St. John's Eagles Boys Basketball '10-'11

VIDEO: Lawrence boys basketball pushes St. John's Prep to the limit

Lawrence coach Paul Neal reflects on the Division 1 North title game and the season with The Eagle-Tribune's Hector Longo. Also included are Lancer highlights.

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Boys Basketball, 03/12/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Historic Cinderella runs ends for Lawrence. Prep wins 87-73

BOSTON — In the most brutal Division 1 North sectional, possibly since the mid-1980s, the team that opened at No. 1, stayed there.

Before a great crowd of about 6,000 at the TD Garden, top-seeded St. John's Prep ended the heroic run by No. 15 Lawrence, 87-73, in a wildly entertaining North title game.

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Boys Basketball, 03/11/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

St. John's dethrones Central


LAWRENCE — It didn't take a Superman-like performance out of Pat Connaughton, some crazy hoop miracle, wildly unfortunate breaks or even bad calls.

St. John's Prep just played a little role-reversal to end defending state champion Central Catholic's run of five straight sectional final appearances with a 63-60 victory last night before a packed house of about 3,000 at Lawrence High last night.

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Boys Basketball, 03/08/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Prep wins thriller over Central

DANVERS — Central Catholic can take solace in the fact that this loss isn’t the kind that sticks with you. The Raiders might even get a shot to avenge it. “I relate it to two years ago in 2008, we lost to BC High late in the year,” said Central coach Rick Nault. “We played them and ended up beating them (in the EMass. final). We lost to Andover earlier in the year and came back to beat them twice. I think on a neutral court we can play with these guys. I hope we get the chance.” Nault’s club fought valiantly last night before a standing-room sellout crowd of about 1,400, falling to host St. John’s Prep, 72-70, in a tease to what could be a scintillating Division 1 North sectional. Nault said, “I think we’re very, very even. Coming here in their gym, with this crowd, to be in it at the end with a chance to tie, possibly win. I give the credit to my guys.” The Prep, rated No. 1 in EMass. to Central’s 2, got 23 points from sensational senior Pat Connaughton, none bigger than his hop, skip and slash to the hoop with 25 seconds to play that provided the game-winner. “Pat made some big plays at the end. He really stepped up and took the game over,” said St. John’s coach Sean Connolly. “You expect Pat to make plays like that.” Central had its chances to tie, but the Notre Dame-bound Connaughton raced back to swat one Jimmy Zenevitch bid. Then on an ensuing out-of-bounds play at :03.8 seconds, Isiah Robinson deflected the in-bounds pass to teammate Fred Shove, who was fouled with :00.7 to play. Shove missed both, and Zenevitch’s 80-footer sailed by the hoop after the buzzer. “It’s a good win for us, but we want more, we want to do something in the state tournament,” said Connolly. Zenevitch (14 of 25 from the field) paced the Raiders with 32 points and 13 boards. Junior captain Luis Puello had a dozen points and freshman Tyler Nelson chipped in 10. With the win, St. John’s (19-1) assures itself the 1 or 2 seed in the North sectional when the pairings are announced Friday. Central, now 19-2, falls into the gray area. The defending champions could be as high as No. 3 or as low as No. 5. Zenevitch scores 1,000th You know a game is big when an athlete scores his 1,000th career point, and it goes unnoticed. When Jimmy Zenevitch sliced to the hoop, grabbing a hoop and a foul to cut the Prep lead to 53-52 with a minute left in the third, the Assumption-bound senior broke the 1,000-point plateau. There was no stoppage in play as the Raiders grabbed the lead only seconds later on Tyler Nelson’s three. “It’s obviously a great accomplishment for Jimmy and speaks to what he’s done here,” said Raider coach Rick Nault. “We will honor him before the first state tourney game at our place.” Zenevitch, a late-season varsity call-up as a freshman, enters the state tourney with 1,012 points.   Drex in effect An hour before tip-off, St. John’s sophomore Drex Costello of North Andover looked around to see every seat in the house taken and fans 2-3 deep on both baselines. “Amazing, incredible, the crowd was crazy,” said Costello, who came off the bench to hit two of three shots (5 points) and play a strong all-around game. “It was awesome. Definitely, you couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere, an uptempo game. It’s just amazing to play in a game like this.” Costello has played a more important role over the second half of the season. “A couple guys got injured, so I stepped up and started to make a couple threes,” he said. “I’ve known those guys for a while now. It’s fun to play them. I was a little nervous, but when I hit that first three, I was fine.” Relieved referees The three referees were under the microscope late when the Prep held a 69-66 lead with the ball with 1:20 to play. Jimmy Zenevitch swatted away a lay-up that 1,397 folks in the place saw as a goaltend, but the three who mattered, didn’t. “It looked like a goaltend to me,” said Prep coach Sean Connolly, who jumped in the air and brushed an official running by, drawing a technical foul. Instead of a 6-point lead, the Prep went down 1, 70-69, after Tyler Nelson made a pair of free throws and Zenevitch rolled to the hoop for two more with 1:06 to play. Luckily for the officials, the non-call and T really didn’t matter as the Prep and Pat Connaughton rallied. Deal of the day The MIAA could take a lesson from St. John’s AD Jim O’Leary, who set ticket prices at $5, free for Prep students. Talk about the best deal in town. “I feel like I owe another five,” said one fan to Raider coach Rick Nault afterward. Silent treatment One gripe from a brilliant night of basketball. The Prep doesn’t have a public address announcer to let fans know who draws fouls, enters the game or scores. About time ... First win over CC in at least a decade St. John’s was relieved to get the win. Complete Eagle-Tribune records go back through the 2001-02 season. In that span, it’s believed Central was 11-0 against the Prep prior to last night. “Our coaches and players had never beaten Central,” said coach Sean Connolly. “Psychologically, it’s a big thing for us to beat Central.”

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Boys Basketball, 02/23/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Bramanti nets 1,000th in Andover loss to Prep


BOSTON — With Andover grinding through a rugged closing stretch, Joe Bramanti has thoughts on so much more.

Still, the Andover High senior found a second or two to appreciate the accomplishment.

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Boys Basketball, 02/19/11 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars