Tag Archives: Mike Carbone

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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St. John’s Wins D1 Classic 79-78 Over Lynn English in North Semis

Ryan Woumn can only look on as St. John’s defeats his Bulldogs

(Salem) It was a classic even before it was played with enough plots, subplots, and teases to entice even nonsports fans.

An estimated 3000+ fans took in the game. Irving Vizciano takes a free throw in front of The Prep crowd.

And what a crowd it drew – an estimated 3000+ spectators to Salem High School on Tuesday night.

And what a game they saw, as St. John’s Prep (21-2) rallied in the last quarter to defeat Lynn English (21-2), 79-78, in the Division 1 North semifinals.

In simple math terms, Lynn English dominated St. John’s in the second and third quarters by a combined 46-27.  In the first and final quarter, St. John’s had a 52-32 advantage.

The back-and-forth of things gave both sides plenty to cheer about and trust me the standing cheering sections from both schools were very active throughout.  St. John’s asked about “SAT scores,” and Lynn English countered with “free tuition.”  And so it went.

The official stats from the game were shaky to say the least.  In the four sources that I checked (Lynn Item, Salem News, Boston Herald, Boston Globe) the final numbers varied.  That’s why I keep my own stats and report them as “unofficial” at the end of the blog bottom.

Left to right – Pat Connaughton (16), Tripp Doherty (1), Mike Carbone (14) and Stephen Haladyna (28)

Stephen Haladyna led all scorers with 28(?) points.  His game was all about slashing to the basket or in numerous cases being on the scoring end of a press break.  I’ll guess it was a career game for the 6-4 sophomore.

The Bulldogs limited the open court for the Eagles usual top scorer (Pat Connaughton) and he ended up with sixteen points getting just six of them in the second half.

Jarell Byrd (21 points) paced the Bulldogs but in my opinion, he didn’t get the ball nearly enough.  The Eagles defense was in trouble during the infrequent times he actually had the ball in the frontcourt because he has range and can rip to the rim.

The Prep had a four-minute breakout in the first quarter with a 17-2 segment that changed a 5-4 deficit into a 21-7 advantage with two minutes left.  The damage was from in close except for one Mike Carbone trey.  The Prep led 23-11 at quarter’s end.

In the second period, the Bulldogs continued to look to be in serious trouble trailing 31-17 with 3 ½ minutes left.  Suddenly LE found a stretch of offense (17-4) that carried them to a 34-31 halftime spread.  Inside stuff, free throws (six), and an Irving Vizciano trey did the damage for the comebacking LE team.

Having seen both teams play well (and poorly) for a quarter, what we’d see in the second half was anybody’s guess.

LE made their move at the end of the third quarter, closing it with ten unanswered points.  Sophomore Keandre Stanton’s dunk and tip-in were Bulldog crowd-pleasers in the last minute.  LE led 57-50 after three periods.

The rest at the end of the third quarter seemed to settle the Eagles as they came out on a 13-2 tear in the first 2:25 to sit comfortably at 63-51.  Three straight inside scores by Stephen Haladyna and a trey from Mike Carbone did most of the damage.

That lead was eight (76-68) with two minutes to go before the “fun” began.  A Jarell Byrd trey, an Irving Vizciano free throw, and a Jarell Byrd layup while the Eagles had four empty possessions set the score at 76-74 with thirty seconds left.  Anyone’s game, for sure.

Tripp Doherty was fouled in the backcourt and made one free throws with 24 seconds left.  Again plenty of time for LE.

Mike Carbone – 14 points including two clinching free throws for The Prep

This time the, “Where are you, Ryan Woumn?” thoughts had to be dancing through many from the LE side.  However, suspended and sitting in the front row he wasn’t available.  And what happened was that LE went through 19 seconds looking for a slash to the basket that never occurred.  Jordan Rogers got off a desperate trey late that Mike Carbone rebounded.  With five seconds left, Mike made both free throws to close the door on LE, 79-74.  LE’s four points in the last few seconds did not alter the outcome.

Sophomore Mike Carbone (14) had four 3’s but his two free throws in the last five seconds were the game-sealers for St. John’s.

St. John’s gets to move on to face Central Catholic on Friday night at the TD North Garden.  CC won an earlier matchup by four points in Lawrence.

LE functioned without head coach Buzzy Barden and top player Ryan Woumn.  St. John’s started juniors and sophomores yet played like a team of seniors.

Is it too early to suggest that Sean Connolly will not always be coaching at The Prep?  What a job he has done with a young team.

( All stats are unofficial. )

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