Boston High School: Julie Frankian

ESPNBoston's MIAA All-State Girls Basketball Team

March, 25, 2011
3/25/11
9:10
PM ET
STARTING FIVE

Guard – Nicole Boudreau, Jr., Andover
The state's Gatorade Player of the Year and Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year led the Golden Warriors to their second straight Division 1 state title, and put up impressive numbers in her junior season: 23.1 points, 7.7 rebounds, 4.9 steals, 4.5 assists and two blocks, as the Warriors went 27-1. Boudreau is verbally committed to Boston College.

Guard – Natalie Gomez-Martinez, Sr., Andover
Together with Boudreau, the 5-foot-6 Gomez-Martinez formed the state's most formidable backcourt, and backed it up with some impressive numbers of her own. She averaged 13.5 points, 5.6 assists, 5.3 rebounds and 4.3 steals as the Golden Warriors won their second straight Division 1 state championship. Gomez-Martinez will continue her career next fall at Division 1 Marist College.

Guard – Blake Dietrick, Sr., Wellesley
The Raiders made a surprise early exit from the Division 1 South tournament, but the 5-foot-11 Dietrick leaves Wellesley as one of the school's all-time greatest athletes. This season she averaged 20.1 points, 8.3 rebounds, 5.3 assists, 3.9 steals and was named the Bay State Conference's MVP. She also hit 52 three-pointers this season. She leaves Wellesley with 1,440 career points, and is the school's all-time leading scorer for either gender in both basketball and lacrosse. Dietrick will continue her basketball career next fall at Princeton University.

Forward – Elizabeth Belanger, Jr., Acton-Boxborough
The 5-foot-11 junior continued the momentum from sophomore season, in which she won the Dual County League's MVP, to held the Colonials break through to the TD Garden floor in 2011. After outlasting archrival Lincoln-Sudbury in overtime, the Colonials made it to the Division 1 North final at the Garden, where they lost to eventual state champ Andover. For the season, Belanger averaged 20.5 points, 11.4 rebounds and 2.7 steals, and registered her 1,000th point in a D1 North first round win over Billerica.

Center – Tori Faieta, Sr., St. Mary’s
At 6-foot-2, the senior imposed her will around the rim for four years, culminating this season with a Division 3 state championship, the school's first state title since 2003. She was named the Catholic Central League's MVP, and is a four-time league all-star. This season, she averaged 13 points and 11.2 rebounds, and finishes as the all-time leading scorer (1,471 points) and rebounder (1,416 boards) in school history. She will continue her basketball career next fall at Stonehill College.

BEST OF THE REST

Cassi Amenta, Sr., St. Mary’s
Together with Faieta, the 5-foot-11 Amenta formed one of the state's most vicious frontcourts, culminating with a Division 3 state title. The two-time Catholic Central League All-Star leaves St. Mary's as the third all-time leading scorer (907 points), including averages of 10.5 points and 7.6 rebounds this season.

Nicole Beresford, Sr., Marshfield
The 5-foot-11 Beresford has been a rock for the Lady Rams since her freshman year, earning Atlantic Coast League All-Star nods in all four of her years on the varsity and earning a McDonald's All-American nod this season. She averaged 22.4 points and 11.2 rebounds in her senior season, and leaves Marshfield as the school's all-time leading scorer for either gender (1,804 points). Beresford will continue her career next fall at Dartmouth.

Sophie Bikofsky, Sr., Newton South
As co-MVP of the Dual County League for the Large division champs, the 5-foot-11 Bikofsky honed her reputation as one of the area's best shooters. This season she averaged 18.5 points, seven rebounds and 2.7 steals, and memorably got her 1,000th point within 30 seconds of teammate and fellow All-Stater Kendall Burton. Bikofsky will continue her career next fall at Brown.

Kendall Burton, Sr., Newton South
The DCL's other co-MVP was just as versatile on the court as her counterpart Bikofsky. She averaged 15.5 points, six rebounds and 1.7 assists for the Lions as they advanced to the Division 1 South semifinals. Burton, along with Bikofsky, was also a McDonald's All-American nominee this season. She will continue her career next fall at Villanova University.

Amber Dillon, Sr., Brookline
The 5-foot-4 Dillon led the Warriors to a 14-7 campaign in her senior season, while finishing second to Wellesley's Blake Dietrick in scoring in the Bay State Conference. She averaged 15.3 points, four rebounds, four assists and earned a McDonald's All-American nomination this season.

Khadijah Ellison, Sr., Burke
With freakish athletic talents, the 5-foot-8 senior established herself as one of the state's craftiest ballhandlers, if not the best in the city of Boston. The Bulldogs made an early exit in the Division 3 South tournament, but her brightest days are ahead of her. Ellison, the No. 44 overall player nationally in the Class of 2011 by ESPNU, will continue her career next fall in the SEC at Mississippi State.

Julie Frankian, Sr., Millbury
The 5-foot-11 Frankian established herself as one of the most dynamic scorers outside of I-495, leading the Woolies to a fifth straight Central Mass. Division 2 title and fourth straight appearance in the Division 2 state championship. Frankian leaves Millbury as the school's all-time leading scorer, and for her senior season averaged 19.3 points, 8.9 rebounds and three assists. She will continue her career next fall at Division 2 Assumption College.

Arielle Gomes, Sr., New Bedford
The 5-foot-11 power forward was a force in the middle for the Whalers, who went 20-0 during the regular season to earn the No. 1 overall seed in the South and advance to the Division 1 Eastern Mass finals, where they lost to eventual state champion Andover. Before losing to Andover, the Whalers allowed just 40 points per game in the playoffs. For the season she averaged 17.7 points and five assists, and finishes her career at New Bedford as the second all-time leading scorer (1,284 points).

Brenna Gonsalves, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
The 5-foot-10 Gonsalves leaves Coyle as the school's all-time leading scorer for both boys and girls, with 1,615 points. She was also a three-time Eastern Athletic Conference scoring champion. With Gonsalves leading the way, the Warriors won three straight EAC titles, and took the Division 3 South crown earlier this month. She finishes with a career scoring average of 17.9 points, and amassed 672 rebounds, 254 steals, 202 assists and 140 blocks. She will continue her career next fall at Division 2 Adelphi University.

Monique Heard, Jr., Holyoke
Holyoke's spark plug of a 5-foot-5 point put in a dazzling junior season for the Purple Knights, averaging 22.5 points and six assists per game as they went 19-3 and advanced to the Western Mass. Division 1 semifinals. Heard was also the inaugural recipient of the Basketball Hall of Fame/MassLive Western Mass Player of the Year.

Morgan Jenkins, Sr., Revere
The 6-foot Jenkins was a dominant force in the paint for the Patriots, who won the Northeastern Conference and went 20-0 in the regular season to earn a No. 1 seed in the Division 1 North tournament. Jenkins, who led the NEC in scoring average (18.8 points), will continue her career next fall at St. Michael's College.

Carlene Kluge, Sr., Reading
The 6-foot Kluge lead a young Rockets squad to Middlesex League dominance, as they went 21-2 and won the league outright in the last year before splitting into two divisions. She averaged 13.2 points on the season, as the Rockets advanced to the Division 2 North semifinals. Kluge will continue her career next fall at Bentley College.

Melissa Miller, Sr., Central Catholic
A four-year member of the varsity, Miller co-captained the Raiders to a 20-3 campaign this season and was one of the region's premier forwards, averaging 11.1 points and 7.2 rebounds. For her career, the Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star amassed over 850 points and 500 rebounds. She will continue her career next fall at Merrimack College on a full scholarship.

Gabie Polce, Sr., Central Catholic
A four-year varsity player who has run the point for the Raiders the past 3 years, the 5-foot-9 Polce captained the Raiders to a 20-3 campaign, averaging 10.6 points, 3.7 assists and 2.8 steals. For her career, the Merrimack Valley Conference All-Star scored 838 points, over 210 steals and more than 300 assists. She will continue her career next fall at Division 2 College of St. Rose.

Alyssa Roach, Sr., New Bedford
Along with Arielle Gomes, Roach was a force offensively for the Whalers, who averaged nearly 70 points per game in the regular season and finished the year 24-1, bowing out to eventual state champ Andover in the Division 1 Eastern Mass finals. She averaged 12.6 points and 8.1 rebounds on the season. Roach will continue her career next fall at American International College.

Emma Roberson, Jr., Arlington Catholic
The 5-foot-9 Roberson was the catalyst for a young Cougars squad that captured their first Division 2 state championship in school history in dominating fashion, a 49-28 drubbing of Millbury. After a competitive Catholic Central slate, Roberson led a Cougars defense that allowed just 39 points per game in six playoff games.

Bri Schnare, Jr., Wachusett
The 6-foot-2 forward turned in a stellar junior season for the 15-6 Mountaineers, averaging 12.2 points, eight rebounds and four blocks per game and earning a Mid-Wach A All-Star nod. When play resumes at the end of the year, Schnare will be a captain for head coach Jim Oxford.

Dana Theobald, Jr., West Springfield
One of several lightning-quick point guards to rule Western Mass, the 5-foot-6 Theobald led the district in scoring with 23.5 points per game. Behind Theobald, the Terriers earned a No. 1 overall seed in the Division 1 West sectional, and lost in the semifinals to Longmeadow in an overtime thriller.

Nee leads AC to first-ever D2 state title

March, 19, 2011
3/19/11
7:16
PM ET



WORCESTER, Mass. -- Arlington Catholic's Erin Nee may give Jim Carrey a run for the starring role in any future sequels to "The Mask."

After suffering a fractured nose during the Cougars state semifinal victory over Hopkinton, Nee was forced to don a facemask to protect the injury. Apparently, she got comfortable with it pretty quickly, as the senior opened the second quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers during a 21-0 run that helped Arlington Catholic pull away from Millbury, for what resulted in a 49-28 victory and the Cougars' first Division 2 state championship, at the DCU Center Saturday.

"It was interesting. it was a different feeling but I got used to it after a while," Nee said of wearing the protective mask. "The shots felt really good. I was just open so I shot and they went in. I think we fed off that energy and the crowd going wild. It was awesome. I think it really helped us to go back and have intensity on defense and the offense came from the defense."

Those two shots were huge as AC (21-6) went a paltry 2-for-11 from the field in the opening stanza. Nee got the crowd going and her teammates fed off that energy -- Emma Roberson in particular.

The Cougars' star scored 10 of her game-high 16 points during that spurt, as AC turned a 7-2 deficit into a 23-7 lead. With Nee getting hot, it gave the Woolies (23-2) an additional threat to watch for in addition to normal 3-point gunner Nicole Catizone (11 points).

"Erin definitely got our momentum going," Robersopn said. "We were a little down on ourselves after the first quarter. None of our shots were going in and we weren't playing great. So Erin coming out and hitting those two big threes got us going."

The Cougars got amped up in the defensive zone as well, forcing eight Millbury turnovers in the second that led to a number of transition buckets.

"I thought we came out of the box good but in the second quarter the floodgates opened up," admitted Millbury coach Steve Reno. "We couldn't make a shot and we couldn't get anywhere near the hoop for a rebound. Sometimes we couldn't even get across halfcourt because their pressure was so relentless."

"To make things worse, they started heating up," Reno continued. "They were making threes and they got a couple of turnovers where they were able to convert on runouts. It was the nightmare scenario."

Having found themselves in a similar spot against Hopkinton where AC had to rally from an 18-point hole to win, the Cougars never took their collective foot off the gas pedal, roaring out of halftime with an 11-0 run.

"I think defense comes from the heart," Catizone said. "You really have to keep working at it. We all work extra hard as a team with helping and talking. We knew that if they started getting on a run they could come back easily. We didn’t want that to happen."

And they didn't let it happen. Catizone drained a pair of treys while Nee and Kayla Awizsus also hit from beyond. Defensively, the Cougars held the Woolies to a mere five field goals on 30 attempts and AC took a 44-16 lead into the fourth.

"They’ve come so far as a team," said a proud AC coach Dave Brady of his Cougars. "The basketball language at the beginning of the year, they didn’t even know what a backdoor was. Now, they are out there teaching me things. These girls deserve so much. They’ve really come so far."

ESPNBoston's Hoops Finals Picks

March, 18, 2011
3/18/11
3:53
PM ET
We've got you covered from the first tip-off to the final buzzer tomorrow at Worcester's DCU Center, home of six MIAA basketball state championships. But for now, to whet your appetite, here's high school editor Brendan Hall's picks for each of the six games.

DIVISION 3 GIRLS: LEE (24-1) VS. ST. MARY'S OF LYNN (23-4)
The Lowdown: In a season of relative unknowns in Division 3, the Wildcats of Lee dominated Western Mass again, albeit to nobody's surprise. Puncutated by wins over Division 1 finalist Amherst and Division 3 juggernaut Sabis (which was averaging nearly 70 points per game before falling in the D3 West final to Lee), the Wildcats are at it again with that famously dogged press of theirs. Always undersized yet always relentless, they blitzed Pentucket a year ago on the DCU floor en route to their sixth state title in 20 years, and could be up to their same old tricks tomorrow morning. St. Mary's, meanwhile, has size all over the place, led by the senior "Twin Towers" of 6-foot-2 center Tori Faieta and 5-foot-11 forward Cassi Amenta. The Spartans beat Lee a month ago, 71-60, in a tournament just before the start of the MIAA playoffs.
Hall's Pick: History says to never take Lee lightly -- no matter what shape or size it comes in. But unfortunately, there is just too much size to be accounted for on St. Mary's side of things. Not that they're unbeatable, but I just think the Spartans will control the glass. St. Mary's, 50-45.

DIVISION 3 BOYS: WHITINSVILLE CHRISTIAN (22-2) VS. WATERTOWN (19-5)
The Lowdown: Another matchup that on paper looks uneven, the Whitinsville Christian Crusaders boast plenty of size behind 6-foot-9 Hans Miersma, who dominated Lenox in Wednesday night's Central/West semifinal. Meanwhile, Watertown's tallest player is 6-foot-3 senior forward Connor Stockdale -- whom head coach Steve Harrington likens to another point guard on the floor -- and Marco Coppola, one of the state's leading scorers with 25 points per game. Whitinsville excels in the 2-3 zone but isn't afraid to quickly drop it and play straight man should they get into early trouble. But this is Harrington's Raiders, which means you're likely to see four things: weakside post, four out, pick and roll, perimeter shots. In other words, don't take the Raiders lightly, especially if they don't try to challenge Miersma immediately at the rim.
Hall's Pick: The tale of the tape favors Whitinsville, just based on the size it wields in the frontcourt. But Steve Harrington is one of the best coaches in New England, and you can guarantee he's going to draw up a hell of a game plan to try and neutralize the size advantage. Whitinsville Christian, 65-64.

DIVISION 2 GIRLS: ARLINGTON CATHOLIC (20-6) VS. MILLBURY (23-1)
The Lowdown: The Arlington Catholic Cougars -- led by Emma Roberson, Nicole Catizone, and sisters Rachel and Maura Buckley -- can be viewed as a green bunch with all of their youth abound. But on Monday night at TD Garden, they pulled off one of the more impressive feats in recent EMass Finals history, clawing back from 18 down with six minutes left in the first half to take a halftime lead over Hopkinton and hold it up. Meanwhile, Millbury has burned opponents in the transition game all season long, beating opponents in the playoffs so far by an average of 16.5 points per game. Out on the break, seniors Julie Frankian (19.1 points, 8.3 rebounds) and Sydney Bloomstein (9.5, 6.1) have been as formidable duo as we've seen in Division 2.
Hall's Pick: Sorry, AC. That was an amazing comeback you pulled over Hopkinton over the Garden. But this is Julie Frankian's moment in the sun. Millbury, 60-48.

DIVISION 2 BOYS: NORTHBRIDGE (20-5) VS. NEW MISSION (21-4)
The Lowdown: Mission was the odds-on favorite in Division 2 headed into the season, and hasn't done a whole lot to convince otherwise. Led by three Northeast-10 ready senior guards in Samir McDaniels, Kachi Nzerem and Darius Davis; as well as Charles Gunter, Leroy Hamilton, and Isshiah Coleman on the blocks; the Titans have begun to find that scoring touch around the rim that was missing for stretches this season. They also like to wear opponents out with a smothering, physical man-to-man defense -- as head coach Cory McCarthy often tells reporters, "The uglier, the better." Good news for the Titans: Northbridge relishes in that style, too. Eight of its players were on the Rams squad that won a Division 2 football Central Mass Super Bowl this past fall, and have brought that aggressive mentality to the floor with forwards (and brothers) Thomas and Harrison Murphy. Also watch out for Corey Pryor, who burned Sabis on Wednesday night with a series of uncontest layups en route to 24 points.
Hall's Pick: Cory McCarthy is known to fill up a reporter's notebook fairly quickly with his endless arsenal of money quotes. But the one that still resonates above the rest is the one he gave our correspondent Adam Kurkjian back in December: "I love these kids. I would do anything for these kids. And I feel like they will eat glass for me." Remember that one if this is close in the waning minutes. Mission, 58-47.

DIVISION 1 GIRLS: ANDOVER (26-1) VS. AMHERST (22-2)
The Lowdown: Amherst, written off the in preseason after the transfer of Mariah Lesure to Tabor Academy, has rolled through Western Mass, and arrives in Worcester after a thrilling overtime defeat of Algonquin in Tuesday's Central/West state semifinal. Much of the Hurricanes' emergence has to do with the maturation of their junior class led by Brianna Leonard (11.1 points), Morbasaw Nkambeo (10.0) and Kristen Ferrola (9.3). The Golden Warriors, meanwhile, were one of several heavy favorites in Division 1 headed into the season, and save a lone regular-season blip to Central Catholic have done nothing to deter that thinking. Much has been made of Andover's Division 1-ready backcourt led by Marist-bound senior Natalie Gomez-Martinez and BC-bound junior Nicole Boudreau, the state's newly-anointed Gatorade Player of the Year. But the Warriors excel on the boards, too, behind junior Ally Fazio and sophomore Devon Caveney.
Hall's Pick: At the risk of jinxing this...should Andover win, I don't think it's out of the realm to think the Warriors have a shot next season at making it the first Division 1 girls three-peat since Haverhill in the mid-90's. Long Live The MVC. Andover, 70-60.

DIVISION 1 BOYS: ST. JOHN'S PREP (24-1) VS. ST. JOHN'S OF SHREWSBURY (21-5)
The Lowdown: After the loss of Ryan Kelley (ACL tear) and stalemate of a Central Final defeat of Fitchburg (40-38), some questioned whether Shrewsbury was ripe for the picking. The Pioneers put an end to that doubt on Wednesday night, handling a talented Northampton squad with physical defense and clutch shooting from Matt Harrington. Head coach Bob Foley is known for his Princeton-ish offense, this year led by forward pivots Matt Palecki and Richard Rodgers, but we've seen the Pioneers transition teams to death in state championships past (Lynn English, 2009, anyone?). This marks the fourth straight D1 final appearance for SJS, while Prep is making its first appearance since 1974. The matchup of the day might be Pat Connaughton versus Rodgers (we'll just assume that's what Prep head coach Sean Connolly will do for now), but the Eagles have prided themselves all year long on the work of their role players. Every game, it's a different kid stepping up, between Steve Haladyna, Freddy Shove, Mike Carbone, Owen Marchetti and Isaiah Robinson.
Hall's Pick: It's going to be a rockfight on the court, and both student sections are going to be rocking out. And I do mean rocking. I literally can't wait. By the way, every high school fan ever, you've got your work cut out for you after Northampton's "Full Metal Jacket" routine the other night at DCU. Prep, 45-41.

McDonald's All-American nominees announced

January, 25, 2011
1/25/11
3:20
PM ET
Thirty-eight athletes playing at Massachusetts high schools have been nominated for this year's McDonald's All-American basketball games, and it is quite the interesting list. On the boys side, Notre Dame Prep has a whopping six players nominated; also of note, Newton North's Tevin Falzon gets a nomination despite not playing a minute all season due to a wrist injury.

Below is the complete list of nominees for the boys and girls games:

BOYS

Pat Ackerman, Worcester Academy
Khem Birch, Notre Dame Prep
Joe Bramanti, Andover
Ryan Canty, Brimmer & May
Sam Cassell Jr., Notre Dame Prep
Dennis Clifford, Milton Academy
Pat Connaughton, St. John's Prep
Aaron Cosby, Northfield-Mt. Hermon
Myles Davis, Notre Dame Prep
Tevin Falzon, Newton North
Grandy Glaze, Notre Dame Prep
Jon Henault, St. Bernard's
Kyle Kager, Deerfield Academy
James Kennedy, Cushing Academy
Samir McDaniels, New Mission
Joe Mussachia, Manchester-Essex
Angel Nunez, Notre Dame Prep
Kachi Nzerem, New Mission
Andrej Pajovic, Wilbraham & Monson
Joe Sharkey, Northfield-Mt. Hermon
Chris Sherwood, Brimmer & May
Tyler Strange, Notre Dame Prep
Vincent Van Nes, Northfield-Mt. Hermon
Jimmy Zenevitch, Central Catholic

GIRLS

Nicole Beresford, Marshfield
Sophie Bikofsky, Newton South
Kendall Burton, Newton South
Blake Dietrick, Wellesley
Amber Dillon, Brookline
Tori Faieta, St. Mary's
Julie Frankian, Millbury
Natalie Gomez-Martinez, Andover
Brenna Goncalves, Coyle-Cassidy
Briana Hunt, Newton North
Mariah Lesure, Tabor Academy
Samantha Mangano, Winchester
Gabie Polce, Central Catholic
Clare Sullivan, Rivers

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