homed a breakaway dunk late in the third quarter that put the Cardinals (13-3) up by 29, the piece de resistance of a 71-36 drubbing that split the season series with St. Bernard’s (9-5).

[+] EnlargeJoey Crane
Brendan Hall/ESPNJoey Crane's third-quarter dunk, part of a 17-point effort, brought the house down.
“This feels pretty good. Our other two losses were to Franklin and Mansfield, and we couldn’t avenge those because they were one game [in the Shooting Touch Shootout],” said Crane, who finished with 17 points, five rebounds and three blocks. “It feels good to finally get revenge on them [St. B’s] in this game.”

Added senior point guard Ryan Roach, who chipped in with 12 points and six assists, “We really wanted this one.” He then pointed to the student section across the gymnasium and added, “Them just as much as us.”

As routs go, this one was a Picasso, and Crane was its master stroke.

The Bernardians were without their star sophomore forward Garrett Stephenson, who injured his right ankle early in last Saturday's loss to Northbridge. And although their own star forward Rory Donovan sat most of the night in foul trouble, the Cardinals were able to take advantage of the absence of Stevenson, who beat up the Cardinals for 15 points in their first meeting.

St. B's came out in a 2-3 zone, and Spellman responded by shooting the lights out, going 4-for-8 from three-point range -- including two from senior Austin Joseph -- as they took a 26-11 lead after the first quarter.

The second quarter saw the Cardinals extend their lead to 40-23 with a series of dazzling plays at both end of the floor. First, Roach pounced on a missed Bernardians' three-point attempt to trigger a fast break, and from there dished a pretty no-look pass to Bryan Barry, who drew a foul on the way up and sank one of two free throws.

Crane then followed up with a block from behind, pinning the ball against the backboard as John Conry attempted a layup. Then on the next trip down the floor, he ripped the ball out of a Bernardian player's grip as he pivoted in the lane, going coast to coast for a layup and 33-16 lead.

"That's something he can do every night," Spellman head coach Mike Perry said. "He's got those kinda tools. He can shoot it, he runs the floor, Ryan [Roach] does a great job finding those guys around the basket, makes real nice passes. If you can score inside and outside, you're gonna be a very good high school player, and I think at the next level he's gonna have that too."

In the third quarter, things truly got untracked.

Up 47-24, Crane dished out of the corner to Joseph, who dribbled along the right wing and then -- seemingly out of boredom -- swung it back to Crane, who drained a three.

A minute later, the Cardinals went vertical. Roach launched an alley-oop from near midcourt to Donovan, who laid in the pass with two hands, for a 54-26 advantage at 4:30 of the third. Then a minute and half later, Crane send the crowd into its loudest frenzy of the night with an authoritative overhand smash, his fourth dunk of the season, to make it 58-29.

"That was awesome," Crane laughed. "And to do it in front of that crowd, it's like nothing else. I was going crazy."

Overall, the Cardinals shot 53 percent from the floor, which included an 8-for-16 mark from three-point range. They also outrebounded the Bernardians 31-23, and outscored them 31-13 over the final two quarters.

Senior Christian LaRoche led St. B's with 11 points, while 6-foot-7 sophomore center Joseph Saba chipped in with 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks.

Brian Donohoe also had 10 points in the win for Spellman.

Stephenson hopeful to return soon: St. B's head coach Mark Pierce said that Stephenson will likely miss the next week, possibly two, with the ankle he sprained five minutes into Saturday's contest against Northbridge. The 6-foot-5 Stephenson, a Townsend resident,l is a dynamic inside-out force with terrific post moves, and picked up some additional attention over the offseason from his time playing with the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC).

"Our size is our strength, and obviously losing Garrett hurts us," Pierce said. "We're a different team. Make no excuses, they [Spellman] came out and played very well tonight. But we knew we'd have to work hard on the boards tonight, and then they started hitting three's all over the place and I knew we were in trouble."

MEDFORD, Mass. –- Mansfield senior guard Rocky DeAndrade had been struggling to find his shot for most of the first three quarters of the Hornets’ battle with Cardinal Spellman, in the third annual Shooting Touch Shootout. But when it came around, it put the feisty Cardinals away for good.

DeAndrade, who was 1-for-9 from the field headed into the fourth, orchestrated a 10-3 run to start the frame, giving the Hornets a double-digit cushion over Spellman (4-2) that they would not relinquish over the final five minutes. The Hornets won, 60-47, to sweep both of their Shooting Touch contests this weekend at Tufts University’s Cousens Gymnasium.

“He’s one of those kids, he just keeps coming at you,” Mansfield (3-0) head coach Mike Vaughan said of DeAndrade. “He’s not forcing it, he’s not turning the ball over a lot, [and] he’s not giving up baskets out of turnovers if he does. He’s playing really solid basketball right now, I’m very happy with him.”

Holding a 40-37 lead to start the fourth, Mansfield freshman Matt Ehrlich knocked down a three-pointer to make it a six-point lead, only to watch Stonehill-bound Spellman point guard Ryan Roach (12 points) fire back immediately with a trey of his own.

That’s when DeAndrade got going.

With a 43-40 lead, DeAndrade came down the lane in transition with a hesitation move on a Spellman defender, then floated the ball over him. Two trips later, DeAndrade gathered behind the arc along the left wing, then reset and dribbled to the elbow for a 15-footer.

The next trip down, DeAndrade made it 50-40 with a nifty sequence of events, grabbing a loose ball rolling along the floor in his own end, pushing the ball up in transition, then driving and kicking out to junior Ryan Boulter (24 points, 11 rebounds) at the left wing for an open three.

A few moments later, Boulter took a handoff from DeAndrade and swung to the right corner, beating the shot clock buzzer with a high-arching three that made it 54-43 with four minutes to go.

“We knew we had to pull away, so we had to find the best way possible,” DeAndrade said. “Ryan’s three was huge, and Matt [Ehrlich] had some huge rebounds for us.”

Something they thought they could take advantage of in the second half?

“We started to cut, and then we came back to the middle to cut and find the ball,” DeAndrade said. “In the first half, we were just cutting to cut, and then we missed a lot of guys on open looks. “Second half, we focused on cutting with a purpose.”

Rory Donovan led Spellman with 14 points and six rebounds, while Joey Crane added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

Rocky vs. Roach: One of the most anticipated individual matchups was between the two points guards, DeAndrade and Roach. DeAndrade was a catalyst for the Hornets’ run to the Division 1 State Championship last season, and returns as one of the state’s top point guards on a squad that is once again a D1 favorite. Roach, meanwhile, signed with Division 2 Stonehill College during the early signing period last month, and leads a Spellman squad that is among the favorites in D3 across the state.

DeAndrade had just five points, but it was his distribution that keyed the Hornets, finishing with six assists. Roach had 12 points, but was 5-for-12 from the field.

“He’s shifty, he’s quick,” DeAndrade said of Roach. “He can handle, he can score. It was tough guarding him as a player.”

No posts? No problem: Much has been made of the fact Mansfield is without three of its starters –- forwards Brendan Hill (knee) and Kevin Conner (hip), and guard Mike Hershman (sports hernia) –- as they begin their Division 1 Eastern Mass title defense. They’ll likely be snakebitten for most of the season’s first half, as the 6-foot-5 Hill –- a junior, and the reigning Hockomock League MVP -– could be out another month as he rehabs from the knee injury suffered late in football season.

With all that considered, it’s fair to question how well the Hornets would rebound in their absence. But not only have Boulter and Michael Boen slid into the forward positions seamlessly, they’ve thrived in it. They have out-rebounded opponents in all three of their games so far; tonight, the Hornets out-rebounded Spellman 38-24, including an 11-2 mark in the fourth.

“Coming into the season if you had asked me my biggest concern about this team, knowing what we’re missing, I would have said rebounding. And ironically, I don’t think we’ve had an opponent out-rebound us yet,” Vaughan said. “To me, that’s a good sign, primarily because of Boulter and Boen. Boulter has had double-digit rebounds every game. He’s going after the ball, he’s diving to the floor, keeping balls alive.

“We’re doing a good job of team rebounding, too…I think they’ve made a commitment, knowing that that was going to be a weakness going forward that we were going to have to overcome.”

Said Boulter, “Coach [Vaughan] told us over the summer, and during the preseason, that we were going to have to step it up, because Brendan and Kevin were hurt. But we just follow their roles and play great basketball.”

Recap: Westport 52, Cardinal Spellman 44

January, 18, 2013
WESTPORT, Mass. –- Roll this number around in your mind: nine percent.

That’s what Westport’s defense forced Cardinal Spellman into shooting from the floor (1-for-11) in the fourth quarter of Thursday night’s non-league game.

As a result, the Wildcats rallied from deficits as great as nine points in the third quarter, outscored the Cardinals 20-5 over the final eight minutes and walked off the court with a 52-44 victory -– which gave them a sweep of the season series between the teams.

“We switched it up a little bit,” junior forward Richie Hartnett said. “We went to a different defense. It’s like a scramble defense. Usually you trap in the corner and everybody rotates around.

“It seemed to work out with them because they couldn’t get a set offense going. They’d miss a couple of shots and we got the rebounds.”


Westport’s ability to rebound was another factor in its ability to out-score Spellman (8-3) 20-5 in the fourth quarter which began with the Cardinals leading 39-32.

Seemingly in an eye blink, Westport (12-1) hit Spellman with a 15-4 run during which Chris Hartnett (Richie’s older brother), Carlos Silver and Jake Friar (game-high 19 points, 12 of which came on four three-point shots) each buried a trey.

Friar’s shot gave Westport a 47-43 lead with 2:35 remaining.

Then, after Spellman’s Paul Preozzi converted 1-of-2 free throw attempts, Westport closed out the Cardinals when Friar converted a layup, Chris Hartnett sank both ends of a two-point foul and Ryan Kirby added another freebie.

Wildcats flash fangs: “My kids had a lot of fight in them,” Westport coach Scot Boudria said. “We made some adjustments from the first half to the second half. I think offensively we tended to use picks better. We tended to look for open space instead of everybody cramming to look to the ball.

“I think defensively we really stepped up. Defensively, I thought our rotation was excellent. I thought our rotation allowed us to get into our transition offense which allowed us to score easier baskets in the fourth quarter.”

How true.

Westport torched the Cardinals for 83.3 percent shooting (5-for-6) in the final period which enabled the Wildcats to finish with their largest margin of the game -– one reason being they began driving the lane more than they did in the first half when they shot a mediocre 40 percent (10-25).

“That was one of the things we discussed at halftime,” Boudria said. “Don’t settle for an outside jump shot every time you see one that’s open because you can get them often.

“I thought Spellman was more athletic than we were so we were going to have to play basketball at a much higher level in order to be successful. I thought we did that. Every time down, 18 or 20 seconds were taken off the clock. That wears you down defensively. The fourth quarter is when you make your move.”

Donovan hot early: Rory Donovan (14 points) and Joey Crane (10 points) were the only Cardinals to reach double figures.

Donovan scored 12 of his points in the first half as the Cardinals took advantage of Westport’s cold shooting and forged a 26-21 lead at intermission.

Austin Joseph drained a trey with 3:23 left in the third to give the Cardinals the second of their nine-point leads, this time at 36-27. But once the Wildcats clamped down on defense, especially in the fourth quarter, the outcome virtually was inevitable.

“We don’t have a 20-point scorer,” Richie Hartnett said. “Everyone averages around 10 points a game. We have lots of assists and great defense which leads to easy baskets. If not, we slow down the ball, work the shot clock down and usually end up getting good shots.”