Sports 12-29-2011

Thursday, December 29, 2011
By Transcript Staff

WHS girls hockey team wins three straight

The Winthrop High Lady Bulldog girls hockey team has run off a string of three impressive victories to improve to 3-1 on the season.

Coach Anthony Martucci’s squad began its winning streak with a dominating 4-1 triumph over Masconomet. The final score was not indicative of the lopsidedness of the contest, as Winthrop outshot Masco by a 70-18 margin. Only some stellar play by the Masco goalie kept the score at a manageable level for Masco.

Eighth grade defenseman Julianna Kennedy, Amanda Cordes, Chelsey Bartlett, and Ariana Dembro all lit the lamp for the Lady Bulldogs.

A few days later, Winthrop iced one of its archrivals, Marblehead, by a 5-2 margin. Hannah LoPresti scored two goals and linemate McKenzie Clarke scored a goal and earned two assists.  Kennedy and Kara Donati also reached the back of the Marblehead net.

Last Wednesday the Lady Bulldogs traveled to Medford and skated away with an 8-2 triumph. Senior captain Bartlett lit the red lamp four times, with fellow captain and linemate Clarke potting two goals and assisting on four others. Clarke now has 147 career points and is within striking range of the 150 point mark.

Eighth grader Emma Rudser scored her first varsity goal and Donati also struck for a goal.

Seventh grade Winthrop netminder Gretchen Howard was solid in all three contests and made a key stop early in the Medford game on a point blank shot in front. “Medford was staying with us for a while, and had they scored, it might have given them some confidence. But when Gretchen made that save, it swung the momentum in our favor,” said Martucci.

The coach also was effusive in his praise of Kennedy, another middle schooler, who has two goals and three assists thus far in the young season. “Julianna really has come along and is getting better and better with every game,” lauded Martucci. “She works hard and loves the game of hockey. Her play thus far has been awesome.”

The Lady Bulldogs were set to face two key opponents this week. They hosted Shrewsbury last night (Wednesday) and will play in Lynn against Beverly next Wednesday.

Boys hockey team dominates in twin wins

The Winthrop High boys hockey team posted a pair of dominant victories this past week, defeating Peabody and Walpole by identical 5-1 margins.

Last Wednesday’s triumph over Northeastern Conference rival Peabody put the finishing touch on an evening of Viking hockey prowess, past and present, which began with the raising of the 2011 Northeastern Conference championship banner.

Although the visiting Tanners appeared to have it in mind to play the role of spoiler early on, grabbing a 1-0 lead after the first period, Winthrop’s dominance in that opening frame, despite the 1-0 deficit, presaged what was to come in the remaining 30 minutes.

Chris Page, assisted by Jimmy Barker, notched the equalizer in the second period, followed in short order by goals from Chris LeBlanc (from Dan Eruzione and Adam Lundberg) and Eruzione (from LeBlanc and Drayton Chastain) for a 3-1 Winthrop advantage at the second horn.

LeBlanc then asserted himself in the final stanza, potting two goals to rack up a hat trick. Eruzione assisted on both markers, with Lundberg and Chastain each earning an assist as well.

The Vikings continued to exhibit their strong play in the opening round of the Mike Millbury Tournament in Walpole on Monday night against the host Walpole High squad.

Mitch Paulson scored twice in the opening period,  assisted by Matt Todisco and Page respectively, and the Vikings never looked back. Three more Winthrop lamplighters in the second stanza off the sticks of LeBlanc (from Chastain and Barker), Hershey Beard (from Pat Todisco), and Chastain (from LeBlanc and Eruzione) made it a 5-0 bulge and effectively put the game on ice.

For Beard, his tally marked his first varsity lamplighter.  Ray Feeley played the first two periods in net and Tom DiBenedetto played the final 15 minutes.

“We’re playing well,” said WHS head coach Dale Dunbar. “It took us a few games to get going, but we’re playing the way we felt we were capable of playing at the start of the season. We still have a lot of things to work on, but the team is working hard to improve and get better each time they take the ice.”

Winthrop was set to meet Acton-Boxboro last night (Wednesday) in the tournament championship game. The Vikings then will host Gloucester Monday evening at 6:10 at Larsen and then travel to Salem State to take on Beverly in a key NEC matchup Wednesday.

Viking hoopmen edge Danvers in thriller, 56-55

The Winthrop High basketball team improved to 4-0 with an exciting 56-55 victory Friday night over Danvers in the Holland gym before a delighted home crowd.

Danvers came into the tilt rated as one of the top teams in the South Division of the Northeastern Conference and battled the Vikings all the way. The visitors held the lead throughout the contest until Viking Jeff Laguerre drained a three pointer with 1:30 to play that boosted Winthrop ahead for the first time. Joe Levesque then sank a clutch free throw for a three point Viking advantage that proved to be the deciding point.

Danvers came down and scored after Levesque’s FT to close the gap to 56-55 and then forced a Winthrop turnover with 12 seconds on the clock. However, the Vikings came through with a key defensive stop at the end in the frantic closing seconds to hold onto the dramatic victory.

“Danvers is a good team, but we committed 18 turnovers, which is way too many,” said WHS head coach Dave Brown. “We need to work on that aspect of our game if we’re going to be a championship team.”

Quinton Dale was a force at both ends of the floor, pouring in a game high 20 points and pulling down 16 rebounds for his fourth double-double in as many games. Joe D’Amore once again showed his second half magic a la his state championship performance,  scoring all 12 of his points in the final 16 minutes.

The Vikings took on Malden in the opening game of the Winthrop Christmas Tourney Tuesday evening, dropping a 55-51 decision to the Division 1 Golden Tornados, who hail from the Greater Boston League.

Winthrop trailed 31-21 at the half, but battled back after the intermission and eventually closed within two points with a minute to go. However, the Vikings could not quite get over hump.

However, the contest is considered an excluded game from Winthrop’s official record for purposes of the state tourney (Winthrop will have played 22 games by seasons’s end and only 20 are countable under MIAA rules; the return match at Malden also will be excluded), so the Vikings still stand at 4-0 on the season.

Winthrop was set to play Bedford in the consolation game of the tourney yesterday (Wednesday) at 2:00. The Vikings will host NEC foe Saugus Monday on the holiday and non league rival Arlington Catholic Wednesday.

WHS girls defeat Georgetown, 52-48

The Winthrop High girls basketball team improved to 3-2 on the season with a 52-48 victory at Georgetown Tuesday evening. Coach Ignacio Oyola and his crew will host Georgetown in a return match this evening (Thursday) at 7:00.

The Lady Vikings grabbed a 13-7 advantage after the first period and maintained their six point advantage at the half, 28-22.

Winthrop then came out at the intermission and played staunch defense, limiting Georgetown to just seven points in the third frame to open up a 13 point bulge,  42-29. However, the hosts were not about to roll over. Georgetown applied some defensive pressure that resulted in Winthrop turnovers, eventually cutting the once safe Winthrop lead to two, 50-48, in the final minute.

Ashelyne Babb then stepped up in the clutch to sink both ends of a one and one with 10 seconds to play to seal the victory.

“It got a little tight at the end,” said Oyola. “But the girls kept their heads to come away with the win.”

Babb pumped in 18 points, including a pair of three pointers and shot 5 for 7 from the free throw line. Freshman Kristen Siscamanis, who is becoming more confident and stronger with each outing, reached double figures with 14 points. “Kristen played an excellent game and is really becoming a key player for us,” lauded Oyola. “She has a lot of natural ability and is improving as she get more experience.”

Liana Ferullo added seven points, Theresa Jones hit for five, and Angie Favaloro and Taylor Duplin chipped in with four apiece. Oyola, lauding the defensive play of the trio of Favaloro, Ferullo, and Duplin, noted, “They’re my coaches on defense. They set the defense and make sure there is communication among the entire team. They show great leadership on the floor.”

Last Friday the Lady Vikings played well, but dropped a 44-36 decision against Danvers at Endicott College. Winthrop grabbed a 10-8 lead after the first quarter, but lost its momentum on offense in the second frame to fall behind 20-17 at the intermission.

The Lady Vikings still trailed by just three at the end of three periods, 28-25, but proved  unable to find the winning formula to forge ahead in the final eight minutes.

Favaloro led the Lady Vikes with 11 points, including a trio of treys. Temison Meggison was next on the point parade with eight, followed by Siscamanis with six, Jones with five, Babb with four, and Ferullo with two.

After tonight’s rematch with Georgetown, Oyola and his squad will host Wayland tomorrow evening (Friday) and play at Saugus Monday afternoon at 3:00.

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