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Sport:   Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Whalers fall to Falmouth's balanced attack

By Mick Colageo
Standard-Times staff writer
March 03, 2008 6:00 AM


Falmouth’s Philip Dinan takes a shot on New Bedford goaltender Jon Mendes.DAVID W. OLIVEIRA/Standard-Times special
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BOURNE — There was no one to blame for the season-ending 7-1 defeat Falmouth pinned on New Bedford in Sunday night's MIAA Division 1 quarterfinals at Gallo Arena. All it left was the reality that the Whalers (15-5-1) made more out of less and have a nice season to build upon.

"I'm just going to miss it a lot, all my friends," said New Bedford goaltender Jon Mendes, who made 24 saves in his final high school game. "Just the friendships you make playing high school hockey, I'll never forget it."
Mendes kept the scoreboard from hitting double digits, as he was besieged by a much deeper team with impressive balance.

"They had tons of depth, they played three lines and six defensemen. They were keeping fresh," he said.

Falmouth's dominance was established with two first-period goals, but long-time coach William "Buddy" Ferreira wasn't about to let up, despite a 13-2 shots advantage.

"Not until we got up to 4-0. Are you kidding?" he said. "(New Bedford) had three guys with more points than anybody we had. I can't look at anyone (on my team) and say he was outstanding, but a lot of little things, it was a good team effort. That's the only way it's going to go for us."

Shaun Price had led the sixth-seeded Clippers (15-6-3) with 24 regular-season goals, but he didn't score Sunday. Falmouth got two from defenseman Brendan Smith and two from winger Danny Leary to build that 4-0 lead and added one each from Mike Wilson, Tyler Sabens and Dylan Sodd. Leary had a pair of assists, while Sodd added one.

"A lot of respect for Buddy Ferreira, he's a legend," said New Bedford coach John Sullivan. "Just that alone, walking in here, he coached when I played."

Falmouth senior center Roscoe Sweeney had a pair of helpers as the Clippers advanced into Friday's semifinals against No. 2 Wellesley, a 3-2 overtime winner over Milton. The other semifinal pits top-seeded Needham against No. 4 Marshfield.

It came as no surprise that New Bedford, a large school that draws its athletes from small pools in several sports, wasn't able to live up to its No. 3 seed.

The Whalers were without one of their top three defensemen, Cody Carmo (wrist). Senior Terrel Parent did an admirable job in his absence, making a nice play to steer Sabens wide in a 1-on-1 situation in the second period.

"We were only rotating three D most of the time, and it's tough because injuries are so unpredictable. Anything can happen," said Mendes.

Inasmuch as Parent was able to lend support in the back end, he was removed from the role he played up front.

"When you play three lines against two, it is what it is," said Sullivan. "We go with our best players."

Falmouth did a solid job containing co-captains Andrew Medeiros and Matt Correia. Medeiros made it through the defense at the start of the second period and again midway through the third, but both times Nick Bruce (eight saves) stopped him. Correia, playing his final game, was kept busy surviving Falmouth's forecheck.

Only Andy Soares was able to solve Bruce, sneaking one through at the post in the third period with assists from Correia and Matt Lacasse.

"Winning 15 games is quite an accomplishment with two lines. I'm very proud them," said Sullivan. "(Mendes) was definitely the glue. Some of the saves he made tonight will definitely be missed next season."

Contact Mick Colageo at mcolageo@s-t.com

NEPSAC Class C: Murphy, St. Mark's get the breaks

Sport:   Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

NEPSAC Class C: Murphy, St. Mark's get the breaks
By Chris Estrada
March 3, 2008

Minutes after his St. Mark's Lions had won the NEPSAC Class C boys' basketball championship, junior forward Erik Murphy posed for a photo with his Tournament Most Valuable Player trophy and his coach, Dave Lubick.

But right before the assembled crowd could take pictures, Murphy lost his grip and, with a loud clunk, the wood-base trophy hit the floor and the golden player that was on top broke off. Upon retrieving the little guy, Murphy held him up with his fingers for the photo.

It was the only time yesterday the 6-foot-9-inch phenom wasn't sure-handed.

Displaying the scoring and rebounding skills that will have him suiting up for the University of Florida in 2009, Murphy notched 30 points to power St. Mark's to a 62-43 victory over Lawrence Academy at Endicott College in Beverly.

"I can't even describe the feeling right now," he said. "This is what we've worked all year for, and it's the best feeling . . . The whole year was a preparation for it.

"Last night, we watched the game film of our [regular-season game] with Lawrence [Academy] and we had a team dinner, so we were all really focused and all pumped up."

A 3-pointer by Nate Lubick with 4:20 to go in the first half gave St. Mark's a 17-12 lead and set off a 11-0 run. The Lions started the second half with an 14-4 surge that pushed the edge to 44-24 with 8:30 left, effectively finishing the contest.

"We knew the key to this game would be to play hard and we rebounded," coach Lubick said. "[Lawrence Academy] is a great team, very athletic team, and they get after it.

"I thought we did a great job of being just as tough and getting after the ball on rebounding, and getting out and running."

He's right at home while far from home

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

He's right at home while far from home
Indiana Faithfull has made a smooth transition from life in Australia to studies and basketball at Cheverus.

John Ewing/Staff Photographer
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Indiana Faithfull has become a valuable player for Cheverus after moving to the U.S. from Australia to improve his basketball skills in hopes of playing at a Division I college.
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
John Ewing/Staff Photographer
Indiana Faithfull, who comes from Australia, says his year at Cheverus has been “fabulous. Everyone here has made it real easy. I’m doing better in school than I did in Australia.”


By TOM CHARD, Staff Writer March 3, 2008

Indiana Faithfull.

You've got to love the name.

With a first name the same as one of the great college programs in the country, it would seem he was born to play basketball.

Not exactly true, said Faithfull, a sophomore guard for Cheverus from Sydney, Australia.

"My mother was a runner and my father was a swimmer," he said. "They didn't name me after the school. They were looking for a western name."

"We almost named him Cody or Wyatt," said his father, Marc Caleb, who has been in Portland since Christmas. "But someone in our family said 'How about Indiana?' and we all thought it sounded great."

Faithfull, who is called Indy by his teammates and most everyone else at Cheverus, said his first name certainly garners attention.

"They call me Indiana Jones," he said.

Although his parents weren't basketball players, Indiana and his sister, Rhianna, are. She's a freshman guard for the University of Santa Clara in California, sitting out this season as a redshirt.

"I started playing basketball when I was 10," said the 17-year-old Faithfull.

Faithfull has been a key player for Cheverus (18-3), which plays Bangor (21-0) Tuesday in the state Class A boys' championship at the Cumberland County Civic Center. The game was postponed because of Saturday's storm.

An off guard who shoots and passes well, the 6-foot-2 Faithfull came to the United States seeking to improve his game. He hopes to play at a Division I college in a couple of years, just like his sister.

"There's a lot more opportunity to improve here," he said. "They play a lot more games and practice more in the United States.

"At Cheverus, we train six to seven days a week. In Australia, we would only practice one day a week and play one game. My school team in Australia wasn't very strong."

To get better competition in Australia, Faithfull played at the club level, which is similar to AAU in the U.S. He played in the under-16 national championship two years ago for the New South Wales Metros.

"We lost in the national final," he said.

It was a great experience, but Faithfull knew that if he wanted to keep improving and have a chance to play in college he would have to follow the lead of his sister, who spent her junior and senior years at a school in Arlington, Va.

The Sydney Kings are a professional team that plays in Australia's National Basketball League. Faithfull knows Billy Tomlinson, an assistant coach with the Kings whose son, Nate, played for the Lee Academy postgraduate team and will play for the University of Colorado on scholarship next season.

"(Tomlinson) knew that I was interested in coming to the U.S. to play and go to school," said Faithfull.

The path to Cheverus was an easy one. Stags Coach Bob Brown is well known in Sydney for his coaching clinics.

"I've gone to Australia 10 to 12 different times," said Brown, who has written a book on basketball published in Australia.

Faithfull and his parents visited Cheverus a year ago.

"I had no idea what kind of player Indy was," said Brown, who added Faithfull has been a great addition.

"Indy has a very good feel for the game. He's unselfish and gives us great size at the guard position."

During practice last week, Faithfull made a no-look pass to set up a basket. The play gave Brown a chance to point out the play and then demonstrate it to the team.

Brown marvels at Faithfull's ability to adapt to a new culture.

"He comes halfway around the world and takes challenging academic courses. He's had to learn about U.S. history," Brown said.

Asked to describe his year at Cheverus, Faithfull answered without hesitation.

"Fabulous," he said. "Everyone here has made it real easy. I'm doing better in school than I did in Australia. It's been great.

"We've accomplished a lot. The competition has been better than I expected."

Faithfull lives in Freeport with Chris and Beth O'Neil and their two children. He also lives some of the time in Portland with his father, who has no doubt helped his son's transition.

Faithfull learned a lot about Bangor last week in practice. He knows the Rams will be Cheverus' toughest opponent, but after a three-game losing streak late in the season, the Stags have bounced back and are playing their best basketball of the season. A major reason is Faithfull's steady play.

"Indy has tremendous court vision," said senior point guard Doug Alston. "He somehow always finds the open man. Indy makes it easier to play than anyone I've played with."

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

Dragons' pressure halts Bucks

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Dragons' pressure halts Bucks

Woodland freshman Christine Boomer (from left), senior Rachel Torrey, senior Courtney Cochran and sophomore Ashley Laking celebrate their 59-45 win over Buckfield for the girls' Class D State Championship game at the Augusta Civic Center on Monday, March 3, 2008. (Bangor Daily News/Bridget Brown)

By Jessica Bloch
Monday, March 03, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

AUGUSTA - Poor spacing, bad shooting, turnovers - the Woodland girls basketball team simply didn’t play well early in Monday evening’s Class D state championship game.

The Dragons got things turned around in plenty of time, however, for their fourth gold ball since 2001 in a 59-45 victory over previously undefeated Buckfield at the Augusta Civic Center.

"We had to come together as a team and start playing together," Woodland senior Courtney Cochran said. "It was sloppy basketball. That was like the worst basketball we’ve played in a while."

Cochran, a 6-foot center and the MVP of the Eastern Maine regional tournament, came through with another fine performance and another double-double for Woodland, this time pouring in 21 points and grabbing 17 rebounds.

As the Woodland players gathered at one end of the Civic Center to mingle with fans and have pictures taken with the gold ball, they were aware of their early struggles against the Bucks.

"We were definitely nervous coming into this game and I think we were intimidated when we were behind," said senior guard Rachel Torrey, who scored 10 points and had four steals. "But we picked up our defense and just came back."

Cochran, Torrey and backup Cindy Bergin, who had a good night off the bench when Cochran got into foul trouble in the third quarter, were all sophomores on Woodland’s 2006 title team.

Buckfield took a 9-1 lead in the first quarter after Alyssa Henderson dropped in a 3-pointer. The two teams combined for nine turnovers and were 0-for-10 from the field in the first 4 minutes, 20 seconds.

"I thought our spacing was awful the first quarter," Woodland coach Arnie Clark said. "We turned the ball over eight times, which is not like us. ... We weren’t coming to the ball, we weren’t where we were supposed to be. We were playing awful."

Even though Woodland was down by eight points, the Bucks were having their own issues. They struggled against Woodland’s full-court 1-2-2 zone press, racking up 19 turnovers in the first quarter alone.

"That’s been our trademark all year," Clark said. "We just keep putting pressure on them. Eventually you’re up by two, then you’re up by four, then you’re up by six. ... That’s what defensive pressure does to you."

Buckfield also got into foul trouble. The Bucks were called for their seventh team foul with 39.6 seconds left in the first quarter, sending Woodland into the bonus early. Five Buckfield players had two fouls and one had three at halftime.

"We knew they liked to foul, so we took it right at them and scored on them," Cochran said. "It worked out in the end."

The Dragons didn’t shoot well from the free-throw line but made enough foul shots to climb back into the game. Ariel Knights (10 points, five steals) had two free throws to cut Buckfield’s lead to 13-11 with 14.6 seconds left in the period, and then she stole the ball and passed to Ashley Laking (nine points), who tied it with about two seconds remaining.

Torrey gave Woodland the lead for good with a baseline jumper early in the second. The Dragons were up four points at halftime and reeled off eight unanswered to start the third.

The Bucks wouldn’t go away, however, and chipped into what had been an 18-point Woodland lead. Cochran picked up her fourth foul with 3:10 left in the third and went to the bench. Buckfield took advantage and got the lead back to 10 points but couldn’t get any closer.

"Early on I thought we played free and aggressive, got up and down the court a little bit," Buckfield coach Troy Eastman said. "In the second half I think we were worried about picking up our fourth foul, our next foul, and I think mentally it [took] a little toll."

There were plenty of fouls all around — Woodland made 21 of its 36 free-throw attempts, while Buckfield was 12-for-22.

Alyssa Henderson and Lindsey Henderson each had 11 points for the Bucks, who did a fine rebounding job despite Cochran’s height advantage. Lindsey Henderson had six rebounds. Alyssa Henderson had five boards and five steals. Kasey Farrington had a team-high nine rebounds.

Bowen, Dwyer record New England victories

Sport:   Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Bowen, Dwyer record New England victories
By BDN Staff
Tuesday, March 4, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

From Staff Reports

BRISTOL, R.I. - Belfast High School’s Tyler Bowen won the 200-yard individual medley for the third straight year Saturday at the New England Interscholastic Swimming and Diving Championships.

In all, Maine swimmers had nine first-place finishes and 52 awards in the meet, which was held at Roger Williams University.

Lauren Dwyer of Orono took first place in the 50 free with a time of 25.26 seconds. She was the runner-up last year.

Sanford’s Jennifer Roberts set New England records in the 200 IM (2:12.60) and 100 backstroke (59.90).

In the boys meet,Bowen clocked a 2:01.90 for the IM title.

Andrew Meehan of Brewer was third in the 50 free and fourth in the 100 free. The Witches’ 400 free relay was third.

Greely of Cumberland Center’s Nathan Mecray won two events, the 100 breaststroke and the 50 free.

In the girls meet,Brewer’s 200 medley relay team finished second. Jessica Hodsdon was third in the 50 free and second in the 100 breaststroke.

Dwyer also took second in the 100 free. Ana Peraza of Brewer was third in that event and also third in the 100 back.

Ashley Higgins, the only Bangor athlete to attend the meet, was third in the diving. Martina Bosse of Brewer was fifth. Maine divers swept the top six in that event, with Greely’s Jessica Howard finishing first.

Caribou's Dubay, Belfast's Aldus capture individual titles

Sport:   Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Caribou's Dubay, Belfast's Aldus capture individual titles
By Ernie Clark
Monday, March 3, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

Carlin Dubay of Caribou and Kote Aldus of Belfast emerged as individual champions Saturday night to cap off a strong weekend for Maine competitors at the 44th annual New England High School Wrestling Championships at Lowell, Mass.

In addition, Aldus and two teammates combined for enough points for Class B state champion Belfast to finish third in the team competition, trailing only Timberlane High School of Plaistow, N.H., and Mount Anthony Union High School of Bennington, Vt.

Timberlane won its second straight New England title and sixth championship overall with 73 points, while Mount Anthony had 64.5 and Belfast finished with 48.5 to edge host Lowell High School (48) for third. One other Maine school, Class A champion Massabesic of Waterboro, finished among the top 10. The Mustangs were eighth with 38 points.

Twelve Maine wrestlers earned All-New England status based on finishing among the top six in their weight class, a contingent led by Dubay and Aldus.

Dubay won all four of his matches and Aldus went 5-0 to claim their individual titles. Dubay won the 103-pound class to become his school’s first New England wrestling champion, while Aldus at 160 pounds became the first New England wrestling champ from Belfast in 36 years, since Dennis Sprague won the 132-pound title in 1972.

The duo joins Josh Pelletier of Foxcroft Academy (2006), Chris Remsen of Camden Hills of Rockport (2004) and Decota Cotten of Noble of North Berwick (2003 and 2004) as individual New England champions from Maine since 1999.

Dubay, a senior seeded first among the three Maine champions in his weight class who qualified for the New Englands, defeated Rhode Island third seed Kyle Bousquet of Burrillville High School 13-5 and Massachusetts second seed Corey Melo of New Bedford 7-2 during the opening night of matches. He came back Saturday to defeat Massachusetts sixth seed Chad Roberts of East Longmeadow by pin in 1 minute, 55 seconds before decisioning New Hampshire top seed Cam Sullivan of Timberlane 12-6 in the championship match.

"I really didn’t know how I’d do going into it," said Dubay, 54-0 this season. "But after the first day when I won two matches I felt pretty good."

Aldus, a sophomore seeded second among Maine’s three entries in his weight class, defeated top-seeded wrestlers from three other states en route to his championship.

He handled Vermont third seed Mike Summer of St. Johnsbury 19-2 and pinned Massachusetts top seed Travis Moran of Natick High School in 3:50 on Friday. He opened Saturday’s competition with a 13-7 decision over New Hampshire top seed Evan Carter of Alvirne High School of Hudson, then edged Connecticut second seed Trevor Ritchie of Southington 5-4 in his toughest match of the weekend before winning the crown with a 6-0 decision over Connecticut top seed Ron Thompson of Westhill High School of Stamford, Conn.

"I didn’t think I had a chance at all," said Aldus, 44-3 on the season. "But it’s pretty cool."

Aldus was one of two Belfast wrestlers to earn All-New England status. Junior Travis Spencer, a three-time state champion, finished third in the 189-pound weight class. He won his first two matches before dropping a 9-6 decision to Massachusetts top seed Mike Leavitt of Central Catholic High School of Lawrence. Spencer then rallied with three wins in the consolation bracket, capped off by a 6-2 decision over Massachusetts fourth seed Connor McNamara of Winchester High School in the third-place match.

Belfast’s team finish also was aided by its third qualifier to the New Englands, senior Mike Rolerson, who won his first two matches to reach the semifinals of the 171-pound class and finished 2-2 overall.

Among other top finishers from Maine was Camden Hills of Rockport senior Jacob Berry, who placed third at 145 pounds. Berry, who finished fifth at the New Englands in 2007, won his first match before dropping a 9-6 decision to Travis Garrett, the No. 1 Vermont seed from Mount Mansfield Union High School in Jericho. Berry then scored three straight victories in the consolation bracket, including a 2-1 overtime decision over Connecticut third seed Erialy Pierre-Saint of Stamford High School in his third-place match.

Cinjin Goewey, a senior from Maine Central Institute in Pittsfield, earned All-New England honors with a sixth-place finish at 135 pounds. Goewey won his first two matches to reach the semifinals before losing by pin to eventual New England champion Tim Rich of Chelmsford, Mass.

Four Mainers finished second in their weight classes: Jon Smith (145) of Dirigo of Dixfield; Josh Eon (171) of Massabesic; Raistlin Delisle (215) of Kennebunk and Nate Lavallee (285) of Cape Elizabeth. Chris Smith (119) of Deering of Portland and Joey Eon (140) of Massabesic each finished fourth, while Matt DelGallo (112) of Gardiner placed fifth.

Labreck gets 2nd in hurdles, 3rd in high jump

Sport:   Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Labreck gets 2nd in hurdles, 3rd in high jump
By Ryan McLaughlin
Monday, March 3, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

Maine’s finest high school track and field stars took center stage along with those from Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New Hampshire and Vermont at the New England Interscholastic Championships at Boston’s Reggie Lewis Center Friday night.

Jesse Labreck, a senior at Messalonskee of Oakland, along with Bangor senior Riley Masters and Greely of Cumberland Center’s Becky O’Brien were among those from the Pine Tree State who enjoyed strong performances.

O’Brien, who owns the country’s top schoolgirl mark in the shot put at 50 feet, 11 inches, successfully defended her New England crown in that event. The North Carolina recruit bested her closest competitor by four feet with a toss of 48-10. Victoria Flowers of Rhode Island took second with 44-3.75.

Waterville senior Bethany Karter-O’Brien was third out of 27 throwers with a toss of 42-1.50.

Labreck, committed to attend the University of Maine, came in as the top seed in both the hurdles and the high jump.

Labreck ran to the fastest time of the hurdle trials at 8.38 seconds, but Meghan Ferreira of Mansfield, Mass., came back to post an 8.24 to win the competition while Labreck took second in 8.29.

Labreck would later take third in the high jump with a leap of 5 feet, 5 inches. Hanna Muir of Wellesley, Mass., won the competition at 5-7.

Brunswick’s Kristin Slotnick took third in the 300 in 40.46 while Hillary Cederna of Greely and Hall-Dale of Farmingdale’s Laura Peterson finished third and fourth, respectively, in the long jump.

The Eastern Maine Indoor Track League was well-represented on the girls’ side.

Distance ace Hilary Maxim of Old Town came in seeded third in the mile run and finished 11th (5:19.92).

Kim Spencer from Bangor-based John Bapst took 15th in the mile in 5:25.41.

Bangor junior Dee Wilbur clocked a 9.14 in the hurdles to finish 21st while teammate Jennie Lucy, a senior, took 22nd in the 1,000 meters, finishing in 3 minutes, 15.05 seconds.

EMITL champ Brewer sent one relay team along with two individuals.

The Witches’ 4x800 quartet of Kaitlin Noyes, Michelle Haluska, Bekah Clark and Katie Snow, which set the EMITL record this winter, ran to 19th in 10:13.24 while Haluska, a freshman, finished 21st in the 2-mile in 11:55.65. Her effort was good for fourth among Maine competitors.

Brewer’s Kira Giroux went on to finish 21st in the 600 in 1:43.45 while Lauren Keane of Old Town was 25th (1:44.91).

On the boys side, Bangor’s Masters, the Class A state champion in the mile, finished third in a deep field of 25 runners, clocking a 4:19.42, a season best. Masters was only five seconds off the winning pace of Omar Aden of Charlestown, Mass., who posted a 4:14.70.

Also in the mile, Orono senior Matt Nadeau finished 22nd in 4:42.87.

Lewiston senior Mohamed Noor drew the slow heat in the 2-mile, but won the heat, running a strong 9:33.74, placing him 11th out of 30 competitors.

Four other Maine boys earned top-six finishes.

Thornton Academy of Saco’s Dan Smith was second in the shot put with a toss of 56-7, Dominik Alexis of Waterville cleared 6-5 to place fifth in the high jump, Tom Winger from Falmouth took fifth in the long jump (21-10.75) while Cam Stevens of Gorham ran to fifth in the 300 (35.98).

John Bapst junior Chris Fogler finished 14th in the high jump (6-1), 16th in the hurdles (8.20) and 17th in the 300 (37.44), while Hampden Academy’s Jadrien Cousens was 16th in high jump, also clearing 6-1.

Other Eastern Maine individuals and relay teams competing included Old Town’s David Falls, who finished 20th in the 1,000 in 2:47.27 and the Brewer 4x200-relay team of Chris Corey, Caleb Smith, Steven Rice and Ben Sinclair, which took 13th in 1:35.96.

Bangor, Cheverus play Tuesday for state title

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Bangor, Cheverus play Tuesday for state title

 Bangor's Adam Bernstein, taking a shot in the Eastern Maine Class A championship game, hopes to lead the Rams to a second consecutive state title Tuesday against Cheverus. (Bangor Daily News/ John Clarke Russ)

By Ernie Clark
Monday, March 3, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

Bangor and Cheverus of Portland are two of the state’s storied schoolboy basketball programs, having combined for 19 state championships since 1922.

One of the schools will add another gold ball to its trophy case Tuesday night, when the Rams and Stags square off in the 2008 Class A state final at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland.

Bangor has won 11 state titles, including seven in the last 15 years under head coach Roger Reed. The Rams are the defending champions, having defeated Portland in last year’s final.

Cheverus has won eight state titles overall, the last one in 1997 under veteran coach Bob Brown. The Stags have lost in the final twice since then, to Skowhegan in 1998 and to Bangor (48-43) in 2003.

That’s one of three times these schools have met for the state crown. Cheverus won the first two meetings, 24-17 in 1940 and 35-34 in 1948.

Bangor brings a 21-0 record this season and a 31-game winning streak over two years into the state final, a date the Rams were determined to reserve for themselves even before this season began.

"We obviously wanted to get to this point, it would have been disappointing if we didn’t," said Reed, whose top-ranked Rams cruised past Brunswick and Mt. Blue of Farmington during the Eastern A tourney before edging Edward Little of Auburn 61-54 in the final.

"But we spent very little time talking about anything like that during the season. We said the only thing that was important was the next game, and we concentrated on our own execution because if we did that we thought the rest of it would take care of itself."

Cheverus (18-3) battled through a fairly balanced top of the Western A field to emerge with its first regional title in five years. The Stags won their first 14 games before suffering three straight losses, then rebounded with a win over Deering of Portland in their regular-season finale.

"That was probably our best game of the year," said Brown.

Top-ranked Cheverus then cruised through tournament play, rolling by Windham and Portland before a 40-31 smothering of Thornton Academy of Saco in the regional final.

"They demonstrate a lot of patience," said Reed, who expects a relatively low-scoring game. "They take care of the ball, they’re not a team that’s going to beat themselves. You have to hit your shots against them, and you’re going to have to defend them."

Cheverus is led by 6-3 junior Mick DiStasio, a slashing forward with 3-point shooting range who averages 14 points per game. A first-team All-Southern Maine Activities Association selection, DiStasio also was named MVP of the Western A tournament.

He is joined up front by 6-4 juniors Ian Barwise (8.1 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and Peter Foley (5.6 ppg, 4.1 rpg). Six-foot-1 point guard Doug Alston, the only senior in the starting lineup, averages 8.6 points and 3.1 steals per game, and is joined in the backcourt by 6-2 sophomore Indiana Faithfull (8.4 ppg, 3.9 rpg).

Top subs for the Stags are guards Dan Foster and Chris Hendrix, swingman Will White and forward Keelan Donovan.

Bangor counters with an all-senior starting lineup, led by 6-5 center Ryan Weston (12.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg) and 6-5 guard Jon McAllian (12.1 ppg, 3.7 assists per game), the MVP of the Eastern A tournament. They are joined by 6-3 guard Lee Suvlu (8.7 ppg), 6-4 forward Billy Zolper (9.1 ppg, 5.0 rpg) and 6-3 forward Adam Bernstein (3.9 ppg, 5.1 rpg).

Top subs for the Rams are junior guard Ryan Larochelle and senior forward Ian Edwards.

"They play well as a team, I don’t see a lot of selfishness," said Brown. "They’re very talented, very big, and they can shoot the ball. They’re one of those rare teams that has all of those things."

Long Reach wins overall title; MDI takes 2nd

Sport:   Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Long Reach wins overall title; MDI takes 2nd

MDI's Justin Gilmartin swims the final lap of the boy's 200 IM Sunday afternoon at the Wallace Pool at the U. of Maine. (Bangor Daily News/Michael C. York)

By Jessica Bloch
Monday, March 3, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

ORONO - Although Liam Reading set a state record and won the 50-yard backstroke Saturday afternoon, another win Saturday meant just as much for the 10-year-old Bangor resident in the opening day of the 44th Annual John W. Coombs Memorial Maine YMCA Swim League State Championships.

Reading, who competes for the Old Town-Orono YMCA’s Canoe City Swim Club, tried out a new butterfly technique Saturday in the 100 individual medley to win that event and become one of several double-event winners as the younger swimmers competed at the University of Maine’s Wallace Pool.

The championship meet started Saturday morning with the 8-and-under swimmers, followed by the 10-and-under and 12-and-under boys. The 12-and-under girls wrapped up Saturday’s events.

The 13-14 and senior boys and girls swam Sunday morning and afternoon.

Bath YMCA powerhouse Long Reach Swim Club was the overall team winner, racking up a combined 2,837½ points for the boys and girls. The MDI YMCA Sharks were second with 1,315 followed by the Mid-Maine Dolphins of Waterville with 1,217 in third, Pine Tree Swim Club of the Portland YMCA (1,205) and CCSC (1,146).

Although there were a number of scratches likely due to the snowstorm that pounded the state all day Saturday, most of the top seeds showed.

Reading was one of those top-ranked swimmers. His seed time in the boys’ 10-and-under IM was 1 minute, 15.02 seconds, but Reading got down to a 1:11.37 because he focused on a butterfly stroke technique he learned recently from his coaches.

The other piece of his IM strategy was to power through the breaststroke, backstroke and freestyle legs of the IM while making sure to concentrate during his butterfly length.

"The technique was to touch your hands over your head," said Reading, who is a fifth-grader at Mary Snow School in Bangor. "Before I just kind of had a short stroke. So I dropped time there. ... I went smooth through the butterfly, then fast for the other [strokes]."

Reading’s backstroke record, which is now 32.74, was previously held by Aaron Lawrence, who swam a 32.84 in 1994.

"When I saw my time it was three-tenths away, so I knew it was a record," Reading said. "I felt relief, because I wanted to get that."

Paige Nitardy, a 13-year-old who also swims for CCSC, won the 12-and-under girls 50 and 100 freestyle events for the second year in a row, and with personal-best times in both events. She was seeded second in the 100 free by almost two-tenths of a second, but dropped about 1½ seconds to easily beat Jessica Russell of Long Reach.

"She’s someone I like to swim against because she’s a good competitor," said Nitardy, whose birthday falls before the cutoff date. "Before the race I knew I was swimming against her so I was ready to swim fast. I wanted to go out strong and keep some kick for the end, make sure the last turn was a good one because a lot of times that’s the hardest one. I worked really hard in practice on starts and turns for this meet."

It’s special for Nitardy, a seventh-grade student at Leonard Middle School in Old Town, to perform well at states considering the connections her family has to swimming and YMCAs. Her mother, Jill Nitardy, is the executive director of the Old Town-Orono YMCA. Her father, Skip Nitardy, is a former Bangor Y head coach is in his first season coaching the University of Maine team.

Both her sisters swim for Y teams, too.

Cecelia McEachern, a swimmer with the Downeast Family YMCA in Ellsworth, wasn’t a double-event winner, but she won one 12-and-under girls event and finished second in two others.

She took the 50 breaststroke, the final individual event of the evening, after placing second in the 50 fly and the 100 IM. Hope Logan of Long Reach won both those races, but McEachern dropped seventh-tenths of a second in the IM.

Those runner-up finishes gave her a spark for the breaststroke in which she beat top-seed Genna Worthley of the Pine Tree Swim Club.

"My coach [Matt Montgomery] said I better be mad [going into] this race," said McEachern, who is 13 and in seventh grade at Ellsworth Middle School. "I was like, oh yeah. I’m mad."

She didn’t set any records in the breaststroke, but is now just two-tenths of a second off the Downeast Y team mark which is currently held by Meaghan Cucuru.

The Long Reach 12-and-under girls 200 free relay team swam that event in 1:48.54, smashing a record set in 1990 by a CCSC team. Russell set a state mark with a time of 2:02.76 in the 200 free. Erin Thomas, who is currently a senior at Bangor High and swims for the Bangor Y Barracudas, had held the old 200 free record since 2003.

In other results from Saturday,CCSC teams won both the girls and boys 8-and-under medley relay, while the CCSC 8-and-under boys earned a victory in the 100 free relay. Hannah Wood of the Bangor Y took a win in the girls 8-and-under 100 IM and 25 breaststroke. Duncan Hetzer of the Penobscot Bay YMCA in Rockport was the 8-and-under 25 back winner.

CCSC’s 10-and-under girls took the 200 medley relay. Molly Foley of the Piscataquis Region YMCA in Dover-Foxcroft was a winner in the 10-and-under 50 free and the 100 free, while teammate Julia Annis won the 50 breaststroke and PRY also won the 200 free. The MDI YMCA’s Leila Johnston claimed the 50 fly in the 10-and-under age group.

The Bangor Y 10-and-under boys finished first in the 200 medley relay. Pen Bay’s Mark McCluskey was the 10-and-under 50 free winner, while Jonathan Clapp of the Waldo County YMCA in Belfast took the 12-and-under 50 free.

Cooper Holmes of the Downeast Family YMCA won both the 10-and-under 50 fly and the 50 breaststroke. MDI’s Seth Vandegrift had the top spot in the 12-and-under 50 breaststroke. Downeast Family and Waldo County won titles in the 10-and-under and 12-and-under 200 free relay, respectively.

In Sunday’s girls results,Thomas won the senior 100 free with a YMCA national qualifying time of 54.61 and was second in the 200 free.

CCSC’s Tara Nitardy, Paige’s older sister, won the 200 free and the 100 fly. CCSC also took the senior 200 medley relay.

Lianne McCluskey of Pen Bay was a winner in the senior 100 breaststroke. Mariah Reading also took both the 14-and-under 200 IM and 100 breaststroke Downeast’s Chelsey Curran was a winner in the 14-and-under 100 back.

Piscataquis Region YMCA won the 14-and-under medley relay.

In Sunday’s boys results,the Bangor Y had a strong start as the senior Barracudas won the medley relay and got wins from Carson Foley in the 14-and-under 200 free and 100 breaststroke.

MDI’s Justin Gilmartin made two national cuts in winning the senior 200 IM with a 2:01.35 and the 100 fly with a 52.91.

Waldo County’s Tyler Bowen was the 500 free and 100 breaststroke winner.

Tyler Arndt of Pen Bay finished first in the 14-and-under 50 free. Downeast’s Keith Chandler took the 14-and-under fly. The Waldo County Y won the 200 free

Panthers, Devils eye titles

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Panthers, Devils eye titles
By Ernie Clark
Monday, March 3, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

Two years ago the Calais and Central Aroostook of Mars Hills boys basketball team journeyed south to the Augusta Civic Center in search of state championship trophies.

It was a doubleheader that couldn’t have turned out better for the Eastern Maine representatives. Central Aroostook defeated Richmond 65-55 for the Class D title in the afternoon, and Calais topped Winthrop 56-49 in the evening to claim the Class C crown.

Two years later it’s the same teams facing the same opponents at the same place — and the Blue Devils and Panthers hope for the same results.

Originally the games were set for the same times as two years ago, until Mother Nature got in the way and forced postponements from Saturday’s original schedule. Instead, Central Aroostook and Richmond will meet for the Class D crown at 8 p.m. Monday, while Calais will face Winthrop for the Class C title at the same time Wednesday night.

Both Eastern Maine representatives will enter their final games of the season with unblemished records, Calais at 19-0 and Central Aroostook at 21-0.

But each will be facing an opponent with several familiar faces back from their 2006 meetings.

Winthrop (20-1) has two starters back, 6-foot-1 senior guard Sam Leclerc and 6-3 senior forward Tim Gingras. Leclerc, considered one of state’s top players regardless of class, averaged 21.8 points, eight rebounds, five assists and 3.5 steals per game during the regular season, then was named MVP of the Western C tournament as the second-ranked Ramblers edged No. 1 Dirigo of Dixfield 51-45 in the final.

Gingras is one of Winthrop’s key frontcourt players, along with 6-4 senior forward Larry Foster, while 5-11 senior Ezra Damm and 5-8 junior Zach Farrington join Leclerc in the backcourt.

"They can really spread out your defense because they’ve got four kids who can shoot it at any time," said Calais coach Ed Leeman. "We don’t play a lot of zone, so we’ve got to do a lot of running."

Calais has two players with experience from the 2006 final against Winthrop, senior guard Sam Bell and junior forward Cal Shorey.

But in senior forward Rod Tirrell, MVP of this year’s Eastern C tournament, junior guard Jordan Leeman and senior forward Nathan O’Neill, all of the Blue Devils’ starters this year have some state final experience from last year’s 70-66 victory over Boothbay.

Calais is attempting to become just the second Class C boys team to win three consecutive state championships, following Falmouth from 1997 to 1999, and just the seventh boys team to win at least three straight gold balls regardless of class.

In addition to Falmouth, Valley of Bingham won six Class D crowns between 1998 and 2003, Jonesport-Beals won five straight Class D titles between 1970 and 1975, Mount Desert won three straight in Class D from 1958 to 1960, Winslow won three straight in Class A from 1937 to 1939 and Morse of Bath won three straight Class A championships from 1987 to 1989.

"I think we’re where we need to be," said Leeman. "Hopefully we’ll go out and play on our toes instead of on our heels."

In Class D, Central Aroostook will try to improve its record in state championship games to 5-0, as the Panthers are seeking their third gold ball in the last four years and fifth in the last 15 years, with previous state titles in 1994, 1996, 2005 and 2006.

And that’s just part of the story of this program’s remarkable run. Since Central Aroostook went 8-10 in 1997, the Panthers have compiled a 192-37 record during the last 11 years — and 105-5 over the last five seasons including their unblemished 21-0 mark this winter.

The Panthers’ most recent state title came at the expense of Richmond, whose returning players from that game for Monday night’s rematch are led by 6-foot-10 senior center Marc Zaharchuk.

Zaharchuk battled foul trouble but scored 19 points and grabbed 15 rebounds as a sophomore in the 2006 final, and he enters Monday night’s game as the MVP of the Western D tournament after being sidelined with a broken arm for much of the regular season.

Two other key players on this year’s team, 6-1 senior guard Brandon Lancaster and 6-3 senior forward Sam Carter, also saw duty in the 2006 final. They will join Zaharchuk in the starting lineup for the rematch, along with 6-3 senior forward Walter Miller and 5-10 sophomore guard Eric Murrin.

Richmond, 19-1 this winter and 55-6 over the last three seasons, is seeking its first state championship since 1986.

As was the case in 2006, Central Aroostook will seek to counter the Bobcats’ size advantage with speed, quickness and defensive intensity.

"We want to try and up-tempo the game," said eighth-year Central Aroostook coach Tim Brewer.

Three current Panthers, senior guard Cameron York, junior guard Manny Martinez and senior forward Logan McCarthy, saw playing time in the 2006 victory over Richmond, but all now play much more prominent roles.

York, a 5-11 senior, is a 1,000-point career scorer who was the 2008 Eastern D tournament MVP, while Martinez, a 5-11 junior, also made the all-tournament team. McCarthy, a 6-1 senior forward, earned honorable mention, as did sixth man Kasey Brewer, a 5-10 sophomore guard.

But the Panthers also have developed considerable depth this winter, with their rotation including 6-1 senior forward Blake McCarthy, 5-10 freshman guard Logan McLaughlin, 5-10 sophomore guard Mitch Folsom and 6-0 freshman guard Caleb Kelly.

"We don’t match up with them sizewise," said Brewer, "but I’m not sure they can match up with our quickness, so it probably will be a matter of who can control the tempo."

Formidable schedules paying off

Sport: Basketball (Girls)  Posted: March 3rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Formidable schedules paying off
By Jessica Bloch
Monday, March 3, 2008 - Bangor Daily News

Perfection is nice. Who doesn’t want a 22-0 basketball season? The attention. The accolades.

The pressure. The expectations.

When the Lee Academy and Woodland girls basketball teams face Madison and Buckfield, respectively, for state championships today, they’ll have a combined record of 30-6.

Excellent seasons to be sure, but nothing as impressive as the records their Western Maine counterparts bring in. WM champ Madison is 20-1, Class D winner Buckfield is 21-0. Both squads were the No. 1 seed for the postseason.

Lee and Woodland were both No. 2 seeds.

So perfection is nice. But it’s not everything.

All four teams will be put to the test in their games this week at the Augusta Civic Center. Woodland and Buckfield will play today at 6 p.m., followed by the Class D boys state game between Central Aroostook of Mars Hill and Richmond at 8 p.m.

"We always play hard, but as far as peaking at the right time I would say that’s holding true," Lee coach Ron Weatherbee said. "If you watched us against Houlton, you’d see we’re playing very well right now."

The Class C matchups will be held Wednesday with the Lee and Madison girls at 6 and the Calais and Winthrop boys at 8.

The Class A state final between Oxford Hills of South Paris — talk about a team peaking at the right time — and Deering of Portland will take place Monday night at the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland. The game tips off at 7.

While both the Pandas and the Dragons have a few blemishes on their records, both go above and beyond their schedules to play tough teams and consistently strong programs.

That was especially true for Lee, which moved to Class C from Class D this year.

"Our schedule had changed and we had picked up Houlton and Mattanawcook, so we knew the schedule was going to be tough," Weatherbee said. "So we thought, hey, if we can win 14, 15 games that would be a very good season. As it was, we won 15 games."

All three of Lee’s losses came against teams that made it at least to the tournament quarterfinals in Classes B or C.

The Pandas’ first loss came to perennial powerhouse Class C Calais. The Blue Devils beat Lee 63-61 on Jan. 16 after falling to the Pandas 62-32 on Dec. 8. Calais went on to lose in the quarterfinals.

Houlton tipped Lee 61-53 on Jan. 26, although the Pandas won the first matchup 58-52 and went on to win both the Penobscot Valley Conference championship and a huge 73-49 victory in the EM Class C title game.

The Pandas lost their final game of the regular season 69-58 to neighborly rival Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln after beating the Lynx 71-54 in their first game on Jan. 24.

Mattanawcook, meanwhile, went on to advance all the way to the Eastern Maine Class B final, where the Lynx lost to defending state champion Waterville 60-40 — but led at halftime.

Since that loss to MA, Lee has outscored three teams 219-152, with its closest margin of victory a 61-41 semifinal win over Washington Academy of East Machias.

"With each one of the [losses] we hopefully learned a little from it," Weatherbee said. "We ended the regular season with a loss to Lincoln. But the kids regrouped the next day, went to practice, got ready for the first round of the playoffs. … I think that helped them some, yes, the fact that we were outsized helped prepare them for Houlton [in the EM final]."

Another indication of the Pandas’ tough schedule: Lee beat Class D Katahdin of Stacyville twice this season, outscoring the Cougars by an average of 33.5 points per game.

Katahdin wound up with the No. 9 seed, but the Cougars knocked off No. 8 Southern Aroostook to get into the top eight, and then beat No. 1 Washburn in the Eastern Maine Class D quarterfinals.

Lee beat Woodland twice, which probably helped toughen up the Dragons who are now on a 12-game winning streak.

Woodland also lost to Washington Academy 54-37 in the regular season, but the Raiders advanced to that Class C semifinal game against Lee.

In addition to playing strong Class C teams Lee and WA, Woodland also has Narraguagus of Harrington on its schedule. The Class C Knights made it to the Bangor Auditorium, where they lost in the quarterfinals.

The Pandas actually lost two exhibition games in the Chrisanne Burns Tournament, which is hosted by the Cony girls basketball team in Augusta — including one to Madison — although Lee did beat Waterville, which won its second straight Class B crown Friday night.

The Bulldogs beat the Pandas 43-30, although Weatherbee said he didn’t have everyone for that game and both he and Madison coach Al Veneziano made sure to spread out playing time to give everybody a chance.

"We didn’t even dream of playing each other," Weatherbee said. "We said, hey, it’d be nice to see you again at the end of the season, kind of joked about it. Then, whoops, here we are."

Eastern Maine Class A champion Oxford Hills was the No. 5 seed for the regional tournament, but the Vikings are on a five-game winning streak and are certainly peaking at the right time now that all of their players are healthy. They knocked off defending state champion Cony of Augusta in the EM final after losing to the Rams 70-34 on Feb. 2.

Oxford Hills got a series of good tests in the Eastern Maine tourney. The Vikings’ edged No. 4 Bangor 54-50 and No. 1 Lawrence of Fairfield 49-40 before a 52-49 win over Cony for the regional crown.



CM 2, Waltham 0: CM finally gets 2 past Hopkins

Sport:   Posted: March 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

CM 2, Waltham 0: CM finally gets 2 past Hopkins

By Matt Porter
Globe Correspondent / March 2, 2008

WORCESTER - Steve Hopkins put on a show last night as he held off the most powerful team in the state. Through two periods, he gave eighth-seeded Waltham hope that it might leave the DCU Center with a first-round upset.

Hopkins kept piling up saves. Eleven through one period, a whopping 29 through two.

"They're pretty good offensively. I was just trying to hold on as well as I could," said the goalie.

And until he kicked Garrett Noonan's low shot out to Marc Hetnick, he didn't crack once.

Hetnick, a little-used freshman and late-season call-up from the junior varsity, found the puck on his stick and scored his first varsity goal at 4:16 of the third period, and Derek Colucci scored less than three minutes later to give the Knights a 2-0 win.

They kept firing to prevent Hopkins, who beat Westford Academy and Austin Prep in shootouts his last two games, from stealing the game. Knights coach Bill Hanson told his team to remain patient.

"You can't get frustrated," said Hanson. "It's a fickle game. Just keep working at it."

After Hetnick buried the short rebound, Colucci took a pass on the half-wall from defenseman Peter Starrett, skated in, and beat Hopkins with a top-shelf wrister.

"Great individual effort by him," said Hopkins, who finished with 38 saves. "My hat's off to him. He put it in a nice spot."

The top-ranked Knights (15-1-3) had chances from near and far, but allowed the Hawks (15-4-4) only nine shots (three in each period). They blasted at Hopkins from the outside and were able to tire out the Waltham defense by getting deep in the zone for long stretches.

"A team that plays in their own end that much will get mentally fatigued as well as physically fatigued," said Hanson. "I thought we maintained our poise tremendously."

Hopkins, who was able to clearly see most of the pucks coming at him, averted disaster with one save at the end of the second period.

Defenseman Travis Jonasson banked the puck off the glass and into the Waltham zone, and Hopkins played the carom to the corner.

But the puck had other plans. It shot off the window and headed right for the net, but Hopkins dove back and punched it away with his stick as it was inches away from the line.

CM's Pat Greene then beat the Hawks defense and fired from the slot, but Hopkins turned the shot aside with his shoulder, and the buzzer sounded with the game still scoreless.

"Steve Hopkins put on a phenomenal performance," said Hawks coach John Maguire. "There were at least 12 grade-A chances, where he flashed the glove or flashed the pad.

"He just proved to more people how outstanding he is."

Xaverian 3, Hingham 1: Hingham silenced by quick strikes

Sport:   Posted: March 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Xaverian 3, Hingham 1: Hingham silenced by quick strikes

By Matt Porter
Globe Correspondent / March 2, 2008

WORCESTER - If Hingham fans thought the second-ranked Harbormen could roll over Xaverian, their seventh-seeded opponent, they were quickly proven wrong. An underdog in seeding only, the Hawks scored three first-period goals yesterday and then concentrated on shutting down the Harbormen, leaving the DCU Center with a 3-1 win in the first round of Super 8 play.

"They had the longer layoff, so maybe we caught them a little in the first," said Hawks coach Dave Spinale, whose team maintained the momentum it had from a Monday's play-in victory over Needham. "We played tough. I thought we've been playing tough all year."

Xaverian (12-6-3) will face St. John's Prep in the next round-robin game. Hingham (17-4-2) will take on Malden Catholic.

Harbormen coach Garrett Reagan made no excuses as he quickly summed up his team's afternoon.

"I think we played better in the second period, but if you're down three-nothing, you're down three-nothing," he said.

Xaverian served notice from the start. In the opening minutes, the Hawks came charging at the Hingham goal, and forward Matt Morin's shot from 35 feet sounded like a warning bell as it rang off iron.

A few shifts later, Xaverian cashed in. The Hawks controlled the puck down low, and forward John Sperzel sent it out front to a waiting Chris Wagner, who swatted it past Harbormen goalie Nate Eagan at 5:06.

Less than three minutes later, Wagner made a strong move from the corner and fed Bill Scannell, who sent it home for a 2-0 lead.

"They played tough down low, and that's where they got the three goals," said Reagan.

Scannell was sent off for interference at 12:34 of the first, but Hingham's power play fizzled. As Scannell left the box, Morin intercepted a shot from the blue line and rushed up the ice. He was forced to the outside by defenseman Ryan Driscoll, but Morin used the space he was allowed to throw a backhand feed to the slot. Matt Hennessey batted it home with what appeared to be his glove with 1:53 left in the first.

"Everything went our way," said Spinale. "Theirs was pretty much a gift, too, so we both got lucky."

Spinale was referring to Hingham's third-period marker that made it 3-1. The Harbormen came out with some jump, and pinned the puck in the Xaverian end for a stretch. Hawks goalie Kyle MacDonald made a seemingly safe play by clearing the puck to center ice. But Driscoll stopped it and blasted it back on net, beating a surprised MacDonald at 3:22.

It was the only mistake MacDonald (21 saves) would make.

"I didn't talk to him. It didn't bother him. He played great all day," said Spinale.

Malden Cath. 4, St. John's Prep 2: Strong on pluck, Lancers pepper Prep in opener

Sport:   Posted: March 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Malden Cath. 4, St. John's Prep 2: Strong on pluck, Lancers pepper Prep in opener

By Steve Crowe
Globe Correspondent / March 2, 2008

WORCESTER - Kyle Pettoruto may want to invest in new goalie equipment. The St. John's Prep senior was peppered with 45 shots as his third-seeded Eagles were upset by sixth-seeded Malden Catholic, 4-2, in the first round of the Super 8 at the DCU Center yesterday.

"I think [my equipment] is OK," said Pettoruto, managing to crack a smile.

The Eagles defense was not. The Lancers (12-5-4) outshot the Prep, 45-15.

"They outworked us, beat us to pucks, and muscled us off the pucks," said Eagles first-year coach Kristian Hanson.

The Prep (12-6-3) closed within 3-2 at 4:17 of the third period when Dan Lawton beat John Carbonneau (13 saves) on the glove side after executing a textbook two-on-one break with Evan Yanovitch.

Craig Carbonneau (two goals) iced the game with a breakaway goal with 42.8 seconds left.

"We knew Kyle is a great goalie," said Carbonneau, a junior forward. "We just had a bunch of good three-on-two breaks and got good shots on net."

Malden Catholic converted 1 of 5 power-play opportunities. The Prep went 0 for 2 with the man advantage.

It was the third meeting between the Catholic Conference foes this season. The teams skated to a 3-3 tie, and St. John's Prep won the second clash, 2-1.

Colin Prior, the Eagles' third-leading scorer (11 goals, 9 assists), played limited minutes after sufffering a leg injury on the first shift of the game.

"We couldn't generate any shots," Hanson said. "We were soft."

But that wasn't the only difference.

"We have a lot of skill players," Malden Catholic coach Chris Serino said. "Sometimes those skill players just want to do things with the puck. They don't want to go get the puck. I think our skill players used their speed to go get the puck."

Christian Cowles gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead at 2:38 of the first period, rifling a top-shelf shot from the left faceoff circle. Malden Catholic failed to capitalize on several two-on-ones as Pettoruto made 14 saves in the first period.

The Lancers scored the next three goals, capped by a beautiful deflection by Joe White at 2:05 of the third period. Christian Roberto forced a turnover in the Eagles' zone and fired a cross-ice pass to White, who deflected the puck over Pettoruto's left shoulder.

"We didn't have any effort defensively," Hanson said. "Our players thought, 'Kyle will save that, we don't have to get back.' "

Next up for St. John's Prep is Xaverian, a 3-1 winner over Hingham yesterday. The game will be played Thursday or Friday at Tsongas Arena. The Eagles are 0-2 against the Hawks this season.

"It was just a poor effort today," Pettoruto said. "That will definitely change next game. You can mark my words."

Malden Catholic, in its second Super 8 appearance, will play Hingham at Tsongas Arena Thursday or Friday. The Lancers won't underestimate the Harbormen.

"We got beat by a public school last year," said Carbonneau. "We lost to Weymouth in the first round and went on to lose the next two."

Reading 2, BC High 1: Reading avenges loss to BC High

Sport:   Posted: March 2nd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Reading 2, BC High 1: Reading avenges loss to BC High

By Jeff Powalisz
Globe Correspondent / March 2, 2008

WORCESTER - Its record and goal differential (129-24) gaudy, the talented Reading hockey team blazed through its 18-game Middlesex League schedule with a mission

Critics weren't buying it.

The critics multiplied after the Rockets' one blemish - a 3-1 nonleague loss Jan. 21 to BC High, their opponent in the first round of the Super 8 tournament yesterday at the DCU Center.

The Rockets silenced quite a few voices with a 2-1 win.

Reading (21-1), which went 0-3 in the Super 8 last year en route to a quick and disappointing elimination, also found a way to avenge the loss that haunted the Rockets as the season wore on.

"Personally, I don't think we got the respect we deserved," said Rocket forward Pat Kiley, who scored the winner. "Most people didn't think our league was strong. Now we proved that we can play with top-notch teams and can get our minds set for Catholic Memorial and Waltham."

Kiley snuck the puck through the legs of an Eagle defenseman and fired a wrist shot past BC High netminder Sam Marrotta with 11:45 to go in the third period.

"He can shoot," Reading coach Peter Doherty said. "We told our kids in the third period to just shoot it more -- they were trying to make perfect plays and they couldn't do it. They were overhandling the puck and you can't do that."

Despite being outshot in each period, the Rockets saved up enough energy and took care of the Eagles.

BC High's P.J. Martina broke a scoreless tie 3:50 into the second period, flicking home a one-timer from Brian Talbot in front of the net.

Reading tied it just more than a minute later when senior defenseman Garrett Collins fired a slap shot from the blue line toward the Eagle net. Reading's leading scorer Michael Lozzi (20-40 -60), was waiting at the corner of the net, and forced in the puck.

"I thought Reading deserved the game and wanted it more," BC High coach Joe McCabe said. "When you don't have that same drive, you get beat."

The Rockets failed to take advantage of a 36-second five-on-three advantage early in the second period, as BC High (11-5-5) didn't allow the Rockets to set up.

Jeff Wyer finished with 26 saves and was a force in net for the Rockets in the first period, ensuring the Eagles' dominant offensive presence didn't lead to any goals. BC High outshot Reading in the first, 10-6.

The Eagles attacked the Reading slot with abandon, including a perfectly executed one-time pass from senior forward Kevin Karalas to Merrimack-bound John Heffernan with 1:32 remaining in the first. Wyer stood tall, positioning himself for the block.

Reading freshman Devin Albert nearly backhanded home a rebound of a Kiley attempt with 6:17 left in the first.

"We played very good with them the first time," Doherty said. "I think we played better the first time than today honestly. But [today] was great."
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