Boston High School: Lynn English
Sophomore sensation: At 6-foot-4, sophomore quarterback Jordan McAfee not only has the size, but also the tools to become one of the best quarterbacks in the state. His mechanics are smooth, has a solid arm and demonstrates a knack for finding the open receiver. One of his best throws came on a tremendous 37-yard hookup with Boston College commit Lukas Denis. But McAfee’s play of the night came during 7-on-7 drills, when he threw a miraculous 33-yard bullet to Denis, this time squeezing the pass in-between three Lynn English defenders.
Everett did a tremendous job of optimizing the space on the field, mainly as a result of their splits, running several wheel routes with slots and running backs and motioning receivers to create rub routes heading back towards the outside.
"[McAfee] gives us a few more options than we’ve had the past few years," said Everett head coach John DiBiaso. "If he can continue to progress, and stays on track, which we hope he does, and stays healthy, he gives us that added dimension of throwing the ball, which makes the running game that much more effective."
Based on the talent at quarterback and a speedy group of receivers, Everett’s offense should look more like they did in 2011, when record-setting quarterback Jonathan DiBiaso was under center, in comparison to more recent years when their offense seemed to change on a weekly basis.
Solid line play: The Crimson Tide controlled the line offensively behind linemen Eric Trickett, D.J. McDonald and Jefferson Palencia. The holes helped running back Jackinson Joacine stand out on several plays, as the shifty back has a knack for changing direction on a dime with excellent ball carrier vision, that allowed Everett’s run game to be effective. There were several times they came out in pistol and incorporated jet sweep, getting Denis in the mix on the ground. Overall, Everett’s offensive line may be one of the bigger ones in the state and played extremely physical.
Taking control: Despite three of Lynn English’s starting wide receivers not playing, third-year starting quarterback Lucas Harris showed great composer in the pocket and allowed his experience to bring the offense together. What was most impressive with Harris was his ability to make decisions quickly as his rapid release on throws gave his receivers opportunities to make plays.
Most of the Bulldogs’ biggest plays on offense came on completions that were caught for four to seven yards, and then turned into bigger gains. Receiver Miguel Martinez made a plethora of those catches, including a snag on a post route to the back of the end zone during 7-on-7.
Although there were several dropped passes, what’s more important to take away, since this was a scrimmage, is the fact that the Bulldogs can depend on Harris’ leadership when the team needs him most. It’s tough to ask a teenage to take control and lead a team, but Harris certainly is capable of answering the call.
Aggressive approach: Heading into tonight’s scrimmage, the Lynn English coaching staff stressed they had to be more physical. The message must’ve got through, as both the offensive and defensive lines had their moments led by the play of junior offensive/defensive linemen Jeremy Garcia and Victor Morales.
On offense, the blocking allowed senior running back Stevie Collins -- an All-State basketball guard who returns after missing all of last season with a lower body injury -- to turn several runs into big gains, showing off his speed once he got to the outside. Defensively, the Bulldogs were out-sized up front versus a much larger Everett offensive line, but played physical and swarmed to the ball.
“We were much better tonight than were versus Everett Friday night,” said Lynn English coach Peter Holey. “The running game was clicking a little big tonight with Stevie [Collins] and I liked how Lucas [Harris] looked. The offensive line is a work in progress and we missed some assignments but I was pleased with how we came out and played physical.”
For Everett, coach DiBiaso didn’t think his team tackled well but noted that it’s not necessarily his players’ fault.
“It’s hard to blame the kids when you’re only in pads for four days,” DiBiaso said. “We don’t have double-sessions because school started early so it’s tough, but we’ll have to improve on it.”
Courtesy of English head coach Freddy Hogan, here are a few pics of the celebration:
Friday night’s Division 1 North quarterfinal game between host No. 3 Andover and No. 6 Lynn English featured two teams that simply did not want to go home, scratching and clawing, doing everything they could not to have their seasons end, but eventually it was Andover coming out in top, 86-81 in overtime before a sold out crowd at Dunn Gymnasium.
“Craziest game I’ve ever been involved in,” Andover coach Dave Fazio said. “That team (Lynn English) has the heart of a lion. It was one of those games where the coaches say whoever has the ball last wins. That’s what it was. We never quit. I thought we had them and they would hit a three, hit another three, they made plays, that’s just a heck of a team right there. In my 25 years of coaching we deserve a break. We’ve had some hard aches over the last 25 years, this is maybe the God’s giving us some luck.”
The overtime featured up-and-down action with the teams matching basket for basket before Andover's David Giribaldi’s hoop and the foul following a steal gave the Warriors an 82-79 lead with 42.5 seconds left. The Bulldogs wouldn’t go down quietly as on their next possession Fred Hogan nailed a three, making the score 82-81 with 23.7 seconds remaining.
Connor Merinder was then fouled and he made both free throws increasing Andover’s lead to three, 84-81. English had one last chance, but they air balled a three before Giribaldi was fouled with less then five seconds remaining with the game all but in doubt.
“It’s the most fearless team I’ve ever had,” Fazio said. “In 25 years we had one team that went to the Tsongas Center, but this is the most fearless team I’ve ever had. We do some crazy things. We throw the ball away, we kick it out of bounds, we foul, the kids do the craziest things, but the one thing they are not afraid of is to win. It just says an awful lot about these kids, I’m just so proud of them.”
It was a fantastic end to regulation as Lynn English found themselves down 68-60 with just over four minutes to go, but went on a 7-0 run in just over a minute’s span to get right back in it.
Hogan’s layup with 42.1 seconds left tied the score at 73 and then Andover turned the ball over on their ensuing possession, setting up the Bulldogs with the ball and 15 seconds, but Hogan’s runner was swatted away by Merinder forcing overtime.
Lynn English was led by Danny Lukanda, who had 25 points, while Hogan added 20 and Erick Rosario contributed 19 in a losing effort.
Giribaldi had a game-high 28 points, 21 of them coming in the first half to lead the Warriors. Freshman E.J. Perry had a tremendous game finishing with 28 points, including two huge, back-to-back three-pointers in the third quarter. Despite battling foul trouble Merinder had a solid game as well finishing with 11 points and had a major presence on the glass.
“We have a killer in Giabarldi, but these kids are stepping up and that is a tribute to their hard work," said Fazio.
Andover will now take on Everett in one of the Division 1 North semi final games to be played next week.
REFUSING TO GO DOWN
It’s been a wild two tournament games for the Warriors as they barely beat No. 14 seed Billerica, 54-52 in their opening round game and then found themselves down 24-12 and 24-14 after the opening quarter Friday. But they have remained calm at all times.
“These kids don’t panic, they just don’t panic, man,” Fazio said. “Sometimes I don’t even think they know the score. I say to them ‘we’re up three’ and they just say ‘OK, let’s go’. They just play. They play for the love of the game. It’s crazy but it’s working. Let’s just hope it works for a few more games.”
With their inviting uptempo style, the Runnin' Bulldogs are one of the most fun offenses to watch and have inspired several nicknames. This new one, however, may take the cake -- behold the duo of forwards Danny Lukanda and Johnny Hilaire, dubbed by the Dawgs faithful as "Lob English".
In this user-submitted video, watch as "Lob English" goes to work on Lexington with several acrobatic alley-oops:
English is next in action Friday night, when they host Andover in a North quarterfinal.
Defending champion Lynn English headlines the boys field, which includes Andover, Everett and St. John’s Prep. The girls division will be contested by Boston Latin, Central Catholic, Newton South and Whittier Tech.
The schedule is as follows:
Sunday, Feb. 16
2 p.m. – Boston Latin vs. Whittier Tech girls
3:45 p.m. – Newton South vs. Central Catholic girls
5:30 p.m. – Andover vs. Everett boys
7:15 p.m. – Lynn English vs. St. John's Prep boys
Monday, Feb. 17
2 p.m. – Girls consolation
3:45 p.m. – Boys consolation
5:30 p.m. – Girls championship
7:15 p.m. – Boys championship
A player from each team will receive a scholarship. Since starting the tournament in 2011, IAABO Board 130 has awarded $10,000 in scholarships.
“We want to be able to help student-athletes while showcasing some great talent," said Board 130 President Mark Shapiro of Swampscott.
IAABO Board 130 is an Essex County-based chapter of the International Association of Approved Basketball Officials. The organization has more than 400 members who officiate basketball games from the youth to collegiate levels.
1. Don’t look now, but it’s looking like that time of year again for Lynn English. Last season, after a 4-4 start, the Bulldogs won 15 of their next 16 games before bowing out in the Division 1 North Final, their first such appearance since the fabled 2009 state final run. When they are fully healthy and in full swing, the Bulldogs’ backcourt of Freddy Hogan, Erick Rosario and Stevie Collins is among the state’s best, and they’ve proven as much with two gutsy wins over NEC rivals -– first a 15-point rally over Danvers, then a dramatic victory over Salem to avenge the loss two weeks prior.
The excuse for the early slump last year was that coach Mike Carr’s run-and-gun, full-court man-to-man pressure system takes about half a season to get used to. With a year of that system under their belts, that doesn’t feel applicable for the recent spell of three losses in four games that ended with the Danvers win. Perhaps it had more to do with the need for more assertion on the boards, a problem that tends to arise as the Bulldogs sometimes surrender the offensive boards in order to prevent a fast break going the other way. The return of Collins from injury should bolster the backcourt, but if the “Runnin’ Dawgs” are to replicate last year’s success, promising athletic forwards Danny Lukanda and Johnny Hilaire are going to be the key.
2. Went and saw Marshfield host Barnstable on Saturday night, a battle between two unranked teams in our Top 25 poll, and I got the feeling one of these teams –- maybe both -– could steal a game in what should be a wide-open D1 South tournament. Bob Fisher has won everywhere he went, which includes this latest stop at Marshfield, where he always seems to move past the first round. Against Barnstable, the Rams were 11-of-26 from three-point range in a 63-53 win, including a 5-for-7 mark in the first quarter. They get a night like that in D1 South, combined with their speed in transition, and I could see them dealing haymakers to a high seed.
Realistically, Barnstable might be a year away from being a bona fide contender, but first-year coach Chuck Kipnes has this program going in the right direction, and there is plenty to like with this young group. Two underclassmen in particular to keep an eye on are sophomore point guard Izaiah Winston-Brooks, a transplant from Boston, and junior forward Elijah Baptiste, a long and lanky slasher who excels on the wing and has deep range. Winston-Brooks is strong on the ball and vicious driving with his left, and made a few nifty dishes to post players for some sweet assists. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Kipnes score an upset on somebody in the South.
3. Seeing Shabazz Napier’s jersey retired at Charlestown on Friday night conjured up a lot of memories for what was a brilliant high school career split between the Townies and Lawrence Academy. My favorite memory of Napier is his final game in an LA uniform, the 2010 NEPSAC Class B Final against St. Mark’s. The undersized Spartans were getting hammered underneath in the first half by the likes of Nate Lubick and Kalb Tarczewski, with many of LA's stars (including Napier) racking up three first-half fouls. Throughout his career Napier wowed fans with no-look passes and dagger three’s, but in this battle he took control of the game in second half by slowing the game to a crawl. Literally, each trip down he would bring the ball over halfcourt and huddle up with the other four players on the floor as he continued dribbling, milking the shot clock for all its worth. The Spartans rallied to win by 10 in that game, still one of my favorite NEPSAC games I’ve covered in my career.
4. It there is one weakness with No. 1 Springfield Putnam, it is its shooting ability. But then again, that was the Beavers’ glaring weakness last year, and they rode that deficiency all the way to a D1 state title. Call me crazy, call me whimsical, but I’m a firm believer that there is a difference between a good shooting team and a timely shooting team. The Beavers certainly aren’t a great shooting team, getting most of their baskets off turnovers and fast breaks. But I saw Ty Nichols hit a gutsy three against Nazareth (N.Y.) back in December to force overtime, and apparently he was up to his old tricks against Holyoke this week, hitting a buzzer-beater to rally the Beavers from down five with 1:30 to go. When their feet are held to the fire, the Beavers pride themselves on not being out-toughed or out-played.
5. Continuing with the “defense trumps offense” theme over in girls’ basketball, I thought No. 1 Braintree made a statement in sweeping its season series with Newton North, even if the Tigers were without star guard Infiniti Thomas-Waheed. The Tigers have been a tough out for the Wamps the second time around. Defense has never been a question in Braintree, but if you’ve been following our girls basketball coverage the last two seasons, you know my biggest criticism of the Wamps is their scoring ability. Well, they put up 70 on a pretty talented Newton North team tonight, so I guess that shows how much I know. Don’t be surprised if there is a third installment of this growing rivalry in the D1 South tournament, either.
6. Two milestones that deserve some praise: Wachusett’s Tom Gibbons, who earned his 200th win in an overtime victory over Fitchburg; and Mahar’s Chad Softic, who earned his 100th win in his seventh season at the helm of the Senators’ program. Under Gibbons’ watch, the Mountaineers have always scheduled tough, and been consistently in the upper echelon within its division. Like his brethren in the famous Gibbons coaching family of Central Mass.,Tom is as genuinely good a human being as you’ll come across.
Softic inherited a program at Mahar that was just looking to get off the canvas, and after going 1-19 his first season he brought the Senators hardware in year five, beating heavily-favored Brighton in the 2012 Division 2 State Championship. The Senators basically played six kids that on paper did not hold water to All-State Brighton players Malik James and Nick Simpson; but they ate the Bengals' much-vaunted extended 3-2 zone alive, jumping out to a 17-3 first quarter lead and making it hold up for a four-point victory. To this day, that is one of the best coaching jobs I’ve seen in my time covering high school sports in Massachusetts.
Hogan is the second Bulldog in as many weeks to pass the 1,000th point barrier. Back on Jan. 17, girls captain Catherine Stinson achieved the feat.
Lynn English's official athletics Twitter account had some nice photos of Hogan's spirited night:
Freddy hogan scores his 1000 point!! pic.twitter.com/4Ktk6eL2YF— LEHS SPORTS (@lehssports) January 29, 2014
Proud father Coach Hogan the second his son Freddy Hogan made 1000 points tonight at the boys game pic.twitter.com/K4TcIJEATV— LEHS SPORTS (@lehssports) January 29, 2014
One last congrats to Freddy Hogan tonight. We hope to see everyone at Salem friday night @ 7PM! pic.twitter.com/AB97Oa455N— LEHS SPORTS (@lehssports) January 29, 2014
ESPN Boston High Schools Editor
G – Tyler Nelson, Sr., Central Catholic
He’s always been one of the state’s premier shooters, but his game has evolved this season as he continues to fight through box-and-one's. He has grown up quite a bit in terms of toughness.
G – Dizel Wright, Sr., Putnam
One of the state’s best on-ball defenders and the humble kid on an otherwise very vocal team, he sets the tone at both ends of the floor for the state’s undisputed No. 1 team.
F – Tyonne Malone, Soph., Putnam
One of several prep school transfers that arrived with plenty of hype, the 6-foot-3 slasher has been an integral force on the wing for the Beavers. Long with plenty of athleticism to get to the rim at will, there’s a lot of upside to be excited about.
F – David Murrell, Sr., Putnam
It’s an MMA fight at times trying to battle on the boards with the Beavers, and the returning All-State forward sets the tone for one of the state’s best rebounding teams.
C – Anthony Green, Sr., North Quincy
One of the best revelations of the 2013-14 season, the late-blooming 6-foot-9 center has showed marked improvement from where he was at this time a year ago. And the Red Raiders have been a large benefactor.
G – Tommy Mobley, Jr., Newton North
Some folks would like to see him become more assertive on the glass, but there is no denying Mobley’s shooting ability. He might be the most automatic three-point marksman in Massachusetts.
G – Makai Ashton-Langford, Soph., St. Peter-Marian
If you haven’t seen him yet, you are missing out. He is the Guardians’ most talented lead guard since Naadir Tharpe, and has backed up the mound of hype behind his high-major potential in this first half of the season.
G – Aahmane Santos, Jr., Catholic Memorial
Santos returned from prep school a much more aggressive –- and visibly faster –- player. At times it seems like he is operating at a different speed than the other nine players on the floor, and that’s one of the bigger reasons why the Knights are averaging upwards of 86 points per game so far.
F – Asante Sandiford, Sr., New Mission
Franklin Pierce commit proved a lot to me with the way he battled one of the nation’s top big men, Karl Towns Jr., at the Shooting Touch Shootout. The Titans have been absolute piranhas on defense this season, with Sandiford at the forefront.
F – Tyree Robinson, Jr., Durfee
It’s been a few years since the Hilltoppers were this good, and I’m not sure how competitive they’d even be without landing this Notre Dame Prep transfer.
G – Giulien Smith, Jr., Catholic Memorial
Like seemingly a half-dozen other Knights, Smith can shoot it. But it’s his ability to create his own shot that makes him and Aahmane Santos one of the most dangerous backcourts.
G – Rocky DeAndrade, Sr., Mansfield
The Hornets started the season down three starters to injury, yet they haven’t skipped a beat. Credit that to DeAndrade, who has become faster after a diligent offseason.
G – Elijah Rogers, Sr., Brookline
You can make the case for Rogers to be a lot higher on this list. The Warriors had a tough start to the season, but they may have hit their stride. When Rogers is on, it is a spectacle.
F – Gary Clark, Jr., Everett
Arguably the best two-way player on one of the state’s most tenacious defenses.
F – Fred "Bam" Rivers, Sr., New Mission
This might be the Titans' best squad since 2010-11, and as the nickname implies, this fearless, wide-bodied 6-foot-4 post is one of the primary reasons. There isn't a player in Massachusetts he's afraid to make uncomfortable. Oh, and he can step out and shoot it, too.
Coach of the Year: Kevin Barrett, North Quincy
A few other names here could fit the bill, such as Mansfield’s Mike Vaughan, Fitchburg’s Jack Scott or North Andover’s Paul Tanglis. But a year ago at this time, Anthony Green was a timid kid who moved gingerly and couldn’t stay on the court without getting fatigued or racking up fouls. Now, he’s become the Raiders’ own “Nerlens Lite”, and the biggest reason for their 11-0 start. And while we’re at it, raise your hand if you'd heard of Eftham Butka at this time last year (Don’t lie). Now, he’s the Raiders’ most dangerous scorer. All of this speaks to Barrett’s commitment to player development, a trait that sometimes feels like a lost art in today’s AAU-ficated grassroots culture. That shouldn’t be overlooked.
ESPN Boston correspondent
G - Dizel Wright, Sr., Putnam
The most complete player on the state's most complete team. A built, athletic point guard who can guard a variety of positions and put up double-figure rebounding totals, Wright should be considered a serious contender for Mr. Basketball, as should these next four candidates.
G - Tommy Mobley, Jr., Newton North
The state's most lethal shooter has turned into one of it's best overall scorers. Mobley has lit some of the state's best teams up this year, averaging 20 points per game as Newton North has emerged as one of the best teams in Division 1.
G - Guilien Smith, Jr., Catholic Memorial
In terms of pure scoring ability, there may be no better player in the state than Smith. Smith has deep range on his three-point shot, the quickness to get to the hoop off the dribble, and now the upper body strength to finish. He's a big reason why CM is 12-1.
F - David Murrell, Sr., Putnam
Wright may be Putnam's best player, but Murrell is the glue guy for the state's number-one ranked team. Averaging double-figure points and rebounds, he makes for a superior duo with sophomore Tyonne Malone.
F - Anthony Green, Sr., North Quincy
North Quincy has been one of the state's most pleasant surprises this year, and their do-it-all 6-foot-9 center hes led them every step of the way. Several scholarship-level college programs and prep schools have shown interest in Green in recent weeks.
G - Makai Ashton-Langford, Soph., St. Peter-Marian
His 26 point outbreak against St. John's on Friday night is just another reminder why the 6-foot sophomore is considered to be one of New England's best talents. Ashton-Langford has been the guy who makes the Guardians go this year, averaging 17 points a game.
G - Aamahne Santos, Jr., Catholic Memorial
Santos has had several games where he he never reached double-figure scoring totals, yet he seems to have as much of an impact on a game as any point guard in the state. A super athlete who is also lightning-quick with the ball in his hands, Santos is the key behind Catholic Memorial's high-powered offense.
G - Tyler Nelson, Sr. Central Catholic
Much was expected out of Nelson this year, and for the most part, he has delivered for 11th-ranked Central Catholic. The Fairfield University commit has been the main focus of opposing defenses all year long, yet still manages to hit shots at a high clip.
F - Tyonne Malone, Soph., Putnam
Malone struggled at first to find his fit in an extremely talented Putnam rotation, but he has emerged as one of their best reliable players the past few weeks in wins over Woodstock Academy (Conn.), Springfield Cathedral, Springfield Central, and Northampton. A gifted athlete at 6-foot-3, Malone is already on the radar of several mid-major and high-major Division 1 programs.
F - Tyree Robinson, Jr., Durfee
The transfer from Notre Dame Prep has immediately helped turn things around at Durfee -- a team starving for a playoff appearance after several years of relative anonymity. A standout 6-foot-4 athlete who plays AAU for the Boston Amateur Basketball Club (BABC), Robinson's rebounding motor and elite athleticism have made him well worth the price of admission.
G - Elijah Rogers, Sr., Brookline
Rogers has been the catalyst all year long for Brookline, a team who is 7-3 and looking to build off of last year's playoff run. An athletic point who can also make plays for others, he has proven to be one of the top pure point guards in the state.
G - Erick Rosario, Jr., Lynn English
It has been on Rosario to do a lot of the heavy lifting offensively with counterpart Stevie Collins out injured. A quick, clever combo guard, Rosario has proven to be one of the state's best pure offensive threats--whether it's knocking down outside jumpers or finishing acrobatic lay-ups around the rim.
G - Ryan Boulter, Jr., Mansfield
The lone blemish on the Hornets' 12-1 record is Thursday's three-point loss to Hockomock foe Attleboro, and Boulter has been a big reason why. With star forward Brendan Hill out for the year, Boulter has manged to pick up a lot of the slack offensively for Mike Vaughan's Hornets.
F - Gary Clark, Jr., Everett
Everett has been one of the state's best teams, now at 10-0, and Clark's inside-out offensive attack has helped bring some balance to a high-scoring offense. Playing alongside a loaded Everett backcourt, Clark has excelled playing down low: rebounding at a high-rate and finishing shots in the paint.
F - Fred "Bam" Rivers, Sr., New Mission
Rivers may not look the part of a gifted athlete, but to his credit, he has proven just the opposite so far for Cory McCarthy's Titans. At 6-foot-4, Rivers has the foot speed to guard multiple positions, he has shown that he is one of the best rebounders in the state, and he can even stretch the defense with his feathery three-point touch.
Coach of the Year: Cory McCarthy, New Mission
With a few star players in Franklin Pierce-bound forward Asante Sandiford, sharpshooter Shaquan Murray, and do-it-all forward Fred "Bam" Rivers, McCarthy has been able to build around that trio with one of the state's deepest rotations and stingiest defenses -- giving up just 47 points a game. The 11-1 Titans are as tough an out as any team in the state and they appear to be the favorite statewide in Division 2 midway through the season. Catholic Memorial's Denis Tobin, St. John's Prep's John Dullea, and Mansfield's Mike Vaughan should all be in the conversation for this one, but at this point in the year nobody has gotten more out of their team than McCarthy.
ESPN Boston correspondent
G - Dizel Wright, Sr., Springfield Putnam
He’s been the best player on the best team in the state all year, and only seems to be getting better.
G - Tommy Mobley, Jr., Newton North
The junior is the best shooter I’ve seen this year, or in recent memory for that matter. Everyone know the ball is going to end up in his hands and still no one seems to be able to stop him. Has a shot to reach 1,000 points this year with another deep tourney run for the Tigers.
G - Aamahne Santos, Jr., Catholic Memorial
The leader of an explosive CM offense that leads the state in points, Sanots has done a little bit of everything for the Knights. Known for his premier offense, his defense might be even better as he’s caused fits for Catholic Conference point guards all year.
F - Fred "Bam" Rivers, Sr., New Mission
He’s capable of scoring, rebounding, or playing solid defense on other bigs down low for No. 3 New Mission. Combining with Shaquan Murray and Asante Saniford, Rivers has helped make Mission the team to beat statewide in division two.
F - Ryan Boulter, Jr., Mansfield
Unbeaten Mansfield has looked unstoppable early on despite losing returning All-Stater Brendan Hill for the year to a knee injury, and Boulter might be the biggest reason why. The junior has led an explosive offense -- averaging more than 17.6 per game on a team with four guys in double figures
G - Tyler Nelson, Sr., Central Catholic
Pushing him to the second team was one of the hardest calls to make, but I think it speaks more to the impressive guard play statewide this season than anything else. Nelson is one of the most dynamic players in the state, and a second half surge could push him onto the first team.
G - Rocky DeAndrade, Sr., Mansfield
Second for the No. 2 Hornets in scoring behind Boulter, DeAndrade is capable of taking over games and can score from anywhere. He’s poured in over 16 per game so far as the Hornets have cruised to an 11-0 mark.
G - Elijah Rogers, Sr., Brookline
The returning All-Stater has taken his game to another level this year, guiding an offense that can run with anyone. He went off for 28 points to hand Bay State rival Newton North it’s only loss, and finding a player in the state who elevates his game for big opponents would be a tough challenge.
F - David Murrell, Sr., Putnam
Returning All-Stater gives Putnam arguably the best 1-2 punch in the state with Wright, and is a major reason they’ve been atop the rankings all season. He was tremendous at the Hoop Hall Classic last week, netting 27 and grabbing 12 rebounds against rival Springfield Central before going off for 15 points and 15 rebounds against defending Connecticut Class L champ Woodstock.
C - Obi Obiora, Sr., Brookline
The big man averaged nearly a double-double a year ago, and looks like he’s headed for one this season. A total game changer on the defensive end, he’s also capable of taking some focus off of Rogers on offense.
G - Jack Loughnane, Soph., BC High
His offensive game is an impressive one, and he’s among the best 3-point shooters in Eastern Mas. He’s the catalyst for the Eagles’ offense, and is a major reason they’re ranked No. 10 in the state.
G - Markus Neale, Sr., Dorchester
The Bears don’t have much in the way of height, but Neale plays taller than his 6-foot-2 frame would suggest. He’s a playmaker on both ends of the floor, can score from beyond the arc or by going to the hoop, fights for rebounds and bolsters an athletic Dorchester defense.
G - Ryan Roach, Sr., Cardinal Spellman
A Stonehill commit, Roache has been tasked with running a Cardinals offense that features several players who would be the “go-to” guy on a lot of teams. None of the Cardinals are averaging crazy point totals, but the team is unbeaten in league play. Their only losses have come against Mansfield, Franklin and No. 24 St. Bernard’s.
F - Matt Nicholson, Sr., Rockland
Tyler Gibson swallowed up a ton of the publicity for Rockland a year ago, but Nicholson gave the Bulldogs a second very good scoring option. This year, with Gibson and Bryan Tavares graduated, Nicholson has been tasked with being the guy for Rockland, and he’s delivered to the tune of 22 points and eight rebounds per game for the 7-3 Bulldogs.
C - Anthony Green, Sr., North Quincy
The 6-foot-9 big man for the unbeaten Red Raiders makes his biggest impact in something that isn’t quantifiable through statistics, as the number of possessions he changes on the defensive end is staggering. Coach Kevin Barrett said earlier this year that he was blocking seven shots per game during the tourney last year, and altering at least as many. That means he’s single-handedly effecting the outcome of more than 10 possessions per contest, and that doesn’t include the way the rest of the Red Raiders defense can play in the faces of their opponents, knowing he’s back there as a last line of defense.
Coach of the Year: Bo Ruggiero, Cohasset
An argument could be made for plenty of guys this year, and people like Cory McCarthy at New Mission and Mike Vaughn at Mansfield (being unbeaten despite losing Hill is pretty impressive) certainly deserve some consideration. That said, Ruggiero has put together one of his finest coaching performances, which is saying a lot when you consider he’s got more than 500 career wins on the sidelines. The Skippers graduated a 1,000 point scorer a year ago in Shane Haggerty, and lack a star to lean on this season. Guys like Chris Haggerty, Rocco Laugelle, Henry Brown and Joe Buckley have just come together to play good fundamental hoops. They’ve gone all in on defense, and are allowing a South Shore League best 39 points per game this year. At 10-0, they have to be considered among the favorites, if not the favorite, to capture the MIAA Div. 4 crown this year.
Stinson, who poured in 24 points in the win, needed 10 points going in. She becomes the fourth female player in school history to surpass 1,000 points.
Head coach Freddy Hogan passed along a few shots of Stinson's feat. Also included are several shots tweeted out by the school's Twitter account for athletics.
Per coach Freddy Hogan, here are pics of Lynn English's Catherine Stinson scoring her 1000th point pic.twitter.com/VGLvQx5He6— Brendan C. Hall (@BHallESPN) January 17, 2014
CATHERINE STINSON MADE HER 1000 POINT TONIGHT! CONGRATS pic.twitter.com/d44TPSyVzL— LEHS SPORTS (@lehssports) January 17, 2014
The Friday preview includes two D1 North favorites in Lynn English and Central Catholic, two teams with loaded backcourts in Catholic Memorial and Putnam, as well as Mansfield--who only last one impact player off of last year's Division 1 finalist team.
For a refresher on how the final 2012-13 poll ended up, CLICK HERE.
Here's how the countdown has gone so far: Nos. 25-21 | 20-16 | 15-11 | 10-6
5. LYNN ENGLISH
Coach: Mike Carr
2012-13 results: 17-6, Division 1 North finalists
Key players: Sr. G Freddy Hogan, Jr. G Stevie Collins, Jr. F Johnny Hilaire, Sr. F Danny Lukanda, Jr. G Erick Rosario
Analysis: English was undoubtedly the surprise team of the year last year, but the talent on Mike Carr’s team won’t be surprise anybody this year. Fred Hogan, Stevie Collins, and Erick Rosario should all be considered to be on the all-state radar, while the Bulldogs’ will boast rebounding specialist Danny Lukanda and 6-foot-6 athletic center Johnny Hilaire down low.
4. CATHOLIC MEMORIAL
Coach: Denis Tobin
2012-13 results: 13-8, Division 1 South, first round
Key players: Sr. G Aamahne Santos, Jr. G Guilien Smith, Sr. C Gerard Adams, Soph. G Denis Tobin, Soph. G Kellan Grady
Analysis: Aamahne Santos transferring back to CM for his senior year automatically puts CM in the conversation of state title favorites, but don’t forget about Guilien Smith—who anchored the Knights offense on plenty of occasions last year. Denis Tobin and sophomore Kellan Grady add even more depth to the backcourt, while big man Gerard Adams should be considered one of the MIAA’s best post threats.
3. CENTRAL CATHOLIC
Coach: Rick Nault
2012-13 results: 21-6, Division 1 North champions
Key players: Sr. G Tyler Nelson, Sr. F Nick Cambio, Sr. F Aaron Hall, Fr. G Kevin Fernandez, Jr. G Alex Santos
Analysis: Fairfield commit Tyler Nelson needs no introduction. He proved last year to one of the state’s most lethal all-around scorers, and should be able to use his lights-out three-point stroke to his advantage this year with big men Nick Cambio and Aaron Hall down in the post. Look for freshman Kevin Fernandez to have an instant impact at the point guard position for Rick Nault’s squad.
Coach: Mike Vaughan
2012-13 results: 25-3, Division 1 state finalists
Key players: Brendan Hill, Rocky DeAndre, Michael Boen, Ryan Boulter, Kyle Wisniewski, Kevin Conner
Analysis: This Hornets team came up just short of beating Putnam last year at the DCU for the Division 1 championship game. Mansfield lost one impact player of last year’s squad, captain Greg Romanko, but they return a plethora of talented guards, including Rocky DeAndre, Michael Boen, and Ryan Boulter. Brendan Hill will miss games early because of an injury suffered during football season, but look for him to be on Super Team radar when all is said and done.
Coach: William Shepherd
2012-13 results: 24-1, Division 1 state champions
Key players: Sr. F David Murrell, Soph. F Tyonne Malone, Soph. F Davidson Pacheco, Jr. G Justin Stewart, Sr. G Dizel Wright, Jr. F Jonathan Garcia, Jr. G Ty Nichols, Jr. G Ki-Shawn Monroe, Soph. G Luqman Abdur-Rauf
Analysis: The Beavers were a no-brainer at the top spot, especially given the fact that they may have even more talent on the roster than last year’s Division 1 state title-winning squad. Newcomer Tyonne Malone -- who already holds offers from UMass, Boston University, St. Peter's and Manhattan -- is a college prospect to keep a close eye on over the next couple of years, after a strong freshman campaign at Williston-Northampton. He leads an influx of transfers that includes Pacheco (New Leadership), Stewart (Williston-Northampton) and Abdur-Rauf (New Leadership). Look for David Murrell, the post anchor of last year’s team, to be in the conversation for first-team All-State.
Coaches or league representatives, across all fall sports, are encouraged send their league All-Star lists to editors Scott Barboza (email@example.com) and Brendan Hall (firstname.lastname@example.org):
POSTSEASON AWARD WINNERS
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
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.
"We didn't have kids bench pressing 300 pounds," he recalled. "Now, we've got kids benching 300, squatting 500, and we're still growing."
If the top-seeded Hillies are to emerge from this wide-open North field, they will have to improve significantly on offense, if tonight's 10-7 win over Lynn English tonight is any indication. The Hillies' lone touchdown came on a 10-yard pick-six from defensive end Matt Burns. With some key two-way starters playing through injury, the Hillies found themselves going mostly horizontal on offense, their few deep shots downfield mostly going to waste.
But defensively, this was an impressive outing. They set the tone early, holding the Bulldogs to 58 yards in the first half, with all but three of those yards coming on the final drive of the second quarter. No statement was bigger than Burns' TD late in the first quarter. On the second play of English's drive, Chris Lessard attempted to throw pass to the left flat. But the lanky Burns, who had been keeping his arms active going up against English star tackle Chris Tinkham, was able to disengage and leap up for the interception.
"Coach had been telling us all week that when they come out with no backs in the backfield, one quarterback, then it's usually a screen or a short type of pass," Burns said. "I looked for it, went out and got the ball."
After Pat Yale booted a 25-yard field goal for a 10-0 Hillies advantage late in the third, the Bulldogs' offense found some life, cutting the lead to 10-7 after a nice 46-yard punt return from running back Zach Lozzi. His return gave them starting field position at the Haverhill 37, and two plays later they capitalized, Lozzi again, this time coming around the right on a sweep for a 25-yard score.
That's when the Hillies' defense showed its backbone once again. Yale came up with two interceptions in the final 2:28 to preserve the win -- the second one a route he jumped at the right sideline, seemingly standing in place all night waiting for the ball to drop with nobody near him.
Javier goes down: The homecoming for English quarterback Jordan Javier, a star last season at Haverhill, was short-lived. He went down on the second play from scrimmage, getting pulled down to the turf after throwing an incomplete pass, and began screaming out in pain, clutching his left knee. After several moments laying on his back, he was carted off the field, then taken away in an ambulance during the second quarter.
"They think it might be an ACL, but he's at the hospital right now, so we're not sure," Bulldogs coach P.J. Holey said. "He was guarding [his knee], but we couldn't give an assessment then.
"I feel bad for Jordan, because he wanted to come back here and put on a show. He had a great week of practice all week, but we hope he's alright."
Setting the edge: In Tinkham, the Bulldogs have one of Massachusetts' top two-way linemen, a 6-foot-3, 275-pound road grader with supreme upper body strength, surprising mobility and a somewhat violent bull-rush technique. Defensively he tends to draw double or triple-teams; other times, teams keep play outside of the box, or let him fly upfield and counter with a draw.
And in Burns, Tinkham found a perfect foil. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound Burns is long and lean, with great hand-to-hand combat skills to free his arms up and attempt to bat a ball -- an important trait for this matchup, considering how many times English threw to the flats.
For most of the night Burns held his own, hitting Tinkham with club and rip moves as well as a "wax on" technique, swinging his arms up in an uppercut motion when Tinkham got his hands inside on Burns' chest plate. Late in the game, with fatigue wearing in, Burns was replaced at end by outside linebacker Michael Kwegyir-Attah, who also showed some of his own arsenal of moves.
"He's definitely one of the top, if not the best, lineman I've faced," Burns said of Tinkham. "He's very physical, gets me inside underneath my pads. Never played against a guy like that."
Tinkham has drawn an assortment of Division 1 interest, from UMass down to FCS upstarts such as Bryant and UNC-Charlotte, and generally projects as a two-gap defensive tackle at the next level. Grades have been a focal point of improvement for Tinkham, and Holey says he is "decimal points away" at this moment.
"He's got a motor that doesn't stop," Holey said. "He's a very physical kid, he's got to control his emotion. The only thing they want to see out of him is admissions. But they love his motor."
HAVERHILL 10, LYNN ENGLISH 7
LYN 0 0 0 7 --- 7
HAV 7 0 3 0 --- 10
H - Matt Burns 10 interception return (Pat Yale kick) :19
H - Yale 25 field goal 2:54
L - Zach Lozzi 25 run (Chris Lessard kick) 6:57
Scott Barboza: The Red Raiders seize the opportunity against an undermanned Eagles squad on their path to the section title. Lowell, 20-14.
Brendan Hall: Two weeks ago, I’d have told you St. John’s Prep would emerge victorious here. But that was before they lost a number of key starters on the offensive line. Feels weird predicting the preseason No. 1 in the land to go down in the first round of playoffs, but they are walking wounded headed into this matchup with one of the North’s most athletic defensive fronts. Lowell, 21-10.
Division 2 South: No. 6 KING PHILIP (5-2) at No. 3 NATICK (7-0)
Barboza: Talking with the Redhawks coaching staff earlier this week, there’s a healthy amount of respect going in for the KP defense, in particular linebacker Brett McEvoy, but something tells me the Warriors haven’t seen an offense such as this. Natick, 20-14.
Hall: Somehow, some way, even against one of the state’s top defenses, we know Troy Flutie will find a way to break them for some points. Never underestimate a Flutie with their back against the wall. The question is whether KP’s offense, stagnant in most weeks, can light up the scoreboard itself. Natick, 31-30.
Division 2 South: No. 8 WELLESLEY (4-3) at No. 1 MANSFIELD (7-0)
Barboza: John Fadule can almost single-handedly keep the Raiders in the game, but the onus is on the Raiders defense to step up to perhaps their greatest challenge yet. Mansfield, 31-27.
Hall: Sneaky good battle. Wellesley runs a wide-open spread offense that likes to turn games into track meets, a matchup that tends to favor Mansfield, which has won a few of those types of games this year. Mansfield, 28-24.
Division 2 South: No. 5 DUXBURY (5-1) at No. 4 NEEDHAM (6-1)
Barboza: This might be the most difficult game of the weekend to forecast — just going on gut instinct here. Duxbury, 10-7.
Hall: Every year we always talk about Duxbury as the prototype for athletic teams with lacrosse backgrounds. But the best lacrosse-bred star this year is in Needham, where Mike Panepinto figures to have a ball this postseason after leading the state in rushing. Needham, 30-23.
Division 1 South: No. 5 WEYMOUTH (4-3) at No. 4 BC HIGH (4-3)
Barboza: The Wildcats have to win the turnover battle if they want to hang in this one. Maybe Matt Long can pull out another one from behind his back. BC High, 17-16.
Hall: This one will be sloppy, but in the end I don’t see the Eagles defense surrendering anything more than a touchdown here. BC High, 20-7.
Division 2 Central: No. 5 SHREWSBURY (4-3) at No. 4 NASHOBA (4-3)
Barboza: For a team that had a state-best winning streak rolling earlier this season, after three-straight losses, perception has really changed for this one. Shrewsbury, 21-14.
Hall: The two teams have gone in opposite directions since Nashoba won the first matchup in Week 3, with the Chieftains losing three of their last four while Shrewsbury has won three of its last four. Shrewsbury, 17-3.
Division 4 Central: No. 6 QUABBIN (5-2) at No. 3 DOHERTY (6-1)
Barboza: With both teams able to put ‘em on the board in bunches, I like Doherty’s outside targets just a little bit more. Doherty, 34-30.
Hall: Just a hunch, lots of points will be scored in this one. The biggest enemy for either team might be the sideline markers. Anybody want to take a wager on how many “six” routes are called in this one? Doherty, 40-38.
Division 2 North: No. 7 CAMBRIDGE (3-4) at No. 2 READING (5-1)
Barboza: After the Arlington upset, the Rockets have righted ship some and still have enough horses in the stable with Liam Kenneally. Reading, 14-13.
Hall: My upset special of the week. Reading struggled against spread offenses out of the gate, and the Falcons provide a unique blend of athleticism in the spread that they aren’t accustomed to seeing. I predict a big night for Shaq Anderson. Cambridge, 28-27.
Division 2 North: No. 8 LYNN ENGLISH (2-4) at No. 1 HAVERHILL (5-2)
Barboza: There are some serious backstories to be had, but ultimately, on the field, the Hillies roll. Haverhill, 28-20.
Hall: In Jordan Javier’s return to his former school, I like the Hillies getting one up on Lynn English. There are athletic, Division 1-caliber playmakers on both sides of the ball for both squads, but Haverhill’s runs more fluid. Haverhill, 35-31.
No. 3 SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (6-1) at No. 13 WESTFIELD (7-0)
Barboza: The Bombers are wont to play ball control, but the Golden Eagles come flying out of the cage. Central, 34-27.
Hall: This will be Central’s biggest test since the Week 1 loss to Everett. As always, they’ll be ready. Central, 28-20.
Last Week’s Picks:
Barboza: 8-2 (65-28 overall)
Hall: 7-3 (66-27 overall)
This was our first look in the 2013 preseason at Everett, which is undergoing some wholesale changes in personnel after going 28-1 with three Super Bowl championships the last three seasons, as well as a good measure on several promising stars for English. Below are some notes and observations:
Radio Raheem: If there was any dash of speculation before about who was going to be taking snaps under center, incumbent senior Raheem Wingard made it clear who was in charge. The 5-foot-8, 170-pound Wingard is built low to the ground and gets overlooked for his height, but he has a better arm than given credit for, and is excellent at making the proper read on backside defensive ends.
After graduating one of the program's most talented classes ever, led by the likes of Jakarrie Washington (Wisconsin), John Montelus (Notre Dame) and Jalen Felix (Eastern Arizona JC), Wingard takes the reigns with a chip on his shoulder. Everett was down to its fourth-string quarterback by opening night of the 2012 campaign, but Wingard moved over from running back to QB full-time midway through the year, and gave the Tide another running threat out of the backfield.
"He's stepping it up," Tide coach John DiBiaso said. "I think Raheem wants to prove it wasn't just Jakarrie [Washington], Jalen Felix, Kenny Calaj, Gilly De Souza, you know, that he had a hand in it a little bit. A lot of these kids have been the same way."
Said Wingard, "I feel like I'm one of the quarterbacks that gets overlooked a lot because I'm smaller, but that just gives me a little more motivation, and it makes me push my team that much farther, that much harder."
D'Onofrio off and running: The prettiest play of the afternoon belonged to D'Onofrio, who connected with Wingard for a 55-yard touchdown pass towards the end of the Tide's first of two offensive series. Split wide just outside the numbers, D'Onofrio gained a step on his defender cutting diagonally on a post route, slipped behind the safety coming over the top, and let the ball softly drop over his shoulder into his outstretch hands, sprinting the final 20 yards to paydirt.
The 5-foot-11, 182-pound D'Onofrio was the Catholic Central Small MVP last year at cross-town Pope John XXIII after rushing for 1,356 yards and 16 touchdowns, his second straight 1,000-yard rushing season. But school has since gotten rid of its football program, leading D'Onofrio back to Everett, where he dabbled as a freshman.
If this morning is any indication, D'Onofrio is making a seamless fit into the Everett passing game. His slender frame blended with top-end speed and crisp routes draws comparisons to former Everett great Matt Costello, the 2010 ESPN Boston Mr. Football now playing for Princeton University, with the ability to stretch a defense vertically and take the top off. They're slightly different players, though -- D'Onofrio is a bit more physical, what with playing outside linebacker on defense.
"He's a real good player," DiBiaso said. "I've known him since he was five years old, he grew up in [Everett's] Pop Warner and everything. He did the couple years at Pope John, and now he's back with us. We're happy to have him, he's a good addition to the program. He's a good athlete."
Green in the trenches: Last season, the Tide had one of the nation's heaviest lines, averaging 324 pounds across, led by the 6-foot-5, 330-pound Montelus. This year's line is smaller, but still pretty impressive by high school standards at nearly 286 pounds across. Senior center Zach Pierre (5-11, 284) is the lone returning starter, and the Tide are breaking in new guards in juniors Eric Trickett (6-1, 260) and Muhammad Raouie (6-0, 290).
Two of the most intriguing newbies may be at the bookends. Junior Guerschwon Jean-Louis is in his first year of ever playing organized football, but at 6-foot-5 and nearly 350 pounds he held his own at the left tackle position. Sophomore right tackle J.J. Collimon is almost athletic enough to be a tight end, and may project the highest at 6-foot-3 and 245 pounds.
Today was a good matchup for the young but promising Everett line, which had to deal with ESPN Boston Preseason All-State selection Chris Tinkham on the interior. The 6-foot-3, 280-pound senior has attracted Division 1 interest and is an impressive bull-rusher on the interior, but everywhere else the Tide were able to take control.
Offensively, the Tide moved the ball consistenly downfield, with linemen consistently getting into the second level. In one of the more impressive plays of the varsity action, Raouie charged up the left sideline on a screen and sealed off an English defender 15 yards downfield.
Defensively, Tinkham high-walled ends from the left tackle spot, but from the right side the Tide registered two sacks in the second English offensive series, including a nice speed rush from three-technique tackle Sidney Brimas, while 180-pound tackle Josh Palmer caused disruption shooting the inside gaps.
Harris-Javier battle heats up: One of the more intriguing camp battles is at English, where Lucas Harris is the incumbent but has been getting a good run from junior transfer Jordan Javier. At Haverhill High last year as a sophomore, the 6-foot-4 Javier excelled at wide receiver, but over the summer he has gotten plenty of reps at quarterback -- a move that's merited, as he makes difficult throws look effortless.
Javier, laboring through a tweaked meniscus from earlier in the week, took most of his snaps at quarterback, and took a few lumps early in the first series. On one play, he scrambled down the right sideline only to be stopped cold by Everett's C.J. Parvelus 10 yards down field. Two plays later, Javier threaded a laser deep down the left slot, only to watch highly-touted safety Lubern Figaro stip the ball from Harris' grip at the last second.
Both Harris and Javier made some great plays on the run, hitting receivers with tight balls just steps from the sidelines on deep comeback routes. And when Javier did line up at receiver for a few plays, he made the most of it, including an impressive catch from Harris on a square-in route from the left.
So far, Javier has shown promise, but Harris has done nothing to suggest he shouldn't be the quarterback. Receiver appears to be Javier's more natural position, based on history, so perhaps there is a compromise.
It will be worth monitoring Javier's left knee, which he re-aggravated late in the varsity series, having to be carried off by teammates and barely putting weight on his left leg. It's considered nothing serious, another tweak of the meniscus, according to English coaches.
Miscellaneous: One name to keep an eye on down the line: Jordan McAfee. The 6-foot-3 freshman is the Tide's third-string quarterback behind Wingard and Pat Long, but demonstrates remarkable maturity for a 14-year-old kid and made two terrific throws on comeback routes in the morning's final series. ... When the Tide got inside the red zone, they went to their familiar "Double Wing" package, experimenting with Raouie at fullback. Twice they scored on five-yard power sweeps, one in each of the two varsity series, from Denis and D'Onofrio. ... The linebacking corps appears to be set for now, with Angel Duarte at middle linebacker and Parvelus and D'Onofrio playing outside. ... In the secondary, keep an eye on junior Richard Jean, who made a good break on a deep pass late in the second series, deflecting a would-be touchdown at the sideline from about 10 yards out. ... DiBiaso on the roles expected of Figaro and Denis: "They've got to be leaders. We don't have that many experienced [players], so they've got to be leaders on the team. Lubern and [Lukas], those are the two bigger names out there."