Boston High School: Mike Perry

Recap: CM 7, Bishop Hendricken (R.I.) 1

May, 19, 2012
WARWICK, R.I. -– Whoever said a team can never have enough pitching must have had Catholic Memorial in mind.

Including Saturday’s non-league game at perennial Rhode Island power Hendricken, the Knights are in a stretch where they play five games in eight days.

“We have six guys that have pitched this year,” coach Hal Carey said after the Knights clipped the Hawks, 7-1. “(Pat) Hurley is our clear number one. But after that, everyone can throw well on a given day.

“We’re going to need them all because we have five games in eight days. Two are makeups (including a Sunday game against Malden Catholic).”

Since junior right-hander Sean Heelen went the distance it allowed Carey to avoid using any relief pitchers –- which means the Knights (9-6) could be in good shape as they seek to qualify for the MIAA playoffs.

Heelen allowed four hits and three walks (the run was unearned), and struck out six. Moreover, he threw 59 of 95 pitches for strikes.

“I tried to give it all I had on the mound so we could save our pitchers for next week, especially with some big Catholic Conference games coming up including Xaverian and Malden Catholic,” Heelen said. “And we have a big game against Brockton on Monday. “I tried to give it all I had and coach was happy.”

One reason Heelen was able to muffle the Hawks (16-3) was that he utilized a new pitch.

“I’ve been trying to incorporate a slider and this was the first game I actually threw it,” he said. “So, I tried to come in with a lot of off-speed (pitches), which I usually do. And I try to work as quickly as I can so the batters don’t any time.

“I try to go out there and throw strikes and try to keep my team in it. I had some help from the catcher, Kevin White.”

Arguably nobody appreciates a pitcher’s ability to work fast more than the position players.

In this game, Heelen retired nine Hawks on three pitches or less; the Knights only made one error; and the team turned a double play.

“I try to stay in a rhythm on the mound so the fielders don’t get lethargic, especially in the outfield,” Heelen said. “As long as I throw strikes and they put the ball in play I know my teammates will make plays.”

Perhaps the most notable Hawk Heelen kept in check was senior pitcher/outfielder Tom Pannone, who already has signed a letter of intent to play his college baseball at the University of Miami.

Pannone was robbed of a hit in the first when his blooper to left was snared by Garrett Ewanowski who made a head-first dive.

First baseman Todd MacDonald made a nice pick on a hard grounder in the third.

And Pannone went down swinging in the fifth.

Heelen helped himself by going 2-for-four with an RBI while Brian McCann smacked a pair of doubles plus a single and drove in two runs.

Hendricken’s lone run came in the second when Rich Bacon reached on CM’s lone error and scored on Justin Finan’s double. But when Finan tried to stretch that hit into a triple –- with nobody out -– he was gunned down a perfect relay from Ewanowski to shortstop Joe Presti to Mike Perry.

“We’re 9-6 playing a tough schedule,” Carey said. “Our defense has been good all year. And Sean throwing great today was a huge boost for us.

“We want to try and get it done in these next few days (i.e. qualify for the playoffs). We’re good enough to beat anybody in (Massachusetts) and Rhode Island. But anyone on our schedule can beat us, too.”

D1 South final: Milton 3, Natick 1

March, 12, 2012
BOURNE, Mass. -- Milton senior defenseman Dan Curran screamed to the rafters, which were teeming with his team’s supporters, “the Red Army is moving on, the Red Army is moving on.”

Indeed the Wildcats from Milton High School are moving on, to the TD Garden next weekend where they will play for the Division I state title.

Third-seeded Milton (19-3-2) got two goals in the first period and held back a feisty Natick (10-9-4) team yesterday at Gallo Ice Arena in Bourne, taking a 3-1 decision to capture the Division 1 south sectional title.

Curran’s twin brother Paul Curran was a big reason that Milton’s boots are still walking. The senior forward factored in all three of his team’s goals, scoring one just 10 seconds into the game and then assisting on the next two.

“It’s just something that you’ve always wanted, something you’ve dreamed about since youth hockey, senior year to be going to the Boston Garden to play for the state championship. Having all of these fans behind you, having the whole town behind, it just makes it that much better,” Paul Curran said after posing for a celebratory photograph at center ice with his teammates.

Wildcats head coach Paul Noonan said that booking the trip to the Garden is a happy surprise for his Wildcats. “I knew that we had a good team with some talent, and a lot of seniors (when the season started),” Noonan said. “It’s the best team we’ve had in a while, so I knew that we’d make at least a half decent run. But if I told you that I knew we’d be going to the Garden, I’d be a liar.”

Before the ice had finished drying from its pre-game cleaning the Wildcats were on the scoreboard. Paul Curran was sent in by Brian Higgins and punched it by Derek Kwok to set the tone for the afternoon.

“He’s a special player,” Noonan said. “He plays with his heart. He’s all passion, and he’s our leader. He makes things happen.”

The 'Cats flew around the ice and dominated the opening 15 minutes of the game, outshooting the Red & Blue by an 8-1 count. Ryan McDougall doubled the lead at 6:32 on a Frisbee from the right point that sailed through a ton of traffic and right by a completely screened Kwok. Terrence Walsh, who also assisted on the first goal, and Curran picked up the helpers.

Natick was lucky not to be down by another goal or two when they were finally able to regroup in the locker room after the period had ended. Curran just missed making it a 3-0 game with a backhander on a power play chance with 4:18 left in the stanza.

“We got an early goal there, and then we got a second one just a little while later and it’s easier to play with a two-goal lead, that made it a lot easier for us,” Noonan said.

It was during that late power play that Natick finally got a shot on goal when Andrew Newis stole the puck in the neutral zone and streaked in alone against Jay Hankard. Newis was unable to get solid wood on his shorthanded bid and the Milton keeper made the save to keep his team ahead by a pair after one.

“I can’t say enough about [Hankard],” Noonan said. “To go the whole period without seeing a shot and then the first one to be a shorthanded breakaway…he’s been awesome. We’re fortunate to have him.”

Hankard stopped 12 of the 13 shots he faced in the game. During the south tourney he allowed just two goals in the three the Wildcats played.

“It’s so much better as a forward knowing you’ve got that wall behind you,” Paul Curran said. “He’s just been so good, especially in the playoffs.”

Each team scored a second period goal. Natick, which came out with much better energy after the break, cut the deficit in half at 4:17 of the second when the puck left a scrum near Hankard and found the blade of Mike Perry in the slot. The Red and Blue forward wasted no time delivering a wrister towards the net that sailed over Hankard’s left leg pad and sneaked inside the nearside post to make it 2-1.

Three minutes later Milton reclaimed the two-goal advantage. The high-scoring Higgins finished off a quick strike by the Wildcats. Milton won a faceoff outside the zone and zig-zagged the puck up the right side with Walsh feeding Curran, who slid it to Higgins in the middle. Higgins crossed over and beat Derek Kwok through the five-hole for the Cats’ third strike of the afternoon.

Neither team scored in the third period and each spent the bulk of stanza switching between their power play and penalty kill units. The game itself was riddled with penalties as 23 total infractions were cited against the teams.

One team’s dream come true was another’s nightmare. Natick had an impressive run just to be in the south title game come to a close, finishing off a season that had some very high highs and extremely low lows. Early in the season the Red and Blue were shocked when freshman Justin Bailey passed away unexpectedly. The team had an emotional season and rallied to qualify on the last day of the regular season, beginning a storybook run that had a tough ending.

“I knew that we had the talent to be here. We have the goaltender, one or two solid lines. We had suspensions, injuries, Justin dying, we had some adversity throughout the year,” Red & Blue head coach Karl Infanger said. “We definitely had the talent to be here, with a little emotional punch to get over the top. But I think it all kind of caught up with us today.”

“I give a lot of credit to Natick. That’s a good team over there and they had to take the long road to get here. They had to win their last game of the year to get into the tourney, they had to beat the same team again in the tourney, they had beat Needham, a Super 8 team. Then they had to beat Norwood, the best team in the Bay State League. I tell you, that’s a high mountain to climb. We’re fortunate to be here,” Noonan said.

Spellman's Glynn scores his 1,000th point

December, 14, 2011

BROCKTON, Mass. -- It might have been an anticlimactic way for Cardinal Spellman's Joey Glynn to reach a milestone. But that's probably how the soft-spoken Abington resident would have liked it anyways.

The 6-foot-5 senior forward came into tonight's home-opener with Bishop Fenwick needing just nine points to surpass the 1,000 mark for his career, and he surpassed the feat less than four minutes into the contest. Point 998 was a two-handed slam that put the home crowd on its feet. The next one, with the student section anxious to erupt, took a second to develop -- Glynn initially passed up the ball to start the possession, before finishing with a bunny of a layup.

Play was stopped as Glynn was given a standing ovation from the capacity crowd, followed by photo ops, first with his coach Mike Perry, then at center court with his family.

Glynn finished with 18 points, nine rebounds, two blocks and two assists, in a lopsided 64-35 win in which he sat most of the second half.

"A little bit, but it just worked out like that," Glynn smiled sheepishly when asked if he'd have preferred the dunk be his milestone.

As for point 1,000, "It feels pretty good, it's good to get that out of the way, so I don't have to worry about it anymore."

For Perry, it's a fitting way to the start Glynn's senior season, and he couldn't be happier for a kid he considers so selfless on and off the court.

"He's just a great person -- never mind basketball, just a nice young man," Perry said. "No ego. He's there on the bench in the second half, helping kids out, cheering them on. Couldn't happen to a nicer kid. He works hard at it."

Scouts from Division 3 schools as well as the Northeast-10 Conference were in the building to watch the small forward play. Glynn currently holds varied interest around the New England colleges, with St. Anselm offering a partial scholarship and Merrimack, Stonehill and Worcester Polytechnic all expressing interest. He currently holds one Division 1 offer, from the Naval Academy.

After leading the Cardinals to the Division 3 state semifinals at TD Garden last March, could we see another breakthrough with the senior this season? Perry admitted ballhandling will be an area of improvement for Glynn going forward, though he added, "yeah, but come to practice and watch what he does going through all the drills."

"You'll see it a little differently," Perry said. "He's shooting three's during practice, stuff like that. He was an 80-plus foul shooter for us last year, taking close to 100. But he's a great shooter for this area. He takes what they give him, which is what I think a smart basketball player does. But you come to practice, and he's out here running our drills, shooting three's like everybody else does.

"He can put it in the basket. He'll be there, believe me."

Coppola puts on clinic, W'Town back in DCU

March, 15, 2011

BOSTON -- It could not hit a shot for the first four minutes of the game, but once it did, Watertown put on a textbook performance against Cardinal Spellman in the Division 3 State semi-finals, 56-36.

Watertown (19-5) came out of the gate cold, finding difficulty in hitting even a layup. In the latter part of the quarter, it picked up its defensive intensity, which in turn sparked its offensive game, and lead 14-9 after the opening frame.

“I think we were a little bit jittery playing out there,” said Marco Coppola (26 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals). “I know me and Connor (Stockdale) have played out there before but some of the other guys haven’t. Once we settled in and adjusted to the court and really picked up the defensive pressure, we were alright.”

Stockdale, the 6-foot-3 senior, finished with only 5 points, but made most of his impact on defense, finishing with 6 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block.

Coppola initially had a difficult time shooting from long range, but found success going to the basket and creating his shot of the dribble. When he finally hit his first three-pointer with a minute to go in the second half, Watertown already had a double-digit lead thanks to its defensive effort.

“It was a good team effort,” said Coppola. “The whole tournament has been about defense for us and I think that was the story for us tonight. The points just come.”

At halftime, it was ahead 27-16 and playing the high-energy, defensive-minded style that epitomizes Watertown basketball. When the third quarter started, it had stretched the lead even more, but also stayed true to the defensive side of the ball. Spellman (20-5) only scored six points in the third. In contrast, Watertown scored 20, including 3 three-pointers, to take a 47-22 lead into the fourth.

“It’s been like that the whole tournament for us, coming out at halftime,” said Coppola. “Once we have a lead we know to just put it on them in the third quarter and that kind of demoralizes teams.”

The Raiders will now look to take that same defensive intensity to the Division 3 State Finals Saturday against the winner of tomorrow night's Central/West semifinal between Whitinsville Christian and Lenox at the DCU Center.

“The guys are so smart, their rotations are so good (on defense) that it looks like you’re doing a good job as a coach, but a lot of it is them,” said Watertown coach Steve Harrington. “They have such great basketball IQ that on the defensive end they just make up for each other, they rotate well, and they’re just ball hawks.”

“It’s the fourth game in a row in the tournament we’ve held someone in the 30’s. I think the difference was tonight we separated because we made some shots. Once we made some shots, it made it kind of difficult for Cardinal Spellman to get back in it.”

As a team, Watertown had 16 steals, making it difficult for the Cardinals to get anything going on the offensive end.

Joey Glynn lead the way for Cardinal Spellman with 13 points and 10 rebounds.

“They knew what they had to do and they came and they did it,” said Spellman coach Mike Perry. “They’ve been here a couple times when they were younger, and they did a real nice job.”

“It wasn’t the best game in the world for us, but I have nothing but praise for my kids. Ya, you’re disappointed, but what they accomplished to this point, I really didn’t know if we could get here.”