Category Archives: Malden Catholic

Second half turnaround sends Salem past Malden Catholic 73-68 in D2 North boys tournament action

Marvin Baez (25 points) had four triples in the last quarter.

Jered Lewis (20 points) had eighteen in the first half

(Salem) Salem ousted Malden Catholic 73-68 in the preliminary round of the D2 North with as dramatic a second-half turnaround as you’ll ever see.

The Witches (10-11) trailed by twelve (34-22) at the half and didn’t look capable of hitting enough shots to make things interesting in the second half.

But right off the bat in the second half the shots started falling and they never stopped as Salem dropped an amazing fifty-one points on the visitors. The full-half burst of scoring gave the Witches more opportunities to pressure the Lancers, and it also gave the Salem crowd lots of plays to get excited about.

A ten-point run got the deficit down to a manageable level by the end of the third quarter (47-46) and Salem took the lead for good (57-54) with 5:11 left in the game.

Marvin Baez (25 points) hit more big shots in the final quarter than most players will make in a season.  The Salem junior tallied fourteen points with four 3’s and a layup off of a steal in a display that the Witch fans will be talking about for a while.

Marvin gave Salem its first lead (49-47) on his first long one of the final quarter.  About 2 ½ minutes later his three with an assist from Christian Dunston gave the Witches the 57-54 lead they would carry to the end.

Christian Dunston (22 points) made six free throws in last minute

Marvin’s last three put Salem in front 67-60 with 2:21 left.  Christian Dunston (22 points) collected six points out of three pressure-packed one-and-one’s to keep Malden Catholic (9-12) from getting within one possession of the lead the rest of the way.

Jered Lewis (20 points) had an awesome first half for MC.  The 6-2 senior knocked down 3’s and converted rebounds to the tune of eighteen first half points.  The Witches appeared to have no answers for him.

Jered was limited to two points in the second half and really struggled with leg problems throughout that half.  Minus his scoring in the second half, the Lancers hit several droughts that let Salem back into the game.

The best run of offense for MC in the second half was after Salem put up eight straight to take a 52-47 led a minute into the 4th quarter.  With a loud Salem crowd all over them, it would have been expected that MC would fall further behind. Instead they rallied for seven straight of their own and got the lead back, 54-52.

A John Mastascusa (12 points) layup, two Kyle Sangster (17 points) free throws, and a Chris Philpot (14 points) long one provided the Lancer points in this surge.

But Salem would regain the lead and never, after Jared Louf-Woods converted rebound with four minutes left, enable MC to have the ball and a chance to tie the score the rest of the way.

The talk will be of the big scoring nights of Marvin Baez and Christian Dunston but Emilio Beato’s fifteen points were significant too.

Chris Philpot (14 points) shoots a three from in front of the Salem crowd

Chris Philpot had four 3’s for Malden Catholic.

Turnovers were costly for the Lancers.  They had nineteen through three quarters.  That first half lead (thirteen points) could have been much higher with better care of the ball.  The turnovers in the 3rd period were of the very costly variety where Salem had breakaway layups from them.

Salem (#16 seed) gets to play #1 seed North Andover on Thursday night (7PM) at Lawrence High School.  The NA coach just “happened” to be at the game tonight.

Salem boxscore

Malden Catholic boxscore

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

scramble under the basket

Marvin Baez

Emilio Beato (15 points) shoots in traffic

Jered Lewis

Jordan Lewis pressured

Salem cheerleaders

Kyle Sangster (17 points) shoots over Billy Muse

John Mastascusa (12 points) up for a block

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St. John’s Prep Still Undefeated After 57-40 Win Over Malden Catholic

(Danvers) St. John’s Prep (7-0) continued undefeated after a 57-40 win over visiting Malden Catholic (3-4) on Friday night at St.John’s despite some very poor Eagle shooting ( 18-for-57 – 31.5%).

If the home team’s shooting hadn’t been off, they might have reached the magic number of the night – 75.  Right, that is how old Elvis would have been.  Fittingly, quite a few of the St. John’s very active student body section had the Elvis look.

While St. John’s shooting was off, their defense was on.  I came away especially impressed with the efforts of senior George Sessoms.  He had the MC guards moving sideways instead of toward the basket with his footwork and hustle.

The Eagles put this one in the win column in the first half, during a 5 ½ minute segment (starting in the first period and ending in the second period), in which they outscored the Lancers, 16-2.  The run turned an 8-5 advantage into 22-7.  The Lancers didn’t do themselves any favors during this crucial spurt by missing seven of eight field goals and the front end of three one-and-one’s.

Patrick Connaughton – St. John’s junior with D1 college basketball future

I came to get my first look at highly regarded 6’4” Eagle junior Pat Connaughton.  (He averaged 22 points/17 rebounds per game last season.)    He didn’t shoot very well in this one but still ended up with 21 points.  His rebounding was noticeable – 18.  He also had a number of assists and steals.

During the game-turning run, he hit a jumper, turned a steal into a layup, and had another layup.

He played both inside and out.  He will certainly be a guard at the next level.  He showed good court vision and got open shots for sophomore Michael Carbone (15 points).  Michael drilled five 3’s including three in the final quarter.

Malden Catholic is a Division 2 team playing in the extremely tough Catholic Conference.  MC has a couple of Division 2 opponents (Gloucester and Masconomet) on their schedule.  They play Gloucester twice and Masco once.  If MC can win two of those three they’ll make the state tournament.  Another way to the tournament is to win half their games in the Catholic Conference.  That second option looked unlikely from what I saw tonight.

Division 1 St. John’s is ranked third in Massachusetts behind Central Catholic and Lynn English by MaxPreps.  All three teams are undefeated.

On February 17, St. John’s plays at Central Catholic (Lawrence).  That is a Wednesday night (7PM) and it might be worth circling on the calendar now.

(All stats are unofficial.)

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