By Cat Calsolaro
“There will definitely be a lot of running and a lot of defensive drills tomorrow,” said Minutemen Tech coach John Fusco after his team’s 77-61 home victory over CASH on Tuesday night. It isn’t the typical response from a winning coach who just watched three of his players score in double figures and one put on an amazing performance - but this isn’t the typical team.
The Mustangs are 7-1 (the loss a 43-42 buzzer-beater to Lynn Tech in their third game), not bad for a team whose combined record over the previous three seasons was 15-45.
CASH’s Jayshawn Edwards put up 32 points and controlled the boards on both ends. “We matched him up with a guard, but he penetrated us, he made great moves to the basket, grabbed his rebounds and got layups,” said Fusco.
But the offensive star was junior guard Brandon Robinson who had a Rajon Rondo-like 18 assists to go with 8 points for Minutemen.
“Brandon was trying to keep everyone involved in the game,” said Fusco. “He was finding everyone in the zone. It is definitely very unusual to see 18 assists in a high school game.
“I think he wanted to take control and make sure people got good shots tonight. He found a lot of open men. He was phenomenal. He could have had even more had the other shots had gone in.”
Fusco took over the varsity basketball team at the start of the 2010-11 season, turning a one-win team into a four-win team, and last year his Mustangs finished 10-10 with a spot in the postseason tournament.
The Mustangs went up, 18-8, in the first quarter but found themselves in foul trouble by the end of the first half. CASH made a 9-point run to close the gap to 36-27 going into the third quarter.
A strategy change in the second half protected Minutemen’s lead.
“We went into full denial on Edwards. One of my seniors and one of my freshman did a nice job slowing him down and it allowed us to maintain that lead,” said Fusco.
Junior center Mike Wiederkehr also took control of the paint, finishing with 11 rebounds and five blocks.
On the offensive side, sophomore guard Darrel Akins, continued to do what he has all season, scoring 21 points with seven assists. Senior captain guard Jake O’Neil had 16 points, and Wiederkehr had 14.
“We’re going forward, which is great,” said Fusco. “Brandon and Darrel were both new to the school this year and their tenacity is what really helped to push us in this direction.
“The nice thing is we haven’t even really jelled yet. The kids play well together, they play hard together. We have a lot of tough games coming up and I think they welcome the competition.”
The lineup for the State Vocational Bowls at Manning Field in Lyynn was announced Friday. Both games are Thursday, Nov. 29.
The Large Division game is a rematch from last fall with Greater New Bedford (5-6) facing Greater Lawrence (8-3). Game time is 7 p.m.
The Small Division game has Blue Hills (9-2) taking on Minuteman (5-5). Kickoff is 4:30 p.m.
It’s our first crack at shuffling the deck with our boys soccer Top 20 poll, so of course we have taken the liberty of making some moves since our initial poll at the beginning of the season.
A lot has gone down on the pitch, teams are starting to separate themselves from the pack and this week’s poll will show that as thirteen teams check in with zero losses on their fixtures.
The top two teams switch spots as Concord-Carlisle (7-0) takes over the No. 1 ranking in our latest poll, having allowed only one goal over their first seven games.
Masconomet (5-0-2) slides down only spot due to a couple of early ties, but they have gotten back off track and have rattled off 21 goals over their last four games, all wins.
Weymouth (8-0-2) makes a big leap up from the seventh spot to No. 3 and Oliver Ames (7-0-2) is this week’s big mover, jumping up seven spots from No. 19 all the way to No. 12.
Having racked up some big wins to go along with no losses, Pentucket (6-0-1), Dartmouth (8-0-2), Winchester (5-0-2) and Archbishop Williams (8-0) all make their debut on the poll.
Medford (2-1-2), Lexington (3-2-1), Lincoln-Sudbury (3-3-1) and Georgetown (3-2-2) all bow out after slow starts to their seasons, but all are capable of landing back on the Top 20 with a quick turnaround.
See the Globe boys soccer Top 20 here.
This Saturday, September 29th, Concord-Carlisle High School will play host to the sixth annual Kicks for Cancer to support cancer research.
Twelve teams will gather for a day-long event filled with superior soccer action, raffles, food and more. The same teams return from last year’s event, all of which were participants in the 2011 MIAA postseason tournament and four of which are currently ranked in the Globe’s Top 20.
Despite dreary conditions last year the event still managed to raise over $27,000 with proceeds benefitting the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and in total Kicks for Cancer has raised over $71,000 as it has grown from a one-game event to six-game extravaganza.
“It says so much about the other schools and their communities,” said Concord-Carlisle head coach Ray Pavlik. “The volunteers and the kids do such an amazing job with this and we couldn’t be more proud of the efforts they make each year.”
The event began back in 2007 to honor the memory of Lois Wells, mother of Concord-Carlisle assistant coach Steve Wells. Each team wears pink or blue jerseys with the name of a loved one who has or is battling this disease emblazoned on their back.
The games will begin at 1:00 p.m. with simultaneous action going off on side-by-side fields behind Concord-Carlisle High School at 500 Walden Street in Concord. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children.
The following is the day's schedule of games:
1:00 p.m., Game One, Turf 1 – Lexington vs. Belmont
1:00 p.m., Game Two, Turf 2 - Stoneham vs. Wakefield
3:30 p.m., Game Three, Turf 1 - Brookline vs. Newton North
3:30 p.m., Game Four, Turf 2 - Reading vs. Woburn
6:00 p.m., Game Five, Turf 1 - Concord - Carlisle vs. Lincoln - Sudbury
6:00 p.m., Game Six, Turf 2 - Acton – Boxborough vs. Wayland
For additional information, including directions to the fields, click here.
For those who are unable to attend the event, but still wish to make a donation to Kicks for Cancer, click here for the Dana Farber donation page.
St. John’s Prep and BC High lead off our baseball Top 20 this week. Both teams have 7-1 records and seem to be evenly matched so far this season. The two teams were scheduled to play for the first time Monday at BC High before weather stepped in postponed the game. It will now be played Friday.
Former No. 1 Xaverian dropped to eight after losses to Brockton and Wellesley early in the season. The Hawks were to be tested by No. 11 Catholic Memorial Monday. The only losses for the Knights came against St. John’s Prep and BC High.
Walpole was a big mover, jumping from 15 to 3. The Rebels are 7-0 and have quality wins against Braintree and Wellesley. Lowell (5-1) and Franklin (4-1) have been solid so far and stay at spots four and five respectively.
Marshfield is the first new addition to the Top 20. The Rams look to be the class of the Atlantic Coast League with an 8-0 record, which puts them at the seven spot in front of conference rival Plymouth North. Marshfield has scored 10 or more runs three times so far and has not allowed more than four runs in a game.
Barnstable (5-1) has also not allowed more than four runs and moves up one spot to nine, while Lincoln-Sudbury (5-1) closes out the top 10. The Warriors are 3-0 in the Dual County Large and had a big 8-7 victory at BC High Saturday.
Newburyport and Reading are both 4-0 (the Rockets loss was an exclusion game to BC High) and each moved up in the standings. The Clippers are 12th while the Rockets are 13th.
Wellesley (5-2) is added to the top 20 at number 14. The Raiders started their season with a win against Xaverian and look to be the biggest competition for Walpole in the Bay State Herget division.
Newton South (5-0) hasn’t lost and should challenge Lincoln-Sudbury in the DCL Large. The Lions are new to the top 20 at the 15 spot.
Lexington (3-2) drops down from 7th to 16th after losses to Lowell and Melrose. Danvers (6-1), Dighton-Rehoboth (7-0), Peabody (5-2) and Austin Prep (6-1) are all new additions and round out the Top 20.
LOWELL -- The Division 1 North final between Lexington and Charlestown was a traditional clash of styles: size versus speed.
In the end, the smaller, quicker boys from Charlestown won out. Their timely outside shooting and fast-paced game proved to be too much for the Minutemen as Charlestown won, 48-44, to advance to the Division 1 Eastern Mass final at TD Garden Tuesday.
Charlestown senior Rony Fernandez put Lexington away in what was a back-and-forth contest until the final seconds. His three-point basket with less than 10 seconds remaining gave the Townies a 46-42 lead. After a Lexington basket by Chris O'Keefe, Fernandez was fouled with 2.8 seconds remaining. He hit both free throws to effectively end the game and waved goodbye to the sizable Lexington student section in attendance.
"I dream to make those type of shots," said Fernandez, relishing his team’s win in the belly of the Tsongas Center.
Fernandez's three-pointer from about 25 feet away with just over a minute left in the game gave Charlestown a 42-40 lead.
"We weren't really getting out to their shooters out at the top of the key," said Lexington senior captain Pat Burns (11 points, six rebounds). "They were hitting tough shots and they seemed to come at the worst times."
Charlestown appeared to wear down their bigger Lexington opponents in the third quarter. Back-to-back threes by Fernandez and senior Omar Orriols gave the Townies a 33-28 lead. Fernandez’s trey handed Charlestown its first lead of the game since leading 4-2 in the first quarter. The Townies went on to finish the third quarter on a 16-4 run that gave them a 35-30 lead.
Lexington was able to take advantage of its size in the first half, winning with their defense in the paint. The Minutemen, the No. 11 seed in the North, featured a front court trio of players 6-foot-5 and taller for the majority of the game, fortifying their 2-3 zone defense down low. Burns (6-6), senior Chris Lee (6-5), senior Miles Penniman (6-8), senior Caleb Lenderking-Brill (6-6) and sophomore Josh Sharma (6-9) all did their best to frustrate the fast-paced No. 5 Townies.
Unable to score inside, Charlestown struggled as it couldn't find its touch from the outside in the first half, either. Behind six points and four rebounds from Lexington forward Chris Lee (12 points, 7 rebounds in the game), Lexington was able to take a 20-16 lead into the locker room at halftime.
"We came in here, big arena ... jitters came out," said Charlestown coach Edson Cardoso. "I said, 'Guys, calm down. We've been here before. Let's take it one play at a time, and remember Charlestown plays defense first.' "
The Townies were a different team in the second half. They held Lexington to just 10 points in the third quarter and appeared to find their shooting range. After not making a single trey in the first half, they made six in the second, including four from Fernandez (19 points, two assists).
When the last of his long-distance shots fell through the net, Fernandez couldn't help but look ahead to Tuesday.
"We to the Garden, baby," he told himself. "We to the Garden."
LEXINGTON -- With 48 seconds left, Woburn junior forward Kayla Smith gave the Tanners all the insurance they needed on a breakaway goal against Lexington, sealing a 4-2 win in girls ice hockey action Wednesday night for the Tanners' first league win.
“At the end of the game when it went on her stick, I was pretty confident we were going to finish it,” said Tanners coach Bob MacCurtain.
The pressure is not anything new for Smith, who last scored against Lexington in the Tanners state quarterfinal victory, 3-1, nine seconds into the game.
The Tanners (5-0) remain one of the top scoring teams in the state with 31 goals.
Despite the loss, Lexington (3-2) ended the Tanners four-game shutout streak with two goals.
“It would have been nice to have a shutout, but once they got a goal we just got back at it,” Smith said.
Smith scored the third goal on a powerplay after a back and forth pass from junior defenseman Cassandra Connolly to hit high center net, 3-2.
The Minutemen took an early charge in the first period with senior forward Katy Delgreco emerging from behind the net to rocket a pass to sister Danielle Delgreco, putting the Minutemen on the board, 1-0.
But the goal fired up the Tanners and 22 seconds later the team responded with senior forward Bryana Harron tying the game, 1-1, with sophomore Ashley Moran and junior Kylee Maher on the assist. With less than a minute remaining, Lexington was unable to score in the final minute of the first, getting a wide open opportunity with Woburn's goalie out of position.
Lexington started off the second period with a slapshot goal at the 12:32 mark from senior forward Emily Wilson after changing lines, putting them up 2-1.
“We went down twice in this game and we find a way pretty instantly to get back in it,” MacCurtain said.
The Minutemen held up rock solid line of defense until a one-on-one ended up in favor of the Tanners as sophomore forward Emily Lissner snuck past Minutemen’s senior goaltender Katie Legnard, 2-2. Harron had the assist.
“We just played our hardest and make sure we were spread out and playing our positions,” Smith said.
Wakefield beat Lexington 20-14 Saturday. But it was not a ho hum affair. It was the first game for Lexington's new coach George Peterson, who replaced the legendary coach Bill Tighe who had been at the school for the last 35 years. Cal Borchers chronicled the event in the video above for Boston.com
Senior Middlesex League co-MVP Will Marcal led Lexington baseball to a perfect 20-0 season after fanning 12 batters in seven innings to beat Lowell, 8-6.
The Brown bound pitcher improved to 8-0 on the season. He also notched two RBIs for a total of 23 on the season.
“He was an all scholastic and the league MVP last year,” said Lexington’s head coach Tom O’Grady.“ "He is one of the best pitchers in Eastern Mass. He has got the heart of a lion and he is a fierce competitor.”
Lowell held on to an early lead after two innings but Lexington turned to their strong lineup to lift them from a 4-1 deficit.
Senior third baseman and tri-captain Demitri Monvoukas drilled a two-run homer, his fourth of the season, in the bottom of the second to drive in junior catcher Connor Murray. Monvoukas returned in the fifth inning to help the Minutemen take a fragile 5-4 lead with a crisp line drive to right field to drive in senior designated hitter Charlie Guthrie for his 23rd RBI of the season.
"We have gotten down early this year in some games but we have a very good hitting lineup,” O’Grady said. “I knew we could come back. We have proved it when we have been down and have come back pretty strong.”
In the top of the seventh, Marcal struck out the first batter then walked the following two. He followed it up by striking out the last two hitters to close the game.
“I think when it was all said and done it was a relief to go 20-0. It is pretty special thing. It is not an easy thing to do,” O’Grady said. "We have great senior leadership. We have a lot of kids that have played since they were freshman and they are an extremely talented group of players.We are very proud but we also want to improve in our performance in the tournament from last year.”
The Minutemen are seeded first in the Division 1 North State Tournament for the second straight year. They were knocked out by the same Lowell team in the first round of the state tournament last.
Lexington extends their regular season win streak to 35 victories.
Lexington High has named George Peterson as its new head football coach, replacing Bill Tighe, who retired last season. Peterson was the defensive coordinator at Bedford (N.H.) High School last fall. He has also coached at Wakefield High as the freshman football coach.
Tighe, 86, is recognized by the National Federation of Interscholastic Coaches as the country's oldest high school football coach. He took over at Lexington High School in 1975. In total he has been on the sidelines for 60 years, including time at Wakefield and Malden High School. Going into his final game, his career mark is 268-232-13.
"The curtain has to come down some time,'' said Tighe. "It really is tough because I love kids and I love all the associations I’ve had over the years. Every year you meet different kids with different personalities. What I appreciate the most is seeing them come back.’’
High school soccer is about two weeks into the 2010 season and we’re already getting signs that this year might be unpredictable.
With the first round of standings set to be posted on Sunday (and with it a fresh Top 20), there are few things worth talking about before then.
I don’t think Catholic Memorial coach John Finn is too surprised, but the defending Division 1 state champs are struggling. The Knights had to settle with a tie against Billerica and St. John’s Prep, and fell victim to an emerging BC High squad in a 1-0 loss.
I thought knocking them down to No. 5 in the first set of rankings was low enough, but sadly for Finn and his team, the loss of five Division 1 college athletes might be too much to replace. The season is still early though, and anything can happen in the playoffs, as they proved last year.
Lexington was nothing but dominant in its first three games, scoring 13 goals. Alex Herbert had seven of them. And while the Minutemen tied Winchester, 2-2, in a recent Middlesex League matchup, that might be more of a testament to the Sachems’ strength than anything else. Winchester has also beaten Reading and Stoneham and might give Lexington a run for the league title.
Lincoln-Sudbury might struggle a little bit more than anticipated without the majority of the defensive unit and the goalkeeper from last year’s squad. The offensive shouldn’t have trouble, but the Warriors might have a hard time posting any clean sheets. They dropped a 1-0 game to last year’s D3 champs, Weston last week.
Masconomet has maintained a perfect record after two dramatic come-from-behind wins within two days of each other. The Chieftains fought back against Danvers last Wednesday to win 2-1 and then barely escaped North Andover, 3-2, on Friday.
Framingham appears to be struggling in a big way. The Flyers were expected to see a regression after graduating a core of last year’s 16-2-3 squad, but I don’t think anyone saw this coming. They are 0-1-3 after their first four games and have scored just once.
Be sure to check back on Monday as a new Top 20 will be posted as well as a weekly notebook. And feel free to send me feedback or story ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lexington teen Benjamin Tso, 14, was named the national champion at the US Tennis Association’s 14 and under national championship last weekend in San Antonio.
Tso, who is ranked second in the country in his age group, will be a freshman at Lexington High School in the fall.
For more on Tso, read the story in Your Town.
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.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.