Central Catholic Raiders Boys Basketball '08-'09

Central repeat bid ends at Tsongas

Central Catholics Benny Fernandez, right, drives past the Lynn English defender during boys basketball Division 1 North Finals at the Tsongas Arena. 18 Photos

LOWELL - Lynn English accomplished what no other Bay State team could this year. The Bulldogs flustered Central Catholic to the point of bewilderment.

Forcing 30 Raider turnovers, including 16 on steals, English ended Central's bid for a state championship repeat with a gate-to-wire 71-60 victory before about 4,000 fans in the Division 1 North title game at Tsongas Arena.

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Boys Basketball, 03/08/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Never-say-die Central finds a way

READING: Central Catholic defeated Everett, 47-44 in the Division One North Basketball Tournament Semi-Final game. Central's, Billy Marsden drives to the hoop against Everett's bit men, Rodman Noel, Kyon Watkins (#32) and (#3) Nerlens Noel. Marsden was fouled on the play. Photo by Carl Russo/Eagle-Tribune. Thursday, March 5, 200921 Photos

READING — Down 1 with 5.9 seconds left and the opposition's top player on the foul line?

You're just not supposed to win.

Tell that to Billy Marsden. The Central Catholic senior hauled in Jerome Cohen's miss, turned to head up court and was fouled.

For a guy who's made the acrobatic to near-impossible look easy with tourney games on the line, foul shots are a snap, even with 2,500 screaming fans peering down on you.

"At the line, it's the same shot no matter how often you take it," said Marsden, who calmly swished a pair with :04.1 on the clock and made two more a second later after an Everett turnover, lifting Central to a wild 47-44 Division 1 North semifinal win.

"It's not like there's someone in your face, no defense, no leaning, just a regular shot. And I practice those all the time."

The victory sent the defending state champs to a fourth straight North title appearance, sixth in the last seven years. Sunday night (7 p.m.) at Tsongas Arena, the top-seeded Raiders will tangle with No. 3 Lynn English for a ticket to the Garden.

"I feel a little bit guilty, I feel like we stole one," said a relieved coach Rick Nault after his team survived 25 turnovers in an absolute meat-grinder of a game. "We're not a great offensive team. We win because we play pretty good defense. There was no doubt in our guys that they were going to pull this one out."

Central had plenty of opportunity to second-guess itself, what with plodding Everett dictating the pace and carrying the lead from the opening tip deep into the fourth.

A Luis Puello free throw gave Central its first lead of the night, 41-40, with 3:48 left to play. When Marsden plucked a steal and found Carson Desrosiers ahead of the pack for a ferocious two-handed slam, it appeared Central might finally hit its stride.

But deliberate and dangerous Everett wasn't done.

The Tide answered with a pair of hoops to grab the lead back at 44-43 with 1:48 to go.

From there, neither team could find the hoop.

Central turned it over twice and missed a pair of jumpers. Meanwhile, Everett answered with a violation, a Desrosiers-altered miss and back-to-back missed front ends of the one-and-one, the second of which was terminal when the basketball finally found Big Shot Billy.

Trailing by as many as seven in a 24-20 first half, Central truly was fortunate to be hanging around.

The Tide surrounded Desrosiers and face-guarded Marsden, leaving the scoring in everyone else's hands for the most part.

With points at a premium, Nault got three huge hoops from senior Tim Wheeler, a fearless seven from the frosh Puello and four of five free throws out of Michael Garcia.

The contributions were just enough to keep Central involved until Desrosiers cranked up the shot-swatter and Marsden willed his way to 17 second-half points, a game-high 20 overall.

Desrosiers, who filled out his triple-double with 13 rebounds and 12 blocks, made just five of 12 shots for 11 points. With six fourth-quarter blocks, he simply shut Everett down.

"Defensively, he just takes everything away," said Nault. "Not just the blocks, but every rebound and he changes so many shots."

Now 23-1, Central gets two days to prepare of Lynn English, which knocked off No. 2 Lexington, 74-69, last night.

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Boys Basketball, 03/05/09 » 1 Comment & 0.0 Stars

Big Shot Billy appears just in time; Central advances

Central's Carson Derosiers pauses before putting up a shot during Central's home win over Lynn Classical Tuesday night in Lawrence.5 Photos

LAWRENCE - Was it the seat, no-look over-the-heard pass to Benny Fernandez?

Or maybe the cute little pullup "J" to give Central Catholic a 48-42 lead heading into the fourth quarter?

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Boys Basketball, 03/03/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lights out

With star guard Billy Marsden out with the flu, it was the Carson Desrosiers show. The junior scored 22 points, grabbed 19 rebounds and blocked 10 shots as Central Catholic rolled to a 62-47 win over St. John's Prep.

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Boys Basketball, 02/18/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central smothers sweet-shooting Watertown

BOSTON - Giant-killer Watertown had reputation-building on its mind this weekend at the Comcast Boys Basketball Tournament. The projected beast of the upcoming Division 3 North tourney KO'd Division 1 power Newton North Saturday, but shoot as they might, there was no slaying goliath Central Catholic in last night's title game. Facing nobody taller than 6-foot-3, tourney Most Valuable Player Carson Desrosiers feasted and frolicked, both inside and out, in a 77-70 Central win. "As you saw, they really can shoot it," said coach Rick Nault of small but lethal Watertown, which knocked in 10 3-pointers to keep things interesting for all 32 minutes. "We asked a lot of Carson tonight, not only to score and rebound but to go out there and play defense on the perimeter against guards." Desrosiers, at 6-foot-10, answered the call and then some in a 29-point, 15-rebound, 4-block, 3-dunk night. The junior hit 12 of 16 shots from the field. "Coach told they would try to take me out and attack me off the dribble," said Desrosiers, who at one point was 9 of 10 from the field. "They did that and I got a couple blocks. Having shooters like that can make it tough." Trailing 40-28 at the break, it was a matter of Central returning to what it does best. The Raiders got after it defensively, and with that came opportunities to cash in. All-tourney selection Billy Marsden, struggling a bit from the field lately and forced to play more point guard with Benny Fernandez in foul trouble, thrived in the role, relying on his craftiness and creativity in a 22-point, seven-assist night. The senior drove and got hacked for two, nailed a triple and fired a no-look, cross-lane laser to Jimmy Zenevitch (10 points) for a wide-open layin as the Raiders opened the second half on a 15-3 flurry. With Desrosiers invoking his will with four fourth-quarter hoops and Marsden there to ice it (7 of 8 from the line in the quarter), Central put its 19th victim in the books, with only Wednesday nights tango with St. John's Prep remaining in the regular season.

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Boys Basketball, 02/15/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Double Dip for Raiders

No. 1 ranked Central Catholic will join it girls team in the finals of the Comcast Tournament today at B.C. High. The Raiders ran by host B.C. High 69-63 in the semi finals. 6-10 junior center Carson Desrosiers lead the charge while gobbling up 17 rebounds and scoring 14 points. They will meet Watertown, ranked ninth EMass, tonight at 6:30.

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Boys Basketball, 02/14/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Central defends Bay State honor, topples Hendricken

LAWRENCE - Staring down illness, constant defensive pressure and a high-powered Bishop Hendricken arsenal, the Central Catholic boys defended the Bay State's hoop reputation admirably.

Holding Hendricken, the monster of the Rhode Island Prep scene to five fourth quarter-points and zero field goals over the final 6:13, Central, now 16-1, rebounded from an eight-point deficit to pull out the matinee thriller, 58-55, at Memorial Gym.

Brave Benny Fernandez, who made as many trips to the men's room because of a flu bug as he did to the basket, came up with a crucial steal, sending Billy Marsden away for a breakaway layup and the lead 56-54, with 1:22 left.

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Boys Basketball, 02/08/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Milestone for Marsden

Needing 27 points to reach the 1,000 mark heading into Central Catholic's game against Lawrence, senior Billy Marsden scored exactly 27 in yesterday's 71-55 victory. Marsden persevered through stifling and oftentimes physical defense — at one time getting a gash on his face — to nail seven field goals and 11 free throws. Carson Desrosiers only had 8 points, but more than made up for it by grabbing 18 boards and racking up 12 blocks. Jimmy Zenevitch (8) and freshman Luis Puello (9) combined for 17 rebounds.

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Boys Basketball, 02/06/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Desrosiers denies Andover again

Andover: Andover's, Brian Miller (on floor) fights for the loose ball with Central Catholic's, Luis Puello in basketball action. Central defeated Andover 55-45. 6 Photos

ANDOVER - Every detail for the monumental upset appeared to be in place.

There was the 200-plus student pregame tailgate - at 4 p.m. - a raucous, partisan house of about 1,000 jammed in by the JV halftime, and, of course, that adrenaline-fueled Andover High desire coarsing through the home team's veins.

In 32 minutes, the Carson Factor wiped all those good intentions away.

Central Catholic's Carson Desrosiers, with a Warrior draped on each arm most of the night, simply willed the Raiders to a black-and-blue, 55-45, victory. The 6-foot-10 junior went the distance, tossing in a game-high 23 points on 9 of 20 shooting, owning the defensive paint with 13 blocks and 13 rebounds as the Raiders, now 13-1 overall, clamped down on at least a share of their third straight MVC large title.

"We're going at him and at him and and at him, and he's just smacking and smacking and smacking it," said Warrior coach David Fazio after the ninth straight loss to his alma mater. "It's unbelievable."

Desrosiers had to alter at least a dozen other Warrior shots, leaving Andover little option offensively.

"It was definitely a defensive game," said Desrosiers. "They're known for their defense, and I like to think we're known for ours. It was that kind of game. Andover-Central is always going to be physical, and it's always going to have heated emotions."
Things went past physical in the third quarter, which saw 16 fouls whistled, including a pair of double-fouls.

It was there, late in the third with Andover scratching its way back in that Desrosiers did his best work, nailing a three, hitting a wide-open Michael Garcia for a layin and then finishing off a traditional three-point drive to keep the Warriors at bay, 39-32, headed to the fourth.

Despite the scrambling tactics, Andover would get no closer the rest of the way.
Billy Marsden added 14 points for Central on 5 of 12 shooting, despite some serious defense from Warrior Kevin Polanco.

"I don't really get a lot of calls in this gym," admitted Marsden, who had two back-breaking hoops in the fourth - a steal and coast-to-coast layin and a high arcing tear-dropper - that silenced the home folks each time the Warriors got a little momentum going. "Anytime you win in here, it's special."

In three varsity seasons, Marsden, Desrosier and Tim Wheeler have anchored the Raiders on a 34-3 MVC journey with dates against Lawrence and Haverhill remaining.

"That's three for me, three for Billy and three for Tim, so that means a lot," said Desrosiers. "It's big. Hopefully we can take care of the next two games and sweep the MVC."

For the Warriors, it's back to the offensive drawing board, starting with the need to solve that smothering Central 2-3 zone.

Kevin Polanco paced the Warriors with a dozen points and Connor Arnold chipped in 11.
Scoring, with Desrosiers holding sway over the lane, was just such a daunting task, almost arduous at times.

"We just have to make plays. Good teams finish plays, and how many plays did we leave on the rim tonight," said Fazio, whose club is now 10-6 and 6-4 in the MVC.
"It's not our defense. Offensively, we have to have vision, we have to understand where 55 (Desrosiers) is. We have to drive and kick and we have to shoot with confidence."

Easier said than done, a point Desrosiers has driven home an awful lot in these parts lately.


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Boys Basketball, 02/04/09 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Sharp shooter

Fueled by Billy Marsden's five 3-pointers, Central Catholic dropped rival Lowell, 50-43, to improve to 12-1. Marsden finished with 26 points while star center Carson Desrosiers filled out the stat sheet with 8 points, 11 rebounds and 7 blocks.

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Boys Basketball, 01/30/09 » 1 Comment & 0.0 Stars
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