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Boys Basketball

Salem advances to state final

DURHAM, N.H. – With a tad more than a half minute left in Wednesday’s state semifinal, the Salem coaches gathered for a group hug.

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Boys Basketball, 03/13/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Miglani, HB stun Pelham

PELHAM — Although it went just 9-9 in the regular season, Hollis-Brookline just had Pelham's number. The 15-3 Pythons lost to HB 58-57 in the regular season and 46-45 in the first-round of the Division 2 playoffs when the visitors went on an 8-0 run in the final 40 seconds including Dhruv Miglani's game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer.

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Boys Basketball, 03/12/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central falls to Lynn English in North title game

LOWELL — So many chances fell just short for Central Catholic down the stretch.
 
In the final 90 seconds alone, a 3-pointer that appeared destined for the net spun around and out, a layup took a funny bounce and went free, and a loose ball as the clock ticked down just eluded a few Raider hands before turning into points at the other way.
 
Trailing by a point with just over minute to play, No. 3 Central Catholic could not find the key shot, and fell to top-seeded Lynn English 67-60 in the Division 1 North championship game at the Tsongas Center.

“It’s a tough game and a tough loss,” said Central Catholic head coach John Walsh. “Lynn English is a terrific team, especially defensively.
They made some big plays late. 
“We had that three go in and out when we were down one point, and they go down and hit a three and that hurt. Things like that are a huge part of the game. And they did a great job.”
 
This marked the first trip to the Division 1 North title game for Central (21-4) since the 2013-14 season, when the Tyler Nelson-led Raiders topped Andover on the way to the state title game. That was their second straight North crown.
“In a game this tight, it becomes a battle,” said Walsh. “Neither team can really run the sets they want to run. We tried to spread the guys our and run some pick and roll stuff.”
That worked very well for more than a half. Heading into the second quarter tied 11-11, Central Catholic seemed to steal the momentum from English (21-1) heading into halftime.
A 3-pointer by George Smith and a jumper by Jalen Aquino gave the Raiders the lead, and after a quick English run, Aquino knocked down a trey from the corner.
Kevin Constant then drained a rare 3-pointer from the top of the key — three of his game-high 29 points — and a Xavier McKenzie jumper sent the Raiders into halftime leading 34-31.
“Kevin is a really good player that really takes it to the rack hard,” said Lynn English senior Calvin Seng. “Central is a really tough team that plays so well together. Coach told us we had to communicate or we would be in trouble. We tried to sag off of them and let them get some shots off.”
Central senior Cam Homsey knocked down a 3-pointer early in the third to make it 42-38 Raiders.
But, from there, Central fell into a shooting slump. The Raiders didn’t hit another shot for the rest of the third — and the Bulldogs eventually went on a 13-2 run to take a 54-48 lead two minutes into the fourth.
Constant snapped that skid with a pair of layups, and Smith hit a jumper to cut the deficit to 54-52 with just under five minutes to play.
Constant kept rolling, hitting a jumper with just over a minute left to make it 57-56. But the go-ahead shot didn’t fall, and English hit a trey with 53 seconds left to make it 60-56.
The dynamic Constant added two more layups in the final 30 seconds, but Lynn English answered each one to lock down the victory.
“Kevin played his heart out,” said Walsh. “The whole team did. The seniors played so hard. They wanted to win so bad, but so did Lynn English.”
English will now play South champ Newton North in the state semifinals at the TD Garden on Tuesday.
“This is a great bunch of kids that worked so hard,” said Walsh. “You feel bad because it hurts. But they had a very good season.”
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Boys Basketball, 03/09/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central's trio delivers

LAWRENCE — Championship teams always rely on their best players to shine when the spotlight is brightest.
And Tuesday night in the Division 1 North semifinals, Central Catholic got huge games from standouts George Smith, Kevin Constant and Jalen Aquino as the No. 3-seed Raiders outlasted No. 2 Lowell, 67-61, in a wild battle between MVC rivals in front of a crowd of 2,500 vocal fans.
Smith led the way with 22 points, which included four free throws in the final 11 seconds, Constant had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 3 blocks and Aquino had 15 points, 8 rebounds and 2 blocks.
The talented trio, who were complemented with a more than solid game from Cam Homsey, who had two 3-pointers and was 4 for 5 from the field while netting 10 points, will now take the Raiders to Saturday’s 7:45 p.m. North finals at the Tsongas Arena against No. 1 seed Lynn English.
“This is huge and probably the biggest win I’ve had because we’re going to the North finals,” said an excited Smith. “We went when I was a freshman but this is bigger because I’m more of a leader.”
Smith not only was lethal on the line but he carried the Raiders in the second quarter. With Central trailing 17-16 after the first quarter, Smith had 12 of the team’s 14 points in the second quarter. That, plus an energetic defense which forced 10 Lowell turnovers in the frame, gave the Raiders a 31-30 halftime lead.
“George Smith just doesn’t want to lose and will do whatever it takes,” said Central coach John Walsh. “You want him to take charge in a game like this.”
In the third quarter, it was Aquino who took charge. Held scoreless in the first half, he nailed two 3-pointers and had 10 points as the Raiders had a superb quarter, hitting 10 of 13 from the floor and outscoring Lowell 23-13 to take a 53-42 lead into the fourth quarter.
Moreover, Aquino held Lowell sharpshooter Carlos Nunez, who had four 3-pointers in the first half for 14 of his team-high 22 points to just one point in the third quarter.
“I felt like I was overplaying him (Nunez) in the beginning,” said Aquino. “I felt (at halftime) that I wasn’t doing everything I’m capable of. I felt like I had to leave everything on the floor in the second half.”
Constant, meanwhile, was a force throughout the game, scoring nine points in the first quarter and contributing on defense all game. Not known as a deep threat, his second 3-pointer of the game, with 2:02 left, gave Central a five-point cushion, 60-55, allowing the Raiders to seal it on the line.
Lowell stayed close throughout the second half thanks to Nunez and the acrobatic drives of Justin Villanueva (13 points) and Rashawn Settles (10), but its shooting tailed off in the second half and its 21 turnovers proved costly.
“I’ve got to give a lot of credit to these kids,” said Walsh. “Every one of them came to play today and the defense came through when we needed it.
“I didn’t know what to expect from this team at the beginning of the year, but it’s really come on. I thought, after we won at Andover, we started to put things together and that this might be possible.”

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Boys Basketball, 03/06/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

English ousts upset-minded Andover in semis

DANVERS — Andover faced a tall task squaring off against top-ranked Lynn English in the Division 1 North semifinals, but the Golden Warriors were no strangers to playing the underdog role. 
In their two previous post-season games, the Golden Warriors had knocked off fifth-ranked Waltham and fourth-ranked Boston Latin, setting the stage for another David and Goliath contest, this time with the Bulldogs.
A late surge by the Bulldogs and junior Jarnel Guzman (29 points, 7 3-pointers) spelled the end for the 12th-seed Golden Warriors, 66-43. 
With less than two minutes left in the third quarter, Andover (14-9) was still within striking distance, trailing 39-34, in the game played at St. John’s Prep. Then Guzman, who transferred from the Prep in November, hit a pair of twos before drilling a deep 3-pointer which pushed the lead to 10 headed into the final quarter. 
Andover went cold late and Guzman assured English would stay alive with three more triples in the final quarter, two from way beyond the arc. 
“Just could not make baskets tonight,” said Andover head coach Dave Fazio. “We shot a horrific number, and sometimes that’s what it comes down to. When you miss shots the other team gets a lot of momentum, they get energy, they start flying – and you get a little tired.” 
Senior quad-captain Stephen Shaw said, “Everyone loved each other, and it was so much fun to be with each and every single person, teammate every single day. It’s hard, it’s definitely hard, but I’m thankful for every single moment I had with Andover basketball.”
Rishi Srinivasan checked in late in the fourth quarter with the contest essentially decided. He recorded his lone basket on the night on a finger roll after driving to the hoop. The crowd received the senior with a standing ovation when he checked back out of the game for the final time. 
“You can never underestimate what character is all about. Character is doing what you’re supposed to do when no one is watching,” said Fazio. “My seniors have the utmost character. They’re leaders on and off the court, they’re role models at our school and they compete like son-of-a-guns. Thanks for an unbelievable run.”
The Golden Warriors were led by junior Kyle Rocker with 15 points. 
“We love being the underdog, we’re always going to fight, we’re not going to give up, and that showed in the playoffs,” Shaw said. 
Beating up MVC
The Merrimack Valley Conference has been dominant, placing teams in the Division 1, 2 and 3 North finals. 
But Lynn English (20-2) eliminated Lawrence and Andover in its two tourney games. Next up is No. 3 Central Catholic (21-3) Saturday, 7:45 p.m., at Tsongas Arena. 

Lynn English 66, Andover 43
Division 1 North Semifinals 
ANDOVER (43): Rocker 7-1-15, Shaw 4-1-8, Kirkpatrick 2-0-6, Slayton 3-0-6, Kim 2-0-4, Cammann 0-2-2, Srinivasan 1-0-2, Totals 19-4-43
LYNN ENGLISH (66): Guzman 11-0-29, Rodriguez 7-0-14, Alonzo Linton 6-1-13, Jean-Baptiste 2-0-5, Fitzpatrick 1-0-3, Vizcaino 0-2-2, Totals 27-3-66
3-pointers: ENGLISH — Guzman 7, Fitzpatrick, Jean-Baptiste; ANDOVER — Kirkpatrick 2, Shaw
Andover (14-9): 11 13 12  7 — 43
Lynn English (20-2): 20  9 17 20 — 66

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Boys Basketball, 03/06/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Knights roll into Division 2 North final

NORTH ANDOVER – The Scarlet Knight starting five has built an impressive resume the past couple years having made a state title appearance a year ago. Three of this year’s starters even played pivotal roles in winning a state football title three months ago.

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Boys Basketball, 03/05/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central fends off Cambridge in quarters

LAWRENCE – With several Raiders ailing from the flu, Central Catholic caught a break when a snow storm that never materialized postponed its quarterfinal showdown with Cambridge Rindge & Latin a day.

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Boys Basketball, 03/03/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Shaw, Andover down Boston Latin in North quarters

BOSTON — An extra day of waiting, a drive into the heart of Boston and a raucous opposing crowd just inches away from the court in Boston Latin’s cramped, tiny gym could do nothing to derail Andover on Sunday.
 
“Survive and advance,” said Golden Warriors point guard Emmett Kim. “That’s been our motto all season. We always believe that we can win, and our goal is to survive and keep playing.”
 
Stephen Shaw erupted for 12 first-half points to give No. 12 Andover a halftime lead it would never surrender, and Kyle Rocker scored 20 of his team-high 26 in the second half to sent the Golden Warriors to a 67-53 win over No. 4 Boston Latin in the Division 1 North quarterfinals.
 
Originally scheduled for Saturday, the game was postponed a day due to a forecast of snow that never arrived.
 
“This is awesome,” said Shaw. “We’re excited to get the win and move on. Whatever comes next, we’ll be ready for it. We’re very confident right now.”
Andover (14-8) will next take on top-seeded Lynn English (19-2) in the Division 1 North semifinals. The date, location and time had not been announced. 
 “This is amazing,” said senior Colin Kirkpatrick. “It was an exciting win. But we’re onto the next one. We’re very pumped for Lynn English.”
Boston Latin started hot, scoring the first three baskets of the game. 
But Shaw responded with back-to-back jumpers and, after a Kim corner 3-pointer, Shaw capped a 10-point Andover run with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
“I was feeling really good,” said Shaw. “We heard the rims here were really stiff, but it didn’t matter. Warm-ups felt good, and I felt ready.”
Latin responded with a 14-2 run of its own. But Shaw snapped that with an elbow 3-pointer, and a deep Rocker trey with less than a minute to go in the half gave Andover the lead for good. 
“It was big to have the lead (at halftime),” said Kirkpatrick. “We knew how to respond to their runs. And we had confidence we could finish it off.”
Shaw opened the third period with his third 3-pointer, then followed that with a jumper and a layup to give the Warriors a 32-28 advantage. Rocker followed that with 3’s from the elbow and the top of the key.  
“We felt like we could go on a run to start the third,” said Kim, who finished with seven points and made four steals. “And our runs had to be longer than their runs. We were flying, running and just going. Rocker, Shaw, they were shooting great and we were rolling.”
Latin cut the lead to just 58-50 with 2:07 left. But Aidan Cammann hit a pair of free throws and Kirkpatrick knocked down a jumper to give Andover back control. The Warriors were 7 of 8 from the free throw line down the stretch and locked down the win.
“I’m proud of the team and so proud of (Kim, Shaw and Kirkpatrick),” said Andover head coach Dave Fazio. “They’ve been with me for four years and they’re total character kids. You can count on them for everything on and off the court and they’re playing big. And the whole team is getting confidence and we’re finding a way.”
Andover will next look to earn an upset over Lynn English, which topped Lawrence 82-63 on Saturday.
“This is amazing,” said Kim. “We’re excited for the next round. Bring it on. Survive and advance.”
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Boys Basketball, 03/03/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Brooks loses heartbreaker

Earlier in the season, Hamden Hall crushed Brooks boys basketball 73-48 to hand it its first loss in 68 games. Saturday's rematch in the NEPSAC Class B semifinal went a little different. Brooks led by as much as 17 in the second half, but a key ankle injury to top scorer Tyler Whitney-Sidney helped Hamden Hall complete the 65-62 comeback. Junior Myles Foster had a career-high 25 points from Brooks, which ends its season 18-7.

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Boys Basketball, 03/02/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Top-seeded Lynn English outlasts Lawrence

LYNN — The Lawrence High boys basketball team gave it the old Merrimack Valley Conference try. But it wasn't enough. Not in Lynn. Not against a team built to contend for a state championship. Top-seeded Lynn English High, 19-2, finally broke away from the Lawrence High, outscoring them by 13 points in the fourth quarter en route to the 82-63 win in the Div. 1 North quarterfinals. "I knew they'd be tough," said Lynn English coach Antonio Anderson. "I told our team, they will be around for 32 minutes so be ready to fight. Our key guys Alonzo (Linton) and Jarnel (Guzman) came through for us in the fourth quarter. And some of our other guys did, too. They had to or we could've lost this one." Other than a quick 2-2 tie just 40 seconds into the game, the Bulldogs never trailed. In fact, they jumped out quickly to a 16-8 lead, ready to run. But through three quarters, the Lancers never wavered. Trailing 33-31, they had two chances to go ahead, but both 3-pointers were short. Thanks to a technical foul at the end of the first half — a Lynn English player threw the ball at a Lawrence player — the Lancers made both free throws and closed the gap to 38-37, with the ball. Slowly, though, the 6-foot-6 Linton, who had no physical match on Lawrence, scored five straight points, opening up the lead. He was aided by a pair of driving Guzman lay-ins and two 3-pointers by Joaquin Crespo. Lawrence's Brandon Goris (16 points), Brian Martir (22) and Jaden Castillo (13) all made key shots through the first three quarters to keep it close. But after Lawrence closed it to 60-57 in the fourth quarter after a Jeremiah Melendez 3-pointer and Martir free throw, it missed an open 3-pointer to tie the game. The Bulldogs answered scoring 11 straight points, including a 3-pointer and two three-point-plays, to put the Lancers away. "We just couldn't get over the hump," said Lawrence coach Jesus Moore. "We played them tough for so long. But our immaturity showed, not making the extra pass when a guy is wide open, late on our rotations leaving a guy wide open, and then fouling their 3-point shooter. "We had one guy who played a decent amount of varsity last year, Jaden Castillo," said Moore. "Their veterans made the big plays, they're crafty, slashing to the hoop." Underneath the beads of sweat after the game, Moore, in his first year, was beaming with pride of his 15-7 Lawrence team. "We have bigger goals down the road and this was a great start," said Moore. "I remember seeing these guys at Hoops For Home in Andover and seeing how far they came, without much experience. But we fought all year. We play in the best conference, top to bottom, in the state. We thought we could beat these guys, but tip your cap to them."

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Boys Basketball, 03/01/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Astros down Owls on Day miracle 60-footer

Timberlane's Calvin Geisler scored a go-ahead contested lay-up with four seconds left but Pinkerton won it, 55-54, on an approximate 60-footer at the buzzer from Brady Day. Day has been on fire coming off a recent game with seven trifectas.
It was the season finale for the two struggling clubs but a game they won't soon forget.
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Boys Basketball, 03/01/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Knights withstand pressure, down Malden Catholic

NORTH ANDOVER — Pressure, what pressure?

With 15 seconds left in a rough and tumble, back and forth Division 2 North quarterfinal game, with North Andiver clinging to a 71-68 lead in front of a loud and frantic crowd, senior Gabe DeSouza calmly went to the free throw line and sank two free throws to clinch a hard-earned 73-68 victory.

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Boys Basketball, 03/01/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Sachems can't hold off Weston

The Pentucket boys basketball team held a 10-point lead entering the fourth quarter, but the Sachems couldn't hold off a late comeback effort by Weston as the Sachems were upset 49-48 in the Division 3 North quarterfinals. Weston took the lead with about 1:30 to play after a series of Pentucket turnovers, and the Sachems couldn't make the last big play it needed to regain the lead down the stretch. Jake Etter led the Sachems with 14 points and Spencer Pacy had 13 as Pentucket finishes the season 19-3.

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Boys Basketball, 03/01/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Haverhill nicked by 2

Haverhill trailed by three in the wanning seconds before a foul put it on the free throw line. The Hillies sunk the first to make it a two-point game and tried to miss the second intentionally to get a tip-in rebound, but the attempt missed the rim for a violation and No. 4 Boston Latin closed out the 46-44 win. Daejon Pendelton-Mills and D.J. Cunningham each had 10 points for the Hillies, who finish the season 11-11.

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Boys Basketball, 02/27/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Brooks back in semis

 

The Brooks boys basketball team defeated St. George's 65-43 to advance to the Class B semifinals for the eighth straight year. It will face Hamden Hall in the semifinals Saturday. Hamden Hall snapped Brooks' 68-game win streak back on Dec. 1.

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Boys Basketball, 02/27/19 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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