St. John's Eagles Boys Basketball '19-'20

Fri, Dec 27, 2019 05:30 PM @ St. John's
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
North Andover 8 19 15 11 53
St. John's 17 14 24 22 77

St. John's cruises past North Andover

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Friday, December, 27 By Jeff Hamrick

METHUEN – A couple years ago St. John’s Prep landed a spot in the Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic, giving the Eagles a chance to play some tough nonconference games against Merrimack Valley opponents.

In 2017, the Eagles used the motivation to debut with a title, defeating the likes of Lawrence and Central Catholic. Last year, the MVC got payback as St. John’s lost to Lawrence before dropping the third-place match to North Andover.

Friday night, St. John’s looked more than ready to capture a second Classic title, getting its revenge against North Andover with an easy 77-53 victory over the Scarlet Knights in Methuen’s Larry Klimas Memorial Field House.

“We’re here for the same thing,” Eagle coach John Dullea said. “We have a chance to play a great program like North Andover and we have Methuen (5:30 p.m. Sunday) in their own gym and it will be a great environment … We’ll have our hands full, but that’s why we come up here to play these tougher teams.”

The Eagle (3-0) wasted no time opening an 11-point lead with 1:40 left in the second quarter on a free throw by Haverhill’s Matt Duchemin that provided a 15-4 lead.

But North Andover (0-4) bounced back in the second quarter with a 9-0 spurt as part of a first-half closing 11-4 run. Five different Knights pitched in during the rally, which cut the Eagles’ advantage to 31-27 at intermission.

“When things are going good for us and we’re clicking on all cylinders we score in bunches,” Dullea said. “We go through some droughts at times, and our shooting wasn’t great in the first half. We came alive in the second half.”

A pair of Drew Connolly free throws opened the second half as North Andover closed to within 2, but it was all St. John’s from there.

“We have a little different approach this year,” Dullea said. “Our offense kind of leads to our defense. Usually with our teams, it’s the other way around. Once we get our offense going, it gets guys confident on both sides of the ball.”

The Eagles scored on six consecutive possessions to take a 55-37 lead with 70 seconds left in the third. Leading the way was Rollie Castinayra, a freshman who plays like a seasoned vet.

“Rollie’s a tremendous basketball player,” Dullea said. “He’s not just a shooter, he knows how to play the game. But you saw in the second half, when he gets going it’s pretty much lights out.”

Against North Andover, it was Castinayra’s shooting which impressed. After converting only one of his seven field goal attempts in the first half – each of which came from behind the ark – the freshman found his touch with an eight-of-nine performance in the second half. Castinayra finished with a game-high 27 points, which included seven treys. He scored 14 of St. John’s 22 fourth-quarter points, including treys on three consecutive possessions.

“I’ve been wanting to go here for a really long time,” said Castinayra, who is from Marblehead. “I had kind of an older brother who went here … and I watched (former Eagle and current Milwaukee Buck) Pat Connaughton on TV when I was younger and I said, I had to go here.

“It was my teammates who helped me with the transition. I love every single person on this team. This has never happened to me before. I can’t think of anyone on the team who hasn’t supported me.”

After scoring a season-best 19 points in the second quarter, North Andover was held to 26 in the second half and went without scoring during a 5:56 stretch in the fourth.

“We have some good spots, but we only do it for like a quarter,” said North Andover coach Paul Tanglis, whose squad committed 21 turnovers. “When you only do it in one out of four quarters, it’s not going to be a good result. We go in droughts where we have a tough time putting the ball in the hole so we have to get multiple stops in a row, and we can’t do that.”


Game Statistics:

Commonwealth Classic White Division (Lower Seeds) First Round
North Andover (53):
 Kyle Moore 3 0-0 8, Drew Connolly 2 2-4 6, D'Adre King 2 0-0 4, Jake Wolinski 2 0-0 4, Nate Williams 1 0-0 2, Jack Castellanos 0 0-0 0, Matt Kutz 3 4-4 11, Jack Morin 3 1-1 7, Aidan Heim 2 4-5 8, Jake Landry 0 0-0 0, Chris Pensavalli 0 0-0 0, Jack O'Connell 0 0-0 0, Andy Lauzon 1 0-0 3. Totals 19 11-14 53

St. John's Prep (77): Aidan Callahan 4 2-2 11, Luke Poirier 1 0-0 3, Rollie Castinayra 9 2-2 27, Sean McDonald 1 0-0 3, Mason Davis 2 4-4 8, Jack Perry 2 0-0 5, Matt Duchemin 3 1-2 8, Michael O'Brien 4 2-2 10, Mikey Nabbout 0 0-0 0, Eric Wing 0 0-0 0, Olivier Bruno 1 0-0 2, Jackson Stacey 0 0-0 0, Patrick Atkins 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 11-12 77

3-pointers: NA —Moore 2, Kutz, Lauzon; SJP — Castinayra 7, Callahan, Poirier, McDonald, Perry, Duchemin

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