Category Archives: Cathedral

Cathedral advances to D4 title game after 61-37 win over Matignon

Cathedral controlled the boards and ran for transition layups

Cathedral moves on to the D4 state championship game

Ariana Vanderhoop (17 points) looks to pass

(Boston MA) Matignon coach Joe DiSarcina had seen two of Cathedral’s games.

He knew what he was getting into.

“They have size, speed, outside shooting, and depth,” he said post-game.

The Panthers (18-2) showed glimpses of all those positives and took out the Warriors, 61-37, on Tuesday afternoon at the TD Garden.

With today’s D4 state semi-finals win, Cathedral will return to the state championship game.

The Panthers have been there before winning in 2016, 2017, and last year.

Matignon (20-2) was game and got off to a good start.

The Warriors had a sixteen-game win-streak in place and hadn’t lost this year. They played with confidence.

Kiara Ansley and Olivia Found (12 points)

Sophomore Olivia Found’s 3-pointer had Matignon ahead 7-4 after 3+ minutes of the first quarter.

Then Cathedral got its act together and ran off eleven unanswered points in 2 ½ minutes and suddenly had a 15-7 lead.

The team from Cambridge struggled to keep up and couldn’t catch up the rest of the way.

The Panthers had six miscues in the early going which explain their slow start.

“We made it hard for ourselves with our turnovers,” said Cathedral coach Clinton Lassiter. “Despite the turnovers, however, we were used to being here (TD Garden) and we survived.”

It was quickly obvious that Cathedral could run and would run at every opportunity.

Cathedral coach Clinton Lassiter

“Transition offense is our bread-and-butter,” said Coach Lassiter.

During the 11-point run, Cathedral had two inside scores from senior Mackenzie Daleba (18 points), plus fast break layups by Tayla Barros (12 points) and Ariana Vanderhoop (17 points). CeCe Gibson (7 points) finished the run of points with a three from the right side.

Cathedral pushed its lead to twelve (26-14) in the second quarter.

Cathedral’s Tayla Barros ended the first half with a jump shot. That basket was the start of another major Panthers’ run of points. This time it was twelve straight.

When the 12-point run ended, three minutes into the third quarter, the team from Boston was in command, 38-16.

All five Cathedral baskets to start the second half were on fast breaks. The Warriors missed shots and couldn’t get back on defense fast enough to prevent layups down the other end.

“When you’re fresh at the beginning, you can get back,” said Coach DiSarcina. “It’s a big court and we’re not deep.”

“We like to get out and run,” said Coach Lassiter. “We make sure we secure the ball and then we break out. We try to wear the other team down.”

Mackenzie Daleba (18 points) dominated in close at both ends

Cathedral was ready to go starting the second half.

“Anything can happen in the second half,” explained senior Ariana Vanderhoop afterwards. “We knew that they would come back with more energy and we had to push ours up too.”

Matignon did not go quietly. A long-range three from senior Emma Found (12 points) had Matignon within fourteen, 42-28, entering the final quarter.

A stretch followed with three fast-break layups in a span of just over a minute and Cathedral was back up by twenty (50-30) with six minutes remaining.

Benches were cleared over the final minutes which gave everyone in uniform the chance to be on this special court.

Mackenzie Daleba

Mackenzie Daleba wouldn’t tell me the name of the college she’s committed to. “I will reveal it after the season is over.” The revelation could happen after the championship game.

What’s not to like in Mackenzie’s skills? She can rebound. She turned rebounds into well placed outlet passes. She gets back on defense and can finish.

Mackenzie had one runner in the lane but everything else was from in close. I asked her if she had an outside game: “It’s more of taking what other teams give me. My shooting and my basketball IQ will have to be better at the next level.”

Coach DiSarcina: “Not many people gave us a chance against Fenway (D4 North finals). We’re glad about what we’ve done but if you’re satisfied with where you are then you’re not ready to make the next step.”

Coach Lassiter: “Defense leading to our transition offense is the key to our success.”

Cathedral’s two losses have been to D1 state finalist Franklin and to D3 semi-finalist St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s plays Rockland tomorrow afternoon to see if they can reach the state championship game again. Hoosac is already in that game. St. Mary’s lost to Hoosac in the title game last year but faced them early in this season and won handily.

Jordan Fergus and Olivia Domingos battle for a rebound

Both Matignon and Cathedral are in the Catholic Central League. I’m not sure how you can be in the same league and NOT play each other during the regular season.

Cathedral has now won fifteen of their last sixteen games. They were 22-2 last season with a state title.

Sophomore Olivia Found matched her sister with a team-leading twelve points.

I always enjoy covering tournament games at the Garden. So many memories!

Cathedral box

Matignon box

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

Cathedral team

Matignon team

Matignon seniors

Tayla Barros heads to the basket

Riley Fallon blocks Kamille Benjamin

Olivia Found moves back from Mackenzie Daleba

Olivia Found and Ariana Vanderhoop

Olivia Found (12 points) on a break

Olivia Domingos, Emma Found, Dolores Carey-Marugo

Mackenzie Daleba (18 points) shoots from in close

Loose ball

Kiara Ansley

Kamille Benjamin guarded by Emma Gillis

Erica Hutchinson tries the lane

Emma Found (12 points) gets off a shot

CeCe Gibson and Emma Found

CeCe Gibson

Ball on the floor

Ariana Vanderhoop and Erica Hutchinson battle for a rebound


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Hamilton-Wenham recovers to rout Cathedral 64-35 in D4 state semfinals

Marcus Zegarowski (24 points) floats in for two

Marcus Zegarowski (24 points) floats in for two

Nolan Wilson (13 points) scored all his points in the second half

Nolan Wilson (13 points) scored all his points in the second half

(Boston MA) It was as dramatic a change as you’ll ever see come over two basketball teams in a game.

For twelve minutes one team (Cathedral) was quick and made shots while the other team (Hamilton-Wenham) looked a step slow and couldn’t hit anything.  That disparity sent the South champion Panthers (17-8) off to a 12-5 first quarter lead and the team from Boston was still up 18-12 halfway through the second quarter.

After that the dramatic change took place and the undefeated North champion Generals (24-0) put everything together to overwhelm Cathedral, 64-35, and win the Division 4 state semifinals on Monday afternoon at the TD Garden.

The reasons for the change?  One was the HW zone defense.  The Generals had size and Cathedral had limited good looks at the 3’s they generally take.  The Panthers still tried to live long range and had almost no offensive rebounds or layups.  The other reason for the HW turnaround was sophomore point guard Marcus Zegarowski (24 points).  His ability to run an offense became more and more evident as the game went on.  Marcus created for himself and he also set up teammates (6 assists).  The Panthers ran a number of man-to-man defenders at him but his quickness opened up shots from near and far.  Marcus was able to get to the rim for five scores.

Moses Flowers dribbles and Nikos Lara defends

Moses Flowers dribbles and Nikos Lara defends

But in the early going Cathedral looked to be the better team.  Though smaller than HW, they connected twice from long range (Trevor Lynch and Moses Flowers) and forced three Generals’ turnovers in the first quarter.

Two layups by Julian Howell and a converted rebound by Trevor Lynch in the first four minutes of the second quarter started to make believers of some of the upset-hopers in the crowd.

But before that second quarter was over the Generals had rattled off ten unanswered points to hold a 22-18 halftime advantage.

The last minute of that first half (eight HW points) was a foretaste of Hamilton-Wenham’s domination to come.  Marcus Zegarowski started it with a steal and layup. (Cathedral had three turnovers in the final minute.)  Then after a turnover, reserve Nick DiMarino drained a three.  After yet another turnover Max Zegarowski finished the pull-away final minute with three of his own to finish the quarter.

Marcus Zegarowski gets to the rim

Marcus Zegarowski gets to the rim

You thought maybe Cathedral would regroup at halftime.  They were only down four.  You thought wrong.  HW was just getting started.  The Generals added eleven more in a row to start the third quarter before Christopher Alzate hit a three for Cathedral.  That basket cut the Cathedral deficit to 33-21.

Plenty of time for the Panthers to regroup with 1 ½ quarters remaining.  But as I said before, the Generals weren’t finished.  The rest of the quarter was all Hamilton-Wenham.  The Panthers tried to tighten up on the perimeter but HW then had husky 6-4 Nolan Wilson (13 points) getting single coverage in close.  The Generals milked that mismatch for eight points.  Meanwhile Marcus Zegarowski added his ten points to the 26-point HW quarter.  The team from the Central Catholic League had only the 3-pointer to show for the quarter.

When that quarter ended the Generals were in complete command, 48-21.  That quarter was either beautiful or horrific depending on the team you were with but there was definitely no middle ground!

If there had been a Mercy Rule, as in softball, this one would have ended after three quarters but it didn’t.  I was glad for that because both teams had the opportunity to give their entire rosters a chance to play at the Garden.

Jimmy Campbell

Jimmy Campbell

Senior Jimmy Campbell collected thirteen rebounds for the Generals.

Hamilton-Wenham will play for the Division 4 state title on Friday night at WPI at 7:45PM.

Cathedral won the state D4 title in 2006, 2007, and 2009.

HW coach Doug Hoak won a state title coaching the Generals baseball team back in the day.

Hamilton-Wenham is from the Cape Ann League.

Cathedral had twenty-five turnovers while the Generals had only eight.

Hamilton-Wenham box

Cathedral box

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

Marcus Zegarowski

Marcus Zegarowski

Max Zegarowski

Max Zegarowski

Nick DiMarino clicked twice from long range

Nick DiMarino clicked twice from long range

HW whiteout

HW whiteout

tie up

tie up

Trevor Lynch

Trevor Lynch

prom question

prom question


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St. Mary’s holds on to defeat Cathedral (70-64) for Division 4 state title

Devin Thompson (25 points) shows the shirt after the Spartans win the D4 state title

Kyle Lawyer (26 points) soars to the rim

(Boston) The St. Mary’s Spartans are the 2012 Massachusetts Division 4 champs after defeating Cathedral, 70-64, on Monday afternoon at the TD Garden.

St. Mary’s won despite missing seventeen free throws and squandering most of a 60-46 lead in the final quarter.  Cathedral had their fan base rocking as they got within four (62-58) on a couple of Kyle Lawler (26 points) lane scores with 2:15 left.

But the Panthers came up empty on their next four possessions while the Spartans tallied five points on one Nick Gagliolo (19 points) free throw, two freebies by Randolf Thurman (14 points) , and a breakaway layup by Devin Thompson (25 points).  Those five consecutive points put St. Mary’s up by nine (67-58) with forty seconds left and clinched the title for the team from Lynn.

Both teams are out of the Catholic Central Conference (Large) and were very familiar with each other.  They had met twice and split the results so this game figured to be close.

Nick Gagliolo (19 points) slashes to the basket

St. Mary’s (20-4) broke away from a 15-13 deficit with two minutes left in the first quarter stringing together nine straight points to take the lead for good (22-15) 1 ½ minutes into the second quarter.  A jumper by Devin Thompson, layups from Randolf Thurman and Nick Gagliolo, and a Devin triple did the damage for the Spartans.

Cathedral battled back to 26-23 but the Spartans ended the quarter with six straight points with five of them from Nick Gagliolo.  St. Mary’s led 32-23 at the half.

That nine-point lead was still there for St. Mary’s after three quarters (51-42) and you wondered if Cathedral (17-7) could make things interesting the rest of the way.

It sure didn’t seem like it when Devin Thompson sailed in on a fast-break layup to give the Spartans a 60-46 spread with 4:52 left in that final quarter.

Joe Green flies at Devin Thompson

But suddenly over a one minute span Cathedral put together eight in a row (two converted rebounds by Brandon Kelly, a layup after a steal by Kyle Lawyer, and two Anthony Bell free throws) and they only trailed 60-54 with 3:45 left.

There was certainly plenty of time for the Panthers to complete the comeback.  The Spartans hit just two of four free throws and unstoppable Kyle Lawyer got into the lane twice for scores.  Within four (62-58) with 2:15 left the sense was that they would get closer…… but they didn’t as the Panthers came up pointless over their next four possessions (one was a turnover and another was two missed free throws).

Seniors Kyle Lawler and Nick Gagliolo were 1000 point scorers during their careers.

The Spartan free throw shooting was frightening.  Hitting only 15-of-32, they kept Cathedral in the game.  Missing eight in the last quarter, nearly let the Panthers sneak back into this one.

Matt Owens (13 points) was Cathedral’s second highest scorer.  He had three triples.  He also had several long-range airballs.  (I’m convinced that unless players play in field houses during the season the depth perception at the Garden can throw some of them off.)  Matt seemed to be an example of that.

I came away impressed with the ball-handling skills of St. Mary’s point guard, Randolf Thurman.  Cathedral applied plenty of pressure but the turnovers resulting were few.

St. Mary’s boxscore

Cathedral boxscore

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

Nick Gagliolo looks for an opening

postgame celebration

Matt Owens (13 points)

Tommy Deveau finds an opening

Randolf Thurman (14 points) tries to turn the corner

Carlos Bermudez defends Randolf Thurman

tie up

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