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Boys Hoop Roundup: English captures NEC title

For the second straight season, the Lynn English boys basketball team can call itself champion of the Northeastern Conference.But unlike last season, when they shared the title with Classical and Salem, the Bulldogs have the crown all to themselves thanks to a dramatic 61-60 win in front of a packed house at Veterans Memorial Field House in Peabody on Friday.”The kids have really played hard this year,” English coach Buzzy Barton said. “And it’s a great group of kids.”Unlike the teams’ first meeting this season, a 40-point Bulldog win, this game was close throughout as the Tanners got a school-record-tying seven 3-pointers from Mark Linehan.”Peabody did everything in their power to win this one,” Barton said. “There was no quit in them and they played their hearts out.”Peabody had a chance to pull the upset in the final minute but Kevin Skop’s three clanged off the iron with English up by two. The Bulldogs preserved the victory thanks to free throws, as English hit all but one freebie in the final 90 seconds.”It was a great high school basketball game,” Peabody coach Chris Mastrangelo said.Linehan and English’s Ryan Woumn shared the game-high scoring honors with 21 points. Justin Young had 14 and Raphael Perez added 12 for the Bulldogs. Skop had 15 and Dan Mello 12 for Peabody.Salem 70, Classical 68At Salem, Dan Byors’ jump hook in the lane with five seconds left was the difference as the Witches (11-5) overcame a 53-50 deficit after three quarters.”It was back and forth the whole way,” Salem coach Tommy Doyle said. “It was just a hectic pace.”Byors also helped seal the win at the defensive end on the following possession when he took a charge with .2 seconds left.”We didn’t do a good job of playing defense as a team in the second half,” Classical coach Tom Grassa said. “We just didn’t get a stop when we needed to.”Chris Maxson had 15 points to pace Salem, which got 14 points from Antonio Reyes and 13 each from Byors and Junior Lugo. The Rams got 21 from Jarell Byrd and 17 from Jasper Grassa.Fenwick 64, St. Mary’s 60At Peabody, the Spartans (8-8) shut down the Crusaders’ two inside threats, Mike Clifford and Nolan DiPanfilo, but had no answer for Trevor Grace, who led all scorers with 21 points.”It was a close game the whole way,” St. Mary’s coach Kevin Moran said.DiPanfilo had 15 points and Clifford finished with 13 despite the tough defense. St. Mary’s got 19 points from Tyler Grillo, 13 from John Bakopolus, 12 from Tade Ogunbona and 10 from Stephen Harper in the loss.Gr. Lowell 59, Tech 54At Lowell, the foul line decided the outcome as the Gryphons got there 32 times, making 23, while Tech attempted only eight in the contest.Victor Smith had 20 points and Felix Rios finished with 10 as the Tigers dropped to 11-6 and 10-3 in the Commonwealth Conference.Swampscott 64, Saugus 60At Saugus, the Big Blue (12-5) got a stern challenge from the 5-12 Sachems as Ryan Squires and Scott Leffler each had 19 points to lead the way to victory.Saugus had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds but Dan Internicola’s 3-pointer was well off the mark. Internicola had 16 points while Ryan Anastos added 14 and Brian Boyajian 11 for the Sachems.Marblehead 52, Gloucester 28At Gloucester, the Magicians (13-3) had the defense going, holding the hosts to 11 second-half points.Pat Song led Marblehead with 15 points while Taariq Allen added eight for the Magicians.St. John’s 82, Xaverian 73 (OT)At Westwood, the Eagles (10-5, 4-4 Catholic Conference) clinched a state tournament berth with a fifth consecutive victory.Ryan O’Connell buried six 3-pointers en route to a game-high 30 points. Brendon Felder added 17 while Sam Baker had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Patrick Conaughton chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Eagles, who trailed 36-34 at halftime.Beverly 89, Revere 61At Revere, Brian Skerry had a breakout game for the Panthers, finishing with a game-high 21 points to lead an offense that saw 12 different players score points.Mike Clayton

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