ely guity

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.”

 

Magicians sneak past Bulldogs in closing minutes

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Marblehead’s Virginia Linzitto drives for a layup between Shayla Manon and Julianna Perry of English. 

By STEVE KRAUSE

MARBLEHEAD — If the Lynn English girls basketball could play with the type of drive and passion at the end of games the way it does at the beginning, things might be a lot different.

For the second time in as many weeks, the Bulldogs got off to a blistering start, but limped home in the fourth quarter. As a result, Marblehead dropped English to 2-7 with a 38-35 win.

“We certainly didn’t have the energy at the end of the game that we had in the beginning,” said English coach Mackenzie Charles. “We had too many turnovers and we gave them too many points in the paint.”

Actually turnovers plagued both teams. However, once Marblehead found its rhythm, early in the second half, the Magicians kept it up while English faltered on a number of occasions.

“I think they just got tired,” said Marblehead’s Wayne Hanscom. “I think we were tired too. They don’t have much depth and neither do we.”

The 5-4 Magicians started out colder than a polar vortex. English came out of the gate running, and built up a 9-0 lead before the Magicians could get a bucket. Ely Guity and Dorathy Ezemba, who scored nine first-quarter points between them, gave English a 13-6 lead after one.

It didn’t get much better for Marblehead at the beginning of the second quarter either. Rachel Calnan and Sheyla Manon scored back-to-back hoops to open the period, and it was 17-6, English. That’s where the Bulldogs started to cool off.

Marblehead co-captains Lindsay Walker (game-high 17 points) and Ashley Stiles (10) began to take over. They made it a point to go to the basket. If they could not hit their shots from the floor, they hit them from the line. Walker sunk four free throws and Stiles one more to close the gap to 18-11 by the break.

It may have been only a 7-point lead, but Marblehead couldn’t do much from the floor in the third quarter either. The Magicians did just enough to keep the game under control. It took a 3-pointer with two seconds left in the period by English’s Tommi Hill to get the lead up to five (27-22) with eight minutes to go.

The fourth quarter turned into a good battle. Walker hit two baskets right away to whittle English’s lead down to a point, but Calnan hit one to get it back up to three (29-26). Both teams went through large stretches of missed baskets and turnovers before Walker brought Marblehead to within a point again (29-28) before Hannah Garthe hit a trey with 3:54 to go to give the Magicians their first lead of the game (31-29). Guity tied it back up right Walker and Stiles hit back-to-back baskets to make it 35-31.

Guity sunk a basket in to make it a two-point game, and Marblehead’s Montana Joyce hit one free throw after that, but it was still a one-possession game with 30 seconds to go.

English was angling for a 3-pointer in hopes of tying the game and sending into overtime, but Marblehead guarded the perimeter effectively and Ezemba settled on a two-pointer, which forced English to foul. Stiles hit two free throws to put the game out of reach as time ran out.


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

GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: English defense steps up

FILE PHOTO
Ely Guity and the Bulldogs closed out a win over Gloucester on Tuesday. 

By HAROLD RIVERA AND MIKE ALONGI 

The Lynn English girls basketball team has struggled to close out games this season. Tuesday night, they finally finished a game the way they’d hope to. Behind a number of key stops down the stretch, English downed Gloucester, 52-46.

“They played together and they played hard,” English coach Mackenzie Charles said of his players. “We played really good defense with key stops at the end of the game. We haven’t finished a game all season, we’ve been having problems with that. We’ve been struggling with rebounds so I think the combination of those things equalled a win.”

Dorathy Ezemba led the winning efforts with 18 points and 12 rebounds.

“She (Ezemba) rebounded well,” Charles said. “She pushes the ball well and she’s very physical.”

Ely Guity scored 16 points, grabbed eight rebounds and dished five assists.

“She (Guity) had a great game, five of her rebounds were on the offensive glass,” Charles said. Charles also credited Rachel Calnan and Shelya Manon for their performances in the win. English is back in action on Friday when the Bulldogs visit Marblehead. “We’ll get back to practice tomorrow and work hard,” Charles said. “We understand this in a win but Friday’s another game.”

Lynn Tech 44, Greater Lawrence 28

Alondra Sanchez had the hot hand offensively for the Tigers, putting up 17 points. Annmarie Texiera added eight and Jamila Constantine scored six. Malvelis Hernandez was solid on defense.

The Tigers (3-5) had to climb back from an early 8-0 deficit, but coach Kaitlyn Wechsler said that after a few timeouts and conversations with her team, something clicked.

“We turned up the pressure and worked very well together,” Wechsler said. “It was like a switch flipped and we started to figure it out. It was an overall great team win.”

Revere 65, Swampscott 56

A tied game after a quarter, the Patriots outscored the Big Blue 21-6 in the second quarter to pull away. Despite putting up 24 points in the third, Swampscott couldn’t claw all the way back into this one.

Valentina Pepic led Revere with 24 points, Pamela Gonzalez added 18 and Meghan Gotham chipped in with 10.

Archbishop Williams 77, Bishop Fenwick 44

Sam Mancinelli logged 15 points for the Crusaders, five assists and four steals, while Fredi DeGuglielmo added 14 points and Jaxson Nadeau had eight points and four steals.

Peabody 53, Salem 32

The Tanners (3-3) got 13 points from Melissa Gray and nine points and 14 rebounds from Nene Onwuogu. Katie Wallace had eight points.

Peabody will take on Winthrop on Friday night.

Morrison: Classical-English game was a thriller

FILE PHOTO
The Classical bench reacts after Paris Wilkey makes two of three free throws to tie the game.

By KATIE MORRISON

Tuesday, the first of two “rivalry days” of the basketball season, I thought the big-ticket game of game of the night would be the English-Classical boys basketball game, but boy, was I wrong.

The girls game was where the action was.

To be honest, though, there wasn’t much excitement for the first 3½ quarters, except for the fact that the Bulldogs, after losing by 23 points to Classical just the week before, seemed to be well on their way to their second victory of the season.

It looked like a big upset was in the making. And for the first 28 minutes, every time the Rams looked as if they were hitting their stride, the Bulldogs would pull away again.

But then, Classical came alive and went on a 12-0 run. All of a sudden, shots that weren’t falling earlier were finding their way through the hoop. The Rams were pulling down rebounds on defense and making the most of second chances on offense.

And just like that, with under a minute to play, it was a game again.

The final play of regulation was a thriller. The Bulldogs were able to contain Paris Wilkey, the Rams’ best shooter, in the first half, but the junior started finding her groove later in the game. Down by two, 43-41, with the final seconds of the game ticking away, Wilkey got the ball and launched a shot from behind the arc as the buzzer sounded. The shot was no good. But Wilkey was fouled, and the Rams had new life.

So, all eyes were on Wilkey, standing alone at the line. There aren’t that many instances in sports when the game is in the hands of just one player. In a hockey shootout, the focus is divided between the goalie and the shooter, depending on which team you’re pulling for. In baseball and softball it’s the same, with equal pressure on a batter and pitcher.

But being all alone, just you and the basket, your teammates hanging on each shot, your ability to perform one of the fundamental parts of the game on display … it’s a vulnerable position.

At first, everyone in the gym, even English fans and players, were quiet, everyone watching with bated breath, at least until English coach Mackenzie Charles encouraged the crowd to make some noise. But that didn’t distract Wilkey, who nailed the first shot.

She missed the second, and I think every person in the gym held their breath as she put up the third, which went in to tie the game.

Even with all eyes on her, Wilkey was calm, cool and collected at the line.

“Nothing (was going through my head), I just focused on the rim and making the shot, just focused on me,” said Wilkey, who added that she blocked out everything except the rim.

It was only fitting that overtime was just as exciting as the final play of regulation.

Priscill Alouidor put back an offensive rebound to give the Rams a four-point lead, 50-46, with time winding down.

“I was just really nervous, because I didn’t want to mess up, but I was really focused and my teammates kept my spirits up and kept me motivated,” Alouidor said after the game.
And while Alouidor’s shot was the game-winner, it was English’s Ely Guity’s shot that was the loudest in overtime. After Alouidor gave the Rams the four-point edge, Guity knocked down an improbable three-pointer to bring the Bulldogs within one. Unfortunately for English, there wasn’t enough time to complete the comeback, as it got the ball back with just over a second left.

I wrote last week, after the Rams blew out the Bulldogs, that with the English and Classical girls playing each other three times this season (since the two met in the Boverini Tournament consolation game), maybe the fire of the rivalry wouldn’t burn as hot, especially if Classical, which looked like the definitively stronger team after the first meeting, swept the series.

The Bulldogs proved me wrong Tuesday. It was pretty clear that the Bulldogs have the ability to compete with some of the best teams in the Northeastern Conference. Earlier in the season, English fell by just two points, 52-50, to Danvers, which is still undefeated at 5-0. And if it weren’t for the perfect storm of Classical sparking a hot streak and English failing to hit shots in the final four minutes of Tuesday’s game, the Bulldogs might have won going away against a team that should be in the mix at the top of the NEC.

One thing is for sure, though. Circle Feb. 16 on your calendar. That’s the next time these two teams meet, and if the game is anything like it was Tuesday, it will be a blast.


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

Classical sneaks by English in OT thriller

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Paris Wilkey throws up a shot through a trio of English defenders.

By STEVE KRAUSE 

LYNN — This one was about four minutes from being in the bag. English was up by a dozen, and it looked as if it just wasn’t Classical’s night.

But all of a sudden, the Rams’ girls basketball team caught fire, just at the same time the Bulldogs got ice cold. The result was a 12-0 run over the last four minutes that brought Classical even at the buzzer.

Then, in overtime, Classical looked as if it had the game well in hand, only to see English hit an improbable three-pointer and have a chance to win the game with 1.3 seconds left.

It wasn’t to be. Classical hung on for a 50-49 win that left Rams coach Tom Sawyer visibly exhausted, and English’s Mackenzie Charles searching for answers.

“I’m proud of my girls,” said Charles, whose Bulldogs fell to Classical by 23 points in last week’s Boverini Tournament. “They don’t know how good they can be. I  have a very good team, and they’ll be good once they know how good they are.

“But,” he said, “we can’t be giving up leads like that.”

On the other side of the floor, Sawyer had nothing but praise for the Bulldogs.

“We came in here last week and beat them by 23, and we come here tonight and they play us like this. You have to give them a lot of credit.

“But our girls deserve credit too,” said Sawyer. “They kept coming back and coming back. They persevered.”

English was able to build a 12-point lead (43-31) with 4:18 to go when Juliana Perry hit her second 3-pointer of the game. But that was the last bucket English would score in regulation.

Classical, which gave English several cracks at the basket on the offensive end for large parts of the game, began asserting itself.

“Too many rebounds,” said Charles. “That’s our Achilles heel.”

Although Classical ran off the last 12 points in regulation, it wasn’t without a few hiccups of its own. The Rams turned the ball over twice during that span. But Classical sunk five of seven free throws, no two bigger than the ones Paris Wilkey (who led all scorers with 18 points) drained with no time left on the clock. She was fouled in the act of trying to beat the buzzer with a three as Classical trailed, 43-41. She hit two of the three freebies.

“How about her?” marveled Sawyer. “There was nobody on the line with her, she’s all alone. She was remarkable.”

In overtime, English’s Ely Guity (8 points) opened by hitting one of two foul shots, and Classical’s Priscill Alouidor (7 points) hit a bombs-away 3-pointer to give the Rams a 46-44 lead. After Stacey Abreau hit another freebie, Jeylly Medrano (10 points) sank a jumper to make it 48-45.

Another Abreau  (8 points) free throw brought English within two, but Wilkey hit for two off an offensive rebound and it was 50-46 with 14.9 seconds to go.

Somehow, Guity’s three-point prayer banged off the backboard and straight down, though, and with 10 seconds left, English trailed by one.

The tension heightened as Soneta Srey (12 points) missed both free throws, giving English a shot with 1.3 seconds left.

Charles took three straight timeouts before English finally tried a desperation play, but the shot when over the backboard and Classical had its victory.

“When (Guity) hit that shot off the backboard,” said Sawyer, “I thought maybe this wasn’t going to be our night after all.”

But it turned out to be.


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

Swampscott’s defense stands strong in win over English

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Swampscott’s Hannah Leahy reaches out to try and deflect a rebound pulled down by English’s Rachel Calnan.

By HAROLD RIVERA

LYNN — The Swampscott girls basketball team prides itself on defense. Tuesday evening, the Big Blue brought their defensive showcase to the Boverini Tournament at Lynn English as they topped the Bulldogs, 44-32.

English started the game off on the right foot as Dorathy Ezemba scored six points in a first quarter that ended in a 10-10 tie. From there on out, the Bulldogs struggled to find rhythm on offense.

“I thought we took a step back in the communication phase today,” English coach Mackenzie Charles said. “Some of the girls were a bit overwhelmed with the tension of that game, so that was new to them. We have to play with a better effort, consistently.”

On the flip side, the Big Blue could hang their hats on another strong defensive performance as they held a talented Bulldogs team, that suits plenty of scoring weapons on its roster, to just 32 points.

“For us it’s defense first,” Swampscott coach Katelyn Leonard said. “We know if we can limit teams in scoring, we can win the game.”

The Big Blue built their first stable lead of the game in the second quarter when they came out of the gates with a 5-0 run. Rachel Calnan stopped the bleeding for English when she knocked down a free throw to get the Bulldogs back on the board. Swampscott led 22-15 at the half.

In the third quarter, Swampscott opened with a pair of buckets from Hannah Leahy and Ella Parker. English’s Shelya Manyon sunk a hook shot seeking to get the Bulldogs back in the game, but Swampscott’s Maggie DiGrande hit a three-pointer in retaliation. The Big Blue led 35-23 after the third quarter.

In the fourth, English began to find life again. Tommi Hill hit a three pointer and Ely Guity knocked in a jump shot to cut Swampscott’s lead down to seven points.

“In the late third quarter and early fourth, it seemed like they played a little better,” Charles said. “We just can’t dig a hole like that and expect us to get out of it.”

Unfortunately for English, Swampscott buckled down on defense in the final minutes of the game and walked away with a 44-32 win. The Big Blue advance to the championship game of the tournament today at 5 p.m., where they’ll clash against St. Mary’s.

“I know they’re really tough,” Leonard said of the Spartans. “It’s good to play good teams. They can only make us better. We’re going to go right at them and give them the best game we can.”

Ezemba led the Bulldogs with 11 points. English will face Classical in the consolation game today at 2 p.m.


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

Montanari leads Danvers past English

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
English’s Tommi Hill led all scorers with 17 points on Friday night. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

LYNN — If there were any doubts about whether or not new Lynn English girls basketball coach Mackenzie Charles could move the Bulldogs in the right direction, those question marks were erased on Friday night.

The Bulldogs fell to Danvers, 52-50 at English, but the team showed effort from the opening minute. That’s a positive for Charles and his team.

“We worked hard,” Charles said. “We fought hard. We just made some mental mistakes at the end but I’m so proud of them.”

In the final minute, Dorothy Ezemba’s two-point shot gave English a 50-47 lead. Danvers answered quickly as Julia McNulty nailed a three-pointer to tie the game at 50-50 with 27 seconds remaining.

English came up empty in the following possession, giving Danvers the ball with seven seconds to play. That’s when Elizabeth Montanari became the hero of the night, as the junior hit a game-winning hook shot with 1.7 seconds left to give Danvers a 52-50 lead.

“We had a different play set up,” Danvers coach Pat Veilleux said. “I have to give credit to Julia McNulty who thought enough to give the ball to the post player that was wide open. We had something else set up but when English came out man to man, it was on the girls.”

The clock ran out and Danvers walked off with a come-from-behind win.

“They had a chance to put us away and they didn’t do it,” Veilleux said. “I have to give my girls credit.”

Danvers took an early lead in the first quarter, but English’s Tommi Hill was fouled at the three-point line in the final seconds. Hill, who led all scorers with 17 points, made all three of her free throws and gave the Bulldogs an 11-10 lead at the end of the quarter.

“She (Hill) shot with confidence,” Charles said. “That’s what she’s been doing all preseason. She understands her role, her role is to shoot the ball.”

English’s press defense gave Danvers headaches in the second quarter, as the Bulldogs began to capitalize on Falcons mistakes. Despite their troubles responding to the press, the Falcons kept the game close. Ely Guity’s jump shot at the buzzer gave English a 23-21 lead at halftime.

“For the first time out, I think they played together and supported each other,” Charles said. “I thought they were great teammates and worked hard. I’ll take that effort.”

The Bulldogs padded their lead in the third quarter with a 10-3 run to open the second half. A pair of buckets in the paint by Ezemba and a jump shot made by Sheyla Manon forced the Falcons to call a timeout and regroup. English led 40-33 at the end of the third quarter.

Down seven points with the clock working against them, the Falcons were forced to make shots and do so quickly. Luckily for Danvers, the team answered the call.

“We were resilient,” Veilleux said. “Every time we came out of a timeout or a huddle we said ‘who’s going to make the next play?’ People made plays.”

McNulty and Siobhan Moriarty knocked down a pair of three-pointers and the Falcons began to inch back into the contest. Danvers completed the comeback with McNulty’s game-tying three that set up Montanari for the game-winner.

McNulty and Montanari led Danvers (1-0) with 15 points each.

For English (0-1), Ezemba scored 12 points, showing flashes of muscle in the paint.

“She’s (Ezemba) a versatile girl,” Charles said. “She’s playing a little bit of a different role than she played last year so she’s trying to get used to that role. Her strength is getting to the hoop and being physical and that’s what she did.”

Guity contributed for English with nine points as she ran the team’s offense.

Charles said his team will focus on making adjustments as they aim to improve.

“We have to want it more,” Charles said. “I thought there were too many possessions where they wanted it more than we wanted it. That sounds like we need to be tougher, so we’ll get tougher in practice.”

Charles added, “We’re going to try to play hard and get wins but I’ll take that effort that we showed today.”

English will look to bounce back at Beverly on Monday while Danvers visits Ipswich today.


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

Girls test mettle in Duchane girls basketball jamboree

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Fenwick’s Sam Mancinelli gets a step on Revere’s Tatianna Iacoviello in the Duchane Jamboree Saturday at the Classical gym.

By SCOT COOPER

LYNN — The Paul Duchane Girls Basketball Jamboree is one of the first tests area teams get as they prepare for the upcoming season.

Held every year at the Classical gym, in memory of the man who taught and coached throughout the Lynn school system, the 24th annual jamboree Saturday saw English, Swampscott, Marblehead, Malden, Somerville, Medford, Saugus, Danvers, Hamilton-Wenham, Reading, Peabody, Revere, Bishop Fenwick, Georgetown and Masconomet take part.

The 16 teams each played two quarters, and the stands were filled with fans, and also quite a few area coaches, scouting and filming teams they’ll face somewhere down the line this season.

Classical came out fairly strong against Masconomet in the day’s last game, racing out to a 4-1 lead on four points by Paris Wilkey. The Chieftains took their first lead at 8-6, but a bucket by Irianis Delgado tied the score at eight apiece.

Things went south for the Rams after that, Masconomet cruised to a 29-8 lead before Skyler Creighton swished one for Classical. The Chieftains scored at the buzzer for a 31-10 final.

Rams coach Tom Sawyer said the team has to practice much harder before Tuesday night’s season opener against Everett.  

“I thought we started the game well,” he said. “The kids competed hard all night, we just didn’t finish very well after that good start.

“We’ve got to make adjustments and turn up the intensity at practice before our game with Everett. We need to practice at a much higher intensity level, and carry that high intensity level into games this season,” he said.

English scored four seconds into its game with Georgetown, Ely Guity took the tip and she floored it to the basket for an easy layup. Bulldogs coach Mackenzie Charles was coaching in his first jamboree, a 21-10 win, and he liked the effort by his club Saturday evening.

“It was a really good scrimmage for our team,” he said “I thought we played well. We’re a young team, we have a long way to go and a lot to learn, but I thought we did a good job tonight,” Charles said.

“It’s early and this is a long season, but what we want to do is come out and get better every time out, and I think we did a good job in this scrimmage.

“We have a lot of things that I want to see this team get better at as the season goes on, but I liked the effort tonight from our team,” Charles said. “As long as we improve and learn something every time we step on the court, that’s what I want to see happen with this team this year.”

English senior captain Rachel Calnan was the high scorer against the Royals (9 points), and she said that hard work and communication are going to be key issues that have to be addressed by her team this winter if the Bulldogs are going to be successful.

“I thought we communicated very well on the court, and we need to keep doing that this season,” Calnan said. “We were very aggressive on the boards, and I think that’s a very good thing for our team, we have to keep playing aggressively and communicating on the court every game this season.”

Marblehead was as cold from the floor as it was outside the Classical field house early in its game against Malden. The Magicians heated up very nicely in the second quarter and rolled over the Golden Tornado, 24-10.

The Magicians were led on offense by captains Lindsay Walker and Ashley Stiles, as well as Maddie Lowi and Darcy O’Sullivan. The winners were up 9-6 after one quarter and outscored Malden 15-4 in the second quarter.  

Marblehead coach Wayne Hanscom was pleased the team kept working and broke out of its shooting slump as the game wore on.

“You only play a half, we played everyone, but we did miss a lot of bunnies,” Hanscom said. “We kept working, the girls never got frustrated, and the ball started to drop for us.”

Swampscott zipped out to a 15-1 lead over Somerville after one quarter, and Blue coach Katelyn Leonard played everybody in a 24-18 win. Swampscott’s starting five, Hannah Leahy, Katie Watts, Maggie DiGrande, Nikki Rosa and Ella Parker all scored for Swampscott early, with freshman Olivia Matella knocking down some big threes in the first quarter.

Leonard said it’s always good to have a fast start.

“We looked really strong early on, we were working really well with and without the ball,” Leonard said. “It’s all about defense with us, and I think we played a very solid game today, defensively.”

Saugus took a 15-0 lead into the break against Medford, and cruised past the Mustangs, 29-6.

Sachems coach Mark Schruender liked the high-energy game his team played.

“We started great,” he said. “Too bad we can’t save some of those points. It was a great start for our team.

“The girls were very hungry out there, I thought. You practice for a couple of weeks and see the same faces, so tonight, against another team we came out really well, we played very hard, and I’m happy about that. Let’s hope it continues.”

Peabody had a tough time in its game against Reading. The Tanners had three starters watching the game from the bench with injuries and lost 28-8. Peabody got a bucket from Catherine Manning and free throws by Liz Zaiter, Hannah Pellizzaro Alyssa Alperin and Katie Wallace. Coach Stan McKeen said there is work to do for his team.

“It was tough with three starters on the bench, but we need to get better on defense, and certainly in offense,” McKeen said. “Hopefully everyone will be back on Friday night and we can go out and play better basketball.”

Last year’s Bishop Fenwick team took the state title, and this winter seven of those players are back for coach Adam Debaggis. The Crusaders were able to spoil Revere’s Lianne O’Hara’s Duchane head coaching debut with a 20-15 win. It wasn’t O’Hara’s first Duchane game; she was an assistant for many years with Fenwick.

Revere was coming off a hard-fought, emotional win Friday night at St. Mary’s.

Samantha Mancinelli, Sammi Gallant, Olivia DiPietro and Elizabeth Pica led the way on offense for Fenwick. Valentina Pepic, Elizabeth Lake, Pamela Gonzalez and Tatiana Iacoviello had buckets for the Patriots.

“Last year was last year, it was exciting, but this year is this year,” Debaggis said. “We miss Lianne a lot, but we’re focused on a big season, and we have a lot of work to do, as long as we all work hard, we will be a tough team to beat.”

“We kind of started off a little slow (down 8-0), a little messy, so we have to work on that, come out a little better to start games,” O’Hara said. “I love this tournament, I loved it when I was at Fenwick, I love it now that I’m with Revere. We just need to come out a little better in games and we’ll got from there.”

Danvers and Hamilton-Wenham played a thriller in their game. It looked like the Generals would have an easy ballgame, going up 16-3 early in the first. The Falcons hung around, fought back and trailed by a bucket after a steal and a swish by Tina Gigli with 11 seconds to play. Hamilton-Wenham was able to run out the clock and hold on for a 29-27 win.

 

Charles takes over girls hoops team at English

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Coach MacKenzie Charles keeps an eye on his team during English’s first basketball practice on Monday afternoon. 

By HAROLD RIVERA

Mackenzie Charles is no stranger to the sport of basketball. He’s also no stranger to coaching.  

Charles will look to put his basketball and coaching experience to use as he begins his newest endeavor as the head coach of the Lynn English girls basketball team.

Charles, a Lynn native, was a former standout football and basketball player at Lynn Tech. He was named coach of the English program in August by athletic director Dick Newton.

“It’s good to be in a new position and a new building,” Charles said. “I’ve also been a Lynn guy so I have relationships at English, Classical, Tech and St. Mary’s. I have a good network and I appreciate that. Newton and principal (Thomas) Strangie welcomed me with open arms and they trust that I’m going to do a good job. I want to keep that trust.”

After being forced to move on from his basketball career due to an ACL and MCL injury he suffered on the gridiron, Charles threw his hat into the coaching ring. He now has 12 years of coaching experience in both basketball and football.

His current duties at English also include another coaching role as an assistant on the staff of the Bulldogs football team.

“It’s been fun,” Charles said of his experiences in coaching. “It keeps me busy and with my community. It keeps me as a positive member of the community by leading by example.”

Charles noted that he’s built a familiarity with the program over the years, allowing for a smoother transition into his new role. A pair of his current players on the English roster played for him at the AAU level.

“A couple of the girls, Dorothy (Ezemba) and Ely (Guity), played AAU and I coached them a little during my years coaching there,” Charles recalled. “I’m meeting a lot of the other girls for the first time but I think they’ll embrace having a new coach and building off of what (former coach) Rachael Bradley has done.”

Joining Charles on the new coaching staff are former English girls standout Jeanette Anderson, Tod Burton, Mackenson Charles, Keith Lee and Rod Valerie.

“What’s special about this staff is that they each have a full-time job working with kids,” Charles shared. “I wanted to put together a coaching staff that was kids-first and not basketball-first. We want to care about the student first before the basketball player.”

Charles added, “I really like our coaching staff. I think there’s a good balance between us and we all have good voices that come with positive attitudes.”

The Bulldogs tipped off their preseason with the team’s first practice of the 2016-2017 campaign Monday afternoon, and Charles noted that he’s already seeing positives from both his players and coaches.

“We all have the same mission,” Charles said of his coaches. “We want to help these kids get better every day. When the coaching staff is on the same page, it’s easy to send that message.”

He added, “We’re doing a lot of conditioning (to the start the preseason.) To play the style of basketball that I want us to play, we’re going to have to be in shape. Today we did a lot of conditioning and I think the girls responded well to that.”

The Bulldogs will rely on a handful of returning starters this upcoming season in Ezemba and Guity, as well as Tommi Hill and team captain Rachel Calnan. The team will look to play an up-tempo style of basketball, backed by an aggressive defense.

“I preach hard work and defense,” Charles said. “We want to be aggressive, we want to be fast, we want to play great defense and we want to be great teammates.”


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

Second-half surge lifts Revere over English

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Bulldogs’ point guard Ely Guity attempts to drive past Revere’s Pamela Gonzalez.

By DILLON DURST

LYNN — Lynn English coach Rachael Bradley summed up Wednesday night’s matchup between the Bulldogs and Revere best when she described the game as a “tale of two halves.”

After trailing by nine points at halftime, the Patriots (17-4) outscored English (5-13), 51-13, in the second half and went on to win, 74-45.

“We played a great first half,” Bradley said. “(We) came out taking care of the ball well, shooting the ball well, sharing the ball well. Then in the second half, we lost our composure on offense. They put a little more pressure on us defensively, and we broke down.”

The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 8-3 lead in the first quarter, forcing Revere to take a timeout. The Patriots clearly owned the height advantage on the boards, but couldn’t get their shots to fall. At the end of the first quarter, English held a 15-12 lead.

“Our goal was to limit second-chance opportunities, and in the first half we did a pretty good job of that,” Bradley said.

The Bulldogs didn’t let up in the second quarter, extending their lead to 32-23 at halftime.

“The first half, we didn’t do much well,” said Revere coach Diana Finn. “I was disappointed in our defensive effort. Our shots weren’t falling. We weren’t following our shots. We weren’t doing anything very well defensively. On the ball, off the ball, boxing out.”

The Patriots made some adjustments at halftime, applying more defensive pressure in the third quarter, which stifled English’s offense.

“Their pressure just completely took us out of our offense,” Bradley said. “First half, we were running our plays, we were setting screens, we were moving the ball well. Second half, with that added pressure, we didn’t do our jobs in terms of getting open and really maintaining our composure.”

Revere held the Bulldogs to just seven points in the third quarter, and owned a 49-39 lead to begin the fourth quarter. The Patriots went on to outscore English, 25-6, in the fourth quarter.

Senior Maritza Scott finished with 22 points for Revere, while teammates Pamela Gonzalez and Valentina Pepic each added 14 points for the Patriots.

Sophomore guard Dorothy Ezemba led English offensively with 14 points, and sophomore point guard Ely Guity added eight points for the Bulldogs.

Given Revere’s height advantage, Bradley said the Bulldogs’ goal was to limit the Patriots’ second-chance opportunities, which she said they did extremely well during the first half.

“In the second half, we started to break down with our rotations and our 2-3 (zone),” she said. “We were trying to make sure we covered their shooters, but also get back into the paint for rebounding. We did get hurt rebounding wise in the second half.”

Finn gave a lot of credit to the Patriots’ guards for stopping English’s penetration in the beginning of the second half, but  also said their post players played well tonight.

“We were a little slow on the help side getting in,” she said. “We’re always working with our post players to make sure they’re moving, not just getting pinned behind someone and being in good rebounding position, but to be able to slide over and help if there’s penetration down the lane. Our height certainly helps us.”

Finn said she was proud to see the 40-point swing in the second half, but admitted that Revere’s slow start won’t fly come tournament time.

“Going into the tournament, we can’t be coming into games not prepared to go 100 percent from the beginning,” she said.


Dillon Durst can be reached at ddurst21@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDurst.

Classical grinds out win over English

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
English’s Regina Ngaleu tries to block Classical’s Soneta Srey from driving to the hoop.

By KATIE MORRISON

LYNN – A matchup between Lynn English and Lynn Classical is bound to be a game filled with intensity, no matter how each team’s season has progressed.  On Thursday night at the Paul Cavanagh gym at English High, the Rams got the better of the rivalry matchup, beating English, 45-33.

“Any time these two teams play, it’s always going to be a tight game, no matter what the records are,” said Classical coach Tom Sawyer.

The game was tighter than the final score might indicate, with Classical pulling away in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. But a young Bulldogs team, that honored their only senior, Regina Ngaleu, before the game, showed just how far they’ve come since the beginning of the season.

“Classical’s a very good basketball team, but I’m proud of the way our girls played tonight,” said English coach Rachael Bradley. “The rivalry is always there. We played a great first half, we just couldn’t get many shots in the net which hurt us. Overall, we played a great game. We struggled a little bit moving the ball on offense, but we played with heart, we played with intensity. Against a team like Classical that’s been playing amazing all year, you can’t ask for any more from your kids.”

The Rams were led by Soneta Srey, who put up 20 points and grabbed five rebounds. Paris Wilkey added 11 points, and point guard Chenysse Hill had a couple of breakaways and chipped in 10 points.

“It’s always good to get three into double digits,” said Sawyer. “That’s usually how you win games. Tonight it was just enough.”

The Bulldogs played strong defense and pulled down a bunch of offensive rebounds, which helped them hold on to a 12-11 lead going into the second quarter. But Srey got hot in the second, scoring the first six points of the quarter. Layups from Hill and Jeylly Medrano were part of a 10-2 run for the Rams in the opening five minutes of the second.

The Bulldogs wouldn’t go quietly, however. Dorothy Ezemba scored a game-high 21 points to lead the English offense. Point guard Ely Guity and Tommi Hill also added some big baskets for the Bulldogs to get them within three at one point in the third period.

The Bulldogs trailed by 11 with 1:45 left to play when Bradley called a time out to regroup. Srey responded with a steal and a layup immediately after the timeout to put the game away.

“We just had to hit shots,” said Sawyer. “We played a game against Revere (Saturday), we put up 68 points, and what did we do differently? We hit shots. You come over here and we struggled a little bit from the field but the kids grinded it out, and I was happy with that.”

For the Bulldogs, while they only say goodbye to one senior after this season, Ngaleu’s departure will certainly be felt. A member of the team for four years, Ngaleu has been a leader on and off the court.

“She’s come so far, and we’re going to miss her leadership and her presence on the court,” said Bradley. “She’s phenomenal on defense and rebounding, and she kept us competitive in a lot of games.”

 

Danvers hangs on to top English

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
English’s Ely Guity drives past Danvers’ Hannah Llewellyn. 

By DILLON DURST

In a low-scoring, defensive battle, Danvers was able to secure its eighth win of the season with a 47-33 win at Lynn English Tuesday night.

Hannah Llewellyn led the Falcons offensively with 16 points, including three consecutive 3-pointers in the first quarter. Lili Montanari added 10 points off the bench for Danvers, while teammate Julia McNulty finished with eight points and eight rebounds.

Ely Guity led the Bulldogs (5-11) with nine points. Mashayla Johnson added eight points for English, including two 3-pointers, while Regina Ngaleu pulled down a team-high 12 rebounds for the Bulldogs.

“After our loss last Friday at Revere, which was probably our worst game in 10 years, we lost a lot of our spirit and mojo, so I was concerned coming into this game and playing here,” said Danvers coach Pat Veilleux. “I was a little worried about our mojo, but I think we came out and got good leadership from our captains.”

The Falcons’ defense, behind a menacing full-court press, held English to two points in the first quarter, and jumped out to an early 13-2 lead. Both teams scored six points apiece in the second quarter, with Danvers holding a 19-8 lead at the half.

“Our defense, again, has always been our savior, even when we struggle on offense,” Veilleux said.

“We started slow tonight,” said English coach Rachael Bradley. “We really didn’t come to play.”

English came out hot to start the second half, however, putting together an 8-1 run to cut Danvers’ lead to four. However, the Falcons were able to regroup and put together a 9-2 run of their own, ending the third quarter with a 29-18 lead.

“I thought we did a pretty good job at handling their run and keeping our poise in the second half,” Veilleux said.

After only scoring seven points in the second quarter and nine in the third, Danvers poured in 18 points in the fourth quarter to put the finishing touches on a double-digit road victory.

“Overall, I just thought we played poorly,” Bradley said. “But at the same time, the effort continued throughout the game. It’s just that we didn’t have a full 32 minutes of it tonight.”

Bradley said that the Bulldogs settled for too many 3-point shots, but also gave a lot of credit to Danvers’ stifling defense.

“Danvers is a great defensive team, and you can’t take away anything from their defense tonight,” she said. “I thought we could’ve taken care of the ball better at certain times. We had a couple mental errors, and on forced turnovers in the first half because we never really broke through (the press), and that killed us.

“But I’m proud of the way we played at different points. We just need to put a full 32 minutes together.”

After the game, Veilleux applauded the Bulldogs’ quickness and tenacity, and said he believes his team’s confidence has returned.

“(This was a) huge win for us. This gets us to eight wins, and one win closer to the tournament.

“That’s the bottom line.”


Dillon Durst can be reached at ddurst21@gmail.com. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDurst

 

School roundup: St. Mary’s girls fall to Lexington

PHOTO BY SPENSER HASAK
St. Mary’s Madison Hentosh has her eyes on the goal.

By KATIE MORRISON and DILLON DURST

LYNN – Though the shots were nearly even and neither team dominated the puck, the St. Mary’s girls hockey team fell, 4-1, to Lexington on Monday at Connery Rink.

The Spartans unloaded nine shots on the Lexington net in the first period compared to only three shots from the Minutemen, but neither team could break through. Maggie Flaherty nearly faked out Lexington goalie Lucy Chin, but Chin made the stop. Ashley Wojewodzic sent in a shot from the blue line toward the end of the period, but was turned away. The Spartans dominated the latter half of the period, preventing Lexington from even getting off a shot in the final eight minutes of the first.

Less than a minute into the second, the Minutemen broke the scoreless tie. St. Mary’s had ample chances to get the goal back on a power play later in the period, firing three quick shots with the man advantage. But it wasn’t until after the power play was killed that Wojewodzic found the back of the net with 6:25 remaining in the period.

Lexington regained the lead less than two minutes later, and outshot St. Mary’s, 9-5, in the period.

The Spartans came out swinging in the third, firing three shots within the span of a minute to open the period. Chin made a couple of acrobatic saves to maintain the Lexington lead.

The Minutemen extended their lead on their first shot of the period.

Sophia Post came very close to getting the goal back for St. Mary’s a minute later, but was denied by Chin.

Lexington’s Emily Devine capped the scoring at 8:16 in the third.

The game wrapped up with 15 seconds remaining on the clock due to an injury to a Lexington player, who remained on the ice and required medical attention.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Peabody 46, Lynn Classical 34

The Tanners (8-5) defense, led by junior guard Katie Wallace, junior forward Marisi Tisi and senior forward Christa Baker, stifled the Rams’ offensive attack, culminating in a double-digit victory.

“Our defense played really well tonight,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said.

The Tanners held Classical (11-7) to only two points in the second quarter. Junior guard Melissa Gray led Peabody with 21 points, while junior forward Chinanye Onwuogo added 10 points for the Tanners. Sophomore forward Paris Wilkey led Classical with 13 points, while senior guard Chenysse Hill added nine points for the Rams.

Chelsea 72, Lynn Tech 23

The Tigers (2-12) weren’t able to get much going offensively on the road against the Red Devils. Junior guard Malvelis Hernandez led Tech with six points.

“(Hernandez) worked really hard tonight all around, on offense and defense,” said Tech coach Kaitlyn Wechsler.

Junior guard Jesmary Valerio added seven points for the Tigers, while teammate Jamila Constantine chipped in four points.

Medford 65, Lynn English 56

The Bulldogs dropped to 5-10 on the season after a home loss to Medford. Despite the loss, Mashayla Johnson poured in 27 points for English, including seven 3-pointers and seven rebounds. Teammate Dorothy Ezemba added 12 points, 14 rebounds and three steals for the Bulldogs, while point guard Ely Guity chipped in five points and eight assists for English.

St. Mary’s 62, Archbishop Williams 53

The Spartans improved to 15-2 on the season, and moved into tie for first place atop the Catholic Conference. Sophomore guard Marnelle Garraud led St. Mary’s offensively with 30 points. Sophomore forward Olivia Nazaire added 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Spartans, while teammate Mia Nowicki chipped in seven points and six assists. Senior guard Kayla Carter also tallied 11 rebounds and eight assists for St. Mary’s.

Revere 60, Beverly 46

The Patriots improved to 14-1 on the season with a home win over the Panthers. Valentina Pepic led Revere with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while teammate Pamela Gonzalez added 15 points and pulled down 10 rebounds for the Patriots.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

St. Mary’s 56, Archbishop Williams 51

The Spartans (10-4) notched their sixth win in a row with a close road victory over Archbishop Williams. Junior guard Jonny Mercado led St. Mary’s with 18 points, while sophomore guard Calvin Johnson added 12 points for the Spartans.

BOYS’ HOCKEY

Swampscott 6, Weston 4

The Big Blue (10-7) secured a spot in the Division 3 tournament with a win over Weston. Louis Olivieri had a huge night for Swampscott, tallying a team-high four goals. Stevie Santanello and Mike Johnson both added goals for the Big Blue.

Weston clung to a 4-3 lead to begin the final period of play, before a Santanello goal knotted the score at four. With 10:17 left in regulation, Johnson found the back of the net, giving Swampscott a lead it wouldn’t lose. Olivieri provided the dagger with 8:49 left to play, scoring his fourth and final goal of the game.

BOYS’ TRACK

Classical 70, Winthrop 15

The Rams (2-5) cruised past Winthrop, recording first-place finishes in all but two events. Ivan Melara (1 minute, 42.9 seconds), Josue Blas (1:51.8) and Nick Lilja (1:52.5) swept the top three spots in the 600 meter race, finishing first, second and third, respectively. Also finishing first for Classical were Issa Jalloh in both the high jump (5 feet, 2 inches) and 300 (39.7), Samson Srey in the 50-yard hurdles (8.3), Marcus Rivera in the 50 (5.8), Junior Mejia in the 1,000 (3:08.0) and Gilley Kabamba in the mile (5:08.8). Andrew McGrail won the shot put (38-9 ¼) for Winthrop, while Nikolas Beshere finished first in the 2-miles (12:19.3) for the Vikings.

GIRLS’ TRACK

Classical 48, Winthrop 38

The Rams (3-3) edged Winthrop, sweeping the top three spots in the 50, and the top two spots in the high jump.

Agnes Bangura (6.5), Tori Adams (6.9) and Jasmine Coffin 7.0) finished first, second and third, respectively in the 50 for Classical. Coffin also added a first-place finish in the high jump (4 feet, 6 inches) for the Rams, followed by teammate Mary Jok (4-4). Devyn Astuccio also finished first for Classical in the 50 hurdles (7.8). Finishing first for the Vikings were Gianna Massa in the shot put (31-8 ½), Regina Garufo in the 300 (47.3), Holly Benson in the 600 (1:51.9), Heidy Benson in the 1,000 (3:35.7), Camila-Miranda Llovera in the mile (6:36.0) and Christina Leone in the 2-miles (13:55.8).


Katie Morrison can be reached at kmorrison@itemlive.com. Follow her on Twitter at @KatieMo61. Dillon Durst can be reached at ddurst21@gmail.com Follow him on Twitter @DillonDurst.

English girls edge Peabody

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Ely Guity scored 18 points in a close win over Peabody.

By CONNER GRANT and NATALIE DURAZO

The Lynn English girls’ basketball team grabbed their third win this week with a 66-59 win over Peabody on Friday.

English’s Ely Guity finished with 18 points and eight assists and Mashayla Johnson ended with 16 points and seven rebounds.

Bulldogs (5-9) coach Rachael Bradley liked the way her team played.

“We were losing 16-5 in the first quarter but came back to grab the lead before halftime which gave us momentum,” said Bradley. “In the third, we had eight three’s including two from sophomore guard Adrianna Chhor.”

For Peabody, Melissa Gray contributed 20 points and Christa Baker added 15 points.

St. Mary’s 52, Austin Prep 37

After a dramatic win on Thursday night, St. Mary’s kept on rolling with a win over Austin Prep. Guard Marnelle Garraud scored 32 points after scoring 38 points the night before.

“Coming off an emotional win in double overtime last night, we had just enough in the tank,” said St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newhall.

Chelsea 54, Lynn Tech 32

The Lynn Tech Tigers played a hard fought game according to coach Kaitlyn Wechsler, but came up short against a good Chelsea team.

The Tigers (2-11) got a strong performance from their senior captain Lila Nieves, who scored eight points. Nieves worked hard on offense and even moreso on defense, said Wechsler.

Jesmary Valerio added seven points for Tech.

Revere 39, Danvers 19

Patriots’ guard Pamela Gonzalez had 12 points on the night with 10 rebounds. Revere (13-1) coach Diana DeCristoforo said “my girls are playing hard, but it is only going to get harder from here on out.”

Fenwick 67, Williams 45

Captain Colleen Corcoran had a line of 22 points, 14 rebounds, and two steals for Fenwick. Sophomore Fredi DeGuglielmo added 23 points with four rebounds, and senior captain Sydney Brennan had six points, eight rebounds and four assists. Archbishop Williams was previously unbeaten in the Catholic Central League.

English holds on for win over Winthrop

FILE PHOTO
English’s Ely Guity drives to the hoop.

By LILY DOOLIN and DILLON DURST

The Lynn English girls’ basketball team (4-9) maintained its composure all through the game, responding to surges and lulls to pull out the win against Winthrop, 43-40.

A strong first half really set the tone for the Bulldogs. They were able to take from their success in the first two quarters and build upon it in the following half.

Ely Guity was the top performer for English, recording 19 points, six rebounds, and five steals. Mashayla Johnson scored nine points, while Regina Ngaleu had seven points, 15 rebounds, and four steals to mark a well-rounded effort.

Nina Bartlett led Winthrop with 28 points.

KIPP 52, Salem Academy 16

The Panthers improved to 9-4 on the season with a double-digit win over Salem Academy. Nayeli Germosen led KIPP with 23 points, which included shooting 100 percent from the line. Favour Ofuokwu added eight points and a team-high eight rebounds for the Panthers, while teammates Loida Rosario, Wrutoe Bonwin and Jassy Kim set the tone defensively.

Beverly 56, Saugus 33

The Sachems (7-8) fell to the Panthers after a fourth-quarter surge from Beverly.

Sachems’ Mikayla Niles recorded nine points on the night, while Allie Kotkowski added six points and had a strong defensive effort for Saugus.

Revere 72, Gloucester 33

The Patriots (12-1)  had great execution on both offense and defense, dominating the court. They focused on collecting rebounds, as well as giving up few second chances in order to keep Gloucester from racking up too many scoring opportunities.

Valentina Pepic had 20 points for Revere, while Pamela Gonzalez scored 16 points and Maritza Scott recorded 14 points.

Arlington Catholic 58, Fenwick 57

Colleen Corcoran led the Crusaders (9-3) with 23 points, 11 rebounds and four steals. Teammate Sam Mancinelli added nine points, three assists and four rebounds for Fenwick, while teammate Fredi Deguglielmo chipped in nine points.


Lily Doolin can be reached at ldoolin17@gmail.com.