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March 8, 2014

Undefeated Lynn English poses major challenge as Central chases repeat

Defending Division 1 state champion Central Catholic must bring its best game tonight in the Division 1 North final against an undefeated Lynn English squad that boasts three guards who average double-figures in scoring.

Fourth-seeded Central (21-1) plays top-seeded Lynn English (24-0) today at 6 p.m. at the Tsongas Center in Lowell. The winner advances to play in the Division 1 state semifinals on Monday at the TD Garden.

“They’re definitely athletic, they all rebound extremely well so one of the things we’re definitely going to work on is making sure our guards, forwards, everyone is boxing out because they crash the boards on offense,” Central coach Sue Downer said.

“A lot of their points are on offensive put-backs.”

Diondra Woumn, who led Lynn English with 20 points in a 57-39 Division 1 North semifinal victory over Woburn on Thursday, averages 14.6 points per game.

The Bulldogs also start 5-7 senior guard Catherine Stinson who averages a team-high 14.8 ppg and 5-9 senior guard Deidra Newson (14.0 ppg).

Lynn English, which has averaged 60.9 points a game, doesn’t have much height but it makes up for it with quick guards who press full-court and crash to the basket to collect rebounds.

The Bulldogs, who are ranked third in Eastern Mass. — one spot ahead of Central — have earned some strong wins this season, beating St. Mary’s, Masconomet, Newton North, Woburn and Arlington Catholic.

All five of those schools were ranked in latest Globe Top 20 poll.

The Bulldogs handed Masconomet its only regular season loss, 59-49. Masco led Central by 12 points in third quarter of their Division 1 North semifinal Wednesday before the Raiders stormed back to win by six points.

Lynn English’s guard do everything, even rebound.

Newson averages 12.2 rebounds and 4.8 steals per game in addition to her 14.0 ppg.

Woumn averages 7.0 rebounds and 4.6 steals in addition to her 14.6 ppg while Stinson averages 4.0 rebounds, 7.8 assists and 3.8 steals in addition to her 14.8 ppg.

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