Special Feature: Homepage Story

Gendron keeps Central alive

LOWELL — One thing Central Catholic had failed to achieve in recent matches with Austin Prep is getting ahead. Never having a lead makes winning all but impossible.

The Raiders corrected that pesky problem last night, however, finding the back of the net four times during a second-period, special-teams assault as Central stayed alive in the Super 8 hockey tournament with a 7-4 victory at the Tsongas Center. The victory, which tied a CC season-high for goals and was AP's first loss since Dec. 28, sets up a Sunday finale in the best-of-three first-round series at a time and site to be determined.

And it would be nice if Cam Gendron can keep his hot stick going for a few more nights.

The freshman winger lit up the Cougars on a five-point evening that included his inaugural hat trick.

"It was the first hat trick of my high school career, and luckily it came in the Super 8," said Gendron, who entered the game with four goals on the season. "Me and the boys just worked our butts off and did pretty well.

"We weren't desperate. We were a little nervous, but we put the (first loss) behind us and we focused on it being just one game. We just had to win that game."

Trailing by a goal entering the second, the Raiders (16-7-2) erased the deficit as well as the recent past for that win.

Gendron ignited the barrage with his second goal off a centering pass by fellow freshman and linemate Jake Wise 68 seconds into the frame.

"Getting back tied was big," Gendron said.

Special teams then took over, first on a shorthanded goal by Wise off assists from David Sheehan and Blades Shields with 8:47 left.

"We talked about being a little more aggressive at different times," CC coach Mike Jankowski said. "We have great team speed in that locker room and they were able to follow that up with a nice goal."

From there, it was the power play's turn with two scores over the next 4:26.

First up was Christian Thompson, who one-timed a slick diagonal pass from Billy Stahley at the right point. Then it was Gendron's turn again, making the score 5-2 on a John Barltett assist with 4:21 left in the period.

"We skated the same way we did (in earlier games with Austin Prep)," said goalie Pat Schena, who stopped 25 shots — 12 in the third. "It just comes down to finishing, and today we finished it. It was just a good win."

Stahley put the Raiders up 6-2 with the Central's first shot of the third, streaking down the left side of the rink and slamming a wrister home. Then Robbins and Gendron perfectly executed a 2-on-1 break, when Robbins drilled the crossing pass with 5:56 left for the Raiders' final score.

"It seems like we have that jump back, and we're playing well," said Jankowski, whose squad had lost six straight to AP by a combined 15-5.

Austin Prep, which had outscored CC 9-2 in three Super 8 victories the past two years, needed only 72 seconds to take a 1-goal advantage in the first game and once again the Cougars jumped out to a pair of early leads last night.

The first came 41 seconds into the game's first power play, when junior forward Mike Egan slammed home shot from the right circle for the early lead at the 6:10 mark. The Cougars, then took a 2-1 lead with 4:21 left in the first on a Cam Russo score.

But unlike the previous three defeats, the Raiders immediately answered those early salvos. Gendron first tied the match only 17 seconds after Egan's score. Linemates Wise and Robbins assisted on the goal.

And the second period turned out to be the response to Russo's.

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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/05/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Cinderella Hillies topple Hornets behind 44 Gleason saves

BILLERICA — With every North Reading shot, the net seemed to shrink, while Haverhill’s Michael Gleason loomed larger and larger.

By the time the third period rolled around, well, you just weren’t going to beat the 6-foot-3 Hillie goalie.

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Boys Ice Hockey, 03/05/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

After beating Pope John 69-33 in January, Whittier stunned by Tigers in quarters

LAWRENCE — Pope John XXIII coach Jake Feraco watched Whittier play four times this winter so he had an airtight game plan heading into the Division 4 North semifinals.

“I noticed that with every time in the halfcourt set, they were bothered by man-to-man,” Feraco said. “So we knew we had to guard them halfcourt man-to-man. We knew we needed to keep the ball out of Michaela Martin’s hands because she’s a great playmaker.”

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Girls Basketball, 03/05/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Cambridge wallops shorthanded Central in quarters

CAMBRIDGE — One elbow, Wednesday night in the tourney-opening win over Charlestown, sent Central Catholic staggering.

The second, early in the third quarter of last night's Division 1 North quarterfinal, finished the Raiders for good.

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Boys Basketball, 03/05/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover falls short in North semfinals

NORTH ANDOVER — As the crowd filed out of the Crozier Field House, Andover head coach David Fazio could be seen standing in the hall that overlooks the court, comforting emotional senior David Giribaldi, breaking only to give another hug to fellow senior Connor Merinder.

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Boys Basketball, 03/04/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Unbeaten Conant ousts Pelham in semis

HOOKSETT, N.H. – A gallant Pelham High run through the New Hampshire Division 3 State Tournament ended last night at Southern New Hampshire University in the state semifinals,
The Pythons didn’t go down with throwing a serious scare into unbeaten and top-seeded Conant, before falling 53-43.
No. 5 Pelham had gotten to this point with wins over Hopkinton and an upset at rival Campbell, the fourth seed. The Pythons finish the year at 16-5 in the Granite State.
It took a monster, 29-point night from Holy Cross-bound Maddy Springfield to put the Pythons away.
Down 30-19 at the half and 38-26 after three, Pelham clawed back into and had all the life when Lilly Shilmon drained a three-pointer inside the final four minutes to slice the margin to seven points.
But Eva Hodgson, who had nine second-half points, hit a clutch hoop inside the final minute and Conant took care of business from the line to advance and make it 23 straight.
Saturday night back here, Conant goes for the title against Gilford, the No. 2 seed at 23-0. Gilford beat rival Laconia, 37-34. The two unbeatens will meet Saturday at 5:30,

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Girls Basketball, 03/03/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Astros eliminate Salem

DERRY — It would appear the Pinkerton girls have found the optimum point total needed for winning basketball games.

Seeded fifth entering the postseason, the Astros had won six of their final seven, scoring between 57 and 59 points in five of those victories.

And it proved more of the same in the preliminary round of the Division 1 tournament running away from 12th-seeded Salem in a 60-44 victory before a crowd of about 100.

"I know what her (Salem coach Michaela Galvin) game plan is, and it's a smart one," Pinkerton coach Lani Buskey said. "She tried to get us off our composure. We've had some games where we've lost our composure, and it's cost us.

"But we've been practicing, man. We've been practicing for teams that try to get at us mentally and emotionally, and I'm really proud of my girls. They held their own."

The Astros (15-6) rode an erratic first half into a 27-19 lead before erupting early in the third from long range. A trio of threes from Jaime Caron, Melissa Martel and Emilie Laliberte were each set up on assists from Valerie Martin. Three free throws from Martin also were part of a run that opened a 37-23 lead midway through the third quarter.

"In the first half, they were really on me, and I let the pressure get to me," said Martin, who finished with eight points. "In the second half, I just tried to calm down, and make the smart moves. Then get the ball to my teammates, and they definitely stepped up."

The Astros never let the Blue Devils, who finished 6-15 overall, closer than 12 until fewer than 2 minutes remained.

Martel, who finished with a team-high 16 points, and Marissa Stacy, who added 12, combined to score 17 of Pinkerton's 33 second-half points. But almost as important was the inside play of 5-8 Sara McLeman, who grabbed 12 boards and blocked four shots.

"You can't ask any more than that from your (power forward)," Buskey said. "She's pure heart, and she always works on that. She always asks how many rebounds she has. Points are good for her, but you can't help but love a kid who wants to know how many rebounds she has."

Pinkerton hauled in 13 offensive rebounds over the first three quarters.

"That's kind of been something we've struggled with throughout the season," second-year Salem coach Michaela Galvin said. "Sometimes we're so tough and aggressive and box out every time. Other times we just have these mental lapses. You can't do that and win the game."

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Girls Basketball, 03/03/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover rolls over North Andover in Division 1 North quarterfinals

ANDOVER — As the final seconds ticked off the clock, Alyssa Casey and her fellow Andover High starters sat comfortably on the bench, exchanging hugs and preparing to charge the court and celebrate with their teammates.

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Girls Basketball, 03/02/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

MOC: Scalzo the hero for Owls in thriller

NASHUA — Before the season, Timberlane boasted three impressive streaks in New Hampshire — consecutive dual-meet wins (95), Division 1 state crowns (15) and Meet of Champions titles (11).

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Wrestling, 03/01/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Hornets storm back in 3rd

WOBURN — John Giulotti made a pledge to his North Reading hockey team in between the second and third periods of Saturday's Division 2 North quarterfinal contest with Peabody. "I told them to believe in yourselves and believe in the system," said Giulotti, the team's head coach. "I promised them if we got the first (goal) of the period, then the onslaught would start." The Hornets went out and scored on the first shift of the final stanza ... then added four more for good measure to turn a two-goal deficit into a 5-2 victory over the Tanners at O'Brien Rink. The top line of Tyler Calos, Mike Driscoll and captain Jared Potter combined for three goals and five assists as second-seeded North Reading (18-4) asserted its dominance from the opening whistle of the final 15 minutes. "Hockey's a game of momentum, and we were able to grab it early in that third period," said Giulotti, whose club will face the winner of Saturday night's late game between Haverhill and Winthrop in the Div. 3 North semifinals Wednesday at the Chelmsford Forum. "One we got it, we hung onto it and kept rolling." Driscoll roofed a one-timer past Peabody goalie Aaron McDonnell (23 saves) to get his team on the scoreboard 29 seconds into the third. Just 82 seconds later sophomore defenseman Jared Vadale tied the game at 2-2 with a power play goal from the left point that had eyes through traffic. Calos, a junior, gave North Reading the lead for good with 10:25 remaining when Driscoll sent him in alone and he beat McDonnell with a quick wrister. It was the Hornets' third goal of the period on just four shots. Before Peabody (10-9-3) could pull McDonnell from the nets, Pat Driscoll and Potter added insurance goals 14 seconds apart in the last minute-plus. "We knew they'd come out flying in the third. Their kids get to open spots on the ice so well," said Peabody head coach Mark Leonard, whose team got goals from Bobby Caproni and Chris Gillen in the first two periods. "When they scored so quickly, there was no time for us to slow down their momentum. (Those guys), they play the game right." Junior Nick Ponte stopped 14 of 16 shots for the win in goal for the Hornets.

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Boys Ice Hockey, 02/28/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

All-States: Hoehn redemption

SALEM — Fritz Hoehn had had enough.

One week after nonchalantly winning his third consecutive Division 2 state title, the North Andover senior entered the All State tournament focused on reversing the losses he'd suffered in his previous three attempts at an overall state title.

Turned out he was pretty emphatic about avoiding another disappointment.

Hoehn recorded his third technical fall in four weekend matches, dominating Springfield Central's Jastice Bolden in a 17-2 win that was stopped with 50 seconds remaining.

"I've never won this before," said Hoehn, who was named the tournament's outstanding wrestler at the upper weights after running his season record to 52-0. "I've lost three times in the finals here so I wanted to make sure I was ready to go. It feels pretty good."

An Edinboro University commit, Hoehn, who also recorded a tech fall over Bolden in a dual tournament earlier in the season, previously had lost title bouts at 138 pounds as a freshman, 152 pounds as a sophomore and 160 pounds last year.

"This is like something over my head because of those three losses being a No. 1 seed," said Hoehn, a two-time fourth-place finisher at New Englands. "So it just feels real good to win this one. It's a big one. I should be going to New Englands (confident)."

Hoehn, who is now 191-15 on his career, also piled up 17 points winning his first two matches before defeating Methuen sophomore Darius Franklin in the semis. In the title bout, he had Bolden on his back in 20 seconds.

Butterbrodt success

St. John's Prep senior Ian Butterbrodt, who last week became the state's all-time leader in victories, claimed his third straight state title.

But it didn't come as easily as most would have predicted for the wrestler who has won 219 matches. In fact, Butterbrodt found himself trailing 4-1 with less than a minute left in the second. But the defending New England champ reestablished control, racking up five points the final 46 seconds of the period for a 6-4 decision over Arlington's Nick Rose.

"He was strong," Butterbrodt said of Rose, who won the D2 title last week. "But that's cool. I'm not really used to feeling someone coming at me hard. So when a kid comes out and gives it his all, it's different."

Methuen medalists

Senior Billy Wehring and sophomore Franklin, the only two Rangers in the tournament finished strong after semifinal losses with third-place finishes

Wehring, who suffered a two-point loss in the semis, atoned for a regular-season loss to Central Catholic's Jack Kiely with a 4-0 win in the consolation semifinals before defeating Woburn's Nick Camacho.

Meanwhile, Franklin rebounded from his second loss to Hoehn in two years, staking a claim on a bright future after his 5-1 win over Catholic Memorial's Josh Beche, who lost to Hoehn in the D2 tourney.

Last year, Franklin's season ended at 27-1 when he tore right-knee ligaments in an 8-4 dual-meet decision to Hoehn.

"He gave me my first loss in my wrestling career," said Franklin, 41-5 on the season. "I was a little nervous coming in. I was kind of afraid, because I didn't know if I could place. But after that first match when I pinned my kid (in 3:22), I wanted to strive for more and go after it.

Area roundup

Pentucket senior Josh Wesolowski continued his outstanding career by finishing third at 132 after dropping his semifinal to D1 champ Russel Fey of Lincoln-Sudbury. A fourth-place finisher last year, Wesolowski scored a 9-2 decision over Mr. Everett's Bradley Lupiani.

Other area placers were Haverhill's Reece Millington (145) and Central Catholic's Donovan Nolan, who both finished sixth, and Lawrence' Rafael Medina (160) and Haverhill's Luc Chretien (195), who both finished seventh.

Coaches honored

Former Methuen star and Pentucket coach Sean Kiley was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

Lawrence coach Rob Niceforo was honored with several other coaches for compiling 200 career wins.

Odds and ends

There were five rematches of last week's divisional finals, including three from Division 3. The only two upsets also came from the Division 3 ranks.

Springfield Central's Jonathan Viruet won his third straight All-State title with a 160-pound championship.

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Wrestling, 02/28/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover relayers win New England title

ROXBURY — Disappointed with a second-place finish at All-States, the Andover High 4x400-meter relay team approached the New England Championships with the eye of the tiger.
Natick edged the Blue and Gold last week but Friday night at the Reggie Lewis Center was a different story.
Jeremy Travaglini (51.0 seconds), Sean Caveney (50.7), Ray Gorzela (51.7) and Hamza Naveed (49.6) combined to break the tape in 3:23.49, the fastest time in the Bay State this year, said proud head coach Peter Comeau.
“They were going for it,” said Comeau. “They were gunning it.”
Comeau has called Naveed the greatest anchor to ever run at Andover. He lived up to the high praise once again. Make it twice again.
With stars Sean Caveney and Sebastian Silveira unavailable as they were running the hurdles, the 4x200 team still came up big.
Travaglini, Gorzela, Andrew Lucia and Naveed placed third in 1:31.70.
Those hurdles still made a major impact. Silveira broke his own school record and lost a photo finish for the gold. He was clocked in 7.445 while Kevin Saccone of Old Rochester won in 7.441. Caveney took fifth in 7.68.
It was a huge day locally on the hurdles as Central Catholic senior Jack McInnis had a “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” performance. Running out of lane 7, he placed seventh.
His time? 7.77.
Methuen’s 4x800 team just missed cracking the all-time area honor roll. John St. Hilaire (1:56), Devin Allen (2:00), Fernando Damota (2:02) and Matt Marchand (2:02) finished in 8:01.31 to place fourth.
For his second straight meet, Londonderry senior Starlin Ortiz soared 6-7. He placed third.
Several of the top local athletes have stated they will be heading to nationals at the New York Armory March 13-14.

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Boys Indoor Track, 02/28/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover picks it up in the second half, downs Cambridge

ANDOVER — As a frustrated Andover girls basketball team made its way the locker room at halftime, the Golden Warriors knew something had to change.

“We looked around and knew that our season could be over in an hour,” said senior Rachael Cormier. “It hurt to think that it could end here, and we were not going to let that happen.”

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Girls Basketball, 02/27/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Andover volleyball's Eduardo Machado

Eduardo Machado is a standout for the Andover volleyball team — he leads the team in assists and kills — and is also a star in the classroom. He is ranked in the top 10 percent of his class, scored a 2,170 on his SATs and will be attending RPI.

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05/17/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

VIDEO: Salem runner Eric Tahtamoni

Salem runner Eric Tahtamoni talks about his new love of hurdles, and his hopes to break the school record in the 400.

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05/11/12 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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