Boston High School: Mike Carbone

ESPN Boston boys' lacrosse All-State team

July, 1, 2013
7/01/13
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FIRST TEAM
G – Nick Marrocco, Jr., Duxbury
In his first season starting between the pipes for the Dragons, Marrocco was named an Eastern Mass. All-American while averaging 13 saves per game. Also a standout hockey player during the winter season, Marrocco is committed to Georgetown and was named Most Valuable Player of the bostonlax.net All-American game.

D – Rob Breed, Sr., Xaverian
One of the galvanizing forces behind the Hawks’ run to the program’s first state lacrosse title, the Eastern Mass. All-American was tasked with shutting down the opponent’s top attacks.

D – Ben Cox, Sr., Medfield
Named the Tri-Valley League’s Defensive Most Valuable player, Cox was a four-year member of the lacrosse team and part of back-to-back MIAA Division 2 state championship lacrosse teams. During the winter, Cox finished second on the Warriors hockey team in scoring, posting 12 goals for 38 points in 21 games. He will continue his lacrosse career at the University of Vermont.

D – John Sexton, Jr., Lincoln-Sudbury
The Notre Dame commit was a jack of all trades for the Warriors this season, taking faceoffs, playing on man-up situations and providing lockdown defense. Sexton was named an Eastern Mass. All-American and is a three-time Dual County League All-Star.

LSM – Nick Brozowski, Soph., Concord-Carlisle
A ground ball machine, the Maryland commit was named an Eastern Mass. All-American in addition to Dual County League All-Star honors.

M – Dan Delaney, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
The Eastern Mass. All-American tallied 38 goals and 20 assists while leading the Warriors to a Division 1 final appearance. Delaney will continue his lacrosse career at Fairfield University next year.

M – Keegan Dudeck, Sr., Longmeadow
The Lancers captain closed out his career on a high with a five-goal outburst in their Division 2 state championship win over Medfield. Dudeck tallied 38 goals and 17 assists for his senior season.

M – Jack Wheeler, Jr., Xaverian
Turning in a dazzling offensive display at Harvard Stadium, Wheeler was a key component to the Hawks’ first-ever lacrosse championship. The Boston University commit and Eastern Mass. All-American tallied 42 goals with 15 assists this year.

A – Jay Drapeau, Jr., Westford Academy
Among the state scoring leaders in each of the last two seasons, Drapeau ripped off 71 goals in 2013. The Loyola commit was an ESPN Boston MIAA Lacrosse All-State second-teamer last year and also was a Hockey All-State Honorable Mention during the winter season.

A – Andrew Melvin, Sr., Medfield
The Eastern Mass. All-American helped lead the Warriors back to the Division 2 state championship game. Melvin will continue his lacrosse career at Bates College.

A – Nico Panepinto, Sr., Needham
Named ESPN Boston’s third annual “Mr. Lacrosse” winner last week, the Fairfield University signee finished his high school career with 179 goals and 159 assists. Panepinto, also a standout on the football field for the Rockets, was a two-time Eastern Mass. All-American and ESPN Boston All-State selection.

Specialist – Derek Osbahr, Sr., St. John’s Prep
Osbahr was an offensive weapon for the Eagles at the faceoff X as the best draw-winner in Eastern Mass. Also a member of Prep’s Super 8 hockey squad, the Eastern Mass. All-American will continue his lacrosse career at Bentley University.

SECOND TEAM
G – Ryan Goodall, Sr., Dover-Sherborn
D – Jack Ullrich, Jr., Hingham
D – Jay Walsh, Sr., Duxbury
D – Ian Yanulis, Sr, BC High
M – Caleb Brodie, Jr., Hingham
M – Brendan Flaherty, Sr., Beverly
M – Mike Panepinto, Jr., Needham
M – Roby Williams, Jr., Wayland
A – Hunter Burdick, Sr., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
A – Nick Pino, Sr., North Andover
A – Tyler Reilly, Sr., Grafton
Specialist – Drew Kelleher, Jr., Longmeadow

Honorable Mention
Dom Abate, Sr. M, Beverly
Tommy Bannan, Sr. G, Hingham
Kevin Bletzer, Jr. M, Catholic Memorial
Rogers Boylan, Sr. D, Dover-Sherborn
Evan Boynton, Sr. D, Concord-Carlisle
Mike Carbone, Sr. A, Marshfield
Tucker Ciessau, Sr. A, Scituate
Matt Comerford, Sr. G, Reading
Pat Cronin, Jr. A, BC High
Matt Crowell, Jr. M, Medfield
Mark Dente, Sr. A, Reading
Kevin Farrell, Sr. FOGO, Billerica
Chris Frye, Sr. A, Walpole
Andrew Gallahue, Jr. A, St. John's Prep
Henry Guild, Sr. M, Lincoln-Sudbury
Carson Hart, Sr. M, Wayland
Keifer Heckman, Sr. A, Peabody
Eamon Hunter, Soph. LSM, Lincoln-Sudbury
Joe Igoe, Sr. M, Framingham
Reid Leveillee, Jr. D, Longmeadow
Giles Ober, Sr. G, Algonquin
Kieran Presley, Sr. M, Amherst
Brian Rotatori, Sr. M, Grafton
Drew Smiley, Jr. A, St. John's (Shrewsbury)
D.J. Smith, Sr. G, Billerica
Robert Treiber, Jr. G, Medfield
Luc Valenza, Sr. D, Foxborough
Tyler Weeks, Sr. D, Andover
Sam Wheaton, Sr. G, Minnechaug

Coach of the Year -- Ryan Liebel, Longmeadow

D1 lacrosse: Acton-Boxborough 10, Marshfield 9

June, 6, 2013
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ACTON, Mass. – With a berth in the Division 1 semifinals on the line, No. 4 Acton-Boxborough hosted No. 5 Marshfield in a quarterfinal game that pitted two of the state’s most physical, up-tempo teams against each other.

The Colonials would utilize an aggressive, five goal third quarter to hold off a gritty Marshfield squad and come away with the 10-9 victory.

[+] EnlargeActon-Boxborough Lax
Ryan Kilian for ESPNBostonNo. 4 seed Acton-Boxborough edged No. 5 seed Marshfield. 10-9 in a Division 1 quarterfinal on Wednesday and advance to play Dual County League rival Lincoln-Sudbury in the semifinals.
“That is our M.O.,” Acton-Boxborough head coach Pat Ammendolia said after the game. “We like to attack, attack, attack.”

Despite arriving in Acton slightly behind schedule, due to travel delays, Marshfield jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first 90 seconds of the game. Nolan Ryan and Mike Carbone banged home quick scores to give Marshfield the 2-0 advantage.

A-B (18-4) would settle in midway through the first quarter as their defense buckled down and their offense would score four first half goals as Joe Cormier, Chris Wiggins, Trevor Kononenko and J.T. Kelly added scores to even the game at 4-4 at the half.

“They are a tough, physical team,” Marshfield head coach Jake Jones said. “I thought we did a good job defensively of slowing them down early on.”

In an evenly played, back-and-forth game, the third quarter would prove to be the difference. Cormier did a great job at the faceoff X for A-B ad helped the Colonials control the majority of the possessions in the quarter.

A-B took advantage of the time of possession advantage, stayed aggressive, and went on a 5-2 run in the third, behind three goals in the quarter from A-B attack Thomas Cotter.

“We like to go, go, go and when we are clicking like we were in the third quarter we can score in bunches,” Ammendolia said.

Leading 9-6 heading into to the fourth quarter, Carbone would score the first goal out of the break to cut the A-B lead to 9-7.

A-B’s Hunter Arnold would then answer to extend the lead back to three goals at 10-7. The A-B defense, led by goalie Rick Kronenwett, would remain stout until the final minute of the game when Carbone would put a scare into the Colonial faithful.

Marshfield’s Shawn Daly, who played a great game all evening, would find the diminutive but tough Carbone for two late goals at the 34 and 13 second marks in the fourth to cut the lead to 10-9.

Cormier would secure the ensuing draw for A-B to preserve the one-goal victory.

“That put a scare into us late when they scored those two,” Ammendolia added. “We got the big faceoff at the end, got it behind the net and killed it. It was a good team effort today and we did the little things that were important.”

Marshfield concludes their season with an 18-5 record and showed tremendous heart and fight as they battled the entire game until the final horn sounded.

“I am just real proud to have coached these guys,” Jones said. “Having started with a lot of these guys last year, in my first year as their coach, I have seen the growth of many of them and I am just real proud.”

Marshfield goalie Pat Burchill also played well in net making 15 saves in the game.

An All-DCL Large State Semifinal: A-B advances to the D1 state semifinals for the first time in program history. They will take on a familiar foe in DCL Large rival Lincoln-Sudbury on Saturday. L-S defeated Billerica, 14-1, in quarter-final action in Sudbury on Wednesday.

L-S (17-2) defeated A-B both times they met in regular season play.

“We have a lot of respect for that team and their coach,” Ammendolia said. “We look forward to playing them. L-S is just a real good team and we are just going to go out there and give it our best.”
SCITUATE, Mass. – Marshfield’s victory in Saturday’s Chowda Cup Championship game bore multifold benefits.

First and foremost, of course, was the hardware. The Rams ran through Scituate before besting No. 7 Catholic Memorial, 11-10, in overtime to claim the Cup. Second, and perhaps more importantly, there was the matter of proof in the quality of Marshfield’s opponent in the final. After an up-and-down 2012, the Rams are off to a 5-0 start and have now claimed a win against a Top 10 opponent.

[+] EnlargePat Burchill
Scott Barboza/ESPNBoston.comMarshfield goaltender Pat Burchill made 12 saves, including seven in the second quarter, to help the Rams to an 11-10 victory over Catholic Memorial in the Chowda Cup championship.
Marshfield again found success on Saturday behind a patient, balanced possession game, bolstered by Mike Carbone’s four-goal game. Carbone also tallied the overtime game-winner.

Robbie Keuther also added a four-point game (2 G, 2 A) while goaltender Pat Burchill collected 12 saves to keep the Knights (4-2) at bay. Meanwhile, tournament MVP Joe Parnell tallied two goals and was a demon on faceoffs, winning 17 of 26 draws.

The team battled to a 5-5 tie at the half, in large part due to Burchill’s seven saves in the second quarter.

“If Pat [Burchill] wasn’t such a strong goalie, that game would’ve been over fast,” Carbone added.

After CM sophomore attack Tyler Bogart notched his third goal of the game for a 7-6 lead, Marshfield strung together three straight tallies to open the fourth quarter on goals by Jack Shaw, Parnell and Carbone.

CM rallied to score the next three to force overtime. The Knights did so with goals by Zach O’Brien (2 G, 1 A), Bogart (his fourth) and Kevin Bletzer (2 G, 2 A) in the final three minutes, eight seconds of regulation. Bletzer tied the game with just 36 seconds remaining.

Carbone tallied the game-winner after a controversial possession call, when referees awarded the ball to Marshfield on a footrace to the end line. Following the call, Tim Colleta strafed down the middle of the field and found a cutting Carbone for the dramatic win.

DOING THE DIRTY WORK
It’s not often that face-off men get their due, but Parnell was handsomely rewarded for his efforts in the tournament, taking home the championship plaque.

After a dominating performance against Scituate, Parnell again owned the draws. He was at his best against CM in the fourth quarter, winning six of the seven faceoffs he took.

“The face-off X is an absolute battle,” Rams head coach Jake Jones said. “I wouldn’t have anybody but Joe [Parnell] in there, scrapping it up. He’s doing a great job with the faceoffs and he’s being extremely smart with the ball.”

When describing his success this weekend, Parnell doffed his cap to his brother, Kenny Parnell, who was waiting at the wings.

“I started off with the clamp and he was wrist-breaking, so then I went with the jump and it ended up working,” Parnell said of Saturday’s matchup. “My little brother did a great job getting in on the wing, and he helped me win a lot of those.”

ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
With Cohasset taking a convincing 14-3 win over host Scituate in the consolation game, another successful tournament wrapped up with the naming of the All-Tournament Team.

Here’s a look at the list:

Catholic Memorial – Kevin Bletzer, Tyler Bogart, Kameron Gingras, Scott Spangenberg.

Cohasset – Jack Conte, John Mills, Tommy Ryan,

Marshfield – Pat Burchill, Mike Carbone, Jimmy Connors, Joe Parnell, Jack Shaw.

Scituate – Tucker Ciessau, Jake Reynolds.

Our MIAA boys' hockey All-State Team

March, 28, 2013
3/28/13
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FIRST LINE
All-StateF - Liam Coughlin, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Finished third among all Division 1 players in scoring, while leading the Knights back to the Super 8 for the first time since 2009-10. The South Boston native put up 28-20-48 totals, tied for first among Catholic Conference scorers this season.

All-StateF - Ara Nazarian, Soph., Malden Catholic
ESPN Boston’s Mr. Hockey award winner this season, Nazarian had 26-22-48 totals for the regular season, along with nine goals and five assists during the Super 8 tournament for the three-time defending champions. The Boxford resident and center is the first underclassman to win the Mr. Hockey award.

All-StateF – Brian Pinho, Sr., St. John’s Prep
The Providence College commit led the Eagles to a No. 1 seed in this year’s Super 8 tournament. The North Andover resident compiled 12-24-36 totals this season and, in January, was ranked No. 117 among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting’s Midterm Rankings.

All-StateD – Casey Fitzgerald, Soph., Malden Catholic
The North Reading resident earned his second Super 8 title with the Lancers, playing on all defensive units and is one of two players making a second-straight appearance on our All-State team. The Boston College commit had 5-17-22 totals on the season and recently was accepted in the United States National Team Development Program’s U-17 team.

All-StateD – Matt Foley, Sr., Springfield Cathedral
The two-way blue-liner finished third on the Panthers in scoring with 10-16-26 totals this year while leading them to another Super 8 apperance. A Longmeadow resident, the captain is deciding among prep schools for next year, as well as offers to play in college.

All-StateG – Peter Cronin, Sr., BC High
The only repeating First-Team All-Stater this year, Cronin finished in the top five among Division 1 netminders in both goals against average (1.40) and save percentage (94.6) while starting all 23 of the Eagles’ games. He is currently considering colleges among playing opportunities at the prep school and junior levels.

SECOND LINE
All-StateF – Tom Besinger, Jr., BC High
The Eagles’ top center and captain was force to reckon with in the circle, in addition to leading the Eagles with 35 points (10 goals and a team-best 25 assists).
All-StateF – Cam Owens, Sr., Wilmington
Finished his high school career with back-to-back Division 2 state championships. Owens racked up 30 points, playing alongside All-State honorable mention Brendan McDonough. Owens is currently weighing prep and junior options for next year.
All-StateF – Nolan Vesey, Sr., Austin Prep
The senior captain led the Cougars back to the Super 8 for the first time since the 2009-10 season and all the way to a finals appearance at the Garden. Vesey led AP in goals (18) and points (31) while kicking in 13 assists.
All-StateD – Nick Gorski, Sr., Central Catholic
A player who head coach Mike Jankowski repeatedly called his “most improved player” since freshman year, the Raiders captain played on all units, leading Central to another Super 8 appearance.
All-StateD – Jack Williams, Sr. Springfield Cathedral
A major component to perhaps the state’s best blue-line core, Williams did a little bit of everything for the Panthers, including playing forward on power-play units. The Suffield, Conn. resident tallied four goals and 19 assists for 23 points. He is currently weighing his playing options for next season.

All-StateG – Colin Soucy, Jr., Central Catholic
The break-out star of this year’s Super 8 tournament, Soucy nearly delivered the Raiders to a quarterfinal-round upset of No. 1 seed St. John’s Prep in his first year as Central’s starting netminder.

Best of the Rest – Honorable Mention
Forwards
Tyler Bird, Jr., St. John’s Prep
Tommy Bishop, Sr., Chelmsford
Matt Brazel, Jr., Hingham
Brian Brooks, Jr., Canton
Mike Carbone, Sr., Marshfield
Bobo Carpenter, Soph., Austin Prep
A.J. Couto, Sr., Danvers
Ben Cox, Sr., Medfield
Peter Crinella, Soph., Springfield Cathedral
Cam Curley, Sr., Franklin
Sam D’Antuono, Jr., Hingham
Jordan Dow, Sr., Lincoln-Sudbury
Josh Edwards, Sr., Blue Hills
Brendan Greene, Jr., Winchester
C.J. Grinnell, Sr., Burlington
Marc Happy, Jr., Wachusett
Lloyd Hayes, Jr., Central Catholic
Kevin Hock, Frosh., Catholic Memorial
Mike Iovanna, Sr., Malden Catholic
Andrew Irving, Sr., Beverly
Connor Irving, Jr., Beverly
Ryan Jones, Sr., Coyle-Cassidy
Jack Kilty, Sr., Medway
Pat Kramer, Soph., BC High
Tom Koopman, Jr., Marblehead
Matt Kustra, Sr., Natick
Brendan McDounough, Jr., Wilmington
Anthony Lespasio, Sr., Bedford
Jack O’Hear, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Derek Petti, Sr., Tewksbury
Eddie Pratt, Sr., Xaverian
Nolan Redler, Jr., Winchester
Tyler Sifferlen, Jr., Malden Catholic
Mike Sorenti, Jr., Archbishop Williams
Sean Spohr, Sr., Westfield
Max Turcotte, Sr., Holliston
Max Willman, Sr., Barnstable

Defense
Matt Burchill, Sr., Marshfield
Derek Butler, Jr., Natick
John Carlson, Jr., Hingham
Adam Crowley, Jr., Burlington
Nick Edwards, Jr., Blue Hills
Sean Heelan, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Kurt Leavitt, Sr., Canton
Bryan Nelson, Soph., St. John’s (Shrewsbury)
Nick Rolli, Jr., Malden Catholic
Ryan Shea, Frosh, BC High
Sam Topham, Sr., BC High

Goaltenders
Tim Birarelli, Soph., Beverly
Alex Buckley, Sr., Newburyport
Brandon Collett, Frosh., Catholic Memorial
Jordan Davis, Sr., Norwood
Derek DeCastro, Sr., Burlington
Drew Foley, Jr., Wilmington
Nolan Greene, Jr., North Quincy
Elijah Harris, Soph., Austin Prep
John Liquori, Jr., Springfield Cathedral
Al Lynch, Jr., Framingham
Evan Morelli, Sr., Reading
James Offner, Soph., Winchester
Nick Russo, Sr., Waltham
Jimmy Tierney, Soph., Oliver Ames

D1 boys final: Burlington 4, Marshfield 2

March, 18, 2013
3/18/13
2:08
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BOSTON – The biggest difference between Burlington High School and Marshfield in Sunday's Division I state championship game? A second-period stretch of hockey that lasted three minutes and 19 seconds.

Burlington scored three goals in that span, which turned a tie game into a three-goal advantage. It was too much for Marshfield to overcome, as the Red Devils went on to post a 4-2 victory and win the Division I title for the second consecutive season.

“That was definitely the difference,” Marshfield coach Dan Connolly said. “We got away from the way we wanted to play. We were too aggressive on the forecheck. We made a couple bad pinches that led to odd-man rushes and they capitalized. Give credit to them. They forced us into that.”

Senior forward Sean Murphy gave Burlington a 2-1 lead at 6:11 of the second, and then made it a 3-1 contest at 8:44. Senior J.P. Scola added a goal a 9:40 of the second that put the Red Devils up 4-1. Murphy's second goal came during a Burlington power play – one of two power-play goals the Red Devils scored in the game.

“I thought we were lucky to be 1-1 because I thought we were back on our heels and playing a little passive in the first period,” Burlington coach Bob Conceison said. “We changed our tactics a little bit. We played a little bit more aggressively and started taking the body more. Then once we got that goal to make it 2-1, the other two seemed to come fast. That was the key to the game.”

Burlington's Joe Berardi opened the scoring with a power-play goal in the first period and also collected two assists in the victory, which came in Burlington's fourth appearance in the Division I state final. The Red Devils completed their season with a 14-6-5 record.

Burlington, which had to replace seven seniors from last year's team, received a 27-save performance from senior goaltender Derek DeCastro.

“He's a great goaltender,” Connolly said. “He didn't give us a lot of net to shoot at. He knows how to win big games. He proved that last year.”

Marshfield hadn't allowed a power-play goal in the postseason until the championship game.

Senior forward Michael Carbone and junior defenseman Matt Burchill collected the Marshfield goals. Carbone's goal made it a 1-1 game in the first period, and Burchill made it 4-2 with 42 seconds left in the second.

The momentum created by Burchill's goal didn't seem to carry over to the final period, however.

“We played a gutsy third period,” Conceison said. “We got in the passing lanes, blocked some shots. We did the little things you have to do to win a game like this.”

Marshfield goaltender Connor Lemieux stopped 13 shots.

The Rams, who won the Division I title in 2011, finished with a 20-7-0 record. Severn players on this year's Marshfield team also skated for the Rams in 2011.

“It was a good hockey game,” Connolly said. “They played a little bit smarter system-wise. Someone has to lose in a championship game, and tonight it was us. It's sad for the seniors.”

MIAA championship hockey picks

March, 16, 2013
3/16/13
9:55
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GIRLS’ DIVISION 2
No. 1 Duxbury (21-1-2) vs. No. 2 Falmouth (19-1-2), 11 a.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Duxbury – F Hannah Murphy, F Marissa Fichter, F Jane Dudley, F Meredith Wright, F Julia Nolan, D Ally Hammel, D Payton Donato, G Rachel Myette; Falmouth – F Alexa Scribner, F Rachel Moore, F Madison Haberl, F Kelly Ferreira, D Hannah Ghelfi, D Alexx Good, G Madison Scavotto.

Breakdown: It is perhaps the most predictable of all of Sunday’s matchups and the most anticipated. The Dragons and Clippers renew a burgeoning rivalry, intensified by last year’s duel at the Garden and invigorated by the fact that either team’s lone loss of the season was handed to them by the other. Duxbury has been playing lockdown defense throughout the playoffs and haven’t allowed a goal in more than six games, including the regular season. The Clippers’ young corps will look to get over the hump, building on a bittersweet experience on the Bruins’ home ice sheet one year ago.

X-factor: Scavotto. As dominant as Duxbury’s defense has been in front of and including Myette, the Clippers are capable of the same. And their sophomore netminder is a big reason why. She could steal one.

Pick: Duxbury, 1-0.

GIRLS’ DIVISION 1
No. 4 St. Mary’s of Lynn (18-3-4) vs. No. 7 Arlington Catholic (17-4-2), 9 a.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: St. Mary’s – F Alison Butler, F Kaleigh Finigan, F Gabby Crugnale, F Madison Molea, D Tatiana Doucette, D Amanda Donahoe, G Lauren Skinnion; AC – F Adrieanna Rossini, F Jess Piracini, F Duggan Delano, F Hayle Rudin, D Melissa Richard, G Megan Messuri.

Breakdown: The Catholic Central rivals meet for the second straight year on championship Sunday and, like their Div. 2 counterparts, also split their season series at a game apiece. Behind the benches, both the Spatans’ Frank Pagliuca and the Cougars’ Maggie Taverna have done work worthy of Coach of the Year honors. St. Mary’s has the feel of a team of destiny, neither a short bench nor nagging injuries all season long have kept the Spartans from returning to the biggest stage, all while dispatching No. 1 Woburn in the process.

X-factor: Rossini. You’d be hard pressed to find a young player in recent memory who has scored more clutch playoff goals than the AC sophomore.

Pick: St. Mary’s, 3-2.

BOYS’ DIVISION 3
Swampscott (19-5-0) vs. Westfield (18-3-2), 3:30 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Swampscott – F Corey Carmody, F Noah Maercklein, F Nunzio Morretti, D Chris Carman, D Trevor Massey; Westfield – F Sean Spohr, F Mike Santinello, F Anthony Cagliostro, F Adam Collier, F Neil Parrow, D Nate Barnes.

Breakdown: The Big Blue took down defending D3 finalist and South sectional champion Medway (thanks to an OT goal from Maercklein) to advance to the program’s first title game appearance. Westfield returns to the Garden ice after a one-year hiatus after taking a scorched-earth policy to Western Mass. competition, while averaging more than 5.5 goals per game.

X-factor: Swampscott freshman goaltender Tristan Bradley. The first-year backstop has been a key element to the Big Blue’s success, maintaining a 91.5 save percentage through the season.

Pick: Swampscott, 5-4.

BOYS’ DIVISION 2
Wilmington (20-3-2) vs. Franklin (17-7-2), 1:30 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Wilmington – F Cam Owens, F Brendan McDonough, F Jake Rogers, F Dylan DiNatale, D Brian Pickett, D Cam Collins, G Drew Foley; Franklin – F Cam Curley, F Dennis Pisani, F Aidan Isberg, F Troy Donahue, D Kyle Powers, D Kyle Filbert, G Devon Maloof.

Breakdown: The third of six rematches on the day, after the Wildcats claimed a 3-2 victory over Franklin a year ago on championship Sunday, propelled by a hat trick from Owens. The Panthers will be looking to avoid their third straight fruitless trip to the Garden, having dropped title tilts with Wilmington and Tewksbury. The Wildcats, who had Super 8 aspirations until late in the season, are eying their second straight title.

X-factor: McDonough. He’s been the break-out performer of the tournament and provides a great complement to Owens on Wilmington’s top line.

Pick: Wilmington, 3-2.

BOYS’ DIVISION 1
Burlington (13-6-5) vs. Marshfield (20-6-0), 8:15 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: Burlington – F C.J. Grinnell, F Joe Berardi, F Joey Scali, D Adam Crowley, D Sean Costa, G Derek DeCastro; Marshfield – F Mike Carbone, F Pat Burchill, F Joe Admirand, F Pat Shea, D Matt Burchill, D Trevor Salmon.

Breakdown: While this isn’t another rematch, these teams are no strangers to this stage, with the Red Devils and Rams representing as the last two Div. 1 state champions. Both teams were near .500 squads through the first month of the season, and closed their regular-season slates with momentum they’ve carried over into the playoffs. Both these teams can skate with the best of them, but they also pay attention to the little things in the defensive zone as well.

X-factor: Crowley. I’d expect a defensive struggle in this one and so I’m going with the Red Devils’ blue-liner who always makes his presence felt.

Pick: Burlington, 3-1.

BOYS’ DIVISION 1A – SUPER 8
No. 4 Austin Prep (16-1-6) vs. No. 7 Malden Catholic (15-6-3), 6 p.m., TD Garden

Players to watch: AP – F Nolan Vesey, F Bobby Carpenter, F Frankie Candelino, F George Sennott, F Eric MacAdams, D Andrew Cross, D J.J. Layton, G Elijah Harris; MC – F Ara Nazarian, F Mike Iovanna, F Tyler Sifferlen, F Pat Wrenn, F Austin Goldstein, D Casey Fitzgerald, D Nick Rolli, G Connor Maloney.

Breakdown: AP, while short on years, is not short on talent. I think we all knew coming into this season that they were capable of reaching this stage, but it might have been a question of when. The Cougars earned their way to Sunday after dispatching town rival Reading and then No. 1 seed St. John’s Prep in Wednesday’s semifinal. It seems like years ago since there was a time when the Lancers were in jeopardy of missing the tournament all together, but they’ve played the best hockey in the state during the last month.

X-factor: Nazarian. It’s his tournament, the rest of us are just living in it.

Pick: Malden Catholic, 4-2.

D1 South: Marshfield 6, Hingham 3

March, 13, 2013
3/13/13
4:25
AM ET


BOURNE, Mass. – It’s a played-out story, but it actually fit this time.

On the eve, or during the bus ride to a big hockey tilt, it’s not unusual that “Miracle”, the movie on the United States’ run to the gold medal in the 1980 Olympics, will be cited as a source of inspiration for high school hockey players.

Marshfield head coach Dan Connolly followed suit, channeling his inner Herb Brooks in the lead-up to Tuesday’s Division 1 South championship game against South Shore rival Hingham. Yet, in this instance, there were a real connection for his Rams’ team to the experience of that Red, White & Blue squad at Lake Placid.

On the final day of the regular season, Marshfield endured a 10-1 shellacking at the hands of Harbormen. After that matchup, the Rams were forced to regroup, as Hingham skated on to a Super 8 play-in game. So too did a young Team U.S.A. after they played the feared Soviet Union in an exhibition game at Madison Square Garden, a 10-3 thrashing at the hands of the Red Army team.

It wasn’t quite a Miracle on Ice, but the Rams claimed a 6-3 victory over Hingham on Tuesday, earning their second trip the state championship game at the TD Garden in the last three seasons.

“We talked about it yesterday, when Russia pounded the U.S., and then, two-, three-weeks later, they win the big game,” Connolly said.

Marshfield (20-6-0) accomplished its first goal heading into the section final by not allowing the Harbormen (16-9-2) to fly out of the gates – as they had during the regular-season finale.

Still, Hingham claimed the first lead of the game at 3:21 of the second period, when junior center Matt Brazel turned his own face-off win into a goal.

However, the Rams closed the period with a string of three goals. Trevor Salmon, Matt Burchill and Jimmy Connors scored within the final five minutes of the second to send Marshfield to the room with a 3-1 lead.

“It was attention to detail, focus on the little things,” Connolly said. “Then, we have that little flurry at the end of the second and it’s bing, bing, bing.”

The Rams didn’t relent in the third period, opening with sophomore Pat Shea netting an unassisted goal at 1:26. Then, Joe Admirand provided Marshfield with a five-goal pad with Mike Carbone adding his second point of the game with the assist at 5:08 of the third.

Will Decost tallied his second point of the game with an empty-netter, sandwiched between two late Hingham goals from Corbin Robichaud and Andrew Flynn.

MOMENTUM SHIFT
Several weeks ago, Connolly shifted forward Trevor Salmon back to defense, after injuries threatened the Rams’ depth on the blue line. Although Salmon admits that he puts team defense first, as a valued part of Marshfield’s penalty kill unit, he also looked at ease beating Hingham goaltender John Grenier through the 5-hole on his breakaway goal.

“It was a great pass from JoJo [Carbone] up the seam,” Salmon deflected praise. “I couldn’t have done that without him.”

Salmon’s marker was a hinge point for the Marshfield rally, with the over swell carrying through the third period. Yet, when pointing back to the momentum shift, Salmon also credited his team’s commitment to taking care of business in their own zone (a major lesson from their last Hingham duel) as a key component to Tuesday’s win.

“We came out flat, we didn’t really play team defense,” Salmon said of their Feb. 22 loss. “We knew it was going to change today.”

SHIPPING UP TO BOSTON
Sunday’s Division 1 state final will feature that tournament’s last two champions with Marshfield joining North title-winner Burlington at the TD Garden.

While there’s been some roster turnover since last time out, there are a good number of the Rams who skated on the Bruins’ home ice sheet as sophomores. Mike Carbone was one of those players, scoring the game-winning goal for Marshfield a 3-2 comeback win over Wakefield.

“A lot of our players played on that team,” Salmon said. “We have a lot of experience going into the Garden. I think we have what it takes to get the ‘W’ there. But it’s a strong Burlington team, we know they’re the state champs from last year.”

D1 South: Marshfield 5, Archbishop Williams 1

March, 11, 2013
3/11/13
1:14
AM ET


BOURNE, Mass. - Marshfield head coach Dan Connolly has been seen around Gallo Ice Arena frequently of late, even when his Rams were not on the ice. Whatever Coach Connolly is doing - scouting, taking a break from his team, watching great state playoff hockey - it is working.

No.5 Marshfield came out of the gates with their pads on fire and posted three tallies on 17 shots on goal on their way to a 5-1 rout over top-seeded Archbishop Williams (13-6-4) in the Division 1 semifinals.

Mike Carbone and Matt Burchill each posted a goal and an assist to help the Rams (19-6) advance to the Division 1 finals on Tuesday against No.2 seeded Hingham, who were 8-1 winners over Barnstable on the other side of the bracket.

Jimmy Connors, Liam Manning, and Burchill were credited with the first period goals, with Connors and Manning scoring only 32 seconds apart within 7:19 of regulation.

"It was very unexpected to get up 3-0 that quick and I thought our kids played great. We were all over them with a lot of energy and out-beating them to pucks and played real well," said Connolly. "The key was keeping [Mike] Jessman and [Mike] Sorrenti outside, as they are two very, very talented players. Try to keep them to the perimeter as much as we could."

The Rams defense worked out Connolly's plans to perfection as the speed and depth of the offense outshot Archies, 17-4, in the first 15 minutes of play.

Connors sent the pro-Marshfield crowd into a frenzy at 6:47 of the first as he was fed out in front of a scrum from Pat Burchill with Will Decost also getting an assist on the first goal of the game. Manning decided to do things himself as he took the puck left-to-right across the crease for the unassisted tally only 32 seconds later on the next Marshfield shift down the ice for the 2-0 lead.

Burchill finished off the first period onslaught on the power-play one second before Kyle Leonard's boarding penalty expired off a 5-on-3 opportunity to give Marshfield plenty of room with a 3-0 lead at 12:08 of the first.

Marshfield came out sluggish in the second period but couldn't be blamed much with a 3-0 lead. The defense was on their heels with numerous turnovers in the neutral zone within the first five minutes of play and Jake Romano finally figured out Connor Lemieux at 4:03 of the second to cut the deficit to 3-1.

The Archies' goal, however, did not hand momentum back to the top-seeded Archies but only woke up the speed of the Marshfield skaters and showcased their depth. Third-liners Colin MacDonald and David Cataldo paired up on a goal to get back the three-goal cushion at 10:47 of the second stanza.

MacDonald worked the blue line to keep the puck in the Marshfield zone and was able to find Cataldo low in the right slot. Cataldo pulled the trigger and found daylight between the crossbar and pads of Joe Vinay in net on the near side top corner for a picturesque odd-angle goal and a 4-1 Marshfield lead.

"I thought they took it to us in the first five or six [minutes] of the second, but then we started settling back in and playing the way we wanted to play," said Connolly.

Not often you can talk about an assist being the play of the game, but Burchill pulled it off early in the third period. The junior defenseman dropped behind the right post with two defenders draped over him and flipped a backhand pass out in front of the crease between a defender's legs and Carbone sniped it for the 5-1 lead.

"That was a great goal as I was just playing in the slot waiting for it, I was hollering his name, and he picked his head up and hit me...it was perfect," said Carbone, a senior forward who is looking for his second trip to the TD Garden after the Rams won the Division 1 title in 2011 when he was a sophomore. "It's hard playing with the lead cause they are coming hard at us and to keep up the intensity - it is hard to do that and when you think the game is already over but its 45 minutes in every game."

While Archies featured a more aggressive style coming into the semifinals, the Rams now move on to face No. 2 Hingham, who features four strong lines, just as much speed as the Rams and obviously can match their depth. The two South Shore foes faced off in the final game of the regular season with the Harbormen hanging a 10-1 loss on the Rams. Connolly is obviously hoping for a better fate.

"We are obviously hoping for a different outcome, but as long as we stay playing like we have in the tournament I think it will be a great game," said Connolly.

Recap: St. John's Prep 64, Charlestown 50

December, 23, 2012
12/23/12
12:55
AM ET
CHARLESTOWN, Mass. -– If there was any doubt going into the weekend on whether or not St. John’s Prep had the experience to win this year, consider those doubts halted.

Behind 18 points from senior captain Tyler Dooley, Prep knocked off a streaking Charlestown squad on the road on Saturday, 64-50, to move to 5-0 on the season.

Charlestown (2-3) looked as if it had overcome their offensive woes of their first two games of the season, especially after picking up two wins earlier this week over Brighton and East Boston. However, Prep was able to shut down star Townie guard Taris Wilson (five points) and forward Alijah Robinson (10), and forced Charlestown to make rushed decisions and take quick shots.

“We were just going to try to keep them in the halfcourt,” said head coach Sean Connolly. “We didn’t want to let them get too many transition buckets because they’re so athletic and they’re so talented.”

The Eagles led Charlestown 33-26 going into the half, thanks to the impressive first half performance from Dooley and the Eagles’ defensive effort.

The Townies made quite a run early in the third quarter, forward Freddy Oliviera scored six straight points to bring Charlestown within a point, at 38-37. At a pivotal point for Prep, their slew of guards came up big in the dribble-drive offense, slamming the door shut down the stretch.

Eagles reload: It was unclear how good the Eagles would be after losing several talented players from last year’s team. Marcos Echevarria was supposed to be the Prep’s starting point guard before transferring to St. Mark’s, and 6-foot-5 forward Isaiah Robinson also left for prep school -– making his move to Salisbury School, in Connecticut. Prep also graduated several lead contributors off of last year’s team, including thousand-point scorer Steve Haladyna, sharpshooter Mike Carbone, and 6-foot-4 swingman Freddy Shove.

Six-foot-4 guard Ben Judson, just a sophomore, is one of the MIAA’s most promising talents. A lefty with deep range on his jumpshot and an ability to take most any defender to the rim off the dribble, he scored seven points down the stretch to help the Eagles seal the game. Max Burt (13 points) and Drex Costello (12 points) both hit big shots to lengthen Prep’s lead in the fourth quarter. After the game, Connolly praised his captains -- Costello, Dooley, and Josh Syska -- for their leadership.

“With Tyler, Drex, Josh, we’ve got some great leaders this year,” he said, “They play hard and set the tempo for us every day.”

Dooley comes up big: Tyler Dooley was Prep’s best player on Saturday, playing with an incredible amount of toughness and tenacity, a style of play that was clearly contagious to his teammates. Dooley attempted 13 free throws, converting 10 of them, and took some of the Townies hardest fouls -– getting up each time and continuing his playmaking ways. Showing a versatile game and an ability to run Connolly’s offense well, he also finished the game with 6 assists.

“He controlled the tempo for us, he does such a good job running the offense and obviously he’s our best ballhandler, he’s the guy that makes us go,” Connelly said.

Slowing it down: Prep was 4-0 coming into the day, but had yet to face a team as talented as Charlestown. Connolly spent plenty of time game planning for the talented, athletic Townies, making an emphasis to his team to slow the game down, set up their offense, and maximize possessions.

“We were just trying to get some movement, cutting through the zone to try and spread them out. We’ve got some pretty good guards, so were kind of trying to spread them out, get guys getting into the gaps and kicking and getting open shots,” he said of their four-out offense that they put in to get open shots for their shooters.

Defensively, the Eagles got up in the face of Charlestown’s guards and forced them to make a play one-on-one, and the plan was successful, as the Townies generally struggled in the halfcourt.

“It’s a very good win, this is our toughest test by far so far this year,” Connoly said, “This is a very good win for us, beating a very talented Charlestown team. I’m very proud of the way the kids played.”

Catholic Conference Hoops All-Stars

March, 6, 2012
3/06/12
11:58
AM ET
Catholic Memorial head basketball coach Dennis Tobin forwards along this year's Catholic Conference All-Stars:



LEAGUE MVP: MATT DRONEY, SR., CATHOLIC MEMORIAL
Steve Haladyna, Sr., St. John's Prep
Freddy Shove, Sr., St. John's Prep
Mike Carbone, Sr., St. John's Prep
Bryce Boggs, Jr., Xaverian
Jared Lewis, Sr., Malden Catholic
Kyle Sangster, Jr., Malden Catholic
John Mastascusa, Jr., Malden Catholic
Oderah Obukwelu, Sr., BC High
Charles Collins, Jr., BC High
Jameilen Jones, Jr., BC High
Dan Powers, Sr., Catholic Memroial
Armani Reeves, Sr., Catholic Memorial
Aahmane Santos, Soph., Catholic Memorial


D1 South sectional quarterfinal recaps

March, 3, 2012
3/03/12
8:05
PM ET
BOURNE, Mass. -- The Bay State League stole the show during Saturday's Division 1 quarterfinals, played at Gallo Ice Arena.

The public school league will see four of its teams in the semifinal round, the notable exclusion being No. 1 seed Needham.

Here's the breakdown of the action from a long day of hockey, along with a couple nuggets of analysis:

NO. 4 NORWOOD 2, NO. 5 BARNSTABLE 1


First period: The Mustangs went on an early power play, getting just one shot off on the Barnstable kill. The Red Raiders took the first lead of the game at 8:35 on Max Willman's strike from Chris Harris and Eric Rogorzenski. Andrew Alty tied the game with 30 seconds remaining on a pretty cross-ice pass from Jake Ranalli. Brendan Cathcart picked up the second assist. Norwood took a 7-6 shot advantage in the stanza.

Second period: Scant scoring opportunities for either side. Norwood carried play for portions of the second, but the Raiders had the best of the latter stages. Still, Barnstable out-shot the Mustangs 9-7 in the period.

Third period: The Mustangs found the go-ahead goal with defenseman Kyle Dolan tallying his second of the season, with some good work down low from Cathcart (2 assists)and Tyler Gover. The Red Raiders were ham-strung by a late penalty (playing with a broken stick) that had them on the penalty kill with just 1:38 remaining. Despite having a couple of offensive zone face-off opportunities in the final minute, the Red Raiders weren't able to find the equalizer. Jordan Davis made 25 saves for the Mustangs in the win, as Barnstable outshot Norwood, 26-22, for the game.

Analysis: What made Norwood successful in this game were a lot of the little things that don't show up in scoresheets. The Mustangs did a terrific job on the back check, keeping pace with a speedy Barnstable roster. When the Red Raiders were able to enter the zone, Norwood collapsed down low and were able to throw sticks, bodies, whatever, in the passing a shooting lanes, limiting quality chances on Davis.

NO. 9 NATICK 3, NO. 1 NEEDHAM 2


First period: Most of the period's play was conducted in the neutral zone, with both teams playing a tight checking game. Natick had its best chance of the game, coming on a 2-on-1 during a late power play. However, Needham actually out-chanced the Red & Blue, 2-1, while a man down. Shots were 10-5 in the Rockets' favor in the first.

Second period: Needham earned its first power play of the game early on, but was unable to cash in with two shots against Red & Blue goaltender Derek Kwok. Natick opened scoring at 5:56 with Andrew Newis tallying his 13th of the season from Mike Pennett and Derek Butler. At 11:52, Butler added his second point with his 16th goal of the season. Just 1:08 later, Pennett picked up his second point of the game with a goal, giving the Red & Blue a 3-0 lead at the second intermission.

Third period: Needham got on the board 4:06 Joey Parsons entering on a partial break on an unassisted goal, his fifth of the season. Play continued on in Natick's end for the bulk of the period. Lucas Davis added an unassisted goal of his own, drawing the Rockets within one, but for the second time this week (after Monday's Super 8 play-in game) their third-period rally fell short.



Analysis: Once again, Needham's tendency to come out slow hurt them. As in their Super 8 play-in game against St. John's (Shrewsbury) on Monday, the Rockets dug themselves into a hole they weren't able to recoup.

NO. 3 MILTON 3, NO. 6 FALMOUTH 1


First period: There was little to speak of scoring chances between the two squads, save for Clipper forward Ben Taylor's shot off the post in the second minute. Not whole lot to say beyond that. Shots were 7-2 in favor of Falmouth.

Second period: After skating to a scoreless first period, Storm Foitu netted the first goal for Falmouth 1:11 into the period. Durham Ghelfi set up the goal with some nice work along the half boards, putting a pass back to Foitu on the left wing circle. Milton tied the game with 30 seconds remaining in the period, thanks to some slick passing in the offensive zone. Brian Higgins set up Paul Curran, skittering a pass across through a Falmouth defender with Curran directing the pass into the net from the goal mouth. Milton took an 11-4 shots advantage in the period.

Third period: Curran and Higgins continued their dazzling offensive show in the third, only to see Falmouth netminder Petey Negri make a couple of circus saves. The middle portion of the period was played predominately in the Clippers' end with the Wildcats sustaining offensive pressure. Curran scored his second of the game, his 21st of the season, the game-winner, with 43 seconds to play, with a shot deflected off a Falmouth defender's skate. Terrance Walsh and Dan Curran had the assists. Higgins notched his second point of the game with an empty-net goal with eight seconds remaining. Hankard made 18 stops to earn the victory.



Analysis: Paul Curran showed why he was one of the most feared scorers in the Bay State Conference this season. His work, along with that of linemate, Higgins, was impressive throughout, creating a bulk of Milton's scoring chances.

NO. 7 BRAINTREE 2, NO. 2 MARSHFIELD 0
First period: The Wamps took a 7-6 shots advantage, but neither team was able to find the back of the net. Braintree went 0-for-2 on the power play, while the Rams were shut out in their only opportunity.

Second period: After being held to just one shot on their third power play opportunity, the Wamps took the first lead of the game on Cody Kingston's goal at 9-minute mark, with assists from James Flaherty and Tom Troy. Braintree claimed a 2-0 lead two minutes later on David Fasano's wrist shot from the right side circle. Troy picked up his second assist of the game with another handed out to Nick Ward. The Wamps claimed a 12-7 shots advantage in the period.

Third period: Marshfield upped its pressure in the offensize zone, but were unable to crack Wamps netminder Dan Murphy. Murphy made 20 saves in the shutout.

Analysis: Marshfield wasn't able to sustain pressure in Braintree's defensive zone throughout. Once Braintree takes a lead, as has become the custom under David Fasano, the Wamps become increasingly hard to play against, clogging up the neutral zone in a 1-2-2 and collapsing down low when set in the defensize zone. Murphy wasn't tested all that often, but when he was he was ready. Wamps all-star defenseman Conor Fenton (3-9-12) was his usual self, playing aggresively and mixing it up physically often drawing the assingment of shutting down the Rams' top line of Mike Carbone, Chris Perry and Connor McLean.

Recap: No. 20 Eastie 58, St. John's Prep 52

February, 10, 2012
2/10/12
12:16
AM ET



DANVERS, Mass. -- If there's any doubt about East Boston head coach Malcolm Smith's ability to utilize his resources, let tonight's result against St. John's Prep stand as Exhibit A -- and close the case shut.

Dressing just nine players, and without starting forwards Kenny Ramos and Kwandell Bush due to a violation of team rules -- certainly not the first time he's disciplined a key player, nor the last -- the Jets turned in one of their most inspired defensive first halves of the regular season. They held the host Eagles to just 16 points in the first two quarters, then staved off a furious fourth-quarter rally to win, 58-52.

"With this team, it's a bunch of guys that, hey, they just want to do it," Smith said. "They want to do it for their hometown, they want to do it for where they come from. I told them going into tonight's game that, listen, we've got to play this like we're in Dorchester House in the preseason fall league.

"I said fellas, you know, we're undermanned and we've always had some adversity, whether it's dressing five there or seven there, so you've got to take that mentality there. And we always play hard, but you've got to bring it in here a little bit more structured and disciplined, and that's what they did."

The Jets (12-4) dominated the first half, forcing a slew of turnovers with dogged backcourt pressure and sideline traps to make up for their lack of scoring ability at the offensive end. They took a 24-16 lead into the break, and led as much as 41-24 with under three minutes to go in the third quarter before the Eagles (10-6) mounted an impressive rally.

Down 43-32 to start the final frame, Prep cut the lead to 47-45 when Mike Carbone came up with a strip steal at halfcourt and heaved a lob to Steve Haladyna (31 points, eight rebounds), picking up a foul in the process. He missed the free throw, but capped a perfect 5-for-5 start from the field for the quarter with the lay-in.

At the other end, Eastie broke through some intense Prep backcourt pressure to convert some key field goal attempts down the stretch, none bigger than a dunk by Will March (16 points) with under a minute to go. With the Eagles gambling big time in moving their 2-3 zone high up in the halfcourt and converging on guard Pat Santos in the backcourt, he was able to get the ball over the top to a wide open March underneath and make it 57-49.

Freshman point guard Marcos Echevarria hit a three-pointer to close it to 57-52 with 31 seconds left, and fouled Santos to send him to the line and push the lead back out to six. But on the ensuing possession Freddy Shove missed a driving layup with 14 ticks to go, and three bodies converged on the loose board for a jump ball, and Eastie possession.

Helping out: The Jets were most impressive defensively in pressuring the backcourt, and providing help on the perimeter. Anybody who has watched Eastie over the years knows an aggressive press defense is its source of pride, and for the first 16 minutes an array of guards made life difficult for whoever took the ball in, harrassing them from the baseline to over halfcourt. From there, players like Zack Gattereau, Travon Moore, Ian Jones, Andre Senior and Kyle Fox were able to lend a hand.

In the halfcourt, the Prep is traditionally a tough out for its surgery running the motion offense -- a scheme that, by nature, is difficult to gameplan for. But whenever Connolly called for a pick-and-roll, an Eastie defender was usually in proper place on the help side to take a good angle and try to pick the ball off.

Those two areas led to a number of turnovers, both forced and unforced, including 11 total team steals.

"We worked on that yesterday," Smith said of the pick-and-roll defense. "And I don't really think it settled in. But you know, in the pre-game today, [I told them] 'Fellas listen, on their pick-and-rolls we've got to play it NBA-style'. They liked that, and I just thought it was phenomenal today.

"Ain't much I had to do with it, but we worked on it yesterday and it didn't really go that well. But today they communicated exceptionally well on it, they were able to hedge on everything else."


Recap: No. 2 CM 56, No. 16 SJP 55

January, 31, 2012
1/31/12
11:33
PM ET
DANVERS, Mass. -- It was one of those games where you could tell early on that it was going to come down to the wire.

Both teams made runs at various points in the games, and answered back when their opponent made theirs. Ultimately, it was No. 2 Catholic Memorial that came out on top 56-55 over No. 16 St. John’s Prep Tuesday night.

It was a rematch between between two Catholic Conference foes who met Jan. 13. Catholic Memorial took home the 89-64 victory.

Prep came out strong, determined to show the teams’ first game was a fluke, and was helped by CM’s early shot selection. While CM coach Denis Tobin was clamoring for ball movement and involving players in the post, his team was settling for perimeter shots that were not falling.

After calling a timeout, his team appeared to settle down and closed the gap on Prep. The Knights’ full-court press flummoxed the Prep offense, forcing them into making errant passes and into turnovers. At the end of the first, CM held a 13-12 lead.

“I have super athletes who can really really harass the ball,” said Tobin. “Then I have (Dan) Powers (15 points) and (Matt) Droney (17 points) who have played four years in the system and really know where to rotate to when the ball is in the air.

"So you take Chris Siggers, Aamahne Santos (11 points), and Armani Reeves (4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 steals) pressuring the ball and you have two 1,000 scorer veterans who know where the pass is most likely going to go. Then you have big Gerard Adams in the back if they do happen to break it, so it can be pretty effective.”

The two teams battled back and forth for the remainder of the first half, with no team ever taking a lead of more than four points.

Catholic Memorial took a 25-21 lead into the half, but came out in the third and quickly stretched its lead to nine. As was the case all night, Prep answered back and cut the score to 37-33 heading into the fourth.

Again sticking to the theme of the game, CM started the quarter strong and brought the lead back up to 9 points behind two three-pointers by Powers and Droney. This time, it took Prep a few minutes longer to answer back.

With 2:23 left in the game, CM took a 52-41 lead. After only scoring one basket over the next minute and 45 seconds, Owen Marchetti hit two quick three-pointers to make it 53-50. Because it was so late in the game, Prep was forced into foul-mode, which put Droney at the free-throw line.

It was a spot the newest member of CM's 1,000-point club had been in before. He sank both free throws, making it a two-possession game with about 15 seconds to go.

As the final seconds ticked down, Marchetti heaved the ball from just over halfcourt. It banked off the backboard and went in as time expired, allowing CM to come away with the one-point victory.

“Those free throws at the end mattered a lot,” said Tobin. “We didn’t make all of them, but we made the front ends of one-and-ones with a lot of pressure on. The kids stepped up and did a great job at the line and that just goes to show you that the game isn’t over until the horn goes off.”

Kinks in the press break: In an attempt to beat the CM press, Prep employed Isaiah Robinson in the center of the floor, flanked by Steve Haladyna and Freddy Shove. The idea was to facilitate quick side-to-side ball movement with the three veteran players, preventing the defense from collapsing on one player, while Prep moved the ball over halfcourt.

That was not always the case, however. On multiple occasions Tuesday night, Robinson had the ball in his hands with a light defensive presence around him. Because he is not normally relied on to dribble the basketball much on offense, he committed more than one traveling violation.

On other possessions, the ball pressure from Siggers, Santos, and Reeves was so immense that they were either able to steal the ball or jump in front of Prep’s passes, allowing them to take the ball the other way.

“We weren’t really looking to go back to him (Isaiah) and I think guys were a little timid and not attacking and being aggressive, so they went back to him,” said Prep coach Sean Connolly. “They forced us into a lot of turnovers , and that hurt with (Mike) Carbone out too. He’s another guy that could make better decisions with the ball.”

Carbone sidelined: Carbone, a normal Prep starter, was dressed in street clothes for the game as the result of a concussion. He has been out of action for about a week and a half. This put Drex Costello into the starting lineup and rely on his bench to increase its production.

“Mike’s our best shooter so defenses don’t extend out as much,” said Connolly. “When he’s out, we have other guys who aren’t as consistent shooting the ball so the defense can pack it in a little more. That hurts us I think, especially when we have Isaiah and Haladyna trying to post up.”

Battling the boards: Although it did not come away with the victory, Prep flexed its muscles on the boards the whole game. Two of its players had double-doubles (Haladyna -- 22 points, 12 rebounds; Robinson -- 12 points, 15 rebounds) and a third with double-digit rebounds (Shove, with 15). The leading Knights rebounder was Armani Reeves with 6.

“Overall, we defended and we rebounded, that’s what we were looking to do,” said Connolly. “We haven’t been doing those two things, so I was fairly pleased with that.”

Connolly feels that if he can duplicate that production and get his whole team back and healthy, it could make a run as the end of the season approaches.

“Only if we rebound and defense like we did tonight,” he said. “Those are the two things that have been a glaring weakness. We’ve been stressing those, and I think the kids responded. Obviously our offensive execution was not very good, so to beat teams like this we have to get better on the offensi

Recap: No. 18 Falmouth 7, No. 16 Marshfield 1

January, 29, 2012
1/29/12
12:56
AM ET
FALMOUTH, Mass. -- When 18th-ranked Falmouth and No. 16 Marshfield met back on Jan. 7 at Hobomock Arena, Rams’ goaltender Kyle Moran stood on his head to help his team to a 1-1 draw that night against the Clippers. On Saturday night the clubs renewed their rivalry at the Falmouth Ice Arena, and Moran and his team left town with their heads spinning.

Dating back to Dec. 29 Moran had limited the opposition to just a single goal in eight of the nine games that the Rams had played. He gave up just two in the other, as Marshfield went 8-0-1 during that stretch.

On Saturday night Falmouth scored 3 times in the first 9:38 of the game en route to a 7-1 shellacking of the Atlantic Coast League leaders. Brothers Justin and Ben Taylor each had 2 goals in the game as the Clippers improved to 9-2-3 overall on the season (6-1-2 ACL) and qualified for the MIAA tournament in the process. Marshfield fell to 10-2-1 (6-1-1 ACL) on year.

Both teams seemed fired up when the puck dropped, but the Clippers had a little extra hop in their steps. After suffering a disappointing 4-2 loss to Dennis-Yarmouth earlier in the week, which may have cost them a chance to wave the ACL championship banner at season’s end, head coach Buddy Ferreira responded by giving them the day off on Thursday. That extra day of rest seemed to work wonders as the Clippers played with endless energy for 45 minutes.

FHS lit the lamp for the first of many times just 3:29 into the game. Center Nicky Lineaweaver let one fly from the slot that missed wildly to Moran’s left and careened into the corner. The quick forward chased his own miss and was the first one there. He sent it back to the point for linemate Travis Howe, who ripped a slapper that never left the ice and beat Moran to the near side for a 1-0 lead.

Lineaweaver’s effort on the play summed up how the Clippers played all night. “They just wanted it more than us, plain and simple,” Marshfield head coach Dan Connolly said. “That’s the bottom line. Kyle Moran probably wants a few of those back, but they kicked the crap out of us, bottom line. They wanted it a heck of a lot more than our kids. They won every battle, our kids were just playing slap hockey with the puck…we played terrible and they made us pay.”

Less than four minutes later Falmouth doubled its lead on one of those shots that Moran certainly would like to have a do-over on. Falmouth senior defenseman Justin Taylor won the puck outside the blue line and turned toward the goal and just let one rip from about 60 feet out that caught the goalie napping and sneaked through the 5-hole to make it 2-0.

Junior Durham Ghelfi added a power play goal for the Clippers about two minutes later, burying a rebound of a Trevor Theroux shot and the Rams were reeling.

Falmouth skipper Buddy Ferreira, who is in year 31 of his coaching tenure at Falmouth, said that his team’s all-out effort was a pleasant happenstance. “I’m totally surprised, for two reasons. One, to do that to Marshfield, and two, this is what makes you come back as a Coach every year. People say coaching makes you old, no it keeps you young because kids just do different things. This is a totally different team.”

Ferreira’s troops showed no complacency the rest of the way with the lead. Sophomore goalie Cody Garcia robbed Joe Admirand with a swipe of the glove at the 2 minute mark and then later stopped a penalty shot awarded to Chris Perry. Garcia came out to attack the shooter on the penalty shot, forcing his backhand bid wide.

After the Clippers’ goalie bailed them out with a couple big stops they rewarded him by padding his cushion with a pair late in the second period to open up a 5-0 lead before MHS got a late one to make it 5-1.

Theroux set up Ben Taylor with a brilliant diagonal feed that the freshman buried to make it 4-0 at 9:45 and then, just 48 seconds later, the Clippers got a shorthanded goal from Storm Fotiu, who blocked a shot and was off to the races, beating Moran with a pretty move.

Marshfield got on the board at 11:16 when Trevor Salmon buried a Kevin McDougall rebound. They almost got another in the last minute, on a laser from Mike Carbone, but Garcia deflected the shot and then swept his glove behind his back to bat it to the boards before it could cross the goal line. There was a controversy over whether or not the puck had actually crossed the line, but Connolly said it was a moot point.

“Unless it counted for six it didn’t really matter,” he said.

The Taylor brothers finished off the scoring in the third period, chasing Moran from the game. Older brother Justin got his second of the night when he intercepted a clear-out by the Rams and walked in to undress Moran at the 3:32 mark. A minute later younger brother Ben tipped in a rebound of a Cody Murray slapper to make it 7-1.

“Today, we got back to playing the way we were the last time we played Marshfield,” Ferreira said.

Recap: No. 1 Central Cath. 80, No. 10 SJP 56

January, 23, 2012
1/23/12
12:18
AM ET
LAWRENCE, Mass. -- Last season's two meetings between Central Catholic and St. John's Prep -- once late in the regular season, and again in the Division 1 North semifinals a few weeks later -- can be summed up in short as epic. The two games, both wins for Prep, were decided by just five points total, and featured last-minute heroics from ESPN Boston Mr. Basketball and Notre Dame freshman Pat Connaughton.

So what to say of this, then, an 80-56 win over the Eagles that was polished from start to finish? The Raiders (11-0) never trailed in this one, and strung together runs of 12-3 and 9-0 in the second and third quarters, respectively, to maintain control throughout.

"It feels great," said senior Luis Puello, a major player in both of last year's battles, who came off the bench tonight in recovering from an ankle injury. "There's not a better feeling than that, you know. They come to our house, and we beat them by however much we beat them. But they're a good team, you know, we're going to face them again [next month, in Central's host tournament], and we've just got to bring it again."

Prep (9-2) cut Central's lead to 25-20 midway through the second quarter on a three-pointer from the corner by Freddy Shove, but the Raiders answered with a Nick Cambio (16 points, eight rebounds) three from the opposite corner, off a Joel Berroa kickout pass, that made it 30-23. After Central head coach Rick Nault was called for a technical foul, Lucas Hammel finished off the 12-3 run with a steal in the open court and breakaway layup.

Central led 37-24 at the half, and the Eagles never came within eight the rest of the way.

"That was probably our best 32 minutes of basketball all season," Nault said. "We lost to these guys twice last year, they ended our season. And since March now, we've talked about that feeling we had in the locker room last March, and it stuck with these guys. They were pretty fired up all week, and it showed tonight in terms of their energy and effort."

The junior Berroa poured in a double-double (18 points, 11 rebounds) in the winning cause, while Hammel and Tyler Nelson added 11 points each. Prep was led in scoring by Mike Carbone (17 points) and Steve Haladyna (10).

Cambio climbing: After earning some hype with a strong summer campaign, it has been a breakout season for the sophomore Cambio to say the least. The 6-foot-5 forward had some crucial minutes in the Raiders' 69-67 overtime thriller over Lawrence last weekend, totaling 16 points and 12 rebounds.

This afternoon, it was more of the same for the stretch four-man. In the second quarter, he kick-started the 12-3 run with a baseline three off a kickout pass from Berroa. In the third quarter, he sparked another run with a momentous two-handed slam that made it 53-36, taking a diagonal pass from Berroa across the paint and gathering just under the left block.

On the next trip down, Cambio hit a three from the left corner off a kickout pass from Nelson, before closing out the third quarter with a dagger three from the opposite corner, just before the buzzer sounded.

"I like that penetration," Cambio said of his affinity for playing close to the baseline. "Then I kick right out, when I can either step out and get the three or go in for the layup with a dunk. I like that."

Said Puello, "I've liked Cambio since the beginning. He was always in the gym in the summer, and seeing his development has been great. It's an asset to the team, it's good. As long as he's playing well, we're all playing well."

Easing back into it: Since Puello went down with a high ankle sprain in the first minute of the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament semifinals last month, the Raiders coaching staff have erred on the side of caution. After all, the Raiders have a rough next month of a schedule that starts next weekend with Rhode Island powerhouse Bishop Hendricken and continues with rematches against Lowell, Andover, Lawrence and Prep. The Raiders are going to need a fully-healthy Puello come February; with the 6-foot-1 senior's relentless marking defense, the Raiders are one of the state's toughest outs.

Puello cringed from the sidelines as he was held out of games against Andover, Lawrence (twice) and Springfield Cathedral (at the Hoophall Classic in Springfield), but knows it's for the best interest of both him and the team. This afternoon's performance, though, had to be encouraging.

Coming off the bench, Puello first entered the game with 1:39 left in the first quarter and immediately got to work. On one of his first possessions, an Eagles inbound play, Puello hip-checked Shove out of bounds as he came around the baseline on a backdoor cut, eventually leading to an out-of-bounds violation. At the other end, Hammel hit a layup that extended the lead to 19-13. The next trip down, Puello notched a steal in the open floor.

"He's just so active, and his athleticism alone makes plays for him," Nault said. "You could still see he's rusty, he's hobbling a little bit, and I think it's affecting him more on the offensive end than the defensive end. When we get him back full-speed, I think defensively we're going to be pretty tough."

Puello

"It's a process," Puello said. "But little by little, we'll get healthy and I'll get back to where I need to be."

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