EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

March 20, 2013

1977 North Reading team was special

Michael Muldoon
The Eagle-Tribune

---- — best in 36 years

The belief was this year’s 21-1 North Reading boys basketball team had tied the school record for wins. Ex-Hornet Cary Boucher e-mailed us, saying he thought his 1977 team had more wins. Former Hornet coach Barry Kipnes of North Andover dug into his records and Boucher was correct: That club went 20-0 in the regular season, won the CAL East-West title game over Hamilton-Wenham then beat Chelsea in the state tourney before falling to Marblehead.

Mike Quinlan, who got hurt early in the Marblehead game, led the club with a 13.6 average and Paul Zurawel averaged 10.9.

One of Kipnes’ great players in later years was Joe Casey Jr., who, of course, is the present Hornet coach.

No mercy

Ex-Central Catholic great Scott Hazelton’s wife, Julie Tardif Hazelton, and brother-in-law, Chris Tardif, are first-ballot Timberlane Hall of Famers. And their father, Bucky, was the AD there for 23 years. But that didn’t mean Hazelton’s Bishop Guertin girls basketball team would take it easy on the Owls.

They handed Timberlane one of the worst losses in school history, 85-26, in their state tourney opener.

Dedicated coach

Recently Mike McVeigh had a highly-emotional day. His North Andover basketball team played in the Division 2 North finals and afterward he announced his retirement after 31 years.

So what did he do that night? Hurry to Worcester to see his old star Zach Karalis playing for WPI in the NCAA tourney!

Timberlane champion

Timberlane teacher Steve Scanlon guided his Wilmington High hockey team to its second straight Division 2 title on Sunday.

Slugging verlander

Tigers ace Justin Verlander is 0 for 24 for his career but his brother, Old Dominion junior Ben Verlander, can hit. He went 4 for 4 with three homers, a single and seven RBIs early this season vs. Northeastern.

Shrine roster

New Hampshire will be playing Vermont Aug. 3 at Dartmouth College in the 60th annual Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl. Three local stars will be playing: fullback-linebacker Kevin Cooney and tight end-tackle Artem Aristov of Windham and safety-running back Chris St. Onge of Pinkerton.

New mexico shootout

Bryce Alford of La Cueva High in New Mexico outscored Cullen Neal of Eldorado 52-39 but Neal’s club won 89-79. Their fathers, ex-Indiana great Steve Alford and former Georgia Tech star Craig Neal, coach together at the University of New Mexico. Alford will play for the Lobos and Neal is headed to St. Mary’s.

Skywalker

New Patriots defensive back Adrian Wilson is a remarkable athlete. For proof, Google “adrian wilson youtube jump.”

Foreign concept

Iowa State distance runner Rico Loy is from Bad Wildbad, Germany. University of Texas tennis player Joey Swaysland is from another strange sounding town: Wagga Wagga, Australia. Swaysland may want to go back after a Texas football player broke his jaw for dating his ex-girlfriend.

Big, bad bobby

Bobby Martin Jr. of Waltham and Nobles is a 6-7 sophomore forward gaining national attention. His father starred on those great Pitt teams of the late ‘80s with Charles Smith, Jerome “Send it in” Lane and Sean Miller.

incomplete information

The University of Hartford web site notes women’s assistant basketball coach Bill Sullivan and his wife, Jen, have two children. It neglects to point out “Jen” is head coach Jennifer Rizzotti.

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Follow Michael Muldoon on Twitter under the screen name @MullyET.