New Mission senior guard Jazsala Laracuente became the third Titan in as many days to eclipse the 1,000-point mark as she scored a game-high 15 points Friday to lead her team to a 43-36 win over City League rival Fenway in the Division 4 North sectional final at Emmanuel College.
“It means a lot to me,” Laracuente said. “I’m so glad I got to score my 1,000th point and I got to do it here and I’m glad I’m going to the Garden now, because that’s all that counts.”
Senior forward De’Andra Humphries, who finished with 14 points Friday, scored her 1,000th in Wednesday’s semifinal and Fred Rivers, a senior forward on New Mission’s boys’ team, reached the milestone Thursday.
“When I first got the 1,000, we were like, Jazz is next, and we couldn’t wait until she got hers,” Humphries said. “When I heard that she was one point away everything was like, ‘get her the ball, get her the ball.’”
Laracuente kicked off the title game with a jumper to put New Mission on the board first, but Fenway sophomore guard Takora McIntyre responded with a 3-pointer.
After a back-and-forth first quarter, Fenway led, 9-8.
The second quarter was another tight battle, but New Mission came out on top and took an 18-14 lead at halftime.
“We knew Fenway’s a fast-paced team and that they really wanted to run the floor and they transition really well,” Titans coach Brianna Forde said. “So we knew defensively it was really, really key to get back on defense and make sure we helped each other.”
Fenway cut New Mission’s lead to 1 early in the third quarter, but constant pressure from Humphries, Laracuente, and sophomore center Denia Stewart allowed the Titans to maintain the slim advantage.
New Mission closed the quarter with consecutive 3-pointers from Laracuente and Humphries to take a 33-26 lead into the final eight minutes.
With 5:20 to play, Laracuente made the milestone layup to extend New Mission’s lead to 9. The Titans defense continued to frustrate Fenway’s shooters until the final buzzer and New Mission held on to capture the sectional title.
McIntyre finished with 15 points and sophomore guard Jaqualah Holliman chipped in 11 for the Panthers.
New Mission will play Greater New Bedford Monday at TD Garden in the state semifinals. The winner will advance to the Division 4 state championship.
“All we gotta do is work on our defense,” Laracuente said. “Defense wins everything. Defense wins games. We’ll work on our defense and our offense will just come to us. We play defense, we’ll be set.”
Eric Russo and I break down Springfield Cathedral and Austin Prep's series victories over Duxbury and Central Catholic. See the video above.
LOWELL — Austin Prep made it four-for-four in the Super 8 for opening round sweeps after eliminating Central Catholic, 3-1, at the Tsongas Center on Thursday night.
Austin Prep will return to the semifinal round of the Division 1A tournament for the second straight year.
Central Catholic's Alex Lester scored the game’s first goal at 7:59 of the first period, banging home a pass from Lloyd Hayes on the left side of a wide open net for a 1-0 Raiders’ lead.
Corey Webber was masterful in setting up the play, stealing the puck from Austin Prep in the neutral zone before patiently working it to the left faceoff circle where he turned and found Hayes coming through the slot.
While Central Catholic seemed to own the first period, Austin Prep owned the second, finding the back of the net twice to take a 2-1 advantage going into the final period of play.
Jake McKenelley fired home his second goal of the series from the left point off a pass from Bobo Carpenter, squaring things up at 6:58 of the frame and Eric MacAdams cleaned up on the doorstep to provide Austin Prep with a lead with less than five minutes to play.
J.J. Layton’s power play goal at 7:10 of the third period gave Austin Prep the breathing room it needed to close the game out.
AP: 0 2 2 – 4
CC: 1 0 0 - 1
Scoring: CC Alex Lester (Lloyd Hayes, Corey Webber) 7:59; AP Jake McKenelley (Robert Carpenter, Mike Eagan) 6:58; AP Eric MacAdams (Cam Russo, Mike Disciullo) 10:25; AP JJ Layton (MacAdams, Carpenter) (pp) 7:10; AP MacAdams (Andrew Cross) 13:22.
Saves: AP Elijah Harris 19; CC Colin Soucy 23.
LOWELL – All season long Springfield Cathedral has depended on its star-power. Boasting four 40-point scorers, the Panthers entered the Super 8 with the tournament’s most potent offense.
Cathedral lit up the scoreboard once again Thursday night in a 6-3 victory over Duxbury to win the opening round series, 2-0, and advance to the semifinals for the first time in school history. The Panthers will play Malden Catholic on Wednesday night.
Sophomore Johnny Leonard, junior DJ Petruzzelli, and junior Peter Crinella, the team’s top three scorers during the regular season, combined for 10 points (four goals, six assists) in the victory.
“Any way you mix up our top six forwards we’re going to have two lines that score,” said Cathedral coach Brian Foley. “It’s the best offense we’ve had in many years. When they’re on, they’re tough to keep down.”
Cathedral opened up a 5-0 lead after two periods, making Duxbury’s three-goal third period too little, too late. Three of Cathedral’s goals came via the power play.
“It was huge [to get out to the lead],” said Crinella, who had a goal and two assists. “They were desperate and that’s the hardest team to beat. We just tried to crush their spirits early and keep it rolling.”
Leonard (two goals, two assists) did just that when he opened the scoring only 2:16 into the contest with a goal from the right faceoff dot. Crinella made it 2-0 with a power play goal off a faceoff to the left of Duxbury goalie Tucker Kelly at 11:33.
Cathedral (17-2-5) scored three times in the second on goals from Leonard and freshmen Riley Prattson and Dan Petrick (two points).
Duxbury (16-4-3) showed signs of life in the third period when Tyler Powers and Matt Saia each scored in the opening five minutes of the frame to make it 5-2.
Crinella quieted the Dragons rally with an insurance tally at 9:23 that extended the Cathedral lead to 6-2.
“Our guys didn’t quit. Our guys took us on a great ride,” said Duxbury coach John Blake. “I’m proud of our guys, proud of the way they played that third period and finished off the year the way it should be finished.”
Cathedral will quickly turn its attention to next Wednesday night’s semifinals matchup with Malden Catholic. The Lancers eliminated Cathedral in the opening round of the Super 8 last year.
“That crushed us last year,” said Crinella. “[MC’s] a great team. Come playoff time, there’s no harder team to beat. They’re gonna bring it to us next Wednesday and hopefully we give it back to them.”
With just minutes to play in Thursday night's Division 2 North semifinal between New Mission and Lynn Classical, Titans senior forward Fred Rivers cracked a smile as teammate Shaquan Murray passed him the ball. Rivers collected the pass, stepped behind the arc and drilled a 3-pointer to notch the 1,000th point of his career.
Rivers finished with a game-high 24 points— the exact number he needed to reach the milestone— to lead New Mission to a 70-32 win.
“We just wanted to get out here and show everybody we could run with Classical,” Rivers said. “Everybody was saying we were going to lose so we just wanted to get out here and actually play our hardest.”
Behind 5 points from senior forward Asante Sandiford and stifling team defense, New Mission opened the first quarter on a 12-0 run.
Senior guard Kordell Harris applied constant pressure to Lynn Classical's point guards and Rivers and Sandiford shut down the paint. The Rams were forced to take unfavorable perimeter shots and were kept off the scoreboard until junior Peter Mafo sank two free throws with 3:25 left to play in the first quarter.
“The whole game is just about the point guard,” Harris said. “You shut the point guard down, you shut the whole offense down. Coach always told me before the game my job is to shut down the point guard. Shut down the point guard and shoot 3s, that’s all I do.”
Harris’s only bucket of the game was a 3-pointer in the first quarter, but his defensive presence was key for the Titans as starting sophomore point guard Tyrique Lee was out of the lineup with an injury.
“I feel like I stepped up,” Harris said. “I mean, everybody believes in each other on the team. When a player’s out we need to depend on another player to come in and give as much intensity. I came in, all I was thinking about was him being hurt and this game being for him.”
New Mission's offense never slowed down and the Titans led, 33-11, at halftime.
The Titans extended their lead in the third quarter and carried a 29-point advantage into the final frame. After Rivers sank his milestone 3-pointer to put New Mission on top, 55-22, coach Cory McCarthy emptied his bench and gave his younger players some quality minutes.
Freshmen guards Charles Mitchell and Alex Delarosa each sank a 3-pointer as New Mission closed out the victory.
“They’re still a good team,” McCarthy said of Lynn Classical. “They had a bad night, we had a better night. They’re well-coached … We just came to play and they really didn’t, but at the same time, you know what, we delivered.”
In addition to Rivers’s 24, Murray, a senior guard who recorded his 1,000th point earlier this season, finished with 14 points. Sandiford, who is just 21 points away from the mark, finished with 12.
“This was amazing, but this wasn’t shocking at all,” Murray said. “We kinda knew what the game plan was before coming into this game. We thought it was going to be a tough game to begin with but we kinda stepped on their necks in the beginning and really upped the tempo and really just changed the game defensively.”
The Titans will play Danvers Saturday at UMass Lowell's Tsongas Center at 3:45 p.m. for the Division 2 North crown.
“We gotta keep playing, we gotta keep rolling,” Murray said. “We gotta keep having confidence in each other. We gotta keep playing hard.”
Get live updates of Super 8 games right here with Globe correspondents Eric Russo and Craig Forde providing insight and commentary for Thursday night's doubleheader.
Andrew MacDougall and I break down Malden Catholic and BC High's first round victories in the Super 8 tournament. Watch above.
LOWELL – Malden Catholic took one step closer on its path to a fourth straight Super 8 title on Wednesday night.
The Lancers defeated Catholic Memorial, 6-4, at Tsongas Center to win their opening round series, 2-0, and advance to the semifinals.
Seniors Brian Cameron and Tyler Sifferlen each scored twice for Malden Catholic, which overcame a 4-2 second-period deficit to score four straight goals. Sifferlen potted the winner with 1.8 seconds remaining in the second.
“It was a tough two games. [Catholic Memorial] never quit,” said MC coach John McClean. “It was a battle to the end. I’m proud of the kids, we accomplished what we wanted to accomplish and we look forward to playing our next game.”
After Catholic Memorial (10-9-4) took a 4-2 lead at 5:33 of the second period, McClean pulled freshman goalie Kyle Casey in favor of junior Alex Reissis. Malden Catholic (18-4-0) began their comeback following the change.
“It may have [sparked the team],” said McClean of the switch. “But I tell the players, you have to get through five guys to get a shot on net. I don’t blame the goalies.”
Cameron scored on a laser of a shot from the left circle to cut the CM lead to 4-3 at 11:01. Just over two minutes later, MC tied it at 4 courtesy of a highlight-reel shorthanded goal from Northeastern commit Matt Filipe.
Filipe (goal, two assists) dangled through two CM players and beat Knights goalie Brandon Collett (34 saves).
“Personally, I thought I was a little lucky,” Filipe said. “It was just hard work. I kind of just threw it on net and it went in.”
Malden Catholic took the lead on Sifferlen’s goal in the waning seconds of the second period. Senior Nick Rolli blasted a shot from the point and the rebound popped out to Sifferlen who fired it past Collett to put MC ahead, 5-4.
Malden Catholic added an insurance goal at 3:18 of the third on Cameron’s second of the game.
Catholic Memorial (10-9-4) - 2 - 2 - 0 – 4
Malden Catholic (18-4-0) - 2 - 3 - 1 – 6
Scoring: CM, Zach Sullivan (Aaron Clancy, Gunnar McKenzie) 2:44 (pp); MC, Tyler Sifferlen (Jake Witkowski, Ara Nazarian) 6:35; MC, John McClean (Nazarian, Sifferlen) 8:05 (pp); CM, Sullivan (Clancy, Tim Weinstein) 11:11 (pp). CM, Weinstein (unassisted) 2:26; CM, Anthony Pannagio (Weinstein) 5:33; MC, Brian Cameron (Matt Filipe, Will Lawrence) 11:01; MC, Filipe (unassisted) 13:10 (sh); MC, Sifferlen (Nick Rolli, Nazarian) 14:58; MC, Cameron (Filipe) 3:18.
Saves: CM, Brandon Collett 34; MC, Kyle Casey 5, Alex Reissis 7.
With her team trailing, 10-3, in the first quarter of Wednesday's Division 4 North semifinal, New Mission senior guard De'Andra Humphries hit a jump shot that not only marked her 1,000th career point, but kicked off an offensive surge for the Titans.
Humphries finished with a game-high 23 points to lead New Mission to a 61-50 win over Pope John, setting up a City League showdown with Fenway in Friday's Division 4 North championship.
“DeeDee’s a great athlete and fortunately for our spectators they’re able to see how she can really produce on the floor. But another part of DeeDee is that she’s a great student as well,” New Mission coach Brianna Forde said. “Her leadership on the team is very, very crucial on the floor as well as off the floor. We count on her of course to initiate a lot of our offense, but she’s a great teammate also because she’s not afraid to step back and let her teammates produce.”
Pope John senior forward Amanda Reis kicked off the scoring with a 3-pointer and sophomore guard Gianni Hill followed with a layup, but freshman guard Taneja Drayton drilled a deep 3 to put New Mission on the board.
The Tigers took a 7-point lead with less than 3 minutes to go in the first quarter, but after Humphries's milestone bucket, the Titans took over.
“It was awesome but I wasnt really thinking about the 1,000 points coming in, I was thinking about the win,” Humphries said.
Humphries sparked New Mission’s offense and the Titans carried the momentum into the second quarter. Humphries nailed a step-back 3-pointer after an ankle-breaking move that sent her defender to the floor. She then made a layup to give New Mission a 12-11 lead.
The two teams traded buckets but the Titans buckled down and closed out the quarter on a 9-0 run, taking a 25-20 lead at halftime.
“I think in the beginning it was more nerves,” Humphries said. “Once we calmed down a little bit we found out what they were really doing. I found out that more of the attention was going to be on me, that got more of my teammates open. With getting my teammates open I was able to create driving lanes for myself and others.”
New Mission never relinquished the lead in the second half. Every time Pope John threatened to stage a comeback, Humphries took control of the offense and helped the Titans seal the victory.
“When people are down, you've always got to have someone your teammates look up to and I’m someone that the team looks up to,” Humphries said. “If I’m up, they’re gonna come up, so they follow my lead and that’s how we got this big lead.”
In addition to Humphries’s 23, senior guard Jazsala Laracuente finished with 15 points for New Mission and sophomore guard Maia Daugherty chipped in 7. Junior forward Jade Moore led Pope John with 19 points.
The Division 4 North title game between New Mission and Fenway is scheduled for Friday at Emmanuel College at 6 p.m.
Although both teams are part of the Boston City League, the two did not meet during the regular season.
“We can’t wait,” Humphries said. “They can’t wait either. I’ll just say I can’t wait until Friday and I hope everyone comes because it’s gonna be a good game.”
By Joseph Saade, Globe Correspondent
Jane Heil announced Wednesday afternoon that after 33 seasons with the program, she was stepping down as varsity girls' basketball coach at Peabody High.
"It's with some sense of regret, but mostly joy," said a somber Heil, who was surrounded by family, friends, staff, and her players in a press conference at the school. You just know...you'll know when it's time."
Heil, 66, admitted that while she pondered the idea of retirement back in the summer, she did not made her final decision until about a week ago before her final home game, the 700th of career, against Reading in the first round of the Division 1 North tournament. Peabody finished 16-6 overall, losing to Central Catholic, 59-41, in the North quarterfinals.
"Half of my life has been given to this program," she added. "What this program has given to me, I couldn't tell you or put it into words or a sentence.
"My life has been made better and richer because of this program."
Peabody High principal Eric Buckley(cq) recalled when Heil handed him her retirement letter last week.
"She came up to me and told me, 'Honest to God, I just wrote this last night, and I didn't think it would be this hard'," Buckley said.
The legacy Heil leaves behind is unmatched.
Her journey started during the 1977-78 season before she briefly retiring after the 1994-95 season. She came back four years later during the 1999-00 campaign.
In 33 seasons, Heil compiled a 528-173 record. The Tanners made 27 appearances in the D1 tournament, captured 17 Greater Boston League titles, one Northeastern Conference title, two D1 North titles, and one state title.
She was inducted into Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame on Nov. 23, 2013.
"It's not about the records," Heil said. "Winning is what you're there for, but it's about the friendships that you make."
"I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for my players," she continued. " I don't think anybody can love this program more than me. I am about the happiest person on the planet right now."
LOWELL – BC High became the first team to punch its ticket to the Super 8 semifinals Wednesday evening as the top-seeded Eagles dispatched eighth-seeded Xaverian by a 4-0 score Wednesday night at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.
After 10 minutes of coast-to-coast action, BC High (16-2-4) jumped out in front as Connor Noonan notched his fifth tally of the year at 10:20. The junior forward from Milton gathered a loose puck in the slot, skated wide of the net, and beat Xaverian goaltender Aidan Murphy (23 saves) high, glove-side as the Eagles took a 1-0 lead.
BC High then tacked on two goals in the span of 42 seconds before skating into the first break with a 3-0 lead. On the power play at 12:58 of the first, junior Jake Lemanski took a cross-crease feed from senior captain Steve DeForge and deposited it in the back of the net to double-up the Eagle lead.
Less than a minute later, an aggressive BC High forecheck resulted in another goal as Aidan Foley collected a turnover in front of Murphy and snuck it five-hole for his fifth of the season.
BC High continued its scoring prowess early in the second. Murphy saved a shot from Lemanski at the left point, but the rebound fell to Topham in the slot and the senior tucked it inside the right post for a 4-0 lead.
Xaverian (12-5-6) tallied the game’s ensuing eight shots, but sophomore goaltender Brandon Payzant (28 saves) was up to the task.
BC High will host the lowest-remaining seed in the Super 8 following the completion of the first round. The Div. 1A semifinals will be held next Wednesday at the Tsongas Center. Times for the two semifinal games have yet to be announced.
Xaverian (12-5-6) – 0 0 0
BC High (16-2-4) – 3 1 0
B – Connor Noonan (unassisted), 10:20
B – Jake Lemanski (Steve DeForge, Sam Topham), PP, 12:58
B – Aidan Foley (Connor Noonan), 13:40
B – Sam Topham (Aidan Foley, Patrick Riley), 2:08
Saves: BC High's Brandon Payzant (28); Xaverian's Aidan Murphy (23).
Catholic Memorial led Mansfield by 3 points with 6.5 seconds left in regulation, with junior guard Aamahne Santos heading to the line as dozens of spectators in the packed UMass-Boston gymnasium headed for the exits.
Little did they know the MIAA Division 1 South semifinal would last three overtimes before CM would survive with a 96-90 win over the defending Eastern Mass. champs Tuesday.
Santos (21 points) missed the front end of the 1-and-1 with the score 64-61, allowing Mansfield senior guard Rocky DeAndrade (30 points) to push the ball up the floor and find junior forward Ryan Boulter in the left corner for a 3-pointer. The game headed into overtime.
The Knights and Hornets battled throughout the extra four minutes. Michael Boen (19 points) helped keep Mansfield neck and neck with CM and at the end of the period, Santos’s 35-foot prayer rimming out and the crazed stands erupting. The game was deadlocked at 75 entering the second overtime.
CM started the second OT strong, racing to an 80-75 lead. The Knights led, 83-79, with 1:36 left following a Santos 3-pointer. But, again, Mansfield countered.
With 15.9 seconds left, Mansfield called time, drew up a play and Boulter (19 points) drove baseline from the right corner and dropped home a runner. The contest entered the third overtime tied at 85.
At long last, the Knights pulled ahead, thanks in part senior guard Guilien Smith’s 7 points in the final four minutes. CM’s depth and conditioning, which coach Dennis Tobin praised all season long, proved to be the difference.
“Best high school game I’ve ever been associated with,” Tobin said. “It was two great teams, neither on giving an up an inch. I’m speechless.”
Smith finished with a game-high 32 points, scoring in all four quarters and each overtime period. Sophomore guard Brandon Twitty added 24 points off the bench.
“We have a deep team, we go 10 deep, so we can just keep running, keep bringing in new bodies to replace tired ones,” Smith said. “The atmosphere got me excited. We were just going to keep going.”
Catholic Memorial will meet North Quincy in the sectional championship Saturday at UMass-Boston.
With the game tied at 46 and 14 seconds remaining, North Quincy junior guard Jackie Chen emerged from a scrum under Newton North’s basket with a rebound and drew a foul. Chen’s two clutch free throws gave the Red Raiders their first lead of the night as they rallied from a 9-point fourth-quarter deficit Tuesday to win their MIAA Division 1 South semifinal, 50-46, at UMass-Boston.
North Quincy trailed Newton North by 9 points heading into the fourth quarter, but the Red Raiders outscored the Tigers, 18-5, in the game’s final eight minutes.
“The way we defended, we pressured the basketball on the perimeter and sometimes all the way out by the hash mark,” North Quincy coach Kevin Barrett said. “It was difficult for them to put the ball on the floor, let alone get into their offense.”
Newton North set the tone early, with juniors Sam Jefferson (22 points) and Tommy Mobley (13 points) drilling back-to-back 3-pointers to give the Tigers a 6-0 lead. Jefferson was sensational from beyond the arc all night, finishing with six 3-pointers.
But while Jefferson was virtually unstoppable from outside, senior forward Efthim Butka put on a show of his own for North Quincy, scoring 16 points, 11 coming in the first half, to keep the Red Raiders in the game.
“They started off the game hot, but I was feeling it, too,” Butka said. “But I have to praise everyone that played that game. We all battled.”
Seniors Kyle Richardson and Anthony Green helped North Quincy advance to the sectional title game Saturday at UMass-Boston. Richardson finished with 13 points, while Green added 10 points, 12 rebounds, and 7 blocks.
Trailing, 41-32, entering the fourth quarter, North Quincy raised its defensive intensity. The Red Raiders shut off the paint, forcing Newton North to settle for contested 3-pointers. As a result, North Quincy held the Tigers to just those 5 fourth-quarter points.
“Our defense was the key,” Barrett said. “It triggered some easy baskets and dug us out of a big hole.”
With Newton North struggling to score, the Red Raiders took advantage. That’s when Chen came off the bench and scored all 7 of his points in the fourth quarter, including the two winning free throws.
“Words can’t explain it,” Chen said of the pressure he felt at the line. “It was for the seniors. No regrets, like coach said. It feels amazing.”
New Mission senior forward Asante Sandiford opened Tuesday’s Division 2 North quarterfinal matchup with Tewksbury with a layup, but senior guard Kevin Dick answered with a 3-pointer to give the Redmen an early 3-2 lead.
But it would be Tewksbury’s only lead of the night as New Mission cruised to a 66-53 win at the Reggie Lewis Center and secured a spot in the semifinals.
“We were happy with the outcome,” New Mission coach Cory McCarthy said. “It’s the state tournament, every game’s gonna be close. I know we’ve been wanting to bomb on teams but it’s not gonna happen. We’re human.”
Senior guard Shaquan Murray and senior forward Fred Rivers each scored 14 points to lead the Titans. Junior guard Randy Glenn chipped in 10 and junior guard Tyrique Lee added 8.
In total, nine Titans made their way onto the scoresheet. Rivers said his team’s chemistry led to the all-around team effort.
“We’re always together so we know where each other likes the ball at,” Rivers said. “That probably played a huge part in why everybody was scoring today.”
New Mission jumped out to a 10-3 advantage early in the first quarter, but the Redmen closed in on the lead and trailed by just 2 at the end of the frame.
Tewksbury sophomore guard Nathan Tenaglia drew a foul and sank two free throws to tie the game at 13 to start the second quarter, but strong defense from Glenn, Murray and Lee allowed the Titans to take a 27-21 lead at halftime.
“We were able to put good pressure on the ball but it wasn’t our typical style,” McCarthy said. “We had to adjust to their style. We went small for a little bit because they had a lot of guards.”
Murray opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer and New Mission’s offense began to fire on all cylinders. Back-to-back treys later in the frame from freshman guard Charles Mitchell and Rivers put the Titans on top, 44-31.
“It was a team effort,” Murray said. “I’m glad to see our young boys stepping up and playing with confidence. That’s where we were at before we became seniors so that’s something to be happy about.”
Sandiford added that the Tewksbury defense allowed for everyone on the floor for the Titans to find opportunities to score.
“They were playing a zone and they were spreading us out so everybody got the opportunity,” Sandiford said. “Once we got it inside and started to finish, then the guards got to start shooting 3s and get points as well.”
The Redmen scored consecutive layups to cut into New Mission’s lead at the end of the third quarter, but a solid defensive effort from Sandiford on the final possession of the frame kept Tewksbury from scoring again.
Despite playing great defense and finishing with 5 points, Sandiford said he felt he could have played better.
“I feel I did OK,” he said. “I missed a couple easy layups but I still had my team involved so I feel I did pretty good. I got a lot of rebounds and did good on defense, I feel.”
New Mission sealed the victory in the fourth quarter as the Titans extended their lead to 16 with just minutes to play.
The Titans will take on Lynn Classical Thursday in the Division 2 North semifinals. The Rams posted a 13-4 record this season and are coming off of a 55-41 win over Woburn in the quarterfinals.
The winner of Thursday’s matchup will earn a spot in the Division final.
“We gotta win,” Murray said. “We came too far to lose. We gotta win.”
Haverhill has named Andy Van Horn as the boys' lacrosse head coach, according to athletics director Tom O'Brien in a press release Tuesday.
With more than 10 years of coaching experience at North Andover, Van Horn spearheaded the junior varsity and freshman lacrosse programs and he was the assistant coach for both lacrosse and football. Van Horn has had an impact on numerous sports for the Golden Knights, according to O'Brien, developing and coordinating a comprehensive strength and conditioning program for 12 different sports.
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Dan McCarthy and Andrew MacDougall recap the first games of the Super 8 tournament at TD Garden Sunday.
Junior Tim Larocque chipped in a pair of second period goals and goaltender Brandon Payzant finished with 18 saves as top-seeded BC High skated to a 2-1 decision over eighth-seeded Xaverian in the opening game of their Super 8 first round series Sunday night at TD Garden.
Xaverian (12-4-6) was first to get on the board at 1:09 of the opening period. Senior Tony Marini found a loose puck just outside the crease and chipped it beneath a sprawling Payzant as the Hawks took the early 1-0 lead.
BC High (15-2-4) had an answer early in the middle frame as Larocque scored his first of the night 1:29 into the second period. The junior from Middleboro raced around his defenseman and breezed by Murphy before sneaking the puck in on his backhand to tie the game at one.
Ten minutes later it was Larocque again coming up big for the Eagles. The puck emerged from a scrum at the right post and found the junior at the far post. Larocque chipped it in to the unmanned cage as BC High entered the second intermission with a 2-1 advantage.
BC High was outshot 9-3 in the final frame and was forced to weather three penalties, including one with 2:13 left in regulation, but Payzant and the defense failed to allow the game-tying goal despite several great looks from Xaverian in the final minutes of action.
These two Catholic Conference rivals will continue their best-of-three series Wednesday night at Tsongas Arena in Lowell. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m.
Xaverian (12-3-6) – 1 0 0
BC High (15-2-4) – 0 2 0
X – Tony Marini (Jon Beniers, Tim Sweeney) 1:09
B – Tim Larocque (Billy Roche, Trevor Davis) 1:29
B – Tim Larocque (Justin Fein, Chris LaLiberte) 11:18
Saves: BC High – Brandon Payzant (18); Xaverian – Aidan Murphy (20)
Malden Catholic took Game 1 of it’s best-of-three first round Super 8 series with Catholic Memorial, 4-3. Senior forward Tyler Sifferlen scored the game-winner for MC at 12:52 of the third period on the power play.
Malden Catholic wasted little time getting on the board in the first period. Junior defenseman Will Lawrence crept in from the point and let go a wrister from the right circle that beat CM goalie Brandon Collett blocker-side to put the Lancers up, 1-0, at 4:32.
The Lancers carried the play for much of the opening period, but Collett kept Catholic Memorial in the game with a number of outstanding saves, including a point-blank, right pad stop on an Ara Nazarian breakaway attempt with four minutes remaining in the first.
CM tied the game just under two minutes later. Sophomore Paul Hardiman fired one from the slot, but MC goalie Alex Reissis made the stop. The rebound, though, popped out and banged off of Hardiman’s body and into the net.
CM came out flying in the second with a flurry of opportunities in the opening minutes. They capitalized at 3:11 of the period, taking a 2-1 lead on a goal from junior captain Aaron Clancy.
The lead was short-lived. Just 35 seconds later, Malden Catholic’s Matt Filipe tied the score at 2 with a tremendous individual effort. Filipe beat a defenseman wide, cut to the netmouth, and put it by Collett on a backhander.
Malden Catholic took a 3-2 lead at 9:03 of the second. Sifferlen, a UMass-Lowell commit, used his blazing speed to split a pair of CM defenseman. Sifferlen was hooked, drawing a delayed penalty, but the senior managed to get a shot off that just floated over Collett and into the back of the net.
With just 37 seconds to go in the second, Hardiman scored his second goal of the game for CM, tying the game at 3.
The teams will play Game 2 of the best-of-three quarterfinals series on Wednesday at 8 p.m. at Tsongas Center in Lowell.
Catholic Memorial (10-7-4) - 1 - 2 - 0 – 3
Malden Catholic (16-4-0) - 1 - 2 - 1 – 4
Scoring: MC, Will Lawrence (Ara Nazarian, Tyler Sifferlen) 4:32; CM, Paul Hardiman (Michael Stathopolous) 12:56; CM, Aaron Clancy (Zach Sullivan, Gunnar McKenzie) 3:11; MC, Matt Filipe (Nick Rolli, Austin Goldstein) 3:46; MC, Sifferlen (Nazarian) 9:03; CM, Hardiman (Anthony Pannagio, Stathopolous) 14:13; MC, Sifferlen (Goldstein, McLean) 12:52 (pp).
Saves: MC, Alex Reissis 21; CM, Brandon Collett 23.
Springfield Cathedral benefited from goals by brothers Zac and Riley Prattson while junior Peter Crinella added an insurance goal late in the third period as the Panthers skated to a 4-1 win over Duxbury in the first round of the Super 8 Tournament Sunday afternoon at TD Garden.
With the win, Cathedral now has a 1-0 lead over Duxbury in their best-of-three series.
Springfield Cathedral (16-2-3) controlled the pace of play through the first 15 minutes of action, outshooting Duxbury by an 11-6 margin in the first period.
Facing a penalty kill just 2:11 into regulation, Cathedral junior Zac Prattson carried the puck over the blue line and threw a shot on net from just above the right wing circle. The puck snuck through the pads of Dragon goaltender Tucker Kelly for Prattson’s eighth of the season and a 1-0 Cathedral lead.
Duxbury (16-3-3) earned the equalizer 48 seconds into the second when senior Matt Saia carried a turnover in from the blue line and beat freshman Keith Petruzzelli near-post to knot things at one.
After spending much of the first period in the Duxbury defensive end, the second period was a more even-keeled affair as both teams registered seven shots in the frame.
Cathedral reclaimed the lead with 1:24 left in the middle frame as Riley Prattson put home his 14th goal of the season. The freshman took a feed from sophomore Johnny Leonard and snapped a wrist shot high, glove-side past Kelly as the Panthers skated into second intermission with a 2-1 lead.
Crinella added to his Div. 1 lead in points with 2:09 left in regulation when he beat Kelly on a contested breakaway for a 3-1 Cathedral lead. The junior from East Longmeadown now has 29 goals and 27 assists for 56 total points.
Leonard added an empty net goal – his 27th of the season – with 1:18 remaining.
Springfield Cathedral and Duxbury will meet in the second game of their best-of-three series Thursday evening at Lowell’s Tsongas Arena. Puck drop is set for 6 p.m.
Duxbury (16-3-3) – 0 1 0
Springfield Cathedral (16-2-5) – 1 1 2
SC - Zac Prattson (Peter Crinella) SHG, 2:36
DX – Matt Saia (unassisted) 0:48
SC – Riley Prattson (Johnny Leonard) 13:36
SC – Peter Crinella (Matt Cieboter, Dan Petrick) 12:51
SC – Johnny Leonard (Dan Petrick, Riley Prattson) ENG 13:42
Duxbury - Tucker Kelly (25); Cathedral - Keith Petruzzelli (21).
Austin Prep flashed its teeth with an early tally that was backed by a stellar effort in net from goalie Elijah Harris who stopped 32 shots as the Cougars grinded out a 2-1 victory over Central Catholic in the opening game of the Super 8 tournament at TD Garden.
Austin Prep came out firing in the opening period, cashing in instantly as Bobo Carpenter sailed the Cougars first shot of the game past Colin Soucy (21 saves) just 0:35 seconds in.
Austin Prep moved the scoreboard again on their fourth shot as Jake McKenelley collected the puck in the slot, turned and fired it five-hole for a 2-0 advantage at the 2:51 mark of the first.
In the second period the Central Catholic clamped down on defense, allowing just four shots to reach Soucy, all of which were stopped. On the other end Harris kept Central at bay by stopping all nine shots he saw in the frame, allowing Austin Prep to enjoy its two-goal cushion heading into the final fifteen minutes of play.
Despite stalling on the offense end, Austin Prep’s penalty kill held strong, blanking the Raiders on their first four power play opportunities before allowing Central Catholic forward Christian Thompson to solve Harris with a minute to play.
Austin Prep, who lost to Malden Catholic in the finals of last year’s Super 8, will look to close out Central Catholic on Thursday night at Tsongas Arena.
Central 0 0 1 - 1
Austin Prep 2 0 0 - 2
SCORING: AP, Bobo Carpenter (Andrew Cross) 0:35; AP, Jake McKenelley (Mike Eagan) 2:51; CC, Christian Thompson (Richie Greenberg, Lloyd Hayes) (pp) 13:59.
SAVES: AP Elijah Harris 32; CC Colin Soucy 21
The Super 8 tournament kicks off on Sunday with all eight teams squaring up in the first round (best of three).
Boston Globe high school sports editor Bob Holmes and hockey correspondent Andrew MacDougall preview the tournament in the video above. Enjoy.
The Medway boys' hockey team advanced to the Division 2 South quarterfinals on Thursday night, taking down North Attleborough, 2-1, in overtime.
Senior forward Josh O'Toole scored the winner with just over three minutes remaining in the extra session.
After killing off a North Attleboro power play to begin overtime, the Mustangs got their own shot on the man advantage. After the puck was dumped into the corner from the point, junior Mike Boldy picked it up and swung the net. Boldy then found O'Toole, who one-timed into the top corner from the slot to send the fourth-seeded Mustangs (15-4-2) into the next round.
"We'd rather play more of a clean game," said Medway coach Chris Ross, "but we're thrilled [with the win]."
The Red Rocketeers took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission, but freshman Pat Dawson tied the score with an unassisted tally in the second period.
"We came out flat, we were playing nervous. But we woke up in the second and started taking control," said Ross.
Sophomore goalie Mike Purnell made 19 saves for the Mustangs, who move on to play fifth-seeded Canton (13-4-4) on Saturday in Brockton.
"[Canton] is real tough," said Ross, whose team beat the Bulldogs, 3-2, in January.
After watching a once-commanding lead dwindle to just 2 points in the third quarter, O’Bryant coach Gertrude Fisher looked no further than the NCAA tournament motto “survive and advance” to rally her team Thursday night in the Division 2 South quarterfinals.
“I said you have to kinda —I hate to use this terminology— but suck it up,” Fisher said. “And they played really good defense and they made smart choices and I think they held them off.”
The Tigers heeded their coach’s advice, completing a 42-32 victory over Nauset to advance to the semifinals.
O’Bryant’s senior captains filled the scoresheet as guard Saran Kaba finished with 11 points and guard Yonetta Harris and forward Raven Kelsey each chipped in 8. Junior forward Krishauna Wood led the Tigers with a game-high 12 points.
“My goal is to keep this up and score more often,” Harris said. “I think I need to drive to the hole more often and create fouls.”
The Warriors struggled to solve O’Bryant’s defense in the first quarter, scoring only on a jumper from senior forward Jenny Leyton. After the opening frame, O’Bryant held an 11-2 advantage.
O’Bryant struggled offensively in the second quarter, but the Tigers' defense kept Nauset’s shooters away from the rim and forced them to take unfavorable perimeter shots. O’Bryant took an 18-11 lead at halftime.
“We discussed during halftime that we needed to communicate on defense and we have to make them flustered and get frustrated,” Harris said. “So that obviously worked, especially our man defense. I think we did very well playing our man defense and talking to each other on defense.”
Nauset sophomore guard Savannah Thomas opened the third quarter with a 3-pointer to pull the Warriors within 4. Leyton drew a foul and hit one free throw to cut the O’Bryant lead to 3, but Kelsey hit a free throw after drawing a foul on the following possession.
The two teams traded buckets as O’Bryant clung to 2-point lead midway through the quarter. A layup by Leyton tied the game at 21, but Kelsey quickly threw the ball down the court to an open Wood who scored, drew a foul and completed the 3-point play to put O’Bryant back on top.
O’Bryant led, 27-23, at the start of the fourth quarter. The Tigers kicked off the final frame with a 7-0 run that Nauset was unable to counter.
O’Bryant sealed the victory at the foul line, sinking six free throws in the game’s waning minutes.
“I love this team,” Fisher said. “They’re very smart girls but they’re still developing but they do what you ask them to do so that’s really good.”
The Tigers will take on Sharon in the semifinals at Massasoit Community College in Brockton.
“Well it’s definitely a great feeling moving on to the semifinals,” Kelsey said. “That’s a great accomplishment but that’s not the finish. We want to go further. We just gotta make sure we’re ready. It’s all about heart and whoever wants it more.”
With a smothering full-court press that limited Matignon to just 3 points in the third quarter, the top-seeded Fenway girls’ basketball team cruised to a 54-33 victory Wednesday night, securing a spot in the Division 4 North quarterfinals.
“We played good defense,” Fenway coach John Rice said. “That’s really what we are. We’re a defensive-minded team. The defense showed up, put lot of pressure on them, got a bunch of turnovers.”
Sophomore guard Takora McIntyre led the Panthers, recording seven steals and knocking down three 3-pointers en route to a game-high 22 points.
“You know you always try to shy away from the individual stuff, but Takora McIntyre is just amazing,” Rice said.
McIntyre nailed one of her 3-pointers on the game’s opening possession to give Fenway the early lead, but Matignon senior captain Sarah Villanova tied the game with a 3-point play shortly after. Villanova then hit a jump shot following one made free throw from Fenway junior forward Jalissa Ross to put the Warriors on top, 5-4.
It would be Matignon’s only lead of the game. After one quarter, Fenway held a 19-8 advantage.
The second quarter was more of the same as the Warriors struggled to break Fenway’s press, managing only 6 points in the frame. Fenway led, 33-14, at halftime.
“I thought we did all right,” McIntyre said. “We kinda struggled in the first half but then I think we got it together and executed our plays in the second half and we had a lot of fast breaks too, so that was good.”
Tireless defense from senior guard Cadieja Mathews and sophomore guard Jaqualah Holliman kept the Warriors off the scoresheet for most of the third quarter and Fenway carried a 42-17 lead into the final eight minutes.
After 5 straight points from the Panthers to open the fourth quarter, the scoring began to pick up for Matignon.
Warriors junior Julie Pereira scored 5 of her team-high 7 points in the final frame and helped Matignon close the game on a 13-2 run.
Ross finished with 10 points and junior forward Shai’ann Nance chipped in 8 for Fenway.
Warriors senior captain Stacia MacDonald finished with 6 points on two 3-pointers.
“This team plays in a tough league, they’re well-tested, they’re better than what their record shows,” Rice said of Matignon. “We really appreciate getting the tough test the first time out. It’s just gonna help us be better moving forward.”
Fenway will take on No. 8 Greater Lawrence in the quarterfinal round Friday at 7 p.m.
“We are what we are. Mentally we just gotta be ready to play and really I think it’s just our mindset,” Rice said. “These young ladies play ball all year round. This is what we do. We’ll be ready.”
Behind a game-high 25 points from sophomore forward Fru'nwi Che, the Somerville boys' basketball team defeated East Boston, 54-45, Tuesday night to advance to the quarterfinal round of the Division 1 North tournament.
“Fru’s the coach's dream,” Highlanders coach Mark Antonelli said. “You can yell at him, you can praise him, and his expression never changes."
Somerville kicked off the scoring but Jets junior guard Dion Knight answered with two straight layups to give East Boston and early 4-2 advantage.
After a low-scoring first quarter, Somerville led, 12-8.
“We made a lot of mistakes,” Antonelli said. “It was a sloppy game offensively for us but I felt like they really stuck together and made the key defensive plays.”
The second quarter was another poor offensive showing for both teams. With just seconds left on the clock, the Highlanders held a 23-19 lead. But as the buzzer sounded, Knight drilled a 3-pointer to cut Somerville's lead to just 1.
“At halftime in the locker room the last thing I said to them was ‘do you want to go home or do you want to keep on playing?’” Antonelli said.
Somerville jumped out to a 29-23 lead early in the third quarter, but Jets junior forward Kevin Sinatra and Knight nailed back-to-back treys to tie the game.
Despite the brief burst of sharp shooting, the Highlanders defense refused to let East Boston find an offensive rhythm. Knight nailed another 3-pointer but Somerville senior guard Rayoni Matos answered with a 3 of his own, stifling the Jets’ surge.
Somerville led, 37-36, after three quarters.
“Honestly we needed to step up, we were making too many mistakes on offense, too many turnovers,” Che said. “Transition defense was kinda shaky.”
Knight opened the final quarter with a nifty move to the rim, scoring and drawing a foul. He hit the free throw to complete the 3-point play and give East Boston the lead.
A layup from senior guard Marcus Shaw extended the Jets' lead to four, but Che answered to pull Somerville within 2.
Two free throws by Somerville junior guard Salim Warsame knotted the game at 41 with four minutes to play.
A Che layup gave the Highlanders the lead. The Jets struggled to score as time ran off the clock, thanks to relentless defense from senior guard Kervinson Exilus and a strong rebounding effort by the entire Somerville squad.
Che said he knew the Highlanders could wrap up the win in the final two minutes.
“We hit our free throws,” Che said. “We got the ball over half and just broke their press.”
Eight points from Che and 3 from Exilus closed out the victory.
Knight finished with 23 points for the Jets. Warsame and junior forward Jonathan Santana Arias each finished with 10 points for Somerville.
The Highlanders will take on Greater Boston League rival Everett in the quarterfinal round.
“It’s gonna be a typical GBL battle,” Antonelli said. “Both teams know each other, both coaches know each other. It’s gonna be a lot of fun.”
Everett won both matchups with Somerville in the regular season, but the score was close in both games. In the season opener, Everett won by 6 points. In the most recent contest Feb. 7, the Crimson Tide won by 8.
“They’re a good team. They’re a really good team,” Che said of Everett. “Last time we faced them it was close. We just gotta fix some mistakes and get back to practice tomorrow and hope for a win.”
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
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- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
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