Katie Wallace

Swampscott’s Leonard enjoys Agganis opportunity

Swampscott girls basketball coach Katelyn Leonard will coach the South team in the Agganis girls basketball game. 


Agganis week is a time when area athletes and coaches can put aside the heated competitions of the past and just focus on the game. For the athletes, it’s one final high school game before moving on to the college ranks. But for coaches like Swampscott girls basketball coach Katelyn Leonard, it’s a chance to coach some of the best talent from all across the North Shore.

“There is so much talent on both sides, it’s really a coach’s dream,” said Leonard, who just completed her third season at the helm of the Big Blue. “It’s really just a matter of getting everyone playing time and just letting each girl go out there and play her game.”

Leonard will be coaching in the Agganis Games for the first time, taking control of the South team when it plays at 7:15 p.m. on Monday at Lynn Classical.

“It’s really quite an honor to be picked to coach in this game,” Leonard said. “Not only is it a great chance to coach some of the best players in the area, but it’s just great to be a part of such a significant local event like this.”

The team she’ll be coaching is chock-full of talented players from the Northeastern Conference, including four players from Peabody (Melissa Gray, Alyssa Alperen, Nene Onwuogu and Katie Wallace) and players from Revere (Meaghan Gotham), Saugus (Olivia Valente) and Lynn Classical (Soneta Srey). The only non-NEC players on the South team are Mia Nowicki and Temi Falayi, both from St. Mary’s.

“We have some elite level players, several of whom will be playing in college, so ‘coaching’ won’t really be too much of a concern,” said Leonard. “It’s going to be an opportunity for them to go out there and enjoy one last high school game and get a chance to compete with many of the same players they’ve played against all these years. It hasn’t been too fun being on the opposite side of some of these players over the years, so it will definitely be a nice change to have them on the same side.”

The tenth member of the South team will be one of Leonard’s own players at Swampscott, Jaymie Caponigro. The Southern New Hampshire University-bound guard will play one final game for her high school coach, which is something that Leonard is happy about.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” Leonard said of having Caponigro on the team. “Obviously the familiarity will be great, but it will also be nice to share that camaraderie one last time.”

Leonard also pointed out what Caponigro, who was a team captain this season, has meant to the Swampscott program in the three years since Leonard took over.

“She’s been a big role model in the Big Blue program for sure, she’s definitely someone that the younger girls have looked to,” Leonard said. “We’ll certainly miss her both on and off the court, but at least we get to enjoy that one final game together.”

The 13th annual Agganis girls basketball game will tip off at 7:15 p.m. on Monday at Classical.

NEC Basketball All-Stars Announced

Paris Wilkey (right), a star player for the Rams, was named NEC co-player of the year. 

Lynn Classical’s Paris Wilkey was named co-player of the year for Northeastern Conference girls basketball along with Revere’s Valentina Pepic.

At last week’s meeting of coaches for both girls and boys, Patrick Bugler of Marblehead was named the boys player of the year and Mike Giardi, also of Marblehead, was named coach of the year. The Magicians were seeded second in the Division 2 boys North tournament before losing a quarterfinal game to Malden Catholic.
Mark Schruender, who directed Saugus to its best season in more than 30 years, was named the girls coach of the year. The Sachems finished the regular season at 16-6 before falling to Bishop Fenwick in first round the state tournament.
Making the boys all-conference team were Pat Gavin, center, Beverly; Bugler; and Jaylen Johnson, Lynn Classical, guards; and Evan Mason, Gloucester; Junior Estrella, Peabody; and Edwin Solis, Classical, forwards.
The girls all-conference team consisted of Wilkey, Melissa Gray, Peabody; Pamela Gonzalez, Revere; and Nicole White, Danvers, guards; and Pepic and Olivia Valente, Saugus, forwards.
Saugus won the sportsmanship award for the boys while Beverly received it for the girls.

Boys all-stars were Hugh Calice, Luigi Derrane and Justin Roberto, Beverly; Marc Smith and Ben Oliver, Gloucester; Ivy Lopes and Javonte Edwards, English; Erick Solis, Dyrrell Rucker and Gilbert Minaya, Classical; Bo Millett, Derek Marino and Justin Faia, Marblehead; Matt D’Amato and Moisse Irizarry, Peabody; Curtis High and Marvin Urdaneta, Revere; Matthew Waggett, Saugus; Nate Lebron, Salem; Jake McIntyre, Swampscott; Tayjaun McKenzie and Devin Pulsifer, Winthrop.

Girls all-stars are Natalie Mellinger and Tia Bernard, Beverly; Sarah Unczur and Elizabeth Montanari, Danvers; Megan Manning and Jenna Muniz, Gloucester; Lindsay Walker and Ashley Styles, Marblehead; Jeylly Medrano and Soneta Srey, Classical; Dorathy Ezamba, English; Katie Wallace and Chinenye Onwuogu, Peabody; Tatiana Iacoviello and Meaghan Gotham, Revere; Krissy Italiano and Alessia Salzillo, Saugus; Emily Fabre, Salem; Jaymie Caponigro and Nikki Rosa, Swampscott; Allie Love, Winthrop.

Woburn rolls past Peabody

Melissa Gray (left) scored 19 points for Peabody. 


WOBURN  – The Peabody girls basketball team didn’t have it’s best game against Woburn Friday night in the Division 1 North quarterfinals, but the reality is, it probably wouldn’t have been enough even if it did.

Woburn was unstoppable and the 84-55 final score reflected just how tough a night it was for Peabody. The teams exchanged baskets for most of the first quarter, but once the (Woburn) Tanners caught fire, it was lights out for Peabody.

Senior sharpshooter Marissa Gattuso buried a three to start the second quarter and it was like Woburn had flipped a switch. By the time halftime rolled around, Woburn had built up a 19-point lead (50-31) that ballooned to 33 points with 3:10 left in the game. Gattuso led all scorers with 22 points, and probably would have had more had she and the other starters not sat out most of the fourth quarter.

“No. 1 (Gattuso) was a phenomenal player,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said.

“They moved the ball so well and they hit (five) threes in the first half. They just didn’t miss. We got down 19 and against a good team it’s tough to come back. They didn’t miss. They’re a very good team.”

Although Gattuso was very tough to stop, she was only one part of the problem.

“They had five good players in and out of the game. Whatever they replaced one with, it was like a missing part. We didn’t have that luxury,” McKeen said. “We fought hard. We played against a very good team.”

McKeen said he had watched films of two Woburn games and didn’t expect such a lopsided contest.

“I thought it would be a close game. I really did,” he said. “I did not expect that they were going to shoot lights out like they did. They moved the ball. That was the key.”
Peabody never got a rhythm going offensively. Senior captain Melissa Gray finished with 19 points as did senior forward Nene Onwuogu, but they had to fight for every point. Onwuogu was very tough in the paint and it showed. She finished 11-for-12 from the free throw line.

“They’re a really good team,” Onwuogu said about Woburn. “They’re really aggressive. They have a really good range of players. They have threepoint shooters, girls under the basket. They have size. It was definitely tough, but we didn’t give up.”

Katie Wallace had seven points for Peabody. Woburn also had big games from Kelsey Qualey (15 points) and Mya Blazejowski (10 points). Woburn had 11 players figure into the scoring.

Peabody finishes the season 14-8. The Tanners were the No. 11 seed. Woburn (19-3 including its two tournament wins) is the three seed behind No. 1 Andover and No. 2, Revere. Revere was ousted by Central Catholic in the quarterfinals. Central Catholic and Woburn will meet in the semifinals. Andover is still alive on the other side of the bracket.

Saugus, Fenwick to battle it out in state tourney

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Peabody gives Revere a battle, Patriots get the win

Revere’s Pamela Gonzalez goes in for a layup past the outstretched arm of Peabody’s Catherine Manning.


REVERE — Like a dinner guest who doesn’t know when to go home, the Peabody High girls basketball team hung around all night before Revere could finally turn off the lights and go to bed.

The Patriots defeated the Tanners 61-55 Thursday night at Revere High and doing so, they managed to go undefeated in the Northeastern Conference under first-year coach Lianne O’Hara. They’re also undefeated overall (18-0) with two non-league games remaining.

“I consider myself lucky because I walked into a program that was already successful,” O’Hara said. “It’s hard work and luck. These girls are really determined. Really, the motivation is from them.”

Peabody finished 12-4 in the Northeastern Conference and is 12-6 overall heading in the final two non-league games of the season.

Neither team really seemed to click in the early going, but the Tanners struggled the most, scoring only two points in the first quarter. The lack of offensive production would come back to haunt them when they made a run at the Patriots late in the game, but didn’t have the juice to overcome such a slow start.

Revere led 13-2 after the first quarter and 26-14 at the half. The Patriots kept the Tanners at a healthy distance 10-12 points most of the way, but things got a little interesting in the fourth quarter when Peabody senior Melissa Gray, who only had two points in the first half, started to heat up. She scored 15 points in a fourth quarter, including a three that trimmed the deficit to four at 59-55 with less than 15 seconds to go. She finished with a game-high 20 points.  Revere’s Valentina Pepic, who finished with 13 points (12 in the second half), hit two free throws near the end to ice the win.

“The first quarter killed us,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said. “They led by 10, 12, 14 points the whole game. We were down by 12 going into the fourth quarter.”
Although not happy with the loss, McKeen loved that his team kept fighting.
“They  haven’t quit all year,” McKeen said. “They scrapped and and fought. I wish we had played as tough in that first quarter as we did in that final quarter and and half.”

Gray had taken a hit to the nose early in the game and was “stone cold” in that first half, McKeen said. In the second half, she had four threes.

“When she finds her range, when she can hit a shot twice in a row, she’s deadly,” McKeen said.

O’Hara was impressed by Gray as well.
“She had an excellent shooting game,” O’Hara said. “I give her credit for that. She had something to prove. Her shots were going. She was getting contested shots. That’s a good player.”

The Tanners also had big games offensively from senior forward Chinenye Onwuogu (11 points), Catherine Manning (8 points) and senior captain Katie Wallace (7 points).

Revere had three players in double figures. Guard Tatiana Iacoviello had 16 points and the Patriots to bigs, Meaghan Gotham and Valentina Pepic, had 11 points and 13 points, respectively. Guard Pamela Gonzalez had nine points.

School Roundup: Millett leads Magicians past Salem

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


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.


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.



Saugus comeback falls short in Peabody

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

School Roundup: St. Mary’s girls earn tournament bid

Mashayla Johnson led St. Mary’s with 15 points in the win. 


The St. Mary’s girls basketball team clinched a spot in the state tournament with a 54-34 win at home against Cardinal Spellman on Friday.

Mashayla Johnson led the way on offense with 15 points, while Temi Falayi had a double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds, while also adding six blocks. Ashley Sullivan added nine points and Gabby Torres had eight points.

After starting the season with a 1-4 record, the Spartans have won 10 of their last 11 games to secure a tournament bid.

Chelsea 33, Tech 32

The Tigers got off to a slow start, trailing 22-7 at halftime, but clawed their way back into the game. Tech hit a three to pull within a point with five seconds left, but couldn’t complete the comeback.

Alondra Sanchez led the Tigers with 11 points, Malvelis Hernandez added seven and Arianna Anaya and Michayla Lawrence added six points apiece.

Bishop Fenwick 46, Austin Prep 40

The Crusaders (10-5) are now just one game away from a berth in the state tournament after a close win on the road on Friday. Jaxson Nadeau was Fenwick’s leading scorer with 19 points and three steals, while Fredi DeGuglielmo added 13 points. Sam Mancinelli had a great all-around game with seven points, seven rebounds and three steals.

Swampscott 56, Salem 39

Led by Jaymie Caponigro’s 17 points, the Big Blue are now 8-8 on the season after a big win on Friday. Nikki Rosa also had a good game, just missing a double-double with nine points and eight rebounds.

Swampscott will host Gloucester on Tuesday night.

Peabody 47, Danvers 41

Nene Onwuogu had a big game with seven points, 11 rebounds and five steals for the Tanners. Peabody’s (9-4) Melissa Gray led in scoring with 16 points, Alyssa Alperen added eight and Katie Wallace played well with seven points, five assists and five rebounds. Peabody looks for its 10th win Sunday against Masco.

Saugus 35, Gloucester 34

Although she only had three points total, Krissy Italiano had the two biggest points of the night when she hit the tying and go-ahead free throws with just 13 seconds left to get a win over Gloucester. Olivia Valente led the team with 14 points in the win.

Saugus (13-4) will host Marblehead on Tuesday night.


Chelsea 75, Tech 40

The Tigers got 10 points and eight rebounds from David Davis, while Rob Wallace added seven points and eight rebounds. Tech will be back in action on Wednesday with they take on the Whittier Tech Wildcats.

Cardinal Spellman 67, St. Mary’s 66

It was a back-and-forth game throughout, but in the end the Spartans’ free throw troubles on the night helped contribute to a loss. St. Mary’s was 7-of-14 from the free throw line, and coach Dave Brown said that those struggles can’t continue.

“We did not shoot well from the line tonight,” Brown said. “You’re not going to win many games when you go 50 percent on free throws. But still, give credit to Spellman because they played really well tonight.”

Jonny Mercado led the Spartans (10-3) with 22 points. St. Mary’s has another big Catholic Central League matchup on Monday when they travel into Boston to take on Cathedral.

English 70, Beverly 67

The Panthers had a chance to tie the game late, but English’s (8-6) defense shut them down to hold on for the win.

Calvin Seng scored 17 points, while Angel Soto contributed 16 and Tommy Rijo and Javonte Edwards each added 13.

Marblehead 70, Winthrop 26

Behind 15 points from junior forward Derek Marino, the Magicians cruised to a big win and now have a Northeastern Conference-best 14-2 record on the year. Dan Doherty contributed 13 points. Marblehead will host Saugus on Tuesday night.

Lynnfield 81, Masconomet 55

The Pioneers (13-1, 13-0 Cape Ann League) hit the ground running and by the half held a 29-point lead. They maintained a 25-30 point lead the rest of the way. Louis Ellis, Billy Arsenault and Mike Carangelo have been giving the opposition fits all season and they didn’t let up in this one. Ellis and Arsenault each had 20 points and Carangelo was good for 13. Coach Scott MacKenzie went to his bench midway through the fourth quarter and the Pioneers didn’t miss a beat. Lynnfield has now won 10 in a row with North Reading up next.

Saugus 59, Gloucester 47

Dimitri Filaretos had 20 points as the Sachems (6-10) notched a win in an NEC matchup. Matt Waggett had 11 points and Chris McGrane added nine.

Saugus will travel up to Marblehead for a matchup with the Magicians on Tuesday night.

St. John’s Prep 68, Xaverian 44

Matt Relihan and Nate Hobbs scored 15 points each to help lead the Eagles to the win on Friday. St. John’s is now 12-3 on the year, with a 5-2 record in the Catholic Conference.

Tommy O’Neil had 13 points, while Jarnel Snow-Guzman added 11 points in the win.

Next up for the Prep is a Sunday matinee game on the road at Central Catholic at 1 p.m.

Salem 71, Swampscott 30

The Witches are now 8-5 on the year after a big win over Swampscott on Friday. Nate Lebron led the way with 21 points and five steals, while Anthony Pena had 13 points. Reimond Reyes (seven points, seven rebounds) and Vinnie Gaskins (seven points) also had solid offensive performances.

Tony Broadnax led Swampscott with seven points and four rebounds. “He really played terrific for us tonight,” Big Blue coach Justin Fucile said.

Salem will go on the road for a game against Everett on Monday night. Swampscott visits Gloucester on Tuesday.

Danvers 64, Peabody 49

Junior Estrella led the charge for Peabody with 22 points and 11 rebounds. Peabody (10-6) is back in action on Tuesday night when they travel to Beverly.

Peabody thumps Classical in triple-overtime

Paris Wilkey looks to the basket, but Peabody’s Catherine Manning plays tight defense.


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.


Gray propels Peabody over English

Melissa Gray led all scorers with 21 points in Peabody’s win over English. 


LYNN– With five wins in its last six games coming into Friday night’s matchup with English, the Peabody girls basketball team was looking to keep things moving in the right direction against a gritty Bulldogs group. Thanks to a strong performance from Melissa Gray, the Tanners stayed hot with a 67-28 win over English at Peabody High.

“When she (Gray) gets open and her shot starts to fall, she’s on,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said. “She didn’t play in the last quarter, but our defense was the difference in the game. It’s been the difference in the last five games.”

Gray, a senior guard and team captain, led all scorers with 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

The Tanners raced out to a first-quarter lead as Gray scored five points and Alyssa Alperen flashed an early hot-hand with six points in the period. Tommi Hill knocked in a three and a floater in the paint to keep the Bulldogs close at 18-9.

“Early in the season, we were getting behind and struggled to get back in games,” McKeen said. “We’ve abandoned the zone on defense, we’re strictly playing man to man now and it has worked.”

Gray took center stage in the second quarter and English had no answer when the ball was in her hands. Peabody staged a 16-0 rally and Gray accounted for 15 of those points. With their senior guard on fire, the Tanners built a 22-point advantage and led 40-18 at the half.

“She’s (Gray) a great shooter,” English coach Mackenzie Charles said. “She shot the ball well and we didn’t bump her. We didn’t play that physical Lynn English girls basketball.”

McKeen added, “Our defense was the turning point in the game tonight. It was a great effort.”

With a 22-point lead, the Peabody offense continued to capitalize on scoring opportunities in the third quarter. This time, it was Nene Onwuogu who carried Peabody with seven points in the period. The Tanners led 59-27 after three.

By the time the fourth quarter started, the deficit was too steep for English to climb back in. Peabody (7-4) rolled to the 67-28 victory.

“I give my team credit for fighting,” Charles said. “We got to give some young girls minutes in the game. It wasn’t the way we’d like to, but we have to find some positives in the tough loss.”

Charles added, “Every night’s a tough, competitive game in the NEC. Tonight wasn’t all that competitive but we’ll learn and get better.”

Nine different players scored for the Peabody side. Onwuogu logged a double-doubled at 14 points and 11 rebounds. Alperen scored eight points, while Katie Wallace and Hannah Pellizzaro each added six.

For English, Rachel Calnan scored eight points. Hill and Dorathy Ezemba each added seven.

Both teams play again on Tuesday as English visits Danvers and Peabody travels to Classical. The Rams defeated Peabody when the two teams met earlier this season.

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

School Roundup: Magicians continue to make noise

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


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

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

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

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

Marblehead will host the Witches on Friday night.

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

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

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


Beverly 66, Saugus 54

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

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

Whittier Tech 58, Lynn Tech 48

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

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

The Tigers will host Northeast Tech on Tuesday.

Winthrop 84, Lynn English 74

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

Danvers 55, Swampscott 40

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

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

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


Peabody 57, Marblehead 33

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

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

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

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

Lynn Tech 44, Presentation of Mary 35

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

Fenwick 47, Acton-Boxborough 44

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

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

Swampscott 52, Danvers 42

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

The Big Blue will host Saugus tomorrow evening.

Saugus 28, Beverly 23

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

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

English 48, Winthrop 28

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


Marblehead 102, Gloucester 76

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

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

Peabody 91, Revere 74

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

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

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


Triton 54, Lynnfield 32

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


Triton 57, Lynnfield 29

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


Beverly 8, Marblehead 1

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


School Roundup: Wallace, Tech grab a big win

Belmin Berilo scored 13 points in Tech’s win


The Lynn Tech boys basketball team grabbed a big win on the road, beating division foe Essex Tech, 59-54.

The Tigers move into second place in their division with the win. Rob Wallace scored 18 points, while Trevon Baldwin and Belmin Berilo each scored 13.

“It felt like we played together and we finally fought the adversity,” Tech coach Stevie Patrick said. “We had the lead, then we lost the lead, and then we figured out to get the lead back.”

The Tigers return to action on Tuesday when they host Whittier.

“I believe they’re starting to figure it out and believe in themselves,” Patrick said. “We’re 3-1 in our division which puts us in second place, so we’re happy about that.”


Marblehead 60, Danvers 42

The Magicians were carried by Derek Marino, who logged a double-double with 26 points and 13 rebounds.

“He’s (Marino) found his way around the rim a little bit,” Marblehead coach Mike Giardi said.

Patrick Bugler scored 14 points, while Bo Millett grabbed ten boards with five blocked shots. For Danvers, Justin Roberto scored 19 points.

“We didn’t play for a full week but the kids came out with a lot of energy,” Giardi said. “We kept it going and we kept it going for the whole 32 minutes.”

The Magicians are back in action on Tuesday when they host Peabody.

Peabody 67, Gloucester 42

The Tanners thumped Gloucester behind a strong performance from Matt D’Amato, who led Peabody with 27 points and four assists.

“He came out and shot the ball really well in the second half,” Tanners coach Thad Broughton said. “He had six three-pointers and he was really our spark.”

Chris Canela added 13 points, five assists and three rebounds.

Peabody (8-2) visits Essex Tech on Sunday. “We just want to continue to come out with the same type of energy we’ve been playing with and not be complacent.”

Beverly 69, Whittier 58

Pat Gavin logged a double-double with 20 points and ten rebounds. Luigi Derrane scored 12 points and grabbed five rebounds. Toskany Abreu and Hugh Calice each added 12 points. The Panthers move to 7-2 on the season.

BC High 70, St. John’s Prep 68

Nate Hobbs led the Eagles with 18 points while Jarnel Snow-Guzman added 13 points. The Eagles host Malden Catholic on Monday night.


Classical 39, Swampscott 30

In a low-scoring contest, Paris Wilkey had the hot hand for the Rams. Wilkey scored a game-high 20 points and Soneta Srey added ten. The Rams (10-3) will host Salem on Tuesday.

“We’re happy to be at 10-3,” Classical coach Tom Sawyer said. “There’s probably a couple of games that we’d like to have back. We have a busy week next week so we’ll enjoy the win tonight and get back to practice tomorrow.”

Peabody 60, Gloucester 41

The Tanners were led by Melissa Gray, who put up 18 points, and Catherine Manning, who coach Stan McKeen said had “a phenomenal game,” adding 12 points and 10 rebounds. Katie Wallace also had a strong game, just missing a double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.

“We played a good game, we were up 18 at the half, so we kind of maintained the spread all game,” McKeen said. “We played good defense and made our shots.”

The Tanners take on Marblehead on Tuesday.

Lynn English 43, Salem 26

The Bulldogs were led by Dorathy Ezemba who scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. English (3-7) clashes against Winthrop on Tuesday.


Northeast 86, Lynn Tech 75

The Tigers logged a total of 17 second and third place finishers but just one first-place winner. Coral Gonzalez was the lone first place winner, in the 500-yard freestyle. Antonio Morales finished in second in the 100 butterfly, Jin Purdy finished second in the 200 individual medley and the 200 breastroke. Tech returns to the pool at home on Monday against Northeast.

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

Fenwick girls turn basketball game into a party

Peabody forward Catherine Manning goes in for a layup past Fenwick’s Olivia DiPietro. 


PEABODY — It may not have been pretty at times, but not even a dozen or so missed layups and free throws could dampen the celebratory feeling at the Bishop Fenwick gymnasium yesterday afternoon. The Crusaders’ girls basketball team (7-3) unfurled their 2016 state championship game prior to its game against cross-city rival Peabody (4-4), then simply outran the Tanners en route to a 67-52 win.

The members of that team along with former Fenwick greats Cheryl Murtaugh (‘77), Kerri Burke (‘03) and Amy Pelletier (‘11) were honored in a pre-game ceremony in which they were presented with special plaques of recognition cleverly fashioned from the the original 1959 bleachers that had been replaced over the summer.

“I felt bad that we didn’t play our best on this day with so many alums back, but winning on the day we hung the banner was good,” Fenwick coach Adam DeBaggis said. “We missed a lot of layups, and a lot of free throws that, had we made half of them, would have taken a lot of pressure off, but overall it was a good day;”

Senior captain Sam Mancinelli and sophomore Jaxson Nadeau had double-doubles. Mancinelli scored a season-high 22 points with 10 rebounds, eight steals and three assists, while Nadeau finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals and three assists.

Fenwick carried the momentum from the ceremony onto the court, forcing three straight Peabody turnovers to grab a quick 5-0 lead. Peabody battled back to take a 13-12 lead after one quarter. The second quarter was back-and-forth until the final minute when Mancinelli and Nadeau hit back-to-back threes and Mancinelli had a putback off her own offensive rebound to complete an 8-0 run that quickly turned a three-point Tanner deficit into 11, 32-21, at the half.

Fenwick piled on to open the third quarter with a 7-0 run to put Peabody in a big hole, trailing 39-21.

“Stretching out that lead just before halftime was huge, and then we got a fast start in the third quarter as well, so all of a sudden it went from a five point game to a really big lead,” DeBaggis said.

Peabody senior captain Melissa Gray stopped the bleeding with 3-pointer. Unfortunately for the Tanners, the closest they would come the rest of the way was nine points (41-32) after a steal and pull up jumper by Gray, who finished with a double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds). Fellow senior captain Katie Wallace (9 points) put the Tanners on her back in the fourth quarter, scoring nine of her team’s 16 points, but it wasn’t enough. Senior captain Alyssa Alperen also scored nine, while Catherine Manning (7 rebounds) scored seven, Nene Onwuogo (7 rebounds) scored six before fouling out. Hannah Pellizzaro chipped in one point.

Peabody coach Stan McKeen was happy with the Tanners’ effort but felt they made it too easy for Fenwick,

“Our biggest problem was not getting back on defense, we gave them too many easy baskets and simply did not box out,” he said. “When you miss shots, you have to get back on defense and we didn’t. The put a lot of pressure on us the whole game, and I think fatigue played was a factor, especially at the end. That’s what makes Fenwick a good team.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: English defense steps up

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


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.

Peabody’s defense steps up in win

Peabody point guard Katie Wallace draws a foul from Swampscott’s Ella Parker on a drive to the basket.


SWAMPSCOTT — Defense makes the difference.

That’s the moral of Friday night’s story at the Richard “Dick” Lynch Gymnasium when Peabody’s girls basketball team got on top of Swampscott early, and survived a fourth-quarter scare before reasserting itself to win, 46-38, to raise its record to 2-3.

“Tonight, we played good defense,” Peabody coach Stan McKeen said. “And that made a difference. In the three games we’ve lost this year, the other team’s been at 30-35 points by halftime.”

The Tanners came out with a straight man-to-man defense and Swampscott just couldn’t do anything with it. It wasn’t that the Big Blue didn’t get looks. They got looks. They just couldn’t get the shots to fall.

“That’s been a problem for us quite a few times this year so far,” said Big Blue coach Katelyn Leonard. “We just can’t seem to get our shots to fall. And we seem to have trouble with man-to-man defenses, too.”

In fact, the only time Swampscott didn’t have trouble was when Peabody, in the fourth quarter, switched to a zone. Then, Swampscott hit three straight three-pointers before McKeen quickly called a timeout and scrapped that idea. Peabody went back to man defense, and that was the end of Swampscott’s spurt.

Nobody did much of anything in the first quarter, and it was only 6-4 Peabody after eight minutes. However, Peabody started heating up in the second, and one of the reasons was the play of Melissa Gray. She finished the night with 16 points, by far her highest offensive output of the season thus far, and seven of them came in the second quarter as Peabody stretched its lead to 22-14 at the break.

Any thoughts Swampscott had of shaking off the cobwebs were dispelled in the third quarter as the Big Blue could only muster up six points. Meanwhile, Peabody really got rolling. Gray scored six more points in the quarter. However, all of the Tanners contributed on the defensive end of the floor.

By the time the quarter ended, it was 37-22 and it looked as if the Tanners would coast home.

However, Swampscott had other ideas when Peabody switched defenses. The Big Blue went on an 12-1 run, highlighted by consecutive trifectas by Olivia Matella (two of them) and another by Jaymie Caponigro, who was held to seven points.

After Caponigro’s three, Swampscott had climbed to within four points (38-34) and it was nervous time for McKeen and the Tanners.

However, Peabody knew just what to do. The players started driving to the basket to take advantage of Swampscott’s foul situation (the Big Blue had amassed 10 fouls in the second half by the beginning of the fourth quarter) and sank five free throws to restore order. And when Katie Wallace hit a three-pointer with a minute left in the game, that gave Peabody a 10-point lead (46-36). Hannah Leahy’s two free throws with time dwindling down accounted for the final score.

Nikki Rosa led Swampscott with 12 point and Matella finished with 11.

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

School Roundup: Classical girls fall in OT

Paris Wilkey scored 24 points for the Rams. 


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

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

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

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

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

Peabody 57, Beverly 41

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

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

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

Saugus 40, Marblehead 34

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

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

Swampscott 53, Gloucester 42

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

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

Greater Lawrence 44, Lynn Tech 42

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

Winthrop 34, Salem 32

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


Marblehead 57, Saugus 42

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

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

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

Gloucester 89, Swampscott 70

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

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

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


St. Mary’s 4, Hingham 1

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

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

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

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


Bishop Fenwick 91, Marian 68

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

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

Basketball Roundup: St. Mary’s girls, boys win in Orlando

The St. Mary’s girls basketball team poses outside of the ESPN Wide World of Sports, where the KSA Pre-Holiday Classic is being held.


The St. Mary’s girls and boys basketball teams traded the frigid temperatures of the North Shore for some sun and fun down in Orlando, Fla., to take part in the KSA Pre-Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.

Playing against teams from all over the country, both the Spartans teams came away with a win in the opening round of the tournament Monday afternoon.

The girls earned their first win of the season, taking down Edgewater High of Orlando, 57-33. A close game early on, St. Mary’s and Edgewater went into the half tied at 20, but the Spartans put up 18 points in the third quarter and held Edgewater to just five points to stake a big lead. They followed that up with a 19-point fourth to seal the victory.

Temi Falayi (12 points) and Olivia Nazaire (10 points) led the way for St. Mary’s, but the Nowicki sisters had a big impact as well, with both Mia and Christina putting up eight points. The Spartans really spread the offense around, with Gabby Torres scoring nine points and Amanda Idusuyi chipping in with six.

The boys overcame a slow start against McDowell High of Erie, Penn. to top the Trojans, 50-38. McDowell took an 18-7 lead after a quarter, but St. Mary’s turned up the heat and outscored the Trojans 17-3 in the third quarter to take the lead.

Jalen Echevarria had a big game, leading the Spartans with 15 points, sinking three 3-pointers and making four of five free throws. Mike Cerulli scored nine points on three 3-pointers, Stephen Fama added nine points and Jonathan Mola contributed eight points.

Both teams now advance to the winners bracket semifinals, with tip-off scheduled for 1:45 p.m. The boys will take on Briarwood High of Birmingham, Ala. and the girls will play Bentonville High of Bentonville, Ark.


Lynn Classical 61, Revere 51

The Rams (3-1) were led in scoring by Jalen Johnson, who dropped 16 points in the win. Edwin Solis also had a big game, recording a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

Classical will host Danvers on Thursday evening.

Gloucester 81, Saugus 57

Matt Waggett scored 19 points in the loss for Saugus (1-2), while Dimitri Filaretos contributed 17 points. The Sachems have a date with Marblehead at home on Thursday.

Peabody 62, Danvers 56

Junior Estrella and Moise Irizarry both recorded double-doubles to help lead the Tanners to their first win of the 2016-2017 season. Estrella led the way for Peabody (1-1) with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while Irizarry put up 14 points and 10 rebounds. Matt D’Amato also got in on the scoring, dropping 14 points.

Peabody will take on Beverly at home on Thursday.

Cardinal Spellman 86, Bishop Fenwick 58

The Fenwick boys are still searching for their first win after falling to Spellman on the road. Ryan Veguilla led the Crusaders (0-3) with 19 points, while Isaiah Cashwell-Doe and Nick Pignone put up 16 points each.

Fenwick will have a few days off before taking on St. Clement at home on Friday evening.


Revere 55, Lynn Classical 43

Paris Wilkey was the top scorer for Classical (2-1), scoring 20 points. Irianis Delgado also had a good game with 10 points for the Rams. Classical will travel to Danvers for a meeting with the Falcons on Thursday evening.

Danvers 58, Peabody 45

The Tanners fell behind 18 points at the half, and coach Stan McKeen said that although his team managed to pull closer at times, the gap was too big to overcome.

Four Falcons scored in double figures, and two logged double-doubles. Siobhan Moriarty led the way with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and Sarah Unczur added 12 points and 10 rebounds. Julia McNulty put up 13 points and Lily Montanari added 10.

Peabody’s Melissa Gray led all scorers with 15 points, and Alyssa Alperen was solid as well, chipping in 12 points. Katie Wallace also played well defensively.

The Falcons will take on Classical on Thursday, and the Tanners will travel to Beverly.

Bishop Fenwick 52, Cardinal Spellman 41

The Crusaders were led by senior captain Sam Mancinelli, who contributed in every facet of the game, scoring 13 points and logging six assists and five rebounds.

Sophomore Jaxson Nadeau also had 13 points to go along with four rebounds and five steals, and junior Jennie Meagher added 11 points, nine rebounds and two blocks.

The game was tight throughout, but the Crusaders hit big shots in the final three minutes to create some separation.


Girls test mettle in Duchane girls basketball jamboree

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


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.



By Harold Rivera

The Swampscott golf team got wins from top to bottom to close out the regular season, topping Saugus, 54-18.

Andrew Dove won at the No. 1 spot, 5 1/2-3 1/2, Jake Goldman took his match, 8 1/2-1/2 at No. 2, Adam Dishman won 6 1/2-2 1/2 at No. 3, Mike Johnson won 7 1/2-1 1/2 at No. 4, Ryan Graciale took his match 5 1/2-3 1/2 at No. 5, David Peterson won 7 1/2-1 1/2 at No. 6, Max Pegnato won 6-3 at No. 7 and Owen Madigan-Fried finished off the day with a 7-2 win at No. 8.

“The season went very well,” coach Jason Knowles said. “I’m very pleased with how we played and improved throughout the season, and I think we’re ready for the tournament.”

Peabody 48 , Revere 24

Ethan LeBlanc, Connor Corrigan, Chris Gillen, Connor McCarron, Scott Chaplain, Ryan Fera and Andrew Hamel all won their individual matches for the Tanners in their season finale.

“They played well,” Peabody coach Peter Cronan said. “It was a cold, windy day and they played very well.”

Cronan shared his thoughts on Peabody’s season.

“It was a tough season,” Cronan said. “They’re great kids. We just had a difficult time when we got around the green. Next year, hopefully it will be different.” Cronan added, “We worked hard and gave the effort every day.”

Peabody started the season at 1-7 but turned things around in the latter stretch to finish at 5-10. “We did get better,” Cronan said. “I saw definite improvement in the short game. It just came four weeks too late. We’ll work on it for next year.”


Beverly 4, Classical 0

The Rams (4-9-1) received strong performances from Devyn Astuccio, Rachel Jordan, Izzy McGaughey and Sydney Spiess.

“They all played very good defense throughout the game,” said Tom Sawyer, who has stepped in as the team’s head coach for the remainder of the season.

Goalkeeper Maddie Dana “made a few outstanding saves that looked like they were sure goals before she saved them,” Sawyer said.

Sawyer credited the Rams for a positive effort against a skilled opponent in Beverly.

“Stepping in for my first game I didn’t know what to expect,” Sawyer said. “I was proud of the way we competed today. They never let down and they never gave less than 100 percent.”

Classical will look to bounce back into the win column on Saturday when the Rams host another talented team in the Danvers Falcons.

“We need to give a great effort and compete for all 80 minutes,” Sawyer said. “We know Danvers is a very talented team. I’m looking for them to compete and bring the effort that’s necessary.”

Swampscott 2, Saugus 0

Michela Agresti led the way with a goal and an assist, while Jaymie Caponigro added a score of her own for the Big Blue (11-1-1).

“I thought we played well,” Swampscott coach Ken Leeder said. “Saugus is a really good team. They’ve really improved since the season began.”

Nikki Rosa earned the shutout in net with four saves.

“She played strong,” Leeder said. “She’s played great all year. This was her eighth shutout this season.”

Swampscott is back in action on Saturday with a road game at Wakefield at 4:00 p.m.

Peabody 7, English 0

On senior night, the Tanners (12-1-1) had six different girls contribute points to the win. Brianna Gaynor and Emily Nelson led the team with three points each, Chloe Gizzi and Kirsten Bradley had two,and Molly Tansey and Katherine Scacchi each added one. Amy Drover, Jillian Amirault, Alyssa Shashaty, Katie Wallace and Rebecca Sabino also played well for Peabody.

Danvers 8, Revere 0

It’s only fitting that on senior night, all five of the seniors on the Danvers roster were able to score a goal. “We were trying,” Danvers coach Jim Hinchion said.

“They were trying to set up their senior teammates and it was nice that they were able to do it. I was pretty happy for them.” The five senior goal scorers were Jess Boutchie, Kelly Connors, Teagan Gillis, Morgan Mscisz and Nicole White. Danvers (11-3) will clash against Classical at Manning Field on Saturday.


Lynnfield 3, Peabody 0

In a battle between two powerhouse teams, Lynnfield prevailed over Peabody in straight sets, 25-21, 25-13, 25-13.

“It was more competitive than the scores lead on,” Peabody coach Lisa Keene said. “I think we played well and I think we learned a lot of things that we need to work on. It’s going to get us ready for the tournament and that’s what I’m looking forward to.”

Alyssa Alperen (16 digs), Melissa Gray (six kills) and Hannah Kemp (16 assists) were the top performers for Peabody. With the loss, Peabody’s streak of 11 consecutive wins comes to an end.

“We never focused on the winning streak,” Keene said. “It was always a win to win (approach.) We were always looking forward to facing those good teams. Now we’re focused on Danvers.”

The Tanners are back in action when they host Danvers on Tuesday evening.

Hamilton-Wenham 3, Marblehead 1

The Magicians fell in three sets, 25-17, 16-25, 21-25, and 17-25. Clara Pollard had six aces and five kills, and Jenny Norcross added 12 kills.

Arlington Catholic 3, Bishop Fenwick 0

Senior captains Sam Mancinelli (20 assists), Molly Camelo (11 kills) and Julia Fusco (16 digs) played well for the Crusaders in the loss. Fenwick will have another challenge Friday, as it takes on Northeastern Conference powerhouse Danvers.


Fenwick 7, Arlington Catholic 0

Caitlin Dwyer and Lauren Hallice scored their first varsity goals in the win.

“They’re definitely excited,” Fenwick coach Marybeth Mahoney said of Dwyer and Hallice. “They’re both defenders but they have strong hits, so I put them on corner plays and they capitalized.”

Lauren Fortini and Stefanie Libby each scored two goals for Fenwick (6-9-1), while Fredi Deguglielmo contributed with a goal of her own.

“Overall it was a great team win,” Mahoney said. “The girls played really well together.” Fenwick is back in action on Monday at home against Medfield.

Peabody girls soccer hands Swampscott its first loss

Peabody’s Jillian Arigo uses a slide tackle to kick the ball away from Swampscott’s Jaymie Caponegro. Photo: Bob Roche

By Katie Morrison

SWAMPSCOTT — It’s not easy to go undefeated for an entire season, especially not in a league such as the Northeastern Conference.

The Swampscott girls soccer team found that out Sunday afternoon at Jackson Park as it was handed its first loss, 3-0, at the hands of Peabody.

The Tanners controlled every aspect of the game in a meeting between two of the league’s elite teams. The Tanners were physical, and controlled the tempo of the game from start to finish.

However, Swampscott coach Ken Leeder said afterward that a loss like this can be the catalyst a team needs to kick its game into another gear.

“It’s very hard to go undefeated, and I don’t know if that would have been a good thing anyway,” Leeder said. “It was a well-played game, and we put more pressure on (the Tanners) in the second half, but Peabody is a very good team.”

The Tanners can relate to what Leeder said. Peabody suffered its only loss of the season last week against Acton-Boxborough, a non-league opponent. That defeat helped the Tanners see what they needed to work on, and even gave them some confidence, said coach Dennis Desroches.

“I think we were pretty confident coming in because we’ve had a great week of soccer,” Desroches said. “We played A-B, one of the best teams in the state, and I really think we should have taken that game (Peabody lost, 1-0). I thought overall, we’ve been playing a great style of soccer over the past week, and our kids have been playing hard from the goalie all the way out to the forwards.”

One of the takeaways from that loss, however, was Peabody wasn’t creating enough second-chance opportunities. Sunday, it was clear that finishing those chances was in the forefront of the Tanners’ minds.

“You take the A-B game, and we were very upset with ourselves for not finishing,” Desroches said. “In practice we really focused on finishing opportunities, keeping the ball alive in front of the goal. They were able to do that today.”

Peabody’s first goal, scored in the 18th minute, was a great example of finishing. Marissa Orlando launched a cross pass from the right side, Deanna Ruggiero only needed to get a piece of it to redirect it past Swampscott goalie Nikki Rosa.

Swampscott tried to respond on offense, but the Tanners wouldn’t allow its forwards to set up a good shot. The Big Blue’s best chance of the first half came in the 31st minute. Sam Agresti wove through the Peabody defense and fired in a shot that the Peabody keeper had to dive to bat away. Peabody survived an ensuing throw-in deep in their territory and a corner kick soon after, but neutralized the threat and kept Swampscott from creating more scoring chances for the rest of the half.

Three minutes later, Peabody tacked on its second goal. Katherine Scacchi threw in the ball deep in Swampscott’s end and the ball squirted in front of the net. Rosa tipped it out, but the ball stayed tied up in front of the net. Katie Wallace settled the ball in front and found the back of the net to put Peabody up 2-0.

“To be able to get to those loose balls and create havoc in front of the goal, keep the ball alive, that gave us extra opportunities,” Desroches said, “and I think that won it for us today.”

The score could have been more lopsided if it wasn’t for the impressive play of Rosa in net, who Leeder said was “outstanding” Sunday. Rosa came up with some huge saves for Swampscott, but the Tanners were just too physical and too relentless in front of the net.

They played that way on defense as well, and Leeder acknowledged that kind of play was why the Big Blue couldn’t get much going on offense.

The Tanners added a third goal with about 25 minutes to play, as Emily Nelson picked up a loose ball in the center and buried it in the corner of the net.

For Peabody, the team is riding high as it looks forward to its fourth game in six days, Tuesday against another NEC powerhouse, Marblehead. The road doesn’t get easier for Swampscott either, as it takes on Danvers Tuesday.

School roundup: Lynn Tech falls to Minuteman

Tech’s Jamila Constantine led the Tigers with 11 points Thursday night against Minuteman.


The Lynn Tech girls’ basketball team dropped a tough game to Minuteman on Thursday, falling, 30-27. Junior forward Jamila Constantine led the Tigers (3-15) with 11 points.

“She continued her scoring presence and strong presence on the boards, getting rebounds and layups,” Tech coach Kaitlyn Wechsler said of Constantine.

Senior point guard Lila Nieves added six points for the Tigers, including some big shots toward the end of the game to help Tech close the scoring gap.

Saugus 59, Winthrop 40

The Sachems (10-10) didn’t panic after falling behind in scoring, and came back to beat out the Vikings in the second half with a surge of resilience. Rachel Nazzaro dominated on the free throw line, going 3-for-4 on the line for the Sachems. Olivia Valente recorded eight points and had a strong defensive effort, not being afraid to get physical and taking on charges. Erin MacDonald also had a big night, collecting the rebounds and turning them into points for Saugus.

Beverly 44, Danvers 31

The Falcons (9-6) fell to the Patriots after a well-fought game.

“They were the much better team for four quarters,” said Danvers coach Pat Veilleux.

Devan Walsh led Danvers with 10 points, while Hannah Llewellyn scored eight points.

Revere 61, Peabody 53

Junior guard Melissa Gray led the Tanners (8-7) offensively with 24 points, while senior captain Marina Demild added 10 points for Peabody. Tanners’ coach Stan McKeen said junior guard Katie Wallace and senior captain Christa Baker played great defense despite the loss, as well.


Salem 67, Gloucester 27

The Witches cruised to a comfortable road win at Gloucester Thursday night, improving to 16-1 on the season. Sophomore guard Ricky Arias led Salem with 29 points, eight rebounds and four steals. Senior forward Joel Nunez added 11 points for the Witches, while teammate Jhonel Roberts chipped in six points and 10 rebounds.

Winthrop 49, Saugus 48

Sophomore guard Devin Pulsifer sunk a game-winning 3-pointer as time expired to give the Vikings (3-14) a home win over the Sachems. Pulsifer ended the night with a game-high 18 points, while teammates Dimmone Marshall and Tayjaun McKenzie added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Winthrop. Evan DeCristoforo led Saugus (9-9) with 15 points, while teammates Chris McGrane and Kyle Autilio each added 12 points.

Revere 64, Peabody 57

Despite the loss, guard Junior Estrella had another huge night for the Tanners (8-8), scoring 31 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. Junior guard Matt D’Amato added eight points for Peabody, while freshman Chris Canela chipped in six points off the bench for the Tanners.

St. John’s 63, Charlestown 34

The Eagles clinched a spot in the state tournament with a double-digit home win over Charlestown. Senior guard Spencer Danforth led St. John’s with 21 points, while senior point guard Alec Buresh added 17 points, including five 3-pointers, for the Eagles.

Beverly 68, Danvers 66

Sam Traicoff led the Patriots with 26 points on the night, while Pat Gavin recorded 11 points and 12 boards, and Kyle Coughlin had ten points and five assists.


Marblehead 6, East Longmeadow 4

The Magicians improved to 17-0-1 on the season with a road win at East Longmeadow. Marblehead recorded goals from six different players including seniors Colin Daley, Jim McCarthy and Tim Kalinowski, and juniors Drew Cioffi, Andrew McGurrin and Braden Haley. The Magicians held a 5-2 lead early in the second period before the Spartans scored two unanswered goals. Haley added an insurance goal for Marblehead in the third period to seal the game.

Danvers 7, Beverly 4

The Falcons (6-8-3) notched a road win over Beverly at Bourque Arena.

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


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

St. Mary’s Madison Hentosh has her eyes on the goal.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.