Braintree boys earn state gymnastics title
After a night of high-flying gymnastics thrills, the Braintree boys’ team can add 2010 to the decorated banner hanging on the gym wall.
Victories in all six events propelled the Wamps to 182.75 points and a first-place finish in the state championship meet at Braintree High. The win is their second in as many years. Burlington (158.25) and Andover (142.2) took second and third.
“I definitely saw the sparkle in their eye, they just really went out there to finish on a real high note,’’ coach Dick Seibert said. “They know that I preach all year long that we want to hit our peak at the end of the season, and I think we definitely did tonight.’’
The Wamps were led by senior captain Blake Ellis, the state champ in every event but the still rings, which he surrendered to Burlington’s Alex Foster (8.7). Ellis’s top performance was a 9.6 in the floor exercise, which matched the school record.
Ellis was named the top all-around athlete of the meet for the second consecutive year, with a score of 51.7. Teammates Ryan Hynes (46.1) and Tim Lebbossiere (43.9) rounded out the top three.
After the victory, Seibert told his team he is retiring after this season, leaving behind a storied 20-year career. The athletes were visibly shaken by the announcement.
“It was a surprise,’’ Ellis said. “It’s been an amazing four years. He’s a great guy, it’s an awesome time in the gym [with him as coach].’’
Seibert said he hopes his departure will not mark the end of Braintree’s winning ways.
“I want gymnastics not to end when I end [at Braintree],’’ he said. “I want it to keep going on. We’ve got a nice banner up there and I want to see that thing full one of these days.’’
Watertown 57, Belmont 53 - Junior Danny Kelley put in a layup with nine seconds left to lift the Red Raiders.
Bellingham 79, Westwood 46 - Alex Hewey led the Blackhawks with 28 points.
New Mission 69, Boston English 40 - Junior forward Samir McDaniels scored 19 points and had 11 rebounds to lift the Titans (17-1).
O’Bryant 75, Dorchester 69 - Freshman Wayne Sullivan had a game-high 36 points and added 10 rebounds as the Tigers (9-8) qualified for the state tournament.
Randolph 67, Pembroke 52 - Sophomore Rayshawn Frejeau (18 points) knocked down four of the Blue Devils’ 10 3-pointers.
Austin Prep 78, North Cambridge Catholic 54 - Matt VanLiere led the Cougars (7-12) with 15 points and 10 rebounds.
St. Mary’s 62, Bishop Fenwick 50 - Ronsanto Campbell led the Spartans with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Minuteman 40, Greater Lowell 36 - Senior center Keneisha Debnam led all scorers with 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Mustangs (13-6).
Canton 53, King Philip 46 - Senior Erica Bornemann scored a season-high 32 points and pulled in 20 rebounds for the Bulldogs (5-13).
Melrose 67, Wakefield 43 - Senior captain Hannah Brickley scored a game-high 24 points for the Red Raiders.
St. Mary’s 75, Bishop Fenwick 47 - Junior forward Tori Faieta scored a game-high 24 points, including the 1,000th of her career.
Brighton 67, Nazareth 30 - Deeqa Abdi and Shantal Solomon each scored 11 points in the win.
Saugus 4, Swampscott 1 - Sophomores Saige Tait (two goals) and Drew Oxley (two assists) led the Sachems.
Belmont Hill 6, Thayer 1 - Sophomore Devin Albert and senior captain John Caldwell led the Marauders (17-4-2) with two goals each.
Lexington 5, Melrose 2 - Ned Lehman scored two goals for the Minutemen.
Needham 3, Weymouth 2 - Jackie Condon scored the winner on a power play with two minutes remaining.