WORCESTER Braintree has been tested a lot during the tournament. And each time the Wamps' girls basketball team was faced with adversity, they held their composure. Saturday at the DCU Center was no different as the top-ranked Wamps held off a late rally from No. 9 Westford Academy, 57-46, to win the Division 1 state championship.
"I think we had a tough nonleague schedule this year," Braintree coach Kristen McDonnell said. "Our league has improved a lot, I think theres a lot of good competition in the Bay State conference, but our nonleague games definitely set us up to be able to compete in games like this. And the other four teams we had to get through to get here, including the first round King Phillip."
From the start of the game, Braintree (24-1) dominated every phase of the game. The Wamps stormed out the gate, pulling away early to lead 19-6 after the first quarter.
I think playing Newton North last Saturday at UMass Boston, was definitely a turning point for us in the tournament because weve never been that close to losing this season, besides Christ the King, we lost to, Ashley Russell, who finished with 17 points, said. It was kind of a reality check, if we let up like we did in the first half of that game, we could easily be kicked out of the tournament.
Just as they did throughout the entire season, Braintree used its defensive attack to boost its offense. And the Wamps, who aren't widely known for their outside shooting as much as their swarming defense, connected on five 3-pointers in the first half; 3 of which were from Bridget Herlihy, who finished with 14 points.
When it looked like Westford (22-5) would crawl back into the game in the second quarter after Samantha Hyslip (24 points) scored her 10th point of the game to cut the Grey Ghosts deficit to 12, McDonnell called a timeout to end any run that Westford might go on. And the Wamps quickly responded defensively, ending the first half 34-19.
Hyslip scored 14 of Westfords 19 points in the first half.
We have been the underdogs all throughout the tournament," Hyslip said. "Before every game, we would print put things that people would say and it would say, this team is not expected to win. And so I think that got me amped up.
Though Westford trailed by as many as 14 in the second half, they continued to fight.
I think thats kind of what were known for," Hyslip said. "I think thats something that Westford is known for, not even just us.
My personal model is I dont look at the score. I dont pay attention to it; I dont look at the scoreboard, why bother? Theres no need to, whether were down or up, Im going to play the same way."
Westford chipped away at Braintree's lead, but it seemed as if every time Westford pulled within 10, Braintree drained a 3-pointer to extend its lead. Westford would trail 45-34 after three.
In the final quarter Hyslips lay up 5 minutes into the period helped Westford cut Braintrees lead to 6.
We knew six points is nothing, because against Newton North we were down by six points going into the fourth quarter and we brought it back, Russell said. So we said we cant let them come back like we did and used that as motivation.
Six points was as close as the Grey Ghosts would get after Braintree held its composure and extended the lead back to double digits.
We knew that this was going to be a close game, regardless of what they score was the game before when we played them, and I think our team showed a lot of grit and a lot of resiliency in coming back the way they did, McDonnell said.
They never got down on themselves, even at timeouts it was very positive, very encouraging. So, every time you left, you felt like you were in very good hands, leaving those kids out on the court.
Three people from Boston were arrested on Tuesday afternoon after police allegedly found cocaine during a traffic stop.
Police said when Drug Unit detectives stopped the car, officers found a quantity of cocaine hidden on one of the suspects.
Stephanie J. Suazo, 18, of Mattapan; Eddie Lara, 19, of Roslindale; and Giovanni Bautista, 20, of Dorchester were arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act.
Bautista was also charged with operating after his license was revoked and multiple warrants for larceny and traffic offenses.
Braintree Scanner Tales: Police arrest alleged pimp for alleged assault, Drunk driving arrests, Teen arrested for alleged drugged driving
Police arrest alleged pimp for alleged assault
A Roxbury man was arrested on Wednesday after allegedly assaulting an 18-year-old woman with a knife.
Police said that they were called to the Extended Stay America hotel on Rockdale Street. The woman alleged that she worked for the suspect as a prostitute, and that the suspect assaulted her and threatened to kill her because she wasn’t working.
Police said that after the assault, the suspect left the hotel with the woman’s clothing and other personal property.
Police found the suspect outside the Registry of Motor Vehicles and placed him under arrest.
Joao F. Vincente, 24, was charged with assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon, larceny from a person, deriving support from prostitution, and threats to commit a crime.
Vincente was with another wonman when he was picked up. Police also arrested the woman, Mikeala M. Brunke, 19, of Dorchester, on a warrant for sexual conduct for a fee.
Drunk driving arrests
Police arrested two people within half an hour of one another on Friday for separate alleged drunk driving incidents.
Police said that an officer working a private detail at Motel 6 observed the first suspect at 8:30 p.m. on Union Street and alerted nearby officers.
Another officer located the suspect on Washington Street, where she had been blocked in by another car.
The couple in the second car said that the suspect had backed her vehicle into theirs intentionally, causing minor damage. The couple also said the suspect had been driving erratically.
Police spoke with the suspect and then arrested her.
Julie A. Fay, 48, of Braintree was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, operating to endanger, and assault with a dangerous weapon (her vehicle).
At 9 p.m., officers received a call of a hit and run accident in the Jared Jewelry Store parking lot.
The suspect’s vehicle was alleged to still be in the parking lot, and a nearby officer responded to assist.
The officer met with the victim, who said that the suspect hit his car and then attempted to drive away. The victim’s wife then ran after the vehicle in an attempt to stop him.
Police spoke with the suspect and said they made several observations that he was under the influence.
Kevin E. Segreve, 53, of Braintree was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol (third offense).
Teen arrested for alleged drugged driving
An 18-year-old Braintree teen was arrested late Sunday after allegedly rear-ending a police cruiser on Washington Street while driving under the influence.
Police said officers had responded to an accident at the 7-Eleven store in North Braintree Square shortly before 11 p.m. in which a 68-year-old Weymouth woman had driven into the front window of the store.
Police said the woman had experienced a leg cramp and took her foot off the break and pressed the gas. Though the window and car were damaged, no one was injured in the incident.
While police were investigating, officers said the suspect drove by the accident scene and videotaped it on his cell phone camera. The suspect then crashed into the rear of a marked police cruiser that had an officer seated inside.
Neither the suspect nor the officer was seriously injured.
Police approached the suspect and smelled a strong odor of marijuana. Police also observed that the suspect was possibly impaired.
William T. Sawyer, Jr., 18, from Braintree was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of drugs, operating to endanger, impeded operation, and obstructing an emergency vehicle.
Braintree Scanner Tales: Brass knuckle assault; robbery-assault in home; heroin trafficking; Pure Hockey burglarized
Warrant out for alleged teen assault
Braintree Police are looking for a 19-year-old Braintree teen who allegedly assaulted another teen with brass knuckles and a knife.
According to police, the victim, another 19-year-old from Braintree, reported that he was walking by McDonalds in South Braintree Square at approximately 11 p.m. on Feb. 14 when he was tapped on the shoulder from behind and called by name.
The victim said when he turned, he was struck in the face and knocked to the ground. The victim said he knew the attacker, and saw brass knuckles on his hand.
The victim and suspect allegedly struggled, at which point the suspect pulled out a folding knife. The victim told police he then broke free and ran down Pearl Street while being chased by the suspect.
The suspect eventually stopped following the victim and the victim met up with a parent, police said.
According to police, the victim suffered non-life-threatening facial injuries. He reported the incident to police the following day.
Police said there is a warrant out for the suspect’s arrest. Charges include assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, assault with a dangerous weapon, possession of a dangerous weapon, and threats to commit a crime.
Homeowner attacked during robbery
Braintree Police said a Connelly Circle homeowner was assaulted by one of two men who robbed his home.
Police were called shortly before 5 a.m. on Feb. 13 after the two men entered the home through a family room bay window and entered a bedroom.
Awoken by the family dog, the homeowner confronted the two men and struggled with one of them before both suspects escaped out a sliding glass window in the rear of the house.
Police said the suspects, who police believe know the homeowner’s son, targeted the house and took electronic items.
Couple accused on heroin trafficking
Police said they are seeking charges against a Rockland woman and a Randolph man after allegedly finding evidence of heroin and cocaine dealing in their Candlewood Suites hotel room in Braintree.
According to police, drug unit detectives became aware that the couple, who were known to police, had been renting out a room at the Candlewood Suites since December.
Police put the couple on surveillance, and on Feb. 13, detectives said they saw the couple leave the hotel and drive to Quincy.
Quincy Police were notified and started observing the couple. Police said they saw what they believe was a drug transaction on a Quincy street, and confronted the couple a short distance away.
A Braintree police dog was called and discovered heroin and cocaine in the woman’s possession, police said.
Police subsequently applied for a search warrant of the couple’s hotel room. In the room, police reported discovering 31 grams of heroin, 11 grams of cocaine, and drug- packaging paraphernalia.
The 35-year-old Rockland woman and 25-year-old Randolph man will be charged with trafficking in heroin, possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to violate the Controlled Substances Act.
Pure Hockey burglarized
Police said several hockey sticks were stolen from Pure Hockey on Wood Road after thieves allegedly smashed both the inner and outer glass doors.
Police said officers responded to a burglar alarm shortly before 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 18, finding both doors smashed.
A large blue tarp which apparently had been used to carry the sticks had become stuck on the glass door, limiting the number of sticks taken away, police said.
Witnesses staying at the Holiday Inn Express said they saw a car, possibly a green Jeep Cherokee, back up to the store. Two people dressed in black and wearing masks and hoods then got out of the car and broke in to the store, the witnesses said.
According to witnesses, the suspects went in and out of the store several times with items they put in the vehicle. Police said the witnesses did not call police until after the suspects had left the area.
Anyone with information should call Detective Charles Paris at 781-794-8685.
A Holbrook man was arrested on Sunday after allegedly hitting a car in Boston while driving drunk.
According to police, the suspect hit the victim on Morrissey Boulevard in Boston and failed to stop. The victim followed the suspect on Route 3 while updating the State Police with his location.
The call was transferred to Braintree police when the suspect got off the highway in Braintree. Police eventually stopped him at the intersection of Plain Street and John Mahar Highway.
Officers said they made observations that the suspect was drunk and placed him under arrest.
Michael Roche, 41, of Holbrook was arrested for operating under the influence of alcohol.
Braintree man arrested after crime spree
A Braintree man was arrested early Thursday morning for allegedly breaking into four cars, torching two of them, and vandalizing a candy machine.
Police said they saw the suspect walking away from a car fire in the area of Pearl Street and Randall Avenue.
A witness to the fire later gave officers a description of the person he saw in the area of the crime, which matched the suspect.
Police said they additionally found evidence of the suspect at the scene of one of four cars that were broken into. The same suspect was also identified in the alleged vandalism of a candy machine at Shaw’s on Pearl Street the same evening.
“It appeared that he was attempting to break into the coin box,” police said in a release.
The officer investigating the vandalism applied for a warrant to arrest the suspect. The suspect was later arrested for the alleged car breaks.
While at the station, police said, the suspect threatened several officers.
Christian R. Moran, 41, of Braintree was charged with four counts of breaking and entering, four counts of threats to commit a crime, two counts of arson, and one count of resisting arrest.
Moran was held overnight pending his arraignment in Quincy District Court.
Police make four DUI arrests in six hours
Police said they arrested four people in unrelated drunk-driving incidents in Braintree from 7:30 a.m. on Wednesday through 1 a.m. Thursday morning.
Police found the first suspect shortly after 7:30 a.m. after a motorist reported that he was following a box truck on Common Street that was being operated erratically. The witness said the suspect almost hit a car head on and almost struck a telephone pole.
Officers located the vehicle on Granite Street and pulled the car over. Police said they found a small bag containing a white substance in the car, which later tested positive for cocaine.
James M. Horrigan, 37, of Stoneham was arrested and charged with operating under the influence (fourth offense) and possession of Class B substance.
Arrests continued shortly before 11 p.m., when officers saw a vehicle in the area of John Mahar Highway and Peal Street with no headlights on.
Officers attempted to pull the car over, but the driver continued until ultimately stopping on Plain Street.
Police spoke with the suspect and then placed him under arrest.
Matthew A. Darois, 32, from Weymouth was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for a police officer, and failure to display headlights.
An hour later, officers responded to a condo complex at 800 West St. to investigate a report of a man standing outside a Mercedes screaming in the parking lot.
Officers arrived and attempted to approach the vehicle, but the operator drove at the officer. Police said the car eventually stopped.
Police believe the suspect was under the influence of a narcotic.
Dimitrios Chatziliadis, 36, of Braintree was arrested and charged with operating under the influence of drugs and assault with a dangerous weapon.
The final arrest occurred at 1:30 a.m., when police stopped another man suspected of intoxicated driving. Officers said they saw the car driving on Liberty Street with two flat tires.
Police pulled the car over and then placed the driver under arrest.
Kenneth J. Bibo, 54, of Braintree was charged with operating under the influence of alcohol.
Milton man arrested on Braintree and Stoughton bank robberies
A Milton man has been charged for the December robbery of the Braintree Cooperative Bank and the robbery of a Stoughton bank, Braintree police said Wednesday.
Police said an officer was monitoring the area of Five Corners on Jan. 16 after a bank robbery occurred in Norwell.
At approximately 1:50 p.m., the officer saw a vehicle fitting a description of the vehicle from the Norwell robbery and stopped the driver.
Police said the suspect was wearing headphones while driving and couldn’t produce a driver’s license. A computer query indicated that the suspect’s license was expired, police said.
Police placed Daniel E. Cathcart, 45, of Milton under arrest and charged him with operating a motor vehicle while wearing headphones, operating with an expired driver’s license, and no license in possession.
While searching the car, police found a black knit hat pulled over a red baseball hat, similar to headwear allegedly worn by a suspect in several area bank robberies.
Based on information provided by Braintree Police, the Stoughton Police charged Cathcart with a bank robbery in their community. He was held in Stoughton on those charges.
The next day, an employee from the Braintree Cooperative Bank positively identified the suspect from a photo array as the man who robbed the Braintree bank on Dec. 23.
According to witnesses in the Braintree bank, the suspect had claimed to have a weapon, and that he demanded money through a note before fleeing out the back door.
Braintree detectives have sought a warrant for Cathcart on charges of armed robbery and larceny over $250.
Police said they were called at approximately 11 a.m. after a man came in to the bank, showed a handgun, and demanded money.
The suspect was described as a black man, approximately 5’4”, and weighing approximately 170 pounds. He was wearing a gray flannel jacket, dirty white gloves with black lettering depicting “Max Hire,” jeans, a hooded sweatshirt, a gray hat, and a black scarf wrapped around his face.
The suspect took the money and fled out the back door, police said.
No one was injured in the robbery.
Celebrity Series of Boston, the same group that brought the city Street Pianos, is looking for over 150 dancers to participate in a unique dance extravaganza. The enthusiastic, contemporary line dance will descend on Copley Square this May. Information meetings will be held Feb. 2 to Feb. 4.
Volunteer dancers will participate in a series of 20 rehearsals to learn and perform Le Grand Continental, a co-production by Montreal choreographer Sylvain Émard Danse and the Festival TransAmeriques. Produced in partnership with the Celebrity Series of Boston, the performances promise to be an explosive, grand finale to cap off the organization’s 75th anniversary season.
Gary Dunning, the executive director of Celebrity Series of Boston, said the performance runs about 30 minutes, with multiple styles of music and dance. He said they are looking for as many dancers that Copley Square can hold, and that no prior dance experience is needed. This way, the performance becomes just as much about community as it does about performance art.
“We look for passion, energy, and the desire to do this, while we take on the responsibility for training. We’ll take all the applicants and work with them,” Dunning said. “In a sense, it’s as much about creating community as it is about celebrating community.”
Dunning said that he is excited to offer this energetic, professional dance experience to the city. He was amazed by the success of Street Pianos Boston and felt the city craved more opportunities to participate in and develop community around performance art. He said that kicking off the season with Street Pianos reflected Celebrity Series of Boston’s mission, and that it is only fitting to end the season with another event that reflects performance art’s “spirit of adventure.”
“There’s a pent up demand for good, fun, public performance art projects, and the city hasn’t had very many of them. The response to Street Pianos and the early response that I’m getting to this is that Boston will embrace it, both as an audience and as performers,” Dunning said. “Our goal is to have a project every year of some kind or another that celebrates how much Boston loves performing arts.”
Le Grand Continental requires no previous dance experience. Dunning said that the piece relies on energy, passion, and a desire to participate within a large community. He said all ages are welcome, and that the current ages already range from young teenagers to those in their 70s. He hopes potential participants will recognize what an amazing, unique opportunity this event presents.
“You can take on a new adventure, try something, and learn something new in a supportive and professional environment,” Dunning said. “You make new friends and experience something you never thought you could, which is performing in front of hundreds of thousands of people. It’ll be great to be part of such a cool community project and to connect with people across the city.”
Le Grand Continental will be performed in Copley Square three times throughout May 16-18. Dancers will attend 20 rehearsals before then, learning choreography in small groups leading up to show day. Information sessions will be held on the following days at the following times:
Sunday, Feb. 2 at 1 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 2 at 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 2 at 4 p.m.
Monday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Feb. 4 at 7:30 p.m.
For more information or to sign up for an information session, visit the event’s website.
Braintree Town Clerk Joseph Powers was placed on paid administrative leave last week, following a series of conflicts with the Town Council.
Town Council President Thomas Bowes confirmed he had suspended Powers, effective Jan. 8, but said privacy rules prevented him from commenting on when or if Powers might return. He also declined to comment on the reason for the suspension.
“It was a personnel issue that we’re handling internally,” Bowes said.
Under Braintree’s charter, the Town Council appoints the town clerk and supervises his office. Powers did not return a phone message seeking comment on his suspension.
Bowes dismissed questions about whether town governance would continue smoothly without a town clerk on the job.
“He [Powers] has got a great staff and I’m confident in them for now,” Bowes said. “We’ll just have to see what happens going forward.”
Powers has been a public servant for most of his adult life, having held various elected and appointed positions in town since 1989, three years after he graduated from Braintree High School. When Braintree switched its municipal government from the town meeting format to a mayor-and-council system in 2007, Powers ran for mayor but lost to current Joseph Sullivan. Powers was appointed clerk in 2009.
Over the past several years, Powers has butted heads repeatedly with the council.
In the council’s public discussions leading up to Powers’s reappointment in July 2012, then-Councilor Leland Dingee alluded to a human resources dispute involving Powers, while Mullaney criticized Powers for poor management and for interfering with council politics. Other councilors defended Powers’s on-the-job record. The council ultimately voted 4-3 with two absences to reinstate him as clerk.
But last November, Powers filed a formal complaint with the state attorney general’s office alleging the council posted too-vague agendas for a pair of committee meetings. He accused the council of violating Massachusetts’s Open Meeting Laws.
Some councilors said they felt blindsided by the official complaint, calling it a disproportionate and drastic overreaction to a minor issue that could have been handled internally. In December, the council approved a rebuttal letter to the AG’s office formally denying any violation of open meeting laws.
The disputed committee meetings, one of which was rescheduled after councilors learned of Powers’s complaint, discussed the issue of travel spending by town employees. A review of spending on travel by the town auditor, requested by then-Councilor Dingee, found travel expenses in Powers’s office had increased sharply over the previous two years.
The council has since enacted a more rigorous travel policy to replace the old, largely informal system. The wording of the policy was revised just before its approval, after Powers questioned whether the policy was targeted at the town clerk specifically.