Tag Archives: Central Catholic

Central Catholic Still Unbeaten – Rout St. John’s Prep 80-56

Steve Haladyna (10 points) closely guarded by Joel Berroa (#25 – 20 points) and Tyler Nelson (#11 – 11 points).

Lucas Hammel (11 points floats in)

(Lawrence) Central Catholic is good……..very good.

The Raiders (12-0) overwhelmed St. John’s Prep, 80-56, Sunday afternoon before a crowd that dwindled as the start of the Patriots/Ravens game neared.

It was hard tell which CC was better at, scoring or pressure defending, because they were impressive at both.

The Raiders were able to run an organized offense against a tight Eagle defense and found openings for nineteen layups.  They also hit from long range connecting on six triples.

Defensively, the combo of Joel Berroa and Lucas Hammel, kept the ball away from high-scoring Steve Haladyna.  (I saw Steve drop twenty-six on BC High on Friday night.)  In this one, his total was ten points with only two coming in the second half.

The Raiders inside players 6-4 Joel Berroa (20 points) and 6-5 Nick Cambio (16 points) produced the big numbers for the home team.  Nick hit three triples.

Mike Carbone defended by Doug Gemmell

Mike Carbone (18 points) carried the Eagles (9-3) in the second half with thirteen points.

St. John’s made a game of it for about six minutes trailing just 14-13 as Steve Haladyna got inside for three straight hoops.  Thereafter the denial defense on Steve kicked in and the Raider runs began.

A three by Luis Puello, and a couple of Lucas Hammel layups and the Raider lead jumped to ten (23-13) early in the second period.

The Eagles were able to hang around and trailed only 27-22 with 2:50 remaining in the first half.

Over the next 3:40 of playing time this game got away from the Eagles.  They searched for offense and gave up four layups and two long ones.  That nasty combo turned into a 15-2 Raider surge and CC led, 42-24, early in the second half.

Freddy Shove shoots over Nick Cambio as Coach Rick Nault watches

Central Catholic cruised along with a comfortable lead until early in the 4th quarter when their 62-45 advantage shrunk to 62-52 with six minutes left, after seven straight by the Eagles.

A timeout by CC coach Rick Nault seemed to straighten things out as all five starters scored in the next four minutes. The Raiders put a 12-1 hit on the Eagles and were in complete control 74-53.  The reserves from both sides filled out the final two minutes.

Raider coach Rick Nault picked up a technical foul in the second period.

Nick Cambio had a crowd-pleasing jam in the third quarter.

After seeing CC for the first time, it is not too difficult to imagine them playing at the Worcester Centrum in mid-March.  But on the other hand, the Raiders only beat Lawrence by two points and have a return engagement at Lawrence coming up. Let’s see how that goes first before making too many March assumptions.

Central Catholic boxscore

St. John’s Prep boxscore

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

Luis Puello shoots

sophomore Nick Cambio

Central Catholic cheerleaders

Joel Berroa surrounded by Eagles

Steve Haladyna scores

CC coach Rick Nault gets T

Freddy Shove goes up and over

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Pat Connaughton (23 points) Leads St. John’s Past Central Catholic 72-70

Pat Connaughton (23 points) hits the game winner over Luis Puello with twenty seconds left.

Pat Connaughton and Jimmy Zenevitch (32 points)

(Danvers) This was the game you circled on your calendar when you got the 2010-11 schedule for either St. John’s Prep or Central Catholic.

Central Catholic at St. John’s Prep.  Plenty would argue that they’re the two best teams in the state.  And what a show they put on at St. John‘s in front of at least 1000 fans, some sitting and many standing, on Wednesday night.

No surprise that Pat Connaughton would have a big part late in the Eagles winning 72-70.  He made a tough shot over Luis Puello with twenty seconds left to give St. John’s the two-point edge and then topped that by blocking Jimmy Zenevitch’s tying layup attempt from behind down the other end.

The Raiders had one last try for a tie/win with 3.8 seconds to go but Freddy Shove intercepted the inbounds pass after a deflection by Isaiah Robinson to seal the victory.

Central Catholic (19-2) had a fifteen game winning streak snapped while St. John’s (19-1) extends their win streak to eight.  I also learned that the Raiders had an eleven-game winning streak versus the Eagles ended by tonight’s outcome.

The Eagles finished the regular season 13-0 at home where the support is organized, loud, and never-ending.

The possibility that these teams could get a rematch in the Division 1 North finals would appear likely.  Both will make it difficult for opponents between now and a rematch to run an organized offense.  Each has several big-time, go-to shooters.

There were eight lead changes in the first quarter before the Eagles ran off thirteen straight going into the start of the second quarter to pull away (24-12) and hint that a blowout might be in the making. Pat Connaughton converted a rebound, hit a jump shot, and then nailed a long one in this segment.

Jimmy Zenevitch connects on a three.

Over the next 3:45 the Raiders started the road back using a 10-2 spurt including a couple of Jimmy Zenevitch baskets to close to 26-22 with four minutes left.  The Prep led at the half, 36-31.

CC finally caught the Eagles (41-40) on a Jimmy Zenevitch jumper 3 ½ minutes into the third quarter.  There would be nine more lead changes before this game ended.

The third quarter finished with the teams tied at 55-55.  It wasn’t hard to suspect at this point that there was an exciting conclusion in the works.

Five minutes of playing time later you weren’t so sure.  After Central Catholic had gone up by three (60-57) on Jimmy Zenevitch’s three and a layup, the Prep rattled off ten straight points to take command (67-60) with just three minutes left.

Three of the points in that 10-point run were from Pat Connaughton connecting from NBA range.  In practice, NBA range was not out of his range.

Despite a very hostile environment, CC surrounded a missed Eagle shot with layups by Jimmy and Luis Puello.  Those clutch scores made it a one-possession game (69-66) with 1:21 to go.

Lack of a goaltending call on Jimmy Zenevitch led to a techical foul against St. John’s.

The most controversial play of the game followed and the way the Eagles reacted to it almost cost them the game.  An Eagle player (It looks like Freddy Shove in my picture to the left.) went in for a layup and Jimmy Zenevitch either deflected the shot or goal tended.  There wasn’t a soul in the house with Eagle connections that wasn’t sure that the basket should have counted because of a goal tend.  When it wasn’t called the St. John’s coaching staff erupted and Eagle coach Sean Connolly got whistled for a technical foul after brushing an official. (Never a good idea down the stretch in a tight game.)

Freshman Tyler Nelson made both technical foul shots.  CC got to keep the ball as well and Jimmy Zenevitch drove for a layup and to the dismay of the home crowd, Central Catholic was shockingly in front, 70-69, with 1:10 left.

Pat Connaughton – difference maker at both ends in crunch time

Naturally the Eagles had the ball in Pat Connaughton’s hands in the next possession and he got fouled and made one of two free throws with 1:03 left to tie the score.

Jimmy missed an attempt to break the (70-70) tie and that set the stage for Pat to score the winner and block Jimmy’s tying attempt.

Jimmy Zenevitch (32 points) used his height (6-7) to get inside points.  The lefty also made a three in the final quarter.  The talented senior reached 1000 points in the third quarter. However, in a game this tight the Assumption recruit may well look back at his 3-for-10 from the foul line with some dismay.

Pat Connaughton (23 points) was guarded by at least five different players in denial man-to-man mode.  Down the stretch you knew that the Notre Dame recruit would be getting the shots, as did CC, but they couldn’t keep the ball away from him.  His game-saving block late was just a great athletic move.

Mike Carbone (21 points) puts some serious defense on Jaycob Morales.

Mike Carbone (21 points) has the quick release to offset his lack of size.  He hit four 3’s and didn’t miss a free throw.  He also did a super defensive job on Jaycob Morales (5 points).

Luis Puello (12 points) is a favorite of mine.  His quickness is eye-catching and his defense is as well.  He can get to the basket anytime he chooses.

The crowd was awesome.  I checked out the St. John’s website and knew that the doors opened 1 ½ hours before the game started and that a sell-out was likely.  I got there shortly after 5:30 (the game started at 7) and there were few seats left.  Many of those who arrived in the next half hour ended up standing.  After that, the sellout the website referred to happened.

Both teams played man-to-man defense full-court.  Two normally productive point scorers Stephen Haladyna (4 points) and Evan Sheehan (2 points) were held in check by their defenders.

The pairings for the state tournament will be announced on Friday (February 25th) and the do-or-die games start on Tuesday.

Note the late-arriving crowd under the basket.

Wouldn’t Central Catholic like another chance against The Prep on a neutral site for the Division 1 North title.  I expect to be there if that game happens.

(I collect my own stats, take my own pictures, write my own captions, and draw my own conclusions.  Mistakes are unintentional.)

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Central Catholic Boys Overwhelm Bishop Hendricken 69-44

DaJuan Ives (#11) feels the defensive heat of Jaycob Morales (#10) and Luis Puello (#21)

Jimmy Zenevitch (6’7″) dominated the glass and collected 21 points in limited playing time.

(Lawrence)  Central Catholic blitzed Bishop Hendricken at the start of each half and cruised to a 69-44 victory on Sunday afternoon.

The Raiders last loss was February 8, 2010 against these Hawks.  Maybe that had something to do with the very noticeable defensive intensity the home team displayed.

CC (14-1) had a tough win over Lowell (66-60) on Friday night but had more than enough weapons and energy to handle the visitors from Warwick, Rhode Island.  They’ve now won ten straight.

The Hawks (9-6) have been state champs in Rhode Island for six straight seasons.  From what I saw today, getting the seventh straight will be a struggle.

The Raiders ran perpetual defense at BH and dominated the boards completely.

Jimmy Zenevitch (21 points) led all scorers and had an easy time of it with limited minutes getting seventeen of those points in the first half.

Luis Puello, Jimmy Zenevitch and Joel Berroa

BH was in trouble quickly in this one.  In the first three minutes the Raider defense forced four turnovers and turned up high percentage opportunities down the other end.  Luis Puello, Evan Sheehan, Jaycob Morales, and Jimmy Zenevich were scoring parts to a fast, 13-2, breakout.

BH trailed 18-6 after a quarter still struggling to get any sort of high percentage shot off.  However, they did find some long-range accuracy in the second quarter with two 3’s from Lee Messier and another one from Rory Temkin.  The long-distance offense narrowed the Hawk deficit to 23-15 three minutes into the second quarter.

Teams live and die long-range.  While BH missed their next three 3’s, Catholic Central ran eight straight on three’s by Tyler Nelson and Evan Sheehan and a Jimmy layup.  Back the lead went to 31-15.  CC led 36-20 at halftime.

The Raiders went off on another both-ends blitz in the second half.  In the first 2:45 the home team, led by Luis Puello’s seven points, dumped eleven straight on BH.  That surge put BH down 47-20 and out.

BH outscored CC, 24-20, the rest of the way as both teams gave reserves playing time.

Luis Puello (13 points) had eleven in the second half.

Sophomore Lee Messier (13 points) was the lone bright spot for BH.

Sophomore Lee Messier (13 points) led Bishop Hendricken.

I came away very impressed with the defense of Central Catholic.  They just wouldn’t allow any straight paths toward the basket.  They were all over dribblers and pass receivers.  They forced twenty-nine turnovers.

BH used zones with an eye on Jimmy.  When he moved to the corner there were all sorts of opportunities for teammates in close.

The rebounding was impressive.  By the time CC had the 47-20 lead early in the second half, the Hawks had gotten only one second shot!  That’s covering the boards.

I was impressed with the routines of the CC cheerleaders.  They were excellent gymnasts.  Their tosses were spectacular in my non-schooled opinion.

Jimmy Zenevitch will play for Division 2 Assumption next season.

I visited CC last year when they hosted Lawrence.  Much thinner crowd this time.  Some folks probably knew that the Celtic/Laker game had the same start time today as the game with Bishop Hendricken.  Where’s the school loyalty?

(I collect my own stats, take my own pictures, and draw my own conclusions.  Mistakes are unintentional.)

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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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