Tag Archives: Steve Haladyna

2012 MIAA Basketball Tournament……some of the qualifying North boy/girl teams and pictures of their key players

This is a collection of pictures I’ve taken during the 2011-12 Massachusetts High School basketball (girls/boys) regular season of players who will be active in the MIAA North Division of the post-season tournament.

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

Brigid OFlynn (Ipswich)

Aly Leahy (Newburyport)

Beth Castantini (Newburyport)

Tess Nogueira (Pentucket)

Coley Viselli (Pentucket)

Alex Moore (Pentucket)

Masey Zegarowski (Ipswich)

Natalie Soliozy (Ipswich)

Emily Freedland (Marblehead)

Lindsey Cohen (Marblehead)

Leah Chittick (North Andover)

Morgan Lumb (North Andover)

Steve Carangelo (Lynnfield)

Kevin Gamble (Lynnfield)

Lucas Hammel (Central Catholic)

Joel Berroa (Central Catholic)

Kyle Fox (East Boston)

Will March (East Boston)

Freddy Shove (St. Johns Prep)

Steve Haladyna (St. Johns Prep)

Mike Carbone (St.Johns Prep)

Justin Reyes (Whittier)

Ryan Grant (Whittier)

Brett Fontaine (Newburyport)

Ian Michaels (Newburyport)

Will Angelini (Pentucket)

Corey McNamara (Pentucket)

Stephen Tam (Hamilton-Wenham)

Ryan Beckett (Hamilton-Wenham)

Nicole Boudreau (Andover)

Ally Fazio (Andover)

Chelsea Nason (Masconomet)

Brooke Stewart (Masconomet)

Shannon Hayes (Billerica)

Joslyn King (Billerica)

Michaela Maguire (Revere)

Any Rotger (Revere)

Maya Heath (Manchester-Essex)

Morgan Fraley (Manchester-Essex)

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East Boston holds on to defeat St. John’s Prep (58-52) in boys basketball

Will March (16 points) fires from the corner

Steve Haladyna (31 points) gets a rare open shot.

(Danvers) East Boston spoiled the last regular season home game for St. John’s Prep with a 58-52 win at St. John’s.

The Jets took the lead for good (10-9) on an Ian Jones three late in the first quarter.  The EB spread would get as large as seventeen (41-24) with three minutes left in the third period before the Eagles rallied to make things very interesting down the stretch.

Senior Steve Haladyna had a memorable final home game (31 points) that was highlighted by fifteen points in the final period.  Those points were consecutive and at their end the Eagles trailed only, 52-49, with two minutes left.

Credit Eastie, they felt the come-backing heat in front of a raucous Eagle student section but had answers.  Consecutive points on a free throw by Pat Santos (1:57), a layup by Pat after a scramble (1:20), and a layup from Will March (48 seconds) and the Jet spread was eight (57-49) and in the books for the visitors.

I have seen a number of St. John games and am regularly impressed with their persistent defense.  This time the persistent defense belonged to East Boston.  Respecting the Jet speed, the Eagles settled into a zone with special coverage on Will March most of the game.  However, when the Steve Haladyna-led run got going it was heavy Eagle pressure that put a scare into East Boston.

Will March (16 points) and Kyle Fox (15 points) led the East Boston scorers.  Kyle drained three long ones.

Mike Carbone set up to tie the game

Mike Carbone (8 points) was set up for a three from in front of the student section with the Eagles down three with less than four minutes left.  That he missed that one was a surprise to me since I’ve seen him make so many for three seasons.  If that one had gone, St. John’s would have been all the way back………but it didn’t and Eastie had enough left to hold their lead.

Can an “incident” wake a team up?  That may have been the case in this one.  A scramble for a loose ball with three minutes left in the third quarter led to some pushing and pulling.  Before you knew it, the student section vocals picked up and the St. John’s players got riled up.

third quarter scramble

The glide-to-the-finish mode disappeared and the intensity on both sides picked up considerably.  Who benefited?  Definitely the senior-honoring Eagles.  Over the next 5 ½ minutes of playing time extending into the fourth quarter, the Eagles put a 21-7 hurt on the Jets and climbed to within two (47-45).

3 ½ minutes later, St. John’s was still one shot away (52-49) but Eastie didn’t cave in and came away with the W.

St. John’s (10-6) has qualified for the MIAA tourney but is a long way from last year’s team led by Pat Connaughton.  If Steve Haladyna can find some scoring help maybe the Eagles can make a run in the tournament.

East Boston (14-4?) was impressive.  Not too many teams perform very well in front of noisy Eagle partisans but Eastie jumped in front significantly early to take the crowd away.  And when things got close, and the fans got involved, Eastie was able to hold not fold.

The program provided had players’ numbers incorrect and at least one player unlisted.  Try identifying pictures with that handicap!

East Boston boxscore

St. John’s boxscore

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

Kyle Fox (15 points) breakaway

Eagle student section

Jet coach Malcolm Smith

Algino Jean and Freddy Shove

Steve Haladyna gets 2 of his 15 fourth quarter points

Marcos Echevarria faces pressure from Pat Santos

Pat Santos

Steve Haladyna

Owen Marchetti

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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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Steve Haladyna Leads St. John’s Prep Past Boston College High 58-45 in Boys Basketball

Steve Haladyna (26 points) played solid defense too.

Owen Marchetti (23) and Tyler Dooley (34) chase Charles Collins (14)

(Danvers) This game was about Steve Haladyna, tight defense, and pitiful foul shooting.

Steve Haladyna (26 points) tormented Boston College High on both ends of the court and led St. John’s Prep to a 58-45 victory in Catholic Conference action on Friday night at St. John’s.

Steve’s quickness enabled him to get shots where teammates were getting shots blocked.  He also had a hand in a number of BC High turnovers on the front of the St. John’s press.  His only problem was getting his fifth foul with four minutes left but by then the home team led, 57-38, and BC High was using reserves.

The defense was end-to-end by both teams.  Double-teams were frequent and turnovers were plentiful. Driving to the basket wasn’t such a good idea either because both teams could and did reject shots.  The referees weren’t buying the drive-and-flop routine so there were more than a few ugly shots taken as the drivers hit the deck and had to scramble to get back on defense.

The foul shooting was a serious problem for one team – BC High.  They were pitiful at both ends.  How does six-for-twenty-one sound!  Two of the misses were the front ends of 1-and-1’s.  The BC takeaway from this one could well be that if they had made their free throws they could have won the game.  I’m not sure about the winning part but as the stats indicate it sure would have been a heck of a lot closer if the freebies had fallen.

Steve Haladyna layup

With just the final score, you wouldn’t realize how this game went early on.  There were seven lead changes before a Mike Carbone (9 points) triple at 4:55 of the second period gave St. John’s the lead (22-19) for good.  St. John’s built their lead to 30-21 after two Steve Haladyna free throws before BC ran six straight to trail just, 30-27, one minute into the second half.  At this point, the outcome was far from decided.

In the next ten minutes of playing time it was.  The home Eagles were all over BC to the tune of 26-9 to build a decisive twenty point lead (56-36) with five minutes left in the game.  Not surprising to those on hand, Steve Haladyna (signed with Tufts) had half of St. John’s points including 7-of-8 from the foul line.

St. John’s (9-2) avenged a loss to BC High (9-3) on January 3rd (53-47) at BC High.

Coach Sean Connolly did not start his usual starters.  Could well have had everything to do with the Eagles last-game loss.

Jameilen Jones (#13) led BC High with ten points

Jameilen Jones led BC’s scorers with ten points.

The Boston Globe had BC High ranked 2nd in their Top Twenty poll and St. John’s 9th.  That will change.

On Sunday (1:30), St. John’s travels to Lawrence to play undefeated Central Catholic.  They’re ranked #1 by the Globe.  This game might be a nice appetizer before the Patriots game.

St. John’s boxscore

Boston College High boxscore

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

Justin Roberts

Freddy Shove

Oderah Obukwelu

Muigai Unaka (5) and Drex Costello (33)

Mike McAuley looks for an opening

Mike Carbone

Jameilen Jones hits 3 at end of first quarter

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Solid Defense Gets St.John’s Prep a 62-41 Basketball Win Over Lynn Classical

Mike Carbone gets the Eagles off to a fast start with a breakaway layup.

Freddy Shove heads in for one of his thirteen points.

(Danvers) The best player on the floor may have been Lynn Classical’s Uche Nwokeji but in a team game that isn’t usually enough as St. John’s Prep defeated the visiting Rams, 61-42, on Thursday night.

Uche dropped in a game-leading twenty points and all of them were from in close.  He rebounded well and played good defense with only one foul. But he wasn’t enough on his own to challenge the defending Division 1 champs on this night.

St. John’s is in the post-Pat (Connaughton) era and the biggest challenge will be replacing the Notre Dame freshman’s 20+ points per game.

Steve Haladyna paced the Eagles with seventeen points but it took him a lot of shots to get that many against Lynn Classical.  He had some pretty good looks.

Uche Nwokeji (5) gets inside Steve Haladyna (21) for two.

In my opinion, the key Eagle in this game was Freddy Shove.  In a contest where finesse seemed lacking, he thrived with his aggressive approach on both ends.  The lefty has enough of a 3-point shot to require outside attention and he definitely has the will to get to the rim if covered closely outside.  Freddy tallied thirteen points.

Pat may be gone but the Eagle’s defense is still the same – every inch of the floor is contested heavily.  And that defense is going to win a lot of games.  If the Rams had an offensive pattern I never saw it.  They were kept on the outside as the Eagles were determined that every pass was caught going away from the basket.

It wasn’t much easier for St. John’s down the other end because of the raw athleticism of LC but the Eagles had slashers who could get to the rim on occasion.  For LC it happened very infrequently.

St. John’s (2-0) got the breakout they needed in the first period as a 5-4 advantage after three minutes turned into 16-5 by the end of the period.  Freddy Shove had a trey and a layup.

Steve Haladyna (21) gets two of his seventeen points just before halftime.

The Rams (0-2) cut that deficit to 23-15 in the second period when Moise Builou (9 points) nailed a fall away long one with 3 ½ minutes to go until halftime.  The rest of the half belonged to the Eagles.  Steve Haladyna cashed in a couple of layups late and St. John’s was up 29-15 when the period ended.

The Eagles’ scoring run continued to 33-15 before Uche led a Ram rally to 35-21.  But back again came the St. John’s offense, this time with nine unanswered points, including a three by Mike Carbone, to get their biggest lead of the night – 43-21.

LC was able to cut into the twenty-one point lead but never came close to putting an Eagle win in danger by getting with double-digits of them the rest of the way.

Lynn Classical coach Tom Grassa was forced to spend some game time mellowing out Ram spectators behind his bench.  In a game with offensive fouls and skin-to-skin defense, there were calls that met with mixed reviews from both sides.

The first thing I noticed upon arriving was the much lighter color to the gym floor.  It had been sanded.  My camera was never real happy with the combo of the white St. John’s uniforms and that very clean floor.

Uche Nwokeji missed every free throw he attempted (five).  At halftime he came out and practiced a couple more and missed those as well.

Coach Tommy Doyle (Salem) was on hand to check out Lynn Classical.

St. John’s box score

Lynn Classical box score

The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.

Steve Haladyna

Uche Nwokeji surrounded by Eagles

Freddy Shove

Ram coach Tom Grassa

Ryan Hayward (0) & Owen Marchetti (23)

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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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