Alessia Salzillo

Saugus, Fenwick to battle it out in state tourney

FILE PHOTO
Olivia Valente and No. 3 Saugus will host No. 6 Bishop Fenwick on Thursday night. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

The Saugus girls basketball team battled its way to a 16-6 record this season, earning the No. 3 seed in the MIAA Division 3 North tournament and a home game in the first round. But that first round game will be anything but easy, as the Sachems will take on the defending Division 3 state champion Bishop Fenwick Crusaders.

“They’re a model team for sure,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said of Fenwick. “We saw their run last year and when we watched them play, our coaching staff collectively said that we want to play like them. They played fast and aggressive every minute, and we modeled ourselves after that style.”

It appears that the Sachems have learned well from the Crusaders, at least according to Fenwick coach Adam DeBaggis.

“They’re a much-improved team this year,” he said. “They’re aggressive, quick and well-coached just to name a few things. They’re going to be a tough out this year.”

The Sachems have a solid group of players led by the likes of Olivia Valente and Alessia Salzillo. But if there’s one thing that Saugus lacks, it’s postseason experience.

“The experience factor is certainly in Fenwick’s favor, but we’ve been preparing for this all year,” Schruender said. “I think the big thing we need to push on the players is that it’s okay to make mistakes early from nerves or whatever, but we need to be able to settle down and execute. It’s still basketball, and we’ll be in our gym, so I think we can try to counter the experience factor.”

Fenwick may not be the powerhouse team that won it all last year when they went 23-4 and won the Div. 3 state title, but they’re still a force to be reckoned with. The Crusaders finished the year with a 14-8 record, good enough for a No. 6 seed on the bracket.

In terms of experience, the Crusaders may be more loaded than anyone despite losing multiple four-year starters to graduation. Senior captain Sam Mancinelli has played in 10 career postseason games, while juniors Fredi DeGuglielmo and Jennie Meagher have each played in eight career postseason games.

“Obviously the experience is a big factor because there are plenty of girls out there who will never play in that many postseason games,” said DeBaggis. “But at the end of the day we still have to execute against a really good team on the road.”

Adding to that veteran lineup is sophomore Jaxson Nadeau, who has emerged from a core of young players as a crucial cog in the machine.

“This has been a much different season for us,” DeBaggis said. “We lost several four-year players, two of them four-year starters, so we had a totally different look this year. But a lot of the younger girls have stepped up and our upperclassmen have provided the leadership we needed to have a successful regular season.”

Championship pedigree or not, DeBaggis knows his team will be in for a battle in Saugus.

“It won’t be easy,” he said. “They’re going to be fired up over there and the crowd will be going nuts. We anticipate that they’ll come out with plenty of energy, and we’re going to have to stay focused and execute our gameplan.”

The Crusaders and Sachems will meet on Thursday night at 7 p.m. at Saugus High.

Elsewhere around the NEC, a number of local teams are preparing for tournament runs of their own. The Revere Patriots nearly had an undefeated regular season, winning their first 18 games before dropping the final two to earn the No. 2 seed in the Division 1 North tournament.

A big part of the Patriots’ success this year has been the play of their two bigs inside, Valentina Pepic and Meaghan Gotham. The two have been able to score from the post and dominate the glass, perfectly complementing the play of guards Pamela Gonzalez and Tatiana Iacoviello.

Revere draws a home game against No. 15 Medford (10-10) in the first round on Monday night at 7 p.m.

Also in Division 1 North, the Peabody Tanners closed out the year with a 13-7 record and secured the No. 11 seed. Seniors Melissa Gray and Katie Wallace have paced the Peabody offense this year, while Nene Onwuogo has had a great season at the forward spot.

The Tanners travel on the road to take on No. 6 Waltham (14-6) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

Two teams from the NEC also made it into the Division 2 North bracket. The Swampscott Big Blue earned the No. 11 seed in Division 2 North after closing out the regular season with an even 10-10 record. The Big Blue will travel to take on No. 6 Hamilton-Wenham (12-8) on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.

The Danvers Falcons also closed out the year at 10-10 and earned the No. 12 seed. The Falcons will play No. 5 Arlington Catholic (14-6) on Monday night at 7 p.m.

Four-quarter effort drives Sachems over Big Blue

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Olivia Valente of Saugus looks for an open pass while being guarded by Swampscott’s Hannah Leahy.

By HAROLD RIVERA

SAUGUS — The Saugus girls basketball team identifies itself as a “fourth quarter team.” Tuesday evening at Saugus High School, the Sachems were a “fourth quarter team” through the entire game.  

Saugus built an early 9-3 lead after the first period and never looked back, en route to a 44-32 win over Swampscott.

Sachems coach Mark Schruender was happy to see his team get off to a quick start.

“We have this joke going on right now,” Schruender said. “We’re a great team in the fourth quarter. (Junior guard) Rachel Nazzaro said in the locker room, ‘hey it’s the fourth quarter in the first quarter tonight.’ So that was the mentality, we wanted to play four fourth quarters.”

The Sachems jumped out to a quick 9-0 run in the opening period, capped off by a three-pointer from Alessia Salzillo. Saugus remained ahead at 9-0 until Olivia Matela knocked in a three in the final seconds to put Swampscott on the board. Swampscott struggled to score points and the Sachems led 9-3 after one.

“Saugus’ pressure is so tough,” Swampscott coach Katelyn Leonard said. “Their offense is really good. Turnovers hurt us, they caused a lot of turnovers for us. That gave them the momentum.”

The Big Blue began to find their rhythm on offense in the second quarter. Hannah Leahy stormed her way into the paint for a lay-in and added a free throw to put Swampscott back in the game, down 11-6.

“Our girls fought,” Leonard said. “We never quit. We had a couple of runs but we just kind of ran out of gas towards the end.”

Saugus opened a double-digit lead when Nazzaro swished a three to put the Sachems ahead, 16-6, midway through the quarter. Emily Guiney snuck a layup in for the Big Blue before the end of the quarter, but Saugus led 23-12 at the half.

“It was tough to dig out of that,” Leonard said of Swampscott’s early deficit. “We had some good runs, it just wasn’t enough.”

Swampscott began the third quarter with a 5-0 run thanks to a bucket from Matela and a conventional three-point play by Leahy. The pair’s efforts made it a six-point deficit at 23-17. Kiley Ronan’s putback with a minute to play gave the Sachems an 11-point advantage again at 33-22. Saugus led 33-24 after three quarters.

“Swampscott’s a great team,” Schruender said. “They were without two of their leaders today in Jaymie Caponigro and Katie Watts. They’re still a deep team, all five players can hurt you. We haven’t beat them in a while. Coach Leonard is incredible and we have a lot of respect for their program so getting the win is awesome.”

The Big Blue made it a seven-point game after Ella Parker powered her way to a bucket in the paint in the fourth quarter, but Saugus answered with another three from Salzillo. The sophomore guard’s three-pointer bumped the lead to ten, 38-28, and Saugus closed out the win, 44-32.

Matela led the Big Blue with 14 points, while Leahy contributed with 12.

The duo of Valente and Salzillo guided Saugus in the win. Valente scored 14 points and Salzillo finished with 12. Nazzaro added five points.

Saugus finishes the regular season at 16-6 and now awaits the state tournament pairings, which will be announced on Friday.

Swampscott, also in the tournament, stands at 9-10 and visits Lynn English on Wednesday.

“We’re going to forget about this one tonight,” Leonard said. “English is another good team but it’s good that we’re getting tested this week because we’ll face a good team in the tournament. We’re hoping that the ball falls a little bit for us tomorrow night and we get that win.”

School Roundup: Tech makes the tournament

FILE PHOTO
Rob Wallace led Tech with 25 points in the win. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

The Lynn Tech boys basketball team beat Essex Tech, 73-45, at home on Thursday night.

With Tech’s third win in a row, the Tigers clinched a share of the CAC Small. The win puts Tech in the state tournament.

“They were super excited, they were elated,” Tech coach Stevie Patrick said. “They can’t wait to play and have the experience. They’re happy to have accomplished this.”

Rob Wallace led the way with 25 points, Belmin Berilo added 12 points and Dantai Robertson scored 10. Aquemini Gaston dished out 10 assists. After starting the season 0-8, Tech has seen a huge turnaround.

“Our goal wasn’t to go undefeated,” Patrick said. “Our goal was to win the division and get in the tournament. This will do wonders for them on and off the court. It’s great for the school and the students.”

Tech visits Minuteman on Friday night. If the Tigers win, they clinch the CAC Small.

“We’ve been playing hard,” Patrick said. “That’s been working for us.”

BOYS BASKETBALL

Marblehead 66, Swampscott 42

Derek Marino logged a double-double, scoring 16 points with 10 rebounds. Bo Millett showed his power in the paint, grabbing 17 rebounds for the Magicians.

“Give Swampscott credit,” Magicians coach Mike Giardi said. “They played hard. They have really good athletes and they played with intensity tonight. Give them credit for bringing energy.”

The Magicians host Classical on Friday for a big NEC matchup. “I think both teams are going to be hyped up for it,” Giardi said. “It’s a great opportunity. It’s going to be two talented teams battling each other.”

For Swampscott, AJ Venuti scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds. Jake McIntire also scored 10 points with four rebounds and four assists. The Big Blue host English on Friday, a must-win game for the Bulldogs. If English wins, the Bulldogs are in the state tournament.

Beverly 63, Danvers 38

With the win, the Panthers clinch a spot in the state tournament. Luigi Derrane scored 19 points, while Pat Gavin (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Hugh Calice (13 points, 11 rebounds) each recorded double-doubles in the win.

Revere 62, Peabody 52

With the win, Revere is in the state tournament. Curtis High scored 18 points, Marvin Urdaneta added 10 points and Gerald Jean-Charles chipped in with nine points.

“I’m happy for the guys,” Revere coach Dave Leary said. “We started the season slow but improved as the season went on and we never quit.”

For the Tanners, Moise Irizarry led the way with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Chris Canela added 11 points for Peabody (13-7).

“Revere came in and they did a really nice job against us tonight,” Peabody coach Thad Broughton said. “We struggled offensively and they really hurt us on the boards.”

The Tanners host Somerville on Friday night.

Winthrop 69, Saugus 53

Matt Waggett led the way with 12 points in the home loss for the Sachems (6-13), while Chris McGrane added 10 points and Ronnie Lusso had nine points.

Saugus is back in action tomorrow night at home against Everett.

Gloucester 50, Salem 46

Ethan Espinal was Salem’s leading scorer with 19 points.

“He (Espinal) played well,” Witches coach Tom Doyle said. “He stepped up to bring us back into the game. We got down double-digits a couple times and he hit some big shots to bring us back in.”

Nate LeBron scored eight points and grabbed eight rebounds for Salem. With the win, Gloucester keeps its tournament hopes alive.

“Gloucester’s fighting to get in the tournament,” Doyle said. “They played well. It was a back and forth game.”

The Witches (9-8) are back in action on Friday, when they host Beverly.

BC High 66, St. John’s Prep 56

The Eagles were led by Nate Hobbs, who scored 19 points. Tommy O’Neil contributed with 18 points and Matt Relihan added 12. The Eagles (14-5) are off until Sunday, when they play against Bishop Fenwick at Beverly.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Saugus 45, Winthrop 27

With the win, the Sachems clinched the NEC Small. The feat is one that’s been long overdue for the Saugus girls program.

“It’s our first banner since the ‘80’s” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said.

The Sachems featured a balanced attack on the offensive side of the ball. Krissy Italiano led the team with nine points, while Alessia Salzillo and Olivia Valente each scored eight. Rachel Nazzarro added seven points.

“It was nice to see the kid’s reactions after the game,” Schruender said. “They’ve put in a lot of work and sacrifices into this season. It was nice to see them react.”

Saugus hosts Malden on Friday for senior night.

 

Sachems mean business this season

FILE PHOTO
Olivia Valente, a senior captain, has led the Saugus Sachems to a 14-5 record this season. 

By KATIE MORRISON 

The Saugus girls basketball team is making huge strides.

Two seasons ago, the Sachems were in rough shape, winning just one game. A year later, Saugus turned things around, going .500 (11-11) and sneaking into the tournament before falling to Georgetown, 42-34, in the first round.

This season, the final three games on the schedule won’t be nearly as stressful as they were last year. The Sachems locked up a tournament berth long ago, and sit at 14-5 with the season winding down.

Fourth-year coach Mark Schruender says that his team is taking things not just one game at a time, but one practice at a time.

“We’re trying not to look ahead to the tournament, just to the next practice,” Schruender said. “The girls can’t wait for the next day’s practice, it’s fun. Every day is our biggest of the season. It sums up our day-to-day mentality that every game and every practice is so important.”

Saugus’ group of upperclassmen knows better than anyone not to take any game for granted. Four of the current five starters for Saugus played with that one-win team in 2014-15. Playing through that adversity has helped shape the senior group, and the team’s veterans pass the lessons they’ve learned down to the underclassmen.

“It starts with the seniors,” Schruender said. “We have great leadership. Nothing is taken for granted. They know every team we play against is good, and we’ve played nothing but competitive games. The kids understand that, and the younger kids start to fall in line behind them.”

One of those seniors is team captain Olivia Valente, who is arguably the group’s most talented offensive player. Valente leads the team in scoring and rebounding, averaging a double-double this season.

“She works hard every single day,” said Schruender of Valente, who has played with the varsity squad since her freshman year. “She’s a very humble kid, too. She doesn’t worry about the stats; I’ll have to tell her she scored 19 points the other night, she doesn’t talk about herself.”

Another key piece on the floor is point guard Alessia Salzillo. The sophomore “knows defense is the most important thing for her,” said Schruender.

Then there’s the twins, senior captains Krissy and Katie Italiano. Krissy Italiano has more of an impact on the court; Schruender says the team calls her the “madman” on the full court press. Krissy brings energy and hustle to the squad, and Schruender says he doesn’t think anyone takes more steps than her during a game.

Katie Italiano is more of a vocal leader, serving as one of three captains and one of the five seniors who lead the group.

The underclassmen, on the other hand, also have a natural chemistry. Schruender says that the majority of the freshmen and sophomores have been playing together since sixth grade, at least.

“They put a lot of hours in, and that’s huge,” Schruender said.

“They’re a close group of kids,” the coach added, speaking of the team as a whole. “They like each other, they hang out outside of basketball.”

The collective positive attitude of the Saugus squad helped propel it to a 5-0 start this season. The Sachems’ first loss came against perennial Catholic Central League power St. Mary’s, a 61-37 rout. But Schruender didn’t need to worry about building his team back up after a tough defeat.

“They came out of that game even hungrier,” he said. “They were saying how they wanted to work in the offseason to get better. The way we’ve handled losses and things outside our control is very mature. It speaks to them as people and who they are off the court. You can’t grow as a player unless you grow mentally as well.”

Even scheduling St. Mary’s, a team that plays in a tougher league and has seen big success over recent seasons, speaks to just how far the Saugus program has come in three short years. However, Schruender reiterates that his players are keeping things in perspective.

“At least around me, they don’t (get ahead of themselves),” he said. “I hope it continues that way, because we’re doing a disservice to ourselves if we’re thinking too far down the road.”

As a coach, it seems like Schruender is heeding that same advice. He said the key to the steady progress has been reinforcing the basics of the game.

“We’re just continuing to grow, every game is an opportunity to get better,” Schruender said. “We’re making a whole lot less mistakes and understanding our plays and our philosophy better.

“We’re getting better at fundamentals, just things like layup form, dribbling, basic things,” Schruender added.

That mentality extends to preaching communication on the floor, defensive structure and even just getting energy from each player, including the bench.

“That energy shows even at practice, with girls cheering from the bench,” Schruender said.

One of the Sachems even brought in pictures of the Saugus bench and one of an opponent’s bench to show the impact made when the bench is into the game.

With the tournament on the horizon, the Sachems’ focus is still on their next game, which is Friday at home against Malden. Saugus will honor its five seniors: the Italiano twins, Valente, Alexandria Lembo and Angellina Nou.

Saugus comeback falls short in Peabody

FILE PHOTO
Senior Katie Wallace scored 15 points in Peabody’s win over Saugus on “Senior Night.” 

By HAROLD RIVERA

PEABODY — Saugus girls basketball coach Mark Schruender was proud of his team’s performance on Friday night at Peabody. Although the Sachems fell to the Tanners, 58-53, the final score doesn’t tell the story. The Sachems fell behind, 52-41, midway through the fourth quarter and climbed back to within one point before Peabody held on to close out the win.

“We knew we had to take it one possession at a time,” Schruender said. “There’s no 11-point play in basketball. We just had to chip away at it, but unfortunately we fell short and ran out of time. It was an unbelievable effort. I’m so proud of our kids.”

The Sachems ran out to an early lead in the first quarter when Alessia Salzillo nailed a three to give Saugus a 9-4 advantage. Peabody stole the lead at 10-9 before Salzillo hit another shot from beyond the arc to re-take the advantage for Saugus at 12-10. Peabody’s Catherine Manning knocked in a pair of free throws to end the quarter at a 12-12 tie.

Things started to turn in Peabody’s favor in the second quarter, with the Tanners offense orchestrating an 8-4 run to start the period. After a Saugus timeout, Peabody added six points to mount a double-digit lead at 26-16. With a pair of late buckets from Hannah Pellizzaro, the Tanners outscored Saugus 20-7 in the quarter and led 32-19 at the half.

“Our fastbreak worked for us,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said. “We forced a couple of turnovers in that second quarter and we were making our shots.”

Peabody’s zone defense spelled trouble for the Sachems at the end of the half.

“Their 3-2 zone didn’t allow us to execute and do what we wanted to do,” Schruender said. “I give them credit, but we weren’t reversing the ball and our guards needed to attack more, which they did in the second half. Overall, Peabody’s a good team.”

Allie Kotkowski knocked in a three on the opening possession of the third quarter to cut the deficit to 10 at 32-22. Salzillo took center stage in the quarter, scoring nine points in hopes of leading the Sachems back into the contest but Peabody stayed in front, 44-31, at the end of three.

“She’s (Salzillo) relentless,” Schruender said. “She has no quit. She’s our energizer bunny. Her best asset is her defense. Her defense energized our team tonight and led us in that comeback.”

Down 52-41 with four and a half minutes remaining in the game, Peabody looked to have a win in its back pocket. Unfortunately for the Tanners, Saugus made things interesting in the late stages.

Taylor Bogdanski drained a three and Olivia Valente added a bucket for Saugus to trim the deficit to six points at 52-46. Salzillo drove to paint for a make and a drew a foul to get the Sachems closer at 52-49 with just under three minutes left on the clock.

After a stop on the defensive end, Kotkowski knocked home a layup and the Sachems were down a point at 52-51 with two minutes to play. Melissa Gray and Nene Onwuogu made shots to give the Tanners breathing room at 56-51, but Kotkowski answered with a hookshot to make it a one-possession game again.

Katie Wallace sunk a pair of free throws with six seconds remaining to ice the win for Peabody, 58-53.

“They made a great comeback,” McKeen said. “Saugus didn’t get tired. They ran up and down the floor all the time. They created some turnovers and we missed some shots in the fourth quarter. We missed some shots, they got rebounds and they beat us up the court because they’re well-conditioned. Those kids just ran and it was very impressive.”

McKeen added, “We made some key plays down the stretch. We forced Saugus to foul and made the free throws at the end. It was a good game.”

For Saugus, Salzillo led the team with 15 points, while Kotkowski added 11.

Wallace led Peabody with 15 points, while Nene Onwuogu scored 13 and Gray finished with 12.

Both teams are back in action on Monday. Peabody (11-5) visits English and Saugus (14-5) hosts Swampscott.

Before the game, a ceremony was held to honor the seniors on both teams as part of Peabody’s “Senior Night.”

School Roundup: Classical races past Peabody

FILE PHOTO
Jaylen Johnson led the Rams in Tuesday’s win. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

The Lynn Classical boys basketball team continued its solid season on Tuesday night, taking down the Peabody Tanners, 66-48. With the win, the Rams improve to 13-2 on the year and have a chance to finish the regular season with the best record in the Northeastern Conference.

Jaylen Johnson scored 20 points to lead the way for Classical, while Dyrrell Rucker added 13 points. The Rams have a quick turnaround, with their next game tonight on the road in Swampscott for a makeup game.

For Peabody (10-5), Moisse Irizarry put up a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds, while also adding five blocks. Jake Doherty added six points and 10 rebounds. The Tanners have a road game against Danvers on Friday night.

Marblehead 87, Gloucester 49

The Magicians had every member of the team score points in a big win over Gloucester on Tuesday. Derek Marino was the top scorer, recording a double-double with 18 points, 13 rebounds and five steals, while Drew Gally scored 16 points.

Marblehead (13-2) takes on Winthrop on the road on Friday night.

St. John’s Prep 66, Catholic Memorial 63

Thanks to a buzzer-beater three-pointer from Jarnel Snow-Guzman, the Eagles took down a Catholic Conference foe in a thrilling matchup. Snow-Guzman finished the game with 14 points, while Nate Hobbs led St. John’s with 27 points.

The Eagles (11-3) have a road game against Xaverian on Friday night.

Revere 64, Beverly 49

Pat Gavin just missed a double-double for the Panthers, finishing with 22 points and nine rebounds. Luigi Derrane scored 15 points.

Salem 69, Saugus 60

The Witches (7-5) were led by Nate Lebron, who scored a game-high 27 points. Anthony Pena also had a big game with 24 points, five rebounds and six assists. Salem will host Swampscott on Friday night.

For the Sachems (5-10), Harris Behremovic had 22 points, including six three-pointers, and Dimitri Filaretos scored 15 points. Saugus has a home game against Gloucester on Friday night.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Saugus 61, Salem 48

Saugus (12-4) continued its strong season on Tuesday night with a double-digit win over Salem. Olivia Valente led the way with 19 points, while Allie Kotkowski had 13 points and Alessia Salzillo had 11 points.

Saugus will travel to Gloucester on Friday.

Swampscott 56, Winthrop 29

The Big Blue got back to .500 on Tuesday behind solid performances from Emily Guiney (13 points, seven rebounds), Olivia Matella (12 points) and Nikki Rosa (eight points, six steals). Swampscott (7-7) will face off against Hamilton-Wenham on Thursday.

Revere 72, Beverly 32

The Patriots cruised to a win behind a big night from Pamela Gonzalez, who scored 19 points. Meagan Gotham added 14 in the win.

GIRLS HOCKEY

Beverly 4, Lynn/Winthrop 2

The Bulldogs got goals from McKayla Norris and Emma Carney in the loss. Lynn/Winthrop will take on Masconomet on Saturday afternoon.

SWIMMING

Northeastern Conference diving meet

The Rams kicked off the NEC meet (the bulk of which is today, aside from diving and the 500-yard freestyle) with two huge wins, as Sarah Sirois won the girls diving portion with a score of 242.65, and her teammate, Alex Pedro, became the boys NEC diving champion with a score of 199.80.

Classical coach Denise Silva said she couldn’t think of another time when the Rams won both diving competitions. She credited Lynn diving coach Don McKenney with guiding the divers to victory.

“He’s done a wonderful job with all of the divers in the city,” Silva said. “It’s incredible to have two divers win. It’s truly a compliment to Don for all of his hard work, and the dedication of the student-athletes.”

The Rams continue the quest for a NEC title tonight at Salem State.

School Roundup: Guity, Bulldogs bounce back

FILE PHOTO
Ely Guity scored 20 points and dished eight assists in Monday’s win. 

By KATIE MORRISON

The Lynn English girls basketball team’s offense was hot Monday night, as the Bulldogs put up 70 points in a 70-52 victory over Medford at home.

Ely Guity led the way for English with 20 points, eight assists and three steals. Rachel Calnan added 10 points and eight rebounds. Coach Mackenzie Charles credited his defense with a great overall team effort as the Bulldogs improved to 5-7.

Saugus 52, Somerville 26

The Sachems (11-4) rolled past Somerville on the road as Alessia Salzillo put up 13 points. Krissy Italiano scored 10 points and Olivia Valente chipped in with eight.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Peabody 64, Essex Tech 49

The Tanners clinched a spot in the tournament with their 10th win. Moisse Irizarry was the high-scorer with 17 points, adding seven rebounds. Jake Irvine and Chris Canela added 13 points apiece.

“This is a goal for the program, so we’re excited,” Peabody coach Thad Broughton said. “I hope we continue to play good basketball.”

 

Caponigro, Swampscott hold on to down Saugus

FILE PHOTO
Jaymie Caponigro scored 20 points and grabbed nine rebounds in the winning effort. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

SWAMPSCOTT — The Swampscott girls basketball team kicked off Thursday’s game with a 22-point quarter, but still had to hold on for a 44-37 win over the Saugus Sachems at Swampscott High.

“We started out really strong in that first half, especially with that big first quarter,” said Swampscott coach Katelyn Leonard. “Then in that second half we had to weather the storm. Saugus is a great team and they’re relentless, but we were able to hold them off.”

Jaymie Caponigro led the way, with a near double-double at 20 points and nine rebounds. Caponigro also played a great defensive game for the Big Blue (6-7).

“That’s probably the best I’ve seen her shoot, she was on fire today,” said Leonard. “And I think that also helped open things up for other girls, which is always what you want.”

Olivia Matella contributed 10 points and three rebounds, while Hannah Leahy scored six points and grabbed eight rebounds.

For Saugus (10-4), Olivia Valente just missed a double-double with nine points and 12 rebounds, while Krissy Italiano had nine points and seven rebounds. Alessia Salzillo had seven points and three rebounds.

“I think all of us can acknowledge that this wasn’t our best performance out there, coaching or playing,” said Saugus coach Mark Schruender. “Swampscott is a great team and we know we always have to be ready for a battle against them, but we just didn’t execute well enough tonight.”

The Big Blue came out firing in this one, opening the game with a 7-0 run en route to a 22-7 lead after the first quarter. Saugus improved its rebounding a bit in the second quarter, but Swampscott was able to keep hitting shots and kept the lead at 15 points at halftime, 29-14.

“Swampscott has some unbelievable players, and they all can shoot,” said Schruender. “They have plenty of players who can go out there and beat you, and that’s what they did tonight.”

The Sachems made their comeback in the fourth quarter. Still down 13 points to start the final frame, Saugus shut things down on defense and cut the deficit to six points with five minutes remaining.

But Swampscott, despite not scoring a point for the majority of the fourth quarter, was able to hold on to the ball and walk away with a seven-point win.

Swampscott will match up with Winthrop on Tuesday, while Saugus will face off against Somerville on Monday.

School Roundup: Magicians continue to make noise

FILE PHOTO 
Derek Marino scored 27 points to lead the Magicians in the win. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

The Marblehead boys basketball team continues to impress this season, taking down a strong Peabody team, 75-56, at home on Tuesday night. Derek Marino had an impressive night with 27 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals, Patrick Bugler had 16 points and seven assists and Bo Millett had a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds. Marblehead coach Mike Giardi was pleased with the way his team, rebounded in this one, especially since they were shorthanded coming in.

“We have a couple guys who are sick and a couple more who are banged up right now, so we really needed Derek and Bo to step up at the forward spot,” Giardi said. “They did that and then some tonight.”

Giardi is also happy with where the Magicians (11-2) are this year, but knows there’s still a long way to go.

“We have quite a stretch coming up here against mostly NEC opponents, so we’re in for a big test,” he said. “It starts on Friday with Salem, so we need to be ready.”

Marblehead will host the Witches on Friday night.

For the Tanners (9-3), Jake Irvine and Moise Irizarry each scored 16 points in the loss.

“I thought for the most part we played well and competed hard, but in the end it came down to making shots, and we struggled offensively tonight,” said Peabody coach Thad Broughton.

Peabody will try to rebound with a road game against Lynn English on Friday.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Beverly 66, Saugus 54

Luigi Derrane took over the game for the Panthers, finishing with an impressive 32 points, six rebounds and five steals. Hugh Calice had a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Kevin Morency played the distributor role with seven assists.

Devon Lee had 14 points and five blocks for Saugus (4-10), while Matt Waggett added 11 points in the loss. The Sachems will try to rebound on Thursday when they host Swampscott.

Whittier Tech 58, Lynn Tech 48

The Tigers got 14 points from Rob Wallace, while Belmin Berillo had 11 points and Aquemini Gaston had nine points on three three-pointers. Despite the 10-point loss, Tech coach Stevie Patrick is happy with the way his team is coming along.

“You know, missed layups and missed free throws won’t win you games, but we are improving,” Patrick said. “Our 10-point deficits don’t turn into big losses anymore because our guys are learning how to fight back in games.”

The Tigers will host Northeast Tech on Tuesday.

Winthrop 84, Lynn English 74

Ivenson Lopes dropped 35 points in the loss, while Javonte Edwards put up a double-double with 10 points and 15 rebounds. English (5-6) will take on St. John’s this evening.

Danvers 55, Swampscott 40

At Swampscott, the Big Blue got 10 points each from A.J. Venuti and Nate Howard, but are still looking for their first win.

The Falcons took a 29-14 lead at the half, but the Blue played perhaps their best quarter of the season in the third, whittling the lead down to six. However, Danvers, with the help of it free throws, got the lead back up to 15 by the end of the game.

Jake Goldman scored six points, handed out four assists, and had one steal for the Big Blue.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Peabody 57, Marblehead 33

The Tanners were led in scoring by Alyssa Alperen, who had 12 points. Katie Wallace had an impressive all-around game, according to Peabody coach Stan McKeen.

“Katie was great out there tonight, she made a bunch of plays,” McKeen said. “She really got it done on both ends of the floor.”

Wallace had 10 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals on the night.

Peabody (6-4, 6-3 NEC) will try to continue its winning ways on Friday night with a home game against NEC opponent Lynn English.

Lynn Tech 44, Presentation of Mary 35

The Tigers (7-6) moved above .500 with a road win on Tuesday night, led by Jamila Constantine’s 15 points. Alondra Sanchez added eight points, Ariana Anaya had seven points and Annmaire Teixeira and Jailene Rivera each scored six points.

Fenwick 47, Acton-Boxborough 44

Senior captain Sam Mancinelli led the way for the Crusaders (8-4), finishing with 15 points and five assists. Junior Jennie Meagher had a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks, while sophomore Olivia DiPietro had six points and seven rebounds.

Fenwick will look for its next win on Friday night when they host Catholic Central League opponent Cathedral.

Swampscott 52, Danvers 42

The Big Blue improved to 5-7 on the year behind 12 points from Jaymie Caponigro. Olivia Matella scored 11 points, Katie Watts added 10 points and Nikka Rosa made a big impact on the defensive end of the floor for Swampscott.

The Big Blue will host Saugus tomorrow evening.

Saugus 28, Beverly 23

The Sachems defense was the story in this low-scoring affair, with Rachel Nazzaro, Alessia Salzillo and Kiley Ronan all played great games on the defensive end. Olivia Valente was the leading scorer for Saugus with 11 points.

Saugus will travel to Swampscott for a game against the Big Blue tomorrow evening.

English 48, Winthrop 28

Dorothy Ezemba scored 13 points and added 16 rebounds to power the Bulldogs (4-7) to the win. Julianna Perry added 12 points while Shelya Manon scored 11 points and grabbed eight rebounds.

SWIMMING

Marblehead 102, Gloucester 76

The Marblehead swim team clinched an undefeated regular season and a Northeastern Conference title with a solid win over Gloucester in their final meet of the year on Tuesday. Tom Rockett and Meghan Hathaway were both double-winners on the night, with Rockett taking the 50-yard freestyle (25.99) and the 100 freestyle (58.05) and Hathaway taking the 100 butterfly (1:03.26) and the 200 individual medley (2:15.46). Amanda Wager won the 200 freestyle (2:07.62), Ellie Ronan won the 500 freestyle (5:38.83) and Ryann Driscoll won the diving (233.70 points). The 200 medley relay team of Rockett, Cooper Caldwell, Charles Alexander and Lucas Perez also won with a time of 2:03.55.

The Magicians will now have the week off to prepare for the NEC conference meet next week.

Peabody 91, Revere 74

Top finishers in individual events for the Tanners (5-3) included Conor McCarthy (200-yard individual medley and the 100-yard freestyle, for which he achieved an MIAA North Sectional Championship qualifying time), William Connolly (50-yard freestyle), Millie Teague (500-yard freetyle and 100-yard breaststroke), and her sister Cana Teague (100-yard backstroke).  First place relay finishes for the Tanners include the 200-yard medley relay team of Cana Teague, Conor McCarthy, William Connolly, and Kirsten Currie, and the 200-yard freestyle relay team of Conor McCarthy, William Connolly, Cailin Currie, and Kirsten Currie.

“The results speak for themselves,” Tanners coach Maureen Shea said.  “Like many teams, we’ve been battling cold and flu season and it has been difficult to keep our program at the pace where it should be at as we begin to look towards championships.  But these are great athletes and again, they stepped up and delivered results.”

The Tanners complete the regular season with their home “Senior Meet” against Danvers on Jan. 26, at the Torigian Family YMCA in Peabody.

BOYS TRACK

Triton 54, Lynnfield 32

Winners on the day for the Pioneers were William Fraulini in the high jump (5-6), Nicholas Kinnon in the 300 (42.14) and Ryan Iapicca in the one-mile (5:09.13).

GIRLS TRACK

Triton 57, Lynnfield 29

The Lynnfield girls got wins from Brie Giamarco in the 40-yard hurdles (7.28) and Kate Mitchell in the one-mile (5:48.0).

GIRLS HOCKEY

Beverly 8, Marblehead 1

At Endicott College, Magician goalie Sarah Ryan faced 31 shots to 17 for Maddy Jalbert of Beverly. Isabell Amigo, with assists from Faithe Shatford and Cate Delaney, scored Marblehead’s lone goal.

 

School Roundup: Sachems win in Quinlan’s return

FILE PHOTO
Ryan Groark and the Sachems thumped Fenwick, 5-4, on Monday at Kasabuski Arena. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

It may have been a non-conference game, but it was still a big one for both teams at Kasabuski Arena on Monday when former Saugus boys hockey coach Jim Quinlan returned for the first time as an opposing coach with his Bishop Fenwick Crusaders. The Sachems (6-1-2) got the win, 5-4, in a hard-fought game.

“It was a great team win,” said Saugus coach Jeff Natalucci. “Our effort and hard work was unbelievable. We continue to be a resilient team in these games that go back and forth, which is a great sign.”

Brendan Ronan was the points leader for Saugus, notching a goal and two assists in the win. Nick Moore, Ryan Groark, Dante McGrane and Brenden Patterson each scored one goal. Colby Murphy, Ryan Granara, CJ Graffeo, Adam Rodrigues and Mike Sarnacchiaro each had one assist. The Sachems will face off against Swampscott in a Northeastern Conference matchup on Wednesday night.

For Fenwick (3-7-0), Rob Murphy led the way with two goals. Jimmy Moore had a goal and an assist, while freshman Tom Estella scored his first career varsity goal. Kasey O’Brien, Nick Durbano, Paul Papageorgiou and John Bernbaum each had one assist. The Crusaders will host Arlington Catholic on Saturday.

BOYS HOCKEY

Marblehead 2, Westfield 1

James McCarthy and Drew Cioffi each scored a goal as the Magicians improve to 5-4-2 on the year. Aidan Gillis and Braden Haley each had one assist.

Marblehead will face off against Medford at Salem State on Saturday.

Peabody 4, Lincoln-Sudbury 0

The Tanners notched their first win of the season with a shutout performance on the road on Monday. Connor McCarron led the offense with two goals, while Nick Merryman and Nick Capillo each scored one. Goalie Aaron McDonnell had the shutout in net.

Peabody (1-6-2) will travel to Connery Rink on Saturday to take on the Lynn Jets.

St. John’s Prep 4, Woburn 1

Tim Usalis scored two goals in the first few minutes to help spur to Eagles (3-3-2) to a non-conference win at O’Brien Arena in Woburn on Monday. Kyle Hentosh had a goal and an assist, while Evan Beers added one goal. Christian Kukas and David Sacco each contributed one assist.

St. John’s will be back in Catholic Conference action on Wednesday night when they travel into Boston to take on BC High.

GIRLS HOCKEY

St. Mary’s 10, Central Catholic 0

Brittany McPherson had a four-point night (three goals, one assist) to help lift the Spartans to a big win at home. Marina DiBiasio had a goal and two assists, while Natalie Mellen, Ashley Wojewodzic and Sarah Ryan each had one goal and one assist. Aylah Cioffi, Kate Grey and Zoe Solomons each scored one goal and Codi Butt, Mady Hentosh and Adara Nazarian each had one assist.

The Spartans (7-2-0) will take on Winthrop/Lynn/Saugus at Connery Rink on Saturday.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Tech 63, St. Clements 35

The Tigers stayed hot and pulled to .500 on the season with a lopsided win on the road. Tech (5-5) was led by Alondra Sanchez, who put up 18 points, and Arianna Anaya, who added 16. Annmarie Teixeira (11 points) and Michayla Lawrence (8 points) also played well for the Tigers.

“This is something we’ve been striving for the last few games,” Tech coach Kaitlyn Wechsler said of reaching .500.

Saugus 48, Northeast 22

The Sachems were led by strong Krissy Italiano who scored 12 points in the win. Olivia Valente (11 points) and Alessia Salzillo (9 points) also contributed with strong performances. “It was a good game,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said. “We came out strong and played good defense. We did some good things today.” Saugus (9-2) will look to make it a three-game win streak when the Sachems host Revere on Thursday.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Saugus 67, Northeast 43

Saugus notched a much-needed win behind a strong outing from Demetri Filaretos (20 points). Matt Waggett (10 points) and Chris McGrane (9 points) also made big contributions in the winning effort.

“It was a good win for us,” Sachems assistant coach Mark Bertrand said. “We’ve had our struggles over the last few weeks. Coach (Paul) Moran and I emphasized that we need to play for all four quarters. We did a good job against their press. The effort was outstanding, it was all about effort tonight.”

The Sachems (3-7) are back in action on Wednesday when they host Lynn Tech. Saugus beat Tech in the season opener for both teams back in December.

“They’ll be a lot more improved,” Bertrand said of the Tigers. “That was a good game for us to start but we’ve had some struggles along the way. I expect a really good game. They play in a tough conference like us, so I expect a good game.”

St. John’s Prep 68, Brighton 63

Down by 10 points moving into the fourth quarter, Nate Hobbs and the Eagles were able to turn things around and rally for the win. Hobbs put together a strong game with 26 points, while Brett McNiff logged a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The Eagles (7-1) will aim to stay on the win column when they host Xaverian on Tuesday night.

School Roundup: Milestone night for St. Mary’s Falayi

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Temi Falayi scored a career-high 23 points in Friday’s win. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

After a tough start to the season for the St. Mary’s girls basketball team, the Spartans have now rattled off five wins in a row after a 65-49 win over the Austin Prep Cougars to move to 6-4 on the season. Coach Jeff Newhall says the team is still working to get better, but they are starting to hit their stride.

“I think tonight was one of the better games we’ve played this year, especially in the first half,” he said. “We played the way we’re capable of playing, and I just told them that if we continue to do that, we will be okay.”

Temi Falayi scored a career-high 23 points and added 14 rebounds and six blocks to lead the way for St. Mary’s.

“She was a force all night,” said Newhall. “She did a great job in the paint, she broke their press, she played great defense. She really did it all tonight.”

Gabby Torres scored 12 points and Olivia Nazaire scored 10 points.

The Spartans have a quick turnaround with a home game today at 5 p.m. against Fontbonne.

“This is a big one coming up for us, and it’s the halfway point of the season,” said Newhall. “But if we can get to 7-4 at the halfway mark after starting the year 1-4, that’ll be a great place to be.”

Tech 36, Minuteman 26

The Tigers rolled to a win at home to inch closer to .500 at 4-5. Arianna Anaya had a big game, putting up 11 points, while Alondra Sanchez and Annmarie Teixeira added eight apiece and Jamila Constantine scored six.

Malvelis Hernandez and Jailene Rivera provided excellent defense for Tech.

“We’re really clicking right now,” said Tech coach Kaitlyn Wechsler, who added that her team has worked hard on offense to prepare for different defenses, and that they’re working together well.

Peabody 72, Winthrop 34

Melissa Gray had 14 points and five steals and Alyssa Alperen had 12 points to help lead the Tanners to a big win. Serena Laro just missed a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, while Nene Onwuogu had eight points and nine rebounds.

Peabody (4-3) will take on Bishop Fenwick on Sunday.

Arlington Catholic 48, Bishop Fenwick 35

After falling behind early, the Crusaders rallied to tie the game entering the fourth quarter, but couldn’t complete the comeback on the road Friday night. Sam Mancinelli had eight points and four assists, Sammi Gallant had six points and six rebounds and Jaxson Nadeau had six points and three steals.

Fenwick (6-3) has a home game against Peabody on Sunday afternoon.

Saugus 54, Danvers 44

The Sachems continued their strong start to the season with a 10-point win at home on Friday, moving their record to 8-2 and handing Danvers its first loss. Olivia Valente had a team-high 14 points, while Molly Granara had 10 points and Rachel Nazzaro had eight points. Krissy Italiano contributed seven points and Alessia Salzillo had five points.

Saugus will travel to Wakefield for a game against Northeast Tech on Monday.

For Danvers (7-1), Sarah Unczur had 15 points and nine rebounds, Lily Montanari had nine points and Nicole White had seven points, nine assists and six steals.

The Falcons will have a full week off before taking on Marblehead next Friday night.

Lynn Classical 53, Gloucester 37

Paris Wilkey had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds to lift the Rams (8-3) to a win on the road Friday night. Classical will take on Everett in a non-league matchup on Tuesday night.

Revere 59, Salem 25

Valentina Pepic led the way for the Patriots as Revere blew out Salem. Pamela Gonzalez and Tatianna Iacoviello scored 10 points each in the win.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Bishop Fenwick 49, Arlington Catholic 46

Junior captain Isaiah Cashwell-Doe led Fenwick (4-5) with 26 points and six rebounds, but it was senior captain Ryan Veguilla (14 points) who came up with the shot of the game, hitting a layup with 30 seconds left to put the Crusaders up by three points and seal the win.

Fenwick is back in action on Sunday afternoon when they host the Peabody Tanners.

Peabody 83, Winthrop 69

Peabody’s Junior Estrella came up one assist shy of a triple-double at home against Winthrop on Friday night, finishing with 26 points, 15 rebounds and nine assists in the win. Moise Irizarry also had a big game with 20 points, five rebounds and four steals.

The Tanners (6-2) will travel to Bishop Fenwick for a matchup with the Crusaders on Sunday.

Danvers 62, Saugus 47

Saugus (2-7) got 12 points from Haris Behremovic in the loss, while sophomore Liam Murphy contributed six points and eight rebounds in his first varsity game.

The Sachems will play Northeast Tech at home on Monday night.

Beverly 80, Swampscott 48

Pat Gavin was the top scorer for the Panthers (6-2), finishing with 17 points. Luigi Derrane was right behind with 15 points, while Duncan Moreland scored 11 points and Jack Crowley had six points.

For the Big Blue, freshmen David Coleman and Manny Psowa each scored eight points. Swampscott will take on Lynn Classical at home next Friday.

Salem 59, Revere 58

Down by two points with time winding down, Salem’s Ethan Espinal (10 points) hit the game-winning three-pointer with just three seconds left on the clock to give the Witches a close win on the road Friday night. Anthony Pena was the top scorer for Salem, finishing with 25 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals. Nate Lebron added 15 points and eight rebounds.

Salem (5-3) has a road game against Lynn English next Friday night.

Lynnfield 72, Amesbury 46

Lynnfield never trailed and held a 33-23 lead at halftime.  Louis Ellis scored a game-high 25 points with eight rebounds for the Pioneers, while Dan Jameson (9 points, 5 rebounds) and senior captain Mike Carangelo (16 points, 9 rebounds) also played well for Lynnfield. The Pioneers’ bench also factored in the win with junior Matt Mortellite (7 points, 6 rebounds) and senior Will Klotzbier (4 points, 4 rebounds) hitting timely baskets and senior Bryant Dana (5 rebounds) pulling down some key rebounds.

The Pioneers look to extend their win streak to five straight Monday at Ipswich (2 p.m.).

Shawsheen Tech 66, Lynn Tech 39

Rob Wallace led the Tigers with 13 points, while Trevon Baldwin contributed seven points. Tech has a matchup with Presentation of Mary Academy on Tuesday.

School Roundup: Milestone night for Howard

FILE PHOTO
Gretchen Howard earned her 18th career shutout in Wednesday’s win. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

It was a special night for the Winthrop/Lynn girls hockey team, as the Bulldogs topped Medford, 7-0, at Larsen Rink.

Abby Carleton and Kayla Morrill scored their first career goals for Lynn/Winthrop, but the night belonged to senior goalie Gretchen Howard, who notched her 18th career shutout, breaking the team record previously held by Boston College’s Katie Burt. Howard made 13 saves in the contest.

“She (Howard) was great,” Lynn/Winthrop coach Anthony Martucci said. “She didn’t have to make too, too many saves. She had 13 tonight. She’s been the backbone of our team for the last two years.”

Sydney Adamson scored two goals while McKayla Norris added a goal and an assist in the winning effort. Lynn/Winthrop (5-2) will look to stay on the win column when the team hosts Marblehead on Saturday. “We know they always play us tough,” Martucci said of the Magicians. “They’re a good team. We’re hoping to have another strong game and we’re looking for another win.”

St. Mary’s 3, Arlington Catholic 1

The Spartans improved to 5-2 behind goals from Aylah Cioffi, Sarah Ryan and Codi Butt.

BOYS HOCKEY

Marblehead 5, Beverly 1

The Magicians took a 1-0 lead into the second period, and the offense heated up from there. James McCarthy extended the lead to 2-0 before Beverly scored its only goal midway through the second. Braden Haley added two goals and Aidan Gillis scored once to give Marblehead some breathing room.

Swampscott 5, Revere 2

Trailing 2-0 after the first period, the Big Blue netted five unanswered goals to get the win. Stevie Santanello found the back of the net twice while Louis Olivieri, Kevin Lombard and Brett Benoit eached scored one.

Danvers 3, Peabody 1

Connor McCarron gave the Tanners (0-6-1) a 1-0 lead but the Falcons scored three unanswered goals to claim the win. Rob Tibbetts scored two goals for Danvers, while Connor Purcell added an insurance goal in the late stages of the game.

Peabody goalie Aaron McDonnell made 17 saves in the loss. Nick Capillo and Brandon Muise earned the assists on McCarron’s goal.

Triton 1, Lynnfield 0

A late Lynnfield shot hit the Triton crossbar with two seconds remaining and the Pioneers came up short.

BOYS TRACK

Triton 53, Tech 32

Manchester-Essex 37, Tech 35

At the CAL tri-meet on Wednesday, the Tigers fell by a close margin to Manchester-Essex but couldn’t keep pace with Triton. Top performers for Tech included Akeem Blake and Edgar Ortega. Blake took first place in three events: the high jump at five feet and 11 inches, the 50-yard dash at 5.9 seconds and the 300 at 40.6 seconds. Ortega notched the top spot in the two-mile run with a time of 11:02.2 seconds.

GIRLS TRACK

Triton 80, Tech 1

Manchester-Essex 60, Tech 7

A trio of Tech runners had a strong showing in the 50, with Carmina Oivier (7.2), Angelina Munoz (7.3) and Heidy Severino (7.9) among the top finishers. Karla Guerrero was among the top finishers in the 300 with a time of 55.8 seconds.

SWIMMING

Shawsheen 98, Tech 68

Dustin Bloom led the Tigers with his first career victory. Bloom won the 100-yard freestyle with a time of 1:14.57. Jin Purdy won the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:27.91. Coral Gonzalez won the diving portion of the meet, earning 130.58 points. Allyssa Shaw came in second place in diving with 127.28 points. Romelo Lucas won first place in the 500 freestyle, while Alfred Torres earned two second place finishes (medley relay, breaststroke).

“We have a very young team of mostly ninth-graders that never swam competitively before,” Tech coach Brad Tilley said. “But they’re coming along and we’re expecting good things.”

Tech is back in the pool on Friday when the Tigers host Northeast Regional.

“A lot of our young kids are coming on,” Tilley said. “I’m very happy with the work they’ve put into the season.”

WRESTLING

Lynnfield 49, Burlington 27

Winners for the Pioneers (10-1-1) included Chris Reardon at 120 pounds, Will Glover (126), Joe Reardon (138), Aaron Gautreau (145), Connor Stead (152), Sean McCullough (160), Anthony Wilkinson (170) and Andrew DiPietro (182). “We had a couple of kids out because of injuries,” Lynnfield coach Craig Stone said. “Some of the kids bumped up in weight and they stepped up. It was a good team win from top to bottom.”

Lynnfield hosts a quad meet on Saturday against Melrose and Triton. “They bring really good competition,” Stone said. “At this point in the year you need that type of assessment to get to the next level.”

St. John’s Prep 57, Malden Catholic 15

Winners for the Prep (15-2) included Quinn Alexander at 106 pounds, Ryan Garlitz (113), Will Grady (120), Malcolm Mitchell (126), Zach Alexander (132), Sam Little (138), Chris Kwmuntis (160), Ben Klein (182), Max Rodriguez (195), Will Moulton (220) and Hunter Brown (285). The Eagles are 2-0 in the Catholic Conference.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Saugus 61, Somerville 43

After a tough loss to Classical, the Sachems (7-2) bounced back behind a career-high 17 points from Alessia Salzillo. Olivia Valente also had a strong game, scoring 13 points. Krissy Italiano contributed with nine points.

“It was a good game,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said. “It was good for us to get mentally focused.”

The road doesn’t get any easier for the Sachems as they host undefeated Danvers on Friday. “We’ve seen them (Danvers) play a few times,” Schruender said. “They’re well-rounded and they don’t have a weakness. All of their players do something well. We’ll be challenged, we just have to go out and compete.”

KIPP 64, MATCH 16

Make that two wins on the week for the Panthers (5-1). Nayeli Germosen led the team with 21 points, while Destiny Coley-Papas contributed with 14. Kayla Keel added 11 points off the bench. Favour Ofuokwu and Angela Unubun dominated in the paint. KIPP has a quick turnaround as the Panthers host Pioneer Charter on Thursday.


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Delgado leads Classical to win

FILE PHOTO
Classical’s Irianis Delgado led all scorers with 16 points on Tuesday night. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

Prior to Tuesday night’s game against Saugus, Classical girls basketball coach Tom Sawyer said his team would have its hands full against a talented Sachems group. Perhaps the Rams play best when their hands are full.

Behind an offensive display that saw seven different Classical scorers, the Rams rolled to a 60-37 win over the Sachems at Saugus High.

“Most impressive was that they pressed us and we handled their press,” Sawyer said. “Against Saugus, it starts with being able to handle their pressure. We were terrific tonight. Jeylly Medrano, running the point, was unbelievable handling their press. It all starts there.”

Classical seized the momentum in the early goings of the game. Paris Wilkey missed her first few shots, but the junior drained a pair of three pointers in the first quarter. Irianis Delgado muscled her way to a pair of buckets in the paint, and the Rams led 18-6 at the end of the first.

The Sachems carried their struggles into the second quarter. Classical ran a stingy 2-3 zone defense that gave Saugus issues throughout the first half.

“Classical did a good job,” Saugus coach Mark Schruender said. “They did a good job, they sped us up. I think when they started speeding us up, everybody started to take it upon themselves to come back from a poor start.”

Saugus committed three turnovers in the first two minutes of the second quarter. Classical capitalized on those mistakes with a 6-0 run that ended when Alessia Salzillo nailed a jump shot to get the Sachems back on the board. Classical led 34-12 at the half.

“Coach (Helen) Ridley and I talk before every game,” Sawyer said. “We both agreed that in this particular game we should play zone because Saugus is extremely active on offense. We gave up 12 (points) in the first half, so we stuck with it.”

Down 22 points at the start of the second half, Saugus was in need of offense. The Sachems began to hit their shots in the third quarter as a pair of free throws by Krissy Italiano slimmed Classical’s lead to 18 points at 36-18. The Rams held their end of the bargain and made a handful of buckets to carry a 48-23 advantage into the fourth quarter.

By the start of the fourth quarter, the game was in Classical’s bag. The Rams (7-3) rolled to their seventh win of the season.

Classical had three scorers in double figures. Delgado led all scorers with 16 points.

“Irianis had a terrific game tonight,” Sawyer said of the junior forward. “She’s a little banged up, had an ankle injury and didn’t know if she was going to be able to play. She’s a tough kid though, she said she wanted to play. We needed her.”

Medrano contributed with 13 points while Wilkey scored ten.

“What this shows is that we played our best game of the year,” Sawyer said. “It was an unbelievable effort by everybody, up and down our lineup. We’ll celebrate it tonight, it’s hard to win in this league.”

Classical will aim to stay on the win column when the Rams visit Gloucester on Friday.

On the Saugus side, Molly Granara led the Sachems with ten points.

“She (Granara) just competes,” Schruender said. “She’s a freshman that doesn’t know she’s a freshman. She works really hard in practice and yesterday I got on her in practice about defense. She responded really well.”

Salzillo had a strong performance of her own, with eight points.

The Sachems (6-2) will look to shake off the loss by correcting their mistakes. Saugus has a quick turnaround as the Sachems host Somerville tonight.

“Tomorrow’s a new day,” Schruender said. “We’re a game to game team. These kids are tough.”


Harold Rivera can be reached at hrivera@itemlive.com. 

Spartans hit their shots in win over Saugus

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Temi Falayi (left) of the Spartans and Olivia Valente of the Sachems battle for a rebound. 

By STEVE KRAUSE

LYNN — Two teams … two different perspectives. But at the end of the night, both, perhaps, had a better sense of where they were and where they needed to go.

That’s what the two coaches got out of Wednesday night’s 61-37 win by the St. Mary’s girls basketball team over Saugus at Conigliaro Gym.

Two years ago, the Saugus girls won one game. Last year, they finished .500. This year, they were off to a 5-0 start heading into Wednesday’s game, and the idea of competing against the perennial Division 3 powerhouse Spartans seemed like being in rarified air.

“These are the games we want to play,” said Saugus coach Mark Schruender.

Since both teams are in Division 3, it was mentioned that perhaps Saugus could see St. Mary’s again come February or March in the state tournament.

“We can’t worry about what happens in February,” Schruender said. “We just have to worry about tomorrow. Just get better tomorrow. We got better just by having played tonight. Now, we have to keep on getting better.”

St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newhall’s team has finally reached .500 for the season (4-4), and he’s happy about the way things have gone since his team opened at 0-3 and 1-4.

“I’m grateful that we’ve won three in a row (over Classical and Swampscott in the Boverini Tournament) and now against Saugus. Now we have to keep winning to get over the .500 mark.

“We got off to a rough start,” he said, “but Iike the way we responded.”

The book on St. Mary’s coming into the game was that the Spartans didn’t have any consistent outside shooting. Newhall can be thankful that his players didn’t read the book. St. Mary’s had nine three-pointers Wednesday night as it seized the early lead (15-5 after a quarter) and never let go. The Spartans increased that lead to 33-19 at the  half, and 48-30 after three.

“Despite what you saw,” said Newhall, “(Schruender) has done a very good job over there. They have a system, and they’re sticking to it, and they’re going to be fine.

“I think it’s fantastic that they want to play us,” said Newhall.

Senior Mia Nowicki hit a three for the Spartans’ second basket of the night and from there, it was bombs away. She finished up with three treys for nine points, Gabriella Torres had two trifectas on her way to 10 points, Ashley Sullivan had two three-pointers, and Mashayla Johnson and Christina Nowicki one each.

The high scorer for St. Mary’s was Temi Falayi with 11 as the Spartans spread it around. Also scoring nine points was Olivia Nazaire.

The Sachems (5-1) didn’t have anyone in double figures. Sophomore Alessia Salzillo had nine points, and freshman Taylor Bogdanski eight.

Schruender was happy with the way his team played.

“No one quit,” he said. “The effort was fantastic, all night long. I’m proud of my kids. St. Mary’s is a very good team. Good players, and good coaches. We just have to get better. That’s all.”


Steve Krause can be reached at skrause@itemlive.com. 

School Roundup: Classical girls fall in OT

FILE PHOTO
Paris Wilkey scored 24 points for the Rams. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

The Classical girls basketball team overcame a late eight-point deficit on the road against Danvers Thursday night to force overtime, but the Falcons held on for the 59-55 win.

Paris Wilkey led all scorers with 24 points and Soneta Srey had a big game, adding 14 points, but it wasn’t enough to deal Danvers (4-0) its first loss.

For the Falcons, Sarah Unczur logged a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds, as did Lily Montanari (16 points, 10 rebounds).

Danvers coach Pat Veilleux had nothing but good things to say about the Rams.

“This was without question our biggest test so far,” Veilleux said. “Classical is multi-faceted. They’re talented, tough, physical and as they showed tonight, very resilient. Someone had to win this game, and if it had gone on any longer, I couldn’t have handled it, and I’m sure (Classical coach) Tom (Sawyer) couldn’t have either.”

Peabody 57, Beverly 41

Tanners coach Stan McKeen knew it’d be a long winter break if his team went into it 0-3, but fortunately for Peabody, it got the first win of the season out of the way against Beverly.

Sophomore Liz Zaiter had the hot hand, scoring 13 points to go along with 10 rebounds. Nene Onuwuogo had a big game as well with 10 points and eight rebounds.

Serena Laro and Katie Wallace played excellent defense for Peabody, and Wallace did a good job running the offense at point guard.

Saugus 40, Marblehead 34

Krissy Italiano put up a double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds to help lead Saugus to a win, while Kiley Ronan chipped in eight points and five steals. Alessia Salzillo and Molly Granara each scored seven points in the win.

The undefeated Sachems (3-0) will hit the road for a game against Malden on Wednesday.

Swampscott 53, Gloucester 42

Maggie DiGrande hit five three-pointers en route to 18 points to lead the way for the Big Blue, and Jaymie Caponigro had a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Ella Parker also had a solid game with 11 points and eight rebounds.

Swampscott (3-1) is back in action on Tuesday when they take on Lynn English in the Walter J. Boverini Tournament.

Greater Lawrence 44, Lynn Tech 42

The Tigers fell in a close game despite a great all-around team effort, according to coach Kaitlyn Wechsler. Jamila Constantine scored 15 points to pace Tech, followed by Arianna Anaya with 11 points. Alondra Sanchez had eight points and Malvelis Hernandez scored six.

Winthrop 34, Salem 32

It came down to free throws in this one between the Vikings and the Witches, and Winthrop’s Cailyn Driscoll hit the two deciding free throws to give the Vikings the close win. Driscoll finished with 13 points to lead Winthrop.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Marblehead 57, Saugus 42

Patrick Bugler had a big day for the Magicians (3-2), finishing the game with 20 points. Derek Marino added 12 points in the win.

Marblehead will be back in action on Wednesday on the road at Masconomet.

Dimitri Filaretos led Saugus with 11 points, followed by Chris McGrane with nine points. Cam Williamson had a big night on the glass with six points and 10 rebounds, and Mike Mabee provided a spark off the bench with six points.

Gloucester 89, Swampscott 70

Despite the loss, Swampscott got an impressive performance from Tony Broadnax, who notched a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while also adding six assists. Jackson Byrne contributed 10 points in the loss.

Gloucester was led by senior captain Evan Mason’s 21 points.

The Big Blue will have all of next week off before returning to action on January 3 on the road at Marblehead.

BOYS HOCKEY

St. Mary’s 4, Hingham 1

After trailing 1-0 entering the third period, the Spartans (2-2-0) rattled off four unanswered goals to steal a victory from Hingham in the consolation game of the Serino Christmas Tournament at Valley Forum in Malden on Thursday evening.

“To come back against a team like Hingham, one of the top-ranked teams in the state, was really good to see,” said St. Mary’s coach Mark Lee. “It took a total team effort to pull this one out, and I’m really proud of all our guys for how hard they worked.”

Anthony Bono led the way with two goals, while Jason Loeser and Kyle Ouellette added a goal apiece. Dante Maribito contributed two assists in the win.

St. Mary’s will host Lowell Catholic next Thursday.

SWIMMING

Bishop Fenwick 91, Marian 68

Catherine Christuk and Sophia Lumino each scored multiple wins in the pool for the Crusaders on Thursday. Christuk won the 200-yard freestyle (2 minutes, 9.13 seconds) and the 100 breaststroke (1:12.88), while Lumino took the 200 individual medley (2:21.03) and the 500 freestyle (5:33.56). Other individual winners for Fenwick were Connor Christuk in the 50 freestyle (23.86) and Rowan Emerson in the 100 freestyle (58.60).

The Crusaders also had three relay teams take first place. The 200 medley relay team of Emerson, Connor Christuk, Garrett Collins and Michael D’Iorio won with a time of 1:54.13, the 200 freestyle relay team of D’Iorio, Lumino, Connor Christuk and Bryce McCarthy won the a time of 1:50.06 and the 400 freestyle relay team of Emerson, McCarthy, Collins and Catherine Christuk won with a time of 4:08.33.

School Roundup: English swim team sneaks by Salem

FILE PHOTO
Shanel Turransky and the Lynn English swim team squeaked past Salem with a 93-91 win. 

By MIKE ALONGI AND KATIE MORRISON 

It was an exciting meet between the Lynn English and Salem swim teams Tuesday night at Lynn Tech, with the meet coming down to the final relay.

The Bulldogs needed to grab the top two places in the final relay to earn the victory, and they did it, swimming to a 93-91 victory.

The team of Amanda Fabrizio, Peter Phelan, Emma Trahant and Caroline Zuffante finished first for English in the final relay, followed by the team of Andy Nhiv, Erik Whittier, Chris Haskell and Devin Curley.

The Bulldogs also performed well in the diving portion, with Shanel Turransky taking first and teammate Hannah Trahant finishing second.

Zuffante won the 200-yard freestyle, Emma Trahant won the 100 free, Kylie Moorehouse finished second in the 50 free, Fabrizio finished second in the 100 butterfly, Peter Phelan came in second in the 500 free. The team of Turransky, Moorehouse, Emma Trahant and Zuffante finished second in the 200 free relay, and Turransky earned a second-place finish in the 100 backstroke.

“We had some depth tonight,” English coach Lisa Trahant said. “We didn’t have a lot of first place finishes, but we got what we needed to get the two-point win.”

Marblehead 103, Swampscott 75

Ellie Ronan placed first in the 100 backstroke (one minutes, 3.87 seconds) and the 200 freestyle (2:04.71) to help lift the Magicians to a win in the pool on Tuesday. Tom Rockett won the 50 freestyle with a time of 25.03 seconds, and he also teamed with Cooper Caldwell, Lucas Perez and Felix Litvak to win the 200 freestyle relay (1:50.51). Katie Walker placed first in the diving competition with a score of 258.25.

For Marblehead, Tessa Diaz captured both the 100 butterfly (1:08.05) and the 100 breaststroke (1:20.05). Diaz was also a part of the 200 medley relay team, along with Emma Sutherland, Kasey Kennedy and Will Cronin, that took first place with a time of 2:05.84.

Danvers 101, Lynn Classical 83

The Falcons had three double-winners on the day, with Cambria Cloutier winning the 200 individual medley and the 100 backstroke, Rafael Hicaro won the 100 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke and Jared Casey won the 50 freestyle and the 200 freestyle. Tyler Keyes won the 100 butterfly. The relay team of Cloutier, Hicaro, Keyes and Casey won both the 400 medley relay and the 400 freestyle relay.

Classical got wins from Jacob Lang in the 200 freestyle and Sarah Sirois in diving, as well as the 200 freestyle relay team of Lang, Elias Bakas, Eric Macorri and Harrison Sitz. The 400 freestyle relay team of Gabriella Marquez, Alaina Gridley, Rachel Brennan and Carly Mendonca qualified for sectionals with their time, and Mendonca qualified for sectionals as an individual in both the 100 butterfly and the 100 backstroke.

BOYS TRACK

Danvers 72, Saugus 14

The Danvers boys cruised to a win over the Sachems on Tuesday, their first win of the 2016-2017 season. Bruno Abbatessa won the shot put with a distance of 39 feet, 6 1/2 inches, Mike Daras won the 55-meter hurdles with a time of 9.3 seconds and Bryan Perham won the 55 dash with a time of 6.7 seconds. Anthony Spignese won the 300 (40.5), Andrew Moriarty won the 600 (1:38.2), Kevin Jordan won the 1000 (3:02.7), Evan Denman won the mile (5:22.1) and Joseph Lauretti-Pereira won the two-miles (11:46.0).

The lone winner for Saugus was Nichollas Silva, who won the high jump with a height of six feet even.

Lynn Classical 51, Gloucester 35

Classical notched its first win of the year behind wins from Adam Washington in the high jump (5-3), Samson Srey in the 50 hurdles (7.5) and Tyler Way in the 50 (5.7). Emmanuel Kalambayi won the 300 (41.1), Junior Mejia won the 1000 (3:15.0), Kevin Durant won the mile (5:12.2) and Gilley Kabamba won the two-miles (10:29.7).

Gloucester got wins from Kevin Gabriele in the shot put (36-6) and Jacob Belcher in the 600 (1:41.0).

Beverly 74, Winthrop 11

Beverly was led by double-winner Connor Cademartori, who won the high jump (5-7) and the 1000 (2:59.6). Other winners for the Panthers were Thomas Adams in the 50 hurdles (7.2), Kyle Chouinard in the 50 dash (5.8), John Jones in the 300 (39.9), Brian McPherson in the 600 (1:35.7) and Kyle Hewson in the mile (5:17.9).

For Winthrop, Andrew McGrail won the shot put (39-2) and Nikolas Beshere won the two-miles (11:36.9).

GIRLS TRACK

Danvers 44, Saugus 42

Despite winning six out of the 10 events on the day, the Sachems fell to Danvers in a close meet. Gianna Filaretos and Ailyn Minaya each won two events for Saugus, with Filaretos taking the high jump (4-8) and the 55 hurdles (10.2) and Minaya winning the shot put (30-4) and the 55 dash (7.9). Other winners for the Sachems were Haley Dennis in the 300 (48.0) and Olivia Tapia-Gately in the two-mile (14:35.9).

For Danvers, Rebecca Henion won the 600 (1:54.8), Katie Crum won the 1000 (3:30.2) and Lindsay MacInnis won the mile (6:29.6).

Gloucester 47, Lynn Classical 33

Agnes Bangura notched two wins for the Rams on Tuesday, taking the high jump (4-6) and the 50 dash (6.3), while Tori Adams won the shot put (23-7).

Gloucester got wins from Kaitlin Marquis in the 50 hurdles (7.8), Lila Olson in the 300 (51.4), Carly Curcuru in the 600 (1:50.6), Leah Rudolph in the 1000 (3:32.9), Lillie Favazza in the mile (6:59.8) and Aidan Cunningham in the two-miles (15:35.1).

Beverly 68, Winthrop 18

Beverly swept the field of events en route to an easy win on Tuesday. Natalie Coughlin won the high jump (4-6) and the 50 hurdles (8.4) for the Panthers, while Gracie Sparkman won the shot put (35-7 1/2), Grace Byrd won the 50 dash (6.5), India Ingemi won the 300 (45.5), Uatchet Juch won the 600 (1:53.3), Abby Walsh won the 1000 (3:05.1), Lexi Sutyak won the mile (5:40.9) and Martha Callaghan won the two-miles (13:43.3).

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Bentonville (Ark.) 33, St. Mary’s 26

The Spartans fell to Bentonville High School of Bentonville, Ark. in the KSA Pre-Holiday Tournament at ESPN’s Wide World of Sports at Disney in Orlando, Fla. on Tuesday. Olivia Nazaire led the way for St. Mary’s with 14 points, while Mia Nowicki added six points.

Saugus 52, Gloucester 39

Forward Olivia Valente had a huge game for the Sachems, recording a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds. Meanwhile, point guard Alessia Salzillo almost notched a rarer type of double-double, finishing with 10 points and seven steals. With the win, the Sachems are now 2-0 on the year.

Saugus will play a road game against Marblehead on Thursday evening.

Essex Tech 52, Lynn Tech 17

Alondra Sanchez led the way with seven points for the Tigers (1-2), while Annmarie Teixeira scored four points.

BOYS BASKETBALL

St. Mary’s 50, Briarwood (Ala.) 37

The Spartans kept rolling in the KSA Pre-Holiday Tournament in Orlando, riding a big first half to a victory over Briarwood of Birmingham, Ala.

Jonathan Mola stepped up and had a huge game for St. Mary’s, logging 22 points. Stephen Fama also had a big day with 14 points. Lisandro Pacheco and Jonny Mercado each chipped in with five.

The Spartans now move onto the final round of the winners bracket, taking on Canon-McMillan of Canonsburg, Penn. at noon today.

Marblehead 90, Winthrop 42

Marblehead had 12 players score points, including a huge game from Patrick Bugler, who notched 20 points, five rebounds and four assists in the win. Derek Marino also had a solid game with 14 points.

The Magicians are back in action on Thursday night when they take on Saugus on the road.

GIRLS HOCKEY

Beverly 5, Lynn/Winthrop 3

McKayla Norris scored two goals for Lynn/Winthrop, while Emma Carlton added the third goal.

The Bulldogs will travel to Larsen Rink for a game against Saugus on Wednesday.

For Beverly, senior captain McKinley Karpa notched a hat trick to lead the way, while captain Izzy Primack had a goal and three assists and junior captain Marlee Hamor scored one goal.

WRESTLING

St. John’s Prep 40, Danvers 36

The Prep battled back from a 36-28 deficit with two pins in the final two matches to sneak out a win over Danvers on Tuesday. Evan Chaisson got the pin in the 220-pound weight class to make it 36-34 in favor of Danvers, then Will Moulton sealed the win with a pin in the 285-pound class. Other winners for the Eagles were Ryan Garlitz (113 pounds), Will Grady (120 pounds), Malcolm Mitchell (126 pounds), Zach Alexander (132 pounds), John McNaught (138 pounds) and Ben Klein (182 pounds). The win puts St. John’s Prep at 8-0 on the year.

Saugus field hockey tops Peabody

Saugus’ Krissy Italiano, right, and Peabody’s Camila DeOliveira battle for possession. Item Photo by Katie Morrison

By Katie Morrison

SAUGUS — The Saugus field hockey team is strong, experienced and looking to make some noise in the Northeastern Conference this season.

The Sachems scored three goals in the second half to shut down Peabody, 3-1, at Stackpole Field Tuesday.

The Tanners came out firing, scoring after just six minutes. Mallory LeBlanc took a free hit just outside the circle in Saugus’ end, and Nicole Ferrante found the ball in front of the net, giving Peabody a 1-0 lead.

From that point on, Saugus maintained possession for the majority of the game. The Sachems had a few good chances in the first half, including four corners. At one point, the Sachems had three corners over the course of just a few minutes, but couldn’t find the goal. On the third corner, Peabody sweeper Sara Feinstein cleared the ball out of the Tanners’ end.

The Sachems didn’t waste much time knotting the score at one in the second half. Just a few minutes in, Katie Italiano got a stick on the ball after Peabody goalie Sofia Rodriguez came out of the net and broke through the scrum to score the equalizer.

Rodriguez was busy in the second half, and Saugus created more scoring chances right away. At one point, the ball popped out of a scrum in front of the goal and Rodriguez lunged to knock the ball away with her blocker.

Later in the half, Rodriguez slid into the stick of Ailyn Minaya, knocking the ball away. But Minaya picked up her own rebound and put it away, giving Saugus a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

Minaya and Italiano were right in the middle of Saugus’ third goal as well. About three minutes after Minaya’s first goal, Italiano crossed the ball to Minaya, who slipped it past Rodriguez to give Saugus some insurance.

“Ailyn was very aggressive, attacking the goalie…it was nice to see someone making the goalie work,” Saugus coach Barbara Guarente said. “(The Sachems first game of the season) against Gloucester, we didn’t work the goalie at all, so it was nice to see that.”

Guarente was also happy with the communication between her players on the field, which was led by defender Sam Allan.

“They talked a lot more this game than they did in the first game, the communication and movement was better,” Guarente said.

“They were moving to the ball…we still have to work a little bit on that, but for the most part, they were actually cutting to it, so that was good,” Guarente added. She also credited Priscilla Geha, Alessia Salzillo and Liz Schrippa with their strong performances.

The Sachems missed the tournament in 2015, but Guarente and the Sachems have their sights set on playing in November.

“We have 13 seniors, a lot of returning players,” Guarente said. “I told them in the first practice that there’s no reason we shouldn’t be able to go far in the league and make the tournament, and hopefully we keep the trend going.”

As for Peabody, there’s still work to be done, but there were positives to take from Tuesday’s loss.

“We had a really good first half, scoring first, but we came out kind of flat in the second half and lost a lot of confidence after (Saugus’ first) goal,” Peabody coach Pam Grant said. “It took a little talking to, and we picked it up in the last 10 minutes, but it’s a matter of finishing the whole game like we started.”

SCHOOL: Lynnfield wins battle of girls tennis powers

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Lynnfield’s Olivia Skelley paired up with Camie Foley to win the first doubles match, 6-3, 6-2, in a win over Marblehead on Wednesday.

By MIKE ALONGI, MATT FRASER and NATALIE DURAZO

 

In a heavyweight matchup between undefeated Marblehead and Cape Ann League powerhouse Lynnfield, the Pioneers (15-1) showed the strength of their squad and were able to beat the Magicians, 4-1.

The Pioneers earned two wins from singles players Sarah Mezini winning 6-0, 7-6 and Katie Nevils winning 6-2, 6-1.

In doubles, the partnership of Olivia Skelley and Camie Foley played a dominant match, winning 6-3, 6-2. The second doubles pairing for Lynnfield cruised to a strong win as well, winning 6-2, 6-1.

The lone win for the Magicians came from Julia Channing in third singles, 6-1, 6-2.

For Marblehead, the run for an undefeated season fell just short, but even so, the Magicians feel confident going forward.

“We made it to the quarterfinals last year in the tournament, and we have an even better team this year, so we feel good about our chances,” said Marblehead coach Catherine Castoldi.

Castoldi mentioned that her players felt good about how they played, and put everything they had into their matches, but couldn’t pull off the victories against the stronger Pioneer team.

“Lynnfield plays in a very strong league, and we don’t really face that in our league,” said Castoldi. The Magicians are 14-0 in the Northeastern Conference and are looking to close their season on a positive note against Beverly for their final match of the regular season.

SOFTBALL

Swampscott 15, Saugus 3

The host Big Blue broke things open against the Sachems with a seven-run second inning, featuring eight of their 20 hits. Christina King had four knocks and a RBI for Swampscott (13-6) who got three hits apiece from Kasey Kennedy (2 RBI), Hannah Leahy (three-run home run) and Leanne Nisbet (2 RBI).

Saugus (13-7) mustered just four hits in its regular season finale; singles from Pauline Ascolese and Brooke Westmoreland along with a two-run double from Mikayla Niles and a RBI double from Alessia Salzillo.

Peabody 11, Beverly 1

On senior day for the Tanners, they overpowered their opponents with the bats, improving their record to 10-8.

Tianna Dawe completed all seven innings pitched, striking out seven and scattering four hits.

On the offensive side, Dawe unloaded on the Panthers pitching going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a home run. Alyssa Alperen continued the hitting for the Tanners going 2-for-2 with a home run, and senior Katie Tansey also belted out a home run.

SCHOOL: Marblehead clinches tournament spot

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Marblehead’s Ashley Stiles went 3-for-3 in a win over Winthrop on Wednesday.

By MIKE ALONGI and MATT FRASER

 

The Marblehead softball team (11-2) qualified for the state tournament with a 4-3 win over Winthrop on Wednesday. Sarah Plakans got the win on the mound, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out nine. Sabrina Doughman got the big hit on offense when she knocked a two-run double to give the Magicians the lead. Ashley Stiles went 3-for-3 in the win.

“It feels good to make it in,” Marblehead coach Johnny Gold said of getting into the tournament. “It was one of the first goals we set at the beginning of the season, so it feels good to accomplish it. Now we need to keep pushing forward.”

SOFTBALL

St. Mary’s 1, Archbishop Williams

Michaela Hamill knocked in the game’s lone run in support of starting pitcher Mia Nowicki, who shined in a complete game one-hitter, featuring 14 strikeouts.

Danvers 11, English 1

The Falcons offense led the way in a rout of the visiting Bulldogs.    

Revere 5, Beverly 4 (F/8)

Despite the loss, Beverly pitcher Natalie Stilwell pitched a good game, giving up just four hits and striking out four batters in four innings of relief work. Ally Cabral went 3-for-5 with a solo home run and two RBI, while Marlee Hamor (3-for-4) and Olivia George (2-for-4) each notched one RBI.

Gloucester 3, Saugus 2

Gloucester snapped the Sachems’ win streak in a tight game. Starter Brooke Westmoreland gave up three runs, though just one was earned, and struck out three in three innings of work. She had to leave the game after getting hit in the shin with a line drive.

Shannon Gayron was great in relief, tossing four shutout innings and giving Saugus a chance to stage a comeback, which they did in the sixth inning.

Down three, the Sachems plated two in the sixth, but a runner was thrown out at home to end the threat.

Saugus managed just four hits, and Alessia Salzillo had two of them. Catie Sheehan went 1-for-3 with a RBI, and Alex Almquist added the other hit.

Austin Prep 7, Fenwick 1

Mikayla Porcaro’s sixth-inning RBI single scored Julia Fusco (2-for-3) for the host Crusaders’ (5-8) only run against the Cougars, who broke a 4-1 game open with a three-run seventh.

Alexcea Glynos yielded 10 hits while striking out five and walking none in the loss.

BASEBALL

Danvers 10, English 0

In a rout of the Bulldogs, the visiting Falcons (11-2) received strong pitching from Dean Borders who picked up his fifth win of the season.

St. John’s Prep 9, Xaverian 4

Lynn’s Brendan Powicki led the way for the Eagles (10-4) on Monday, grabbing the win on the mound, tossing a one-hitter. Mike Yarin added three RBI on the offensive end.

Marblehead 13, Winthrop 0

Garret Keough was the story for the visiting Magicians as he scattered just five hits in a complete game effort, featuring 12 strikeouts in addition to 2-for-5 performance at the plate.  Marblehead (7-5) banged out  11 hits in total, including three from Spencer Carr (run, 5 RBI) and two apiece from Drew Gally (2 runs) and James McCarthy (3 runs, 3 RBI).

Beverly 17, Revere 3

In a rout of the visiting Patriots, the Panthers (10-3) featured outstanding contributions from Nick Cotraro (4-for-5, 5 RBI), Garrett Desmond (2 RBI) and Spencer Brown (4-for-5, 4 RBI). The latter turned in a strong outing on the mound as well, pitching six innings of three-hit ball, striking out eight en route to the win, clinching Beverly’s 13th straight trip to the state tournament.

GIRLS LACROSSE

Fenwick 15, St. Mary’s 2

Merry Harrington scored seven goals and Tori Hernandez added four tallies in leading the visiting Crusaders past the Spartans. Molly Camelo tallied twice for Fenwick (10-2) who got nine saves from goaltender Meghan Woodworth in the win.

Maddie Hentosh and Liz Weisse scored one goal apiece for the Spartans.

Marblehead 15, Saugus 1

The Magicians continued their strong season with another win on Wednesday, lifting their record to 14-1.

Hadley Carlton and Grace Arthur each notched three goals and one assist, while Amanda Gregory had two goals and three assists. Corinne Mayle and Caroline Driscoll each had two goals and one assist, Niamh Healy had two goals and Lucie Poulin had four assists.

Peabody 13, Gloucester 7

The Tanners improved to 11-2 behind a balanced scoring effort that saw seven different players register points. Lauren Wolff led the way with five points, followed by Kirsten Bradley with four and Emma Bradley with three. Chloe Gizzi had two points, while Amanda Bradley, Carla Patania and Jillian Amirault each had one point.

Goalie Gianna Denisco had nine saves in the win.

BOYS LACROSSE

Fenwick 14, St. Mary’s 4

Senior captain Dan Hannon recorded his 100th career point for the host Crusaders as they cruised past their Catholic Central League rivals.

BOYS TRACK

Marblehead 80, Salem 51

George Goetz, the Magicians’ senior captain, was a triple winner in the high-hurdles (15.7 seconds), long jump (21 feet, 9inches) and high jump (5-10). Marblehead (6-0) winners included senior Adam Linsky in the mile (4:48) and junior Oliver Jacob in the 400-meter hurdles (59.9).

GIRLS TRACK

Marblehead 103, Salem 33

The Magicians improved to 5-1, led by double-winner Sara Caulfield, who claimed first in the long jump (16-1) and triple jump (34-9). Other Marblehead winners included Dani Maney with the javelin (100-10) and Alix Livermore in the 800 (2:32.3).

SOFTBALL: Saugus outlasts Beverly

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Saugus pitcher Brooke Westmoreland improved to 7-3 on the mound on Monday, while also having a big day at the plate.

By STEVE KRAUSE and MIKE ALONGI

 

Senior leadership won the day at Saugus High School Monday as the Sachems’ softball team won a pulsating 4-3 victory over Beverly.

The win pushes Saugus to 9-3 under first-year coach Steve Almquist.

Senior Brooke Westmoreland stood out both in the circle and at the plate. She went the distance, giving up seven hits and three runs, striking out six and allowing no walks, raising her record to 7-3. She also went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two RBI.

Shortstop Pauline Ascolese had a triple and a RBI, but made her biggest contribution on the game’s last play. In the top of the seventh, with two out and a Beverly runner on second, Ascolese dove for a line drive hit into the hole between short and third, making the catch and saving the game.

“It was a real web gem,” Almquist said. “What a fantastic play. If it gets through, the game’s tied.”

Also starring for Saugus were Mikayla Niles (1-for-3, RBI) and two freshmen, Emma Howard (2-for-2, 2 runs) and Alessia Salzillo (3-for-3, walk).

Beverly, Almquist said, “is a well-coached team. “They’re so tough. They make the plays, they hit the ball, they have good pitching, and they don’t make mistakes. We found a way to grind out a victory today.”

For Beverly, Ally Cabral went 2-3 with two doubles, a RBI and a run scored. Marlee Hamor was 2-for-3 with an RBI and Olivia George went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored.

SOFTBALL

Lynn Classical 15, Salem 3 (F/6)

Tori Adams tossed a complete-game four-hitter to lead the Rams (7-4) to a dominant win over Salem on Monday. Adams struck out nine batters in the complete-game effort.

Meghan Leavitt led the way on the offensive end, going 2-for-4 with a walk and three RBI.

Peabody 2, Swampscott 0

The Tanners got a great all-around performance from Lynn native Tianna Dawe, who pitched a complete-game two-hitter with two walks and seven strikeouts, while also going 1-for-3 with an RBI at the plate. Amanda Crawford also contributed offensively, going 1-for-2 with a solo home run. The win improves Peabody to 7-6.

Hannah Leahy was the tough-luck loser for Swampscott, going six innings and allowing one earned run on three hits. She also came through with one of the Big Blue’s two hits.

Arlington Catholic 2, St. Mary’s 1

At Arlington Catholic, the Spartans (10-2) gave up two first-inning runs to the Cougars and then didn’t allow a hit after that. However, their bats weren’t alive, said coach Paige Licata.

“This was kind of a reality check for us,” said Licata, who felt that there may have been a letdown after Friday’s dramatic 7-6 win over Austin Prep. “It showed us what we can’t wait for that big finish all the time.”

Fenwick 22, Matignon 1 (F/6)

Natalie Medros got the win on the mound for the Crusaders (5-7), giving up just one run on two hits in four innings pitched. Lexi McNeil led the way on offense, going 2-for-2 with three RBI and two runs scored. Rachel Fisher went 3-for-4 with two RBI and three runs scored, while Emily Fernandez went 1-for-1 with an RBI and two runs scored.

Tech 9, St. Clements 8

Yennifer Rodriguez went 2-for-3 with a home run, a triple and three RBI to help lead the Tigers (1-6) to their first win of the season on Monday. Megan LeBlanc went 3-for-4 with two RBI, three stolen bases and two runs scored and Briana Reynoso struck out four batters in the circle.

Sachems softball outslugs Peabody, wins fifth straight

ITEM PHOTO: KATIE MORRISON
Saugus pitcher Brooke Westmoreland notched another win for the Sachems on Wednesday after beating Peabody.

By KATIE MORRISON

 

PEABODY — The Saugus softball team is on a roll.

The Sachems slugged their way to their fifth straight win, beating Peabody, 13-5, on the road on a rainy Wednesday afternoon.

Saugus has beaten some of the most formidable teams in the Northeastern Conference over the past couple weeks, taking down Classical, Revere and Danvers.

Wednesday, it looked as if the Sachems’ winning streak might come to an end. But a huge 11-run sixth inning gave them a sizable lead.

Saugus couldn’t get much going offensively early. Peabody struck first as Alyssa Alperen hit a leadoff single off of Saugus pitcher Brooke Westmoreland. A bunt single moved her to second, and she came home on an error. The Sachems got the run back in the second, as Caity Sheehan drew a leadoff walk and scored on a three-base error.

Peabody scored three in the fourth without the benefit of a hit. Four walks and a sacrifice fly from Kaitlin Thibodeau-Corey gave the Tanners a 4-1 lead. Alperen drove in the fourth run with a bases-loaded walk that she had to battle for, fouling off several pitches before taking ball four.

The Sachems had something cooking in the fifth. A fielder’s choice with a runner on and singles from Emma Howard and Pauline Ascolese loaded the bases with two outs, but freshman pitcher Tianna Dawe got Westmoreland to ground out to escape the jam.

She wouldn’t be able to elude damage in the sixth, however.

A leadoff single from Sheehan set the wheels in motion for a Saugus eruption. With the rain starting to come down steadily and the temperature dropping, Dawe began to lose command. She got Alessia Salzillo to ground into a fielder’s choice for a quick out, but then the wheels fell off.

Jillian Cooper was hit with the bases loaded, and then Shannon Gayron drew a walk to push the runners along and bring Saugus within one. Howard smacked a bases-loaded single to bring across the tying run, and Ascolese’s single gave Saugus a 5-4 lead. Dawe walked Westmoreland before being lifted for Mallory LeBlanc.

“We made too many mistakes. Routine mistakes killed us,” said Peabody coach Butch Melanaphy. “Tianna had a tough outing, but the mistakes behind her hurt. She’s learning, it’s a learning curve. Saugus is a good team, no doubt about it. They’ve improved tremendously.”

LeBlanc also struggled to contain the Saugus offense. Sheehan drove in two with a booming double, Salzillo’s single scored two more, and Mikayla Niles narrowly missed a home run, instead settling for a RBI double. Cooper singled in a run before the Tanners could get out of the inning.

“I’ve never seen anything like that inning,” said Saugus coach Steve Almquist. “You tell the kids to keep fighting and hanging in there, they were hitting the ball hard all game, and you tell them eventually it’s going to fall. Luckily we got a couple breaks and were able to take advantage. I couldn’t be happier.”

Westmoreland settled down in the final two innings, allowing a run on Dawe’s single in the seventh, but otherwise kept the Peabody offense quiet. She also helped her cause with a solo home run, hit out of the park in dead center, in the seventh.

“She was getting a little frustrated, she was around the zone all game, and I told her to hang in there,” said Almquist. “She’s such a competitor. She does whatever I ask of her, she’s huge. A lot of games this year we haven’t given her any run support, so we finally broke out and gave her a little breathing room.”

The Sachems, who started the season 2-3, are now 7-3 at the halfway point in the season.

“We’re starting to figure some things out,” said Almquist. “We have a long ways to go, but this is a great win.”

SCHOOL: St. Mary’s baseball starts on high note

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Matt Costanza allowed just three hits with nine strikeouts in a shutout win over Arlington Catholic.

By MIKE ALONGI, MATT FRASER and NATALIE DURAZO

 

The St. Mary’s Spartans began their defense of their 2015 state title with a 1-0 win on the road at Arlington Catholic on Wednesday.

Matt Costanza, one of just three returning starters from the state championship team, was brilliant, dueling against UMass Amherst commit Christian Rosati, who went 6-0 with a miniscule 0.91 ERA for the Cougars last season. Costanza, an AIC commit, went the distance, allowing just three hits. He didn’t walk anyone and struck out nine. A couple of errors forced Costanza to pitch out of some jams, something he did with ease.

The Spartans scored the only run they’d need in the second. Antonio Felix, one of the other returning starters (along with Donnie Weisse), walked and stole second. Ryan Turenne singled to right to drive him home.

St. Mary’s squandered the opportunity to score more in that inning, leaving the bases loaded. In the fifth, Jack Ward hit a booming double out to the fence, but was stranded.

Cody Murtaugh made a huge catch in right to help his pitcher, diving to save what could have been a leadoff double.

Turenne went 2-for-3, and Ward, Weisse and Nick Peveri all added hits.

“It was a very good way to start the season,” said St. Mary’s coach Derek Dana.

BASEBALL
Beverly 9, Lynn Classical 8

In a back-and-forth game, Beverly scored the go-ahead run in the bottom of the sixth to take a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Beverly’s (2-0) offense got help from everyone, getting multi-hit games from three players—Spencer Brown, who also drove in three runs, Sean Hanlon and Matt Enos, who each drove in a run.

Dylan Stevens started the game for Beverly, but was relieved after two innings as Classical got to him early.

For Classical (1-2), Brandon Devin went 2-for-3 with a three-run home run and three runs scored, while Christian Burt went 2-for-4 with two runs scored. Andre Gaudet went 1-for-4 with a bases-clearing double.

Marblehead 10, Gloucester 5

The Magicians saw great balance on the offensive side of the ball, getting contributions from all over the lineup on Wednesday. Tim Kalinowski went 2-for-4 with an RBI and a stolen base, Tedd York went 3-for-4 with a run scored, Garrett Keough went 1-for-2 with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base and James McCarthy went 1-for-3 with an RBI, two runs scored and a stolen base. Derek Marino added an RBI as well, while Cole Garvanti walked twice and scored twice.

On the mound for Marblehead (2-0), Jake Hamelburg got the win after going 4 2/3 innings and giving up five runs on five hits.

Lynnfield 7, Triton 3

In a 12-hit victory, the Pioneers opened their season with a strong win. Lynnfield’s bats were on fire as they plated four runs in the first inning and added three more throughout the game.

Lynnfield starter Nick Colucci had a solid night, pitching five innings, allowing one earned run, two hits and striking out five. Colucci also helped himself on offense, hitting a double and triple.

Colucci was relieved in the sixth inning by Dan Jameson, who didn’t allow a run and earned the save, striking out one.

Pioneers Spencer Balian and Mike Stellato  each drove in two runs. Sophomore Dan Jameson tossed two innings of strong relief in his first varsity appearance.

Danvers 18, Revere 3

Danvers bats came alive in a rout against Revere bringing their record to (2-0).

Jordan DeDonato had three RBI in the game, adding a triple, and teammates Andrew Olzak, Zach Dillon and Tim Unczur had two RBI each.

Dean Waters made his first start of the season, lasting three innings.

Salem 15, Saugus 5

Sammy Ramirez stole the show in the Witches first win of the season, striking out 10 Sachems in seven innings of work while finishing 4-for-4 with three RBI at the plate.

Wesley Shaejbe and Eddie Duran both finished 3-for-4 with two RBI for Salem (1-1), while Saugus got two hits apiece from Jimmy Alcott and Kyle Autilio, with the former adding a RBI.

BC High 7, Prep 0

The visiting Eagles, 3-1, were “outplayed in all phases of the game,” according to coach Dan Letarte. The Prep mustered just two hits, one each from Andrew Selima and Mike Yarin.

SOFTBALL

Lynn Classical 4, Beverly 3 (8 innings)

The Rams pulled off an extra-inning win at home on Wednesday afternoon. Meg Leavitt went 3-for-4 with an RBI, while Madison Angelli went 2-for-4 with the game-tying RBI late in the game. Alaina Gridley also went 2-for-4. Tori Adams got the win on the mound, going the distance and giving up three runs on six hits with eight strikeouts.

For Beverly, Ally Cabral went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Freshman pitcher Rona Scott struck out four in the loss.

Peabody 17, Lynn English 0 (5 innings)

The Tanners (1-1) were led by Tianna Dawe, who went 3-for-3 with four RBI and three runs scored. Alyssa Alperen also went 3-for-3, with three RBI and two runs scored. On the mound, Mallory LeBlanc pitched a one-hitter for Peabody, striking out three without allowing a walk.

“We’ve just been playing really well,” said Peabody coach Butch Melanaphy. “We need to continue this momentum and move forward.”

Marblehead 1, Gloucester 0

Sammy Treff’s sharply hit ground ball to third base plated Sarah Bornstein for the walk-off win, after the latter delivered a one-out triple in the bottom half of the seventh inning.

Maddie Ernst allowed just three hits while striking out eight in a complete game shutout for the Magicians (2-0), whose offense managed just five hits, including a double from Hannah Garthe.

Saugus 13, Salem 1

It was a complete team win for the Sachems, as they came back from a disappointing opening loss on Monday.

The Sachems (1-1) came out firing as the whole team was getting a hold of the ball. Katie Sheehan led the team in hits, going 4-for-4 with a monster three-run home run and double. Alex Almquist had a solid offensive day going 2-for-3 with a triple and two RBI. Pauline Ascolese had a three-run home run, and Alessia Salzillo went 3-for-4 with two doubles, a triple and one RBI.

Saugus starter Shannon Gayron dominated, pitching six innings, allowing one earned run, allowing seven hits and striking out three.


Mike Alongi can be reached at mikealongi75@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter at @m_alongi.

Swampscott hangs on for win over Saugus

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Saugus’ Rachel Nazzaro releases a shot as Faye Parker goes for the block.

By KATIE MORRISON

SAUGUS – With the Saugus girls’ basketball team down by 14 points to Swampscott after a quarter, it looked like this game might be a blowout. But the Sachems came back and gave Swampscott some trouble, and Swampscott escaped with a 54-50 win at Saugus High.

The Sachems scored the first four points of the game, but the Big Blue went on an 18-0 run to close out the quarter and grab a commanding lead. Meghan Hartmann, who led all scorers with 25 points on the night, racked up 12 points before the end of the first.

But the Sachems weren’t without their opportunities.

“We said in the first quarter that we liked the shots we were getting, and we thought (Swampscott was) shooting very, very well. So we were just thinking that the stats were going to correct themselves,” said Saugus coach Mark Schruender.

The numbers did, indeed, even out as the game went on.

The Sachems spread out the scoring in the second quarter with Olivia Valente scoring four points and Marisa Stockwell and Alessia Salzillo chipping in three apiece. They limited Swampscott to eight points in the quarter, and held Hartmann scoreless.

“We closed out a little bit better on the shooters in the second quarter,” said Schruender. “Then we were getting good looks. In the second quarter, we moved a little bit better with the basketball, and that freed up some offensive rebounds and freed up shooters a little better and shots started going in. We got a little confidence going into halftime.”

The Sachems closed the gap to 10 at the half, 26-16.

Saugus captain Mikayla Niles, who finished with 12 points, led the Sachems in the third quarter with eight points. Krissy Italiano chipped in four, and all of a sudden, it was a tight game. The Sachems trailed by just three, 39-36, at the start of the fourth.

Swampscott responded by turning up the pressure.

We went full court, put the pressure on and try to make them make mistakes, try to contain them, because our zone was falling flat a little,” said Swampscott coach Katelyn Leonard. “I thought that got them in a kind of hurry-up offense, and helped us control the game.”

The lead switched sides often in the fourth, but Swampscott was able to get out in front thanks to some big blocks from Faye Parker and a big quarter from Hartmann.

They’re a really tough team. They’re young and feisty and they can shoot,” said Leonard. “Another two minutes, and who knows who’s game that would have been.”

Big Blue’s Jamie Caponigro scored 10 points and pulled down eight boards. Parker was a force in the paint, grabbing seven rebounds and putting up 12 points. Hannah Leahy chipped in seven points and seven boards for Swampscott.

For Saugus, Schruender acknowledge the play of his captains, Niles and Gabby Valente.

“When we’re down, like we were at the end of the first, you can say ‘uh oh, it’s one of those nights.’ And I looked at the team and said ‘we’re fine,’ and they echoed that,” said Schruender. “Gabby did everything she could, what a tough kid on defense. Mikayla had a great night on offense, right before the half she had a huge bucket at the buzzer to pull us within 10, and then in the third quarter she came out and did real well.”


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com.