Jeylly Medrano

School Roundup: Millett leads Magicians past Salem

FILE PHOTO
Bo Millet logged a double-double as the Magicians beat Salem, 76-64. 

By STEVE KRAUSE AND KATIE MORRISON

Marblehead’s Bo Millett channeled his inner Charles Barkley for a double-double at 17 points and 20 rebounds as the Magicians boys basketball team topped Salem, 76-64.

Derek Marino (17 points, 10 rebounds) and Patrick Bugler (11 points, six assists, five rebounds) also contributed with strong performances for Marblehead.

“We jumped out to an early lead in the first half,” Magicians coach Mike Giardi said. “We played with a lot of energy and we relaxed a little bit. We got Salem on a slow start but they found their rhythm in the second half.”

The Magicians are back in action on Thursday at Swampscott.

For the Witches, Isaiah Williamson led the team with 16 points. Ethan Espinal added 14 and Nate Lebron added 14. Salem (9-7) takes on Gloucester Friday.

St. John’s 64, St. Mary’s 48

At St. John’s, the Eagles raised their record to 14-4, led by Matt Relihan, who had 16 points.

Brett McNiff (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Tommy O’Neil (13 and 11) had double-doubles.

Jonathan Mola had 16 points for the Spartans while Jonny Mercado chipped in with 13. Jalen Echevarria had nine points.

Peabody 64, English 57

Matt D’Amato led the way for the Tanners with 22 points, six rebounds and four assists. Moisse Irizarry added 10 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks, and Jake Doherty added eight points and four rebounds to go along with some outstanding defense. The Tanners (13-6) take on Revere Thursday.

Lynnfield 68, Triton 58

Lynnfield clinched the Cape Ann League title with a perfect 15-0 record (15-1 overall) with the win.

Lynnfield held a slim one point lead after three quarters, 49-48, but broke the game open in the fourth quarter, outscoring the Vikings 19-10 to seal the win. Zachary Shone (10 points) and Dan Jameson (8 points) led the fourth quarter charge with six points each. Louis Ellis led Lynnfield with 18 points, while Michael Carangelo (15 points) and Billy Arseneault (13 points) were also in double figures.

GIRLS BASKETBALL

Classical 47, Beverly 46

It was a nail-biter for the Rams, who held a four-point lead with three seconds left to play thanks to key free throws from Jeylly Medrano and Paris Wilkey. Beverly hit a three to close the gap to one in the final seconds, but Classical held on for the victory.

“We did just enough to get a two-possession lead, and we needed every point tonight,” Classical coach Tom Sawyer said.

Wilkey led the way with a double-double, contributing 15 points and 15 rebounds. Soneta Srey and Medrano each added 12, and Irianis Delgado had four points to go with seven rebounds.

The Rams (15-5) take on crosstown rival English Thursday night as they celebrate Senior Night.

Cathedral 65, St. Mary’s 42

Cathedral raced out to a 30-12 lead after one quarter and never looked back.

The Spartans dropped to 12-7, but got solid contributions from Temi Falayi (12 points), Mia Nowicki (11), Olivia Nazaire (8) and Gabby Torres (7).

The Spartans conclude the CCL portion of their schedule Friday at Fenwick.

Fenwick 57, Medford 22

The Crusaders played great team defense and topped Medford behind Sam Mancinelli’s 16 points, six rebounds and three assists. Sophomore Jaxson Nadeau added nine points, six rebounds and three steals. Sam Gulla and Sammi Gallant added eight points apiece.

Fenwick (12-6) will head to Cardinal Spellman tonight for a Catholic Central League matchup.

Peabody 39, English 35

At English, the Tanners were behind, 28-24, after three quarters but outscored the Bulldogs 15-7 in the final eight minutes to raise their record to 12-5 overall and 12-3 in the Northeastern Conference.

Nene Onwuogu led the Tanners with 13 points and 17 rebounds.

“She had a monster night under the boards for us,” said Peabody coach Stan McKeen.

Also, Catherine Manning had four points and 12 rebounds, Katie Wallace had 11 points and Melissa Gray seven.

“The shooting was off,” said McKeen. “After the first quarter, it was only 6-6.

“English was really pumped up to play,” he said. “They gave us all we could handle. It was a good win for us.”

Triton 34, Lynnfield 27

The Pioneers never got untracked in this one, trailing from start to finish. Lizzy Shaievitz led the team with 14 points, while Juliana Passatempo had seven points. Melissa Morelli, Shannon Furey and Hannah Filipe had two points each.

 

 

Peabody thumps Classical in triple-overtime

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Paris Wilkey looks to the basket, but Peabody’s Catherine Manning plays tight defense.

By STEVE KRAUSE

LYNN — And now … the Classical girls basketball team has to shake their three-overtime loss to Peabody off and head into first-place Revere on Friday night.

That’s the reality that faces the Rams after the Tanners climbed back from an 11-point halftime deficit Tuesday night and defeated Classical, 57-49 in a marathon game at the Rams’ gym.

“We just kept scratching, kept clawing, and kept fighting,” said Peabody coach Stan McKeen. “We didn’t quit.”

Neither did Classical.

“It was a great high school game,” said Rams coach Tom Sawyer. “We played great in the first half; and they played great in the second.”

There were several factors in the turnaround, but at the end of the night, the biggest was free throws. Each team shot 24 of them, but Classical hit nine of them to the Tanners’ 20.

“In this kind of game,” said Sawyer, “you have to hit your free throws.”

With the scored tied at 47 heading into the third overtime, Classical actually grabbed a lead when Soneta Srey hit a layup about 10 seconds in. But those were the last points Classical would score.

Meanwhile, Peabody, taking advantage of four Classical stars who had fouled out, began going to the basket and drawing fouls. In the final 3½ minutes of the overtime, the Tanners hit eight free throws to only one basket — two of Liz Zaiter’s nine points — to give Peabody the winning margin.

“This was Liz’s first game after missing five,” said McKeen. “She stayed in there (after Nene Onwuogu fouled out — Peabody’s only disqualification).”

Classical began as if the game would be over in the first quarter. The Rams jumped out to a 9-0 lead with Irianis Delgado hitting for seven of the points. And when Paris (game-high 18 points) Wilkey hit a three at the buzzer ending the first period, it was 16-7 and Classical looked as if it was on its way.

“But,” said Sawyer, “we didn’t think we were going to score 16 every quarter.”

He was right. Classical only scored eight in the second period, but Peabody could only counter with six, and that made it 24-13 in favor of the Rams.

But the turnaround was still subtle. McKeen went to a 3-2 zone and denied Classical the great looks it got in the first quarter.

The move didn’t pay dividends until the third period, when Peabody outscored Classical 14-7 to go into the next eight minutes down only four, 31-27.

Classical kept a two- to four-point distance between itself and the Tanners until Peabody was finally able to tie it, 37-37, with 1:50 to go in regulation on a 3-pointer by Alyssa Alperen. Delgado gave Classical the lead back with 49 seconds to go, but a layup by Onwuogu with seven seconds left tied it and sent it to overtime.

Through the first two overtimes, neither team led by more than two points. A Katie Wallace bucket with 1:05 to go in the first overtime forced another four minutes. And this time, it was Jeylly Medrano’s two freebies with 2:10 to go that made it 47-47.

Neither team shot well.

“We had some good looks,” said Sawyer. “But they just didn’t go in. For either team.”

Wallace led Peabody with 16 points, followed by Melissa Gray’s 14.

Delgado finished with 11 for the Rams.

Classical had a moment of silence prior to the game in memory of both English boys basketball coach Mike Carr, who died Friday; and Item feature writer Michele Durgin, a Classical graduate, who was killed Saturday in an auto accident.

 

School Roundup: Srey’s star performance leads Classical

FILE PHOTO
Classical’s Soneta Srey scored 33 points as the Rams beat Everett, 64-48. 

By MIKE ALONGI 

Senior guard Soneta Srey scored 33 points as the Lynn Classical girls basketball team took down Everett, 64-48, on the road on Tuesday night. Srey dominated in all phases of the game, something her coach Tom Sawyer was happy about.

“She did it on both ends of the floor tonight,” Sawyer said. “She was all over the place. Whether it was scoring on offense, scoring on out-of-bounds plays or scoring as a result of her great defense, she did it all tonight.”

Another standout performer was Jeylly Medrano, who Sawyer said ran the point to perfection.

“Jeylly did a terrific job tonight, she really dictated the pace for our offense,” Sawyer said. “Her play was a big reason why we were able to score 64 points tonight.”

The Rams will be back in action on Friday night when they host Swampscott.

BOYS BASKETBALL

Lynn Tech 93, Presentation of Mary 39

Nick Chiep led the Tigers with 18 points on the night, while three other players finished the game in double figures. Aquemini Gaston had 12 points, Trevon Baldwin had 11 points and Jama Aroni had 10 points.

Tech will travel to Saugus for a game against the Sachems tonight.

Xaverian 40, St. John’s Prep 37

The Eagles got a double-double from Tommy O’Neil, who finished with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Nate Hobbs added seven points in the loss.

St. John’s (7-2) will continue Catholic Conference play on Friday night against BC High.

SWIMMING

Danvers 53, Revere 44

After starting the season with a loss, the Falcons have rattled off six straight wins to improve to 6-1 on the year. Danvers had two double-winners on the day, with Jared Casey winning the 100 freestyle and the 200 individual medley and Rafael Hicaro winning the 50 freestyle and the 100 breaststroke. Other individual winners for the Falcons were Tyler Keyes in the 100 butterfly, Sarah Roach in the 500 freestyle and Cambria Cloutier in the 100 backstroke.

WRESTLING

Salem 24, Lynn 6

The lone winner on the night for the Jets was Austin Rogers, who won via pinfall in the 138-pound weight class. Lynn will travel to Greater Lowell for a meet on Saturday.

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. 

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. 

St. Mary’s girls capture Boverini title

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Tournament MVP Temi Falayi pulls down a rebound in front of Swampscott’s Hannah Leahy.

By KATIE MORRISON

LYNN — The St. Mary’s girls basketball team checked a box off its to-do list Wednesday night at the Paul Cavanagh gymnasium, taking down Swampscott, 56-28, to capture its third-straight Walter J. Boverini Tournament title.

The Spartans were led by tournament MVP Temi Falayi and all-tournament players Olivia Nazaire and Mia Nowicki as they rolled over Swampscott, which beat English Tuesday to reach the tournament final.

“We’re putting it together a little bit, which is obviously a comforting feeling,” said St. Mary’s (3-4) coach Jeff Newhall. “We’re making better basketball decisions, our turnovers have gone down, and I think the biggest difference is our defense has gotten a lot better and we’re making some of the shots we were missing before.”

St. Mary’s didn’t have to sweat this one out. Amanda Idusuyi went 1-for-2 on free throws and added a layup to open the scoring, and Swampscott’s Nikki Rosa tied the score at 3. From there on out, it was all Spartans. St. Mary’s went on a 16-3 run to close out the first quarter, and never looked back.

The Spartans held Swampscott to just five points in the second and six in the third. It wasn’t until the final quarter, when both the Big Blue and Spartans gave bench players minutes, that Swampscott got its offense moving, outscoring St. Mary’s 11-10 in the fourth.

The Spartans spread the offense around Wednesday, with Nazaire leading the way with 16 points. Idusuyi had a big game with 11 points, and Falayi logged a double-double with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Nowicki added six points, all coming in the first half, and Mashayla Johnson opened the second half with two 3-pointers, her only baskets of the game in limited action.

As good as the Spartans were offensively, on defense, they were even better. Newhall said that the improved defense was the product of hard work in practice and added that getting the chance to get in three practices in a row after coming back from the KSA Pre-Holiday Classic in Florida last week was very beneficial.

“We came back from Florida last Thursday, practiced Friday, Saturday and Monday, and it was the first time we had three practices before a game,” Newhall said. “I think that’s when we got better. We worked a lot on our man defense.”

While the Big Blue had trouble generating offense, they did get nine points each from Rosa and all-tournament player Ella Parker. Jaymie Caponigro, Swampscott’s other all-tournament honoree, scored four points, as did Olivia Matella.

“They’re bigger than we’ve seen this season, and they played aggressive defense and really made it hard for us to get shots off,” Swampscott coach Katelyn Leonard said of St. Mary’s. “When we did, we got good looks, but we had too many periods of not scoring and those droughts really killed us.”

However, of the three Northeastern Conference teams in the girls portion of the tournament, Swampscott was the only one to make it to the final. Leonard said playing a perennial powerhouse like St. Mary’s can only help her team.

“It’s always good to play the best you can, and we were looking to play hard and never quit, and that’s what we did,” Leonard said. “It’s something we can build on, and after seeing what you can do against a really good team, the next time you face a team like that, it makes it that much easier.”

For St. Mary’s, winning the tournament was the first benchmark reached in the new season. Although it’s been a rocky start for the Spartans, winning the city title for the fifth time in seven years means things are moving in the right direction.

“Any time you’re in a tournament, you want to win it, and we did,” Newhall said. “To beat two of the better teams in the NEC, outside of our own gym…it’s a tournament we want to win. To be the city champion, even though it’s early in the year, it was our first goal.”

Consolation game

Lynn Classical 50, Lynn English 27

The Rams evened their record to 3-3 on the year with a win in the consolation game over rival English. Junior forward Paris Wilkey led the way for Classical with 18 points, while Irianis Delgado contributed 15 points. Soneta Srey played a great game on the defensive end, while Jeylly Medrano dictated the pace of the game from the guard spot.

“We played a great game on defense today,” said Classical coach Tom Sawyer.

The Rams will have the weekend off before a rematch with English on Tuesday.


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

Free throws crucial in Classical’s win over Everett

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
Irianis Delgado snags a rebound out of the hands of Everett’s Carolann Cardinale.

By KATIE MORRISON 

LYNN — Free throws may not be the most exciting part of any basketball game, but in the Classical girls basketball team’s win over Everett Tuesday night, they were crucial.

The Rams went 16-for-28 at the line and held off a second-half surge from the Crimson Tide to lock up a 41-36 win at home in the team’s season opener.

“Last year, when (Everett) beat us here, they beat us at the foul line, they hit all of their shots,” Classical coach Tom Sawyer said. “We were 16-for-28, which isn’t great, but it isn’t terrible, and they only got five.”

Everything was going the Rams’ way in the first half. Paris Wilkey netted nine points, including two of three free throws, and Tyarah Horton sunk a layup to give Classical an 11-6 lead after a quarter.

Wilkey went to the line eight more times in the second quarter, sinking five free throws. But just as important was the fact that the Rams held the Crimson Tide to just four points in the second quarter, and went into the half up 24-10.

Everett came out hot in the second half. The game’s play was more up-tempo and sloppier, with both teams making bad passes and giving up possessions on turnovers. The Rams scored eight points in the quarter, with five coming from Wilkey and three coming on free throws. Everett got as close as nine points (29-20) in the quarter, but Classical still maintained a 31-21 lead heading into the fourth.

Soneta Srey wasn’t much of a scoring threat through the first three quarters (though she was big on the boards; she pulled down 12 rebounds on the night), but the senior forward came alive in the fourth quarter as Wilkey started getting less looks and more opportunities opened up for other players. Srey went 3-for-5 at the line and added two more layups in the fourth quarter, and those points proved to be critical.

“When the game is getting tight in the fourth, she scores seven points, which is huge,” Sawyer said. “(Everett) kept coming and coming. Those hoops are huge to keep them at bay.”

The Crimson Tide played tight defense on Classical throughout the night, but stepped it up a notch in the fourth quarter, employing a full-court press on every Rams possession. Jacquelin Emmanuel led the charge for Everett late, as she forced turnovers and converted them into points. All of a sudden, Everett was within six points at 37-31 with two minutes to play.

Srey nailed two free throws and then Priscill Alouidor forced a turnover on Everett’s next possession, but Emmanuel stole it right back and took it to the hoop for an easy layup.

Srey sunk one more free throw and Emmanuel drained another three with 12 seconds to play, but Classical held off the Crimson Tide as the final seconds ticked off the clock.

“Everett is a good team, they’re not going to go away, they played tough,” Sawyer said. “We made some mistakes. My criticism is too many turnovers. Too many careless passes. We’ve got to value the basketball more, and instead of scoring 41 we might score 51 and have a little more of a comfortable margin.”

Wilkey finished the game with 23 points and six rebounds, while Srey netted eight points. Horton, Chloe Kebreau, Jeylly Medrano and Irianis Delgado chipped in with three points apiece.


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

Young Rams prepare for new season

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Classical coach Tom Sawyer coaches his team through a drill in practice. 

By STEVE KRAUSE 

The Lynn Classical girls’ basketball team will have some holes to fill. But coach Tom Sawyer considers himself fortunate that he has players ready to fill them.

Last year, the Rams won 14 games and made it to the second round of the Division 1 North sectionals before losing to top-seeded Lowell.

Gone from that team is Chenysse Hill, who is now playing at Plymouth State. Sawyer acknowledged that is a big loss.

“From a basketball standpoint, that’s a lot of minutes to replace,” he said. “The good news is we have lots of eager young student-athletes who are willing to take on the challenge.”

Central among them is senior guard Priscilla Alouidor, a sixth man last season. This year, she’ll be in the starting five.

“We’ll look for her to provide a lot of energy on the court,” he said. “She is very athletic, and very aggressive, and we’re going to look for her provide a spark and set the tone defensively for us with her aggressiveness.”

The bulk of the team, however, is young. There are five juniors returning: Paris Wilkey, Jeylly Medrano, Tyarah Horton, Nakyla Ramsay and Maryah Chandler.

Wilkey was all-conference last year as a sophomore forward, but Sawyer said, “we will need her to play even better than she did last year — not just scoring points, but in all aspects, defense, rebounding, assists and leadership. We’re going to need it all from her.”

Medrano played 2-guard last year, and is expected to be the team’s point guard this season, Sawyer said.

“We’ll need her to take care of the ball, score points, and play good defense, and generally just make sure the entire team executes what we’re trying to do offensively and defensively.”

Horton, a forward, “is a tough kid and good rebounder,” Sawyer said. “She’s undersized for a forward, but she makes up for it in tenacity and toughness. We’re going to need her to rebound for us, and play good defense — and score some points for us.”

Sawyer hopes to see something out of sophomore Olivia Pedro, who came up at the end of last season from junior varsity when injuries hit the Rams.

“She worked on her game all spring and summer on the AAU Thundercats. She’s going to be given an opportunity to help this year.”

Sawyer says he has “about six or seven” other players who are trying out, “but I don’t know which ones are going to step up and help. They’re all sophomores. We have a couple of weeks to figure it all out.”

Classical Hall of Famer Helen Ridley will assist Sawyer on the bench.

“She is a tremendous asset to the program,” he said. “As coaches, we just want to work with the kids and help them achieve to the best of their abilities. Both of us strive to do that. And when you’re playing with a lot of sophomores and juniors it takes time. The good thing about Classical kids is their willingness to listen and to learn.”

Classical opens Tuesday, Dec. 13, against Everett in what will be the last non-league game between the two schools. Next fall, the Greater Boston League and Northeastern Conference will merge into one league.


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

Classical wraps up season with banquet

ITEM PHOTO BY KATIE MORRISON
From right – Jeylly Medrano, Paris Wilkey, Chenysse Hill, Tyarah Horton, Soneta Srey.

By KATIE MORRISON

LYNN — The Lynn Classical girls’ basketball team held its annual banquet at Old Tyme Italian Cuisine in Lynn on Wednesday night.

The highlight of the evening was when seniors Shannon Magner, Chenysse Hill and Christina Behen delivered heartfelt speeches and thank-yous to their family, coaches and teammates, as a final send-off from the program.

Rams’ coach Tom Sawyer thanked the seniors for their “energy, dedication and all of the laughs” they provided throughout their careers.

“The three seniors have greatly impacted this program, and they will be truly missed,” Sawyer said.

Magner was forced to miss her entire senior season due to an ACL tear, but was lauded by her coaches and teammates for how she handled the devastating injury with grace.

“This season started tough,” said Sawyer, referring to Magner’s injury. “Shannon had dedicated herself to basketball like she never had before. She’s everything a student-athlete should be. I told the team that she wouldn’t want us not to play, and that she’d die to be out there, and I think it served as motivation for us.”

“She couldn’t have set a better example for the team,” added assistant coach Helen Ridley. “She led the team with a smile every day.”

Magner thanked her teammates for her four years in the program, and for respecting her and allowing her to lead as a captain, despite her inability to play. She also encouraged them to cherish every day in the Ram uniform, since no one ever knows when their last game will be.

“This injury helped me find myself as a person, not just an athlete,” Magner said, holding back tears. “I found my strengths and weaknesses, and learned not to take anything for granted. As much as the injury broke my heart, it broke my parents’ hearts more. I’m so thankful for them, they’re my heroes.”

Magner, who was presented with the academic achievement award, also reminisced about the day she and Hill found out they’d made the varsity team as freshmen.

“I’ll always remember us jumping and hugging each other,” she said.

Hill, another four-year varsity player, was a NEC All-Star this season, and led the Rams to a first-round playoff victory.

“I love you all, and I wish I could have one more year with this team,” said an emotional Hill, who said the younger girls on the team were like little sisters she never had. “There have been so many memories I’ll never forget. We’re like one big family.”

Hill was presented with the Lady Ram award for her fierceness and competitiveness on the court.

Behen, who was presented with a coaches’ award, was unsure at the beginning of the season if she even wanted to play basketball her senior year. But after a talk with Sawyer, she decided to stick it out.

“I wasn’t sure if my heart was in it,” she said. “But I’m so glad I played, because it was my best season yet.”

Behen urged the younger players to “never put down the ball, and to take every opportunity your coaches give you,” and said she’d “remember this season for the rest of (her) life.”

Sophomore Jeylly Medrano was presented with a coaches award, and junior Soneta Srey was named most improved player.

Paris Wilkey, who led the team in scoring, recording 16 games in double figures and scoring a season-high 31 points against Revere, was named the Offensive Player of the Year.

Sawyer recounted the many highlights from the Rams’ season, which ended with a loss to No. 1-seed Lowell in the quarterfinals of the Division 1 North tournament.

Sawyer said that after the game, Lowell’s coach approached him to tell him that the Rams “played the game the right way.”

“That’s the greatest compliment a coach can receive,” Sawyer said.

Classical girls fall to top-seeded Lowell

ITEM FILE PHOTO
Classical senior point guard Chenysse Hill led the Rams with 10 points and five rebounds against Lowell on Friday night.

By MIKE ALONGI

LOWELL — It was a tough night for the Lynn Classical offense as the No. 9 Rams girls basketball team fell to the top-ranked Lowell Red Raiders, 46-29, in the quarterfinals of the MIAA Division 1 North girls’ basketball tournament at Riddick Field House on Friday night. With the win, Lowell moves on to face the winner of Saturday’s matchup between No. 4 Revere (18-5) and No. 5 Lexington (18-5).

“I couldn’t be prouder of the girls and the effort they put forth tonight,” said Classical coach Tom Sawyer. “Lowell is the No. 1 team for a reason, and they’ve only lost two games this year for a reason. But I think we did a great job on them defensively holding them under 50 points, but our shots just weren’t going in tonight.”

Senior Chenysse Hill led the Rams in her final high school game, finishing with 10 points and five rebounds. Sophomore Paris Wilkey had eight points and five rebounds, while junior Priscll Alouidor had five points and four rebounds. Sophomore Jeylly Medrano finished with two points and nine rebounds and junior Soneta Srey had two points and eight rebounds.

Classical fell behind early. The Rams had trouble with Lowell’s defensive rotations and gave up a lot of turnovers in the first quarter. Classical couldn’t get anything going, and after the first quarter Lowell held the lead, 14-6.

Classical managed to right the ship to a degree in the second quarter, but it was still hard to shrink the deficit. The Rams did hold a 16-9 advantage in the rebounding category, but they couldn’t turn those rebounds into points at the other end.

“We won the rebounding battle because these girls have unbelievable effort and intensity,” Sawyer said. “They refuse to let anyone outwork them. It just came down to the fact that we couldn’t make shots. We got the looks, they just didn’t go in.”

With a few minutes left in the half, Lowell hit a couple of three-pointers to stretch out the lead before the break. At halftime, Lowell still led, 21-12.

Classical had its best quarter in the third, but so did the Red Raiders. Lowell was able to stretch the lead out to as many as 15 points in the third quarter before the Rams went on a small run to close the period.

The fourth quarter was much of the same, with Lowell holding onto its double-digit lead. Eventually, the substitutes came in and the clock was run down.

Classical finishes up the season with a 15-9 record.

“It’s tough to say goodbye to three seniors, Shannon Magner, Chenysse Hill and Christina Behen, three great kids who do their job both in the classroom and on the court. I just told the underclassmen in the locker room that those three have raised the bar. They were committed to this team, and now they’re passing the torch to the underclassmen to show the same commitment and dedication so that hopefully we can get back here.”


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

School Roundup: Marblehead girls finish 2nd at sectionals

FILE PHOTO
Marblehead’s Katie Walker finished fourth in diving in the North sectionals on Saturday.

By KATIE MORRISON

The Marblehead girls swim team came in second overall at the MIAA North Sectional Championships, held at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Saturday.

The 200-yard medley relay team of Ellie Ronan, Amanda Wager, Meagan Hathaway and Kylie Cronin took first place (1 minute, 47.63 seconds), setting a new Marblehead High record. The same team finished second in the 400 freestyle relay (3:37.35), their new personal best time.

Hathaway won the 500 freestyle (5:02.94) and took second place in the 200 freestyle (1:55.30), while Wager set a new personal best in the race and finished seventh (2:00.47). Grace Maguire finished second in the 200 individual medley, setting a new personal best (2:09.57), and placed third in the 500 freestyle (5:15.13). Cronin finished fourth in the 50 free (24.38) and second in the 200 butterfly (56.59). Katie Walker took fourth place in the diving (456.45). Ronan finished third with a new personal best in the 100 freestyle (53.07) and placed second in the 100 backstroke (57.68). Finally, Wager placed second in the 100 breaststroke (1:08.27), breaking a nearly 20-year-old Marblehead High record.

The Bishop Fenwick team finished ninth. Sophia Lumino had a big day, winning the 100 breastroke (1:07.23) and placing fourth in the 200 individual medley (2:14.42). Lumino was also a part of two relay team that did well. The 200 medley team of Catherine Christuk, Emily Ambeliotis, Sarah Long and Lumino finished seventh (1:54.34) and the 400 freestyle team of the same girls finished eighth (3:50.55). Christuk finished sixth in the 200 freestyle (2:00.29) and the 100 backstroke (1:01.26).

In the boys’ competition on Sunday, Fenwick’s 200 medley relay team of Connor Christuk, Rowan Emerson, Addie Laurencelle and Garrett Collins qualified for the state meet. Fenwick has not had a boys’ relay qualify for states in over 20 years.

English’s Uajda Musaku finished 16th in the 100 freestyle (57.50) and 20th in the 100 backstroke (1:04.52), while her brother Brandon Musaku finished 16th in the 100 freestyle (50.63) and 14th in the 100 backstroke (56.90).

Classical’s Carly Mendonca broke a Lynn schools women’s record that stood since 1993 in the 50 freestyle, shaving .1 seconds off the time (25.13). She finished 11th in the race, and also finished seventh in the 100 freestyle. Sarah Sirois finished sixth for Classical in diving.

Fellow Ram Alex Pedro finished 13th in diving in his first trip to sectionals, and Kevin Chasse came in 11th in the 50 freestyle.

GIRLS’ BASKETBALL

Lynn Classical 43, Danvers 31

The Rams went on the road and got a big win to wrap up their regular season. Junior Soneta Srey led Classical with 13 points. Jeylly Medrano also scored in double figures, adding 11 points. Chenysse Hill and Paris Wilkey were huge on defensive, holding a strong Danvers team to only 31 points.

The Rams finish their regular season slate with a 14-8 record, and now wait to find out their first-round opponent in the tournament.

BOYS’ BASKETBALL

St. John’s Prep 64, Westford Academy 58

The Eagles topped Westford Academy in the opening round of the Larry McIntire IAABO Board 130 Classic at North Andover High on Sunday. Alec Buresh led the Eagles with 26 points, while Spencer Danforth chipped in with 17.

St. John’s will take on New Mission in the championship Monday night at 7:15.

Danvers 66, Natick 54

The Falcons earned a double-digit win Sunday over Natick at the Keough Classic at Holliston High.

INDOOR TRACK

Division 1 sectional championships

Peabody’s Marcelo Rocha barely edged out St. John’s Shrewbury’s Peter Monahan to win the 2-miles run at the MIAA Division 1 championships on Sunday at the Reggie Lewis Center in Boston. Rocha beat out Monahan by a little more than a second, finishing in 9 minutes, 15.07 seconds.

Other strong performances at the D1 championships included St. John’s Prep’s Tristan Shelgren, who finished eighth in the mile (4:32.22),  Peabody’s Joseph Farhat, who finished ninth in the 1000-meters (2:39.43), the St. John’s Prep 4×400 relay team of Aidan Kelley, Alex Miller, Ethan Roy and Andrew Coutu, which finished fourth, fellow Eagle Matt Flynn, who finished third in the high jump (6 feet, 2 inches), and Lynn English’s Jalil Gibson, who finished sixth in the 55 (6.76).

The Peabody girls’ team definitely made their presence known as well. Cynthia Aroke won the 55 hurdles (8.62), Jessica Ostraski finished third in the 2-miles (11:21.82), Sophia Anderle finished seventh in the 1000 (3:04.98) and the 4×400 relay team of Amanda Andrews, Dayna Vadala, Anderle and Aroke finished sixth (4:08.74).

Division 5 championships

The Bishop Fenwick boys’ track team had a strong showing at the Division 5 championships held on Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Center. Shawn Carlson won the 600 for Fenwick (1:22.34), Mitch Rivers finished eighth in the 300 (37.30), and the 4×200 relay team of Oliver Botthof, Carlson, Colin Norton and Rivers took third place (1:37.58). Saugus’ Nick Silva finished seventh in the high jump, clearing 5-8.

There were plenty of good performances for the girls, as well. Fenwick’s Sydney Packard finished third in the 1000 (3:01.16), Lynnfield’s Kate Mitchell placed third in the 600 (1:39.56), Saugus’ Gianna Filaretos came in fourth in the high jump (4-10) and Winthrop’s Gianna Massa came in fifth in the shot put (33-0 1/2) while St. Mary’s Ellie Martin placed ninth (31-04.75).

Division 4 championships. The Saugus team of Kiley Ronan, Victoria Sparages, Allison Aldred and Ailyn Minaya finished fourth in the 4×200 relay, the Winthrop team of Heidy Benson, Emily McGovern, Regina Garufo and Holly Benson finished sixth in the 4×400 relay and the Lynnfield team of Lexi Yannone, Meryl Braconnier, Lilly DiPietro and Mitchell placed eighth in the 4×800.

Division 4 championships

Marblehead runners Adam Linsky and Jared Kokinos finished back-to-back in the mile during the Division 4 championships on Friday, with Linsky taking fourth (4:35.98) and Kokinos wrapping up fifth (4:38.85). Their teammate, Oliver Jacob, finished fifth in the 1000 (2:38.12), while Michael Weidenbruch finished seventh in the 2-miles (10:05.64).  Jacob Wikar finished 10th for the Magicians in the 300 (37.29), and George Goetz placed fourth in the 55 hurdles (8.27). The Marblehead 4×200 relay team of Wikar, Jaason Lopez, Joe Doherty and Sam Thorne finished seventh (1:36.33).

Swampscott’s Isaiah Bascon grabbed 10th placed in the high jump, clearing 5-8.

On the girls’ side, Swampscott’s Michelle Connor finished third in the high jump, clearing 5-4. Marblehead’s Lydia Bongiorno placed 11th in the 300 (43.04). The Swampscott 4×200 relay team of Bailey Shorr, Catie Cullinane, Allyson Hartmann and Zoe Petty grabbed a ninth-place finish, while the Marblehead 4×400 relay team of Ana Hecht, Eve Rice, Alyssa Nye and Olivia Eddy also finished ninth (4:23.80). Danvers’ Erin St. Pierre won the 55 hurdles with a time of 9.03 seconds and grabbed 10th place in the long jump (15-08.75).

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.”

 

Classical girls reach tourney

PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Classical’s Paris Wilkey banks a shot off the backboard.

By MIKE ALONGI

With a solid 60-25 win over Medford at home on Wednesday night, the Lynn Classical Rams girls’ basketball team has qualified for the state tournament with several games left on the schedule.

“This was obviously a big win for us because it’s the one that got us into the tournament,” said Classical coach Tom Sawyer. “To be able to qualify with games left in the season is a great feeling, and it was a goal for us all year.”

Paris Wilkey led the way for the Rams (11-6) with 21 points, while Jeylly Medrano contributed 14 points. Point guard Chenysse Hill had 10 points in the win.

“We’ve got to keep the momentum going now,” Sawyer said. “We’re not done yet, that’s for sure.”

The Rams also logged a win against Salem on Tuesday night, winning 56-32 on the road.

Wilkey was again the Rams’ leading scorer, racking up 22 points. Soneta Srey added 15 and Hill chipped in with nine.

After giving up 17 points in the first quarter, the Rams held the Witches to just 15 points over the final three quarter.

SWIMMING

Greater Lawrence 94, Lynn Tech 92

Nick Westin won both the 100-yard butterfly (1 minute, 14.01 seconds) and the 200 individual medley (2:39.82) in the loss for the Tigers (4-4). Also grabbing wins for Tech was Jin Purdy in the 100 backstroke (1:28.32) and Francisco Fresco in diving (168.37 points). The 200 freestyle relay team of Juan Bernabe, Carlos Gonzalez, Hector Alas and Jaleem Alicea also won with a time of 2:07.10.

Arlington Catholic 92, St. Mary’s 74

Despite the loss, the Spartans (1-6) had several first-place finishers. Eve Smith won both the 100 backstroke (1:07.18) and the 200 freestyle (2:07.25). Gabi Marchese took first in the 200 individual medley with a time of 2:37, and the team of Marchese, Danny Rodriguez, Dami Rodriguez and Katia DiConstanzo took first place in the 200 freestyle relay with a time of 2:01.97.

WRESTLING

Danvers 66, Peabody 12

The Falcons got wins from Grady Chan at 113 pounds, captain Michael Neff at 138 pounds and captain Quin Holland at 152 pounds, all via pinfall.

“We had some great all-around wins tonight,” said Danvers coach Mark DeCiccio.

Lynnfield 29, Georgetown 19

Recording wins for the Pioneers (15-6-1) were Kai Jean-Simon (126), Max Wyman (132), Connor Stead (138), Zack Monzione (152), Kevin Farrelly (195) and Tim Goucher (220).

St. John’s 63, Catholic Memorial 15

The Eagles improved to 31-1 on the season and wrapped up their 18th consecutive Catholic Conference title with a 4-0 record. Recording wins for St. John’s were Ryan Garlitz (106), Will Grady (113), Malcolm Mitchell (120), Zach Alexander (126), John McNaught (132), Ben Shaw (138), Hunter Costa (145), Sam Blizard (160), Spencer Jenkins (182), Ben Klein (195) and Jay Carnevale (285).

GYMNASTICS

Fenwick 133.9, Gloucester 125.2

Abby Regnier led the way for Fenwick (3-1), finishing first in the all-around (35.3), beam (9.4) and vault (8.7). Taylor Tattan added a first-place finish for the Crusaders in floor (8.8) and bars (8.8), and finished second in the all-around (34.8). Teammate Ali Rotarock also finished third on the beam (8.5) for Fenwick.


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