Tag Archives: Pat Connaughton

St. John’s Prep Defeats St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 72-57 In D1 Title Game

St. John’s Prep (2010-11 Division 1 state champs)

Steve Haladyna (29 points to lead all scorers)

(Worcester) St. John’s (Shrewsbury) won the first ten minutes (17-16) and the last three minutes (11-2).  In between St. John’s Prep (Danvers) won the Division 1 boys title at the DCU Center on Saturday night.

The “in between” numbers were 54-29, over nineteen minutes of play, in favor of the Eagles, and that spelled the difference in this one and gave them their first state title.

Three players dominated the score sheet – Richard Rodgers (26 points), Steve Haladyna (29 points), and Pat Connaughton (25 points).

During the decisive “in between” nineteen minutes, Steve collected twenty-seven of his twenty-nine points.  Richard and Pat had fifteen points apiece during that segment.

Steve (6-3 junior) scored from everywhere getting layups, jump shots, 3’s, and free throws.  I didn’t see him dunk but it wouldn’t have been a surprise if he had because he had everything else going.

St. John’s Prep (25-1) shot an unreal 60% (21-for-35) during the game-changing segment while St. John’s of Shrewsbury (21-4) was limited to 32% (11-for-34).  The Pioneers also committed ten turnovers while the Eagles had just four.

The Eagles’ lead was 28-21 at halftime before they exploded for thirty points in the 3rd quarter alone.  The Eagles started trapping early in the third period and it seemed to disrupt the Pioneers.

The Eagles built their lead to 70-46 with three minutes left in the 4th quarter before the Pioneers went 11-2 the rest of the way.

A big moment for The Prep was the removal of starters near the end, especially seniors Connor Macomber and Pat Connaughton.  Plenty of talent is returning to Danvers so a trip back to the state finals is not out of the question.

Pat Connaughton (25 points in state title game)

I saw a lot of St. John’s, “Pat-the-point-guard,” offensive set in this one.  In it, Pat Connaughton brings up the ball and sees what he can create.  Those not covering him often become less interested in the man they’re supposed to be covering when the Eagles do this.  If the help defenders stay home it creates opportunities for Pat.  If they try to help then the openings are there for his teammates.

We’ve seen Pat shoot and we’ve seen him rebound.  He turned out to be a pretty good ball-handler and passer in this game.  You’d have to believe that at 6-4 his future at Notre Dame will be as a guard. He actually has the tools to play anywhere they let him!

Speaking of athletes, I hadn’t seen the Pioneers’ Richard Rodgers before.  He could well have played his last basketball game, although I’m certain there are college programs who would love to have him.  He is committed to the California Bears where he will be a wideout or a tight end on their football team.  At 6-5, 230, I guess he can play anywhere he wants!

Richard Rodgers (26 points and now off to play football for the California Bears)

One of the more interesting sideshows was when Richard and Pat were matched up for a while.  Pat managed to block one of Richard’s shots in the second quarter.  I recall Pat doing the same thing to 6-7 Jimmy Zenevitch (Central Catholic) late in a game at St. John’s.

The Eagles got away with a quiet game from Mike Carbone (3 points) because of the major step-up by Steve Haladyna.

Senior Matt Harrington (17) and junior Matt Palecki (10) also reached double figures for the Pioneers.

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

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Third Quarter Blitz Sends St. John’s by Lawrence 87-73 To State Semis

Coach Sean Connolly, Connor Macomber, Pat Connaughton with D1 North trophy

(Boston) St. John’s Prep……….what a team!

The big stage was their stage as they eliminated Lawrence, 87-73, to take the Division 1 North at the TD Garden on Friday night.

Mike Carbone (31 points)

Jaylen Alicea (30 points)

Pat Connaughton (28 points)

 

The Eagles (23-1) survived the Lancers’ (16-9) best shots in the first half and then gained separation in a dazzling, Mike Carbone-led third quarter.

Lawrence was the #15 seed but the way they had upset higher seeds and gained a huge following made them very dangerous.

Higher seeds hadn’t been able to stop dart-quick Jaylen Alicea and the Eagles were added to that list.  Jaylen (5’8”) put up thirty points on nifty drives to the hoop that got him by outside defenders and over inside ones.

In the decisive 3rd quarter things changed.  Lawrence could make just three baskets and free throws (10 points) while St. John’s connected on seven baskets and two free throws (21 points).  Mike Carbone (31 points) hit all five long ones he attempted pacing the Eagles.

Steve Haladyna (#21) and Jaylen Alicea watch Pat Connaughton free throw attempt.

You’d suspect that the Lancers would have paid more attention to Mike but with the state’s best player (Pat Connaughton) also on the floor, and demanding attention, it wasn’t that easy to do.  In fact, afterwards, Mike credited Pat for opening up shots for him.

With a 12-point cushion going into the final quarter, Coach Connolly wisely turned just about every possession over to Pat Connaughton (28 points).  The Notre Dame recruit was able to kill the clock and get to the basket or the foul line for much of the 4th period.

Pat tallied eight of the Eagles first twelve points in the last quarter and St. John’s had a comfortable lead (80-63) with 3 ½ minutes left.

The first half was an entirely different (and uncomfortable) story for the eventual winners.  There couldn’t have been a soul left in Lawrence from the crowd I saw.  And could they make noise!  I’ve heard the St. John’s student section but they’re organized.  The Lawrence folks were just downright enthusiastic for what had become “their” team.

Mike Carbone guards dribbling Jaylen Alicea

And the Lancers rode that wave of pure support in the first half.  Every basket received a “winning basket” full-volume roar.

The Eagles had the lead only once (11-10) during the first quarter.  Yadoris Arias’ two free throws at the start of the second quarter gave the Lancers a 25-17 lead.  You began to wonder if a #15 seed could possible keep this sort of play up and reel in yet another high seeded team.

St. John’s, however, has played big games all season.  Who could forget the two with Central Catholic?  Led by Pat, Mike, and Steve Haladyna (17 points), the Eagles erased that lead in less than three minutes with a 17-4 run.

This activity gave St. John’s a 34-29 advantage but the Lancers rode the crowd and Jaylen to get back to within one (47-46) at halftime.

It was announced during the second half that Jaylen had reached his 1000th point.  I won’t attempt to describe that reaction of the Lawrence crowd to that news!

Jaylen Alicea holds D1 North runner-up trophy

Jesse Hiraldo (6’6”) had an impressive first half (eight points) for Lawrence on the inside but foul trouble limited his second-half minutes.

St. John’s moves on to the state semi-finals on Tuesday night (7:45PM) against Mansfield (24-2).  I saw the Hornets rally from an 8-point deficit late in the last quarter to win by a basket over Newton North in the last three seconds in the game before Lawrence/St. John‘s.

Mansfield will have to shoot a whole lot better to have any chance with St. John’s.  Several of Mansfield’s starters were still shooting air balls late in the game and I even saw their best player (Mike Lofton) put up an air ball from the foul line.

(I collect my own stats and take my own pictures.  I also draw my own conclusions.  Blame me for any mistakes!)

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St. John’s Cruises By Billerica 80-59 in D1 North First Round

Stephen Haladyna (22 points)

Pat Connaughton (22 points)

Mike Carbone (16 points)

 

Stephen Haladyna defends Pat Bradanese.

(Danvers)  St. John’s got by Billerica, 80-59, on Friday night in a first round Division 1 North game and that sets up a clash with 18-3 Lincoln-Sudbury on Sunday night (5PM) at St. John’s.

And for those who like to look even further ahead, the winner of the St. John’s/Lincoln-Sudbury match will take on the winner of the Central Catholic/Charlestown game.  A couple of awfully good teams are going to be out of the tournament on Sunday night.

The Eagles (20-1) prepped for the challenges ahead by taking the lead from #16 seed Billerica (11-11) after 2 ½ minutes and never trailing the rest of the way.

The Indians, in fact, were in trouble even before the game started as key player Pedro Trindade was reduced to being a spectator because of an injury in the preliminary round.

Mike Carbone pressures Kasey Higgins.

The Eagles’ man-to-man defense was solid throughout limiting inside shots.  That defense forced Billerica into a two serious scoring droughts, one in each half.  The one in the first half provided separation for St. John’s while the one in the second half did in Billerica completely.

A jumper by Pat Bradanese (13 points) put Billerica within one (20-19), two minutes into the second quarter.  The Eagles, however, dominated the rest of the quarter to the tune of 19-3 and left with a, 39-22, halftime advantage.  Stephen Haladyna (22 points) had eight of those points during this run getting set up on a couple of the baskets by Pat Connaughton (22 points).

The second drought began with St. John’s ahead, 46-36, with 2:45 left in the third quarter. Over the next 5 ½ minutes, stretching into the 4th quarter, St. John’s outscored the Indians, 23-6, grabbing a 69-41 lead and moving this game into bench-clearing territory with five minutes left.

Pat Connaughton (#24) moves in for a second half layup.

During this steady offense, Pat Connaughton earned chants of, “Pat, Pat, Pat,” from the organized, loud, and appropriate Eagle student cheering section.  The Notre Dame recruit has the knack of getting past a defender on the baseline in very little space and then leaning back out and putting up a shot on either side of the basket depending on what other help defenders do.

He had ten of the Eagles twenty-three points in a run that put the game into the win column for St. John’s.  Billerica’s student section chanted “Over-rated,” when Pat shot free throws during this winning drive probably referencing the fact that he missed all seven of his three-point attempts.

Important for St. John’s was that their defense was great and will need to stay that way in the game(s) ahead.  To be on the floor for the Eagles a player must be able to defend an opponent without teammate help.

Equally important was the point production of Stephen Haladyna (22), Pat Connaughton (22), and Mike Carbone (16).  When all three of them are hitting shots, the opposition defense can’t be sagging in protecting for layups.  Stephen has been the one struggling and I’m sure that Coach Connolly was pleased at his output versus Billerica.

Stephen Haladyna layup in traffic.

Mike Carbone squirms through for a first half layup.

 

Connor Elmore (19), Ryan Donahoe (12), and Pat Bradanese (13) paced the scorers for Billerica.  Connor collected his nineteen points despite spending time on the bench with early foul trouble.

( I collect my own stats, take my own pictures, and draw my own conclusions.  And have fun doing it!  Any mistakes are unintentional. )

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Regular season pictures I’ve taken of MIAA tournament-qualifying basketball team members

The pictures are sorted by Divisions and boys/girls.

Click on a picture to enlarge it.

Division 1 North

#1 seed – St. John’s Prep (19-1)

Pat Connaughton

Mike Carbone

#3 seed – Lynn English (19-2)

Keandre Stanton

Travonne Berry-Rogers

 

#5 seed – Central Catholic (19-2)

Jimmy Zenevitch

Luis Puello

 

#11 seed – Andover (14-5)

Joe Bramanti

 

 

 

 

#14 seed – Everett (12-8)

Emo Deschommes

Alain Jeanty

 

Division 2 North

#1 seed – Wilmington (17-3)

Vinny Scifo
Tim McCarthy

 

 

 

 

 

 

#5 seed – Salem (15-5)

Antonio Reyes
Dario/Raphy Medrano

 

 

 

 

 

#3 seed – North Andover (16-4)

Zach Karalis

Derek Collins

 

 

 

 

 

 

#11 seed – Masconomet

Adam Bramanti
Zach Zaniewski

 

 

 

 

 

 

Division 3 North 

 #1 seed – Hamilton-Wenham (15-3)

Stephen Tam

 

 

 

 

 

#5 seed – Newburyport (13-7)

Matt Leavitt

Eric Meyer

 

#8 seed – Pentucket (11-9)

Corey McNamara

Will Angelini

 

 

 

 

 

Division 4 North

#2 seed – Manchester-Essex (16-4)

Joe Mussachia

Sean Nally

 

#8 seed – Georgetown (12-8)

Johnny Spears and Tyler Wade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Division 1 North (Girls)

 #6 seed – Masconomet (15-3)

Brooke Stewart

 

 

 

 

 

Division 3 North

#4 seed – Ipswich (13-7)

Hannah O'Flynn

Nyra Constant

#5 seed – Newburyport (13-7)

Molly Rowe

Beth Castantini

 

 #7 seed – Triton (11-9)

Jen Rock

Alyssa Conley

#3 seed – Pentucket (18-4)

Alex Moore

Tess Nogueira

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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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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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