TIGERS CLAW WAY INTO FINALS
It wasn’t easy, but talent and effort allowed Pope John XXIII to outlast a scrappy City of Boston Fenway team and notch a 78-71 Division 4 North semifinal triumph. The hard-earned victory over the Panthers (13-6) moved the Tigers (21-1) into the championship game on Friday, March 9 (at Tewksbury HS at 7 p.m.), against a much-improved Austin Prep (18-4). Once again, PJ Coach Leo Boucher must figure out a way to defeat a quality opponent for the third time in a season. More importantly, Coach Boucher has a couple of days to get his voice back after exhorting his squad during the edge-of-your-seat thriller.
WHAT A GAME!!!
Prior to that, on Saturday night, Pope John XXIII (20-1) withstood a furious Winthrop (11-12) effort to prevail in overtime by a score of 63-59 and advance to the Division 4 North semifinals. The game was in doubt right up until the final eight seconds when junior guard Angel Price-Espada sank a pair of free throws to ice the triumph. The packed Tiger gym rumbled with excitement on each OT possession and the coaching “chess match” between PJ’s Leo Boucher and the Viking’s Dave Sacco was pure drama. The Tigers next face City of Boston foe Fenway (14-5) on Tuesday night (time and location to be determined) with the winner advancing to the sectional championship.
FACES IN THE CROWD
There was a good “Townie” showing at the PJ-Winthrop tilt on Saturday. Danny Tucker, Rick Rock, Kevin O’Halloran, the Kelly family, Emerald Dagle, “Tanka,” Aidan Boucher, Eoghan Delvalle, and Dave Jackson and son could be heard at various stages of the game belting out “BOU-CHER! BOU-CHER, BOU-CHER!!!”
Soon to be Bridgewater State grad Mary Evers is currently in Philadelphia directing and producing live-streamed Division 3 March Madness “hoop” games. A communications major, Mary Evers looks to pursue a career in sports broadcasting.
MIAA TOURNEY: WHO’S LEFT?
With the MIAA “hoop” and hockey tourneys advancing to the semi-final round, several teams with “TOWNIES/TOWNIE ROOTS” are still in contention.
• RUNNING WITH THE PACK
The Boston Latin hockey team sent yet another favored opponent home, this time knocking off North Andover (14-8-2) by a score of 2-0 in the Division 2 North semifinal round. The Wolfpack (13-7-3) advance to the championship game to face Stoneham (16-4-2) on Monday, March 12, at the Tsongas Arena. The Gallaghers (senior Devin and freshman Noel) continue their remarkable “Cinderella” story as their “Townie” fan base keeps growing and growing. GO PACK!!!
•On the Tsongas Arena ice on Monday night, BC High junior Matt Lakus (12 goals, seven assists) finds his Eagles (16-4-1) matched up, once again, in a Super 8 second round grudge tilt with Catholic Conference rival St. John’s Prep (14-3-4).
•On the “hoop” hardwood, in girls Division 1 South action, Braintree junior forward Adriana Timberlake, who is averaging 14 PPG, leads a potent Wamps squad (19-3) against Mansfield (18-3) on Wednesday night at Bridgewater-Raynham HS as they look to make their fourth straight trip to the title game.
JUMP INTO THE FIRE
UMass-Lowell freshman hurler Katelyn Ellard is wasting no time getting her feet wet on the softball team. Despite the River Hawks 2-8 record (the bats haven’t come alive yet) while barnstorming through tournaments in Florida and Louisiana (they head to Mississippi next), Katelyn has posted an 0-2 record with a respectable 4.10 ERA while tossing 14 innings. The team’s fortunes should dramatically improve once the league schedule begins.
TURN IN ONE STICK FOR ANOTHER
In college lacrosse action, Salem State sophomore Rose Sullivan scored a goal and added three shots on net, but it wasn’t enough as the Lady Vikings fell to Western Connecticut St. by a score of 14-7. On the men’s side, Nichols sophomore Hugh O’Donnell tallied a goal and three shots on net to help the Bisons improve to 2-0 with an 11-4 triumph over Rivier.
CORSAIRS WRENN AMOK
The scrappy UMass-Dartmouth hockey team rattled the MASCAC Conference cage with an unlikely 3-1 tourney, semi-final triumph over heavy-favorite Plymouth St.ate and advanced to the championship game last Saturday (March 3 @ 7:30 p.m.). The Corsairs (12-12-3) will travel to Fitchburg St. (17-6-3) in what promises to be a barn-burner. Emerging as an impact player for UMD is sophomore Patrick Wrenn. The rugged defenseman bounced back from a slow start and has become an important post-season player for his team. In addition to rifling point shots and threading nifty passes (an assist in the semi-final victory), Patrick has emerged as a physical presence (10 penalty minutes in a 5-4 tourney win over Westfield State) in guarding the Corsair net.