Boston High School: Lynn Classical

Good Sports: Lynn Classical 55, Malden 51

January, 25, 2014
Jan 25
BOSTON -- With 35 seconds left in the game Saturday and his team down by six, Malden’s Bryan Mitchell drove into the lane in transition, put the ball behind his back, and without traveling, finger-rolled the ball into the hoop for two points.

Twenty seconds later, he hit another runner in the lane to cut the deficit down to two. After a timeout, the team was forced to foul Lynn Classical’s Phil Rogers. The senior guard hit both ends of a one-and-one to put an end to any potential Malden comeback.

Classical defeated Malden 55-51 at the Good Sports Invitational at the TD Garden.

“The kids, for three periods, were excited about being on the court and it takes a while to finally settle down and not be in awe playing in the same place that many of the great Celtics players have played on,” said Lynn Classical (7-5) coach Tom Grassa.

For the first three quarters, the energy in the building and on the floor was lacking, and the score showed that. Malden (6-4) held a 37-35 lead going into the final frame, but both teams came out with a renewed energy once they realized the last period was going to decide the outcome of the game.

Malden’s Anthony Gilardi was particularly active in the game, finishing with 11 points and 18 rebounds. On the other end of the floor, Classical’s Rogers was named the player of the game with 24 points and five rebounds. Knocking down the two free throws at the end of the game was no sweat for him.

“I wasn’t nervous, we just came to have fun,” Rogers said after the game. “A few guys were probably nervous because of the big arena, and lots of people watching on the Celtics’ court, but I wasn’t.”

Players seemed to struggle with the depth perception that comes with shooting on a clear, see-through backboard in a big arena. Some would overshoot the basket entirely, while others would send line drive shots off the back of the rim, and a few even air-balled the net trying to adjust for the differences from their home courts.

“We told the guys that this is probably the first time guys wouldn’t be shooting at a basket that doesn’t have a big pipe coming down from the ceiling and the depth of field is so different because the ceiling is so high,” said Grassa. “It makes it difficult even on the terrific outside shooters.”

“We came here back-to-back in ’93 and ’94 and we had guys who were seniors that had made 200 three-pointers, outstanding shooters, and they all shot airballs,” he added. “I believe two years in a row we didn’t make one three.”

In a rut: For the first six minutes of the second quarter, Lynn Classical did not score a basket. It only scored six points in the entire second frame.

“I don’t want to accuse guys of taking bad shots, I just think we missed decent, easy looks,” said Grassa. “At halftime I pointed at four different individuals and said, ‘You know, that’s a shot you normally make nine times out of 10.’ Four footers, six footers, we missed an awful lot of those. One of our specialties it the air ball on the two-foot floater. I said to the guys that I think we’re 1-for-1,000 this year.”

To start the quarter, Classical was up 18-10 but after the scoring drought, Malden was able to crawl back and take the lead. The two teams went into halftime tied at 24.

“We realized in the first half they got 16 offensive rebounds,” said Nally. “We emphasized at halftime that was something we had to get better at. We emphasized getting a body on people and not just trying to out jump everybody.”

Malden was in an out of its 2-3 zone the whole game, but it did not seem to give Classical any trouble. It moved the ball effectively around the perimeter and found its share of open shots.

“We like to go 2-2-1 back to 2-3, it’s kind of what we do best,” Nally said. “Obviously we went through some man today because I think just playing out here you have to show some man. But I like our 2-3, I think we’re better with it.”

Mitchell regains his footing: Mitchell’s late-game heroics were impressive because earlier in the quarter, he injured his ankle hustling for a rebound. After hobbling off the court in visible pain and being tended to by team trainers, the senior returned to the game and had arguably his most effective quarter of basketball after his injury.

“It’s a little sore,” he said. “I did it for the team. I just kept playing. Playing in this environment, you kind of forget about it, so I just tried to put it aside and play for the team and try to get the win.”

He finished with 16 points, five rebounds, and three steals.

Recap: No. 8 St. John's Prep 67, Lynn Classical 60

December, 19, 2013
DANVERS, Mass. –- St. John’s Prep answered plenty of question on Wednesday, a much needed accomplishment following an offseason that saw plenty of shuffling around in the program.

How would the Eagles (1-0) respond in John Dullea’s first year at the helm? Could Ben Judson be the team leader after being a role player last year? Can Lowell transfer Kareem Davis make a quick and painless transition at his new school?

Consider those questions answered, as Judson (25 points), Davis (19 points), and sixth-man Mike Bisson (13 points, 11 rebounds) combined for 57 of the Eagles’ 67 points on their way to a 67-60 victory over Lynn Classical (0-1).

And as for Dullea, Prep’s newly-hired head coach managed to brush off some of the opening game jitters:

"I was definitely nervous. I’ve been here, but it’s a different level from when you’re an assistant coach to a head coach," Dullea said. "The anxiety, the nerves leading up to the game, you have to be ready to make a call, make a play in the spur of the moment."

Judson got off to quick-start in the first half, helping the Eagles jump out to a 24-8 lead in the second quarter. A lights-out shooter who has now shown that he can also score off the dribble, Judson is taking on the role of emotional leader this year for the Prep, a role previously occupied by last year’s senior captain Drex Costello.

"I’m just trying to be a leader for everyone else and help out the younger guys; adding to my game too -- mid-range, post game, driving to the hoop more and not just catching and shooting," Judson said. "I’m looking to do a little of everything this year offensively and defensively too."

Despite being down by 16 at one point early on, Classical was able to climb back into the game on the shoulders of senior guard Phil Rogers (17 points). Thanks to their ability to move the ball and pull down offensive rebounds, the Rams pulled within nine points at halftime and at one point brought the lead down to 55-53 following a 7-0 run anchored by Jordan Brown and Ronnie Williams (12 points).

"They’re a very physical team, a very athletic team," Dullea said. "They weren’t running too many sets, they were just beating us one-on-one. They made some tough shots. I give them credit, they made a ton of tough shots. We pride ourselves on defense, I admit it wasn’t our best effort tonight, we’ll get better at it.

"We had a couple lapses: guys didn’t know who they were covering, [Classical] had 20 offensive rebounds, which we cannot have, we won’t win if we do that."

The Eagles, in search of a spark, found it in Davis and Bisson. The sixth-man who was a rarely-used reserve on last year’s roster, Bisson finished with a double-double and hit some tough shots for the Eagles from all over the floor.

"He’s long, he’s going to usually have a bigger guy covering him," Dullea said. "He’s very versatile; we talked to him at the beginning of the year about his role as the sixth man. He’s a very athletic player, a very versatile player, he’s very hard to cover. We’re looking for big things from Mike, he had a good game tonight."

Finishing 10-of-11 from the free throw line and taking on the responsibilities of the primary ball handler in the Prep offense, Davis proved to be the most experienced player on the floor. Despite struggling to hit from three, Davis still managed to dribble in the paint nearly at will; his slick crossover dribble often drew “ooh’s” and “aah’s” from the home crowd.

Davis penetrated the Classical defense with 58 seconds to go in the game and finished an acrobatic lay-in off the glass to put the Prep lead at 62-55, all but sealing the victory for the Eagles.

"He was tremendous. He’s going to have the ball in his hands most of the time at the end of the game, he’s going to get to the foul line, and he’s going to have to step up and make them," Dullea said. "Every time we tried to run a set, he was the floor leader for us. A couple turnovers at the beginning; I think he was probably just a little nervous playing his first game here. But he was terrific, he really was."

There are many improvements to be made, a point Dullea hit on after the game, but the Eagles certainly have reason to be optimistic after answering the call on a night where nervousness ran rampant before the game. Behind their first-year head coach, talented transfer point guard, energized sixth-man with infrequent experience, and role player turned budding star, the Eagles look like a team built to be one of the best in Division 1.

"Mike stepped up tonight, a lot. Last year he didn’t play a whole lot but this year he knows he has a big role. Kareem, he was attacking off the dribble and that just opens everything up on the court," Judson said. "Us three attacking the basket, they couldn’t really stop that. I don’t know many teams who will be able to, but we need to just keep doing that."

MIAA Boys Hoop Countdown: Nos. 25-21

December, 2, 2013
To kick off the start of the MIAA basketball season, will spend the next five days counting down the teams in our Preseason MIAA Top 25 Poll, starting with Nos. 25 through 21 today and concluding with the state’s top five teams on Friday.

Today’s previews include Hockomock members Taunton and Sharon, a Bishop Feehan squad who is moving up to Division 2 with a solid core coming back, and Central Mass. foes South and Wachusett, along with our “Last 10 out”.

For a refresher on how the final 2012-13 poll ended up, CLICK HERE.

Be sure to check back each day this week for the latest in the boys basketball top 25 countdown.

Last 10 out: Braintree (13-10), Doherty (14-7), East Boston (11-7), Fitchburg (13-9), Franklin (16-8), Lynn Classical (15-9), Milton (15-9), North Quincy (18-6), Quincy (14-7), Watertown (13-8)

Coach: Tom Gibbons
2012-13 results: 19-5, reached Division 1 Central Semifinals
Key players: Tyler Dion, Justin Bowker, Kevin Durkin, Brian Quinn
Analysis: The Mountaineers lost a lot of leadership off of last year’s team, including graduated seniors Zack Berman, Jesse Maresca, Trevor MacNeil, Zach Knapp, and Alex Cooper, but Coach Tom Gibbons returns what may be the biggest frontcourt in Central Mass. in juniors Kevin Durkin and Justin Bowker. At 6-foot-7 and 6-foot-5, respectively, the Mountaineers’ twin towers will man the post, while sophomore point guard Tyler Dion, who picked up plenty of big-game experience last year, will be expected to fill Berman’s shoes at point guard.

Coach: Matt Freeman
2012-13 results: 18-4, Division 3 South quarterfinals
Key players: Mike Nelson, Frank Oftring, Austin Burlone
Analysis: Feehan has to be one of the favorites in Division 2 following their run in last year’s playoffs. The Shamrocks return senior Austin Burlone, junior Frank Oftring, and sophomore star Mike Nelson in hopes of building off an 18-win season last year. With games in the opening few weeks against Archbishop Williams, Westford Academy, and Martha’s Vineyard, we’ll find out soon enough just how far this Feehan squad can be expected to go this year.

Coach: Pat Williams
2012-13 results: 14-7, lost in Division 1 Central First Round
Key players: Kasheen Cunningham, Nate Mensah, Khalil Bryan-Robinson, Aaron Maday
Analysis: The Colonels will be living life without last year’s star Rod Milton, but the cupboard is far from bare for South coach Pat Williams. South returns three of their top four scorers from last year, including point guard Kasheen Cunningham, combo guard Nate Mensah, and forwards Khalil Bryan-Robinson and Aaron Maday. As has been the case for the last three years, the top dog in the Inter-High will likely come down to South or Doherty, a fierce rivalry that has been a must-see matchup every time the two meet.

Coach: Bruce Jackman
2012-13 results: 15-8, Division 2 South semifinals
Key players: Brian Mukasa, Jimmy Firtzson, Erik Kushner, Ade Bright
Analysis: There aren't many backcourts in the area that are going to be stronger than the pair of seniors Brian Mukasa and Jimmy Fritzson. Both finished in the top 10 in scoring in the Hockomock last year and both have the chance to eclipse the 1,000-point mark this season. The biggest question will be down low, were the Eagles graduated Kevin Bartas and Ian Beach, but they will rely heavily on Erik Kushner and players from last year's JV squad, who only had one loss last season.

Coach: Charlie Dacey
2012-13 results: 16-7, reached Division 1 South semifinals
Key players: Gerald Cortijo, Shaq Davis, Corey Green.
Analysis: Taunton had a strong first campaign in the Hockomock League last season, and will look to try and upset Mansfield as the top team in the Kelley-Rex this year. Shaq Davis, who has been making plays for Taunton for some time now, will be back with another year of experience under his belt as. Sharpshooter Gerald Cortijo and Corey Green, who is just a junior, will also be big playmakers for the Tigers.

Northeastern Conference football All-Stars

November, 26, 2013
The Northeastern Conference recently announced its all-conference team and postseason award winners for the football season.

Coaches or league representatives, across all fall sports, are encouraged send their league All-Star lists to editors Scott Barboza ( and Brendan Hall (


Northeastern Conference Player of the Year: Brooks Tyrrell, Marblehead.

NEC North Co-Coaches of the Year: Jim Rudloff, Marblehead and Tony Zerilli, Gloucester.

NEC SOUTH COACH OF THE YEAR: Sean Rogers, Danvers.

James Baxter, Sr. OL Winthrop
Jordan Brown, Sr. DB, Lynn Classical
Trey Burris, Sr. OL Lynn Classical
Jordan Corbett-Frank, Sr. LB, Winthrop
Brian Daly, Sr. WR, Marblehead
Zach Duguid, Sr. DL, Beverly
Trevor Gelineau, Sr. OL, Marblehead
Liam Gillis, Sr. LB, Marblehead
Toby Hale, Sr. DL, Swampscott
Chris Lessard,Sr. WR, Lynn English
Romario Louidhon, Sr. LB, Lynn Classical
Zach Lozzi, Sr. LB Lynn English
Ethan Mercedes, Jr. OL Peabody
Matt Millett, Sr. QB, Marblehead
Sam Mulumba, Sr. DB, Beverly
Jordan Pallazola, Sr. RB, Gloucester
Tom Portrait, Sr. DB Revere
Tom Quinn, Sr. OL Danvers
Drew Shairs, Sr. DL, Gloucester
Chris Tinkham, Sr. DL, Lynn English
Brooks Tyrrell, Jr. RB, Marblehead
Alex Valles, Sr. RB, Danvers
Cody Wlasuk, Sr. LB, Peabody
Isaiah White, Sr. RB Beverly

Shakeups to girls' hockey conference, teams

November, 19, 2013
Beverly athletic director James Coffey checks in today with a rebranding of an MIAA girls' hockey league.

The GEMIHL will now be known as the Northeastern Hockey League going forward. The 7-team league has also been separated into two divisions as follows:



Also, in somewhat related news, Jim Clark of the Boston Herald today reported that Everett will enter the co-op program hosted by Cambridge, citing dwindling numbers. The Crimson Tide's players will enter into the program which has received players from Somerville in recent years, in addition to Malden in the upcoming season.

The moves leave Medford as the only stand-alone program, which is not in a co-op agreement, in the reformatted conference.

ESPN Boston MIAA All-State Baseball Team

June, 28, 2013

RHP – Tommy McDonald, Sr., BC High
The ace and the workhorse of BC’s rotation, which saw the Eagles make their first D1 South Final appearance since 2009, McDonald often went late into games to pick up a win. He was 7-0 on the season, with a 1.90 ERA, five complete games and just 10 walks. The Quincy resident will continue his career next year at UMass.

LHP – Ben Bowden, Sr., Lynn English
The state’s Gatorade Player of the Year, Bowden is a repeat selection, having also made the starting rotation of the All-State Team in 2012. On the season he was 4-2 with 84 strikeouts in 52 innings, with just 10 walks for an ERA of 0.67. He also recorded a .459 on-base percentage at the plate, with 13 RBI. Bowden will play at Vanderbilt next year.

LHP – Scott Tully, Sr., Reading
Another repeat All-State selection, Tully dominated the Middlesex League en route to winning the Liberty division’s MVP. For the season he went 7-1 with 96 strikeouts and an ERA of 0.54. For his career, he has 29 wins and over 400 strikeouts. Tully is headed to Notre Dame next year.

RHP – Evan Flanagan, Sr., Hingham
The Patriot League’s Co-MVP saved his best stuff for the playoffs, as the Harbormen won their first Division 2 state title in school history. On the season he was 6-2 with 79 strikeouts in 56 innings, with five complete games, a 1.75 ERA and a WHIP of 0.93. Flanagan will continue his career next year at the University of Rhode Island.

LHP – Mike Gaughan, Sr., Walpole
One of the state’s most elusive lefties, Gaughan helped lead the Rebels to the No. 1 overall seed in D1 South. He was 10-2 on the season with 117 strikeouts and a 1.88 ERA, and held opponents to a .180 batting average. Gaughan is headed to Division 2 Rollins College (Fla.) next year.


C – Joe Freiday, Jr., Bridgewater-Raynham
One of the state’s leaders in runs plated, Freiday finished the year batting .425, with a .573 on-base percentage, 31 RBI and five home runs. He also drew 21 walks and struck out just 10 times. Freiday is fielding interest from an assortment of Division 1 programs.

INF – Nick Bragole, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Part of one of the state’s most prolific hitting lineups, Bragole put up .403/.532/.758 totals with 21 RBI and six home runs, along with 10 stolen bases, as the Eagles captured the No. 1 seed in D1 North, won 22 straight games and made an appearance in the D1 North final. Bragole is headed to Division 2 St. Anselm College (N.H.) in the fall.

INF – Kenny Michael, Sr., Norwood
Michael catalyzed the Mustangs late in the season when they snatched the Bay State Conference’s Herget Division title in the last week of the regular season. He was named the Herget MVP as he hit .429 with 27 RBI and a home run. Michael will continue his career at Division 2 Southern New Hampshire University.

INF – Alex Toomey, Sr., Beverly
Toomey beat out a number of high-profile players to take the MVP in the Northeastern Conference’s Large division, and deservedly so. For the season he his .431 with eight doubles, 31 RBI and five home runs, only striking out five times. On the mound, he went 6-2 with a 1.33 ERA and 61 strikeouts in 42.1 innings. Toomey is headed to Salem State University next year.

INF – Brandon Bingel, Sr., St. John’s Prep
This year’s recipient of the prestigious ESPN Boston Mr. Baseball Award, Bingel was a force in all three phases of the game to take Catholic Conference MVP for the second straight year. He batted .302 with 20 RBI and two home runs, and went 9-0 on the mound with 76 strikeouts in 58.2 innings, walking just 10 batters, for a 0.97 ERA. Bingel will continue his career at Bryant University.

OF – David MacKinnon, Sr., Oliver Ames
MacKinnon took Hockomock League MVP honors after hitting .500 with 16 RBI. One of the best pure athletes of the bunch, MacKinnon is also an All-American soccer player, and will play both sports at the University of Hartford.

OF – Ian Strom, Sr., Hopedale
Strom was a monster on both the mound and at the plate as the Blue Raiders reached the Division 3 State Final. He hit .514 on the year with 21 RBI and 15 stolen bases, and didn’t strike out all season. On the mound, he was 9-2 with 107 strikeouts in 67.2 innings, for a 1.45 ERA. Strom will continue his career next season at UMass-Lowell.

OF – Mike Bruemmel, Sr., Bridgewater-Raynham
The Co-MVP of the Old Colony League saved his best stroke for last, carrying a no-hitter into the eighth inning to lead the Trojans to their first Division 1 state title in school history. On the season he batted .341 with a .505 on-base percentage, with 21 RBI and 11 stolen bases. On the mound, he was 6-1 with 69 strikeouts in 41.1 innings, with a 1.82 ERA. Bruemmel is headed to Wheaton College next year.

DH – Malcolm Nachmanoff, Sr., Boston Latin
The Dual County League’s MVP of the Large division, Nachmanoff carried a heavy bat, hitting .507 with 26 RBI and five home runs. He also recorded a 1.45 ERA in 53 innings pitched. Nachmanoff is headed to Loomis Chafee (Conn.) next year for a post-graduate season.


OF – Dan Avery, Sr., Blackstone Valley Tech
Avery excelled both ways for the Beavers, recording .492/.579/.689 totals at the plate with three triples, 26 RBI, 28 runs scored and 18 stolen bases. On the mound, he was 7-2 with a 1.02 ERA and 81 strikeouts in 62 innings, with just eight walks. He will play both football and baseball at Massachusetts Maritime Academy next year.

3B – Ryan Baldwin, Sr., Fairhaven
One of the state’s leaders in home runs, Baldwin hit eight and batted in 34 runs, to finish the season with a .500 average and take South Coast Conference MVP honors. Baldwin will continue his career next year at Barry University (Fla.).

2B – Tommy Buonopane, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Another key cog to the Eagles’ impressive hitting order, Buonopane registered .354/.457/.585 totals with 21 RBI and three home runs, as the Eagles won the Catholic Conference outright. Buonopane is headed to the University of Rhode Island next year.
.354/.457/.585, 21 RBI, 3 HR

2B – Dan Connors, Sr., Danvers
A three-time Northeastern Conference All-Star, Connors captured the Small division’s MVP award after hitting .390, as the Falcons were the top seed in Division 2 North and reached the district final. Connors, a career .365 hitter, will enroll at UMass-Amherst in the fall.

LHP – Mac Curran, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
A repeat selection, Curran was once again a force on the mound, going 5-2 with a 0.98 ERA as the Warriors captured the Eastern Athletic Conference outright. He also batted .402 with a home run. Curran is headed to Niagara University next season to continue his career.

C – Kyle Devin, Sr., Lynn Classical
One of the state's best arms behind the plate, Devin threw out eight of 12 steal attempts and also had 11 pickoffs. He also hit .410 with 16 RBI, five doubles, two triples, a home run and six stolen bases for the Rams. Devin is headed to Stony Brook next season to continue his baseball career.

SS – Isan Diaz, Jr., Springfield Central
One of the top defensive talents outside of Eastern Mass., Diaz showed off quite a bit with his bat as well, plating 19 runs and registering three home runs as the Golden Eagles once again reached the Division 1 West tournament.

RHP – Drew Foster, Sr., Nashoba
One of the steadiest starters in Central Mass., with a 4-1 record and 0.97 ERA, Foster led the Chieftains through a loaded Division 1 Central field to capture their first district title in program history. Foster is headed to Ohio University next year, where he intends to play club hockey.

RHP – Dustin Hunt, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Arguably the state’s top closer, Hunt embraced the role as the Eagles reeled off 22 straight wins before falling in the D1 North Final. On the season he struck out 31 batters in 27.1 innings, with a 1.54 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. Hunt, an Andover resident, is headed to Northeastern University next season.

RHP – Thomas Jankins, Sr., Quaboag
Jankins was dangerous on the mound and in the batter's box this season for the Cougars. He hit .473 with 19 RBI and two home runs, and was 5-3 with a 0.53 ERA and 100 strikeouts in 52.1 innings. Jankins will continue his career next season at Quinnipiac University.

OF – Tom Landry, Sr., BC High
Landry registered .348/.378/.493 totals at the plate and added 16 RBI and two home runs for the Eagles, who reached their first D1 South Final since 2009. He also struck out just 11 times and drew four walks. Landry will play for Wheaton College next year.

SS – Steven Lee, Sr., Braintree
Lee manned the middle of the Wamps’ order for the last three years, and put up impressive numbers in his senior season. He batted .376 with 26 RBI, one home run, 27 runs scored and 10 stolen bases as Braintree captured its fourth straight Bay State Carey title. He also committed just five errors in the field. Lee is headed to Stonehill College next year.

RHP – David Longstreeth, Soph., Smith Academy
Longstreeth is already over the 300 career strikeout mark, with 21 wins, in his still-blossoming career for Smith. On the season, he went 11-2 with 132 strikeouts in 80.1 innings, as the Falcons reached the Division 3 West Final.

RHP – Mike Lundin, Sr., Silver Lake
Lundin helped lead the Lakers to a Patriot League Fisher division title with his proficiency on the mound, going 7-2 with 86 strikeouts in 65.1 innings with a 0.67 ERA. Lundin will continue his career at Massasoit Community College next season.

OF – Tyler Lyne, Sr., Agawam
Lyne was a catalyst for the Brownies, who won the Valley League and reached the Division 1 West Final. For the season, he registered 16 RBI and two home runs. Lyne will continue his career at Merrimack College next year.

RHP – Donny May, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
The other overpowering ace for the Warriors’ staff, May went unbeaten as they captured the Eastern Athletic Conference outright. He was 11-0 on the year, with a 0.44 ERA and 89 strikeouts, along with a .438 batting average at the plate. May is headed to Fordham University next year.

SS – David Murphy, Sr., Plymouth North
The Atlantic Coast League’s MVP helped the Blue Eagles to another league title, hitting .429 with 29 RBI and three home runs. He only struck out twice all year. Murphy will take his talents to Massasoit Community College next year.

SS – Noah Parker, Sr., St. Mary (Westfield)
One of the more underappreciated talents across the state, Parker was the catalyst for the Saints, who reached the Division 3 West quarterfinals. Parker registered 28 hits, 20 RBI and two home runs on the season. He will head to Seton Hall University next season as a preferred walk-on.

OF – Anthony Perriello, Sr., Norwood
A powerful hitter manning the middle of the Mustangs’ order, Perriello led the Bay State Conference in batting average (.507) and added 15 RBI and a home run.

RHP – Alex Person, Sr., Xaverian
The Foxborough resident manned the top of the rotation, as the Hawks tried to defend their D1 state title. On the season he struck out 52 batters in 51 innings, going 5-1 with a 2.06 ERA. Person will continue his career at Southern New Hampshire University next year.

C – Matt Phelan, Sr., Northbridge
Phelan was a force at the plate for the Rams, who reached their fourth straight Division 2 Central Final. On the season he hit .484 with 28 RBI and four home runs, and on the mound was 4-1 with a 1.91 ERA. Phelan is headed to St. Anslem in the fall, where he will play football.

RHP – Brendan Ryan, Sr., Newton North
Ryan earned MVP honors in the Bay State Conference’s Carey division, after going 7-1 with a 1.64 ERA and six complete games. Ryan also batted .347 with 17 RBI. He will enroll at the University of South Carolina in the fall.

RHP – Endy Sanchez, Jr., Holyoke
Another member of the 100-K club, Sanchez had one of the best strikeout-to-ratios in Western Mass., fanning exactly 100 batters in 62 innings pitched for the Purple Knights.

RHP – Kevin Superko, Sr., Wellesley
Following in the footsteps of his brother Tim, Superko carried on the name holding down the front of the Raiders’ rotation. On the season he recorded 67 strikeouts in 49 innings, with a 1.02 WHIP and holding batters to a .184 average. He will do a post-graduate season at Philips Andover next year.

RHP – Ryley Warnock, Sr., North Reading
Warnock was dynamic both on the mound and on the basepath for the Hornets, who captured the top overall seed in D3 North. On the mound he was 10-1 with a 0.44 ERA and 72 strikeouts, and at the plate he was .360 with 17 stolen bases. Warnock will continue his career next year at the University of Rhode Island.

LHP – Cody Younger, Sr., Middleborough
Younger came on in the second half of the season and led the Sachems through a gauntlet en route to the Division 3 state title, their first since 1997. On the mound, he was 4-2 with 53 strikeouts and a 1.90 ERA, and delivered wins over the top two seeds in D3 South. At the plate, he had .415/.482/.507 totals with 27 RBI. Younger will do a post-graduate season at Bridgton Academy (Maine) next year.

RHP – Zach Zona, Sr., St. Peter-Marian
Zona led the top of the Guardians’ rotation as they came on late in the regular season to make the Division 1 Central tournament. On the season he was 5-2 with 64 strikeouts in 46.2 innings, with a 1.05 ERA and two no-hitters. Zona will continue his career next season at UMass-Lowell.

D2 North: Lynn Classical 66, Beverly 60

February, 27, 2013

BEVERLY, Mass. –- If the game had gone five minutes longer, there may have been a different result, but Lynn Classical was able to pull out a 66-60 road win over Beverly on Tuesday night -— a matchup that truly was a game of runs.

After Beverly took a 25-22 lead with 4:30 to go in the second quarter, Lynn Classical went on a 10-2 run to finish the second half. They were able to maintain the lead until late in the second half.

“We really know how to make it interesting huh? Every time we had a little bit of breathing room, they came right back. We have turnovers in clusters, one point we were up 11 and then had four consecutive turnovers and Beverly converted each time," Classical coach Tom Grassa said. “They’re a good team and I give them a lot of credit, we just beat them three weeks ago by 22.”

The Rams used a balanced attack both on the glass and in the scoring column, and because of that were able to pull out a close victory. Jorge Perez (10 points), Phillip Rogers (16), Eraldo Custodio (14), and Jalen Brown (14) were all in double figures for Classical -— which really only managed to let one Beverly player hurt them in the scoring column all night.

Totaling 23 points on 4-6 from behind the three point line, Nick Cross led the way for Beverly. Classical was able to hold John Berchoff to 12 points on 14 shots from the field, while Jonangel Franco managed just five points on eleven shots. Even despite having some offensive woes at times, Beverly was able to march all the way back to tie the game up with under four minutes to go -—thanks to a steal and lay-up by Chris Sinclair. On the next possession, Cross hit a turn-around jumper a la Kevin McHale to put Beverly up 55-53 with three minutes to go.

Grassa said Classical had a hard time, at some points, with choosing who to key on defensively.

“Oh take your pick," Grassa said. "Cross we know, has been very effective, Berchoff and [Cam] Rogers too. We tried to focus our attention on those three, and I think [Beverly coach] Scott [Lewis] was telling his guards to take my guys to the hole. Because as soon as you go to help, they kick it, and Cross...he had a big game [because of that]. He’s a terrific player."

Rogers, Custodio continue strong play: When senior Jalen Brown went down with an injury seven games ago, it was on the sophomore forward Phillip Rogers to step up for Lynn Classical and continue the production that the Rams were used to getting from Brown. So far, Grassa says, the 6-foot-3 Rogers hasn’t disappointed.

“He’s been terrific for us all year, a lot of times he takes a back seat to Eraldo [Custodio] and Jalen," Grassa said. "What happened was: seven games ago, Jalen got a real bad high ankle sprain, and during his seven game absence I think we went 6-1.

“But with Phillip we asked him to really step up his game and be more assertive on offense. A lot of times he’s so unselfish that he won’t become assertive."

Grassa wanted to make so much of an impression on Rogers, that he refused to take the sophomore out of the starting lineup even after Brown was back from injury. In fairness to how Rogers stepped up in Brown’s absence, the coach didn’t want to attempt to fix something that wasn’t broken. It’s a plan that Brown backed up, Classical’s size and presence on the glass was, at many points in the game, too much for Beverly thanks to the contributions from Rogers and Custodio.

“It was real important because we knew [Beverly] can jump just as high as we can, so we figured that if we dominate the boards and keep them shooting from the three-point line, that we can easily beat them from the inside,” Brown said. “They’re some of our better players, bigger players, they really help us out on the boards. Whenever we need it they can go down low, they can get that easy two points pick up a foul and get a nice free throw—all that.”

Custodio came out on an absolute roll in the first quarter, scoring ten points in the period—mostly on mid-range jumpers, and setting an aggressive tone early for Classical. Also finishing with seven rebounds for the Rams, who won the rebounding battle 32-26, he still kept his motor up after getting a scolding from his coach in the second half.

“He did get it going, but then I managed to ice him after an ill-advised shot," Grassa said with a laugh, enforcing the Rams’ gameplan to shoot as few jumpers as possible. "It was a shot he made the previous six [times], in the third quarter he was wide open from 14 feet, and he front-rimmed it. I screamed at him ‘That’s it with the outside shots’. So blame me for icing him.

"We emphasized all week that this is one of the most difficult places to shoot because of the backdrop. We weren’t going to take any threes. I think we only took three, made two. The last time we played here, we took three threes, everything was in the paint."

Pentucket, D3 girls hoop, not to be treaded lightly

January, 8, 2013
Some thoughts and observations from the first week of MIAA basketball in 2013:

Guardians on a roll –- again: Just when you thought St. Peter-Marian was done, ready to be written off as a one-year wonder, the Guardians come out swinging again. Sunday’s 54-49 upset of Catholic Memorial wasn’t glamorous, but it’s the program’s biggest win since trouncing Charlestown 61-46 some 12 months ago.

(That game, for those unfamiliar, ended up leading Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso to scrap their man-to-man defense altogether. The result was a Division 1 North title)

The Guardians have snuck under the radar for the first half of the 2012-13 season, and for good reason. After graduating stars Steve Flynn, Tre Watson, Brian Foley or ESPN Boston All-Stater Matt Mobley, there were questions abound in the talent department. Make no mistake, there’s no superstars in this year’s squad, but it’s a unit head coach Marcus Watson is very satisfied with, led by a senior-laden starting five of Tim Berry, Kevin Riley, Jaylen Ashton, Terrence Watson and Anthony Manzello.

“We’re fine with that, we don’t want to be ranked,” Watson said. “We just go out and battle. You look at us one-on-one, there’s not one kid you look at and say, ‘He’s a stud’. Yet if you look at us collectively they all do their job, they take charges, they box out. We’ve got absolutely no outside interference this year.”

CM figured to be rusty out of the gates, but caught fire in its 7-0 start with the emergence of sophomore shooting guard Giulien Smith (26 points per game). Not only did the Guardians keep him a non-factor, holding him to four points, but they mirrored the Knights’ vaunted 2-2-1 press with some of their own wrinkles added in, giving some man and diamond-and-one variants as well.

It’s a faster pace, a higher intensity of playing style, but it’s one Watson feels his team is conditioned for after a rigorous offseason. Players went through some dynamic strength training over the offseason, among the highlights in typical sessions: one-legged box drills; wrapping 45-pound plates in towels and pushing them the length of the floor; suicides on hills; wheelbarrow runs the length of the court, ending with pushups; all of it sprinkled over with deadlifts, calf raises, pull-downs, and two-mile runs.

The Guardians come into our poll this week at No. 25, its first appearance since the final 2011-12 poll, but tonight’s litmus test against rival St. John’s of Shrewsbury will give us a better measurement of where they’re at right now. The progress of underclassmen such as Connor Brown, Mike Boateng, George Anan and freshman Makai Ashton-Langford will be key, but they have shown great strides this first half of the season.

“We’re not even close to peaking, hopefully we just want to get better,” Marcus Watson said. “The kids believe in each other. They’ve never been a problem as a team, they all know their role. You can see them getting on each other, they all know what they’re supposed to be doing. We call them our ‘Fab Five’ -– not one of them is a stud, but they all do their job.”

Nobody’s yawning at Division 3: Interesting comments from Pentucket coach John McNamara following the Sachems’ 59-39 defeat of Billerica last Wednesday, saying flatly “We get tired of hearing we’re a D3 school. We can play with anybody. D3’s can play with anybody, there’s a lot of good teams.”

If that’s truly the whisper going around Eastern Mass., then it’s a circumventing one. With the Sachems’ win over the Indians, that will put three D3 squads in the top five of’s girls basketball poll: Archbishop Williams (3), St. Mary’s of Lynn (4) and the aforementioned Sachems (5). Say what you want about the dominance of Braintree in D1 and Reading in D2 – and at the end of the day, D1 has the most depth – but the teams atop D3 can hang with anyone. I don’t think that’s an axiom.

Pentucket has a slew of quality shooters this year, but as usual it’s defense that’s the calling card. It starts with 6-foot senior Tess Nogueira, whom McNamara feels is underrated for her talents. It’s plausible to see why – she doesn’t fit into a natural position on the floor, and doesn’t always light up the scoreboard – but suffice it to say she’s one of the state’s better defenders.

“She’s a unique player for a six-footer,” McNamara said. “She’s not a natural post player, but she can do anything. She can defend the point if we want her to, but unfortunately we don’t have any other bigs. If we press, we put her at the top of the press [and] she’s long and lanky and quick, with great habits.”

In the Sachems’ 2-2-1 and diamond-and-one press looks, it’s often Nogueira that comes flying up the floor to trap. With her length, and he tenaciousness, she can create some havoc out there.

“We have had her cover point guards, if we have other matchups we think we can survive, we’ll put her our front, or if we do a zone press we’ll put her at the point,” McNamara said. “She’s got good instincts, she’s long, lanky, makes good decisions on doubling and when not to double.

“She’s one of what I think the most unsung players in the state, because she doesn’t score 20 points a game. She does a lot of other things.”

Miscellaneous: One of the more interesting stats has be Hockomock League newcomer Milford. Off to a 7-0 start, the Scarlet Hawks sit atop the Davenport division and lead the league in team scoring at 70 points per game. Yet not one player sits in the top five in league scoring average. ... We’ve mentioned New Mission, Brighton, Wakefield and North Andover as heavyweight favorites in Division 2 North. Perhaps we’ve found a sleeper in Lynn Classical, which sits at 4-5 overall but with a two-point Everett loss, overtime St. John’s Prep loss, and a win over Lynn English on its resume. Keep an eye on the Brown brothers, senior Jalen and junior Jordan.

Recap: No. 7 St. Mary's 38, No. 9 Lynn English 30

December, 28, 2012
LYNN, Mass. -– Two of the best girls basketball teams in the state faced off Saturday night in the championship game of the ninth Annual Walter Boverini Basketball Tournament, as No. 7 St. Mary’s of Lynn (6-0) was able to hold off host No. 9 Lynn English (3-2) for a 38-30 win.

It was not the typical game between the two, as there were numerous turnovers and the teams shot very poorly from the floor, but the defensive intensity showed by both teams treated fans to an intense, back-and-forth-game.

“It definitely wasn’t a work of art,” said St. Mary’s head coach Jeff Newhall. “It was two good teams and I thought our defense was outstanding. I think they played real hard too, as their defense definitely disrupted what we wanted to do. I think these are two of the better teams in the state and we knew it wasn’t going to be a high scoring game. We missed a lot of easy shots, but we hung in there.”

Entering the fourth quarter with a slim 21-19 lead, St. Mary’s junior guard Sharell Sanders took the game over scoring 10 of her 11 points in the fourth quarter enabling the Spartans to pull away and hold on for their sixth win of the year.

Even more impressive for Sanders was the defense she played on Bulldogs' superstar Catherine Stinson, limiting her to just three points in the game. For her efforts, Sanders took home tournament MVP honors.

“Sherrell (Sanders) was terrific all game,” Newhall said. “She ran the point very well, but to do what she did to Catherine Stinson, arguably the best player in the Northeastern Conference, was unbelievable.”

English cut the deficit to four at 32-28 with just over a minute remaining, but Spartans junior Brianna Rudolph’s layup and a foul with 47 seconds remaining, followed by a monster fist pump from Newhall, sealed the win.

Newhall credited his team's conditioning to be able to pull from the Bulldogs in the final quarter.

“We talked about before the game how we wanted to put on a full court pressure, not necessarily to steal the ball, but to wear them down,” he said. “We work hard and we pride our self in being in shape and I thought down the stretch [Lynn English] showed some signs of wear. They turned the ball over a couple more times than we did.”

Both teams struggled in the opening quarter, combining for just 11 points and Lynn English leading 6-5, but both teams eventually settled in.

This wasn’t the first time St. Mary’s has struggled early in a game this season –- nerves possibly playing a factor.

“Maybe,” Newhall said. “We played Arlington Catholic last Friday and the same thing happened, but once we settled in we were OK. I think when the ball won’t go in mentally it is an obstacle. Jennie (Mucciarone) hit the three towards the end of the first quarter and everyone was like ‘finally’.”

Rudolph led the way with 12 points, followed by Sanders and Mucciarone with 11. Nine of Mucciarone’s 11 points came from behind the arc.

The Bulldogs were led by senior Dolores Latimer who finished with 13 points.

With two big wins over Arlington Catholic and Lynn English so far this season and defensive efforts leading the charge, it is apparent defense will be what makes the Spartans go this season.

“We held Arlington Catholic last week to 42 points and then Lynn English to 30 tonight, so if you are holding some of the top teams in the state to those point totals, and you can make a couple of shots, you’re going to be in a good spot to win,” Newhall said.

He continued, “There is a long way to go. We had a great season two years ago, but last year was a struggle. We have already done some things this year that we weren’t able to do last year. The year before I think we won six titles, including tournaments and championships, and last year we got shut out. Being in our first championship game this year and winning it is gratifying, and to get this trophy back is significant to us. It is three out of four years (winning the Boverini tournament) and [Lynn English is] definitely a rival of ours. It was a great night for us.”

The tournament has a special place in Newhall’s heart, as the man the tournament is named for, Walter Boverini, is his wife’s uncle.

Boverini was the state senate majority leader, as well as a teacher, administrator and football coach in the city of Lynn. He was a graduate of Lynn Classical and Boston College.

“It has a special meaning to me for me. First of all any tournament featuring all the Lynn schools is great, but it is always intense and there are bigger crowds,” Newhall said. “Secondly, Walter Boverini is my wife’s uncle so I have a personal connection and he was a very good friend of mine. To be able to compete in Lynn in honor of someone who you’re real close to is significant.”

In addition to Sanders winning MVP honors, fellow Spartan senior Emily Morris was named to the all-tournament team. Joining them on the team were Lynn English’s Latimer, Lynn Classical’s Chelsea Rogers and Lynn Tech’s Zulmary Gonzalez.

Locals make Area Code Games squad

June, 27, 2012
The Northeast squad of the Area Code Games, represented by the New York Yankees, have unveiled the roster they will bring to Long Beach in August, and several locals made the cut.

Saugus native and Salisbury Prep (Conn.) junior righthander Riley MacEachern was among the most notables. Joining him are Lynn Classical sophomore catcher Kyle Devin, Hopkinton sophomore outfielder Ryan Sullivan, and Lynn English lefthander Ben Bowden (who last week was named to ESPN Boston's All-State Team).

To see the full roster, CLICK HERE.

ESPN Boston MIAA softball All-State team

June, 22, 2012
Starting Rotation – First Team
All-StateKiara Amos, Sr., Malden
The Providence College signee led the Golden Tornadoes to their first-ever state finals appearance after claiming the Eastern Mass. title. Amos went 15-1 for Malden, notching 195 strikeouts in 105 innings thrown all while boasting a 0.47 ERA. The right-hander set another first for Malden’s program as its first-ever Div. 1 college scholarship player.

All-StateMeghan Rico, Sr., King Philip
Rico concluded her high school career as one of the most decorated players in the state, a winner of two state championships and last year’s ESPN Boston Miss Softball. The George Washington signee went 17-3 for the Warriors this season, striking out 274 in 142 innings thrown while surrendering just 10 earned runs all season.

All-StateSarah Ropiak, Sr., Acton-Boxborough
Headed to Brown University next year, Ropiak was a three-time Dual County League All-Star and earned MVP honors in the large division this season. The right-hander posted an ERA of 0.69 while leading the Colonials to a Division 1 North final appearance.

Kendal Roy, Soph., Grafton
The second-year sensation lifted the Indians to their first-ever state championship with a win over Abington in the Div. 2 final. Roy went 18-1 with an ERA of 0.72 in 126 innings thrown with 176 strikeouts while allowing just 11 walks.

All-StateShannon Smith, Jr., Milford
The University of Kentucky commit was near unhittable this season while leading the Scarlet Hawks to an undefeated season and the Division 1 state title. This year’s ESPN Boston Miss Softball Award recipient was also named Massachusetts Gatorade Player of the Year for the second time (2010, ’12) in her career.

Starting Nine – First team
Katie Caruso, Sr. SS, Newton North
Caruso won the Bay State Conference’s triple crown, leading the league in batting average (.662), home runs (10) and RBI (47) while also clubbing a conference-best 51 hits. The Bay State MVP was also a standout on the Tigers’ hockey team. The four-year starter will continue her playing career next year at Southern New Hampshire University.

Lexi Gifford, Sr. SS, Natick
While Caruso may have been named Bay State Conference MVP, Gifford has been the league’s most valuable lead-off hitter during the last four years. The UConn signee hit at a .615 clip while driving in 33 runs for the Red & Blue this season. Gifford was also a true three-sport athlete at Natick, as a four-year letter-winner in soccer, basketball and softball.

All-StateBri Chiusano, Sr. CF, Mansfield
One of the most feared lead-off hitters in the state and a superb slap hitter, the Hockomock League All-Star showed off her power as well with four home runs this season. The Coastal Carolina signee finished second in the Hock in hitting with a .521 batting average.

All-StateOlivia Godin, Sr. C, King Philip
The UMass-Amherst signee was a four-year starter for the Warriors, helping guide the program to back-to-back state titles in 2010-11. The backstop hit .299 this season with three home runs and 18 RBI.
All-StateAlexis DeBrosse, Jr. SS, New Bedford
Already a three-time New Bedford Standard-Times Player of the Year award winner, the three-time Big Three All-Star hit .521 for the Whalers this season. The three-sport athlete also hit five home runs with 26 RBI and a slugging percentage of 1.099.

All-StateJulie LeClair, Sr. 3B, Coyle-Cassidy
Comprising one half of the state’s best left side of the infield, along with shortstop Patty Borges, the St. Anselm signee led the Warriors to the EAC crown with a league-best .527 average. The three-sport athlete also clubbed a league-leading five home runs along with 32 RBI.

All-StateBella Picard, Jr. SS, Blackstone Valley Tech
The nation’s leading hitter resided in Upton this year with the Beavers’ shortstop hitting an astounding .877 (57-for 65). The converted soccer player also tied for the state lead in home runs with 10 while driving in 43 runs.
All-StateMadi Shaw, Soph. SS, Bridgewater-Raynham
The second-year shortstop powered the Trojans to their first-ever Division 1 South sectional crown. Shaw hit .471 with eight home runs and 34 RBI for the Old Colony League champions.

Reilly Weiners, Jr. C, Agawam
Weiners helped lead the Brownies to the Division 1 West sectional title this season. The backstop led all Div. 1 players in Western Mass. with 35 RBI while knocking out 38 hits on the season, including three home runs.

Bullpen – second team
Megan Colleran, Soph., North Attleborough
Megan Cook, Soph., Bellingham
Mackenzie Coopinger, Sr., Lynn Classical
Audrey Dolloff, Sr., Bridgewater-Raynham
Courtney Girouard, Soph., Fairhaven
Trish Hansen, Sr., Mansfield
Shelby Higgins, Sr., Lowell
Kelly Norton, Sr., Abington
Shannon Orton, Sr., Case
Lauren Ramirez, Jr., Dracut
Jurnee Ware, Sr., Hudson

Bench – second team
Patty Borges, Sr. SS, Coyle-Cassidy
Tori Constantin, Jr. 2B, King Philip
Caroline Fairbanks, Jr. 3B, Milford
Courtney Hoban, Sr. OF, Boston Latin
Emily Hoffman, Sr. C, Malden
Nicole Lundstrom, Jr. C, Dighton-Rehoboth
Michaela Mazure, Fr. INF, Burlington
Kelsey Perron-Sovik, Sr. CF, Fairhaven
Christina Raso, Sr. SS, Burlington
Dakota Smith-Porter, Jr. P/SS, Turners Falls

John Furlong, Malden

Locals impress at Area Code Games tryouts

June, 18, 2012
Ryley MacEachernESPNHSSalisbury Prep's Ryley MacEachern was among the most impressive players at the Area Code Games tryouts at Waltham's Bentley University.
ESPNHS is covering each area tryout for the Area Code Games, which are set for August in Long Beach, Calif. The games' Yankees squad held tryouts over the weekend at Bentley University in Waltham, and several locals put on an impressive display.

To view the entire article, CLICK HERE. Below is Carl Stoeber's account of the Massachusetts area talent:

The Massachusetts stop included more than 100 scouts at the Bentley fields. Practically everyone stopped to watch when pitcher Ryley MacEachern of Salisbury School (Salisbury, Conn.) stepped on the mound. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound junior looked comfortable on the mound and showed the form that helped him go 6-0 with a sub-2.00 ERA this spring.

“I don’t like fooling around with an 0-2 count,” he said, “I like to challenge batters with my fastball and make them hit it.”

Along with his fastball (two-seam and four-seam), MacEachern impressed onlookers with a curveball, slider and a change.

Others who caught scouts’ eyes at the first Yankees’ stop were two lefties who showed power in their bats during BP — sophomore catcher Kyle Devin of Lynn Classical (Lynn, Mass.) and Lynn English (Lynn, Mass.) junior pitcher/first baseman Ben Bowden.

After an extra-innings win over King Philip last week, Coyle-Cassidy climbs to No. 2 in the latest MIAA softball Top 25 poll.

Milford remains at No. 1 for third straight week, but that's about all where the rankings remained the same. Four new teams broke into the top 10, with Holy Name, Acton-Boxborough and Lynn Classical crashing the party along with C-C.

We also welcomed three teams who started the season in the Top 25 back into the poll with St. Mary's of Lynn (No. 22), Abington (24) and Braintree scraping back in after big wins last week.

Updated MIAA softball Top 25 poll

April, 24, 2012
While our top two squads remained steady this week, there was a whole lot of movement throughour our MIAA softball Top 25 poll this week.

Undefeated Central Catholic moved into the third spot, after New Bedford suffered its first loss of the season. It was a good week for the MVC overall as Dracut also hit a high point in the poll, hitting No. 6 after an impressive run at the Hudson school vacation week tournament, capped by a championship win over the No. 17 Hawks.

Somerset-Berkley, which knocked off the aforementioned Whalers, headlines the teams new to the poll this week. The Blue Raiders make their season debut at No. 15. Also breaking in this week were No. 24 Lynn Classical and No. 25 Bellingham.

The big mover of the week was Holy Name, which jumped up five spots to make its first appearanace in the top 10 this week.

Recap: No. 17 Winthrop/Lynn 3, No. 3 St. Mary's 2

January, 28, 2012
WINTHROP, Mass. -- Winthrop/Lynn lit the lamp three times, once in each period, earning the Lady Bulldawgs a 3-2 win over North Shore rival No. 3 St. Mary's of Lynn, Saturday evening at the Larsen Arena.

“We knew that they were going to come out ready to play, and they took advantage of their opportunities,” St. Mary's head coach Frank Pagliuca said.

Winthrop/Lynn (8-2-1) needed just 70-seconds after the opening face-off to earn the lead for good, as Mackenzie Clark, (1 G, 1 A) and Chelsea Bartlett connected with Hannah LoPresti, who crashed the net to deposit the Lady Bulldogs first score of the evening.

The Spartans (10-3) then attempted to respond, but goaltender Brittany McPherson, (27 saves) turned away four shots, which included a potential game-tying goal toward the end of the opening period by Brittani Lanzilli.

The Lady Bulldogs sought to grow their lead during the final minutes of the first frame, but didn’t tally a goal until midway through the second period when Clark rifled a shot past Spartans goaltender Lauren Skinnion (21 saves) on the team’s only power play, which gave Winthrop/Lynn a comfortable 2-0 advantage.

“Both [my goal and assist] were amazing,” said a smiling Clark. “[They were] totally unexpected, but definitely needed.”

St. Mary’s responded four minutes later when Lanzilli fired a shot between the legs of McPherson. Although, W/L answered early in the third period, as Caroline McKinnon notched a goal before St. Mary’s countered with their second strike by Kaleigh Finigan.

“I just got up, and I was like, 'I’m going to get the next save,' and thought about it really hard and focused to not let that [second goal] bother me,” said McPherson about St. Mary’s third-period goal. “I believed in my team, [and] knew they were going to back me up.”

The Lady Bulldogs assisted McPherson, especially during the final minutes of regulation when the Spartans eagerly tried to tie the game, as they deflected shots and cleared the puck twice out of the zone, which helped W/L secure their eighth win of the season.

“If they tied the game, that would be like a win for us anyway, but just to finish it off [by having] people blocking shots, doing whatever it takes," Winthrop/Lynn head coach Anthony Martucci said. "It’s all the girls, they worked hard for it, they deserved it."

“We didn’t finish our chances,” Pagliuca added. “The bottom line was we had pucks bouncing over our sticks, missing opportunities, and that happens in hockey. Hopefully we’ll learn from it and move on.”

Winning Saturday’s contest against St. Mary’s was enormous, especially for fourth-year head coach Anthony Martucci, who described this particular victory in one word - "crazy."

However, he said this particular win will provide the necessary momentum for the Lady Bulldawgs for the remainder of the season.

“Since I’ve taken over, there’s really only been one winning girls' hockey team, and that’s been St. Mary’s, and hopefully this [particular win] let’s everybody know that there’s now [two winning squads in town],” Martucci said.

McPherson also believes this win will help her confidence as well.

“[This win] really pumps us up, and gets us going and gives us a lot of good credit, too," she said.