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Boys Hoop Top 10s- GazetteLand

Sport:   Posted: March 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Boys Hoop Top 10s- GazetteLand
By : mike moran
The last one was the final regular season edition. 

Power Poll (final regular season ranking)
1. Longmeadow (3)
2. West Springfield (6)
3. Central (1)
4. Cathedral (7)
5. Frontier Regional (8)
6. Northampton (2)
7. East Longmeadow (4)
8. Sabis (5)
9. South Hadley (unranked)
10. Taconic (9)

Division 1 (Record, final regular season ranking)
1. Longmeadow (19-5, 3)
2. West Springfield (16-7, 5)
3. Central (19-3, 1)
4. Cathedral (14-8, 6)
5. Northampton (19-2, 2)
6. East Longmeadow (14-7, 4)
7. Sci-Tech (13-8, 7)
8. Putnam (9-12, 8)
9. Amherst (8-12, 9)
10. Westfield (9-11, 10)

Division 2
1. South Hadley (10-15, 10)
2. Taconic (18-5, 1)
3. Drury (16-6, 4)
4. Hoosac Valley (13-9, 5)
5. Palmer (17-4, 2)
6. Mohawk Trail (17-4, 3)
7. Monument (12-10, 8)
8. Belchertown (12-9, 6)
9. Wahconah (11-10, 7)
10. Greylock (10-9, 9)

Division 3
1. Frontier Regional (24-1, 2)
2. Sabis (21-2, 1)
3. Pioneer Regional (19-4, 3)
4. New Leadership (17-6, 4)
5. Monson (13-9, 5)
6. Easthampton (10-12, unranked)
7. Granby (12-9, 6)
8. Turners Falls (13-9, 7)
9. St. Joseph’s (10-12, 9)
10. Lee (7-14, unranked)

GazetteLand Power Poll
1. Frontier Regional
2. Northampton
3. South Hadley
4. Belchertown
5. Amherst Regional
6. Easthampton
7. Granby
8. Holyoke Catholic
9. Hampshire Regional
10. Smith Academy
11. Hopkins Academy
12. Gateway Regional
13. Smith Vocational

Final GazetteLand Leading Scorers (just regular season)
1. Brian Clark, Frontier, 22.3
2. Jamie Bell, Frontier, 18.25
3. Mike Afflitto, Holyoke Catholic, 16.9
4. Jeff Donnis, Smith Academy, 15.4
5. Dana Light, Granby, 15.37
6. Chris Wetherby, Smith Vocational, 15.22
7. Scott DeLoach, Hampshire, 14.8
8. Dan Clark, Frontier, 14.6
9. Mike Kelly, Amherst, 13.55
10. Chris Demers, Easthampton, 13.18
11. Tyler Kendrick, Smith Academy, 12.8
12. Jeremy Lapointe, Granby, 12.74
13. Nick Bryda, Holyoke Catholic, 12.28
14. Tom Marsh, Belchertown, 12.25
15. Luke Wickles, Smith Academy, 12.1
16. Ryan Garvey, South Hadley, 12.08
17. Brendan Rios, Easthampton, 12.05
18. Brennan Cooper, Northampton, 11.65
19. Tyler Craig, Gateway, 11.63
20. Joe Courtney, Belchertown, 11.55
21. Dan Sullivan, Hopkins, 11.37
22. Aaron Stone, Hopkins, 11.25
23. Nick Kellogg, Northampton, 10.8
24. Branden Labrie, Hampshire Regional, 10.75
25. Mike Moynihan, Northampton, 10.3

Final Girls Hoop Top 10 & More - GazetteLand

Sport:   Posted: March 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Final Girls Hoop Top 10 & More - GazetteLand
By Jim Pignatiello

Here are the final top 10s. In the brackets this time is the preseason ranking instead of the rankings from the last top 10.

Power Rankings
1. Northampton (2)
2. Central (1)
3. Minnechaug (3)
4. West Springfield (4)
5. Holyoke (7)
6. Palmer  (NR)
7. East Longmeadow (NR)
8. Monumen Mountain (NR)
9. Lee (NR)
10. Ludlow (10)

GazetteLand Power Rankings (No preseason rankings)
1. Northampton
2. Amherst
3. Easthampton
4. Belchertown
5. South Hadley
6. Granby
7. Hampshire
8. Hopkins Academy
9. Holyoke Catholic
10. Smith Academy
11. Frontier Regional
12. Gateway Regional
13. Smith Vocational

GazetteLand Scoring Leaders
1. Genn Roy, Granby, 17.8
2. Alyssa Leonard, Amherst, 16.7
3. Patty Stefanelli, South Hadley, 16.6
4. Katelyn Cavanaugh, Belchertown, 16.2
5. Stephanie White, Easthampton, 14.4
6. Alannah Driscoll-Sbar, Northampton, 14.0
7. Kaitlyn Veit, Holyoke Catholic, 12.3
8. Kierstin Delvalle, Belchertown, 11.7
T9. Ashlee Moussette, Hampshire, 11.6
T9. Jenny Bell, Northampton, 11.6
11. Allyson Rannikko, Easthampton, 11.5
12. Sarah Pettengill, South Hadley, 11.1
13. Brighid Courtney, Northampton, 10.8
14. Kelly Omasta, Hopkins Academy, 10.4
15. Jenna Klaes, Amherst, 9.6
16. Briana Yusko, Hopkins Academy, 9.3
17. Lauren Livingstone, Granby, 8.8
18. Briana Delvalle, Belchertown, 8.4
19. Sam Fournier, Hopkins, 8.2
20. Lindsay Gondek, Smith Academy, 8.2

Noteworthy GazetteLand Career Points
Genn Roy, Granby, 1,637 (senior)
Patty Stefanelli, South Hadley, 1,108 (senior)
Brighid Courtney, Northampton, 897 (senior)
Stephanie White, Easthampton, 889 (senior)
Jamie Messer, Northampton, 783 (senior)
Alannah Driscoll-Sbar, Northampton, 754 (junior)
Jenny Bell, Northampton, 716 (junior)
Alyssa Leonard, Amherst, 677 (sophomore)
Iris Santoni, Northampton, 676 (senior)
Kelly Omasta, Hopkins, 668 (senior)
Allyson Rannikko, Easthampton, 604 (junior)
Katelyn Cavanaugh, Belchertown, 579 (junior)

Division 1
1. Northampton (24-2, 2)
2. Central (21-2, 1)
3. Minnechaug (18-4, 3)
4. West Side (14-8, 4)
5. Holyoke (13-9, 6)
6. East Longmeadow (16-5, NR)
7. Ludlow (12-8, 7)
8. Amherst (13-8, 5)
9. Agawam (8-12, 10)
10. Pittsfield (10-11, NR)

Division 2
1. Palmer (21-4, 10)
2. Monument Mountain (19-4, 3)
3. Commerce (19-3, 6)
4. Wahconah (14-8, 9)
5. Mahar (17-6, 5)
6. Mohawk (18-4, 8)
7. Easthampton (16-6, 4)
8. Belchertown (12-10, NR)
9. South Hadley (13-8, 7)
10. Hoosac Valley (14-7, NR)

Division 3
1. Lee (19-5, 3)
2. Granby (14-9, 1)
3. Lenox (14-9, 6)
4. New Leadership (13-10, 2)
5. Sabis (12-9, 4)
6. Hopkins (8-14, 8)
7. Monson (12-9, 7)
8. McCann (12-9, NR)
9. Ware (11-8, 10)
10. Putnam (19-2, NR)

Past, future of boys hoop teams broken down

Sport:   Posted: March 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Past, future of boys hoop teams broken down
By : mike moran

The following is an inside look into the past season and immediate future of the 13 boys basketball teams we cover. Check back next week for final Top 10s.

Amherst Regional
Finished: 8-12, 4-6 Valley League
2007-08: Stayed in contention for the postseason with big wins over Holyoke, Sci-Tech and Commerce. Improved by six wins from previous season because players knew their roles.
2008-09: Needs to replace five seniors, including leading scorer Mike Kelly (13.5 ppg) and point guard Peter Lappas. Ben Brassord (5.9 ppg) and Jonah Herscu (5.7 ppg) should develop more offensively and be able to carry the team. A postseason appearance is not out of the question with only two seniors and four juniors next year.

Finished: 12-9, 11-5 Bi-County East
2007-08: Lost five of first six games to start the season but found their rhythm. Very well could have been 16-4 as four of those five losses were by four points or less. Had a balanced offense with steady defense. Lost in first round of the tournament at home to Monument.
2008-09: Loses three seniors, including leading scorer Tom Marsh (12.2 ppg) but the O’s should be fine. Joe Courtney (11.5 ppg) and Bryan Eldridge (9.0 ppg) are very capable on both sides of the ball and should be better with one more year of growth. Ben McCullough takes over for his brother at point. He is probably the better of the two on both sides of the ball.

Finished: 10-12, 9-9 Hampshire East
2007-08: Despite missing Pat Hopewell for nearly three-quarters of the season the Eagles remained in the hunt and qualified for the postseason. That was due to the emergence of Brendan Rios and Chris Demers’ play in the post. It didn’t take long for Hopewell to fit in when he came back and the team defeated host Granby in the first round of the tournament. The Eagles then had Pioneer Regional on the ropes before falling in the quarters.
2008-09: The team needs to replace Demers (13.2 ppg), point guard Justin Laliberte and Hopewell. Rios (12.1 ppg) will be ready to carry the offense but someone else needs to step up.

Frontier Regional
Finished: 24-1, 18-1 Hampshire West
2007-08: Won state Division 3 championship. Brian Clark (22.3 ppg) was one of the top players in the area. Jamie Bell (18.3 ppg) and Dan Clark (14.6 ppg) did everything while Gary Grandonico and Brennan McKenna simply ran the show. Received excellent role play from Jon Pepyne and Matt Chamberlin.
2008-09: Not all is lost. The team returns a nice core of Grandonico, Pepyne and Chamberlin. Now it’s a matter of filling in the blanks with seldom used Nate Haines, Sean Kelley and Stephen Grybko. Erik Abramson could be surprise after playing most of the year on JV. He could have started for half the teams in the league.

Gateway Regional
Finished: 3-17, 1-15 Bi-County West
2007-08: It’s not easy competing in the West when you have Sabis and NLCS twice as well as double-doses of Hampshire, Southwick and Holyoke Catholic.
2008-09: Leading scorer Tyler Craig (11.6) will be gone but big man Ethan Cook (9.5 ppg) should be back. If he develops more he could easily average a double-double. Still, qualifying for the postseason will be very difficult.

Finished: 12-9, 9-7 Bi-County East
2007-08: It was supposed to be a rebuilding year. However Dana Light (15.4 ppg) was very good, Jeremy Lapointe (12.7 ppg) added a secondary source of offense, mostly from 3-point range, and Brian Boudreau was steady at point. The Rams also played tremendous defense.
2008-09: Lapointe is the only senior and while the team might not have a replacement shooter, his offense should certainly be spread out among Jason Labrie, Clinton Sapowsky, Toby Rock and Zach Benoit.

Hampshire Regional
Finished: 7-13, 7-9 Bi-County West
2007-08: Inconsistent all season. The team was hurt when two starters left in early January, and one was injured and couldn’t play from the start. If either Scott DeLoach (14.8 ppg) or Branden Labrie (10.8 ppg) had an off night, the team struggled offensively. A lack of experience possibly led to defensive struggles.
2008-09: A fresh start is all this team might need. The team was very young in 07-08 and simply being a year older can certainly add at least three more wins and a postseason appearance. This will also be the second varsity season for Kyle Fredette, Tom Leveille, Andrew Stolarik, Alex Brunelle, Jared Bean and Labrie.

Holyoke Catholic
Finished: 8-12, 6-9 Bi-County West
2007-08: Lack of depth hurt. Had trouble defending. Had one win vs. teams with plus-.500 record. Mike Afflitto (16.9 ppg) and Nick Bryda (12.3 ppg) carried the team offensively throughout the season. Junior transfer Nick Barrett (7.8 ppg) became healthy midway through the season and added a third scoring option.
2008-09: The Gaels lose a few seniors, including Afflitto, but should be OK with Bryda and Barrett. The team needs to play better defensively to have a chance against better teams.

Hopkins Academy
Finished: 7-13, 5-13 Hampshire West
2007-08: The Golden Hawks opened the season 4-0 but then struggled to stay consistent. Lack of inside presence hurt. Mix of experience and inexperience may have played a hand in inconsistencies.
2008-09: Four starters - Bill Hahn, Zach Hunter, Dan Sullivan (11.4 ppg) and Karl Kapinos - return so the team should be fine. Once again a year of experience should help but more so this season as 07-08 newcomers will be familiar with teammates and system.

Finished: 19-2, 10-0 Suburban
2007-08: Was a very balanced team on both sides of the ball. A total of 17 players checked into the at least one game for the Blue Devils, making the basketball team deeper than the football team. Had experience and talent, which sometimes had to overcome the team’s tendency to start slow.
2008-09: Loses all five starters but returning players should fair well. The next starting five could very well be Jesse Coulon (7.9 ppg), Bill Frothingham, Ellis Cooper (7.8 ppg), Jake Konowitch and Chris Osepowicz.

Smith Academy
Finished: 8-12, 7-11 Hampshire West
2007-08: A 2-8 start didn’t help the Falcons, who could certainly score. Stopping teams however was the problem. It made for interesting, high-scoring games, like a 93-88 overtime win over Easthampton and a 96-91 double-overtime win over Greenfield.
2008-09: Must replace leading scorer (Jeff Donnis, 15.4 ppg), second-leading scorer (Tyler Kendrick, 12.8 ppg) and third-leading scorer (Luke Wickles, 12.1 ppg). Of 10 players who played, six in fact were seniors. Needs to fill in depth and work on defense.

Smith Vocational
Finished: 2-17, 2-10 Tri-County
2007-08: The Vikings won when Chris Wetherby (15.2 ppg) registered a triple-double. Mike Kubasek was a second scoring option but it wasn’t enough.
2008-09: Must find a way to replace Wetherby and build depth.

South Hadley
Finished: 10-15, 1-9 Suburban
2007-08: The Tigers became the first team to win the sectional title with a sub-.500 record. Injuries and inexperience hurt against Division 1 opponents during regular season. Was healthy and experienced for postseason. Colin Lacey (8.4 ppg) and Ryan Garvey (12.1 ppg) were tremendous for the Tigers, who won their fourth title in five years.
2008-09: The team lose Lacey, Garvey and a few valuable role players. Should be strong though at guard with Roberto Agrait, Greg Daviau and Zach Garbacik. Will be small but athletic at forward with Scott Rainaud and Miguel Santiago. Brian Chieco should be healthy and playing in the middle. Will need to develop role players again.

Our favorite girls basketball moments - Cape Cod Times

Sport:   Posted: March 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Our favorite girls basketball moments - Cape Cod Times
March 25, 2008 6:00 AM

Our writers all had different ideas about how to present their favorite moments in the sports they covered. Here on the Web, we're going to give them to you as they intended. So, past tense or present tense, listed by name, by school or by date, these are what our reporters remember about the winter season:

# In one of the key matchups of the season, Jill Lyon scored 20 points and Morgan Kendrew 18 to lead Barnstable over archrival Falmouth, 58-40. The victory qualified the Red Raiders for Division 1 South Sectionals.

# Ellery Gould of Sandwich surpassed 1,000 career points in a hard-fought 55-52 win over Barnstable, and she later broke the all-time Blue Knights scoring record in a loss to Marshfield.

# Senior center Ania Hammar scored 17 of her team-high 18 points in the second half to go along with 13 rebounds and four blocked shots to lift Falmouth to a 54-51 Atlantic Coast League victory over Sandwich.

# Katie Covell sank two free throws with 4.9 seconds left to give Nauset a hard-fought 56-54 victory at Harwich.

# Nantucket improved to 15-1 with a 61-49 victory over Dennis-Yarmouth. Angela Paterson secured game-scoring honors with 28 points.

# Nantucket earned one of its most impressive wins of the season with a 49-44 win over Chatham to improve its record to 16-1. Angela Paterson led the Whalers with 16 points, while Hanniford added 12. Aileen Fredericks sank two free throws in the final 13 seconds to secure the victory.

# Molly Fischer scored 16 points, including three 3-pointers, to lift Martha’s Vineyard to a 48-37 win over Wareham. Kelly Hines collected 10 rebounds and three blocked shots for the Vineyarders.

# Lauren Gonsalves scored 19 points to lead Harwich to a tight 52-49 win over Dennis-Yarmouth. Elise Driscoll added 14 points for the Rough Riders, while Colleen Beckler contributed nine rebounds. Freshman Kelsey Lotti led D-Y with 17 points, including five 3-pointers.

# The duo of Taryn vanEsselstyn and Taylor Masaschi combined for 31 points to drive Chatham to a 61-25 romp over Upper Cape. The Blue Devils finished the regular season with a 16-5 record.

# Sandwich secured one of its more important victories with a 72-59 win over Nantucket in the regular-season finale for both teams. As usual, Ellery Gould paced the Blue Knights with 23 points and Jess Thomas added 20, while Amy Jordan (eight points) was the defensive spark.

# Mashpee defended its Lady Falcon Holiday Tournament with an easy 53-23 conquest over Provincetown. Center Leah Tiexeira led the Falcons with 20 points, while Elizabeth Stickley contributed 12, Johnica Farmer nine and Julienne McCuish eight.

# Angela Roellke exploded for 37 points to lead Upper Cape to a 57-39 win over Bristol Aggie. Roellke connected on all five of her 3-point shots for the Rams, who were helped out by Molly Cosgrove’s nine points and Diandra Conceicao’s 13 rebounds.

# Senior Cassidy Cryer scored the game-winning basket with no time remaining to pace Cape Tech to a 39-37 victory over rival Upper Cape to improve its record to 9-11, after posting a 0-20 mark last season. Roni Lavelle led the Crusaders with 12 points, while Cryer added 10. Cosgrove led all scorers for Upper Cape with 21 points.

# Despite 33 points by Rayven Tillman, Cape Tech pulled out another close game in a 59-57 three-overtime triumph over Sturgis on a key jump shot by Brianna Thompson with 11 seconds remaining in the third OT. Cryer’s 18 points led the Crusaders.

# After being honored in pre-game ceremonies on Senior Night at Provincetown, the trio of Holly Rose, Brandi Webber and Shelby Zawaduk combined for 23 points to lead the Fishermen to a 48-17 romp over Sturgis and clinch a MIAA Div. 4 South berth for the winners, who improved to 10-10.

# Rayven Tillman scored a game-high 19 points to lift Sturgis to a 37-31 win over Bethany. Kaylee Bosen added 10 points for the Storm, who held a three-point lead at halftime.

# Led by Diandra Conceicao’s 17 points, 13 rebounds, eight steals and six blocked shots, Upper Cape posted an impressive 53-25 victory over Old Colony. Angela Roellke added 15 points and Molly Cosgrove 13, including a 3-pointer.

# Courtney Donovan erupted for 21 of her game-high 25 points in the second half and also collected 12 rebounds to pace Bourne to a 56-45 victory over Case. Ryann Chase added 15 points in a winning cause.

# In Bourne’s 66-20 romp over Greater New Bedford Voke, Courtney Donovan led the way with 23 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

# Katherine Marvullo hit two key jump shots in the fourth quarter to lead Dennis-Yarmouth to a 47-42 win over Nauset on Senior Night in South Yarmouth. Marvullo and Liz Balboni led the Dolphins with eight points apiece. D-Y captured the previous encounter, 53-49 thanks to 11 points by Tiki Walker, 10 for Sandy Fitzsimmons and nine by freshman Kelsey Lotti.

- John Garner Jr.

Our favorite boys basketball moments - Cape Cod Times

Sport:   Posted: March 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Our favorite boys basketball moments - Cape Cod Times
March 25, 2008 6:00 AM

Our writers all had different ideas about how to present their favorite moments in the sports they covered. Here on the Web, we're going to give them to you as they intended. So, past tense or present tense, listed by name, by school or by date, these are what our reporters remember about the winter season:

Junior CJ Nicholas put up an all-star season, led by a 38-point effort, with only one 3-pointer, a 73-64 loss to Bridgewater-Raynham. He also scored 31 against Taunton, 26 against Attleboro and 25 against Dartmouth, all losses for the undermanned Red Raiders.

Senior all-star Eric Robbins went on a three-game tear, scoring 30 in a 73-71 win over Old Rochester, 26 and 26 in losses to Seekonk and Dighton-Rehoboth. He also had 27, including the game-winner with 27 seconds left in a 57-55 win over Martha’s Vineyard.

Sophomore Tim Savage scored on a layup as time expired to beat Old Rochester, 73-71.


Senior point guard and four-year starter Nick Clarke had 25 points and five assists in a loss to Nantucket, going 9-for-12 from the line. Clarke had 18 points, 12 on 3-pointers, and dished out six assists in a win over Sturgis. In a loss at Provincetown, Clarke scored 22 points and had three assists. He led the team in scoring and assists.

Sophomore Brian Morris had 19 points and 19 rebounds in a close, season-ending loss to Harwich.

Mayflower League all-star Dom Richmond scored 20 or more points in 15 games, with a high of 33 points (and 15 rebounds) in a 2-point loss to Old Colony.

Jake Roderick lit up the board for 43 points in a season-opening win over Bristol Aggie.

Bryan Connell had a 22-point, 13-rebound, 8-assist performance against Blue Hills.

Senior Jeremy Santiago, in his first year with the Dolphins, scored 20 points, including the buzzer-beater, overtime game-winner that beat Nantucket.

Senior Jason Clark scored 25 points against Dighton-Rehoboth, including five 3-pointers. He also went 6-for-6 from the foul line in the final quarter. For the year, Clark had 39 3-pointers and was 74 percent from the foul line.

Senior center Phil Ford led all scorers with 20 points in the ACL All-Star game. He also had 12 rebounds in the first game against Nauset.

Senior Alex Xiarhos had 14 points and 9 rebounds to lead the Dolphins to a win over Nantucket the second time the teams played.

Sean Fitzpatrick scored an old-fashioned three-point play following up a missed free throw with 37 seconds left to force overtime in a Bridgewater-Raynham Christmas tournament win over Sharon. Fitzpatrick had 16 points and 11 rebounds in the victory. Falmouth beat B-R the next night to win the tourney.

Sophomore DK Johnson hit a 3-pointer from the corner with four seconds left to force overtime in a home loss to ACL North champion Plymouth North, the Clippers’ only home defeat of the season. Jamie Heide scored 24 points on a bad ankle in the game. Both teams were 8-0 heading into the matchup.

Ryan Santos hit a baseline jumper off an out-of-bounds play with 1.3 seconds remaining to beat Whiman-Hanson by one point the game after the loss to Plymouth North.

Senior Sam Clarkin-Wilcox set up Sean Fitzpatrick’s foul-line jumper with nine seconds left for a 47-45 win at Sandwich. Fitzpatrick had 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter.

Ryan Knox scored 18 points as Falmouth beat Plymouth South on Senior Night in the last regular-season home game.

Josh Soby scored 17 points in a tourney semifinal loss to Hyde. Soby also scored the game winner with 14 seconds left off a feed from Bob Schneider that beat Cape Cod Academy.

In a tourney quarterfinal victory over Rocky Hill, team defense keyed the win, led by Mike Deasy and Alex Desnoyers.

Ben Bianco scored 20 first-half points and finished with 27 in a close loss at Hull.

The Rough Riders, aided by the leadership of captains Mike Stelma, Jon Thompson and Mike Trabucco, were named the MIAA Div. 4 boys Sportsmanship Award winners.

Senior point guard Nick Viera had three games of 27 points, including in a triple-OT loss to Wayland. He also had 27 points against Harwich and Old Rochester on the Vineyard’s senior night. He averaged 16.4 points, 5 rebounds and 2.5 assists.

Junior Mark Reppert scored 24 points in a first-round tourney win over Westwood. He had a 21-point game against Wareham during the regular season. He averaged 13 points, 6.5 rebounds and 2 steals.

Senior Bubba Brown compiled six double-doubles. He had 16 points and 11 rebounds in a loss to Arlington Catholic, and 19 points and nine rebounds in a last-second loss to Pembroke.

Senior guard Joey Lopes scored his 1,000th point in a tourney loss to Westport. He had the best game of his career that night, scoring 34 points, including eight 3-pointers, and had four assists. Lopes also had a 28-point game with 7 3-pointers in a one-sided win over Harwich.

Junior Joel Michaelson had 19 first-half points and finished with 26 points and 14 rebounds in a win over East Bridgewater.

Michael Martini had three consecutive double-doubles, averaging 15 points and 13 rebounds in a 1-2 week against Cohasset, Hull and Norwell.

Freshman Larry Green had 15 points, 9 assists and 5 steals in a win over Nantucket in the opening game of the season.

Senior Jordan Ferreira scored his 1,000th point on a 3-pointer in a 74-57 victory over Blue Hills. He also had a 30-point game in a win over Easthampton in the Martha’s Vineyard tournament.

Junior Delroy Lawrence had a dominating 10 points, 15 rebounds and six blocks in a 73-58 victory over Blue Hills. He had 49 blocks on the year. He also had a 23-point game against South Shore.

Junior Josh Butler scored 12 points and hauled down 13 rebounds in a win over Cape Cod Academy. He had 21 points in the tourney loss to Avon.

Mark Munroe hit a 3-pointer wth 1.2 seconds remaining for a 63-62 victory over Whiman-Hanson.

Brett Conrad, who led the team scoring 17 ppg, had 20 points and 11 rebounds in an overtime win over Burncoat, and 17 points and 12 rebounds as the Warriors beat Bishop Stang.

Connor Seymour’s 18 point, 13 rebound double-double pushed the Warriors to a 68-62 tourney win over Milton. He also had 23 points and 11 rebounds in the win over Burncoat.

Guard Mike Quill had 22 points and seven assists in the season-opening win over Latin Academy, and 21 points and seven assists in a victory over Plymouth South.


Junior Cody Silva had double-doubles in three consecutive games. The streak started with 23 points and 15 rebounds against Bethany Christian, continued with 23 points and 12 rebounds against Norfolk, and ended with 13 points and 14 boards vs. Sturgis.

Junior Ben Fortier, who averaged 17.1 ppg to finish second in the Lighthouse Conference to Nantucket’s Jordan Ferreira (17.3), had four consecutive 20-point efforts: 24 against Bethany Christian, 25 against Mystic Valley, 26 again vs. Bethany Christian and 23 vs. Norfolk Aggie. He also had a 23-point effort against Sturgis.

Two-time ACL all-star Connor Green scored 27 points, including the free throw that forced overtime in 65-64 loss to Martha’s Vineyard. He also hit a game-clinching 3-pointer in a two-point win over Barnstable, and scored 22 points in a 16-point victory over Whitman-Hanson.

Senior Christian Champney finished his high school career in huge fashion as he led the Storm to the Norfolk Aggie tournament title. He scored 28, including 7-of-9 3-pointers, in a 49-42 win over the host team, then scored 27 the next night in the 56-40 title tilt victory over New Testament. In that game, he missed his first four 3’s, then connected on 6-of-7.

Junior Mark Ode had 14 points and dominated the boards, hauling in 19 rebounds in the win over New Testament.

Ryan Delgado, who averaged 17 ppg, had 29 points in a loss to Blue Hills. Delgado had eight games with 20 or more points.

- Russ Charpentier

Bowdoin's 1-2 mound punch

Sport: Softball  Posted: March 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Bowdoin's 1-2 mound punch

Bears' 1-2 mound punch — Bowdoin College sophomore Julia Jacobs has a 19-7 career mark, while teammate Karen Reni (10) has 32 career mound victories. (Photo courtesy of ciphotography.com)

Pitchers Julia Jacobs and Karen Reni lead the 14-2 softballers into NESCAC schedule

BRUNSWICK — The Bowdoin College softball team recently returned from its annual Florida spring trip sporting a sterling 14-2 record, the best 16-game start in the program's history.

Pitchers Julia Jacobs and Karen Reni have combined on 13 of those wins with a 1.12 earned run average (injured freshman Kara Nilan is 1-0 and hasn't allowed an earned run).

In 2006, the duo combined to win 26 games as the Polar Bears finished 26-15 — the most wins in Bowdoin softball history. Jacobs and Reni each had 13 wins, also Bowdoin single-season records.

"When Kara went down (to injury) in the second game in Florida, Julia and Karen really asserted themselves and pitched every day," said fourth-year Bowdoin coach Ryan Sullivan. "During the off-season, they hit the gym and looked stronger in Florida. When they made mistakes, they made corrections and found ways to get it done."

Karen Reni
Junior economics major Reni, from Ashland, Mass., is either at the top or near the top of several all-time Bowdoin College pitching records.

Her 7-1 record this season has given Reni 32 career wins, surpassing the mark of Jessie Poulin (30 wins from 1999-2002). The 356 innings she has pitched are also a record, along with 51 complete games in her career. She is just two off the career starts mark with 51 (record is 53 held by Erin Hanley).

"This group of girls may be young (two freshmen, six sophomores, seven juniors and one senior), but many of us have played together for two years, so we feel that we are experienced as a team," said Reni, who twirled 57 innings in Florida, allowing opponents to hit just .188, while posting a 1.58 earned run average. "In Florida, we started off a little bit slow, but we came on at the end of the trip (10 straight wins) and are excited to get into our NESCAC (New England Small College Athletic Conference) schedule."

Unlike power-pitcher Jacobs, Reni relies on her "dropball" to get outs, but both pitchers admit that their approach is similar.

"Our coaches have emphasized going after batters and waiting until they prove to you that they can hit your pitch before changing anything," said the sophomore Jacobs.

"We are very similar in that we both like to go right after the batters," said Reni. "Julia has a great 'riseball'. When I pitch, the shortstop and third baseman usually get a lot of groundballs, while Julia gets a lot of pop ups and strikeouts."

Julia Jacobs
Jacobs, from Ridgewood, N.J., is a psychology major. A Second Team All-NESCAC in 2007, Jacobs hasn't missed a beat this season. She is 6-1 with a minuscule 0.58 ERA in 48 innings and has tossed three shutouts already in eight starts. Opponents are hitting .167 against her.

"I was interested in playing Division Three softball, and academics was very important to me, so when I visited Bowdoin, I found a great place to go to school and a team that seemed headed in the right direction," said Jacobs. "This team has a lot of young talent and girls who want to win. That was an important factor for me in coming here."

Jacobs' 19-7 career mark places here sixth all-time in wins at the college with two-and-a-half years left in her college career. Jacobs throws hard and uses a devastating riseball to get her strikeouts (56 this season).

"This year, I tried to change my style, but I use speed instead of 'junk pitches' and I've added a change-up that has helped to keep batters off balance," said Jacobs. "One of the things our coaches stress is throwing strikes and staying ahead of hitters. Karen and I have been able to do that, and we have received both great fielding and timely hitting from our teammates."

"Their styles are different with Karen being taller with a different release point and she tends to keep the ball down ... where Julia throws more strikes up in the zone," said Sullivan. "One of the keys for us is that they have enough differences so when we play a doubleheader a team has to see two different styles of pitching. From Karen's dropball to Julia's riser, we feel that we have that this season."

During the Florida trip, temperatures stayed around 80 degrees, allowing the players to easily loosen up prior to a game. This weekend, the team jumps right into the NESCAC fire against perennial conference power Tufts with a single game slated for today and a doubleheader on Saturday.

All three games will be played on the Jumbos' home field outside of Boston with temperatures expected to be in the 40s.

"The game certainly changes when it gets cold," said Reni. "It takes longer to warm up. The ball feels different in your hands as well, but it's a good thing for us to be starting out with Tufts. We feel that we have to play against the best, and they have been the best in our conference for a long time."

"We have a lot of momentum coming off of our Florida trip, so we need to play confident and know that we are a good enough team to compete against anyone," said Jacobs.

The two pitchers have leaned on each other the past two years and have formed a tight friendship both on the field and off.
"It is so motivational having someone there who can see what you are doing wrong and pick you up when you are down," said Jacobs. "When I pitch well, she is excited for me, and when I struggle or seem off, she has a way of talking me through it."

"People think we are a click on this team because she is who I lean on when things are tough and good," said Reni. "It's been awesome to have someone who can read my mind and know the right thing to say."

"When Karen first came to Bowdoin, she didn't have an upperclassman to lead on," said Sullivan. "Last year, Karen helped Julia during her freshman year, while this year they are my co-pitchers. Their approach to the game differs, but during the game they support each other very well and offer each other more than just encouragement. They rely on each other a lot."
Last season, Bowdoin finished 26-15, but missed the playoffs as the third-place team in the NESCAC Eastern Division (the top two go to the playoffs).

This season, Sullivan has warned his team about the pitfalls of looking past a NESCAC opponent.

"Tufts has been a top team and won it all last year, but the fun thing here is that there are a lot of good teams with Trinity, Bates and Colby. And, if we look past somebody, we will get caught," said Sullivan. "Last year, we seemed overwhelmed at times, but this year we seem more prepared and have a lot of confidence, plus our pitching is really good and should help us as we get into our NESCAC schedule."

Bowdoin's first chance to play in front of its home fans is April 4 against Bates College.

Oliver selected to NCAA Leadership Conference

Sport: Baseball  Posted: March 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Oliver selected to NCAA Leadership Conference
The Courier-Gazette

Wade Oliver of South Thomaston is one of two Monk athletes chosen to represent Saint Joseph's College at this May's National Student-Athlete Development Conference.

A pair of standout Saint Joseph's College athletes have been selected to represent the college at this May's National Student-Athlete Development Conference hosted by the NCAA. Juniors Ryan Prescott (Pittsfield, NH) and Wade Oliver (Owls Head, ME) will join 700 other student athletes at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL May 25-29 for the conference.

The NCAA National Student-Athlete Development Conference provides NCAA student-athletes with a forum to openly discuss issues that may affect them on their campuses and in their communities, while also providing them with the opportunity to enhance their leadership, communication, decision-making and problem-solving skills.

Prescott is a two-sport standout, participating in cross country as well as lacrosse. He also is a member of the St. Joe's club hockey squad. Prescott was named the 2007 GNAC Men's Cross Country Runner of the Year after winning the conference meet in October.

Oliver was selected to the North Atlantic Conference Baseball First Team in 2007 after hitting .364 with 34 runs, 25 RBI's and 13 stolen bases to help lead the Monks to the conference tournament title and a berth into the NCAA Regionals. The nimble outfielder was also named as the 2006 NAC Rookie of the Year.

Oliver and Prescott were chosen to represent Saint Joseph's College at the conference as both demonstrate outstanding leadership skills in the classroom and on the playing field.

Copyright © 2008 MaineCoastNOW.com

Putnam's pitch on target

Sport: Baseball  Posted: March 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Putnam's pitch on target
By Ernie Clark
Saturday, March 29, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

Longtime baseball coach Murray Putnam shouts out drills to his players during an early morning practice at Southern Aroostook High School in Dyer Brook Tuesday. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett) 032908_MurrayPutnam1.jpg
Southern Aroostook baseball coach Murray Putnam instructs players, including Cody Robinson (left), during a morning practice Tuesday in Dyer Brook. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)

DYER BROOK, Maine - During preseason practice for high school baseball pitchers and catchers this week, Dakota Sleeper heard the same lessons Southern Aroostook Community School players have absorbed for decades.

And as the promising pitcher and shortstop listened to Murray Putnam speak, Sleeper was fully aware of how such lessons already had enhanced his game.

"He’s a great motivator," said Sleeper. "Last year I was a freshman, and he pretty much walked me through all the mechanics of pitching. He gained a couple of miles per hour on my fastball and taught me a curveball.

"He teaches old school, and I love it."

Sleeper’s sentiments are sure to ring familiar to hundreds of earlier Southern Aroostook players, for in an era when coaching longevity is a threatened concept, the 61-year-old Putnam begins his 40th year as a varsity baseball coach still true to his game and his core beliefs.

"He started so long ago, he’s sort of his own institution," said Jason Tarr, a school principal in Houlton who played for Putnam on two state championship teams during the mid-1980s. "He built the program and had a lot of success, and he’s certainly been a mentor to a lot of people, myself included."

Such enduring relationships are founded in the fundamentals of the coach-player relationship that have enabled Putnam to build and maintain one of Eastern Maine’s most consistently competitive small-school baseball programs.

"The biggest thing I learned from Murray was discipline," said Tim Prescott, who played for Putnam at Southern Aroostook during the mid-1970s and has been the varsity boys basketball coach at Presque Isle for more than two decades. "I always think he looked at discipline as a positive. I don’t think like he thought about what discipline does to kids, but what discipline does for kids."

That discipline has helped the dean of the state’s schoolboy baseball coaching fraternity and his teams earn 10 Eastern Maine championships, five state titles and 423 career victories since he first stepped onto the diamond at Oakfield Community High School in 1968.

"He was strict, and he had high expectations," recalled Tarr. "But we also knew he was going to be fair and that if we did what he expected of us we probably were going to be playing for championships."

Honesty is the best policy

While the program’s most recent state title came in 1999, the Warriors have not faltered, overcoming the declining enrollment trend common in northern Maine to compile a 74-24 record over the last six seasons.

Chalk it up to a focus on the basics of baseball and life.

"The vast majority of youngsters reflect in a positive way on being dealt with flat-out honestly," said Putnam, who also is his school’s assistant principal, teaches a history class, and for the last 35 years has served as Southern Aroostook’s athletic administrator.

"There’s a lot to be said for being flat-out honest," said Putnam. "What I’m going to tell you, you might not like to hear, but it is the truth as I know it and the truth based on these criteria because I already know a [baseball] scenario and I know how the scenario will play out over and over again."

That honesty has led to a fierce loyalty between Putnam and his players. Ask Putnam his greatest coaching success, and he’ll cite the successful educators and state troopers and bankers and railroad workers and ministers who have worn the Warriors’ purple and white.

"Most of them have possessed a very good and positive work ethic," he said. "I think for the most part that through their efforts and contributions to the varsity baseball program here at Southern Aroostook that a huge part of the benefit for them has been that most have realized the rewards of hard work."

And to a man, his players past and present have appreciated an honesty that has precluded Putnam playing favorites. Whether it be during a game or practice, or during team-building preseason trips south, he is not one to tell a player merely what he wants to hear but what he sees as the reality of a given situation.

"He’s passionate, he’s consistent and it didn’t matter who you were, what your last name was or which town you were from," said Jon Porter, who played on state championship teams under Putnam in 1988 and 1989 and is now Southern Aroostook’s principal. "It was a matter of him being consistent. He expected you to show up on time, to play as hard as you could and do the little things so you didn’t beat yourself mentally. He expected physical errors and understood that mistakes happen, but he focused on not making those mental mistakes."

From rural roots

Putnam grew up on a potato and dairy farm 10 miles south of Houlton with 10 brothers and sisters, many of whom shared a passion for athletics.

His mother was an elementary school teacher, several others in his family also became educators and so did Putnam after graduating from Ricker Classical Institute and Ricker College in Houlton.

"I really wasn’t sure what I might do most of the way through college," he said. "It’s the kind of thing that just grew on me. I didn’t feel any sense of obligation to do it, but I did feel a sense of whatever you do, do it to the best of your ability."

Putnam began teaching and coaching in 1968 in nearby Oakfield, a community where baseball long has been important.

"The Oakfield area, in particular in the post-World War II era, was renowned for summer ball and town team ball like what you’d see in the rest of rural Maine at the time," he said. "A number of the folks I met when I first came here out of college had experienced that, and a number of those folks had children and in some cases nephews and in some cases even third-generation children who could identify with what baseball meant in a rural setting."

Putnam instituted a Pony League program for younger players in the area, and also quickly found success at the high school level. By 1970, Oakfield ended a 16-year title drought by winning the Katahdin Valley League title.

Three years later, the landscape changed, as Oakfield, Island Falls, Smyrna, Merrill, Dyer Brook and Crystal merged into the Southern Aroostook Community School District as part of the state’s school consolidation efforts of the era. Southern Aroostook Community School opened in April 1976 to finally bring all those students together in the same building, and while the school district continued to grow, so did the baseball program.

The Warriors broke through to win back-to-back Eastern Maine championships in 1977 and 1978, and at the same time community members worked to provide the baseball program a permanent home by building a new diamond at the new school.

"We built it with local help. There was no godsend, no huge money drop from anywhere, but a whole lot of folks generously gave of their time," Putnam said. "We managed to build a good facility, and I had the good fortune after the first year we used it when the board of trustees elected to name it. That was quite an honor."

Welcome to the Murray W. Putnam Baseball Field.

Tradition of excellence

Many top-notch players have competed on Putnam Field throughout the last 30 years, as Southern Aroostook has gone on to win eight more Eastern Maine titles as well as state championships in 1984, 1987, 1988, 1989 and 1999.

But don’t expect Putnam — a 2002 inductee into the Maine Baseball Hall of Fame — to pick a favorite.

"When someone asks me to name my best catcher or shortstop, I respond to that by saying they’re all my catchers or they’re all my shortstops, because I believe you don’t say things that could be divisive or alienate any youngster," he said. "I don’t compare eras. I’ve had the good fortune to coach three generations, and they are all uniquely partly the victim and partly the product of the era they’ve lived in."

But make no mistake about it, the postseason is a defining time of year.

"To me, it has long been, and I think the vast majority of youngsters I’ve had the good fortune to deal with would share this, special to play in the postseason," Putnam said. "When you get into the postseason, that’s another entity and a whole lot of things can happen there because no matter what it says on paper, it isn’t played on paper, it’s played on the arena of play."

Perhaps that was no more evident than in 1987, just one year after high school baseball converted from a league format to Heal points for organizing its playoffs and Southern Aroostook had joined a newly added Class D.

The state final was a rematch between Southern Aroostook and North Yarmouth Academy, which had edged the Warriors 5-3 in 1986.

"I had the nucleus of the same club from the year before, and so did they," said Putnam. "I knew we wouldn’t rip the cover off the ball against [NYA pitcher Eric Fenton, who later played hockey at the University of Maine], so I was willing to be a risk taker to the extent that after one walk, we laid down two bunts.

"They were well placed, which isn’t guaranteed, but they misplayed both of them, and we had one solid hit. We scored three runs in that inning. That was all we got, but that was enough. We held them."

That 3-2 win was a bit out of the ordinary for a program once nicknamed the Lumber Company, but it represented Putnam at his strategic best.

"If it’s obvious that the only way you’re going to generate offense is to try something different than you had before, I’ll do that," he said. "Am I one who’ll get on the diamond and run helter-skelter? No. You just have to focus on the task at hand, and too many people don’t do that."

The changing arena

As Putnam adapted to that particular baseball situation, he also has adjusted to many other changes throughout his career — like giving up throwing batting practice in 1999, a task he did ambidextrously.

He has also had to work with a smaller student population. When Southern Aroostook first opened, it had about 230 students in grades 9-12. Today, that number is about 130.

"There are negatives to that," he said, "but that said, it’s probably superseded by the fact that if a youngster truly wants to put forth an effort and take part, there’s probably a uniform here for him. I think that’s one of the unique features of small school systems, certainly in rural Maine and I might suggest in rural America."

There’s also the more complicated family structures of recent times that can place additional pressures on adolescents who might loom slightly larger in life in baseball uniforms but ultimately are still just kids.

"Every one of the youngsters who came through the door here today, and I submit in every other school system, they came to school from some dwelling that doesn’t by definition make it a home," he said, "and in many cases that values system is shot to smithereens."

Yet Putnam firmly believes the values coaches share with their players in practice and games can provide an avenue to success throughout the school day.

"I think we could show very objective evidence that during the time that youngsters are involved in co-curricular activities, their comportment, behavior in school and certainly what is reflected in an academic sense is higher," he said. "I’m not saying it’s 100 percent, but I’ve seen numerous cases."

Putnam expects approximately 20 student-athletes to turn out Monday for the first day of full-scale practices.

And while the focus of his initial pep talk will include virtually nothing about winning and losing, it likely will include everything about what enables the winning and losing to take care of itself.

"In the first place, never, not one time, have I ever verbally or otherwise harangued youngsters about ‘you need to win,’ meaning you’ve got to achieve some kind of regional and-or state championship and if you don’t you ought to go put a gun to your head or jump off a bridge. Never has that been part of my comportment," he said.

"But I have, as I did with the [pitchers and catchers], said there are a number of things that we can do, and among our goals should be to be better off than you think you are right now, to be quicker, to be stronger and to think more of that seldom-used four-letter word called team."

Long hired at Algonquin

Sport:   Posted: March 28th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Long hired at Algonquin
By Josh Centor/Daily News correspondent
The MetroWest Daily News
Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 12:02 AM

Bill Long was named head coach of the Algonquin football team last week, becoming the third person to lead the program in the last four years.

Long, who replaces Mike Vulcano, has spent the past four seasons as an assistant at St. John's, helping the Pioneers to three Super Bowl championships.

"I'm absolutely ecstatic about this tremendous opportunity," said Long, who played college football at Norwich University. "The whole community is a class act from start to finish and it's an honor and privilege to coach at Algonquin."

It's the first head football coaching position for Long, who has also been an assistant at Marlborough. Long has been the head wrestling coach at St. John's for the past three seasons.

Algonquin athletic director Fran Whitten couldn't be more excited about the hire and believes Long will be the face of Tomahawk football for many years.

"I think he fits all the needs of the program. He's been a head wrestling coach and has worked with a great football coach at St. John's in John Andreoli," Whitten said. "He's run the offensive and defensive side of the ball and I don't question his knowledge of football at all."

Most pressing for Whitten and the Tomahawks is for someone to come in ready to win with an experienced senior class.

"As a program, we need some consistency, but it's only one year for the seniors and they needed someone to hit the ground running. Bill can handle the needs of the senior class, but will also be able to establish the ethics and values we're looking for in a longterm program," Whitten said.

Long understands the desire of the seniors and is prepared to give them everything he's got.

"The pieces are there to do some great things and I just want to do right by the kids," Long said. "This is their third coach and that's not what they had hoped for. There's a healing process that needs to happen and we're going to go from there."

Algonquin's football team has had many more losses than wins in recent years (4-7 last season), but Long believes his new squad can join the school's other programs as Central Massachusetts powers.

"We're not far from being a strong team where excellence permeates throughout the program from the freshman team to the varsity team," Long said. "We want to do things with class and integrity and hopefully that will add up to some great accomplishments."

Long has decided to relinquish his wrestling responsibilities at St. John's, choosing instead to devote all of his energy to the Algonquin football team.

"I want to put the time in at Algonquin. Coaching wrestling would have been stretching it too much," Long said.

Long met with his players for the first time Tuesday, and was excited to see 70 young men show up to meet him.

"The kids were great and we're all going in hoping for the best," Long said.

Bentleyís title hope, perfect season over

Sport:   Posted: March 28th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Bentley’s title hope, perfect season over



Winona St. 86, Bentley 75
John Smith scored 22 points as Winona State earned a place in the NCAA Division 2 championship game for the third straight year, using a second-half surge for an 86-75 victory over previously unbeaten Bentley last night in Springfield.

It was the second straight year the Warriors ended Bentley’s unbeaten season in the Elite Eight. Winona State will play Augusta State in tomorrow’s championship game.

Winona State, which won the 2006 NCAA title and lost to Barton in the 2007 title game, will take a 31-game winning streak into the final.

Bentley (34-1), which had been the last remaining unbeaten Division 2 team, was bidding to become the first Division 2 men’s national champion from New England since Massachusetts-Lowell in 1988.

Jonte Flowers had 20 points for the Warriors, Quincy Henderson had 17 and David Johnson 16.

The Falcons were led by Nate Fritsch with 18 points. Lew Finnegan had 17 and Tom Dowling 15. Bentley junior Mike Sikonski of Holden had two points and two rebounds.

Augusta St. 56, Alaska 50
A.J. Bowman scored 18 points and Garret Siler added 17 as Augusta State defeated Alaska Anchorage, 56-50, to advance to the NCAA Division 2 men’s basketball championship game for the first time.

The Jaguars held Alaska Anchorage to 11 points in the first half, tying a 45-year-old tournament record for the lowest score in a half. Oglethorpe scored 11 in the first half against Philadelphia University in 1963.

Girls lacrosse capsules

Sport:   Posted: March 28th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Girls lacrosse capsules


Coach: Heather Harford (third year)

Last season: 15-5

Key players: Shannon Hartford, jr.; Kelly Burke, jr.; Kaela Barta, sr.; Katherine Falzareno, sr.; April Surette, jr.

Contributors: Alyssa Rosenthal, jr.; Emily Messelaar, jr.; Emma Cannon, so.; Emily Carlson, sr.

Strengths: Athleticism. A fine-tuned transition game will be bolstered by the team's quickness and athleticism.

Concerns: Patience. Hartford would like to see her team get into its settled offense by occasionally passing on transition opportunities.

First game: Wilmington at Georgetown, March 31 (3 p.m.)

Coach's outlook: "It's going to be very competitive. The girls lacrosse programs in the Cape Ann League have been crunched down from three divisions to two, so we'll be facing tougher teams in Masconomet and North Andover."


Coach: Catherine Batchelder (second year)

Last season: 6-9

Key players: Laura Fallon, jr.; Emily Vartabedian, sr.; Marissa Games, sr.; Avery Cullinan, jr.

Contributors: Chloe Hundertmark, so.; Amy Reynolds, so.; Morgan Fitzgerald, so.; Haley Johnson, fr.

Strengths: Work ethic. Newburyport has senior leadership, athleticism, speed and a strong collective will.

Concerns: Youth. The Clippers could start several freshman. The team's success could depend on the adjustment from youth league to high school.

First game: Ipswich at Newburyport, March 31 (3:45 p.m.)

Coach's outlook: "The team has many new players who add a new dynamic we were missing last year. The girls are working very hard in preseason, and we are ahead of where we were at this time last year."


Coach: Stacey Beaulieu (second year)

Last season: 8-9

Key players: Sarah Peterson, sr.; Michelle Godfrey, sr.; Kristie Davis, sr.; Amanda Desjardins, sr.

Contributors: Karly Kennedy, sr.; Colleen Gargan, sr.; Tiffany Stanton, sr.; Tarra Wallace, sr.

Strengths: Defense. Beaulieu likes her back four, which should prove to keep opposing teams' scores in the single-digits.

Concerns: Leadership. With six seniors gone, Triton lost some valuable experience.

First game: Triton at Masconomet Regional, March 31 (5 p.m.)

Coach's outlook: "It should be a tough but fun year. We're facing Masco and North Andover on top of an already tough lineup of Ipswich, Georgetown and Manchester. Making the tourney will be difficult, but it's certainly a goal we'll be striving for."


Coach: Bob Pierce

Last season: 13-7

Key players: Lyndsay Beaton, sr.; Sarah Galligan, sr.; Laura Fallavollita, sr.; Alex Kowalewski, sr.; Colleen McGoldrick, sr.; Calley Yokum, sr.

Contributors: Kayla Jewett, jr.; Brianna Yokum, so.; Autumn Gadd, jr.; Kayla Melville, jr.; Sarah Evers, jr.; Zoe McKenzie, jr.

Strengths: Athleticism. With great speed and quickness, the Sachems midfield should be a force.

Concerns: Goaltending. Pentucket graduated two outstanding goalies last season. With a green Heather Thomas in goal, the Sachem defense will need to help.

First game: Pentucket at Wilmington, April 3 (3:45 p.m.)

Coach's outlook: "Offensively we should be very strong. It would be reasonable to say we'll eclipse last season's output of 265 goals scored."
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Stonehillís Simonds, Stupinski earn national honors

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 28th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Stonehill’s Simonds, Stupinski earn national honors
The teammates earn honorable mention recognition on the NCAA Div. 2 State Farm Coaches All-America team.

By Jim Fenton
Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 02:09 AM

Stonehill College women’s basketball teammates Kelsey Simonds and Erika Stupinski had something in common this season.

Simonds, a Middleboro resident, and Stupinski returned to the Skyhawks after injuries spoiled the 2006-07 season for them.

Now, Simonds and Stupinski have something else in common — they have both earned honorable mention recognition on the NCAA Div. 2 State Farm Coaches All-America team.

Simonds, a former Cardinal Spellman High standout, and Stupinski helped lead Stonehill to a 27-5 record and a spot in the semifinal round of the NCAA Northeast Regional.

After missing last season with a broken foot, Simonds, a junior center, led the Skyhawks in scoring (17.0), rebounding (8.0) and blocked shots (2.3).

The former Enterprise player of the year was named the Northeast-10 Conference rookie of the year in 2005-06, then broke her foot in a conference tournament game that season. She suffered the same injury in training camp prior to the 2006-07 season.

As a freshman, Simonds averaged 10.3 points and 7.4 rebounds with seven double-doubles. With two seasons remaining, Simonds has 831 points, 464 rebounds and 125 blocked shots.

Stupinski, a senior point guard, played only eight games a year ago before being sidelined with a shoulder injury.

She led the Skyhawks this season with 7.9 assists per game and contributed 9.5 points and 2.5 steals.

Stonehill won the NE-10 regular-season championship, going 19-3, and the tournament title, then lost to Franklin Pierce in the NCAA tourney.

The Skyhawks had not won the conference title outright since 1995 and won their first tourney championship since 1997.

The national Div. 2 player of the year is Franklin Pierce sophomore forward Johannah Leedham, who averaged 22.7 points and had 30 points in the game that eliminated Stonehill.

She was joined on the All-America first team by another NE-10 player, Southern Connecticut State forward Kate Lynch.

Stonehillís Simonds, Stupinski earn national honors

Sport:   Posted: March 28th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Stonehill’s Simonds, Stupinski earn national honors
The teammates earn honorable mention recognition on the NCAA Div. 2 State Farm Coaches All-America team.

By Jim Fenton
Posted Mar 28, 2008 @ 02:09 AM

Stonehill College women’s basketball teammates Kelsey Simonds and Erika Stupinski had something in common this season.

Simonds, a Middleboro resident, and Stupinski returned to the Skyhawks after injuries spoiled the 2006-07 season for them.

Now, Simonds and Stupinski have something else in common — they have both earned honorable mention recognition on the NCAA Div. 2 State Farm Coaches All-America team.

Simonds, a former Cardinal Spellman High standout, and Stupinski helped lead Stonehill to a 27-5 record and a spot in the semifinal round of the NCAA Northeast Regional.

After missing last season with a broken foot, Simonds, a junior center, led the Skyhawks in scoring (17.0), rebounding (8.0) and blocked shots (2.3).

The former Enterprise player of the year was named the Northeast-10 Conference rookie of the year in 2005-06, then broke her foot in a conference tournament game that season. She suffered the same injury in training camp prior to the 2006-07 season.

As a freshman, Simonds averaged 10.3 points and 7.4 rebounds with seven double-doubles. With two seasons remaining, Simonds has 831 points, 464 rebounds and 125 blocked shots.

Stupinski, a senior point guard, played only eight games a year ago before being sidelined with a shoulder injury.

She led the Skyhawks this season with 7.9 assists per game and contributed 9.5 points and 2.5 steals.

Stonehill won the NE-10 regular-season championship, going 19-3, and the tournament title, then lost to Franklin Pierce in the NCAA tourney.

The Skyhawks had not won the conference title outright since 1995 and won their first tourney championship since 1997.

The national Div. 2 player of the year is Franklin Pierce sophomore forward Johannah Leedham, who averaged 22.7 points and had 30 points in the game that eliminated Stonehill.

She was joined on the All-America first team by another NE-10 player, Southern Connecticut State forward Kate Lynch.

MVC Baseball Preview: Hillies hungry after long, cold winter

Sport:   Posted: March 28th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

MVC Baseball Preview: Hillies hungry after long, cold winter
By Hector Longo
Staff Writer

HAVERHILL — Trips into opposing gyms or rinks got so annoying, Steve Lesiczka just stopped going.

"Really, I love to go to games," said Lesiczka, a Haverhill High senior. "All that losing, it just got to be too much."

As the spring season approaches, Lesiczka and his baseball teammates find themselves in a perfect position to do a little "annoying" of their own.

Stacked with nine returning starters and all three top pitchers back, Haverhill baseball has a chance to restore some pride.

Forget the 1-10 football season, the 3-17 campaign on the hardwood and the 6-11-3 struggles on ice.

Haverhill baseball is back, ready to be a legitimate Merrimack Valley Conference and possible Division 1 North contender.

"We're definitely excited," added Lesiczka. "If we play to our potential, we can turn the losing around very quickly."

With a few exceptions, it's been a tough year for the boys wearing Brown and Gold.

"Just walking around our own school, people have been all over us," said University of Vermont-bound pitcher Leif Sorenson, a hockey player during the winter. "We've all taken our share of the hits. You try to ignore what the other kids are saying, but it's tough. Kids can be brutal."

Sorenson, a side-arming righty, is one of the prime reasons for the optimism.

He had a 4-1 record with a 1.53 ERA a year ago. He anchors a three-man starting rotation that rivals Tewksbury for the league's best.

Classmate Sean Hayden (4-4, 47 Ks in 471/3 innings) and junior Taylor Robinson (6-0, 1.99 ERA) round out the talented trio.

The players know their first priority is to shake the attitude that currently hovers over the Shoe City.

"It was tough in hockey, because we were looking to qualify for the States," said Sorenson. "We had the players like we've won with in the past. But we just couldn't find a way to win.

"Maybe we have to learn to win. Winning is contagious. And losing is too. But I think with baseball we'll be fine."

The Hillies come in off two straight 13-8 seasons and last spring's 14-7 campaign. Right now, coach Chip Dunn is focused on fighting overconfidence more than anything else.

"No team in our league just gives you games," said Dunn. "You have to go out and prove it. You have to do it on the field."

If Dunn's message isn't sinking in, all the players have to do is harken back to the past couple seasons.

"Losing just wasn't fun," said Sorenson. "I was especially upset with hockey. But maybe we can just use it, and all the rest of the problems, as a rallying cry."


Why the struggles?

Haverhill High's Leif Sorenson is a two-sport athlete who is heading to the University of Vermont to pitch next year.

Haverhill's recent struggles in athletic circles, including the winter boys teams' .247 winning percentage (20-64-3), trouble him.

Sorenson says there are athletes in the school, and they just aren't competing.

"A lot of kids just aren't trying out," said Sorenson. "I don't know if they can't afford it ($350 user fee) or they just seem like they don't want to play. There are athletes in school who aren't playing sports.

In the Zone: This Devil has earned her due

Sport:   Posted: March 28th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

In the Zone: This Devil has earned her due

By Russ Charpentier
March 28, 2008
Taryn vanEsselstyn of Chatham wants to attend college in the South, where she can pursue her various interests. “I love the beach. I love to surf. Ceramics. Art. I just started playing guitar. I love to read. When I was younger, I took a lot of musical theater and drama classes, and I may get back into that.”

CHATHAM — It's called growing up.

Taryn vanEsselstyn stands as Chatham's all-time girls basketball scorer with 1,169 career points. She may fly under the radar on much of the Cape because she plays for the Blue Devils, a small Mayflower League team, but she made her mark in the recent Cape Cod and Islands All-Star game.

A senior third baseman, vanEsselstyn is preparing for softball, her final season at Chatham High, which opens with a game at Harwich on Wednesday.

The outgoing, 5-foot-11, three-sport student-athlete (she also plays soccer) does not limit herself to athletics.

She's into many organizations and helped create the school's Animal Welfare Club, which at a recent fundraiser collected $3,500 for use by the town's animal control officer. She also writes and draws for Chatham High's literary magazine and is president of the Young Women's Club, which brings in professionals from the community to speak to students.

While vanEsselstyn has Division III colleges such as Simmons and Salem State seeking her for her basketball ability, she's also been accepted at Coastal Carolina and Miami's Barry University, schools where she likely would play intramural ball. She's still waiting on Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla., her No. 1 choice. She planning on a possible future in animal training and behavior, and after living nearly 18 years in Chatham, looking forward to traveling.

But then there is vanEsselstyn's artistic skills, especially in pottery. That's also something she wants to pursue.

She is definitely a talented young women with a bright future.

But life wasn't always this rosy for vanEsselstyn in her first couple of years at Chatham High.

"I got my first boyfriend and got caught up in his scene, which conflicted with athletics," she said. "Everyone started noticing a difference in me. I got in trouble one time and that made me step back. My grades started to slip. I had no motivation for anything. Call it my 'I don't care' era.

"I guess I got kind of crazy with the social scene my sophomore year. I grew up. I learned about myself and who I wanted to be. I stopped trying to impress people and started thinking about myself, and not to succumb to peer pressure. I stopped being a stupid young girl."

Everyone noticed her maturity. Consider what those who know vanEsselstyn are saying about her as she enters the last couple months of high school.

"Creative, smart and personable," said athletic director Scott Thomas.

"A great kid, a real sweetheart," said her basketball coach, Joe Nickerson. "Energetic. A free spirit."

Nickerson said that when vanEsselstyn was younger, he introduced some discipline into that free spirit. The two talked often, vanEsselstyn said, and the structure and understanding eventually paid off.

The younger vanEsselstyn's real battle was with softball coach Brian Baker. As a freshman, vanEsselstyn was a Mayflower League all-star catcher. In her sophomore year, she was moved to third base.

"I was a brat about that at first," she said. But now she gets along well with Baker, has him for a teacher in two classes and he is one of her biggest fans.

"She was disgruntled with a lot of things in her life," Baker said. "Nothing not typical of that age. She found that if she worked with people, things go easier.

"She's an absolute joy to be around," Baker added. "One of the nicest kids you'll meet. The change is astounding. I can't talk enough of how she's changed."

And, Baker said, vanEsselstyn can keep a practice lively. "She's hilarious. She can instantly crack up a practice. She knows when to do it."

VanEsselstyn talks a mile a minute, and showed up at an interview — in the middle of the school day — in pajama bottoms and sweatshirt. "Sorry, it's pajama day," she said with a laugh, setting up a lively, one-hour give-and-take.

While playing softball in the spring and soccer in the fall, she said basketball is her favorite sport.

She helped lead Chatham into the basketball tournament all four years. Being one of the dominant players in the recent All-Star game was an exclamation point on her high school hoops career as she scored 20 points, including eight in a row in the second quarter, and hauled in nine rebounds.

"At first, I didn't feel comfortable there," vanEsselstyn said. "I wasn't feeling well. I was awful in the first quarter. It was the worst basketball I've ever played. I was embarrassed. I watched from the bench for a while, and came out in the second quarter and thought, 'Why am I worried?'"

She loves the game but it is not going to rule her life. She played AAU ball since seventh grade, but it sounds as if she feels its time to move onward.

"I don't want basketball to determine where I'm going to be," she said. "I don't see myself staying up north. For 10 years I've wanted to go South.

"I love the beach. I love to surf. Ceramics. Art. I just started playing guitar. I love to read. When I was younger, I took a lot of musical theater and drama classes, and I may get back into that."

VanEsselstyn is doing her school's community internship at Barn Hill Pottery in Chatham. "It's hands-on and I've learned a lot. I love making mosaics."

With one more season of games to play, and a couple of months of school before graduation, vanEsselstyn is ready to embrace the future. There have been some bumps, but the road ahead is filled with potential.

Staff writer Russ Charpentier can be reached at rcharpentier@capecodonline.com.
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