Boston High School: Robbie Mahoney

Cohasset boys, Hull girls win D4 South

March, 12, 2011
3/12/11
4:39
PM ET
BOSTON -- Cohasset boys’ basketball coach Bo Ruggiero didn’t mince words at halftime, with his team down 28-24 to Boston Cathedral.

“I said, ‘We’re not playing well. We’re shooting the ball poorly. Sam Richardson and Robert Jones, our two mainstays for three years, are playing terrible.’” relayed Ruggiero.

Those two players responded as Cohasset matched the thunder provided from the Skippers fans to storm back on the court, overcoming a six-point fourth quarter deficit to take a close contest, 65-64 to win the MIAA Division 4 Boys’ South Sectional Championship.

“This is a gutsy group of kids,” said Ruggiero. “My guys, who are supposed to be the players, became the players. We got a great effort from our five.”

It took some hot hands to spark the comeback, with guard Sam Richardson scoring 12 points on 6-of-7 shooting in the third quarter, keeping Cohasset (22-2) close.

Richardson gave way to the point guard Jones, who hit a perfect 5-for-5 field goals, including four 3-pointers as the trump card in the comeback Cohasset win. Those shooting performances were looked at a responsibility for Jones and Richardson.

“I didn’t really have an option with what I had to do,” said the senior co-captain Richardson. “I played lousy in the first half. I wanted to win.”

“We had some discussions at halftime and came out in the second half and ran a more disciplined offense, which ended up getting us more quality shots,” said Ruggiero. “When you take bad shots and throw the ball away like we were in the first half, they (score) quickly.”

Cathedral (20-4) demonstrated its athleticism from the start, punctuated by Kyle Lawyer’s dunk just a few minutes into the contest, part of his 17-point effort. Forward Joe Green led all scorers with 23 while 5-foot-3 point guard Carlos Bermudez (perhaps a generous height listing), pushed the tempo with 17 of his own, accenting six steals as a thorn in the Skippers’ side.

“You can’t press little shorty (Bermudez). He’s just way too good of a player,” said Ruggiero, who switched defenses from a trap, to man-to-man and back to his base 1-2-2. “Our mixing and matching of the defenses kept the game in reach.”

Adding to the early adversity was Kyrel Jaundoo’s four first half fouls. He brought down ten first half rebounds and was a defensive standout for Cohasset. Rather than curtail his high-energy game, Jaundoo kept the pace high as Ruggiero rolled the dice by starting him in the second half.

“We’re not in that game without Kyrel Jaundoo,” said Ruggiero. “There was no way we were going to win that game without his presence. He’s a tremendous athlete. He’s come a long way. He is a major reason why we were even around early in that game.”
Jaundoo never did foul out, as he and junior Robbie Mahoney muscled their way to double-double performances.

The exclamation point came as Jones nailed a three-pointer while falling down, boosting the Cohasset lead to 63-59 with 15 seconds to go, a shot he didn’t realize found the twine.

“I thought I bricked it,” he said. “I fell down and tried to sell the foul. Sometimes they fall I guess. (That was) all luck.”

Bermudez spotted-up for a three at the top of the arch to close the gap to 63-62. Richardson was intentionally fouled, hitting both shots to increase the lead back to three points. With fouls to give, Cohasset took the clock down to 4.3 seconds. Bermudez heaved a three in pressure, which failed to catch iron. Green put the chance home, but Cathedral came up one point short.

Now, Cohasset will try its hand at a state title at the T.D. Garden, a place Ruggiero hasn’t coached in since the 1974-75 season, as a member of the Medfield coaching staff.

“Everything that’s in the past is in the past,” said the coach. “The present is right now, enjoying this game. The future is Tuesday.”
Asked what the present felt like for Richardson as he clutched the trophy after the game, he went through the spectrum of emotion.

“I’m jittery. I’m everything. I’m pumped,” he said. “No one ever thought we be here. Proving (we could get here) is one thing and actually (winning it) is another. It’s awesome.”

HULL 50, GREATER NEW BEDFORD 38

Jumping out to a 13-2 to run, Hull’s early start foreshadowed the team’s later jumps for joy, winning the MIAA Division 4 Girls’ Basketball South Sectional Championship over Greater New Bedford, 50-38.

The Pirates (15-10) received balanced scoring and rebounding, dominating in the paint throughout. Nicole Heavern and Amy McDonald each netted 13 points, with Lauren Geary’s 12 not far behind.

Hull’s early run opened up a 13-2 advantage, but the Lady Bears (15-7) chipped away, thorough transition offense and Vanessa Conceicao’s drives to the hoop, leading all scorers with 16 points. But the Greater New Bedford offensive never got too comfortable, as the Pirates opened in a full court press and never allowed much room to breathe.

“We’re an in your face defense,” said Hull coach Elizabeth Londergan. “We’re going to be in your face all game. So, get ready for it. Defense wins championships. Now we’re the champs.”

The Pirates led 27-16 at the half, but received more good news when Lady Bears’ forward Stephanie Antoine fouled out in the third quarter. Without one of its best defenders and toughest interior players, Hull swept the offensive boards clean, out-rebounding the Lady Bears, 48-29, led by Katie Manning’s 12 rebounds.

Entering the fourth quarter down 40-27, Hull needed just two field goals (part of 10 points in the quarter) to keep Greater New Bedford at bay.

The win was a triumph in more ways than one for Hull, which opened the school year with no budget for the team, getting the necessary $240,000 by holding yard sales, bake sales, anything to raise the money.

“It’s really good for the town of Hull because the last two years we’ve had no budget,” said Londergan. “We’re thanking the boosters, the AD and all the parents who continue to work hard so these girls can have a chance. Without them, we wouldn’t even be here. We’d be not playing.”

Now, they’ll continue playing in hopes of a state championship. The game plan will be the same for that game as it has been for every other contest throughout the season. In the Pirates’ locker room, a “Little Things” poster is on display, with items written on it from members of the team. The poster includes little things like diving on the floor and making free throws. Londergan said if the team followed the poster, they’d be playing in the T.D. Garden.

“I don’t think they believed me,” she said with a smile.

Rockland survives battle of SSL unbeatens

October, 16, 2010
10/16/10
2:17
AM ET


COHASSET, Mass. – Mike Driscoll was strewn out across the field with the crown of his helmet touching the goal line, his facemask planted into the turf. It was as though the air had slowly been let out of a balloon.

It was only the second quarter, but with Friday night’s South Shore League duel of unbeatens between Driscoll’s Rockland Bulldogs and the Cohasset Skippers shaping up to be a low-scoring struggle, he knew failing to get in on the two-point play could be costly.

“I was hoping it wasn’t going to come down to that. Thankfully, our kicker, Ricky Witt, put that kick through.”

Down 8-6 at halftime, after Driscoll fell an inch short of tying the game in the second quarter, the Bulldogs emerged from the locker room refocused and intent on taking it to the Skippers. Rockland embarked on an Odyssean 15-play drive that spanned nearly eight minutes of the third quarter, led by the bruising runs and blocks of Driscoll.

The result of that drive — a 20-yard field goal by Ricky Witt — coupled with Driscoll’s 117 yards on 23 carries and the persistence of Rockland’s defensive front would make the difference in the Bulldogs’ 9-8 win to remain undefeated at 6-0 and 3-0 in the South Shore.

“I have to give the kids a lot of credit for overcoming a lot of early mistakes in the first half,” Rockland head coach Ken Owen said. “We were only down two points at halftime and I think we felt fortunate to be in that situation the way we played early.

“We kept telling our kicker Ricky Witt that [he was] going to have to win a game for us, whether it be in overtime, It happened to be earlier in the game here, but I credit him for putting the ball through the uprights on a windy night.”

The Bulldogs had great field position to start the game, after Cohasset (5-1, 2-1) fumbled on the opening kickoff. Rockland’s offense took over at the Skippers’ 23-yard line. The Bulldogs were poised to score before Cohasset defensive lineman Kyrel Jaundoo scooped up a fumble by Bulldogs running back Tim Fitzgerald (13 carries, 53 yards) at the Skippers’ 3-yard line and returned it 61 yards to set up his team with good field position.

Three plays later, Thomas Flibotte (18 carries, 91 yards) hit paydirt on a 3-yard run. The following two-point try was successful with quarterback Jeff Cavanaro (8 of 14, 75 yards) hitting Robbie Mahoney in the end zone.

Rockland continued to be their worst enemy on the ensuing drive when Driscoll fumbled the ball into the hands of junior linebacker Sean McKenna.

However, the ensuing Cohasset drive stalled when the defensive struggle between the two teams began in earnest. Three times the Skippers were stopped with a yard-to-go and Rockland regained the ball via a turnover on downs.

The teams traded punts before Rockland gained its first legitimate offensive traction of the game. Driscoll capped a 17-play, 78-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run. But his two-point conversion run fell short.

“We killed ourselves in the first half, we killed ourselves with two fumbles, both me and Timmy [Fitzgerald],” Driscoll said. “We messed up, but you can’t do anything about those. But, as we say, halftime is not our enemy, so we just came out in the second half and mowed them.”

It was then the Bulldogs made their game-changing charge with Witt’s kick proving the difference.

Then, it was just a matter of not giving the Skippers anything back.

“Our defensive interior and, in particular, Steven Copeland, they just had a great, great second half,” Owen said. “Of course, Brian Harrington plays well at defensive end, he had some nice stops on them, too. We were able to put a little bit of pressure on the quarterback and on the bootleg in the second half and I think that helped us in our pass coverage.”

Having survived another week unscathed, Rockland has the pleasure of looking forward to yet another matchup next week with an undefeated team atop of the South Shore standings — Abington.

“We knew it was going to come down to Abington and one of us,” Driscoll said. “Now, next week, we have the two of us.”

Rockland 0 6 3 0 -- 9
Cohasset 8 0 0 0 -- 8

1st quarter
Cohasset Thomas Flibotte 3-yard run (Robbie Mahoney pass from Jeff Cavanaro)

2nd quarter
Rockland Mike Driscoll 6-yard run (rush failed)

3rd quarter
Rockland Ricky Witt 20-yard field goal

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