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Medfield coach reprimanded, but defends record

Posted April 21, 2009 05:00 AM

UPDATED, APRIL 21, 2009:

At the conclusion of a month-long investigation by Medfield school officials, George Maris received a written reprimand on February 22, 2008 for actions the administration deemed inappropriate and using "bad judgment," with the varsity boys' hockey team.

Maris did not return to the bench in 2008: the regular season had been completed by late February, and Medfield, with a losing record, did not qualify for the state tournament. He chose not to re-apply for the position.

"We didn't have the same coaching philosophies about coaching high school kids," said the 50-year-old Maris, who maintains that there was no negligence involved and that players' safety was never compromised. "I let kids be themselves, I let them do what they want, within reason. Most kids have common sense, and I think that you get more out of a student-athlete that way, than being a drill sergeant."

The Montreal native had previously served as an assistant boys' hockey coach at North Smithfield (R.I.) and Cranston East (R.I.) high schools, where those teams won state titles and sportsmanship awards. He was also the varsity boys' hockey coach at Foxborough High for the 2006-2007 season in a two-decade plus coaching career.

Maris is currently the head coach of the Rhode Island-based Canadian Hockey Club U-19 Midget team that plays its games at New England Sports Center in Marlborough and in Minnesota. His goal remains the same: coach at the high school or college level.

-- Craig Larson


Medfield High first-year varsity boys' hockey coach George Maris has been placed on paid administrative leave until "concerns and rumors" surrounding the program are addressed, according to School Superintendent Robert Maguire.

High school principal Judith Noble held meetings with players and parents on Friday to announce the decision.

"There's a whole series of things that have been brought to our attention," Maguire said on Monday. "This will give the principal time to look into the issues and determine what's substantiated and what's not."

He declined to be more specific.

"It would be inappropriate to comment on the nature of the rumors before the principal gets to the bottom of it," he said. "In case anybody's mind is running, it's our understanding that there's nothing we're dealing with that's criminal in nature."

In Maris' absence, assistants Toby Carlow and Tony Iafolla will direct the Warriors (2-9-1 overall), who are currently the last-place team in the Tri-Valley League. Carlow played at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, while Iafolla is a Medfield alum who graduated in 1999.

The two were on the bench on Saturday night, when Medfield registered its second win of the year, an 8-4 thrashing of Dover-Sherborn.

"I feel very confident in who we're leaving the kids to," said Medfield High athletic director Jon Kirby. "Toby's done a real good job and Tony's known these guys for a long time."

Maris replaced John Panciocco, who stepped down after guiding the Medfield program for eight seasons, including a pair of league titles.

-- Matt Porter

Shoemaker runs onto Wheaties' cover

Posted May 8, 2008 02:20 PM



Jarrod Shoemaker's appearance at the Beijing Olympics this summer was assured when he became the first man selected to the 2008 United States Olympic Triathlon Team.

Before he ever gets to China, though, the 25-year-old Sudbury native will appear on the cover of Wheaties -- “The Breakfast of Champions” -- which is coming out with a new, limited-edition package that features the former Lincoln-Sudbury Regional and Dartmouth College track star.

Shoemaker is a fierce competitor and credits his amazing success in triathlon to a combination of raw talent and personal drive.

He turned professional after competing in just four triathlons in 2003. Within two years Jarrod had won the Under 23 Nationals and World Championship. He qualified for the USA Triathlon's National Elite Team in 2006 and has racked up nine top 10 finishes in the past two years.

Last fall, Shoemaker completed an even more amazing feat by becoming the first member of the USA Triathlon Men's Team competing in the games in Beijing this summer. Now his sights are set on the Hy-Vee ITU World Cup in Des Moines, Iowa in June - the largest prize purse in professional triathlon competition.

"It's a great honor for me to be on the cover of the Wheaties box and to join the remarkable list of great athletes who have appeared on the package," Shoemaker said. "Every athlete dreams about one day seeing themselves on the cover of the 'Breakfast of Champions' package."

The new 15.6-ounce Wheaties package will only be available in Iowa and Boston.

-- Craig Larson

Revs select Milford's Videira

Posted January 18, 2008 05:46 PM


The New England Revolution are calling, but Milford's Michael Videira has his heart set on kicking off his professional soccer career overseas.

The Revs selected the 6-foot-1, 170-pound midfielder, a two-time All-American at Duke, with the 18th pick in yesterday's MLS SuperDraft held in Baltimore. But the 22-year-old Videira has other plans.

"I didn't project that I'd go that early, because I had told MLS that I was leaning toward Europe," said Videira, who has a Portugese passport.

"It's a tough decision. I've known [Revolution coaches] Steve Nicol and Paul Mariner for a while now. I played for Paul with the Boston Bolts and Steve with the Boston Bulldogs. And when I came back from school, they let me train with them. But I think that the best thing for me right now is Europe.

"But if I were to come back, there'd be no better place to play than New England. And my family is pretty excited about that." The Revolution will retain his rights.

Videira prepped at Noble & Greenough in Dedham before heading off to Duke, where he was a two-time finalist for the Hermann Trophy, awarded to the national player of the year. He is currently on the mend from a quad injury he suffered Oct. 31 against Davidson. He expects to be 100 percent healthy in a month or so.

The next transfer window to play overseas is in June.
Videira earned a degree in sociology from Duke last month.

-- Craig Larson


O'Brien named FSC women's basketball coach

Posted October 16, 2007 03:29 PM


As a player, Patricia O'Brien won an NCAA Division 3 basketball championship at Salem State College.

As a head coach, she guided the Colby College women's basketball program to the ECAC tournament four times, winning the title in 2001.

Now, she has been hired to turn the fortunes of a Framingham State women's basketball program that has not posted a winning record since the 2002-03 season.

"We really excited to have Trish come on, she comes with pretty good qualifications," said Framingham State College athetic director Tom Kelley. "She's a state college grad, and she knows what it takes to get this program right."

O'Brien, the head women's basketball coach at MIT the past two seasons, will also serve in a newly-created position at Framingham State, recruiting coordinator for athletics. She is the college's only fulltime women's coach.

"The college did an extensive study, and with so many part-time coaches, a recruiting coordinator was one of our top needs.," said Kelley. "This will allow us to streamline our efforts in recruiting. This is a start. And because 70 percent of our students are women, we need to start adding fulltime women's coaches."

O'Brien started her head coaching career at Rivier College (1992-95) before compiling a 140-115 mark in 10 seasons at Colby (1996-2005), winning the ECAC crown in 2001. Last week, she resigned as head coach at MIT, where she compiled an 11-36 mark in two seasons, to accept her new position.

"MIT is a different place to coach, you're kind of dealt a hand," in the recruitment of players, said Kelley. "But she was pretty successful at Colby. She is very competitive and now she's back in charge of her own destiny."

At Salem State, she was a two-time All-MASCAC selection, an All-New England selection and a Kodak District I All-American. She was elected to the college's Hall of Fame in 1994.

Framingham State finished 7-17 a year ago under second-year coach Bob Kelley, who also is the women's field hockey coach at the college.

-- Craig Larson

Baby B's vs. Sharks at NESC

Posted September 29, 2007 04:00 PM


The Worcester Sharks often practice at the New England Sports Center in Marlborough. Technically, the Providence Bruins can also call NESC home. H. Larue Renfro, the five-rink facility's longtime owner, is embarking on his second full season as principal owner of the P-Bruins.

Tonight at 7:05, the American Hockey League rivals will square off on Rink 1 at NESC in their final tuneup for the regular season. Admission is $10.

Providence, which opens the regular season a week from tonight at Manchester, fell to the Bridgeport Sound Tigers, 2-0, last night in Providence. Worcester suffered a 4-2 loss in Springfield last night. The Sharks will face the Falcons in the season opener a week from tonight.

Dover's Chris Murray, a 6-2, 195-pound defenseman who played at New Hampshire, is on the Sharks' preseason roster.

For more information, call NESC at 508-229-2700.

-- Craig Larson

Men of (grid)Iron

Posted September 6, 2007 12:45 PM

Tom Lopez has coached the Lincoln-Sudbury Warriors for 30 seasons, including three winning Super Bowl years.
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


On a warm September afternoon in 1978, Tom Lopez stood on the sidelines of the Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School football field, one minute away from his first win in his first career game as a head coach.

"And then," Lopez recalled last week, "Holliston kicked a field goal. It wound up a tie, 3-3. I don't remember too much about it, but I do remember that it was kind of a boring game."

He said he still gets nervous from time to time, but never as much as he did on that Saturday afternoon three decades ago. Tomorrow evening at 7, Lopez will be on the Lincoln-Sudbury sideline once again, kicking off his 30th season as head coach, when his Warriors host Medfield in a nonleague matchup.

In Wrentham, Dave Hughes will reach the same 30-year milestone tomorrow night, when his Hopkinton High gridders take on King Philip Regional in another nonleague matchup. L-S and Hopkinton are just two of 36 teams in the suburbs west of Boston that will kick off the high school football season this weekend, including defending Super Bowl champions Medfield, Milford, St. John's of Shrewsbury, and Wayland.

In an area that also features three other head coaches with at least 20 years of service -- Peter Capodilupo at Newton North, Tom Lamb at Natick, and Phil Marchegiani at Marian High in Framingham -- Hughes and Lopez stand alone, Globe West correspondent Jeremy Gottlieb reports today.

Read more about what it takes to be a longtime high school football coach in the online edition of today's Globe West.

Vana vs. Houston in State Amateur final

Posted July 12, 2007 04:10 PM


Boylston's Frank Vana Jr. is 36 holes away from his third state amateur golf championship. Wellesley's Burgess Houston has his eye on his first crown after his runner-up finish a year ago.

On Friday morning at 8, the two noted amateurs from the western suburbs will square off in the Massachusetts Golf Association's 36-hole final at Concord Country Club.

Vana, the MGA's eight-time player of the year from Marlborough Country Club, advanced with a 5 & 4 win over Joe Keller of Oyster Harbors on Thursday afternoon. Houston, who plays out of Maplegate Country Club in Franklin, was masterful with the putter en route to a 6 & 5 win over Dan Ladd of Weston Golf Club.

Following a grueling match against John McNeill (Stow - B.A.G.S.) in the morning, Vana responded well by making three birdies and only one bogey to jump out to a 3 Up lead through nine holes. Despite a bogey on the 396-yard, par 4 11th hole, Vana sealed the victory by making two straight birdies – on the 12th and 13th holes – and a par on the 14th hole. Vana was 3-under par through the 14 holes, and on the day he registered 11 birdies in two matches.

Houston registered 10 birdies including five against Ladd. He broke the match open on the 8th and 9th holes by making two long birdie putts.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 14, 2007 10:31 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Monday's state tournament action:

Rob Nicholas, Algonquin baseball: The senior right-hander struggled a bit on the mound, but he was a force at the plate, going 5-for-5 with a triple, three doubles, a walk, a stolen base, four runs scored while knocking in four runs as the Tomahawks smashed East Longmeadow 14-7 in a Division 1 state semifinal. The Tomahawks (19-5) will shoot for their second straight crown on Saturday nighk, playing Lincoln-Sudbury (24-1) in the state final at LeLacheur Park in Lowell.

A look at today's area tournament games:

* The Westborough High boys' tennis team puts its 22-0 mark on the line this afternoon, playing fellow unbeatean Falmouth in the Division 1 state final at Shrewsbury High at 3:30.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 13, 2007 08:44 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Tuesday's state tournament action:

Kevin Scanlan, Lincoln-Sudbury baseball: On three days' rest, the senior southpaw allowed just one hit over seven superb innings as the Warriors earned a trip to the Division 1 state final with a 7-1 win over BC High in Braintree. The University of Maine -bound Scanlan struck out seven with four walks. L-S will play the winner of tonight's Algonquin-East Longmeadow semifinal in Saturday's state final.

Kaitlin Andrews, Hudson softball: Junior right-hander limited Western Mass. champ Drury to just five hits and struck out eight as Hudson rolled to a 9-1 win in a Division 2 state semifinal, earning its second straight trip to the state final. The Hawks (23-1) will play North Andover in Saturday's state final at Worcester State College.

Kristin Igoe, Framingham girls' lacrosse: With nine seconds left, the senior midfielder netted the go-ahead goal to lift the defending state champion Flyers to a thrilling 10-9 victory over host Westwood in a state semifinal. Igoe and sophomore Samantha Zetlin scored three goals apiece as Framingham registered its 49th straight win.

C.J. Estes, Medfield boys' lacrosse: Senior attack scored four goals and assisted on another as the Warriors rolled to an 18-6 win over Concord-Carlisle in the EMass. Division 2 final. Medfield will play the winner of today's Algonquin-Longmeadow matchup in today's state final.

A look at today's area tournament games:

* The defending Division 1 state champion Algonquin Regional baseball team takes on East Longmeadow in a state semifinal at Tivnan Field tonight at 7, with the victory earning a trip to Saturday's final opposite Lincoln-Sudbury in Lowell.

* The Algonquin Regional boys' lacrosse team faces Longmeadow in a Division 2 state semifinal at Westborough High at 4.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 12, 2007 10:13 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Monday's state tournament action:

Josh Lurier, Westborough boys' tennis: Freshman registered a 6-4, 6-4 victory at second singles to clinch the Rangers' 3-2 win over Longmeadow in a Division 1 state semifinal. Westborough (22-0) will play Falmouth in the Divisioin 1 state final Thursday afternoon at Shrewsbury.

Alexa Ebert, Westborough girls' tennis: Netted the only point for the Rangers at second singles (6-2, 7-5) in a 4-1 setback to Longmeadow in a Division 1 state semifinal.

Emily Limpan, Needham girls' tennis: Recorded a 7-5, 7-5 win at second singles in the Rockets' 3-2 loss to Andover in a Division 1 state semifinal.

Ellen McCurdy, Weston girls' lacrosse: Netted four goals in the Wildcats' 15-14 loss to Winchester in the Division 2 North sectional final. The Wildcats finish 15-8.

A look at today's area tournament games:

* On the baseball diamond, there's one Division 1 state semifinal on tap: Lincoln-Sudbury (22-1) takes on BC High at Braintree (7:30 p.m.). Tomorrow, Algonquin (18-5) faces East Longmeadow at Tivnan Field in Worcester (7 p.m.).

* The Hudson softball team (23-1) travels to UMass to meet Drury in a Division 2 state semifinal at 5:30 p.m.

* The Framingham and Shrewsbury girls' lacrosse teams take aim at advancing to Saturday's Division 1 state final. With 48 straight wins, Framingham travels to Westwood tonight at 7, facing the Wolverines in a state semifinal. The North champion Flyers beat Westwood 14-10 during the regular season. Central champ Shrewsbury meets host Longmeadow in the other state semifinal at 5.

* The Medfield boys' lacrossse team hosts Concord-Carlisle in the Division 2 Eeast final at 2.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 11, 2007 10:18 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Saturday and Sunday's state tournament action:

Neil Hesek, Algonquin baseball: Senior right-hander struck out a staggering 17 Milford batters in eight shutout innings as the Tomahawks defended their Division 1 Central crown with a 10-0 win over the Scarlet Hawks. Algonquin (18-5) will play East Longmeadow in a state semifinal Wednesday.

Kaitlin Andrews, Hudson softball: Junior right-hander tossed a five-hit shutout as the Hawks defended their Division 2 Central title with a 2-0 win over Oxford. Hudson (22-1) will play Drury in a state semifinal Tuesday.

Derek Lowe and Matt Miller, Lincoln-Sudbury baseball: Lowe (8.1 innings), a sophomore right-hander and Miller, a senior left-hander, teamed up on a seven hitter in Lincoln-Sudbury's 3-1 win over Peabody in the Division 1 North final. Miller also plated a pair of runs with a single in the final seventh inning. L-S (22-1) will play BC High in a state semifinal Tuesday.

Andrea Cediel, Needham tennis: Freshman netted clinching 6-4, 6-4 victory at third singles in the Rockets' 3-2 win over Bay State Conference rival in the Division 1 South final. Needham will play Andover in today's EMass final at Newton North.

Kristy Benoit, Shrewsbury girls' lacrosse: Senior attack collected three goals and six assists as the Colonials exploded for 10 second-half goals in a 15-14 win over arch-rival for the Division 1 Central title. Shrewsbury (16-1-1) play at Longmeadow in a state semifinal Tuesday.

Steve Lesnikowski, Algonquin boys' lacrosse: Sophomore middle scored the winning goal, breaking a 3-3 third-quarter deadlock, to lift the Tomahawks past Shrewsbury 5-3 in the Division 2 Central final. Algonquin (13-8) will host a state semifinal on Wednesday.

Natick boys' volleyball team: Led by junior hitter Shaun Sibley (20 kills) and senior setter Tim Lee, the Redmen (24-1) captured the state title with a 25-20, 25-21, 25-19 win over Bay State Conference rival Newton North on Saturday night.

Brian Racca, Algonquin track & field: Senior leaped to New England title in the triple jump, soaring 45 feet to edge Mike Hartfield of Manchester, Conn.

A look at today's tournament games:

* Weston girls' lacrosse at Winchester: Wildcats shoot for Division 2 North title against the host Sachems at 5:30.

* Needham girls' tennis vs. Andover: Fresh off Sunday's South title win, the Rockets try to halt Andover's 42-match winning streak in a Division 1 state semifinal at Newton North (3:30).

* Westborough girls' tennis vs. Longmeadow: Rangers play perennial Western Mass. power Longmeadow in Division 1 state semifinal at Shrewsbury (3:30).

* Westborough boys' tennis vs. Longmeadow: After ending St. John's reign in Central Mass., the Rangers face Longmeadow in a Division 1 state semifinal at Ludlow (3:30).

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 9, 2007 08:05 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Friday's state tournament action:

Samantha Zetlin and Jenny Jones, Framingham girls' lacrosse: Sophomore attack Zetlin and senior attack Jones netted three goals apiece to power defending state champion Flyers to their fourth straight Division 1 North title, a 13-4 win over previously unbeaten Lincoln-Sudbury.

Kevin Scalan, Lincoln-Sudbury baseball: In a gutsy 149-pitch effort, the senior southpaw tossed his ninth shutout in 10 starts, blanking St. John's Prep on five hits in the Warriors' 6-0 Division 1 North semifinal win. The Warriors face Peabody in tonight's North final at Lelacheur Park in Lowell at 7.

Westborough boys' tennis: The Rangers ended the 11-year reign of St. John's Shrewsbury as districtchamps, beating the Pioneers 4-1 in the Division 1 Central final, Westborough's third win over St. John's this season.

C.J. Estes and Matt Schairer, Medfield boys' lacrosse: Estes, a senior attack collected four goals and four assists while Schairer netted six goals to power the Warrors to a 16-8 win over Wellesley in the Division 2 South final.

A look at today's top tournament games:

* Bay State Conference boys' volleyball rivals Natick (20-1) and Newton North (14-6) clash for the third time this season, but this afternoon (Hudson High, 4 p.m.), the winner will take home the state title. Natick is back in the final for the second straight year after falling in last year's final to St. John's Prep, 3-2.

* The Weston girls' lacrosse team faces host Winchester in the Division 2 North final at 3, while Algonquin makes the short trek to Shrewsbury to face the host Colonials in the Division 2 Central title game at 4.

* The Shrewsbury and Algonquin boys' lacrosse teams square off in the Division 2 Central final in Northborough (1 p.m.)

* The Dover-Sherborn boys' lacrosse team meets host Scituate in a Division 3 South semifinal at 3.

* The Weston boys' tennis team faces Winchester in the Division 2 North final at Newton South at 2.

* The Newton South girls' tennis team faces Andover in the Division 2 North final at 2 in Burlington.

* The Milford baseball team has won eight of its last 10 games to earn a spot opposite defending Division 1 state champ Algonquin in tonight's Division 1 Central final at Tivnan Field at 7.

* The top-seeded and once-beaten Hudson girls' softball team takes on Oxford in the Division 2 Central final at Worcester State at 4.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 8, 2007 11:13 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Thursday's state tournament action:

Alexa Ebert, Westborough girls' tennis: Netted a match-clinching 6-1, 6-0 victory at second singles to power the Rangers past Westborough in the Division 1 Central final.

Zach Pepper-Cunningham and Idan Levy, Newton North boys' volleyball: Pepper-Cunningam, the team's lone senior, and Levy, a junior, registered nine kills apiece as the Tigers rallied for the 14-25, 25-15, 12-25, 25-22, 15-12 state semifinal win over Agawam at Hudson High. North (14-6) will play Bay State Conference rival Natick (20-1) in Saturday's state final at Hudson (4 p.m.).

A look at today's top tournament games:

* Seven area lacrosse squads will be vying for sectional crowns, including a sensational matchup between defending state champ Framingham (22-0) and fellow unbeaten Lincoln-Sudbury in the Division 1 North girls' final at Framingham's Bowditch Field (5 p.m.).

* The other girls' matchups -- Division 1 South: King Philip at Westwood; Division 2 North: Weston at Winchester; Division 2 South: Hopkinton at Duxbury.

* Boys' matchups -- Division 2 North: Wayland vs. Concord-Carlisle (at Waltham); Division 2 South:
Wellesley at Medfield.

* On the baseball diamond, top-seeded and once-beaten Lincoln-Sudbury takes on St. John's Prep in a Division 1 North semifinal at Lowell's Alumni Field (6:30 p.m.). The Warriors used eight pitchers in Wednesday's wild 12-10 comeback win against Andover.

* On the tennis courts, the Hopkinton girls shoot for their first sectional crown, playing Ursuline Academy in the Division 2 South final at Medway High.

* The Newton South girls host Concord-Carlisle in a Division 1 North semifinal.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 7, 2007 02:17 PM


Highlighting the top performances from Wednesday's state tournament action:

Shaun Sibley and Tim Lee, Natick boys' volleyball: The 6-foot-8 Sibley delivered a game-high 18 kills and senior setter Lee recorded 48 assists as the Redmen swept through the defending state champs in a state semifinal, avenging last year's state final loss.

Bryant Johnson, Milford baseball: In a gutsy 151-pitch effort, the senior southpaw struck out 11, walked one and allowed four hits as the red-hot Scarlet Hawks stopped top-seeded St. John's in a Division 1 Central semifinal.

Rob Nicholas, Algonquin baseball: Senior right-hander hurled nine strong innings as the defending state champs rallied for a 7-4 Division 1 Central semifinal victory over Leominster. He struck out nine and allowed eight hits.

Kevin Scanlan, Lincoln-Sudbury baseball: At the plate, the senior first baseman double twice and knocked in three runs in the Warriors' wild 12-10 Division 1 North semifinal win over visiting Andover. On the mound, as his team's 8th pitcher of the day, the southpaw hurled two innings of relief to close out the win.

Kaitlin Andrews, Hudson softball: Junior righty tossed a two-hitter with seven strikeouts as the Hawks edged Notre Dame Academy in a Division 2 Central semifinal.

Lucie Wall, Hopkinton giris' tennis: Senior tri-captain secured the deciding point in the Hillers' 3-2 Division 2 South semifinal win at Cohasset, winning 6-2, 4-6, 6-4. Hopkinton advances to the sectional final for the first time.

Katie Toomy, Algonquin girls' lacrosse: Netted four goals and one assist in the T-Hawks' 13-10 overtime win over Westborough in a Central semifinal.

A look at today's top tournament matchups:

* Newton North boys' volleyball vs. Agawam: The Tigers can earn a trip to the state final, and a match against Bay State Conference rival Natick, with a win over West champion Agawam in the state semis tonight at Hudon (7 p.m.)

* Weston baseball vs. Tyngsboro: John Beverly's Wildcats are one win away from the Division 3 North final. Tyngsboro stands in the way this afternoon at Bentley (4 p.m.)

* Marian baseball vs. Harwich: The Mustangs have made a spirited run through the Division 3 South bracket, winning three games heading into today's semifinal game against Harwich in Taunton (4 p.m.).

* Westborough girls' tennis vs. Wachusett: Coach Nancy Quimby's Rangers can claim Division 1 Central crown this afternoon at Clark.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 6, 2007 10:20 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Tuesday's state tournament action:

Nicole D'Argento, Ashland softball: Sophomore right-hander hurls a no-hitter in the Clockers' Division 2 South 1-0 quarterfinal win over visiting Cardinal Spellman.
Kaitlin Andrews, Hudson softball: Junior right-hander tosses a three-hitter in Hawks' 8-0 Division 2 Central quarterfinal win over Bartlett.
Kristin Igoe, Framingham girls lacrosse: Senior attack nets 3 goals and 3 assists as defending Division 1 state champs registered their 47th straight win, defeating Reading 15-4 in a North semifinal.
Natalie Kerns, Lincoln-Sudbury lacrosse: Goalie made five saves in final four minutes as L-S pulled out 14-12 Division 1 semfinal win over Andover.
Mikhael Jette, Shrewsbury boys' lacrosse: Junior middie scores game-winner with 2:35 left as Colonials stun top-seeded St. John's in a Central Mass. semifinal.
Garrett Smith, St. John's baseball: Boston College-bound senior shortstop collects five hits and knocks in seven runs to power Pioneers to a 14-2 Division 1 Central quarterfinal win over visiting Tantasqua.
John Batter, Weston baseball: Senior right-hander allows two hits over six innings in Wildcats' 5-2 Division 3 North semifinal win over Winthrop.
Lauren Faro and Evann McGrory, Medfield girls' tennis: Newly-formed second doubles duo recorded straight set victory to lift Warriors to a 3-2 Division 2 South quarterfinal win over Norwell.
Kelly West and Kim Foley, Hopkinton girls' tennis: Second doubles tandem won deciding match 4-6, 6-3, 6-2 to clinch Division 2 South quarterfinal against Cape Cod Academy.
Kate Donovan, Wellesley girls' tennis: Senior captured final point in Raiders' 3-2 Division 1 South quarterfinal win over visiting Bridgewater-Raynham with a 1-6, 6-4, 7-5 victory.

A look at today's top tournament matchups:

* St. John's Prep vs. Natick boys' volleyball: Redmen will have plenty of motivation in tonight's state semifinal at Hudson High, trying to avenge last year's 3-2 state final loss, in which Natick let a 13-8 Game 3 lead slip away.

* Andover at Lincoln-Sudbury baseball: Top-seeded Warriors (20-1) rolled over Cambridge 22-0 in playoff opener, but Andover will be a tougher test in Division 1 North quarterfinal.

* Hopkinton baseball at Oliver Ames: After 1-0 opening-round win over Dighton-Rehoboth, Hillers hit the road for Easton in a Division 2 South quarterfinal.

* Wellesley vs. King Philip girls' lacrosse: Perennial powers clash in a Division 1 South semifinal in Franklin at 6:30.

* Westborough vs. St. John's boys' tennis: Rangers attempt to register their third win this spring against St. John's in a Division 1 Central semifinal.

* Algonquin baseball vs. Leominster: Defending Division 1 state champs take on Leominster in a Division 1 Central semifinal at Tivnan tonight at 7. That follows the Milford-St. John's matchup at 4.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted June 4, 2007 10:42 AM


A look at today's high school state tournament action:
With the wet weather likely washing out a heavy slate on the local diamonds and tennis courts this afternoon, our attention turns to the volleyball court, where the unbeaten Lincoln-Sudbury boys volleyball team (21-0) takes on Natick (19-1) in the Central final at Xaverian Brothers in Westwood at 7.

In the final game of the regular season on May 21, Drew Corwin delivered 19 kills as L-S handed Natick its first loss of the season, 3-1 (16-25, 25-21, 25-21 and 25-19). The Redmen had a difficult time handling Corwin's thunderous jump serves.

With just four seniors, Lincoln-Sudbury has made a remarkable turnaround from last year's 4-14 campaign. Under Peter Suxho, Natick is attempting to return to the state final for the second consecutive season.

Highlighting the top performances from Sunday's state tournament action:
* Bryant Guilmette, Hopkinton baseball: Junior southpaw tossed a four-hitter as the Hillers blanked host Dighton-Rehoboth in a Division 2 South first-round game. Batterymate Matt Collins plated the game's only run with a fourth-inning double
* Josh Lurier and Josh Hurwitz, Westborough boys' tennis: Frosh and junior roll at second and third singles, respectively in a 4-1 Division 1 Central quarterfinal win over Shrewsbury. The unbeaten Rangers (19-0) host Algonquin in a semifinal match this afternoon.

Other highlights from the weekend:
* Led by sensational junior Dana Jamieson, the Lincoln-Sudbury girls' track team captured its second straight All-State title, edging Bromfield 48-32, in Holyoke. Jamieson won the 400, leaped to a second in the long jump and anchored the victorious 4x400 relay team. Teammate Molly Binder added the 800-meter title.

* Framingham senior Jordan Maddocks cleared 6 feet, 7 inches to win the high jump title and Newton South sophomore Bridget Dahlberg went the distance to capture the mile.

* Three other area relay teams beat the field: the Newton North girls' 4x800 in a record-setting clocking of 9:15.13; Newton North's 4x100 quartet, keyed by a blazing run from Cailean Robinson in the third leg.

* The Newton North boys' volleyball team won its second straight South title, defeating New Bedford 3-0, to advance to the state semifinals. The Tigers (13-6) will play the winner of tonight's Agawam/Belchertown match on Thursday.

-- Craig Larson

Algonquin hires boys' hockey coach

Posted May 30, 2007 11:26 AM


Scott Ellison, the 1984-85 captain of the University of New Hampshire men's hockey team, has been named the new varsity boys' hockey coach at Algonquin Regional, replacing longtime skipper Mike Roy.

A Hopkinton resident, Ellison is a special education teacher at Algonquin. He first caught the eye of athletic director Fran Whitten during a faculty vs. varsity girls hockey game in the early spring.

"This guy was flying around the ice and I didn't know he was even a member of the faculty," said Whitten. "Two weeks later, Mike resigned as coach," adding that it is wonderful that Ellison is working in the building.

Ellison played and coached in Lindberg, Germany and is also a former assistant at Medway High.

Two other recent coaching moves:
* Dan Welty has been promoted from junior varsity field hockey coach to varsity mentor at Algonquin, replacing Jodi Howard, who moved to Ohio with her husband.

* Paul Mumby, who guided the West Boylston girls' soccer team to the Division 3 state title last fall, is the new varsity girls' coach at Westborough High, a Division 1 program.

He replaces John Chatalian, who stepped down after guiding the Rangers for seven seasons. Mumby has been hired as a physical education teacher at the Mill Pond School and he and his family recently moved to Westborough.

-- Craig Larson

Tracking down top area performers

Posted May 28, 2007 05:28 PM


On a day in which junior Dana Jamieson's sparkling all-around performance propelled the Lincoln-Sudbury girls' track & field team to second straight EMass Division 1 title, there was no shortage of outstanding individual area performances across the board on the oval Saturday.

Newton North senior David Smith was a double winner in the discus and the shot put at the Division 1 boys' meet in Lowell while Hudson's Kristalina Lamore doubled up in the 200 meters and the triple jump at the Central Massachusetts girls' meet in Fitchburg.

Here's a rundown of the local individual winners from Saturday's track meets:

EMass Div. 1 girls: Lincoln-Sudbury's Molly Binder (800); Sarah Romeri (pole vault) and Danielle Jamieson (400); Newton North's Jessica Barton (2-mile); Newton South's Candace Bailey (100) and Bridget Dahlberg (mile).

EMass Div. 1 boys: Newton North's David Smith (discus, shot put); Waltham's Jonathon Keyes (300 hurdles); Framingham's Jordan Maddocks (high jump); and Newton South's Ross McDonald (pole vault).

EMass. Div. 2 girls: Natick's Rebecca White (2-mile).

EMass Div. 3 girls: Wellesley's Lucy Lafitte (100 hurdles), Michelle Dubois (pole vault) and Najauna Muschetta (triple jump); Hopkinton's Cecily Boyce (300 hurdles); and Holliston's Emmaline Berg (shot put).

EMass Div. 4 girls: Dover-Sherborn's Shannon Bailey (200); Maria's Christi Gallagher (800); and Weston's Dayorsha Collins (high jump) and Jessica Gottlieb (long jump).

EMass Div. 4 boys: Marian's Pat McAllister (2-mile); Weston's Rodney Harris (triple jump).

CMass boys: Algonquin's Brian Racca (triple jump); Nashoba's Brendon Ayalaian (mile); Shrewsbury Steve Pawlik (110 hurdles); and Westborough's Forrest Xiao (pole vault).

CMass girls: Algonquin's Danielle DePalo (pole vault); Hudson's Kristalina Lamore (200 and triple jump); Keefe Tech's Amy Sanjurjo (long jump); and Nipmuc's Lindsay Stakus (100 hurdles).

The All-State meet will be held Saturday morning at the Roberts Sports Complex in Holyoke, where Maddocks (high jump), Smith (shot put), Jamieson (400), Dahlberg (mile), DePalo (pole vault), Lamore (triple jump) are the top seeds in their respective events.

-- Craig Larson

Patriots honor area high school seniors

Posted May 16, 2007 04:22 PM


Six area graduating high school seniors are among 36 students from the region that will honored by the New England Patriots Wednesday evening as recipients of college scholarships from the Patriots Charitable Foundation and Fidelity Investments.

The student participated in the Inspire the Future "Write On" Scholarshp contest "Totally Patriots", the team's weekly show aimed at young fans.

The local honorees are: Amanda Batstone (Berlin); Michelle Andler (Needham); Michael Jorgensen (Milford); Eric Krasnow (Newton); Rachel Merkin (Wellesley) and Gabe Weintraub (Needham).

Scholarships range from $1,000 to $15,000.

-- Craig Larson

Leip: New Wayland hoop coach

Posted May 14, 2007 11:11 PM


Scott Leip stepped away as the varsity boys' basketball coach at his alma mater, Ashland High, in mid-March, perfectly content to guide his 9-year-old son Justin's travel team for the next few years.

But when the varsity position at nearby Wayland High recently became available, Leip was intrigued and he applied.

On Monday, the 36-year-old Leip accepted the job, replacing Dean Putnam, whose contract was not renewed after this past season.

"It's pretty common knowledge that my name was not out there for any other position," said Leip Monday evening. "I left Ashland not knowing what my next coaching position would be. To get back in, it had to be the right situation, the right time, and that happened in this case."

Leip, who compiled a sterling 126-66 mark in nine seasons on the Clocker bench, said he was "blown away" by the entire situation at Wayland, clearly impressed by the administration, faculty, coaches and the student body.

"Anyone who knows Wayland, knows how committed they are to the entire student experience," said Leip, "and the more people I talked to, I didn't hear anything negative. The athletic program, from swimming, to wrestling, to girls' basketball, and football. It's not just about qualifying for the state tournament."

His first concern, though, was at home, and receiving full support from his young family. "My wife [Ann-Marie] said, 'coaching's in your blood, and if it's a place that you can by happy, and the kids can have a great experience, then go do it," said Leip. "And over the last decade, my kids have really come to enjoy being around a baskeball program.

Throughout the interview process, he also felt that he and Wayland AD Martha Jamieson shared similar ideas on the direction of the program. "I got kind of spoiled with my mentor, 'Smokey' Moresi, at Ashland," said Leip. "I'm really looking forward toward working with Martha. She really gets it."

Though Leip will be transitioning from one Division 3 program to another, coaching in the Dual County League, which features a number of Division 1 and Division 2 programs, will be a major challenge.

"I spent nine years in the Tri-Valley League and I have a lot of pride in that league," said Leip, who led Ashland to three TVL titles. His only two losing seasons were his first and last. "But people tell me that the DCL is a better league, with better competition. I look forward to taking Wayland to the next level."

An outside salesman in the medical industry, Leip said the move to Wayland only added 10-12 minutes to the commute from his Ashland home.
Wayland was 9-12 last season, falling to Lynn Tech in the first round of the Division 3 North sectional.

-- Craig Larson

Another Globe West ace

Posted May 10, 2007 11:53 AM



Shrewsbury High's Amanda Aditays is another fearsome presence in softball in Globe West.

Globe photographer Bill Polo caught her powerful windup in a recent game against Hudson.

Special delivery

Posted May 10, 2007 11:42 AM



Some high school girls have gotten so good at pitching softballs that the rules of the game may be changed today. The governing body for Massachusetts high school sports is considering moving the pitching rubber back three feet.

The Globe offers a front page story today on these pitching aces and how they've forced changes in the game.

Globe photographer David Kamerman took the shot above of Franklin's Kristin Graci, who looks like someone a batter would rather not face.

Framingham State, Wellesley in NCAA tourney

Posted May 10, 2007 10:10 AM


Rich Paulhus calls today a proud moment for his Framingham State College softball team.

His Rams (21-19) will play top-seeded Rhode Island College (37-5) in the first round of the double-elimination NCAA Division 3 Northeast Regional in Providence this morning at 10. It is the first-ever NCAA tournament apperance for Framingham State, which clinched its automatic berth with a thrilling 1-0 win over Bridgewater State in last week's MASCAC final.

In just its third year as a varsity program, Wellesley (22-12) will also be making its inaugural appearance in the tournament. Wellesley, which won the NEWMAC Championship with a 1-0 win over Babson, is the third seed and will play Misericordia (PA) at 2.

Playing in its third conference final in four years, Framingham State bounced back from a 7-1 loss last Sunday to capture the MASCAC title on senior DeAnna Curtis's two-hit shutout.

Curtis was dominant in the tournament, compiling a 3-0 record with a .84 ERA, fanning 17 batters in 25 innings.

"The defense was awesome, DeAnna mixed up her pitchers and we held on," said Paulhus, the fifth-year head coach. "Hopefully, this group has helped put the Framingham State program on the map."

The unquestioned leader is senior shortstop Christina Sullivan, who owns all of the program's hitting records and has not missed a game in four years.

Freshman Megan Wood is hitting a robust .391 for Wellesley while junior co-captain Kara Wong of Milford has put together an outstanding final season. The team's starting catcher leads the squad in RBI (23), is tied for first in home runs (4) while batting .370.

In its first-ever appearance in the ECAC tournament, the Brandeis women's softball team staged a seventh-inning rally yesterday to top Rivier College, 2-1 in Nashua, N.H. The Judges trailed 1-0 entering the seventh inning, but plated the tying and go-ahead runs on infield errors to forge ahead, 2-1.

Freshman Emily Vaillette went the distance her sixth win of the season, a school record, striking out five and walking two and allowing three hits. Brandeis will play Western Connecticut (22-19) the semifinals of the double-elimination tournament Saturday at host Roger Williams College in Bristol, R.I. Western Connecticut eliminated Lasell of Newton yesterday, 16-0.

-- Craig Larson

Bateman named Wayland hockey coach

Posted May 1, 2007 12:07 PM


Wayland High athletic director Martha Jamieson will be the first to admit that the school's varsity boys' hockey program needs a fresh start.

"We've had a tough run," said Jamieson of a program that finished 0-18-2 this past winter competing in the DCL/MVC Division 3.

New coach Phil Bateman will bring a fresh approach.

A former assistant coach with both the UMass-Amherst and UMass-Boston women's teams, and currently a head coach and director of goaltending at Puckmasters in Marlborough, Bateman is ready to get started with the program, which is privately-funded.

"I thought it might be a nice little challenge," said the 34-year-old Batemen, who as a goalie, played Major Junior A hockey in Canada and was twice invited to try out for his country's world junior team in the early '90s. In the 2005-06 season, he directed the Neumann College (Aston, PA) women's program's to a 14-9-2 mark in the ECAC West Division 3 conference.

"I like the idea of getting a grass roots system going, and I found it a real comfortable fit in talking to Martha."

Jamieson said she was impressed by Bateman's "demeanor and his diversified background.

"I am really excited," said the AD, noting that there were six candidates for the position. "He has a blank slate coming in. The players are really excited about [his hiring]. He's a hockey fanatic, but he has a levelness to him, he's even-keeled."

His foundation will teaching and "treating the game cerebrally," he said. "And from talking to a few of the players already, they are ready to work."

Using the rejuvenated football program under Scott Parseghian's direction as a parallel, both Jamieson and Bateman feel that a turnaround in the team's fortunes is possible. "Hopefully, lightning strikes twice," said Bateman.

Bateman, with a degree in exercise physiology from Ohio State University, replaces Sean Carabatsos, who resigned at season's end to pursue a principal's certification.

Jamieson said she will interview five to six candidates for the open varsity boys' basketball position on Thursday.

-- Craig Larson

The inside story on Outman

Posted April 26, 2007 03:23 PM


Outman flying through the air with the greatest of ease


Her focus is on track. Her commitment level is 100 percent, nothing less. And the results have been astonishing for Maddy Outman, a former Newton South High standout who has taken a giant leap in her junior year at Williams College.

Last month, Outman earned All-America recognition in four events -- a first in the history of the Williams women's track program -- to power the Williamstown school to its first NCAA Division 3 indoor track title in Terre Haute, Ind. She landed a second-place finish in the long jump, placed fifth in the 55-meter hurdles and the 400-meter dash, and ran a leg on the Ephs' 4 x 400 relay team that placed eighth.

Williams coach Ralph White said Outman "has made a lot of progress. She is an extremely hard worker and she has the ability to adjust. She listens like a sponge."

This spring, Outman is competing in the 400-meter hurdles for the first time and is ranked No. 1 in the nation.

Read more of this story in today's Globe West.

-- Craig Larson

Algonquin's Teggart belts 4 HRs

Posted April 23, 2007 10:50 PM


Algonquin Regional senior Dave Teggart has earned a full football scholarship to the University of Connecticut with his booming right leg.

Teggart also swings a powerful bat on the baseball diamond.

In a performance for the ages, Teggart belted four home runs and knocked in seven runs to power defending Division 1 state champion Algonquin to a 9-2 win over Mid-Wach rival and host Leominster Monday afternoon.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pound right-handed hitting Teggart blasted solo homers over the 325-foot fence in left-center in the second and fourth innings, cracked a two-run bomb to the same spot in the sixth and then capped his 4-for-4 with a three-run shot in the seventh.

"I think the most I've ever hit in a game was maybe two in Little League," said Teggart, who smashed seven home runs last spring, when he finished with a .468 average. "They just kept throwing fastballs down the middle of the plate."

In the seventh inning, with runners on first and third, Teggart felt he'd receive a free pass.

"I thought they'd walk me, but the pitcher threw four straight curveballs," said Teggart, who starts at third base.

And the fifth? A 3-1 fastball, which Teggart deposited over the fence for his fourth round-tripper of the day.

Teggart plans to use the same bat, and helmet, when Algonquin (2-2) hosts Nashoba Regional in Northborough this afternoon.

Why not. So far this spring, he's hitting a sizzling .600 (9-for-15).

-- Craig Larson

Hudson's Carrara paced local runners

Posted April 18, 2007 07:33 PM


Hudson's Ryan Carrara recorded the best area finish in Monday's 111th running of the Boston Marathon, with the 30-year-old's time of 2 hours, 32 minutes and five seconds placing him 58th overall. Watertown's Kimberly Nolan was the top female runner, completing the course in 3 hours, 4 minutes and 28 seconds.

The top 20 local males and females are listed below. Congrats to all the local runners who finished the 26.2-mile trek to Boston. Results provided by the Boston Athletic Association.

Top 20 area men's finishers:
1. Ryan Carrara, 30, Hudson (2:32:05)
2. John Mortimer III, 31, Waltham (2:26:36)
3. Jonathan Fortescue, 39, Wellesley (2:44:19)
4. Ephraim Ezekiel, 49, Newton (2:45:49)
5. David Oliver, 50, Wesborough (2:47:37)
6. Mark A. Bell, 41, Sudbury (2:49:13)
7. Chris Benestad, 29, Northborough (2:49:14)
8. Steve Cliff Branch, 42, Hopkinton (2:49:37)
9. John S. Barrett, 37, Needham (2:50:28)
10. Nelson Dupere, 42, Watertown (2:50:33)
11. Merrick Jones, 41, Needham (2:51:03)
12. Pepi Peterson, 39, Marlborough (2:51:24)
13. Errol Yudelman, 47, Newton (2:53:12)
14. Hunter Bennett-Daggett, 23, Framingham (2:54:02)
15. Sadik Tokgoz, 39, Chestnut Hill (2:54:10)
16. Bob Collins, 39, Wellesley (2:54:51)
17. Sean T. Roskey, 45, Framingham (2:57:56)
18. Michael Tapia, 39, Needham (2:58:40)
19. Christopher Richard, 23, Sudbury (2:58:51)
20. Thomas Szumita, 32, Newton (2:58:56)

Top 20 area women's finishers:
1. Kimberly Nolan, 24, Watertown (3:04:28)
2. Lara Johnson, 26, Newton (3:12:03)
3. Katherine Dodd, 24, Westborough (3:12:13)
4. Beth Coughlin, 28, Newton (3:12:55)
5. Sally Roberts, 27, Watertown (3:16:35)
6. Maria Urso, 31, Natick (3:17:18)
7. Laurie Nahigan, 36, Waltham (3:20:13)
8. Katya Gould, 18, Wayland (3:22:11)
9. Jane Chitkara, 38, Wayland (3:23:39)
10. Cara Reardon, 23, Northborough (3:23:44)
11. Antoinette Decker, 38, Southborough, (3:25:00)
12. Kathryn Barrows, 30, Newton (3:26:04)
13. Lisa Danielson, Shrewsbury (3:26:54)
14. Courtney Zaharis, Hopkinton (3:27:24)
15. Erica Williams, 21, Chestnut Hill (3:28:28)
16. Colleen Sampson, 21, Chestnut Hill (3:28:32)
17. Catherine Lifschultz, 44, Sudbury (3:28:54)
18. Amy Ryan, 28, Ashland (3:29:54)
19. Julia Fahey, 31, Watertown (3:29:48)
20. Carol Chaoui, 43, Wellesley (3:30:10)

-- Craig Larson

Ashland names Quigley coach

Posted April 9, 2007 08:49 PM


Ryan Quigley thoroughly enjoyed his first season on the bench of the Keefe Tech boys' basketball program in Framingham, guiding the Unicorns to an 11-11 mark and berth in the Division 3 Central tournament.

But the opportunity to coach the varsity boys' team at Ashland High, his home away from home, was enough to lure him back to the Clocker program. Yesterday, Ashland named the 28-year-old former assistant as its new head coach, replacing Scott Leip, who resigned in mid-March after a nine-year run.

"This is a great opportunithy, having taught and coached at Ashland the past four years," said Quigley, who assisted Leip for three seasons on the bench. "I'm definitely excited to be back."

Quigley, who teaches physical education at the high school, also serves as a Clocker assistant football coach and assistant boys' track coach.

"He did a great job over at Keefe, and it's an easy transition for him and all the student-athletes, and that's the whole key," said Ashland athletic director Phil Moresi. "He has coached all these kids."

Quigley is thrilled to join a Clocker program that will return eight letterwinners, including a strong junior class, but leaving Keefe after just one season was not easy.

"When Scott resigned, a lot of people in the building were saying, 'this is the perfect situation, you teach in the school, it's a no-brainer,' " said Quigley, an Exeter, N.H. native who prepped at Oyster River HS before playing collegiately at Skidmore. "But this wasn't an easy decision, we made the tournament [at Keefe], and I never had to question how hard the kids were going to play, we had a lot of close games, and it was a fun group to coach."

Varsity baseball coach Scott Soderberg and varsity boys' lacrosse coach Bill Graham will assist Quigley on the Clocker bench.

-- Craig Larson

Framingham's Savard: College hockey's humanitarian

Posted April 6, 2007 04:03 PM


Yale women's hockey senior captain Kristin Savard of Framingham is the 2007 winner of the Hockey Humanitarian Award.


Her stellar hockey playing career at Yale University is now over, but Framingham's Kristin Savard is now being recognized for her extraordinary efforts off the ice.

The Eli senior captain has been selected as the recipient of the 2007 Hockey Humanitarian Award, which honors college's hockey finest citizen, male or female. The award will be presented tonight at a ceremony in St. Louis during the Skills Challenge of the men's NCAA Division 1 Frozen Four. ESPNU will present a feature on Savard at 8:30 p.m.

The 22-year-old Savard founded “Teaming Up”, Yale’s effort to raise awareness for improving maternal health in the developing world – a project she hopes to expand to other schools and teams.

“Kristin Savard is an extraordinary student-athlete,” said Yale head coach Hilary Witt. “I am confident that, long after she graduates this spring, she will continue to do her part to make the world a better place.”

Savar was named as one of five Hockey Humanitarian finalists in January, joining Ohio State’s Jody Heywood, Wisconsin’s Andrew Joudrey, RPI’s Kirk MacDonald and Clarkson’s Lindsay Williams.

A political science major, Savard is a three-time ECAC All-Academic selection. She has been a part of a renaissance on the ice for the Bulldogs, who won more games in her four seasons (54) than any other four-year period in school history.

Savard finished her career fourth all-time at Yale in assists (54), tied for fifth in points (93) and eighth in goals (39).

“For everything that hockey has given me, I can not give back enough,” Savard said. “For the opportunity to be at Yale, for the friends I have made and the lessons I have learned, I can not give back enough. But I will do what I can."

-- Craig Larson

Junior Bruins shoot for national title

Posted March 29, 2007 09:14 AM


The Marlborough-based Boston Junior Bruins have put together a spectacular season on the ice, their 48-3-1 run highlighted by Empire League regular-season and post-season titles.

Their reward is a second straight trip to the invitation-only USA Hockey Junior B national championships in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The Junior B's open play this afternoon (1:15 p.m.)with a first-round match against the Suffolk (New York) Silver Shields.

Next up in the round-robin format is a Friday night matchup against the El Paso Rhinos, followed by a Saturday afternoon game against the St. Louis Blues. The semifinals are scheduled for Sunday, with the two finalists playing for the Silver Cup on Monday night.

Northborough's Evan Gogonis (50-plus assists) and Shrewsbury's Joey Dillon have been stellar point men on the blue line this season, while Derek Arnold (Foxboro), Steve Morra (Bristol, R.I.) and John Henrion (Holden) pace the Junior B's attack up front.

"I am excited for the games to start and I know the team is as well," said Junior B's coach Chris Masters, whose team calls the New England Sports Center its home ice. "I like how we match up this year at the tournament and while there is not an easy game in the tournament I think if we play our game by skating and moving pucks, continue to get solid play from our goalies and special teams we could make some noise."

Milford's Steve Ginand, Shrewsbury's Colin Shea, and Westborough's Nick Foy and Ryan Brothers are also members of the squad, with an average age of 16 years old.

-- Craig Larson

Leip resigns as Ashland coach

Posted March 24, 2007 12:50 AM


Scott Leip built the Ashland High boys' basketball program into a winner in a highly-successful nine-year run. Now, he's stepping away from his alma mater as head coach to spend more time with his young family.

"I love coaching, but not at the expense of my family," said the 36-year-old Leip, who also recently started working for a new company as an outside salesman in the medical industry. "This past season, I made it work, but it was becoming tougher and tougher."

This past season, Leip coached both the Ashland High varsity and his 9-year-old son Justin's MetroWest travel team. "My wife (Ann-Marie), son and daughter (4-year-old Courtney) deserve my time," he said.

A 1988 Ashland grad, Leip led the Clockers to seven tournament berths, three Tri-Valley League titles, three trips to the Division 3 South semifinals and a memorable march to the South final in 2004-05.

A star player for Smokey Moresi's Clocker teams of the late '80s, Leip went on to play collegiately at UMass-Dartmouth and then Babson.

He was hired as head coach at Ashland for the 1996-97 season, working under his mentor -- Moresi, the school's athletic director -- and immediately pumped life into a program that had won a combined four games the previous two years. Only his first team (7-13) and his last (8-12) failed to make the postseason and he compiled a 126-66 overall record. He took two seasons off (2000-01 and 2001-02) because of his fulltime job.

"The high school level is the last pure coaching job, because you can have a positive influence on the kids on and off the floor," said Leip, who would still like to help out the program as a volunteer assistant.
"I had so many quality kids. This year, we didn't make the tournament, but the kids still had fun, and they got along. That's what I'm most proud about."

Moresi said that the position has been posted and that would like to have it filled as soon as possible.

"We're very disappointed to lose Scotty, he did an outstanding job developing the program, bringing it to an elevated level not seen since the late '60s and early '70s," said Moresi, who is retiring at the end of the school year. "The [players] loved him and we loved him. But his kids are coming of age, and it's hard to do everything as an adult. He's making the right decision."

-- Craig Larson

Bentley's magical run ends

Posted March 22, 2007 09:50 AM

Div II Bentley Winona St Basketball.jpg

Bentley's Jeff Holmes shoots a basket against Winona State's Josh Korth yesterday
(AP Photo by Nancy Palmieri)


In the end, Bentley's effort, determined and relentless, was not good enough in the program's first-ever trip to the NCAA Division 2 Men's Elite Eight.

Not against an impressive Winona State squad focused on repeating as national champions. So the Falcons' magical ride, one stretching 32 games over the past five months, ended with a 64-51 loss in Springfield Tuesday night before an entertaining crowd of 4,267 -- the majority made up of 20 busloads of Bentley students that made the two-hour trip from Waltham.

With its 56th straight win, Winona State (34-0) advances to tonight's semifinals against Central Missouri (31-3). Bentley finishes the best season in the history of New England men's basketball at 32-1.

"That's a heck of a team that we played tonight, I'm not sure that we could have played better defense," said Bentley coach Jay Lawson, whose squad was seeking to become the first Division 2 men's champ from New England since UMass-Lowell in 1988.
"There's just not any margin for error."

There was too much Zach Malvik (game-high 19 points, 8 of 17 from the floor) out on the perimeter. Too much of the silky smooth Jonte Flowers (13 points) in the paint. And too much of the powerful 6-foot-8 John Smith (14 points, 12 rebounds) in the post.

Winona averages nearly 90 points per game, but on this night, the Warriors locked up the victory with their swarming defense. In the second half, Bentley shot just 38 percent from the floor and the Falcons finished the night just 4 for 16 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Forward Jeff Holmes, one of five Bentley seniors playing his final game, led the Falcons with 12 points and seven rebounds, Springfield native Yusuf Abdul-Ali contributed 11 and six rebounds and junior forward Nate Fritsch had 10 points.

"It's been a magical ride, it's been unbelievable," said Lawson, trying to sum up his team's spectacular.
"You're talking about a private school where everybody studies business. ... where the average SAT score for incoming freshmen is 1,280. You get to this level of basketball, we knew could play with these teams, but we're a little bit different from these other teams."
"For us, what are you going to say, we set 10 to 15 school records, we've set the record for the most wins in the history of New England colleges. We had to beat a team [Bryant] four times to make the Elite Eight. It makes the end of our season a lot easier to accept."

-- Craig Larson

He's so fast you might even say he flies down the track

Posted March 20, 2007 05:19 PM

Ryan Quinn 1.jpg

Watertown High senior Ryan Quinn zooms down the track
(Globe Staff Photo by Bill Polo)


Why would a star hockey player quit the sport and take up track? Watertown's Ryan Quinn saw more of a future on the track than on a rink. Now he's setting records and winning championships in events including the dash and the long jump. And he's headed to a good college.

Read more about his decision in Thursday's Globe West.

Lincoln-Sudbury girls soar to title

Posted March 17, 2007 08:51 PM


Their pre-game huddle ends with one unified thought: Play Your Game.
The Division 2 state final was no different for the Lincoln-Sudbury girls' basketball team.

And the confident Warriors left no doubt: They Played Their Game.

The Warriors hit their first six shots on the DCU Center floor, sprinting to an early 12-2 cushion and were never truly threatened in a 53-32 victory over Hampshire Regional to capture the program's first state title Saturday night in Worcester.

"I guess this is what they mean when they say that you have to peak at the right time," said L-S third-year coach Liza Feldman, whose squad finishes 24-2.
"If we had played this way all year, we would have been tough to beat all year. But in some ways, the losses at the beginning of the season (to Westford and Rush Henrietta) were the best things for us. It made us work harder."

L-S defended aggressively, shared the ball, and made it a point of emphasis to get the ball inside to 6-foot-5 senior center Carolyn Swords.

The Boston College-bound Swords and junior guard Sarah Wetmore led Lincoln-Sudbury with 14 points apiece and senior forward Brittany Phillips netted all 12 of her points in the first 16 minutes, when the Warriors built a 30-15 lead.

Playing in its fifth straight state final, Hampshire hit its first two shots of the second half, but L-S answered with a 15-0 blitz for a commanding 49-20 spread with six minutes left.

When Hampshire's 6-foot-4 senior Cara McCormack, her team's only counter to Swords in the post, was whistled for her fifth foul with 6:52 left, Feldman subbed in for her senior center. A minute later, three other L-S starters were out of the game, allowed to view the final minutes from the bench.

But with 52 seconds left, Feldman offered a final salute to her four seniors: Swords, Phillips, Elana Carlson and Cortney Davis, inserting the quartet back into the game to be on the floor at the final buzzer.

"I wanted to send them off in the right direction," said Feldman. "They have done a tremendous amount for this program, they have been really great leaders.":

-- Craig Larson

Watertown wins it

Posted March 17, 2007 02:38 PM


Watertown senior Anthony Coppola wanted the ball in his hands. Broken finger and all.

So too did his coach, Steve Harrington.

Coppola sank four free throws in the final 6.2 seconds as Watertown held off Sabis of Springfield 62-61 for the Division 3 state boys' basketball championship on Saturday afternoon at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Coppola scored 10 of his 24 points in the final seven minutes to propel the Red Raiders (22-3) to the program's first state crown.

"I had so much focus, I knew I had to come through for my team, and my town," said the 6-foot-1 Coppola, who will play at Division 3 Wheaton next year.

Coppola, who broke a small bone in his right hand the day before last week's EMass. Division 3 final against Medfield, was also determined to atone for a late costly turnover at midcourt. Isiah Wallace (team-high 24 points) converted the steal into a layup at the other end for the tying basket, 58-all, with 9.3 seconds left.

"Intensity and toughness, that was the difference," said Coppola still clutching the state championship plaque nearly 20 minutes after the end of the game. After struggling with his shooting in the first 16 minutes, he shed the tape on his right hand at halftime.

"Once they tied it, I wanted to get the ball in [Anthony's) hands," said Watertown coach Steve Harrington.

Defending state champ Sabis, which roared back from an 18-point first-half deficit, led 47-43 with eight minutes left. But Watertown sophomore Benyam Kerman buried a left wing trey, triggering a 10-0 run for a 53-47 cushion with six minutes remaining. Coppola sank two free throws, drove baseline for two more and senior Steve Keuchkarian drained another three.

"Steve, Cory Stockmal (14 points) and Ben all hit big threes for us down the stretch," said Harrington. "I can't explain what this group of kids have accomplished. They are so tough, just so tough."

Coppola added, "To win the first state championship, and be captain of the team, and win it for the town, is just unbelievable."

-- Craig Larson

Butler does it for New Hampshire

Posted March 17, 2007 12:17 AM


The last time Bobby Butler skated at the TD BankNorth Garden, he powered Marlborough High to the 2004-05 Division 3 state hockey title.

With his goal 90 seconds into the second overtime last night, the University of New Hampshire freshman winger lifted the Wildcats to a thrilling 3-2 win over Massachusetts in the Hockey East semifinals.

Third-ranked New Hampshire (26-9-2) will play Boston College, a 6-2 victor over Boston University, in tonight's Hockey East championship game at 7.

With the game tied at two just 90 seconds into double overtime UMass was unable to clear the puck from its own zone. Butler collected the rubber in the slot, wheeled and flicked a fluttering puck in on Jon Quick that went over his left shoulder and in the net for the game-winner.

“When it popped out there, I really couldn’t get everything on the shot,” said the 6-foot, 180-pound Butler, who netted his 8th goal of the season and also assisted on the first UNH goal. “It kind of popped up my stick and I just chipped it in.”

Fourth-seeded UMass drops to 20-12-5 (15-9-3 Hockey East) with the loss and will await a possible at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the field of 16 is announced on Sunday at 2:30pm on ESPNU. The defeat ended a six-game winning streak for the Minutemen.

Midway through the first overtime, UNH goalie Kevin Regan turned away a breakaway chance by freshman Will Ortiz of Framingham.

Read Nancy Marrapese-Burrill's game account in Saturday's Globe.

-- Craig Larson

Watertown shoots to state final

Posted March 14, 2007 10:27 AM

Wat-Med 1_001.JPG

Watertown's Anthony Coppola gets a leaping chest bump from teammate Benyam Kerman (left) after Coppola hit a big second half basket, which left Medfield's Chris Bonadies in no mood to celebrate.
(Globe Staff Photo by Jim Davis)


The Watertown High boys' basketball team is headed to the DCU Center in Worcester Saturday afternoon (12:45 p.m.) for a shot at the program's first-ever state title.

The runnin' Red Raiders put it in overdrive in the second half of Tuesday night's Division 3 state semifinal against Medfield, pulling away for a 65-51 win at the TD BankNorth Garden.

On a night in which high-scoring senior guard Anthony Coppola was limited to 14 points, Steve Keuchkarian netted a team-high 16 mand sophomore twins Craig and Kyle Stockmal, the sons of former Watertown coach Craig Stockmal, had 15 apiece.

"I just think our guys are just as tough as nails," Watertown coach Steve Harrington told Globe correspondent Steve Crowe. "We used our speed to really make this a 94-foot game, jam all of their screens and just pressure [Medfield] as much as possible."

Watertown (21-3) will play the winner of tonight's Bartlett-Sabis semifinal on Saturday.

Medfield, which advanced to the state semifinals for the first time in 24 years, finishes a superb season at 21-4, including the Big Blue's third straight Tri-Valley League title. Senior Matt Connelly led the way with 16 points and junior Joey Richman had 14. Jeff Altimar, the boys' all-time leading scorer, had 11.

"Their defensive intensity was definitely the difference," Medfield coach Herb Grace told the Globe.

-- Craig Larson

Bentley men Elite Eight bound

Posted March 14, 2007 10:11 AM


Thirty-two straight wins. The first regional title in the program's 44-year history. The best single season in New England men's college basketball history.

Fitting then, that the undefeated Bentley men's basketball team is headed next week to Springfield, the birthplace of basketball, to compete for a Division 2 national championship.

"We will not talk about winning a national championship," said 16-year Bentley coach Jay Lawson after Tuesday night's 63-54 win over Bryant for the Northeast Regional title before a full house of over 2,000 in Waltham.

No, the focus, as it has been all season long, is on the next game.
And next up for the Falcons is defending national champion Winona State (33-0) in a national quarterfinal next Wednesday night at the MassMutual Center (8:30 tap). Winona won its 54th straight game last night, blitzing Minnesota State 89-76 in the North Central final.

The Falcons defended, they crashed the boards, they shared the ball and the end result was the same as the previous 31 games, a victory.

The Falcons earned their ticket by beating Northeast-10 Conference rival Bryant for the fourth time this season.

Sophomore Lew Finnegan (13 points) of Lexington and freshman Jason Westrol (13 points) lead a balanced attack, senior Jeff Holmes contributed 11 points and five rebounds while senior Andy Smith collected a team-high 10 rebounds off the bench.

"We put the focus on defense and rebounding and it didn't matter who scored," said the 6-foot-5 Holmes.

The Falcons defend with intelligence. In their three-game conquest of the regional, Bentley limited their foes to 27 total free throws, including eight last night. "Discipline," said Lawson proudly. "If you out free-throw your opponent, you'll win 95 percent of the time."

Now for the first time in the 44 years of the program, Bentley is headed to the Elite Eight. "That's neat," said Lawson. "I got an email from Al Shields, the first athletic director and coach of the program this morning from Florida, and said he was representing 40 years of alums in wishing us well."

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 12, 2007 02:25 PM


Four outstanding local state tournament matchups slated for Monday night. The Needham and Lincoln-Sudbury girls' basketball teams hit the parquet floor at the Garden for EMass. finals while the Framingham (South) and Weston (North) boys' hockey teams shoot for sectional crowns:

Girls' Basketball:
EMass Division 2 final
Lincoln-Sudbury vs. Bishop Feehan (Garden, 6 p.m.):
* The Warriors (22-2) conquered top-seeded Melrose in Saturday's North final and now take on a Feehan squad that features quickness. Junior guard Sarah Wetmore was immense Saturday with a career-high 32 points. Can Feehan contend with 6-5 senior center Carolyn Swords?

EMass Division 1 final:
Needham vs. Central Catholic (Garden, 7:45 p.m.)
* Seniors Colleen Hart and Cerie Mosgrove and the rest of the undefeated Rockets (22-0) have been unstoppable thus far. Beating Framingam for the third time in Saturday's South final was no easy task.

Boys' Hockey:
EMass Division 3 North final
Weston vs. Savio Prep (Chelmsford Forum, 7:10 p.m.)
* The Wildcats (19-1-2) have put together a sensational run in their second year as a varsity program, but sentiment may be riding with a Savio Prep is playing every game like its its last -- which very well could the truth. Andrew Elman and Alex Marlow have starred for Weston in the tourney. Joe Dell'Erario has been solid in net.

EMass Divsion 1 South final:
Framingam vs. Duxbury (Gallo Rink, Bourne, 7 p.m.)
* Framingham pulled out a thrilling 3-2 win over Barnstable around midnight on Saturday night. Now the 10th-seeded Flyers (16-9) head south again, trying to claim the sectional crown with a victory over a rock-solid Duxbury squad. Junior defenseman Chris Gorotwitz leads the Framingham attack, but the Flyers will need a big night from goalie Mike Pearless. The two squads scrimmaged in the preseason.

-- Craig Larson

Bentley men still perfect

Posted March 12, 2007 09:19 AM


The shots weren't falling, but the Bentley men's basketball team didn't stop working. The Falcons attacked the boards, defended with passion and took care of the ball.

Bentley scored 25 points on second-chance baskets and committed just seven turnovers.

The result? The Falcons pulled away for their 31st straight victory, a workmanlike 60-45 victory over the University of Bridgeport in the NCAA Division 2 Northeast Regional semifinals Sunday night in front of a crowd of 1,102 at the Dana Center.

Now, unbeaten Bentley (31-0) is just one win away from the program's first-ever trip to the Division 2 Elite Eight, a short drive down the Pike in Springfield.

Standing in the Falcons' path in Tuesday night's regional final, though, is Northeast-10 Conference rival Bryant. Bentley already owns three wins over Bryant this season, including an 85-74 win in last week's conference semifinals.

On a night in which the five Bentley seniors notched their 100th career victory, sophomore sixth man Lew Finnegan (8-of-13 shooting) led the Falcons with a game-high 22 points in 23 minutes, including 13 in an explosive second half, and junior point guard Yusuf Abdul-Ali contributed 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds. Senior post Jeff Holmes added 10 points and six rebounds.

"We continue to talk about emotional toughness, and just keeping playing," said Bentley coach Jay Lawson of his team's early shooting struggles. "Some of our top shooters we're getting good looks, all of them were getting good looks from the perimeter.
"If we start making those shots and defend like we did tonight, we're going to be in pretty good shape no matter who we play."

-- Craig Larson

Bentley shoots for regional final

Posted March 11, 2007 02:38 PM


The Bentley men's basketball team took the first step toward its first-ever NCAA Division 2 Northeast Regional title on Saturday night. Tonight, the unbeaten Falcons (30-0) will try to move one step closer.

Seeking its 31st straight victory -- the second-longest winning streak in the nation behind defending Division 2 champ Winona State -- Bentley will host Bridgeport (22-8) in a regional semifinal at the Dana Center, with a 7:30 tap. Bryant and the College of Saint Rose square off in the first semifinal at 5. The winners will meet in Tuesday's regional final in Waltham at 7.

Behind a season-high 25 points from junior forward Nate Fritsch, Bentley hung on for a 59-56 quarterfinal win over Caldwell on Saturday night. With the win, Bentley broke the all-time New England men's record for consecutive wins, set by the Bob Cousy-led Holy Cross Crusaders during the 1949-50 season.

Bridgeport edged Philadelphia 67-65, when junior Mantas Armonas hit a 13-foot jumper with 45 seconds left. Bentley and Bridgeport did not meet during the regular season.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 11, 2007 11:07 AM


Highlighting the top area performances from Saturday's state tournament action:

* Sarah Wetmore, Lincoln-Sudbury basketball: With senior center Carolyn Swords in foul trouble, junior guard stepped up, scoring a career-high 32 points to power the Warriors past top-seeded Melrose, 68-53, in Division 2 North final.

* Colleen Hart and Cerie Mosgrove, Needham basketball: Senior co-captains Hart (20 points) and Mosgrove (18 points, 14 rebounds) teamed up for 38 points in Rockets' 47-40 win over rival Framingham in the Division 1 South final, Needham's third win over the Flyers this season.

* Denise Beliveau, Framingham basketball: Senior forward capped her stellar career with a game-hgih 25 points in loss to Needham (see above).

* Marybeth Ash, Westborough basketball: The program's all-time leading scorer capped her career with 20 pointsin a 67-49 loss to Holy Name in the Division 1 Central final.

* Jeff Altimar, Medfield basketball: Pacing a balanced attack, senior guard netted 21 points to propel the Big Blue to a 69-56 win over Scituate in the Division 3 South final, Medfield's first sectional title since 1983.

* Anthony Coppola, Watertown basketball: Senior sharpshooter led the way with 20 points in the Red Raiders' 63-58 victory over Bedford in the Division 3 North final.

* Chris Gorovitz, Framingham hockey: Junior defenseman tallied a pair of goals, including the winner with six minutes left in the Flyers' 3-2 win ovewr Barnstable in the Division 1 South semifinals in Bourne.

* Steve Hopkins, Waltham hockey: Junior goalie made 28 stops in a 4-2 loss to Woburn in Division 1 North final.

* The Franklin hockey team (21-1-1) takes another trip to Gallo Rink in Bourne, shooting to bring home its first sectional crown since 2003. The Panthers will face second-seeded Hanover tonight at 6:15 in the Division 2 South championship game.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 10, 2007 08:51 AM


Highlighting the top performances from yesterday's area state tournament action:
* Mike Panella and Tim Alberts, Franklin hockey: Seniors netted the tying and game-winning goals, respectively, in the Panthers' 4-3 comeback win over Hock rival Canton in the Division 2 South semifinals in Bourne.
* Matt LaBove, St. John's basketball: Sophomore center scored a team-high 17 points in a 61-58 loss to Holy Name in the Division 1 Central final.

What a day. If you're a high school sports fan, the opportunities are endless:

Girls' basketball:
* Bay State Conference rivals Framingham and Needham square in the Division 1 South final at UMass-Boston (2 p.m.). A showcase of two of the area's best players with Framingham's Denise Beliveau and Needham's Cerie Mosgrove, both averaging 20 points per game. Unbeaten Needham won both regular-season meetings convincingly.
* Lincoln-Sudbury faces Melrose in the Division 2 North final at Tsongas Arena in Lowell (2:15 p.m.)
* Undefeated Westborough takes on Holy Names in the Division 1 Central final at WPI (7 p.m.)

Boys' basketball:
* Watertown meets Bedford in the Division 3 North final at Tsongas Arena (12:30 p.m.)
* Medfield faces Scituate in the Division 2 South final at UMass-Boston (noon).

Boys' hockey:
* Waltham takes on Woburn in the Division 1 North final at Chelmsford Forum (7 p.m.)
* Framingham faces Barnstable in a Division 1 South semifinal at Gallo Rink in Bourne (8:40 p.m.).

* Franklin meets Greater Lawrence in the Division 2 state dual meet final at Bridgewater State College (5 p.m.)

-- Craig Larson

A memory of DJ

Posted March 10, 2007 08:49 AM

In case you missed it, here's a Letter to the Editor from Leah Leeder of Newton that was published yesterday. It's about a chance encounter with the late great Dennis Johnson in an airpot.

Several years ago I was in Logan Airport, waiting to pass through the security gate. The man in front of me -- a well-dressed, very tall African-American -- passed through the gate, which did not react with beeping. Immediately, three security personnel surrounded him and would not let him walk away.

After I walked through uneventfully, I went over to him and said, "On behalf of all open-minded and accepting Americans, I want to apologize for the behavior of those security guards. I think it is shameful in this day and age for a black man to be persecuted simply because he is well dressed."

The man looked at me and smiled, and said, "You don't know who I am, do you?"

"Should I?"

"My name is Dennis Johnson."

"The Dennis Johnson, DJ of the Celtics, Dennis Johnson?" I answered with my mouth agape.

He smiled and insisted that I stop apologizing for the misunderstanding.

We sat for 20 minutes and had coffee until he was called to his flight, and he was so approachable that I forgot to even get an autograph or some proof of the event.

Dennis Johnson died last month at age 52. I am sorry for his early exit from the game of life. He was an inspirational player and a mensch.

Josey powers Bentley in NCAA opener

Posted March 9, 2007 07:10 PM


Bentley freshman Colette Josey played her first-ever NCAA tournament game like she was a seasoned upperclassmen.

The former Framingham High star came off the bench to score a team-high 16 points and haul in a career-high 15 rebounds to propel the Falcons to a 58-55 victory over rival Stonehill in the first round of the NCAA Division 2 Northeast Regional Friday afternoon in New Haven.

The 5-foot-11 forward was immense in the second half, collecting 12 points and 10 rebounds as Bentley (22-7) advanced to tonight's semifinal (5 p.m.) against Pace, which rolled over American International 77-59. Fellow frosh Dedra Pritchard added 11 points off the bench for Bentley.

"Colette was outstanding on the boards and made some big shots," said Bentley coach Barbara Stevens, who earned her 733rd career win.

"I thought Dedra played well at both ends. She played great defense, keeping them out of the paint, and her two outside jumpers in the first half forced Stonehill to change the way they were playing defense. Her offensive aggressiveness was what we needed at the time."

Bentley, playing only its second game in 17 days, got off to a rough start, to put it mildly. The Falcons missed their first nine shots from the floor and were down 11-0 before Pritchard's two free throws. Bentley finally took the lead, 19-18, with 6:03 left in the first half. Junior Vanessa Lux added 10 points for Bentley. Alisha Collins, the NE-10's Player of the Year, led Stonehill (22-9) with 16 points.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 9, 2007 09:15 AM


Highlighting the top performances from last night's state tournament action:

* Andrew Elman, Weston hockey: Senior center collected a goal and an assist as the Wildcats blanked Northeast/Malden 3-0 in the Division 3 North semifinals, avenging Weston's first-round loss to NE/Malden.

* Michael Russell, Wellesley boys' basketball: Senior forward capped an extraordinary final season with 19 points in a 66-53 loss to Nauset in the Division 2 South semifinals.

* The Franklin boys' hockey team (20-1-1) owns two victories over Canton this season. But with a win tonight at 5:30 over their Hockomock League rival in Bourne, the Panthers will earn a trip to Sunday's Division 2 South final. Hock MVP Tim Alberts (23 goals, 20 assists) powers Franklin attack and sophomore Jeff Kaplan (1.66 goals against average) has been superb in net.

* The St. John's Shrewsbury basketball team faces a tall task, and a very familiar foe, in tonight's Division 1 Central final at WPI (7:30 p.m.). The Pioneers (18-6) face rival Holy Name (18-4), which has already beaten SJ's twice this season (60-48, Dec. 27 and 69-43, Jan. 23). But coach Bob Foley's young Pioneers have played well down the stretch and are receiving strong play from 6-8 sophomore Matt LaBove in the post and freshman guard David White on the wing.

-- Craig Larson

Honoring good sports on Garden ice

Posted March 8, 2007 04:30 PM


Four local high school hockey players -- Nashoba Regional's Mitch Kelly, Framingham's Bob Norton, St. John's Kevin Quaranto, and Westborough's Joe Teevens -- will step onto the ice at TD BankNorth Garden tonight, among the recipients of the annual Boston Bruins Ice Hockey Sportsmanship Award.

For five years, the MIAA and Bruins have partnered to honor one worthy student-athlete from every boys and girls ice hockey league in the state. These student-athletes were selected by representatives from their league for best exemplifying a commitment to the ideals of sportsmanship throughout the season. They will be saluted between the second and third period of tonight's Bruins-Wild game.

The honorees:
Robert Norton, Framingham (Bay State Carey): Senior goalie is a leader among his teammates and a strong advocate of representing the Framingham community and giving back.
Coach Paul Spear: "Bob Norton plays the game the way it is supposed to be played. He plays a key role on the team and is selfless in promoting the team."

Mitch Kelly, Nashoba Regional (Coughlin Conference); Senior defenseman is a consummate team player.
Coach Steve Kendall: "He is one of the most respectful young men I have encountered. He always comes to practice and works hard, and always supports his teammates."

Kevin Quaranto, St. John's Shrewsbury (Independent Schools): The senior forward did not receive a penalty throughout the entire season.
Coach Brian Murphy says: "Kevin conducts himself as a true gentleman and is a positive role model for the younger players. He is one of the best captains that I have had the pleasure to coach in my 25 years here at St. John's."

Joe Teevens, Westborough (Quinn Conference): Senior goalie is a four-year starter and team captain as a senior:
Westborough AD Brian Callaghan: "He is one of the most humble student-athletes that I have ever met. As a captain, he truly thinks about the team and others first and winning and personal accolades last."

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 8, 2007 09:01 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Wednesday night's area state tournament action:

* Will Farrell, Franklin wrestling: Senior captain recorded a decisive 13-0 win at 130 pounds to lift the Panthers to a 33-29 win over Hockomock League rival and host North Attleboro in the Division 2 state dual meet semifinals. Franklin will face Greater Lawrence in Saturday's state final.
* Mike Gibson, Natick wrestling: Sophomore registered an impressive 8-6 overtime at 145 pounds in the Redmen's 35-32 loss at Greater Lawrence in Division 2 state dual meet semifinals.
* Carly O'Shaughnessy, Hopkinton basketball: Junior guard netted a team-high 19 points in a 45-42 loss to Mansfield in the Division 2 South semifinals.

* Riding high after Tuesday night's upset at O'Bryant, the Wellesley boys' basketball team (16-7) takes on Nauset (16-6-) in a Division 2 South semifinal in Taunton at 7.
* The top-seeded Weston High boys' hockey team (18-1-2) faces Northeast/Malden (16-6) in a Division 3 North semifinal at Chelmsford Forum (8:15). NE/Malden knocked the Wildcats out of the tourney in the first round a year ago.
* The Medway boys' hockey team (16-2-4) meets top-seeded Norwell (18-3-1-) in a Division 3 South semifinal at Gallo Rink in Bourne at 7:45.
* The Franklin girls' hockey team (14-4-2) stays close to home, playing Wilmington (18-2-1) in a Division 2 quarterfinal at the Canton Rink on Route 138 at 6:30.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 7, 2007 10:52 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Tuesday night's area state tournament action:

* Denise Beliveau, Framingham: UNH-bound senior forward continued her stellar play, registering 34 points, 10 rebounds and nine steals in the Flyers' 58-47 win over New Bedford in a Division 1 South semifinal at Stonehill.

* Colleen Hart and Cerie Mosgrove, Needham: Highly-touted seniors team up for 32 points as unbeaten Rockets (21-0) dropped Brockton in Division 1 South semifinals, avenging a last-second loss to the Boxers a year ago.

* Carolyn Swords, Lincoln-Sudbury: BC-bound senior center collected 16 points and 14 rebounds as the Warriors rallied to knock out Masconomet 49-46 in the Division 2 North semifinals in Lowell.

* Jeff Altimar, Medfield: Senior guard poured in 22 of his 24 points in the second half as the Big Blue rallied for a 67-58 win over previously unbeaten Wareham in a Division 3 South semifinal in Taunton.

* Anthony Coppola, Watertown: Senior sharpshooter pumped in 30 points to power the trop-seeded Red Raiders to a 63-58 win over Bishop Fenwick in the Division 3 North semifinals.

* Justin Gauvin, Waltham: Senior netted the game-winner on a short-handed bid with 5:30 left to lift Waltham boys' hockey to the Division 1 North semifinal victory over Winchester.


* Three local wrestling squads hit the mats for state semifinal dual meet matches tonight: Framingham at Lowell in Division 1 and Natick (at Greater Lawrence, 6 p.m.) and Franklin (at North Attleboro) in Division 2.

* On the court, the Hopkinton girls' basketball team takes on Mansfield in a Division 2 South semifinal at Stonehill (7:30 p.m.)

* On the ice, the Marlborough hockey team squares off against Auburn in a Division 3 Central semifinal at New England Sports Center (8 p.m.).

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 6, 2007 09:32 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Monday night's area state tournament action:

* Alex Marlow, Weston hockey: Senior netted the hat track to power the Wildcats to a 4-2 win over Dracut in a Division 3 North quarterfinal in Watertown.

* Michael Russell and DeShawn Townsend, Wellesley boys' basketball: Russell poured in 24 points and ripped down 11 rebounds while Townsend (15 points) drained a pull-up jumper with 1:05 left to lift the Raiders to a 58-56 upset over host O'Bryant in the Division 2 South quarterfinals.

* Jon Casey, Marlborough hockey: Senior scored a pair of goals as the Panthers pulled away in the third period for a 4-1 win over Leominster in the Division 3 Central quarterfinals.

No lack of compelling tourney games on a frigid March evening.

* In a Division 1 South girls' basketball semifinal doubleheader at Stonehill, Framingham takes on New Bedford at 6, followed by Needham vs. Brockton at 7:30. In Lowell, the Lincoln-Sudbury girls face Masconomet in the Division 2 North semifinals at 7. Masco knocked L-S out of the tourney a year ago.

* Three boys' basketball sectional semifinals on tap: Hudson vs. top-seeded and unbeaten Tantasqua in a Division 2 Central semi at WPI (7:45); Medfield vs. Wareham in a Division 3 South semi at Taunton (7); and Watertown against Bishop Fenwick in a Division 3 North semi at Revere (7).

* On the ice, the Waltham boys' hockey team faces Winchester in a Division 1 North semifinal at the Chelmsford Forum at 7.

* On the wrestling mat, Weston squares off against host Winchester in a Division 3 dual meet state semifinal at 6.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 5, 2007 10:45 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Sunday's area state tournament action:

*Matt LaBove and David White, Saint John's: The two underclassmen were immense in the Pioneers' 56-49 Division 1 Central semifinal comeback win over top-seeded Milford. Showing athleticism and fire, LaBove, a 6-foot-8 sophomore, collected 14 points 14 rebounds. White, a 5-10 freshman guard who plays with unbridled confidence, paced St. John's with 19 points and triggered an 8-0, game-tying run with back-to-back hoops.

*Chris Pinsonault, Marlborough: Senior guard poured in a game-high 26 points in his final high school game, a 74-64 loss to Holy Name in the Division 1 Central semifinals.

*Marybeth Ash, Westborough: Senior forward scored a team-high 16 points in the unbeaten Rangers' 64-47 victory over Shepherd Hill in the Division 1 Central semifinals.


The tourney focus shifts from the court to the ice tonight, with four local puck squads in action:

*The Weston High boys hockey team (17-1-2), top-seeded in Division 3 North, faces DCL/MVC foe Dracut in a quarterfinal match at the Watertown Skating Arena (7:30 p.m.).

* There are three Division 3 Central games tonight: Marlborough vs. Leominster (NESC, 5:30 p.m.); Grafton/Valley Tech vs. Gardner (NESN, 8 p.m.) and Auburn vs. Westborough (NorthStar, 7:20 p.m.).

* On the court, the Wellesley boys' basketball team takes on host O'Bryant in a Division 2 South quarterfinal while the Marian boys face Cathedral in a Division 4 South semifinal in Brockton at 7.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail ...

Posted March 4, 2007 10:39 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Saturday's area state tournament action:

* Senior 6-5 center Carolyn Swords was immense, scoring 30 points with 19 rebounds as the Lincoln-Sudbury girls rolled over Arlington Catholic 80-59 in a Divison 2 North quarterfinal.

* Senior forward Denise Beliveau was dominant with 23 points and 13 rebounds in the Framingham girls' 54-37 win over Franklin in a Division 1 South quarterfinal.

* Junior guard Nicole Driscoll poured in a career-high 28 points as the Hopkinton girls stunned host Whitman-Hanson 63-44 in a Division 2 South quarterfinal.

* Mike Pearless made 30 stops, including a huge save with 12 seconds left to lift the Framingham boys' hockey team to a 4-3 Division 1 South quarterfinal win over nemesis Springfield Cathedral.

* Junior Don Hopkins netted a pair of goals and an assist to power Waltham to a 4-3 Division 1 North quarterfinal win over Arlington Catholic.

* DeShaun Townsend banked in a shot with 10 seconds left in ovetime to propel the Wellesley boys' basketball team to a 48-47 Division 2 South first-round win over Falmouth.

* The St. Mark's boys' and girls' basketball teams are both shooting for New England Prep crowns this afternoon. The Lion boys (24-7) will try to repeat as Class C champs, taking on Lawrence Academy, with a noon tap at Worcester Academy. The St. Mark's girls (20-4) face Cushing in the Class B title game at Loomis Chaffee at 3.

* There's a basketball triple-header at WPI with three Central Division 1 semifinals: Holy Name vs. Marlborough boys at 1; Milford vs. St. John's at 3; and the unbeaten Westborough girls vs. Shepherd Hill at 6:45.

* In a Division 1 South boys' hockey quarterfinal in Bourne, Needham faces Duxbury at 2:15.

-- Craig Larson

Natick's Schaus a 'Face in the Crowd'

Posted March 2, 2007 02:36 PM


Schaus in action at the Beanpot
(Globe Staff Photo by John Bohn)


Turn to page 34 of this week's issue of Sports Illustrated and the headliner for the mag's weekly "Faces in the Crowd" feature is Natick's Molly Schaus, Boston College's terrific freshman goaltender on the women's hockey team.

Schaus earned the SI honor for her NCAA Division 1 record 73 saves in the Eagles' 4-3 triple-overtime win over Harvard in the Women's Beanpot semifinals in early February.

The Deerfield Academy product was 5-2-0 with a 1.78 goals-against average in February, earning her second Hockey East Rookie of the Month honor.

Schaus and the Eagles will be in action tomorrow afternoon at 3, facing Providence in the Hockey East semifinals at the Whittemore Center on the campus of the University of New Hampshire.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 2, 2007 09:44 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Thursday night's area state tourney action:

* Senior forward Denise Beliveau poured in 19 of her game-high 31 points in the second half to power the Framingham girls' basketball team to a 65-47 Division 1 South first-round win over host Sandwich.

* George Jordan (25) and Chris Pinsonault (23) teamed up for 48 points as the Marlborough boys' basketball team topped Wachusett 73-62 in a Division 1 Central first-round game.

* Freshman Nick Susi netted a pair of goals to lead the Framingham boys' hockey team to a 5-1 win host Durfee in a Division 1 South first-round game in Bourne. The victory was the 100th of the career for Flyer coach Paul Spear.

* Junior Joey Richman (24) and senior Jeff Altimar (23) combined for 47 points to propel the Medfield boys' basketball team to a 55-47 win over visiting Dedham in a Division 3 South first-round game.

* Senior Tyler Washington (22 points, 14 rebounds) was dominant in the paint as the host Milford boys' basketball team topped Doherty 59-45 in a Division 1 Central first-round game.


* The St. Mark's boys' basketball team squares off against Independent School League rival Buckingham, Browne & Nichols in a New England Prep Class semifinal at the Rivers School at 4:30. St. Mark's (22-7) has won 17 of its last 18 games after a 6-6 start. BB&N won the regular-season matchup, 69-53, on. Dec. 6.

* The unbeaten Westborough girls' basketball team (20-0), the top seed in the Division 1 Central bracket, kicks off the tournament against visiting Leominster (12-8) at 7.

* The Hopkinton boys' basketball team (16-5) travels to Wareham to take on the top seed in the Division 3 South sectional, a 21-0 squad.

-- Craig Larson

Beat goes on for Bentley: 28-0

Posted March 2, 2007 08:50 AM


Bentley freshman guard Jason Westrol called Thursday night's deafening and entertaining throng of 3,405 at the Dana Center "ridiculous, just unbelieveable."

Bentley AD Bob DeFelice said it was the college's biggest crowd for a basketball game since 7-foot-6 Manute Bol came in with Bridgeport in 1985. Longtime sports information director Dick Lipe mentioned a regional final in 1975.

What they all saw, including five busloads of black-shirted Bryant students, was the Bentley men rip off their 28th straight win, holding off pesky Bryant 85-74 in the Northeast-10 Conference semifinals in a game that was a sterling showcase for New England small college basketball.

On a night in which five Falcon players scored in double figures, Westrol matched his career-high with 16 points and handed out a team-high five assists and senior forward Jeff Holmes delivered a double-double with 16 points and 12 rebounds.

Bentley (28-0), ranked second in Division 2 behind the nation's only other unbeaten team -- defending national champ Winona State -- will host the College of Saint Rose (21-8) in Saturday's conference final at 1. The Falcons are one win shy of tying Holy Cross's New England record of 29 straight wins set in 1950.

"It's different people on different nights, that's who we are," said Bentley coach Jay Lawson. "We sustained our poise down the stretch."
"Westrol had an outstanding game. He made some big shots down the stretch."

Bryant closed within six (77-71) with 3:20 left, but Bentley was 8-for-8 at the free-throw line to close it out.

"That is one heck of a team," said Bryant coach Max Good, who has lost three times to Bentley this winter.
"They've been dominating people. They have terrific passers and they are hard to guard. They are much quicker than they look."

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted March 1, 2007 09:36 AM


Highlighting the top performances from Wednesday night's state tournament action:

* Senior guard Alan Williams poured in 20 second-half points as the Framingham boys' basketball team stunned two-time defending state champ Newton North 62-59 in a Division 1 South first-round tournament game. It marked the Flyers first win over North in Mike Tarlin's eight years as head coach, spanning 16 games.

* Senior center Rachael Ogundiran collected 20 points and 20 rebounds to power the St. Mark's girls' basketball team to a 58-40 New England Prep Class C quarterfinal win over visiting St. George's.

* Weston High senior heavyweight Mike Conboy, wrestling for just the second time since January because of a shoulder injury, pinned Wayland's Herman Brito in the final match of the night to lift the Wildcats to a 27-21 win in the Division 3 Central dual meet final. Wayland was the defending D3 state champ.


* Check out three Division 1 Central boys' basketball quarterfinals tonight at 7: Westborough (15-6) takes the short ride to Shrewsbury to face St. John's (16-6), top-seeded Milford (19-2) hosts Doherty (13-8) and second-seeded Marlborough (17-3) hosts Wachusett (14-7). The Panthers fell to Wachusett 62-61 on Feb. 16.

* Riding high after its 111-102 four-overtime win at West Bridgewater on Tuesday night, the Marian boys' basketball team jumps on the bus again, playing at Mashpee in a Division 4 South quarterfinal.

* The Waltham girls' hockey team heads south to tangle with top-seeded Barnstable in a Division 2 first-round game.

* Both the Framingham High boys' (vs. Durfee, at Bourne)and girls' hockey teams (at Arlington Catholic) hit the road for tourney games.

-- Craig Larson

On the tourney trail

Posted February 28, 2007 03:35 PM


The road to a three-peat for the Newton North boys' basketball team taps off tonight, when the Tigers (17-5) host Bay State Conference foe Framingham (10-10) in a Division 1 South first-round playoff game at 7 p.m. Senior forward Brandon Stephens leads a Tiger squad that is the two-time defending Division 1 state champ.

On the wrestling mat, three sectional dual meet crowns will be decided tonight. Framingham hosts Bay State Conference rival Brookline in the Division 1 Central final at 7, Natick squares off against Catholic Memorial in the Division 2 Central final at 7; and Dual County League rivals Wayland and Weston tangle in the Division 3 Central final in Wayland at 6 p.m.

On the ice, the Hudson boys' hockey team takes on visiting Gardner in a Division 3 Central first-round game at New England Sports Center (8 p.m.)

Highlighting the top performances from Tuesday night's tourney action:

* Junior Chris McKenzie poured in 36 points, collected 14 rebounds and picked off five steals as the Marian boys' basketball team escaped with a wild 111-102 four-overtime victory at West Bridgewater in a Division 4 South first-round game.

* Senior guard Parrish Polk delivered 31 points, 13 rebounds and five steals as the Lincoln-Sudbury boys' basketball team rallied from a 16-point deficit for a 69-59 Division 2 North first-round matchup at Marblehead.

-- Craig Larson

A good weekend for the Foleys

Posted February 28, 2007 02:46 PM


Coach Mike Foley (front row, second from left)and the victorious Wayland girls' swim team.
(Globe Photo by Jay Connor)


The Bay State's first family of swimming celebrated a championship weekend.

On Saturday, legendary Weston High mentor Pete Foley, in his 35th and final season as head coach, guided the Red Tide boys to their ninth straight Division 2 state title.

The following day his son Mike directed the Wayland High girls to their second straight Division 2 crown. (His father's Weston girls' squad finished third.)

-- Craig Larson

And they're off...

Posted February 28, 2007 11:40 AM



The Wayland girls' swim team edged out the Weston team 159-146 in the MIAA state swimming and diving championships held in the Chandler Pool at Wellesley College during the weekend. Photographer Jay Connor caught the start of one race.

On the tourney trail

Posted February 27, 2007 05:34 PM


The state high school tournaments kick into high gear tonight with a number of area teams hitting the court, the ice and the wrestling mat.

In Bolton, the Nashoba Regional wrestling squad (20-2-1) squares off against 2006 state finalist Franklin (21-7-1) in the Division 2 Central dual meet final at 6:30 p.m.

Nashoba captured the program's first-ever Mid-Wach League title and is the section's top seed. Franklin has been impressive in tourney wins over Milford (53-15) and Marlborough (55-16).

On the ice, the first-year Medfield High girls' hockey team (10-9-1) hosts Waltham (8-8-4) in a Division 2 first-round game at the Franklin Rink at 7:30 p.m.

High 5: Millis High freshman center Molly Breen collected 16 points and 16 rebounds in the Mohawks' 63-31 Division 4 South Sectional girls' basketball preliminary-round win over host Provincetown last night.

-- Craig Larson

27-0: Beat goes on for Bentley

Posted February 26, 2007 11:01 PM


First impressions? The Bentley College men's basketball is ready for the postseason.

Junior forward Nate Fritsch scored 18 points in only 18 minutes and the Falcon defense yielded under 50 points for the eighth time as undefeated Bentley rolled to its 27th straight win, crushing Saint Anselm College 77-43 in the quarterfinals of the Northeast-10 Conference playoffs Tuesday night in Waltham.

With the victory, Bentley broke the New England Division 2 record for most consecutive wins, displacing the 26-straight by the 1971-72 Falcon team from the history books. It also marked the ninth straight year that coach Jay Lawson’s club has won at least one game in the tournament.

Bentley, ranked second nationally in Division 2, will host fourth-seeded Bryant, a 79-62 winner of American International, in Thursday’s semifinals (7 p.m.). The other semi will pit number three Saint Rose at second-seeded Pace.

Fritsch (7 of 10 from the field) knocked down four of five 3-pointers and also had three rebounds, three assists and one steal. He was followed in the scoring column by freshman guard Jason Westrol with 13 points and eight rebounds, and senior post Jeff Holmes with 10.

-- Craig Larson

Game (s) of the night

Posted February 22, 2007 04:21 PM


The Central Mass. boys' basketball tournament does not tap off for another week. But area fans will get a sneak peek tonight at a possible Division 1 semifinal or final matchup at Milford High when the host Scarlet Hawks (18-1) host Marlborough (16-3) in the regular-season finale.

Milford, which suffered its only loss to unbeaten Tantasqua (20-0), is the Mid-Wach A champion while Marlborough captured the Mid-Wach B crown. Both squads, however, will play in the Division 1 tournament.

Other matchups to watch:
*In tonight's Clark Tournament Large School semifinals in Worcester, Hudson (14-5) faces Mid-Wach C rival Clinton at 6 while Westborough (13-6) takes on Uxbridge at 7:45.

* The Westborough girls' basketball team (19-0) can close out a perfect regular season with a win over West Boylston (17-2) in the finals of the Westborough Invitational at 7:30.

* The Waltham High boys' hockey team (17-2-1) takes on BC High (13-4-2) in the finals of the Cape Cod Classic in Falmouth at 7.

Also, the MIAA will release the boys' and girls' basketball tournament seedings and pairings tomorrow morning.

-- Craig Larson

Game (s) of the night

Posted February 21, 2007 02:38 PM


The state wrestling dual meet tourney cranks into high gear with four area matches tonight:

* At Framingham, the Flyers (16-3-1) will host Waltham (15-9) in a Division 1 Central semifinal (6 p.m.)

* At Bolton, first-time Mid-Wach champ Nashoba (19-2-1) welcomes in Lincoln-Sudbury (16-8) in a Division 2 Central semifinal(6:30 p.m.).

* At Marlborough, the Panthers (17-5-0) host perennial power Franklin(20-7-1) in a Divsion 2 Central semifinal (8 p.m.)

* At Wayland, the defending Division 3 state champion Warriors (20-1) face Quincy Upper (17-7) in a D3 Central semifinal (7 p.m.)

On the court:
* St. Mark's senior center Rachael Ogundiran enters this afternoon's game against visiting Brooks (4:30 p.m.) just 1 point shy of 1,000 for her three-year career. She will be the first female at the Southborough prep school to reach the milestone.

* The Framingham girls' basketball team (12-7) will tap off against Billerica in the finals of the Framingham Invitational tonight at 7.

* The Ashland girls' basketball team (12-7) faces host Walpole in the championship game of the Rebel Classic tonight at 7.

Perfect finish:
* The Bentley men's basketball team capped a perfect 26-0 regular season with an 82-71 victory over Northeast-10 rival Assumption last night in Worcester. Check out my game recap in today's Globe.

-- Craig Larson

Game (s) of the night

Posted February 20, 2007 01:15 PM


Their perfect season thus far has been defined by unselfish and determined play, strong senior leadership and dogged defense. Tonight, the Bentley men's basketball team wraps up its regular season in Worcester, taking on Northeast-10 Conference rival Assumption shooting for its 26th straight victory.

In the teams' first meeting on Dec. 2, Bentley rallied in the second half for a 72-65 victory in Waltham.

If the Falcons (25-0) complete the regular season unbeaten, it would tie the longest winning streak in school and New England Division 2 history, set 35 years ago. Ironically, that run of 26 consecutive wins was snapped by Assumption at Laska Gym, 109-103, in the NCAA regional. Bentley, ranked second nationally in Division 2, is one of only two remaining unbeaten men's college basketball teams.

Assumption, which will be playing just its third home game in its last 10 games, is 11-15 overall. After tonight's game, Bentley will be off until hosting a NE-10 quarterfinal game on Monday night.

Also on tap:

* The unbeaten Westborough High girls' basketball team (18-0) shoots for its 19th straight win, hosting St. Bernard's in the first round of the Westborough Invitational.

* In a pair of sectional wrestling dual meet semifinals, Watertown hosts Weston (Division 3 Central) while Natick welcomes in Reading (Division 2 Metro), both with 7 p.m. starts.

-- Craig Larson

24-0 for Bentley men

Posted February 15, 2007 11:38 PM


Twenty-four games, 24 victories. A remarkable run for the Bentley College men's basketball team that shows no signs of slowing down.

On Thursday night with visiting American International in town, the Falcons were all business.

Senior forward Jeff Holmes scored a game-high 18 points, and junior point guard Yusuf Abdul-Ali added 15 points, five rebounds and five assists, as Bentley extended the best start in New England Division 2 and Northeast-10 Conference history with an 87-56 thrashing of American International College at the Dana Center in Waltham.

Bentley, ranked second nationally and one of only two unbeaten NCAA men’s basketball teams in the country (Winona State being the other), tied the NE-10 record for conference wins in a season. It was their 20th, matching the record set by the Falcons two years ago. AIC, which had won nine of its previous 11 games and had entered the game in fourth place in the conference, fell to 14-11 overall and 12-8 NE-10.
The Falcons finished the first half with an 8-0 run and took a commanding 24-point bulge into the break, 51-27.

Junior forward Nate Fritsch (13 points), freshman guard Jason Westrol (11) and senior guard Josh Correia (11) also scored in double figures.

Bentley will seek its 25th straight win, one shy of the school record set in 1972, on Saturday when it hosts UMass-Lowell (3:30 p.m.).

-- Craig Larson

Game of the night

Posted February 15, 2007 05:36 PM


The Bentley College men's basketball team puts its 23-0 record on the line tonight (7:30 p.m.), hosting American International in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup at the Dana Center in Waltham.

Bentley, ranked second nationally in Division 2, has won 39 of its last 40 regular season games (the only blemish coming in double overtime). Coach Jay Lawson's team is 19-0 in conference play, with its NE-10 win total one shy of the record the Falcons set two years ago.

Following Amherst's loss to Trinity on Saturday, Bentley is one of only two remaining unbeaten teams in NCAA men's college basketball, a distinction it shares with top-ranked and defending Div. II national champion Winona State.

In the first meeting against AIC (14-10) on November 29, Bentley won 79-53.

-- Craig Larson

Beat goes on for Bentley

Posted February 10, 2007 11:01 PM


The Bentley men's basketball team took their game national Saturday afternoon, putting their perfect 22-0 mark on the line against Stonehill College in a CSTV-televised game in front of a packed house at the Dana Center.

The Falcons didn't disappoint.

Senior forward Jeff Holmes scored 15 points, junior point guard Yusuf Abdul-Ali added 14 points, six rebounds and six assists, and Bentley dominated on the boards in a 68-51 Northeast-10 Conference win over Stonehill.

The Falcons, ranked second nationally in Division II, outrebounded the visiting Skyhawks 44-25 to improve to 23-0, the best start in New England Division II history, and 19-0 in the NE-10. Stonehill, 1-6 in its last seven games and winless in its last 12 games against the Falcons, dipped to 13-11 overall and 8-11 in the conference.

Freshman Jason Westrol was Bentley’s third double-figure scorer, finishing with 12 points and eight rebounds. Junior forward Nate Fritsch led the winners in rebounds, with nine.

Bentley will remain at home to host American International College Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.

-- Craig Larson

Game of the night

Posted February 9, 2007 04:58 PM


Milford and Tantasqua Regional of Sturbridge stand alone -- the only two remaining unbeaten high school boys' basketball teams in Central Massachusetts.

Tonight, Mid-Wach A League champion Milford (16-0) hosts Southern Worcester County League West champ Tantasqua (16-0) at 7 in what promises to be an entertaining matchup.

The host Scarlet Hawks are coming off an 85-54 Mid-Wach A win over Algonquin on Tuesday night, thanks to 28 points from senior forward Tyler Washington and another 23 from senior point guard Bryant Johnson.

Tantasqua throttled Leicester 78-35 on Monday night. Senior forward Andrew Kazanovich (15 points per game)paces the Warriors in scoring.

-- Craig Larson

Milford QB Bentley bound

Posted February 8, 2007 04:07 PM


All-State quarterback Bryant Johnson, who directed Milford High to its first Super Bowl title since 1987 this past fall, will sign a letter of intent to attend Division 2 Bentley College.

"Bentley has a very good program, it's local and they play in a very good conference," said Milford High football coach John Dagnese.

With the left-handed throwing Johnson at the controls, the Scarlet Hawks capped an 11-1 season with a 20-0 victory over South Hadley in the Central Mass/Western Mass. Division 1A Super Bowl. The victory avenged Milford's loss to South Hadley in the 2005 Super Bowl -- a game in which Johnson was injured. Johnson threw 19 touchdown passes and rushed for six more scores this past season.

A three-sport standout, the 6-foot-1, 180-pound Johnson is also the starting point guard for the unbeaten Milford High boys' basketball team this winter and will return this spring to anchor the pitching staff for the Scarlet Hawk baseball team.

Bentley, which finished 6-5 in the Northeast-10 Conference last fall, returns senior John White (Archbishop Williams) and junior Henry Morris (Acton-Boxboro) at quarterback.

"[Bentley] really feels that Bryant can come in and challenge for the position, it's a great opportunity," said Dagnese.

Natick High tight end Mike Slattery has also signed with Bentley.
Earlier this week, Milford tailback Brian Flumere committed to Division 1-AA Sacred Heart while Wesleyan in the NESCAC.

-- Craig Larson

Beat goes on for Bentley: 22-0

Posted February 6, 2007 10:32 PM


The Bentley men's basketball team defended with a purpose, shared the ball, and played with confidence.

The script was no different from the first 21 games of the season. The venue -- the Ross Sports Center on the campus of St. Michael's College four hours away in Colchester, Vermont -- was the only new wrinkle.

Seven different Falcons drained 3-pointers. Eight Bentley players scored at least seven points. And the Falcons rolled to their 22nd straight win, sinking St. Michael's 83-59 to secure at least a share of their third straight Northeast-10 Conference regular season title on Tuesday night.

"We had a game plan designed of containing guys who can create off the dribble, and we really executed that," said Bentley coach Jay Lawson, whose Falcons are ranked second nationally in this week's Division 2 poll.
"We wanted to play close enough to bother their three-point shots." The hosts started the game 0-for-14 from beyond the arc before finishing 5-of-29.

With 22 wins, Bentley broke the NE-10 record for longest winning streak, set by Saint Anselm in 1996 and matched by the Falcons two years ago. It also tied the best start in New England Division II history (Bryant, 1966-67, and Assumption, 1970-71), and gave Bentley's Class of 2007 91 wins during their four years, equaling the most in school history (Class of 1975).

"The team is confident in the right way, not in thinking they are better than everyone," said Lawson. "They have confidence based on the way they've played all season."

Junior forward Nate Fritsch and senior post Jeff Holmes led the balanced Bentley attack, combining for 30 points and 17 rebounds. Fritsch, who had two of his team's 11 three-pointers, finished with 16 points and eight rebounds, and Holmes followed with 14 points and nine boards. Senior forward Andy Smith (11) and freshman guard Jason Westrol (10) also scored in double figures.

"At the offensive end, we wanted to force the action inside-out, and we accomplished that," said Lawson.

Bentley will be back at home Saturday, taking on Stonehill in a nationally-televised contest (CSTV, 12 noon).

-- Craig Larson

Game (s) of the night

Posted February 6, 2007 11:53 AM


The Franklin High boys' basketball team can exact a bit of revenge -- and stay on course to capture back-to-back Hockomock League crowns -- when rival Oliver Ames invades the Franklin field house tonight at 7.

Oliver Ames(13-1, 11-1 Hockomock) prevailed in the first matchup, handing Franklin (13-3, 11-2 Hockomock) a 66-60 setback on Jan. 5. OA's Matt Lindberg leads the Hock in scoring (19.7 ppg.).

Seniors Darren Drew, Andrew Gilberti and Will Valdez pace the Franklin attack. The Panthers can earn at least a share of the league crown with wins tonight, along with victories against Sharon (Feb. 13) and King Philip (Feb. 16).

The unbeatens:
The Bentley men's basketball and the Milford boys' basketball teams will aim to keep their undefeated seasons alive tonight.

Bentley (21-0), ranked third nationally in Division 2, journeys to Colchester, Vermont to face host St. Michael's (13-9). The Falcons can clinch the top seed in the upcoming Northeast-10 Conference Tournament with a victory. Bentley won the first meet in Waltham, 78-74.

Milford (15-0), which clinched the Mid-Wach A title Friday night against Wachusett, hosts 2-13 Algonquin.

-- Craig Larson

Bentley men stay perfect, with stunning rally

Posted February 3, 2007 11:29 PM


Perfection requires paying the price.

The Bentley men's basketball team was willing to dig a little deeper on Saturday afternoon.

A 17-point deficit with seven minutes remaining? Against a Bryant squad unbeaten on its home floor?

The Falcons were more than up for the challenge.

Junior point guard Yusuf Abdul-Ali buried a 12-foot jumper in the lane with 1.5 seconds left, capping a game-ending 25-6 run, as Bentley kept its undefeated record intact with a stirring 78-76 Northeast-10 Conference win over Bryant in front of a sold-out crowd of 2,600 in North Smithfield, R.I.

Bentley, which trailed 70-53 with under seven minutes to play, improved to 21-0 overall, the best start by a New England Division II team in 36 years, and 17-0 in the Northeast-10.

Junior forward Nate Fritsch topped the Falcons with a season-best 23 points, including 21 in the second half when he was seven-of-10 from the floor and perfect on five free throws. Jeff Holmes followed with 17 points and a team-high seven rebounds. Danny Lawson helped out with 11 points off the bench.

Bentley is back in action Tuesday night, with a 7:30 p.m. game at St. Michael's College.

-- Craig Larson

Game of the night

Posted February 2, 2007 12:16 PM


The Milford boys' basketball team is perfect through 14 games. But a victory tonight against visiting Wachusett Regional will carry more significance than just win No. 15. The Scarlet Hawks (14-0, 9-0 Mid-Wach A) can clinch the Mid-Wach A title with a victory over Wachusett (10-5, 7-2 Mid-Wach A).

Milford features three of the league's top scorers in senior forward Tyler Washington (17 ppg) and senior guards Bryant Johnson (15 ppg.) and Paul Seaver (14 ppg.).

In the teams' first meeting on January 5 in Holden, Milford escaped with a 59-51 win in Holden.

-- Craig Larson

Game of the night

Posted February 1, 2007 03:11 PM


The Marlborough boys' basketball team (12-1 overall; 8-1 league) owns a half-game lead over Westborough (11-4, 7-1) in the Mid-Wach B league race. Tonight at 7, the Panthers travel to Westborough for the teams' second meeting of the season.

Marlborough prevailed on its home court in the first meeting, 67-57, on Jan. 16. But the Panthers will be without senior guard Chris Pinsonault, the leading scorer in the Mid-Wach B who has been out of the lineup since he was charged with marijuana possession on Jan. 19. He has not played the last three games against Nashoba, Quabbin and Gardner of what is likely to be a five-game suspension.

Marlborough forwards George Jordan (17 ppg.) and Ryan Joyal (14 ppg.) and Westborough Ben Araya (13.0 ppg.) are three of the top 10 scorers in the league.

-- Craig Larson

20-0: Beat goes on for Bentley men

Posted February 1, 2007 12:07 AM


Why is the Bentley men's basketball team unbeaten through 20 games? The Falcons take care of the little things.

On Wednesday night, the Falcons were a perfect 17-for-17 at the free-throw line in their 88-71 Northeast-10 Conference romp over visiting Merrimack College at the Dana Center in Waltham.

The Falcons (20-0), ranked third nationally in Division 2, shot a sizzling 69-percent from the floor in the first half in building a commanding 55-31 cushion. Sophomore guard Lew Finnegan of Lexington paced Bentley with 22 points and a career-high five steals.

Freshman guard Jason Westrol added 15 points and five rebounds, senior post Jeff Holmes had 12 points and junior point guard Yusuf Abdul-Ali added 10 points.

Bentley hits the road for Bryant on Saturday afternoon (3:30 p.m.).

-- Craig Larson

Game (s) of the night

Posted January 31, 2007 03:22 PM


The Marlborough (10-2-0) and Westborough High (11-2-1) boys' hockey teams are ranked first and second, respectively, in the latest Division 3 Central Massachusetts Division 3 hockey poll.

Tonight, they square off for the second time this season, with an 8 p.m. faceoff at NorthStar Youth Forum in Westborough.

Marlborough, which has not lost since Dec. 28 against Hudson, features a balanced scoring attack, a sturdy, physical defense and solid play in net from first-year starter Tim Pacific (1.83 goals against average).

Westborough's Scott Brady leads CMass. in scoring with 35 points (21 goals, 14 assists) while Joe Teevens (2.58 GAA) has been very consistent in net. Marlborough won the first meeting, taking a 3-2 victory on Dec. 16 in the Boroughs Cup final.

On the court, the Bentley College men's basketball team (19-0) shoots for its 20th straight win, hosting Merrimack in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup at the Dana Center in Waltham. The Falcons, ranked third nationally in Division 2, have been idle for a week.

-- Craig Larson

Game of the night

Posted January 29, 2007 04:38 PM


The Milford High boys' basketball team shoots for its 14th straight win tonight, stepping out of Central Massachusetts' play to host Brookline High with a 6:45 tap.

With Marlborough suffering its first loss of the season on Friday night against Quabbin, Milford (13-0) is the only undefeated boys' basketball team in the area. Brookline is a perennial contender in Eastern Massachusetts, but has dropped to 4-6 with back-to-back losses to Bay State Carey Division co-leaders Newton North (74-65) and Weymouth (74-60).

Milford is coming off a 67-55 Mid-Wach A win at Fitchburg on Friday night.

-- Craig Larson

Marlborough basketball star charged

Posted January 25, 2007 01:42 PM


On the court, the Marborough High varsity boys' basketball team is undefeated with a perfect 11-0 mark.

But off the court, the Panthers are dealing with a recent incident involving their leading scorer, Chris Pinsonault.

Last Friday, Pinsonault, 17, was charged with possession of marijuana, the Worcester Telegram reported in today's editions.

According to the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association handbook, the first offense for a student caught with an illegal substance is a five-game suspension.

Marlborough High athletic director Rich Riley, reached by phone in his office this morning, declined comment. "I'm not at liberty to discuss the situation, it's private," said Riley.

A junior guard, Pinsonault leads the Panthers and the Mid-Wach B league in scoring (23.5 points per game). He scored 29 points in Marlborough's win over Groton-Dunstable last Thursday night. He was on the bench, but did not play in Tuesday's 74-40 win over Nashoba.

-- Craig Larson

Match of the night

Posted January 24, 2007 04:03 PM


The Wayland High wrestling team can clinch the program's 31st Dual County League title with a victory at fellow DCL unbeaten Westford Academy this evening at 6:30.

Coach Gary Chase's Warriors, the defending Division 3 state champions, are off to a 16-1 start this winter, including a perfect 6-0 mark in the DCL. Westford is 7-0 in league matches.

Read more about the Warriors Thursday in GlobeWest, in our weekly 'Take 5' feature.

-- Craig Larson

Bentley men: 19 and counting

Posted January 24, 2007 10:20 AM


One more win. One more player stepping forward for the undefeated Bentley men's basketball team.

Senior Danny Lawson (18 points) came off the bench to bury six of his team's season-high 14 three-pointers as Falcons (19-0) topped host Pace University 65-62 in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup in Pleasantville, N.Y. on Tuesday night.

The Falcons copped the win despite being scoreless for the first 3:35, during which time they faced their first double-digit deficit of the season (10-0), and for the final 2:44, after senior post Jeff Holmes had made a free throw to give his team a 65-58 lead.

Pace (12-10, 8-6 NE-10) closed within three, but freshman guard Carlos Howard missed a trey as time expired.

Bentley, ranked fourth nationally in Division 2, will have a week off before seeking its 20th straight win next Wednesday at home against Merrimack College.

-- Craig Larson

Game (s) of the night

Posted January 23, 2007 08:26 AM


The Marlborough and Milford High boys' basketball teams, along with the Westborough High girls' basketball team shoot to keep their unbeaten seasons on course tonight with league matchups.

Junior guard Chris Pinsonault (23.5 points per game) and Marlborough (10-0) travel to Bolton to face Mid-Wach B League foe Nashoba (3-10). In Milford, senior forward Tyler Washington (19 ppg.) and the Scarlet Hawks (11-0) host Leominster (7-4). The Westborough girls (12-0) welcome in Mid-Wach B foe Groton-Dunstable (5-7).

-- Craig Larson

Beat goes on for unbeaten Bentley

Posted January 17, 2007 10:10 PM


The Saint Anselm men's basketball team stayed with host Bentley for a half Wednesday night. Then sophomore guard Lew Finnegan buried a 3-pointer, igniting a 17-1 run and the high-flying Falcons were off to their 17th straight victory, bouncing Saint A's 74-45 in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup at the Dana Center in Waltham.

Finnegan (20 points) continued his recent scoring binge, pouring 20-plus points for the fourth time in the last five games to power Bentley (17-0), ranked fourth nationally in Division 2. The 6-foot-4 Lexington native and Cal Poly Pomona transfer was 4-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc. Junior guard Yusuf Abdul-Ali added 11 points for Bentley. Freshman guard Jason Westrol added seven points, seven rebounds and four assists.

The Falcons hit the road on Saturday afternoon, playing at the College of Saint Rose, the second-place team in the NE-10.

-- Craig Larson

Game of the night

Posted January 17, 2007 01:13 PM


The Franklin and King Philip boys' hockey teams share the Veterans Skating Arena in Franklin.

Tonight at 6, the longtime rivals will square off in a battle for first place in the Hockomock League.

King Philip (9-0-1 overall, 4-0 Hockomock League) holds a half-game lead over Franklin (6-1-1, 3-0 Hockomock) in the league race, but Franklin is coming off an impressive 2-0 win over Canton on Saturday night.

Sophomore defenseman Mark Higgins leads a young KP squad in scoring while senior center Tim Alberts paces the Panthers. Goaltending has been a strength for both teams thus far.

Expect a full house -- and a loud house -- at the rink.

-- Craig Larson

Sweet 16 for Bentley men

Posted January 13, 2007 06:17 PM


A 6-plus hour road trip to Syracuse, N.Y. did not derail the undefeated Bentley College men's basketball team.

Sophomore guard Lew Finnegan of Lexington poured in a career-high 27 points and also registered six rebounds and four steals to power Bentley past host Le Moyne 67-57 in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup on Saturday afternoon.

Bentley, ranked fourth nationally in Division 2, improved to 16-0 overall.

With the game even at 41 five minutes into the second half, the Falcons seized control with a 19-6 run over a span of 8:15, opening a 60-47 lead with 6:43 to play.

The 6-foot-4 Finnegan, who scored at least 20 for the third time in four games, made nine of 13 field goal attempts, including three of five from three-point land, and also sank six of eight free throws. Senior Jeff Holmes was the only other Falcons with more than five, finishing with 15 points and six offensive rebounds.

Bentley will look to make it 17 straight on Wednesday when it hosts Saint Anselm (7:30 p.m.).

-- Craig Larson

Former Holliston High star embroiled in Barry Bonds controversy

Posted January 11, 2007 01:30 PM


Barry Bonds is never one to admit guilt. This time, he pointed the finger at his San Francisco Giants' teammate, former Holliston High star Mark Sweeney.

Closing in on Henry Aaron's major league home record, the 42-year-old Bonds failed a test for amphetamines last season and originally blamed it on Sweeney, the New York Daily News reported Thursday.

When he was first informed of his positive test, Bonds attributed it to a substance he had taken from Sweeney's locker, the Daily News said, citing unnamed sources.

"Mark was made aware of the fact that his name had been brought up," Sweeney's agent Barry Axelrod told the Daily News. "But he did not give Barry Bonds anything, and there was nothing he could have given Barry Bonds."

Bonds, who always has maintained he never has tested positive for illegal drug use, already is under investigation for lying about steroid use.

According to the newspaper, Sweeney learned of Bonds' positive test from Gene Orza, chief operating officer of the Major League Baseball Players Association. Orza told Sweeney, the paper said, that he should remove any troublesome substances from his locker and should not share said substances. Sweeney said there was nothing of concern in his locker, according to the Daily News' sources.

A message left for Sweeney by The Associated Press was not immediately returned late Wednesday.

Sweeney,a 37-year-old reserve first baseman/outfielder, hit .251 with five home runs and 37 RBI in 114 games last season, his first in San Francisco. Over an 11-year major league career, Sweeney is a .260 hitter and is considered one of the game's premier pinch-hitters. He starred at the University of Maine after playing for Harvey Krupnick at Holliston High.

-- AP

15 and counting for Bentley men

Posted January 9, 2007 10:15 PM


The beat goes on for the undefeated Bentley men's basketball team. With junior guard Yusuf Abdul-Ali supplying a career-best 20 points, the Falcons ran their record to 15-0 with a 77-65 Northeast-10 Conference win over Franklin Pierce at the Dana Center in Waltham.

The Falcons, ranked fourth nationally in Division 2, also received 13 points from senior post Jeff Holmes and sophomore guard Lew Finnegan. Freshman guard Jason Westrol added 10 points and five rebounds. Holmes, who has converted 27 of his last 32 shots, was 5-of-6 from the floor. The 6-foot-4 Finnegan had a career-high nine rebounds.

Bentley hits the road for Le Moyne College on Saturday afternoon.

-- Craig Larson

14 and counting for Bentley men

Posted January 7, 2007 11:07 AM


Visiting Southern New Hampshire had no answer for the Bentley College men's basketball team on Saturday night. Just like the previous 13 Falcon foes.

Sophomore guard Lew Finnegan pumped in 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting and former Lexington High teammate Danny Lawson added 12 to power fourth-ranked Bentley to its 14th straight victory, an 84-64 Northeast-10 Conference win at the Dana Center.

Finnegan and Lawson combined to drain eight of their 11 three-point attempts for the Falcons (14-0), who sank 19 of their first 22 shots in the second half.

Senior post Jeff Holmes made five of seven shots for 12 points, giving him an .846 field goal percentage over his last three games and freshman guard Jason Westrol added nine points, six assists and five rebounds. Senior forward Andy Smith just missed a double-double, finishing with nine points and nine rebounds off the bench.

Bentley hosts Franklin Pierce on Tuesday night.

-- Craig Larson

Bentley men a perfect 13-0

Posted January 3, 2007 10:32 PM


New year, same unbeatable story for the Bentley College men's basketball team.

Playing for the first time in 13 days, the unbeaten Falcons won their 13th straight game with an 81-58 rout of host Southern Connecticut State in a Northeast-10 Conference matchup in New Haven, Conn. Wednesday night.

Sophomore guard Lew Finnegan of Lexington paced Bentley, ranked fourth nationally in Division 2, with a career-high 24 points and senior forward Jeff Holmes (18 points) converted nine of his 10 shots from the floor.

Leading by six (37-31) at the half, the Falcons buried 17 of their first 22 shots in the second half to open up a 77-50 cushion with six minutes left. Finnegan (10-of-15 from the field) scored nine of his 24 points during the run. He also led the Falcons with six rebounds. Freshman guard Jason Westrol (11 points) and junior forward Nate Fritsch (10) also scored in double figures for the Falcons.

Next up for Bentley is a Saturday afternoon visit from NE-10 foe Southern New Hampshire (Dana Center, 3:30 p.m.)

-- Craig Larson

Weston boys unbeatable in pool

Posted December 28, 2006 12:47 PM

Swimmer Michael Grant gets encouragement from the girls' team during a competition
(Globe Staff Photo by Evan Richman)


The Weston High boys' swim team is on an historic run in the pool.

Seventy-seven straight dual meet victories. Eight consecutive Division 2 state titles.

The man at the controls is Pete Foley, now in his 35th and final season as coach.

And his talented squad has every intention of ending their highly regarded mentor's career with another title.

"Even last spring, the [returning] kids were talking about what it would take to keep it going, it would be nine [state titles] in a row," said Foley, whose squad opened the season with five straight victories.

Read more about the team in today's GlobeWest.

-- Craig Larson

An unheralded star -- and team

Posted December 26, 2006 03:54 PM


learning Center  5.jpg

Speeding down the court at a recent practice
(Photo by Adam Hunger)

She's averaging 20 points a game, hitting more than 50 percent from the floor. She's pulling down 13 rebounds per game.

Her team has won 28 games in a row.

Shaquanna McDonough is on the move.

Read more about McDonough and The Learning Center for Deaf Children team in Sunday's Globe West.

Bentley men: A perfect 12-0 on court

Posted December 21, 2006 10:06 PM


There's plenty of holiday cheer for the Bentley College men's basketball team.

Senior center Jeff Holmes and freshman guard Jason Westrol combined for 36 points on 14-of-16 shooting as undefeated Bentley broke the record for the best start in the program's 44-year history with an 81-62 non-conference victory over visiting New Haven at the Dana Center on Thursday night.

Ranked fourth nationally in Division 2, the Falcons improved to 12-0, bettering the 11-0 start by the 1974-75 squad.

Holmes finished with 20 points and seven rebounds in just 20 minutes of play. Westrol followed with 16 points, the third straight game in which he’s improved on his career-best, and three steals. Holmes made eight of his nine field goal attempts, Westrol was six of seven, and both players made all four of their free three attempts. In the first 3:35 of the second half, Bentley opened up a 55-30 cushion. Sophomore guard Lew Finnegan of Lexington added 15 points.

Bentley resumes its Northeast-10 Conference schedule on Jan. 3 at Southern Connecticut State.

-- Craig Larson

Verra named Holliston baseball coach

Posted December 15, 2006 01:38 PM


Keith Verra played high school baseball for the legendary John Carroll at Natick High. He guided Marian High to a Division 3 state title in 2003. A year later, he was in the dugout as as assistant coach in Hopkinton's drive to the Division 2 state crown.

Those credentials, along with his vision for what a high school athletic program should represent, impressed Holliston High School officials.

The 40-year-old Verra has been named the school's head baseball coach. He replaces Harvey Krupnick, whose contract was not renewed by school last summer after 34 seasons.

"We're very, very pleased," said Holliston athletic director Jim Carbonneau. "We had a number of quality applicants. But we settled on Keith and we think that he is going to be tremendous for Holliston."
Carbonneau pointed to Verra's track record of success, "his involvement with two state championship teams," and his vision for the program as a whole.

"He gave an excellent presentation, his expectations, how he expects the team to act, what he expects them to do, that academics come first. We share the same philosophy that everyone in the program is a role model, they represent the school, the community and the town. It's how you're perceived, whether you're wearing a Holliston High jacket in the summer, or swinging at a pitch in a game."

Verra's philosophy is simple.

"We want to build student-athletes, not just baseball players," said Verra, a guidance counselor at the Hopkinton Middle School. "It's really important to get teams involved in outside endeavors, beyond baseball."

But on the field, Verra is excited to be back in charge of his own program.

He guided Marian High for four seasons before moving over to Hopkinton to assist Steve Simoes for two seasons and Mark Stickney last spring. But he yearned to be a head coach again.

"I wanted to run a complete organization again, Holliston was right next door, it's in the Tri-Valley League [with Hopkinton], I explored it, it worked out and I'm very happy."

-- Craig Larson

Saluting Santos: QB wins Payton Award

Posted December 15, 2006 09:11 AM



Santos celebrates as he scores against Delaware in September
(AP Photo/The News Journal/William Bretzger)

The legend continues to grow for Bellingham's Ricky Santos.

On Thursday night, the University of New Hampshire's record-setting junior quarterback received the prestigious Walter Payton Award, annually awarded to the top player in Division 1-AA/FCS.

Santos was honored in Chattanooga, Tenn., site of tonight's Division 1-AA national championship game between the University of Massachusetts and Appalachian State (ESPN, 8 p.m.).

Santos, who was named a Walter Camp All-American and the Atlantic 10 Football Conference Co-Offensive Player of the Year, passed for 29 touchdowns and led all players in the conference at the end of the regular season with 12 rushing touchdowns. He also topped the 3,000-yard passing mark for the third straight time in his career with 3,125 yards. A first-team All-Atlantic 10 selection, he has broken most of UNH’s career passing records.

Santos piloted the Wildcats to a 9-4 record and their third straight apperance in the national quaterfinals. He will enter his senior season with 10,240 career passing yards and 99 touchdown passes. But the most impressive number? The Wildcats are 30-9 since he entered the starting lineup as a freshman.

Closer to home, Wildcat wideout David Ball, Santos' favorite target the last three years, also received a big honor last night. The 6-foot-3 senior received the Harry Agganis Award at the annual New England Football Writers' Captains and Awards banquet held at Casa Di Fior in Wilmington. The Agganis Award honors the top senior football player in New England. He graduates as the Division 1-AA record-holder in TD receptions (56), breaking the former mark of Jerry Rice.

-- Craig Larson

All-Scholastics named

Posted December 10, 2006 10:33 AM



Lauren Barrett
(Globe Staff Photo by Susan Chalifoux)

Medfield volleyball player Lauren Barrett (shown above in her photo session at the Globe) is just one of the student-athletes from Globe West who are featured in today's special All-Scholastic section. You can also check them out at's high school sports site.

Bound for Super Bowls

Posted November 29, 2006 04:15 PM

Medfield's Michael Lane flies through the air with the greatest of ease in Medfield's playoff game against Abington last night.
(Globe Staff Photo by Justine Hunt)


The Medfield and Wayland High football teams punched their tickets to Eastern Massachusetts' Super Bowls with impressive playoff victories on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday, the two squads received their destination passes.

Unbeaten Wayland (12-0), making its first bowl appearance since 1975, will face Marshfield (11-1) in the Division 1A Super Bowl Saturday afternoon (4 p.m.) at Veterans Stadium in Quincy. Behind a brilliant performance from senior QB Ben Sherry (2 rushing TDs, 2 passing TDs), Wayland clipped Central Catholic 34-24 Tuesday. Marshfield blanked Weymouth 15-0.

In its first-ever bowl appearance, Medfield (11-1)squares off with Whittier (12-0) in the Division 3 Super Bowl at Acton-Boxboro's Leary Field at 4:30. Thanks to Michael Shabanoff's 23-yard field goal with 8 seconds left, the Warriors toppled Abington 35-26. Whittier pulled out a wild 48-46 win over Arlington Catholic.

In Central Massachusetts, Milford (10-1) and St. John's of Shrewsbury (8-3) will play Western Mass. opponents in CMass/WMass Super bowls on Saturday afternoon. Milford meets South Hadley in the Division 1A Super Bowl at Holyoke's Roberts Stadium (2 p.m.) while St. John's faces Minnechaug in the Division 1AA game at Worcester State (5 p.m.).

-- Craig Larson

Kicking off the playoffs

Posted November 28, 2006 05:43 PM



(Someone to watch out for -- Wayland's Tony Torres in practice, Globe Staff Photo by Barry Chin)

The feast is over. On to the playoffs.

Four area high school teams kick off their quest for Super Bowls tonight with Eastern Massachusetts playoff games at various sites.

In Division 1A, Dual County League champ Wayland High (11-0) takes on Merrimack Valley champ Central Catholic (8-3) at Lowell's Cawley Stadium (7 p.m.).

Over at Acton-Boxboro, defending Division 2 champion Natick (11-0), riding the state's longest current unbeaten streak (26 games), faces Middlesex League champion Burlington High (11-0).

In Division 3, Tri-Valley League champ Medfield (10-1) plays South Shore champ Abington (11-0) at Brockton (4 p.m.). And in Division 4, Catholic Central champ Marian (9-2) squares off against Boston South champ Brighton (7-3)at Stonehill College (4 p.m.).

Check for complete updated coverage.

-- Craig Larson

'The Pass' is a daily topic for Flutie

Posted November 24, 2006 02:29 PM

Flutie cocks his arm to throw "The Pass."


Twenty-two years after he launched "The Pass" in the Orange Bowl, No. 22 still is asked about it on average once per day.

And Natick's Doug Flutie is OK with that.

Thanksgiving Day was the 22nd anniversary of Flutie's game-winning touchdown pass into the awaiting arms of Boston College teammate Gerard Phelan in the end zone.

Boston College 47, Miami 45.

"Even though I had a ton of comeback wins in the Canadian Football League, and a bunch more in the NFL, this is my trademark, the one people remember," Flutie told Peter Kerasotis, a columnist at Florida Today of Melbourne Beach, Fla. in a column published Thursday. "It's good to be remembered for something."

Flutie was back in Miami last night as an analyst for ESPN's Boston College-Miami game.

-- Craig Larson

Jackie MacMullan on the Natick-Framingham game

Posted November 24, 2006 09:00 AM


Each high school in New England is convinced that its Turkey Day football rivalry eclipses them all. Certainly those who have tied their fortunes to the annual Framingham-Natick game feel that way, particularly since the two met for the 100th Thanksgiving yesterday.

Even though Natick was a perfect 10-0 with its playoff future secure, and Framingham was 6-4 with no postseason aspirations on the line, it would be a mistake to suggest this game had no ramifications.

It always does, always will. ...

Read more of Jackie MacMullan's column about the game and check out scores, stories, and other features on yesterday's high school football showdowns at's high school sports site.

Natick stops Framingham, wins 26th straight

Posted November 23, 2006 01:52 PM

Theo McCummings and Natick ran a step ahead of Framingham.
(Globe Staff Photo by Matthew J. Lee)


FRAMINGHAM -- The 100th Framingham-Natick Thanksgiving football matchup was a twin effort and much, much more.

Junior fullback Thad McCummings punched in the go-ahead score with 5:11 remaining on a 9-burst while his twin brother, Theo, Natick's starting quarterback, rushed for 116 yards on 18 carries to lift the unbeaten Redmen to their 26th straight win, a gritty 10-7 victory over host Framingham on a cold, raw and rainy morning before a crowd of 3,000 at Bowditch Field.

Bay State Herget champ Natick (11-0) will play Middlesex League champ Burlington (11-0) in an EMass Division 2 playoff Tuesday night at Acton-Boxboro at 7.

While the McCummings' brothers piled up the yards on the muddy turf, Mike Russo was immense with both his feet and his hands. The junior booted a 33-yard field goal, set up by his own 40-yard punt pinning Framingham on its own 5-yard line and picked off a pair of passes, including the clincher with 3:14 left in the game.

Alan Williams had given Framingham (6-5) a 7-3 lead in the third quarter with a 53-yard scamper down the left sideline.

Natick nows leads the overall series, 67-29-5.

-- Craig Larson

A golden performance for Jordan

Posted November 15, 2006 04:54 PM



Framingham's Jarrad Jordan is finishing his Curry College football career with a flourish.

The senior tailback rushed for 174 yards -- including 76 in the fourth quarter -- of Curry's 34-28 win over the Coast Guard Academy in Saturday's New England Football Conference Championship game.

For the second straight year, he was honored as the game's MVP.
Today, the 5-foot-11, 205-pound Jordan received the weekly Division II-III Gold Helmet Award from the New England College Football Writers Association at Harvard's Dillon Field House. (The award is sponsored by the Globe.)

"I couldn't have done this without my offensive line," said Jordan, who is averaging 103.8 yards rushing per game. "Just a great job by my O-line."

Curry (11-0) will play at Springfield College (9-1) in the first round of the NCAA Division III playoffs Saturday at noon.

-- Craig Larson

Marian runs to playoffs

Posted November 13, 2006 01:16 PM


The Marian High football team grounded visiting Pope John in Saturday's Catholic Central Small showdown at Bowditch Field. With Andrew Supple (16 carries, 146 yards) and C.J. Oquendo (12-105) running wild, the Mustangs (9-0) captured the league title and clinched their first playoff spot since 2002 with a 34-13 victory.

Here's a wrap on our four other must-watch games this weekend.

Needham at Natick: The undefeated Redmen (10-0) recorded third shutout of the season in a convincing 28-0 win, the 25th straight for Tom Lamb's crew.

Medway at Medfield: Warriors captured Tri-Valley League title in resounding fashion with a 39-6 victory over Medway to secure their first-ever playoff berth.

St. John's at Wachusett: Pioneers locked up CMass Division 1 runner-up spot with 9-6 win over Wachusett.

Assabet at Worcester South: South denied Assabet back-to-back trips to the Division 3A Bowl with 25-0 win, avenging last year's loss to Aztecs.

-- Craig Larson

Rogers propels Bentley stickers into national semis

Posted November 12, 2006 12:38 PM


Mary Rogers looking for another score.
(Photo courtesy of Bentley College)

The beat goes on for Watertown's Mary Rogers and the Bentley College field hockey team.

Rogers, the all-time leading scorer in Division 2 history, connected for a pair of goals Saturday afternoon to power the Falcons past host Stonehill 3-1 in the NCAA North Regional tournament. The next stop is Thursday's NCAA Division 2 national semifinals in Pensacola, Fla., the fifth time in the last seven years that Bentley has advanced to the national semis.

Bentley (16-5) will take on Northeast-10 Conference rival UMass-Lowell as part of the Division 2 Fall Festival.

"We had a lot to prove to ourselves and everyone else," said Bentley coach Kelly McGowan, after her squad recorded its first win in four tries on Stonehill's W.B. Mason Field. "Everything is finally clicking at the right time."

Rogers now has 204 career points, with 82 goals.

Also Saturday, sophomore Lorraine Wingenbach (12 kills) earned tourney MVP honors as the Brandeis women's volleyball team (22-17) captured its first-ever ECAC Division 3 New England title with a 3-0 (30-19, 30-19, 30-17) victory over Colby-Sawyer College Saturday at Red Auerbach Arena. The Judges beat Keene State in the semis, 3-0.

-- Craig Larson

High school games to watch this weekend

Posted November 10, 2006 02:29 PM


The Marian High football team has worked hard all season to be in the position it's in now, on the verge on securing the program's first playoff appearance since the 2002 season.

At 1 p.m. Saturday, the 8-1 Mustangs will take their shot, hosting Catholic Central Small rival Pope John at Bowditch Field. On the line is a Division 4 playoff spot for longtime coach Phil Marchegiani's squad.

Here's four more games to watch on this final weekend of regular-season high school football games:

Needham at Natick (7 p.m. Friday): The Bay State Herget champion Redmen go for their 25th straight win against a Needham squad trying to bounce back from last week's crushing loss to Bay State Carey leader Weymouth.

Medway at Medfield (7 p.m. Friday): The host Warriors can lock up the Tri-Valley League title and accompanying Division 3 playoff berth, with a win over Medway. But the Mustangs impressed in last week's win over Norton.

St. John's at Wachusett (7 p.m. Friday): The Pioneers can clinch at least the runner-up spot in Central Mass. Division 1 with a victory at Wachusett.

Assabet at Worcester South (1 p.m. Saturday): Aztecs can move one step closer to their second straight Division 3A title with a victory over first-place South.

-- Craig Larson

Kelley named Framingham State football coach

Posted November 9, 2006 09:21 PM


Framingham State College has turned to a very familiar face to resurrect its struggling football program.

Tom Kelley, who played on the program's first team in 1972, guided the team for three seasons in the mid-1980s and has served as the college's director of athletics for the last 11 years, is returning as head coach.

Kelley, 52, replaces Mark Sullivan, whose contract was not renewed earlier this week after directing the Rams to a 4-41 mark in five seasons.

"We need to get this program going in the right direction," said Kelley, who currently is the lone AD in the Division 3 New England Football Conference to also hold the position of head football coach. Steve Nelson held both jobs at Curry before resigning after the 2005 season.

Kelley, who has been affiliated with Framingham State College in one role or another since his arrival as a 5-foot-11, 220-pound defensive tackle from Adams in the fall of 1972, is confident that he can turn the program around.

"I am psyched to have the challenge, and to be head coach at my alma mater," said the longtime Milford resident, who says he has never felt better after surviving a pair of bouts with cancer in the last decade. "We have to get players in here. We need to attack the MetroWest and Central Massachusetts area in our recruiting. And we need to get a quality staff on board."

Framingham State, which last posted a winning record in 1986 (6-4), has a 105-203-2 lifetime mark.

-- Craig Larson

Framingham State lets football coach go

Posted November 8, 2006 04:16 PM


Citing a desire to restore its football program to a competitive level, Framingham State College has not renewed the contract of head coach Mark Sullivan, who totaled four victories in five seasons at the helm of the Division 3 program.

The Rams finished 1-8 this season in the New England Football Conference, losing Saturday's finale to Coast Guard, 42-21.

"No one worked harder than Mark Sullivan," said Framingham State athletic director Tom Kelley in announcing the decision. "He put his heart and soul into the program. This wasn't an easy decision for him or us. But we felt as an institution that the program wasn't moving as quickly ahead as we would like. It was time to go in a different direction."

Kelley said the college will make a new hire "very quickly, within a week. We can't fall any further behind in recruiting."

-- Craig Larson

Quigley named Keefe boys' basketball coach

Posted November 7, 2006 04:51 PM


Ryan Quigley, an Exeter, N.H. native who served the last three years as an assistant under Scott Leip at Ashland High, has been named the new varsity boys' basketball coach at Keefe Technical High School in Framingham.

The 28-year-old Quigley replaces Paul Cavicchi, who stepped down after 19 seasons to accept his current position as vice principal of assessment and analysis at the school.

-- Craig Larson

Donovan signing on as a Dukie

Posted November 7, 2006 03:09 PM



(Hopkinton High School's Kim Donovan tees off on the first hole during the recent Division 2 State High School Boys Golf Championship, Globe Staff Photo by Robert E. Klein)

Hopkinton High senior Kim Donovan will officially sign a letter of intent tomorrow morning to attend Duke University on a golf scholarship next year.

Donovan, a two-time Most Valuable Player in the Tri-Valley League and a key performer on the Hillers' back-to-back Division 2 state championship teams as a freshman and sophomore, had verbally committed to the Blue Devil program this past summer.

"This just justifies the time and effort she has put into the game since she was 7 and 8 years old," said Hopkinton golf coach Dick Bliss. "She has such a passion for the game, and she sacrificed a lot to play golf. She had talent, but she made herself better every day. And I see nothing but great things ahead for her at Duke."

-- Craig Larson

Wayland has its way

Posted November 6, 2006 12:28 PM


The bleachers were chock full of spectators at 6:30 p.m., one half hour before Friday's Dual County League showdown between host Wayland and perennial power Acton-Boxboro.

What the 3,000 on hand witnessed in chilly conditions over the next few hours made program history.

Unbeaten Wayland (9-0) rode a 226-yard, two-touchdown performance from senior Tony Torres to a stunning 45-6 victory over A-B, the program's first win over the Colonials in 14 years, securing its first playoff berth since 1975.

"Just an amazing all-around performance," said Wayland coach Scott Parseghian, a Warrior alum now in his sixth season running the program. The Warriors will play the Merrimack Valley Conference champ on Tuesday, Nov. 28 in a Division 1A playoff game.

Here's a wrapup of our other four games to watch this past weekend:

Needham at Weymouth: Rockets' bid for Bay State Conference's Carey Division lead derailed in Weymouth, where Michael Waithe scored three touchdowns to power the hosts to a 21-6 win.

Westwood at Medfield: Tri-Valley League-leading Warriors stay on course behind another stellar defensive effort and productive nights from backs Mike Lane and Alex Lines. Medfield can clinch TVL, and a Division 3 playoff spot, with a win over Medway on Friday night.

Leominster at Milford: One week after capturing the CMass. Division 1A crown against Gardner, the Scarlet Hawks (8-1) stunned Division 1 leader Leominster, 30-28, on Tom Kane's last-second 19-yard field goal. Senior QB Bryant Johnson was immense, driving Milford 77 yards in the final 1:20 to set up Kane's kick.

Maynard at Oakmont: Tigers' CMass. Division 3 title hopes grounded in Ashburnham with a 35-6 loss.

-- Craig Larson

Wayland takes its best shot

Posted November 3, 2006 02:14 PM



(Wayland's Ben Sherry at practice earlier this year, Globe Staff Photo by Barry Chin)

The Wayland High football team is hoping to break the curse. The Warriors have not beaten Dual County League rival Acton-Boxboro in 14 years.

Tonight at 7, the unbeaten Warriors (8-0) can move one step closer to the Dual County League title, and the accompanying Division IA playoff berth, with a win over perennial power A-B.

Both squads, amazingly, are yielding 7.9 points per game, but the Wayland offense, with senior QB Ben Sherry at the controls, has been explosive. The Warrior are avearaging 31 points per game.

Here's a look at four other must-see games tonight:

Needham (6-2) at Weymnouth (6-2), Friday at 7: Back in the Bay State Conference's Carey race, the Rockets need to play ball control on the road to keep their playoff hopes alive.

Westwood (6-2) at Medfield (7-1), Friday at 7: Just another Game of the Week in the competitive Tri-Valley League, with TVL unbeaten Medfield in control of its own destiny.

Maynard (6-1) at Oakmont (7-1), Friday at 7: The Tigers have not lost since the team's opener at Ayer, but Oakmont poses a number of challenges.

Leominster (6-2) at Milford (7-1), Friday at 7: Will Bryant Johnson and Central Mass' Dvision 1A champion Scarlet Hawks be able to put points on the board against Division 1-leading Leominster's stingy defense?

-- Craig Larson

Medfield on top of TVL

Posted October 30, 2006 11:29 AM


Medfield High football coach Mike Slason knows there's still three weeks to go in the Tri-Valley League race. "But it's nice to be the only team that's still unbeaten," he said after Friday night's 14-6 win over previously unbeaten Holliston.

Medfield (7-1 overall, 6-0) seized a 14-0 first-half lead on a pair of big plays -- Mike Lane's 35-yard run and Bud Stevens' 51-yard catch -- then turned the game over to an attacking defense that secured the solid victory.

Here's a wrap on our other four games to watch from the weekend:

Braintree at Natick: Redmen (8-0) get physical in a 16-play closing drive, setting up Mike Russo's 38-yard game-winning field goal in 19 seconds left, the 25-22 victory Natick's 23rd straight win.

Waltham at Everett: J.R. Suozzo tossed a pair of early TD passes and scampered 37 yards on a fourth-quarter keeper to power Everett (7-0) past Waltham (5-2) in the Greater Boston League clash.

Hudson at Ayer: Visiting Hawks (5-3) took flight early, but Ayer (7-1, 6-1) responded with 28 unanswered points for the CMass. Division 3 win.

Xaverian at St. John's: Visiting Hawks (5-3) convert a two-point run with 2:37 remaining to pull out 21-20 win over St. John's (5-3).

-- Craig Larson

A Tri-Valley League tilt

Posted October 27, 2006 02:27 PM


A nor'easter may be howling around the area tomorrow, but the perfect storm is tonight's Tri-Valley League showdown in Holliston, where the host Panthers will square off against fellow league unbeaten Medfield.

Two explosive attacks, featuring a trio of exceptional backs in Medfield's Michael Lane and Holliston's duo of Matt Bellomo and Matt Edwards, and a pair of stout defenses make this a must-see event.

Here's four more matchups to watch the next two days, weather permitting of course.

Braintree at Natick: Redmen have their eye on 23rd straight win, but Braintree is fresh off 22-0 blitz of Brookline; (7 p.m. Friday)

Waltham at Everett: C.J. Mula and the Hawks (5-1; 4-0 GBL) are picking up steam, but Everett (6-0, 3-0) is formidable, a 28-point output against Xaverian the fewest of the season; (7 p.m. Friday)

Hudson at Ayer: Can the Hawks bounce back after their disastrous trip to Ashburnham and 28-7 loss to Oakmont? (7 p.m. Friday)

Xaverian at St. John's (1 p.m. Saturday): With John Andreoli back at the controls at QB, Pioneers (5-2) take a shot at Hawks; (1 p.m. Saturday)

Because of Saturday's very wet forecast, three area games have already been rescheduled:

* Wayland at Newton South (Friday, 3 p.m.)
* Hudson Catholic at Worcester Voke (Friday, 4 p.m.)
* Marian at Lowell Catholic (Monday, 7 p.m.)

-- Craig Larson

Celts' Gomes hitting Bellingham court

Posted October 27, 2006 02:07 PM


Celtics forward Ryan Gomes and former Celtic great Cedric Maxwell will host a free one-hour basketball clinic at Bellingham High on Saturday afternoon for 100 local youths from 4:30-5:30 p.m.

Prior to the clinic, Gomes and Maxwell will be holding court at the home of the Farrell family in Bellingham, putting the finishing touches on the last of three driveway "home court" makeovers sponsored by RE/MAX of New England.

-- Craig Larson

Bank shot: Frosh earns high honors at UNH

Posted October 26, 2006 05:00 PM


Chris Banks started with a bang for the University of New Hampshire men's soccer team, netting three goals in his first college game. And that was just the start of something special for the Westborough teen.

Banks, who leads the America East in goals (12) and points (24) as a freshman, was selected Thursday afternoon as the conference's Striker of the Year, as well as Rookie of the Year.

"It's a great honor, because it was voted on by the other coaches in the conference and they feel that Chris is the most dangerous striker in the America East," said New Hampshire coach Rob Thompson. "Chris has done a great job, he's scored critical goals. He's been a great teammate all year, which is most important. If you win these type of honors, it means your program is doing well."

Banks, who has connected for three game-winning goals thus far, was also named first team all-conference.

New Hampshire (11-4-3, 5-2-1 America East), seeded third in the America East Tournament, will play host to sixth-seeded Stony Brook (6-11-1, 3-4-1 America East) in the opening round of the America East tournament on Saturday at 5 p.m. on Bremner Field in Durham, N.H.

-- Craig Larson

Marvelous Matts in Holliston

Posted October 23, 2006 01:56 PM


The Holliston football team has a pair of magnificent Matts in the backfield: Bellomo and Edwards.

One week after Matt Bellomo chewed up Ashland with 274 yards in a Panther win, running partner Matt Edwards rushed for 226 yards and four touchdowns to power Tri-Valley League co-leader Holliston to a 33-13 win over Norton on Friday. The win sets up Friday's showdown against fellow TVL unbeaten Medfield. Here's a wrap on our other four games to watch this past weekend:

Hudson at Oakmont: A long ride home from Ashburnham for the Hawks after suffering their first CMass Division 3 loss, 28-7.

Acton-Boxborough at Lincoln-Sudbury: Paul Shayan scores a pair of touchdowns as A-B hands L-S its second loss in the Dual County League, 20-9.

Wayland at Westford: Ben Sherry was immense in Wayland's seventh straight win, rushing for 217 yards and four touchdowns while throwing for another in 34-14-14 win.

Dedham at Natick: Theo McCummings tosses a pair of TDs and the unbeaten Redmen (7-0) return a pair of picks for touchdowns in rolling to their 23rd straight win, 42-7 over Dedham.

-- Craig Larson

Raining on their run

Posted October 20, 2006 05:40 PM


Nothing like high school football on a Friday night in October. Cool, crisp ... No, wait, heavy rain, high winds, soggy uniforms. A wonderful scene for all.

Framingham, Natick, Franklin, Marlborough and Hudson, have postponed tonight's games, to name a few. They'll play tomorrow.

But Tri-Valley leader co-leader Holliston (5-1 overall, 5-0 TVL) will brave the elements for its tussle against once-beaten Norton (5-1, 5-1) tonight. Let's see if Matt Bellomo can top last week's stellar 30-carry, 274-yard effort against Ashland.

Here's four other matchups to catch this weekend:

Acton-Boxboro at Lincoln-Sudbury (Friday at 7): Lincoln-Sudbury is in a must-win situation to keep its hopes alive in the Dual County League race.

Wayland at Westford (Friday at 7): Ben Sherry and the Dual County League-leading Warriors go for sixth straight win, trying to avenge last year's 21-14 loss.

Hudson at Oakmont (Saturday at 7): Riding a five-game winning streak, the Hawks (5-1, 5-0) head to Ashburnham for a CMass Division 3 showdown against fellow unbeaten Oakmont (6-0, 5-0).

Dedham at Natick (Saturday at 7): A one-day delay won't be much help to Dedham as the Redmen gun for their 22nd straight victory.

-- Craig Larson

It's hard work hitting homers

Posted October 19, 2006 01:18 PM


So David Ortiz is a major league slugger. And he probably has some kind of special scientific diet to keep him in shape to keep blasting those homers. Right?

Apparently not. At least judging by what he was eating the other day in a Weston backyard where he played Wiffle Ball at a charity event.


(Globe Staff Photo by Stan Grossfeld)

Bellingham names Evans boys' basketball coach

Posted October 18, 2006 03:04 PM


Rob Evans, who has served Bellingham High as girls' varsity basketball coach and boys' basketball assistant over the past 10 years, has been chosen to replace the late Barry Hutchinson as the Blackhawks' varsity boys basketball coach.

"He's been here for 10 years and we feel very confident and comfortable with him," said Bellingham athletic director Dennis Baker. "It will be a tough transition, but it will be an easier transition with Rob. We conducted our search, Rob was the best choice, and 'Hutch' would have wanted it this way."

Hutchinson, 47, whose eight-year run as Blackhawks' coach was highlighted by a run to the Division 3 state title in 2003, died on July 20 of a heart attack.

"I am excited about coaching, but both as a program and a community, we're dealing with the loss of a good friend," said Evans. "It's a delicate balance. We want to continue what Barry did as a coach and do it well."

The 41-year-old Evans, who played varsity basketball for Dave Gibbs at Medfield High, is currently a physical education teacher at the Bellingham Middle School.

He guided the Littleton, N.H. boys' varsity basketball program for five seasons, has had two stints as the Bellingham girls' varsity coach (1998-2000 and 2005-2006) and also directed the Bellingham boys' freshman program for three years.

"He has a great knowledge of game, he's come up through the ranks here and he can't wait to get going," said Baker.

To replace Evans as girls' varsity coach, Bellingham has selected Franklin's Mike Mason, who has assisted Herb Grace with the Medfield boys' basketball program for the past 15 years. Mason is also currently the Medfield High field hockey coach and the Franklin High junior varsity baseball coach. The 42-year-old Mason is a Marian High graduate.

Baker also announced that the annual Christmas boys basketball tournament scheduled for Dec. 28-29 has been renamed the Barry Hutchinson Memorial Tournament. This year's tournament features Arlington Catholic, Blackstone-Millville, Walpole and Bellingham.

-- Craig Larson

Natick: 21 and counting

Posted October 16, 2006 03:31 PM


Natick High literally ran to its 21st straight win on Saturday afternoon, piling up 369 yards on the ground to pull away from host Wellesley in their Bay State Herget showdown, 42-28. Here's a recap of our five games to watch from Week 6 of the high school football season:

Natick at Wellesley: Junior Thad McCummings burns Wellesley for 193 yards and three touchdowns on seven carries for 6-0 Redmen.

Norton at Medfield: Host Warriors (5-1) clamp down defensively to hand Tri-Valley League rival Norton its first loss of the season.

Wayland at Concord-Carlisle: Senior QB Ben Sherry (9 carries, 130 yards rushing, 2 TDs passing) pilots unbeaten Wayland to its sixth straight win.

Waltham at Peabody: David Melchiori rushes for a pair of touchdowns as Hawks (4-1) stop Greater Boston League foe Peabody, 25-9.

Franklin at Mansfield: Panthers no match for Mansfield juggernaut (34.6 points per game; 3.3 points allowed) in a 31-0 loss.

-- Craig Larson

First-and-5: Games to watch

Posted October 13, 2006 04:40 PM


Friday the 13th and Friday Night football. What a strange mix. Favorites beware.

But the matchup of the weekend is at Wellesley's Hunnewell Field tomorrow afternoon at 2 p.m., when Natick puts its state-best 20-game winning streak on the line against the host Raiders.

It's an SAT Saturday. By 2 p.m., the focus will be on X's and O's and not filling the circles with a No. 2 pencil. Here's four matchups to watch tonight:

Norton at Medfield (Friday 7 p.m.): Will the Warriors take the Fast (Michael) Lane to victory against unbeaten Norton?

Wayland at Concord-Carlisle (Friday 7 p.m.): One week after stopping Lincoln-Sudbury, the unbeaten Warriors need to avoid a letdown against a tough Concord-Carlisle squad.

Waltham at Peabody (Friday 7 p.m.): After a bye week, Hawks plays the first of three Greater Boston League games on the road.

Franklin at Mansfield (Saturday 5 p.m.): Panthers face a monumental task against a Mansfield outfit averaging 35 points per game.

-- Craig Larson

Clockers court Renaud

Posted October 12, 2006 05:55 PM


Ashland High athletic director Phil Moresi was hoping to have Karen Renaud be a part of his girls' basketball staff when she first arrived in the school system six years ago.

But Renaud, 35, was working on her master's degree and couldn't make the time commitment.

Now, the time is right.

Renaud, a former assistant at Billerica and North Smithfield (R.I.) high schools, was named girls' varsity basketball coach at Ashland yesterday.

The Woonsocket, R.I. native replaces Kevin White, who stepped down after three seasons in April when his family moved to Connecticut.

-- Craig Larson

Seeing orange in Sudbury

Posted October 9, 2006 07:39 PM


As the final buzzer sounded in Sudbury on Friday night, a sea of students clad in orange and black stormed the field to celebrate the Wayland football team's thrilling 13-6 win over Dual County League rival and fellow unbeaten Lincoln-Sudbury, just the program's second win over L-S since 1988.

There was no shortage of drama in Week 5 of the high school season.

Here's a recap of our other four must-watch games of the weekend:

Marlborough at Milford: Senior QB Bryant Johnson directs host Scarlet Hawks 57 yards in final minute for winning TD as Milford remains lone unbeaten in CMass Division 1A, 20-15.

Brookline at Natick: Redmen roll to their 20th straight victory, 28-0, with James Clover (50-yard punt return) and Jaime Bellofatto (84-yard kickoff return) delivering on special teams.

Framingham at Wellesley: Connor Green (3 TDs), Wellesley execute Wing-T to perfection, piling up 300-plus yards in the ground in 38-7 victory, setting up Saturday showdown vs. Natick.

Medfield at Bellingham: Alex Unex scores the lone TD of the fourth quarter as Medfield remains one of three unbeatens in the Tri-Valley League with 22-18 win. Next up: unbeaten Norton.

-- Craig Larson

A high 5 for these matchups

Posted October 6, 2006 12:50 PM


A chill is in the air, the hot chocolate and lattes will be flowing, the leaves are starting to turn, and Week 5 of the high school football season is an absolute autumn treat.

Dual County League unbeatens Wayland and Lincoln-Sudbury clash in Sudbury tonight. In Milford, undefeated Marlborough and host Milford (unbeaten in IA) lock horns. Here's a look at five games to watch this weekend:

Lincoln-Sudbury at Wayland (7 p.m. Friday): Defending the run will be the story here. L-S junior Mark Hogan is coming off a school-record 313-yard, 4-touchdown performance. Wayland is averaging 34.5 points per game behind the ground work of QB Ben Sherry and tailback Tony Torres.

Marlborough at Milford (7 p.m. Friday): Get there early and expect to stay until the final horn sounds in this CMass 1A clash. Milford is averaging 30 points per game and Marlborough is at 26.

Brookline at Natick (7 p.m. Friday):
The Redmen (4-0) shoot for their 20th straight win.

Medfield at Bellingham (7 p.m. Friday):
Will Medfield take the Fast (Mike) Lane through Bellingham and remain unbeaten in the Tri-Valley League?

Framingham at Wellesley (10 a.m. Saturday): The host Raiders are just one game back in the Bay State Conference's Herget race, but Framingham is showing plenty of resiliency this fall.

-- Craig Larson

Five Games to Watch -- Updates

Posted October 2, 2006 06:26 PM


No shortage of highlights, or superlative performances, from Week 3 of the area high school football season.

Here's a recap of our 5 games to watch from Friday and Saturday. Also a tip of the cap to longtime Lincoln-Sudbury coach Tom Lopez, who earned his 200th career win with Friday night's 48-23 victory over St. Bernard's.

Norwood at Natick: Anthony Smalls (156 yards, 2 TDs), Redmen (4-0) rush to their 19th straight win, 35-14 over Norwood. Tom Lamb's squad hosts Brookline on Friday night.

Wayland at Boston Latin: Senior QB Ben Sherry rushes for a pair of TDs and throws for another as Warriors waltz to 4-0 with a 31-0 win, setting up Friday's clash at fellow unbeaten Lincoln-Sudbury

Medway at Holliston: Matt Bellomo scores a pair of touchdowns and the host Panthers execute Todd Kiley's defensive gameplan to perfection, handing Medway its first loss of the season.

Marlborough at St. Peter Marian: Quarterback Nick Yurovich (138 yards passing , 71 yards rushing) powers the Panthers to a 4-0 start with a 21-14 win in Worcester, setting up a monster showdown at fellow 1A unbeaten Milford Friday night.

Shrewsbury at St. John's: The host Pioneers (3-1) stopped Shrewsbury four times from inside the 1 to pull out the 14-7 victory. Star of the week -- Mark Hogan, Lincoln-Sudbury: Junior tailback rushed for a school-record 313 yards and 4 touchdowns on 15 carries in Warriors' vitory.

-- Craig Larson

Five to watch

Posted September 29, 2006 06:27 PM


It's perfect football watching weather, time to get out the Thermos and the fleece. Week 3 of the high school football season features a number of outstanding matchups. Here are five to watch tonight and tomorrow:

Norwood at Natick (tonight, 7 p.m.): Redmen shoot for 18th straight win as Tom Lamb returns to Norwood.

Medway at Holliston (tonight, 7 p.m.): Mike Regan has unbeaten Medway on another winning march.

Shrewsbury at St. John's (Saturday, 1 p.m.): Shrewsbury has not beaten the Pioneers since the renewal of the series in 2001.

Wayland at Boston Latin (Saturday, 1 p.m.): The revamped Warriors offense is averaging 35 points per game.

Marlborough at St. Peter-Marian (Saturday, 1 p.m.): Explosive Panthers have an eye on 4-0, but SPM is coming off a double OT win over Nashoba.

-- Craig Larson


(St. John's coach John Andreoli at a preseason practice, Photo by Ellen Harasimowicz)

Sharks sighted in Marlborough

Posted September 26, 2006 02:12 PM


The Worcester Sharks will call the DCU Center home this season. But on Friday night, the American Hockey League's newest franchise will skate over to New England Sports Center to put on an early showcase for area fans.

The Sharks, the primary affiliate of the NHL's San Jose Sharks, will play an exhibition game against the Manchester (N.H.) Monarchs at NESC's Rink No. 1 (seating capacity: 2,000) with an 8 p.m. faceoff. Tickets are $5.

"One of the things we realize, we can't live within just the city limits of Worcester, you have to branch out," said Sharks president Michael Lehr. "And one of our key goals is to be very active in the community. We also know the hockey passion of the fans at (NESC). We wanted to take advantage of that."

One interesting twist: NESC owner H. Larue Renfroe recently purchased the AHL's Providence Bruins, one of the Sharks' chief rivals.

"We already have a partnership with Larue in the AHL and this only enhances our partnership." The Sharks will also utilize NESC as one of their practice facilities. Later in the season, NESC will offer a free public skate with Sharks players.

"We're all working together to promote the game of hockey," said Wes Tuttle, general manager at NESC.

The Sharks open the season Oct. 7 at Portland before playing their first game in the DCU Center Oct. 14 against the same Pirates squad.

The AHL is back in Worcester this season after a one-year absence. The Worcester IceCats departed for Peoria, Ill. after the 2004-05 season.

For information, call NESC at 508-229-2700.

-- Craig Larson


Red Sox wedding

Posted July 21, 2006 12:06 PM


A couple with local ties will be tying the knot -- Red Sox style -- at a Sox game in Seattle.

Dave Robitaille, who was a graduate of Milford High school, and his fiancee, Eda Dragonetti, formerly of Newton, will exchange vows tomorrow in front of home plate at Safeco Field in Seattle, where they both now live.

The ceremony will take place right before the Sox play the Mariners, the Nashua Telegraph reports today.

Robitaille and Dragonetti are going all out, ditching traditional wedding garb for Red Sox gear. They're even flying in "The Sausage Guy," Dave Littlefield, who supplies hungry fans with sausages on Lansdowne Street before and after Sox home games.

-- Erica Tochin

Framingham vs. Milford in big game

Posted July 18, 2006 02:29 PM


The headline game of this week's American Legion baseball playoffs takes place tonight, as Milford visits Framingham in a deciding Zone 4 contest.

The game is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Framingham's Carey Diamond at Bowditch Field. Those who can't make it can tune in to the Milford-based radio broadcast on WMRC 1490-AM.

The winner advances in the playoffs. For the loser, it's the end of the season.

--Mike Reiss

Gedmans live up to their name

Posted July 14, 2006 08:20 AM


Longtime Boston Red Sox fans likely remember Rich Gedman, who played for the team from 1980-1990. Gedman is now the manager for the Worcester Tornadoes independent league baseball team.

His two sons, Mike and Matt, are making a name for themselves while playing for the Framingham Legion baseball team. They were featured in yesterday's edition of Globe West.

Framingham finished its season at 19-3 and in first place of Zone 4. The team is currently enjoying a playoff bye.

--Mike Reiss

Vana bows out of golf tournament

Posted July 14, 2006 06:27 AM


Marlborough Country Club's Frank Vana Jr. has bowed out of the Massachusetts State Amateur Golf Championship in the round of 16, the Globe reports today. Vana, 43, was vying to win his third straight championship, but was bumped off by 23-year-old Burgess Houston.

The competition continues today at Worcester Country Club.

Vana is perhaps the most well-known amateur golfer in Boston's western suburbs. Paul Harber profiled Vana earlier this week in Globe West.

--Mike Reiss

Sudbury baseball thriving

Posted July 12, 2006 11:29 AM


The American Legion baseball regular season is coming to a close this week in Boston's western suburbs. One of the area's most impressive teams has been Sudbury. At 14-2 and with two games remaining, Sudbury has clinched first place in Zone 5A.

Sudbury coach Len Noce credited his team's coaching staff as a factor in the club's success. The assistants are Eric Natoli, Michael Noce (Noce's son) and Matt Corcin.

Sudbury is in action tonight at Natick (7 p.m.). The team finishes its season on Thursday night in Cambridge (6 p.m.), then is scheduled for playoff action starting Wednesday, July 19.

-- Mike Reiss

Renegades invade Framingham

Posted July 7, 2006 07:55 AM


The New Hampshire Phantoms visit the Boston Renegades tonight in W-League soccer action at Framingham's Bowditch Field (7:30 p.m.).

The Renegades, who play the majority of their home games in Framingham, are part of the Massachusetts Premier Soccer group. They play a high level of soccer, and have players like former U.S. talent Angela Hucles on the roster.

It's been a year or so since I've seen a Renegades game, but the lasting impression was that it's a great place to bring young kids interested in soccer. I remember seeing a lot of youngsters at the games and many of the Renegades players were available for autographs after the contest.

Ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for children, according to the Renegades' official web site.

-- Mike Reiss

Framingham rules -- in Legion baseball

Posted July 4, 2006 12:13 PM


With eight games left in its American Legion season, Framingham is off to one of the best starts ever at 13-1.

The team is in action today at Milford, which is always a big game on both teams' schedule. Local fans can listen on the radio at WMRC-1490 AM.

"Our strong start is because this group believes in playing together as a team," said Framingham manager Bunkie Smith after his team topped Shrewsbury, 11-1, on Monday night. "That's the first thing that was instilled in them [this year], playing together as a team. And then I'd say pitching and defense. That's what wins, and our pitching and defense has been phenomenal."

Framingham returns home on Wednesday night with a doubleheader against Northborough, one of the top teams in Zone 4.

About those ticket prices...

Posted July 3, 2006 03:16 PM


Add Rich Gotham to the list of folks who grew up in Boston's western suburbs and are now at working at an executive level in the sports field.

Gotham, a Milford native who now resides in Medfield, was promoted to Chief Operating Officer of the Boston Celtics on June 28.

He'll be responsible for several aspects of the Celtics' business operations, including marketing, ticket sales and service, corporate partnerships, community and public relations, game entertainment, broadcast partnerships and arena relations.

Boston Celtics Managing Partner and Governor Wyc Grousbeck said in a statement that Gotham "is a leader by example, with the highest possible work ethic, business standards and commitment to the Celtics and our community."

Kicking it

Posted July 3, 2006 01:01 PM


Local soccer fans dispirited by the poor US showing in the World Cup -- our lads didn't win a game and one of their two goals of the tournament was actually scored by the other team -- may find some solace in the performances of three Newton Girls Soccer teams at the recent state tournament.

The under-18 "Newton Magic" squad capped an undefeated season by beating Nashoba Valley United 2-1 to take the Massachusetts Tournament of Champions trophy.

The under-12 "Newton Lightning" side, meanwhile, won four straight tournament games and made it to the finals before falling to Shrewsbury, 3-nil. [We have to say nil instead of zero. It's a soccer thing.]

Even the under-16 "Newton Renegades" squad outdid Claudio Reyna and Co., going 1-1-1 before bowing out in the semifinal round.

What a celebration!

Posted June 28, 2006 10:59 AM


Downtown Framingham went crazy yesterday after Brazil beat Ghana in a World Cup match. But not too crazy.

The Globe's Yvonne Abraham describes the scene in an article in today's City and Region section.

"The picture in downtown Framingham yesterday was not just one of celebration. It also captured ripples of tension, a community undergoing transformation, and an immigrant group careful not to offend, even in the midst of exhilarating victory," Abraham writes.

Babson gets new AD

Posted June 8, 2006 05:30 PM

Babson College has announced the hiring of Josh MacArthur as its new athletic director.

MacArthur has served as the Associate Director of Athletics at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore for the past four years. Before that he spent seven years at Dartmouth College, working in two positions within athletic facilities and operations, as well as one year at the University of Pennsylvania.

“We are very excited to have Josh here at Babson,” said Carol Hacker, Associate Vice President of Student and Community Services. “His commitment to planning and evaluation, staff development, and the experience for student-athletes and the overall community of recreation users is beyond comparison.

“He is committed to the Division 3 philosophy and has successfully balanced this with a competitive program for all teams at JHU. He understands fully the demands of a rigorous academic program and articulates the value of not only intercollegiate athletics, but also recreation and wellness, for a successful overall student experience."

MacArthur starts August 7.

You're out!

Posted June 8, 2006 04:42 PM

larry abend.jpg
Dan Loeterman won't say how many times Larry Abend punched him out, but the former Little Leaguer gets the final word Sunday in Globe West when he profiles the Newton South umpire.

Dan says Larry is reputed to be the loudest ump in the league, which plays out of Richardson Field. He's been behind the plate for 29 years, making him by far the oldest ump there.

In that time he has tossed five people, including a mother. The count would be much higher, but no one dares mess with Larry.

About globe west updates Welcome to Globe West Updates, the news blog of the Globe West regional section of The Boston Globe. Check in with us often to see updated items about Boston's western suburbs from our staff reporters and correspondents. Give us your reaction to our stories in the print editions or on the blog by using the form below. Get involved — with Globe West!