QUINCY — In its final tuneup before the Cape Cod Classic starts this weekend, the 13th-ranked Duxbury boys’ hockey team topped North Quincy, 4-0, thanks to four goal-scorers at Quincy Youth Arena.
Senior goaltender Chris Johnson posted his third shutout in a row, dipping his goals-against average to under one.
The teams remained scoreless despite numerous Dragon chances throughout the first period, but Duxbury (14-1-4) finally broke through four minutes into the second. Senior forward Bobby O’Brien capitalized on a Red Raider (8-6-4) turnover in the slot by one-timing it by North Quincy goalie Nolan Greene.
Duxbury had three more goals in the final frame. First junior forward Matt Murphy tapped one in on the doorstep off an assist from linemate Matt Saia, then Murphy returned the favor a minute and a half later by helping on Saia’s tally to make it 3-0.
Junior forward Shayne O’Brien also assisted on both goals.
“We think that the white line with Murphy, Saia and Shayne O’Brien is as good a line as any on our team,” said Duxbury coach John Blake. “Some people call it the third unit, but we just keep putting them out there. We think we’re pretty deep and we can wear teams down like we did tonight.”
Sophomore forward Luke Stevens capped the scoring with an unassisted goal with less than five minutes left.
The Red Raiders had several scoring chances late in the third, but Johnson continued to shut the door.
When two Dragon penalties with about seven minutes to go meant 43 seconds of a North Quincy 5-on-3, senior defenseman Zack Snelling came up with a pair big blocks in the slot to save Johnson from seeing another shot.
“We talk about it — you can’t play on the PK unless you’re willing to block shots,” Blake said. “No matter what the score is, they’re going to be sacrificing their bodies for [Johnson] to get the shutout.”
Duxbury will play Boston College High at 1 p.m. Saturday in Falmouth in the opening round of the Cape Cod Classic.
When Patriot League adversaries Quincy and North Quincy meet, records get thrown out the window and nothing else matters except that match.
“For us, at this point it is more for pride and to get something behind us before going into tournament,” said Quincy senior setter Nicole Parry.
In the two teams' most recent match, unranked Quincy upset No. 17 North Quincy 3-2 (25-14, 18-25, 21-25, 25-21, 15-11) on Oct. 26. The last set was settled with junior outside hitter Alysha Dunbar’s ace followed by a Parry kill.
Pride is the fuel that feeds these two competitors with a rivalry that goes as far back as the 1980's when both schools reigned in the state tournament, setting the tone for the Boston area. It's possible that the two teams can face each other again in the state tournament.
“It doesn’t mater what the records are, who is playing better, who is at the top or bottom – it’s just a pride match,” said North Quincy coach Kerry Ginty.
“We’ve gone back and forth the past couple of years," Ginty said later. "It’s always a toss up.”
It is no surprise both teams have mirror image offense and defensive play since both coaches actually trained a club team together four years ago. That, along with the fact that most of the girls are neighbors or best friends with each other, enhances the competitiveness and level of play.
“They know each other inside out," Ginty said. "They know our weaknesses more than we do. It is really special that every North Quincy and Quincy sport share.
“It is the color of the jerseys that is the difference.”
Their most recent game was a testament to that.
Quincy found North Quincy’s holes in the front row and began tipping to seal the first set, 25-14.
“We get really pumped up for these games because it is North [Quincy] and they carry a long history so we have to give it our all,” Parry said.
Despite North Quincy makings its biggest comeback in the fourth set, coming back from 14-22 to 21-22, Quincy’s defense settled the score, 25-21.
“You give them an inch and they roll with it,” said Quincy coach Jacqui Niosi.
“We’re lucky to play such an intense game like this before the tournament," Niosi said. "It’s a great preparatory tool where the intensity and pressure is really strong.”
North Quincy was led by senior outside hitter Olivia Umoren (11 kills), who leads the team with 166 kills this season. Senior libero Elizabeth Sullivan totaled 28 digs and senior setter Rachel Chu had 30 digs.
“[Rachel] is such a great hustler. She gets to every ball and I work her hard, but she handles it really well," Ginty said. "I expect a lot out of her and she rose to the occasion.
“She improves leaps and bounds every day," Ginty continued. "She’s our floor general.”
Seniors Lizzie Kelley, Elizabeth Forde, Megan Leahy and Kara Reardon have also had an impact as leaders after helping raising $5,000 for breast cancer.
“It’s a testament to their leadership," Ginty said. "They’re the cream of the crop as far as high schoolers go.”
For Quincy, Parry led the night with 14 assists, 14 digs and 13 kills. Behind her was senior setter D.J. Niosi (14 assists, 10 digs) and freshman libero Emma Kelley (14 digs).
“Our intensity level is a lot higher and our mental focus is much steadier than in games in the past,” Niosi said.
That mentality is sending both teams into the tournament.
A 13-time Division 1 championship dynasty does not come without rivalries and Wednesday night, Div. 1 girls' volleyball champ Barnstable took on one of its longest.
In its season opener, host Barnstable claimed a 3-0 win over Div. 1 state semifinalist North Quincy, a rival for more than two decades (25-17, 25-16, 25-12).
"That's a long one that's been going on for 20, 21 years. And this year was one of the strongest North Quincy teams I've seen," said Red Raiders coach Tom Turco, who began his 24th year with the team.
Although the Red Raiders got off to a shaky start in the first set, tying North Quincy, 12-12, kills from Aine Cole (10) and Carolyn Morin (7) gave them momentum that continued into the second set.
"[North Quincy] picked up a lot of balls off the floor but we had more of an offense, and that was the game-changer," said Turco. "We're hitting from a pretty high hitting percentage and our serve receive is solid. Overall we have a pretty balanced offense and we're hitting from all three spots in the front row."
North Quincy picked up its play at the net in the third set with 14 combined blocks from Maya Umoren and Carolyn Schwartz and four kills and two blocks from Olivia Umoren, but the Red Raiders' Nikki Deluga got under hits with 17 digs.
The Red Raiders took a 17-5 lead in the third behind their seniors and some promising underclassmen. Despite Elizabeth Sullivan's 13 digs for North Quincy, Barnstable was able to outlast its rival behind returning Globe All-Scholastic Kaylee Deluga and Regan Bristol's (10 kills) offensive attack and MGVCA All-State Kayla Crook's 35 assists for the win. Carolyn Morin contributed seven kills.
"I rely heavily on [my senior leadership]," said Turco. "It's their last shot and this is their year. There's a sense of urgency and my seniors are my leaders, that's the way it's always been.
"I don't set any goals for them. They set goals for themselves."
Mansfield stepped up from the No. 2 spot in the Globe Top 20 girls basketball rankings to No. 1 with another pair of wins last week and remains undefeated, 15-0 overall and 13-0 in the Hockomock (Kelley-Rex). Andover took a tumble to No. 3 from No. 1 after losing to No. 2 Central Catholic on Sunday, while Central moved up one spot No. 3 to No. 2 with their first victory against their Merrimack Valley Conference rival. With this slide of power in the MVC, it's looking like there will be a tie for the title again this year.
A little further down, Scituate fell one spot to No. 10 after losing to Mansfield and Franklin moved into their former spot. Norwell jumped from No. 14 to No. 11 with two more wins. Coyle & Cassidy remains at No. 12. Pentucket is static at No. 13 while Cohasset moved up one spot to No. 14, with Acton-Boxboro right behind them at No. 15, up from last week's No. 17 slot.
Woburn climbed from No. 19 to No. 16 and St. Mary's fell six spots to No. 17 after losing to unranked Arlington Catholic, 56-32. Fenway broke into the rankings at No. 18 with two more Boston City League wins, while Braintree slipped a spot to No. 19 after losing to Newton North. Quincy steps in at the No. 20 spot after Duxbury fell off the ranking chart. Quincy has a 13-2 overall record and a 7-game win streak.
Not much changed in terms of the top 10 except for St. Mary's falling one slot to No. 11 after losing to No. 3 Central Catholic, 63-44. No. 1 Andover through No. 9 Scituate held strong. Each team added at least one W to the win column despite another snow-riddled week.
A little bit lower in the Top 20, Braintree dropped two spots to No. 18 after a 49-40 defeat by unranked Newton North. Natick switched places with Braintree after two victories over Newton North and Walpole. Stoneham's back-to-back losses earlier in the month bumped them out of the rankings and made room for Woburn at the No. 19 spot.
No. 20 Duxbury barely held on to its spot after taking a beating from Quincy 59-40 on Friday night, but the real test of the Green Dragons on-court prominence will come against No. 7 New Bedford tonight at home at 6:30 p.m.
Although most teams have had to rebuild this year, the girls program has upped the par for volleyball this season to give this year’s powerhouses a run for their money. Here are my picks in each part of the sectional brackets.
Easy call. With the semifinals including a matchup between undefeated first seed Andover and fourth-seeded Central Catholic (16-4), it’ll be no challenge for Andover, considering they’ve already taken down Central Catholic twice in the regular season.
Chelmsford has had a bit of a sloppy season in comparison to Reading so we’ll be looking at an Andover/Reading (19-3) matchup for the sectional final.
My call: Considering Andover has already served Reading a loss, they’ll definitely pull through, undefeated, for the state spot.
North Reading (19-2) has had a solid season until recently, dropping two losses and possibly falling under pressure with the tournament, easing Melrose (19-2) into a final spot.
Bishop Fenwick (19-2) should find no problem taking on Bedford (13-9) which hasn’t had as much of a challenging schedule.
My call: Melrose for the state spot since they’ve served Bishop Fenwick a loss and have on-spot hitters Athena Ziavras and Rachel Johnson with a combined 314 kills.
Lynnfield (17-4) has had the most competitive schedule out of both matchups and the least losses so I’m looking at them to have a definite spot in the final.
My call: Lynnfield.
Here’s where the competition gets interesting. D1 South probably has three of this year’s break-out performance powerhouses: North Attleboro, Barnstable and New Bedford.
North Attleboro (20-0) has had an undefeated run and Barnstable (17-2) has had its revival this year, possibly even tough enough to take the states. New Bedford (17-1) has had a solid performance.
Notre Dame Hingham (17-4) has made the jump to D1 and is mixing things up a bit with Meaghan Lee ranking ninth in the states for kills and setter Kelcei Sullivan adding up 205 assists; also having served Barnstable its first set loss.
But, will this be enough against the New Bedford trio Manley, Howard and Thompson?
As for North Attleboro and Barnstable, it’s a tight race. My feeling is Barnstable since its only two losses have been to Medfield and they have lost less set matches than North Attleboro.
My call: We’ll most likely look at Barnstable and New Bedford for the final. I’d like to see Barnstable make a comeback, but it’s a tough call.
Easy call with Fairhaven (17-2) since they’re 2-0 over Bourne. They’ll match-up with Bishop Feehan (14-6) who has the more competitive schedule over Greater New Bedford (16-5).
My call: Fairhaven.
Ultimately, the call will be between undefeated Case and Sacred Heart (16-3).
My call: Case. The team is more competitive and well-rounded.
Central/East Division 1
Another close call. Quincy (20-2) is on an eight-game winning streak. But Newton North (16-2) will definitely be the victor since North Quincy’s (18-4) losses are to less high-seeded teams.
We’re looking at Quincy and Newton North for the sectional final, both evenly matched.
My call: Quincy.
Central/East Division 2
This is definitely another year for state champion Medfield (21-0), so we’ll see their face again in the state tournament. Marlboro (19-0) and Hopkinton (17-2) are even matched so it’s fair game since Hopkinton’s only losses are to Medfield.
My call: Medfield. No Argument.
Central/East Division 3
To play it safe, I’m going with both undefeated teams: Sutton and Ayer for the sectional final matchup since the competition are lower seeds.
My call: Sutton and Ayer.
Central/West Division 1
Another easy call: Lincoln-Sudbury making its 12th tournament appearance so they know the game. My guess is Westford since their losses are to top competitors Lincoln-Sudbury and Chelmsford.
My call: Lincoln-Sudbury.
Check out all of the volleyball brackets on the MIAA's website.
With the leading goal-scorer sidelined with a hamstring injury, Duxbury needed contributions from three girls named Emily in a 3-0 victory over North Quincy on Monday.
Emily Gallagher, a senior captain, scored twice for the Green Dragons, freshman forward Emily Wiemer scored and added an assist, and senior goalie Emily Brooke earned her second shutout in four games.
Duxbury coach Emerson Coleman said his team came out flat for the beginning of the game, still emotionally wiped out after an exhausting 1-0 loss to defending Division 1 South champion Whitman Hanson on Friday night.
“They put everything out there Friday and kids are kids,” Coleman said. “But they came back and played well today and we’ll have to keep it going.”
Senior captain and goal-scorer extraordinaire Melissa Gavin was banged up after the game on Friday. She collected 20 goals and 28 assists last season, but Coleman opted to rest his star forward as a safety precaution. She’s expected to be back in action on Wednesday.
“Sometimes you send someone out there and the next thing you know they’re out two weeks instead of one game,” the coach said. “We held her out now, hoping its better in the future.”
Off to a 3-1 start to the season, the Green Dragons have given their coach a lot of hope. Brooke has allowed just two goals all year, one via penalty shot. The defensive unit has been as consistent as they come, with junior sweeper Madi Lawson anchoring the back. And the two freshmen, Wiemer and Gaby Davis, have pleasantly surprised.
With the close loss to Whitman Hanson the only blemish on their schedule, Oct. 20 is already circled as they look forward to the rematch in Duxbury.
“There’s upside and the downside being in the same league,” Coleman said. “It allows us the chance to play them again. We were right there. We had our chances. We’ll just prepare to do better.”
Gallagher has committed to play at Holy Cross next year, while Gavin will suit up for Yale.
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 @ZuriBerry for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Alex Hall | @AlexKHall | Baseball
- Colleen Casey | @ColleenCasey226 | Softball
- Mike Giesta | Boys lacrosse
- Catherine Calsolaro | @catrenee13 | Girls lacrosse
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Boys volleyball
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