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Globe South Sports Notebook

Herrick leads at Wentworth

By Marvin Pave
February 20, 2011

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Former Duxbury High standout Sam Herrick has been a tower of strength in the paint for the Wentworth men’s basketball team, which had won seven of its last eight games through last Wednesday.

The 6-foot-11, 260-pound senior captain was leading the Leopards in scoring (12.9 points per game) and rebounding (10.7 per game), including a career-high 25 points in a 75-71 loss to Endicott on Jan. 22.

Entering yesterday’s regular-season finale at New England College, Herrick had started all 24 games and had recorded 11 double-doubles for the Leopards (15-9 overall, 9-3 The Commonwealth Coast Conference), including six in a row from Jan. 8 to Jan. 29.

It’s been a long road to success. Captain of the Division 2 state champion Duxbury High team in 2005-2006 (after playing his freshman and sophomore years at Nantucket), Herrick intended to prep at Northfield Mount Hermon.

However, an assistant coach from the University of New Hampshire offered him a scholarship after watching Herrick play for his AAU team, the Bay State Magic out of Stoughton. He played in 20 games (with four starts) for the Division 1 Wildcats as a freshman, but Herrick came down with mononucleosis, was not entirely comfortable with his surroundings, and transferred to Bryant University in Rhode Island. He stayed there one semester, playing five games, “but it wasn’t a good fit for me,’’ said Herrick. He then backpacked and hiked through the US Southwest, taking a break from college and basketball through the National Outdoor Leadership School. He then transferred to Wentworth and sat out the 2008-2009 season.

“Until last year, I hadn’t played any sanctioned basketball for two years,’’ Herrick said. “I came in a little rusty, didn’t start the first three games, but I worked at it and actually played with a fractured right foot the entire year.’’

Despite the long layoff and the injury that eventually required surgery, Herrick bounced back last season, starting 24 of 27 games and averaging 11 points, 8.9 rebounds, and 1.3 blocks and was named to the all-conference first team. Wentworth was 15-12 last year, reached the conference semis, and earned the program’s first ECAC Tournament berth since 1998.

“Sam’s been an absolute joy to coach and his teammates respect him to the hilt,’’ said Wentworth coach Tom Devitt. “He’s the ultimate captain. He’s had some adversity, but he never loses his poise and that’s the key to his success. Defensively, he’s shut down some of the best forwards in our conference.

Herrick, who has tied the school’s single-season rebounding record (256), said, “This year I feel like I’m back where I left off and I have a big role because we graduated two all-conference forwards, so I’m playing about 30 minutes a game.’’

His next stop?

“I hope to stay in the game. It’s a dream of mine to play overseas, travel and get paid for it,’’ he said.

Pair aids Norwich ice hockey Senior Sarah Scardino of Stoughton and sophomore Stephanie Invernizzi of Hingham helped the Norwich University women’s ice hockey team clinch its first ECAC East regular season title last weekend with a 5-0 victory over the University of Massachusetts at Boston.

Scardino had 7 goals and 5 assists in 22 games. Invernizzi, who scored against UMass-Boston, had 4 goals and 4 assists in 19 games for the Cadets. Norwich, 18-3-1 overall and 15-0-1 in conference play going into this weekend’s final regular season games against Manhattanville and Nichols, was ranked third nationally in the latest USCHO.com poll and was unbeaten in 12 consecutive starts.

Scardino, who twice led Fontbonne Academy of Milton in scoring, had 33 goals and 33 assists in 99 career games at Norwich. Invernizzi, who hit the 200-point mark at Hingham High, led the Harbormen to the Division 2 state title in 2008. In 29 career games at Norwich, she had 5 goals and 5 assists.

Scardino, who will be honored today on Senior Day at the Vermont school’s final regular season game, is a “feisty, two-way player,’’ according to head coach Mark Bolding. “She’s also an excellent penalty killer who we need for the playoff run.’’

Bolding said Invernizzi has started to show more signs of her offensive skills. “She’s tremendously quick and a great forechecker,’’ he said, “and she’s playing with the poise and confidence we anticipated when we recruited her.’’

Rookie of Week for Battista Former Oliver Ames standout Lauren Battista continues to make headlines as a freshman on Bentley women’s basketball team. The 6-foot forward earned her fourth Rookie of the Week honor from the Northeast-10 Conference after averaging 19.5 points, 5 rebounds, and 4.5 assists in wins over Saint Anselm and Southern New Hampshire. Battista scored a career-high 23 points against Saint Anselm for the Falcons, ranked 17th in Division 2.

Marvin Pave can be reached at 508-820-4223 or marvin.pave@rcn.com.

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