Boston High School: Paul Tanglis

Recap: No. 17 Andover 49, North Andover 46

February, 7, 2015
Feb 7
NORTH ANDOVER, Mass. -- It wasn't the prettiest basketball, nor were there a lot of points scored. It was the kind of knock-down, drag-out duel you would expect from an Andover vs. North Andover game. So it was only fitting it was a one-point game with just over one minute remaining in Friday’s game.

No. 17 Andover hadn't trailed at all in the game until North Andover’s Wabissa Bede was fouled driving to the basket. His layup rolled into the hoop, giving his team the one-point lead.

Andover’s EJ Perry (8 points, 5 rebounds) was fouled and went to the free throw line. The three-sport varsity athlete is only a sophomore but he has shown an ability to make important baskets in pressure situations. This time was no different, as both free throws dropped in the net to give the Golden Warriors the lead back.

North’s next shot missed and an Andover player came down with the rebound. Again, Perry found himself with the basketball in his hands in a big moment. After working the ball around the floor, Perry decided he was going to take it himself. He drove down the right side of the paint and let go an off-balance finger roll. The ball rolled around the right edge of the rim and into the hoop. Three-point lead.

“Big players make big plays at the end of big games,” said Andover coach Dave Fazio, referencing Perry’s play. “We ran a nice little play for (David) Giribaldi (7 points) on the baseline and Bede blocked the shot. I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ E.J. is just tough. He’s a warrior. We’ve got a lot of warriors.”

Coming out of a North Andover timeout, the offensive objective was obvious: get Bede an open three-point shot. The junior had a monster game, scoring 22 points and pulling down 12 rebounds. This is the player that dropped 47 points on Haverhill three nights earlier.

He curled around a screen, caught a pass, and let go the open shot North Andover coach Paul Tanglis was looking for. It bounced off the rim but a teammate came down with the rebound. Robert Couyoumjian (9 points) stepped behind the line in the left corner and let off a shot of his own. That too hit the rim and this time Andover’s Ryan O’Connell came down (9 points, 9 rebounds) with the rebound and the last seconds ticked off the clock.

“We gave Wabissa the look we wanted with an open three and I’ll take that 100 out of 100 times,” said Tanglis. “It was in and out, but I thought that’s what we wanted in the end and we got it. It just didn’t fall. I liked the way we executed down the stretch and I thought overall we played pretty well.”

Andover held on for a 49-46 victory.

“We’ll take it,” said Fazio. “We won a league title tonight (Merrimack Valley Conference Large), now we decide do we want to share it with anybody or do we want to own it all by ourselves?”

Defensive stalemate: Friday was the second time the two teams played against each other. The first time, on Jan. 16, Andover was victorious 76-61. Coming into the game, Tanglis was determined to not give up that many points to the Golden Warriors again.

“We watched film the past two days and we just said we can’t let up 76 points to a team like that, they’re just too good,” he said. “We worked on a lot of different things like getting back on defense, just trying to not let any transition layups in and we did a great job with that. Unfortunately, we didn’t keep them off the glass like we wanted to (29 rebounds). A couple long rebounds, a couple big three’s off offensive rebounds for them I thought was the difference for us.”

Conversely, Andover had defensive lapses of its own. Fazio employed multiple defensive looks in order to keep North Andover guessing and its guards out of rhythm, but also to hide what he feels is a team inefficiency in its man-to-man defense.

“We used a multiple defense approach because you have to keep them off balance, especially that guard (Bede), that guard is tremendous,” he said. “We just tried to keep them off balance, tried to change the defenses. We’re just trying to find something that will stick with my guys. For 26 years we’ve been solely a man-to-man team. This team can not play man-to-man, so we mix it up.”

Recap: No. 5 Andover 76, North Andover 61

January, 17, 2015
Jan 17
ANDOVER, Mass. -- Geometrically, the triangle is the strongest shape and, in the sport of basketball, it can also be one of the strongest defenses.

After going shot for shot with North Andover through two-plus quarters, Andover coach Dave Fazio instituted a triangle-and-two defense that stymied the Knights offense and allowed the Warriors to cruise to a 76-61 win.

After the Warriors made the defensive switch, in a last-ditch effort to stop the North Andover guard duo of Wabissa Bede and Robbie Couyoumjian, the results piled up fast. Andover turned a three-point deficit with three minutes left in the third quarter into a four-point lead by the end of the period, and extended the lead to 10 three minutes into the fourth.

“They went to that triangle-and-two which hurt us,” North Andover coach Paul Tanglis said. “We practiced a lot against the box-and-one, and not enough against the triangle-and-two, so I told my guys I take full responsibility for that. We play a lot of guys, we don't give a lot of guys rest some times, and they wear you down. They're a good team.”

Bede (30 points, five rebounds) and Couyoumjian (18 points, nine rebounds) lit it up for the Knights and caused a headache for Andover. The duo scored all but four of North Andover's 23 points in the second quarter and were the force that propelled North Andover to a 33-30 halftime lead.

Once Fazio made the defensive switch the faucet dried up for the guards. Andover stifled Bede and Couyoumjian, by forcing the ball away from them with face guarding and double teams, and held them to eight combined points over the last 11 minutes of the game. With North Andover's attack stunted the Warriors were able to fully kick their offense into gear and sew up the game.

“I got to find and push the right buttons for us to defend,” Fazio said. “Maybe it's not our old school, Andover man-to-man defense. I don't know what it is, but we got to be more proactive. At the end of the day it's 11 games in and I've got to find something for us to be great at defensively. Offensively we're going to score, but we just got to play better defense.”


After a slow first quarter that saw the Warriors take an 11-10 lead into the break, Andover's prolific offense opened up.

While Couyoumjian and Bede shouldered the load for the Knights, Andover distributed the wealth across the floor. Five Andover players scored in double digits led by Connor Merinder with 17 points and Jonathan Rodriguez and E.J. Perry, who each had 16 points.

Perry played like a man afire in the second half, scoring 14 of his points and pulling down six of his team-high eight rebounds.

“These games border the Central games from past years,” Perry said. “It's just a rocking crowd. You're playing against the kids you played against in travel ball. You've got to come out fired up up to play. We didn't in the first half, and we did in the second half to show what this game means to us.”

The Warriors played a balanced offense despite having to play around David Giribaldi. who was nursing a hip injury and was in foul trouble throughout. Giribaldi, though, did finish with 13 points including a pair of three pointers in the fourth quarter to put a bow on the game.

North Andover had few answers for Merinder, who controlled the paint. Ryan O'Connell had another solid performance with 10 points, five rebounds, and a pair of steals.

“One thing you know for sure is that Ryan's going to show up and give you everything he has,” Fazio said. “Every time he's going to give you everything he's got.”

Despite having to play different faces in different places it was Andover's depth top to bottom that was an X factor to getting the win and snapping a two-game losing streak.

“It's tough when you got new faces in there, but that's what Faze does so well in practice: you've got competition,” Perry said. “You're playing with new guys every day in practice. You get to learn every player's strengths and weaknesses, and we got a lot of players with a lot of strengths.

“Two losses you got to come back from that with a win. We did it. Shaky in the first half, but we showed our true form in the second half.”

D2 North: Danvers 56, North Andover 45

March, 2, 2014
DANVERS, Mass. -– Two major keys to win any game, regardless of importance, are solid half court defense and converting from the free throw line.

No. 2 Danvers was able to do those two things much better than No. 10 North Andover, particularly in the fourth quarter as the Falcons topped North Andover, 56-45 before a packed house at the Danvers High field house in MIAA Division 2 North hoop action.

“That was huge. That’s huge when you get the free points,” Danvers coach John Walsh said.

Danvers led 39-38 entering the final quarter, but the home Falcons picked up their defensive intensity and limited North Andover to just seven points on just one field goal. They also went 10-for-14 from the free throw line to pull away from the pesky Scarlet Knights.

Overall, Danvers went 23-for-29 (80 percent) from the charity stripe, compared to 12-for-24 (50 percent) for North Andover.

“We’re limited with our size and we try and get things going from the outside, but it was tough with their big guys,” North Andover coach Paul Tanglis said. “They alter shots and take up a lot of space in there. It would’ve been nice to get something going from the outside and keep them honest on D, but we weren’t able to put together any offensive run in the second half.”

Danvers had a major size advantage over North Andover and after a slow start they were able to exploit it on both ends of the floor –- limiting the Scarlet Knights to just one shot offensively and getting easy baskets on the other end.

“We had an advantage, but we knew with their four guards it was going to be tough to get to that advantage,” Walsh said. “We knew if we played the game at half court it wouldn’t favor us, but eventually we got the ball down around the three point line and pounded it in and we were able to take advantage of that.”

The major height advantage led to Danvers junior Devan Harris having a tremendous game finishing with a game-high 23 points and 18 rebounds.

“He played hard today,” Walsh said. “He was a beast. I thought he played well.”

North Andover led 16-13 after the first quarter, but Danvers closed the half on a 7-0 run to take a 29-25 lead into the locker room at the half. The teams went back-and-forth in the third quarter as the Falcons held a one-point lead going into the fourth before pulling away.

“Despite the height advantage I thought our kids fought hard and we had to play pretty much perfect D to play with these guys and I thought we did for about three quarters,” Tanglis said. “We were scrappy, but they are a good team inside and outside. Eventually we went in a drought and couldn’t get anything going offensively, had a couple of turnovers. A good team like that it can get out of hand pretty quick.”

The visitors hit three 3-pointers in the first few minutes, but Danvers tightened up and only allowed two the rest of the game. Sophomore Wabissa Bede paced North Andover with 12 points, followed by junior Brett Daley with nine.

Aside from Harris, Danvers had two others reach double-figures in points with seniors Mark McCarthy and Kieran Beck finishing with 12 and 10 respectively.

Danvers will now face the winner of Salem/Belmont in the Division 2 North semi-finals.

After winning back-to-back state titles the past two years at the Division 3 level, the Falcons moved up to Division 2 this season and are having the same postseason success. Walsh attributes that to their conference – the Northeastern Conference as a major reason why.

“We’re in the Northeastern Conference and there are Divisions 1, 2, 3, 4. You prepare for this all the time,” Walsh said. “The Northeastern Conference is a war every night. In my opinion top to bottom it is the best league in the state this year so every night is a fight and it prepares you for this. Moving up, whoever they tell us to play we play and we go from there.”

The possibility of playing another NEC team in the semi-finals is something Walsh would certainly embrace.

“I would love it,” he said. “Not because I want to play Salem, but I have great respect for Tommy Doyle and this area. This area is awesome and it would just be great in my opinion.”
Two teams came crashing into our statewide MIAA boys' basketball Top 25 poll this week, after a couple of noteworthy wins from North Andover and Martha's Vineyard.

For this week's complete poll, click HERE.

A couple of notes from this week's rankings:

Scarlet fever: North Andover breaks into the poll this week, following its 68-65 win over No. 12 Central Catholic. First-year head coach Paul Tanglis has his team off to a 3-1 start, with a kickstart from sophomore guard Wabissa Bede.

Meanwhile, Central will have to refocus quickly with another impending date against MVC rival Andover, following the Golden Warriors' win in the teams' previous meeting.

Mighty Vineyard: Martha's Vineyard forged its way to No. 16, on the heels of an impressive 52-47 win at Eastern Athletic Conference rival Bishop Feehan, behind a game-high 18 points from Deshawn James.

With a win over their Division 2 counterparts, the Vineyarders' athletic lineup should be primed for another deep run in Div. 3.

Tanglis: 'Absolutely thrilled' to return to NA

May, 28, 2013
North Andover announced last Friday that they hired alum Paul Tanglis as the new head coach of the Scarlet Knights boys’ basketball team. Tanglis will succeed longtime North Andover coach Mike McVeigh, who led the team to 497 victories over the course of 31 years. Tanglis, a 2000 graduate of NA, was the head coach at Stoneham for the last three years following a three-year stint as associate head coach at Medford. He inherits a team coming off a 19-5 season and a Merrimack Valley Conference championship in its first year in the league.

Tanglis sat down for an interview with following his hire to discuss his hire, and the program's future.

Q: What was your initial reaction on getting the head job at your old high school?
A: "I got the call from the A.D., John Longley, and I was absolutely thrilled. As a coach, to come back where you grew up, where you played, and to have your coaching career come full circle back to where it all began for you is something special. It was a very proud moment and I was honored because there were a lot of good candidates. I’m thrilled with the opportunity."

Q: Have you had a chance to communicate at all with the players who will be coming back this year?
"I really don’t know too much, I’m just really excited to get to know all the kids and start building relationships with them. As far as who and what, that’s something that will come with getting to know these guys over the summer and seeing them play in the fall. I’m really looking forward to meeting them and getting started."

Q: You’re succeeding your own high school coach, Mike McVeigh. What does that mean to you?
"It’s a great honor. Obviously I played for coach, I had him in the classroom, I had a chance to coach with him for a year. To be able to continue the tradition at North Andover really means a lot to me. Coach has always been a big part of my basketball life."

Q: What are some short term and long term goals for the development of your program?
"Short-term, it’s just getting to know the kids, building relationships with them, and kind of getting the feel for what type of program we’re going to be. Long-term, we’re in a very competitive league, you want to stay competitive in the Merrimack Valley Large and obviously you want to put yourself in position to make the tournament and keep making runs in the tournament. North Andover as a whole has all those ingredients that you’d want to have a successful program. Obviously there’s been a lot of success in the past, I just want to continue that success and then take it to the next level."

Q: What are some of your defensive principles, and views on style of play?
"Defense has always been a big part of what we do, the success we had was pretty much predicated on the play we play defense. If we play defense, rebound, take care of the ball -- we’ll give ourselves a chance to win. I’m going to be looking to play an up-tempo style, but I’ll see what we have in terms of player personnel."

Q: The MVC was a buzzsaw this past year, how do you prepare for such challenging games every single night?
"Great teams from top to bottom. Night in and night out, as a coach, you need to make sure your team is prepared and as a program you have to realize that there are no nights off. The league will make us better and when we do get into the tournament, playing Central, Lawrence, Andover, and teams like that twice during the year is only going to help us get better and make a run in the playoffs."

North Andover taps Tanglis for boys hoop coach

May, 24, 2013
North Andover High Athletic Director Jon Longley announced this afternoon the hiring of Stoneham's Paul Tanglis as its new head boys basketball coach, replacing the recently-retired Mike McVeigh.

Tanglis has been the head coach at Stoneham High for the past three seasons. He guided the Spartans to the MIAA Division 3 North tournament the past two seasons, including a 10-10 campaign in 2012-13, while competing in the Middlesex League. He also served as associate head coach at Medford for three seasons prior to being hired in Stoneham.

Tanglis is a 2000 graduate of North Andover and a 2005 graduate of Framingham State University, where he captained the men's basketball team during his senior season. He has also coached at Plymouth State and North Andover High.

"The North Andover High School Boys Basketball program is one of the historic boys basketball programs in Massachusetts, having qualified for the state tournament every season tournament play has been in existence," Longley said in a statement. "Paul has proved himself to be a successful coach and a leader of young men. We are are extremely happy to have Paul as our coach and we look forward to continued success in boys basketball in the future"

There are some big shoes to fill on Osgood Street, where Tanglis will be replacing a legend in McVeigh. In 31 seasons on the NA bench, McVeigh compiled a 497-176 record and qualified for postseason every year.

This past season was a banner campaign for the Scarlet Knights. In their first year of membership in the Merrimack Valley Conference, the state's toughest league, NA grabbed a share of the Large division title with Central Catholic. They reached the Division 2 North Finals, where they lost to eventual state champion Brighton; it was the program's first appearance in a district final since 2007.

The season also saw some decorated individual accolades. Senior Chris Bardwell was named MVP of the MVC, and along with senior forward Isaiah Nelsen was named to ESPN Boston's All-State Team. McVeigh was also named ESPN Boston's Coach of the Year.