Monthly Archives: December 2016

Danbury takes rematch 73-66 from Wilbur Cross

Chris Torres (#1) in traffic

Chris Torres (#1) in traffic

Denali Burton tries to drive on William Antrum

Denali Burton tries to drive on William Antrum

(Danbury CT) The rematch went Danbury’s way again.

The Danbury Hatters defeated the Wilbur Cross Governor’s, 73-66, on Thursday afternoon.

On March 15th Danbury earned a 73-65 win over WC in the LL quarterfinals at the same location.

In this one, the Hatters (4-1) put seven unanswered together at the end of the first half to take the lead for good.

The visitors from New Haven went down by as many as sixteen (55-39) early in the final quarter before getting within four in the final two minutes.

Jayden Valderrama (22 points) led all scorers and was key to the late rally by Cross, putting up eleven points in the final period.

Wilbur Cross (2-1) had mangled their first two opponents, 94-43 and 100-58, and came out making shots versus Danbury.  Three straight layups (Jaylen Stafford, Jaykeem Foreman, Malik Alston) give Cross its biggest lead (17-11) of the game.

Jayden Valderrama (22 points) and Messiah Crandall

Jayden Valderrama (22 points) and Messiah Crandall

WC still had that six-point lead (29-23) with 3 ½ minutes until halftime.  The Cross shot blanks the rest of the half and had four turnovers while it was the Hatters who got to the basket (an old-fashioned 3-point play by Chris Torres, two layups by Messiah Crandall) and passed WC, 30-29.

The Hatters had the lead but separation took a while.  The margin was only 42-38 with three to go in the third quarter.  After that, only one point for WC while Danbury clicked from long range three times (Jordan Alleyne, Javan Hernandez, Tyler Scalzo) to lead, 51-39, after three.

That lead would increase to 55-39 after jumpers by Denali Burton (16 points) and Cameron Snow before a WC timeout.

The Hatters were still in the comfort zone (61-47) with five minutes remaining in the game.

Just a tad over two minutes later we had ourselves a ballgame!  Cross took everything to the basket while the home team turned the ball over three times and missed the front end of a one-and-one.  Terrance Edwards came off the WC bench to convert a rebound and be on the scoring end of a fast break off a turnover.  Malik Alston, Kwane Taylor, and William Antrum (13 points) contributed layups.  Wilbur Cross was within four (61-57) with just under three minutes left.  This was now anyone’s game.

But Danbury had enough to keep four the closest WC would get.  Free throws helped as the home team made 8-of-11 including the final five in a row.

Jordan Alleyne

Jordan Alleyne

Two huge plays by Jordan Alleyne in the late going.  After a turnover, Jordan protected the 4-point lead by blocking the layup attempt that followed.  Later as part of an inbounds play, Jordan tossed a beautiful¾-court pass that sent teammate Chris Torres in for layup.

Sophomore Denali Burton (16 points) had nine in the tense final frame.

Tyler Scalzo totaled thirteen points for Danbury including three 3’s.

William Antrum (13 points) drove well to the hoop for Wilbur Cross.

Marcus Fox had twenty points in Danbury’s win over Wilbur Cross last March.  This time he sat out the second half with an injury after only two points in the first half.

Why was WC able to come back from sixteen down?  Full-court pressure.  The Governors double-teamed the Danbury guards and if that didn’t work they led the Hatters into pressured layups.  Taking time off the clock would have been better than taking layups while heavily guarded.

The ability of both teams to get to the rim was a surprise because there were plenty of shot blockers on both sides.  The tight man-to-man defenses of both teams opened lanes for those who could dribble around someone.

Good crowd on hand on a rainy afternoon.  Late start after the JV game ended when the varsity game was supposed to start.

Maybe these teams will meet again in March of 2017.

Wilbur Cross box from the game

Danbury box from the game

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)wcda-a10-loose-ball

Kwane Taylor questions a call

Kwane Taylor questions a call

William Antrum covered by Denali Burton

William Antrum covered by Denali Burton

Kwane Taylor (0) elevates

Kwane Taylor (0) elevates

Dianti Vines

Dianti Vines

Javon Hernandez

Javon Hernandez

Denali Burton jams

Denali Burton jams

Cameron Snow defends Marquay McDuffie

Cameron Snow defends Marquay McDuffie

Malik Alston tries to steal the ball from Chris Torres (10 points)

Malik Alston tries to steal the ball from Chris Torres (10 points)

Tyler Scalzo (13 points) at the foul line

Tyler Scalzo (13 points) at the foul line

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Great free throw shooting earns Amesbury a 76-59 win over Ipswich

Kyle Martin (21 points) at the line

Kyle Martin (21 points) at the line

(Amesbury MA) The Amesbury Indians used their size and excellent free throw shooting to defeat Ipswich, 76-59, on Thursday night in Cape Ann League play.

Kyle Martin paced the home team with twenty-one points.

Amesbury (2-1) employed an active 2-3 zone that kept Ipswich away from second chances and limited the Tigers (2-2) to long-range opportunities.  Even the long-range Ipswich tries were heavily contested by the taller Indians.

The Tigers took an early 4-2 lead but went cold for over four minutes while Amesbury ran fourteen straight points to create separation, 16-4, in the first quarter.  Kyle Martin contributed five points while Ryan Patterson (11 points) added two fast-break layins.

Amesbury was intent on breaking after every rebound and they had plenty of fast-break chances.

Zach Long made four 3's for Ipswich

Zach Long made four 3’s for Ipswich

The Indians had a 12-turnover second period and let the visitors back into the game.  Two consecutive 3’s by junior Zach Long forced Amesbury out of the zone defense and Ipswich was able to get to within five (30-25) on a third Zach Long three with less than two minutes left in the 2nd quarter.

Amesbury returned to their zone defense and Ipswich resumed struggling to get scores.

Amesbury led, 32-25, at the half.

The Indians took control of the game in the 3rd period.  They frequently took the ball to the basket to get points.  Plenty of fouls were called and Amesbury was remarkable at the foul line making 24-of-28 in the second half.

Amesbury had the lead to twelve (37-25) a minute into the third quarter after a three by Will Parady (15 points) and a layup by Tim Hudson assisted by Will Parady.

A run of eight unanswered later in that quarter elevated the gap to nineteen (50-31) with less than two minutes to go.  Four free throws by Kyle Martin (he made ten of twelve) and fast-break layups by John Sydlowski and Tim Hudson provided the points.

The final separation had been established and Amesbury went on to get their second win of the season.  They have now defeated Ipswich three straight times.

Will Parady (15 points) in plenty of Ipswich traffic

Will Parady (15 points) in plenty of Ipswich traffic

Ben Yanakakis (12 points) connected three times from downtown in the final quarter for the Tigers.

The foul shooting of Amesbury was impressive.  They only hit three of seven in the first quarter but after that they were 32-for-36.  That will win you a lot of games!

What won’t win a lot of games, however, were the plethora of turnovers.  Neither team took good care of the ball.  I had Ipswich for thirty-one turnovers while Amesbury had twenty-seven miscues.  That will lose you a lot of games!

Amesbury was still able to win because they could get close to the basket and score or cash in from the line.

Ipswich lived outside (made ten 3’s) and capitalized on some of the Amesbury turnovers.

The Tigers were 10-10 last season and made the MIAA tourney for the first time since 2008.

Amesbury was 12-7 last year and went out in the first round in the tournament at home to Saugus.  I covered that game.

The Indians graduated all five starters but have the size to cause teams trouble.  They will have to learn to take much better care of the ball to get another 12-win season in my opinion.

Ipswich box from the game

Amesbury box from the game

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Zach Labrecque (22) goes for the block

Zach Labrecque (22) goes for the block

Chris Levasseur screens for Kilian Morrissey

Chris Levasseur screens for Kilian Morrissey

Amesbury cheerleaders

Amesbury cheerleaders

Cam Leary (11) looks for an inbounds pass

Cam Leary (11) looks for an inbounds pass

Kyle Martin made ten free thows

Kyle Martin made ten free thows

Kyle Martin surrounded by Tigers

Kyle Martin surrounded by Tigers

Ryan Patterson (4) defended by Jason Finkst

Ryan Patterson (4) defended by Jason Finkst

Ben Yanakakis (5) and Jarod Day (2)

Ben Yanakakis (5) and Jarod Day (2)

John Sydlowski drives

John Sydlowski drives

 

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Strong second half gets Pentucket girls past North Reading 50-35

Pentucket trap

Pentucket trap

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket had a rousing second half and defeated North Reading, 50-35, in Cape Ann League action on Tuesday night.

These teams shared the league title last year and split their games with each other during the season.

Graduation had put a serious dent into both teams and I was curious to see what they would be like this season.

The defenses on both sides were impressive.  There were very few direct routes to the basket.

One of the glaring stats in this game was the high number of turnovers.  By my count, each team committed twenty-five of them.  The traveling violations by both squads almost reached the epidemic level.  But that is what happens when defenses play well.

Taylor Moore (33) and Emily Riley (31) eye one of the many rebounds off of free throws.

Taylor Moore (33) and Emily Riley (31) eye one of the many rebounds off of free throws.

The other glaring stat was the free throw shooting.  It was atrocious.  The Sachems (3-0) missed twenty-three times while the Hornets (2-1) missed ten.

The visitors broke away from a 6-6 tie (2:41 of the first) and had a ten-point lead (22-12) with 2:12 to go in the second quarter.  The key to the NR breakaway was made 3’s by Taylor Moore, Victoria Grasso, and Ali Grasso.

Meanwhile, Pentucket struggled to make any kind of shot.

The second half was an entirely different story.  Pentucket put in two freshmen (Angelina Yacubacci and Casey Hunt) to start and off the Sachems went.  The home team made shots and that allowed their press to get set up.  NR did not react well and had eleven of their TO’s in the third quarter alone.

Angelina Yacubacci had nine points in Pentucket's third quarter

Angelina Yacubacci had nine points in Pentucket’s third quarter

Angelina Yacubacci led the Sachems with nine points and all of them came in the terrific Pentucket third quarter.

Pentucket put a 15-1 run together to get ahead for good, 27-23 with an Alyssa Demeule layup assisted by Bella Doyle at 2:30 of the 3rd quarter being the final points.

By the end of the 3rd, the Sachems led, 34-27, and looked to be pulling away for good.  Suddenly, however, in two straight possessions in the final quarter, the Hornets (Casey McAuliffe, Lauren Sullivan) drained 3-pointers.  Now within a point (34-33) with 6 ½ minutes left, it was once again anyone’s game.

That Pentucket defense that had been good turned to very good over the final 6 ½ minutes.  NR was limited to two points by a defense that would not allow penetration.  There was plenty of side-to-side stuff going on but getting to the basket ended for North Reading.

In the same final minutes, Pentucket started with nine unanswered points. They had two layups (Liv Cross, Emily Riley) on assists by freshman Casey Hunt.  An NR turnover led to a layup (Emily Riley) and then senior Colleen Jameson added a dagger-three to drive the Pentucket lead to ten (43-33) and this game was history.

Sophomore Casey McAuliffe led all scorers with ten points.

Casey Hunt (20) and Ali Grasso (3)

Casey Hunt (20) and Ali Grasso (3)

Key matchup, with plenty of future potential, was between freshman point guards Casey Hunt and Ali Grasso.

NR’s 6-5 Jess Lezon is now at Yale.  Jess had seventeen points and twenty rebounds in the Hornets win last February at Pentucket.

NR’s Kat Hassapis will be playing soccer at Bentley in the fall of 2017.

John McNamara’s coaching record at Pentucket is now at 217-35.  This year’s team is young but the defense is very good.  The offense?  They have size but taking advantage of it versus NR led to many turnovers.  I’m guessing that the foul shooting will become less “foul” as the season goes on.

The biggest surprise for me was the temperature in the gym.  What happened to the heat?  Anyone who has been there in the past knows how tropical it was.  Maybe a window was open?

North Reading was 20-3 last year and reached the D3 North finals.  Pentucket was 16-6 and lost in the first round to Triton.

Pentucket box

North Reading box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Casey Hunt breaks away

Casey Hunt breaks away

Bella Doyle (14) dribbles in traffic

Bella Doyle (14) dribbles in traffic

Colleen Jameson made two 3's for Pentucket

Colleen Jameson made two 3’s for Pentucket

Second half starters for Pentucket

Second half starters for Pentucket

loose ball

loose ball

Lauren Sullivan drives

Lauren Sullivan drives

Liv Cross (32) makes a layup

Liv Cross (32) makes a layup

Kat Hassapis fouls out

Kat Hassapis fouls out

Lauren Sullivan sets to shoot with Alyssa Demeule defending

Lauren Sullivan sets to shoot with Alyssa Demeule defending

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Hope Community Church Children’s Christmas Pageant

xhc-a7-mary-joseph-with-star-above(Newburyport MA) Plenty of excitement today at Hope Community Church as the annual Christmas Pageant was put on.

The front of the church was filled with children recreating the Christmas story in costume and song.

Here are some of the pictures that I collected from the event: (The pictures enlarge considerably if you click on them.)xhc-a30-singersxhc-a29-musiciansxhc-a24-angel-with-toyxhc-a23-boy-angelxhc-a22-angel-exitxhc-a21-sheep-exitxhc-a19-wisemenxhc-a18-angel-group-2xhc-a17-angel-groupxhc-a14-five-angelsxhc-a12-shepherds-joseph-and-babyxhc-a11-boy-girl-sheep-2xhc-a10-boy-girl-sheepxhc-a9-angel-soloxhc-a8-angelsxhc-a3-singersxhc-a2-narratorsxhc-a1-candle-lighting

 

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Everett takes D1 Super Bowl 21-7 over Xaverian

Everett players celebrate with the D1 Super Bowl trophy

Everett players celebrate with the D1 Super Bowl trophy

Quarterback Jordan McAfee threw for two touchdowns and set up a third touchdown.

Quarterback Jordan McAfee threw for two touchdowns and set up a third touchdown.

(Lynn MA) Everett won the 2016 Division 1 Super Bowl title, 21-7, over two-time defending champion Xaverian on Saturday afternoon at Manning Field in Lynn.

A packed house saw Everett QB Jordan McAfee throw two touchdown passes and set up the other Crimson Tide score with another pass.  The UConn commit collected 211 yards in the air.

Stung by a 14-0 deficit at halftime, Xaverian had to get away from its running game and play catchup through the air.  A pressuring Everett defense forced Xaverian quarterback Mattison Cronin to scramble numerous times in the second half.

Everett added a third score in the final quarter (3:58) to take a three-touchdown advantage.

The Hawks (10-2) scored late (2:55) on a 43-yard connection from QB Mattison Cronin to Mekhi Henderson.

Xaverian would get the ball back for one last drive but defender Jason Maitre picked off a pass into traffic to seal the deal for the Tide.

Everett grabbed the lead on their first possession.  After Marvens Fedna ran for a first down on fourth down, QB McAfee rolled right and tossed a short pass to Mike Sainristil who did the rest covering 38 yards.  The 8:54 score was followed by a Gabriel DeSouza extra point.

Mike Sainristil (beyond Xaverian 43) scores the first Everett TD

Mike Sainristil (beyond Xaverian 43) scores the first Everett TD

Xaverian then started on their 30, and with runs and scrambles by QB Mattison Cronin reached the Everett 14.  There the drive died as Duane Binns sacked Mattison on 4th down.

Early in the second quarter Everett set themselves up nicely with a 56-yard pass play from Jordan McAfee to David Zorrilla.  To say that David was open is an understatement!  Only the speed of two Hawks defenders prevented a touchdown.

The touchdown prevention didn’t last as running back Marvens Fedna went through a hole up the middle for nine untouched yards to the end zone.  Another kick by DeSouza had Everett ahead, 14-0, with 8:43 left in the second quarter.

Marvens Fedna (9) goes through a huge hole to score untouched.

Marvens Fedna (9) goes through a huge hole to score untouched.

Xaverian had been deep in Everett territory in the first quarter with no points to show for it.  Late in the second quarter they suffered the same fate.  A nice catch by senior Call Flanders had the Hawks at the Everett 13 with over two minutes left.  However, the Tide defense tightened and on a crucial 4th down, defender Carlins Platel prevented Sam Laurent from catching a first-down pass.

So, what might have been a 14-14 tie ended up being a two-touchdown Everett lead at halftime.

The Hawks did very little running in the second half except for Mattison Cronin scrambles.

The Tide used yet another big play to get a third score.  After Jordan McAfee converted a 4th down play with a QB sneak, the Tide went into a very tight formation.  With four minutes left in the game you would assume that clock-eating runs were going to happen.  Not so!  Jordan faked a handoff inside and then floated a pass to the right to a wide-open Theo Zidor.  Theo ran thirty-eight yards to the end zone with 3:58 left in the game.  Another extra point was added.

Theo Zidor (3) crosses the goal-line with Cooper DeVeau (26) in pursuit. Jalen Iles-Smith (87) signals TD

Theo Zidor (3) crosses the goal-line with Cooper DeVeau (26) in pursuit. Jalen Iles-Smith (87) signals TD

Mekhi Henderson scored on a 48-yard pass reception

Mekhi Henderson scored on a 48-yard pass reception

Would have been a good place for Xaverian to mail in the rest of the game but they didn’t.  A little over a minute after the Everett TD the Hawks got six as Mekhi Henderson beat defender Clarens Pierre for a 43-yard strike.

Xaverian had one more chance but a desperation pass into the middle of numerous Tide defenders turned into an interception (Jason Maitre) and this game was decided.

Gerell Boyce recovered a fumble caused by a bad handoff between Mattison Cronin and AJ Ryan in the second quarter.

This was the 11th Super Bowl title for Coach John DiBiaso at Everett.  He won another one at Weston.

The Tide was 5-5 last year and had two early losses this season including a 17-14 one versus Xaverian.

Jordan McAfee finishes his four years at Everett with over 4,000 passing yards.

Jason Maitre had a 99-yard kickoff return for Everett in their first meeting with Xaverian.

Devon Piccinin had five touchdowns and rushed for over 200 yards in the Hawks, 34-29 win over Catholic Memorial in the D1 state semifinals.

Scoring:

Everett – Mike Sainristil 38 pass from Jordan McAfee (Gabriel DeSouza kick)

Everett – Marvens Fedna 9 run (DeSouza kick)

Everett – Theo Zidor 37 pass from McAfee (DeSouza kick)

Xaverian – Mekhi Henderson 43 pass from Mattison Cronin (Brian Fallon kick)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

David Zorrilla (17) off on a huge gain (56 yards) after catching a Jordan McAfee pass in the second quarter.

David Zorrilla (17) off on a huge gain (56 yards) after catching a Jordan McAfee pass in the second quarter.

Brian Abraham (3) waits for Jason Maitre (6)

Brian Abraham (3) waits for Jason Maitre (6)

Marven Fedna leaves the ball in the end zone after going in untouched

Marven Fedna leaves the ball in the end zone after going in untouched

Gerell Boyce (56) deflects a pass

Gerell Boyce (56) deflects a pass

Cal Flanders (94) somehow catches this pass with an Everett defender on his back

Cal Flanders (94) somehow catches this pass with an Everett defender on his back

The ball falls away from intended receiver Samuel Laurent (1) late in the second quarter

The ball falls away from intended receiver Samuel Laurent (1) late in the second quarter

Edward Owuor (89) and Duval Paul (55) converge on scrambling Mattison Cronin

Edward Owuor (89) and Duval Paul (55) converge on scrambling Mattison Cronin

Devon Piccinin (33)

Devon Piccinin (33)

Bad exchange puts the ball on the ground and Gerell Boyce (56) will recover the fumble

Bad exchange puts the ball on the ground and Gerell Boyce (56) will recover the fumble

Ball on the way to a wide-open David Zorrilla

Ball on the way to a wide-open David Zorrilla

Mike Sainristel follows lineman Helber Bringhenti

Mike Sainristel follows lineman Helber Bringhenti

Anthony Norcia

Anthony Norcia

Jason Maitre (6) ends Xaverian's last drive with an interception

Jason Maitre (6) ends Xaverian’s last drive with an interception

Xaverian coach Charlie Stevenson with the Hawks trophy

Xaverian coach Charlie Stevenson with the Hawks trophy

 

 

 

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