Globe South Sports Notebook

Mount Ida coach's son helps team to victory

Joe Cabral (above) and his father, coach Rico Cabral. Mt. Ida teammate Brian Hapgood (left) recently got a triple-double. Joe Cabral (above) and his father, coach Rico Cabral. Mt. Ida teammate Brian Hapgood (left) recently got a triple-double. (Photos By Richard Orr)
By Marvin Pave
January 9, 2011

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Rico Cabral had two reasons to smile after his Mount Ida men’s basketball team posted a 62-53 victory over visiting Wheelock College just before semester break.

The win enabled the Mustangs to snap a four-game losing streak, improving to 3-5. And the 19-year coach also received a breakout performance from his son, Joe, a junior wing who netted a season-high 19 points and dished out four assists.

The 6-foot-2 Cabral, a first team Bay State Conference All-Star and two-sport captain at Walpole High, had scored in double figures in four of six games and was leading the Mustangs with a .750 free throw percentage while averaging 10.7 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.

“Joe has definitely improved since playing limited minutes as a freshman, and he’s an across-the-board kind of player who led our team last year in assist-to-turnover ratio. From a coaching standpoint, that’s huge, ’’ said the elder Cabral, a member of the New England Basketball Hall of Fame who was a four-sport athlete at Sharon High.

“When I drive on campus, he’s Joe the basketball player. This is my first experience coaching him,’’ his father said. “He’s proven himself and justified his playing time and he’d like to go into college coaching. He goes to his younger brother’s [Mike] Walpole High games with me and he just loves it.’’

A starter in 44 of his 73 career games, Cabral is joined on the roster by senior forward/guard Brian Hapgood of Braintree, who recorded the first triple-double in program history with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists in a 95-39 victory over Green Mountain College in the consolation game of the Mitchell College Tournament.

Hapgood, a tenacious 6-foot-1 defender and accurate spot shooter off the bench, has a career field goal percentage of .429. He was a two-year starter at Braintree High, captaining both the basketball and football teams.

“Brian is a throwback player who no one wants to have covering him in drills and is tough as nails,’’ added Cabral. “He got our Coach’s Award and Most Improved Player Award as voted by his teammates last year.’’

Westwood skater off to fast start St. Lawrence sophomore defenseman George Hughes (right) of Westwood was named to the ECAC preseason all-star hockey team, and his play thus far has justified the selection.

“George is one of the best young defensemen in our league and in the East,’’ said St. Lawrence coach Joe Marsh, whose team was 6-8-3 overall (3-4 ECAC) and carried a three-game winning streak into this weekend’s games against Union and RPI.

“He is exceptionally skilled with the puck and has a great hockey sense as far as making the right play at the right time. He and [freshman] Justin Baker are our top defensive pairing and have similar styles. They are going to be out there a lot, which is a little unusual for two young guys who are early in their collegiate careers.’’

The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Hughes, whose father and uncle skated for the Harvard varsity, was a member of the ECAC All-Rookie team as a freshman when he finished with 5 goals and 18 assists in 41 games. He prepped at the Taft School in Connecticut before playing for the Waterloo Blackhawks of the United States Hockey League.

Here and there Former Catholic Memorial High teammates Angelo Todesca of Westwood and Pat Greene of Weymouth are 1-2 in scoring for the Stonehill College hockey team. Todesca, a senior assistant captain, has 9 goals (including power play and shorthanded strikes) and 3 assists while Greene, a junior, has a goal and 8 assists . . . Westfield State sophomore center Matt Devine of Pembroke and Worcester State senior forward Dave Douillette of Bridgewater were named to the Massachusetts State Collegiate Conference weekly honor roll for men’s basketball. Devine averaged 15 points, 7.7 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 2.3 blocks in three games, including 21 points, nine boards, and four blocks in 80-65 loss to second-ranked Williams. Douillette had 19 points and 11 rebounds in a 76-73 loss to Anna Maria. . .Former Hingham High and Bridgton Academy netminder James Lemonias is now a senior at Colby College in Waterville, Maine, where he has seen time between the pipes since his junior season. Lemonias had appeared in four games for the Mules through last weekend, posting a .902 save percentage and 2.96 goals against average. . .Jay Civetti, who was named interim head football coach at Tufts University earlier this week, was a special education teacher and coach at Milton High before joining the Boston College staff in 2003.

Marvin Pave can be reached at 508-820-4223 or