Category Archives: Matignon

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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Dan Manning leads Georgetown to 7-3 Division 4 North quarterfinals win over Matignon

Dan Manning had a huge part in the Georgetown win over Matignon

Dan Manning had a huge part in the Georgetown win over Matignon

Duncan Hough tags out Brian Raimo for the final out of the game

Duncan Hough tags out Brian Raimo for the final out of the game

(Georgetown MA) Georgetown defeated #11 seed Matignon, 7-3, in a Division 4 North quarterfinals matchup on sunny Saturday afternoon.

The win puts the #3 seed Royals (14-7) into the D4 North semifinals for the second straight season.  This time around they’ll face #2 seed Boston International next Wednesday.

Senior Dan Manning had a big day for the Royals scoring twice, getting three hits, stealing two bases, and driving in two runs. The Georgetown catcher also gunned out two Warriors attempting to steal.

In defeating the Warriors (6-14), the home team took liberties on the base paths (two double steals) and advantage of Matignon wildness (four hit batsmen).

Georgetown had nine hits and bunched eight of their hits into the first three innings and took a 4-1 lead.

Winning pitcher Pat Slack

Winning pitcher Pat Slack

The Warriors totaled eight hits and had hits in six innings and left baserunners in each of those innings.  Georgetown starter Pat Slack (5 2/3 innings) allowed only two runs.

One of the baserunners gunned down by Dan Manning was JT Nichols in the first inning.  The inning started with Nick Valdario walking and JT reaching on 3B Kyle Nelson’s error.  Brian Raimo’s sacrifice fly got Nick to third.  That was when JT tried to steal and didn’t make it.  Cam Monagle followed with an RBI double to the fence in left.

Georgetown got that run back in the bottom of the first inning.  Two batters (Ben Noelk and Kyle Nelson) were hit by pitches and both moved into scoring position thanks to a well-executed double steal.  Pat Slack’s single to left brought Ben home to tie the score.  Matignon starter Jimmy DeAngelo limited the damage to one run by retiring Ryan Slack and Chris Chiklakis to end the inning.

The Royals took the lead for good with a run in the second.  Dan Manning singled to deep short and then stole second and third.  Kevin Terban’s hot shot over the third base bag scored Dan.

Georgetown picked up two more runs in the third.  Pat Slack, after nearly being doubled off first on his brother Ryan’s line drive to second baseman JT Nichols, was driven home on Chris Chiklakis’ shot to the fence in left.  When Chris tried to steal third the throw from catcher Kevin Olsen went past third allowing Chris to cross with the Royals fourth run.

Tyler Hanlon reaches third

Tyler Hanlon reaches third

Matignon (Catholic Central League) cut into their 4-1 deficit with a run in the fourth.  Tyler Hanlon singled to deep short and came all the way around on a double by Kevin Olsen to center.  CF Mike Goddu dove after Kevin’s long shot and just missed getting it.

Georgetown collected three runs worth of insurance in the 5th inning.  The first two Royals (Ryan Slack and Chris Chiklakis) reached and executed the team’s second double steal.  Later LF Tyler Hanlon rushed in on Dan Manning’s sinking line drive and had the ball one-hop off of him allowing both G’Town runners to get home.  Jared Fernandes came on to relieve Jimmy DeAngelo at this point.  A single (Mike Goddu) and a sacrifice fly (Colby Ingraham) produced Georgetown’s seventh and final run.

Matignon put a run on the board against the relief combo (Alex Bornholdt and Duncan Hough) in the final inning.  JT Nichols’ fielders choice tallied Jared Fernandes.

The ball gets past a diving Tyler Hanlon (above his foot) in the 5th inning

The ball gets past a diving Tyler Hanlon (above his foot) in the 5th inning

Weather?  After getting caught in the rain at Tewksbury yesterday I was leery of the clouds I saw today but the sun dominated the quick (less than two hours) game.

Mike McPherson hit into the rare 9-6 force out when Georgetown rightfielder Ben Noelk dropped a routine fly in the sixth inning but recovered to force Cam Monagle at second.

Georgetown third baseman Kyle Nelson chased a foul ball out of my sight into the crowd in the Matignon seventh.  It sounded as if Kyle introduced himself to a lawn chair but he quickly returned to the playing field.

Jared Fernandes and Cam Monagle paced Matignon with two hits each.

Mike Goddu and Pat Slack had two hits for Georgetown.

Georgetown boxscore

Matignon boxscore

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

JT Nichols steals second

JT Nichols steals second

Colby Ingraham

Colby Ingraham

Ben Noelk heads home with the first Georgetown run

Ben Noelk heads home with the first Georgetown run

Kyle Nelson ventures into the crowd

Kyle Nelson ventures into the crowd

Pat Slack tries to get back to first

Pat Slack tries to get back to first

Kevin Terban waits to tag out Mike McPherson

Kevin Terban waits to tag out Mike McPherson

Cam Monagle (#24) gets an unassisted out

Cam Monagle (#24) gets an unassisted out

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St. Mary’s reaches the D3 North finals with 5-2 win over Matignon

Mia Nowicki closes out the win

Mia Nowicki closes out the win

Pitcher Brooke LAbbe cheers as the fourth inning ends with a double play

Pitcher Brooke LAbbe cheers as the fourth inning ends with a double play

(Lowell) The St. Mary’s Spartans got back to a familiar spot (D3 North finals) with a, 5-2, win over Matignon on a cloudy Thursday afternoon at Martin Field.

The Spartans will face Whittier on Sunday at noon in a battle for the D3 North title.

St. Mary’s (18-5) has won the D3 North championship in four of the last five years.  The lone miss was last year to Matignon (3-1 on June 10th).

Both teams are from the Central Catholic Large division.  They had faced each other twice this season and the Spartans registered a 2-1 win in April and a 2-0 win in May.

Obviously runs were scarce during the regular season which was why St. Mary’s 3-run fourth inning in this game was the difference maker.

In that crucial inning the team from Lynn turned little things into something big.  They started with a walk and a well-placed bunt to get the first two runners on.  A bloop single (Alex Fisher) to center brought home a run (pinch runner Alexis Mango) to give St. Mary’s a 2-1 edge.

Alison Butler - big double in the fourth inning

Alison Butler – big double in the fourth inning

If the inning had ended there the final outcome might have been different.  However, with two on and two out Alison Butler did a wonderful impersonation of Johnny Damon and Ichiro Suzuki before launching a 2-run double over Nat McAllister’s head in left.

Damon & Ichiro?  In their primes, those two were notorious for fouling off pitch after pitch to keep an at-bat going.  Alison did the same thing.  I’m guessing the left-handed batter fouled off at least five pitches before stoking the biggest hit of the game (in my opinion).

Matignon (16-7) cut a run off the Spartans’ 4-1 lead in the fifth but St. Mary’s got the run back in their half of the sixth.

Brooke L’Abbe and Jordan D’Orsi limited the Warriors to four hits over five inning.  Mia Nowicki pitched a hitless sixth and seventh for the save.

Sophomore Sydnee Bessler went six for Matignon yielding seven hits.  Three of those hits were in the game-deciding fourth inning.  Sydnee had eight of her ten strikeouts in the first three innings.

Two-base throwing error allows Julia Graf to score

Two-base throwing error allows Julia Graf to score

Julia Graf had two of Matignon’s four hits.

Allison Butler and Tatiana Doucette each had two hits for St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s (#4 seed) tallied its first run in the second inning.  A double by Cassi LaFauci drove in teammate Molly Doyle who had started the inning with a double.

The team from Cambridge tied the game with an unearned run in the third.  A two-base, two-out throwing error by Spartans shortstop Molly Doyle allowed Julia Graf to score.

Matignon (#8 seed) picked up a run with some clever base running in the fifth inning.  The Warriors had runners on first and third with one out.  The runner on first (Julia Graf) broke for second drawing a throw from catcher Tatiana Doucette.  Once the throw was made, the runner on third (Nat McAllister) headed for home without drawing a throw.

St. Mary’s final run came in the sixth.  Tatiana Doucette led off with a triple and scored on Mia Nowicki’s grounder to second.  The second baseman (Julia Graf) tried to get Tatiana at the plate but the throw was high.

Alex Fisher is sent home in the fourth

Alex Fisher is sent home in the fourth

So, it was that fourth inning that extends the Spartans season at least into Sunday.

The mid-afternoon, weekday 3:15 PM start had forty folks in the stands when the game began.  Quite a few more arrived as the game progressed.

There were enough clouds in the sky to make me think that there would be rain before the game ended.  Thankfully, that didn‘t happen.

Nice to hear the National Anthem played before softball games.  I know that retiring Ipswich head coach Doug Woodworth had the Anthem played before his home games but I don’t know of anyone else who does it.

Spartan closer Mia Nowicki is an eighth grader.  She throws hard and has a very nice changeup.

Olivia McDonald

Olivia McDonald

Two of Matignon’s starters (Shawna McGaffigan and Olivia McDonald) are seniors.

St. Mary’s has won nine of their last ten games.

I have seen shifts but the one that St. Mary’s put on against freshman Sam McKean was unique.  With Sam’s reputation as a bunter in place, the Spartans had eight players in the infield dirt and one player a step out in the outfield grass.  It worked.  I kept thinking that any sort of hit into the outfield would be for extra bases if not a home run.

Matignon squandered a nice chance in the fourth inning.  Nicole Sylvester reached third after a double and a sacrifice bunt (Joe Tagher) with one out.  Kayla McKinnon then hit a hard grounder to third.  Spartans 3B Kaleigh Finigan made the stop, tagged Kayla and threw to first for an inning-ending double play.

Matignon had runners in scoring position in four different innings without cashing in.

St. Mary’s boxscore

Matignon boxscore

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

well placed bunt

well placed bunt

Joe Tagher and Olivia McDonald

Joe Tagher and Olivia McDonald

Jordan DOrsi

Jordan DOrsi

Tatiana Doucette slides in with the fifth Spartans run

Tatiana Doucette slides in with the fifth Spartans run

Nicole Sylvester

Nicole Sylvester

Sydnee Bessler

Sydnee Bessler

Kaleigh Finigan

Kaleigh Finigan

Cassi LaFauci drives in the first Spartans run

Cassi LaFauci drives in the first Spartans run

Elusive popup

Elusive popup

Victoria Viger squares to bunt

Victoria Viger squares to bunt

Nicole Sylvester races for second

Nicole Sylvester races for second

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Matignon gains Division 3 North softball title with 3-1 win over St. Mary’s

Matignon – Division 3 North softball champions

Lauren Doneski – limited the Spartans to four hits

(Lowell) Matignon defeated St. Mary’s 3-1 as familiar foes from the Catholic Central Large went at it in the Division 3 North softball finals on sunny Sunday afternoon at Martin Field.

The win gets the Warriors (17-8) into the state semi-finals against Case High School from Swansea.

St. Mary’s (17-7) had won the D3 North the last four years and were state champs in 2009 and 2010.

The Spartans (#4 seed) usually feature pitcher Brooke L’Abbe and plenty of hitting.  Unfortunately versus Matignon, Brooke did her part (ten strikeouts) but the hitting (four hits) was scattered at best.

Matignon pitcher Lauren Doneski never struck anyone out but was hardly ever hit hard.  The Warrior senior allowed just two hits over the final five innings and St. Mary’s left only one runner on base during those five innings.

Both teams had “fall-apart” innings.  For Matignon (#16 seed) it was in the second.  For St. Mary’s it was in the third.  Both teams were able to limit the bleeding but Matignon came away with enough runs to win the game.

Nina Murray slides into third as Jocelyn Tagher awaits throw

In the St. Mary’s second, with courtesy runner Nina Murray on second, Warrior second baseman Julia Graf dropped Tatiana Doucette’s popup.  After the drop, Julia tried to get Nina trying for third and her throw went past Matignon third baseman Jocelyn Tagher allowing Nina to score with one out.  The Spartans would eventually have runners on second (Molly Doyle) and third (Tatiana Doucette) with two outs before Lauren Doneski got Alison Butler to pop out to shortstop to end the inning.

Ahead 1-0 after two innings, it was St. Mary’s turn to allow an extra out and suffer the consequences.  After a Julia Graf walk, right fielder Abbe Caggiano dropped a long fly by Sarah Gauthier setting up Matignon with runners on first and third with one out.  Kayla McKinnon bunted to third but on the throw to first Julia Graf darted home with Matignon’s first run.  Equally important was that during the throw to first and then home, Sarah Gauthier reached third with two outs.  Lauren Doneski’s single to short left delivered Sarah with the Warrior’s important second run.

So after innings in which each team’s defense was a bit shaky, Matignon came out ahead, 2-1, after 2 ½ innings.

Brooke LAbbe – ten strikeouts

The Warriors grabbed some breathing room in the sixth.  Lauren Doneski walked (Brooke L’Abbe’s only walk of the game) and was sacrificed to second by Diana Golini with two outs.  Junior Ryen Cahill then ripped a double down the left field line getting Lauren home.

Brooke had a single with one out in the bottom of the sixth but that was all the Warriors allowed the rest of the way.

Alison Butler, Brooke L’Abbe, Tatiana Doucette, and Molly Doyle had hits for St. Mary’s.

Sarah Gauthier, Lauren Doneski, Eileen Bergin, Diana Golini, and Ryen Cahill had hits for Matignon.

Matignon of Cambridge and St. Mary’s of Lynn met twice during the regular season with each team winning once.

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

Coach Colleen Newbury

Matignon gets D3 North trophy

Molly Doyle

Isabella Palange catches the final out

Matignon coach Jessica DePolito

Lauren Doneski scores third Warrior run

Tatiana Doucette out stealing

Alison Butler steals second

Ryen Cahill

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Manchester-Essex Rolls Past Matignon 93-48 to the North D4 Semi-Finals

Chris Bishop – career high 34 points and a terrific defensive job

(Manchester) If you were looking for drama you were at the right place (Manchester-Essex High School) on Saturday night.  The Massachusetts High School Drama Festival was held there.

For those of us in the packed gymnasium there was little, if any, drama as the Hornets had everything working and routed Matignon, 93-48, in the D4 North quarter finals.

The Hornets are now three wins away from winning the state Division 4 title.  Remember that there are only D4 tournaments in the North and South.  The upper three divisions have a Central and a West also, so they play more games to sort their champion out.

M-E’s North semi-final opponent is St. Mary’s of Lynn.  The Hornets have played them twice, losing at home in December and winning at St. Mary’s on February 14th.  Also still alive are Georgetown and Winthrop.  The Hornets split with G’town during the Cape Ann League season.

Chris Bishop (#4) connected on six 3’s

M-E (17-4) led undramatically in this one from beginning to end and how fitting it was that Chris Bishop (34 points) should score first (on a layup).  The 6’1” junior had a career night burying six three’s in 2 ½ quarters of playing time.  Matignon played a lot of zone defense and their fear of Joe Mussachia (and his 24.7 scoring average) led to abundant open looks for everyone else.  On this night Chris took full advantage.

By the time Chris scored his last points, the Hornets had a 67-33 advantage and there still were 1 ½ quarters to play.

Matignon (14-7) trailed just 19-13 after a quarter and certainly promising for them was the fact that Joe Mussachia had already picked up two fouls.

Even with Joe on the pines at the start of the second quarter M-E started to do everything right and the Warriors could do nothing to stop them.

The Hornets pressure continually and the Warriors had eleven turnovers in the second quarter.  They were actually only able to get off seven shots and connected only once.

Down the other end, M-E missed its first seven shots and then went 11-for-18 rolling up an amazing thirty-three points.  Chris had seventeen of the points.  And if you really want to talk about great offense – the Hornets tallied twenty-seven points in their last eleven possessions.  I guess you could say they had it going!

The lead was 52-25 at the half and I doubt that any in the sweltering crowd gave Matignon a chance for a comeback in the second half.  The Hornets were just too good on both ends of the court on this day.  M-E led, 78-40, after three periods.

Ron Slager was held to six points after getting 22 in the Warriors win in the first round.  He had Chris Bishop defending him for some of the time.

Junior Bob Crane led Matignon scorers with twenty points.  His life became a whole lot easier when his defender (Joe Mussachia) picked up his second foul in the first quarter.

Joe Mussachia – thirteen points and a slew of rebounds and assists

Amherst-bound Joe ended up with thirteen points in limited minutes.  I don’t have his rebound or assist totals but I’d guess he was close to a triple/double.  He may have assisted on all of Chris Bishop’s three’s.

Joe Burgess came off the bench and tallied ten points.

The student section was decked in white shirts.  They all filed out before the game was over and then rushed back onto the court to congratulate the players when the game ended.

It was my first time seeing the indoor part of the M-E facility.  The lighting was excellent as well as the seating.  However, there seemed to be no way to vent the heat that the crowd created.  I’ve put on a few pounds this winter so sweating was actually a positive!

Bob Crane and Joe Mussachia share a light moment with an official.

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