EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 15, 2010

Power sweep for Central Catholic squads

Katie Zenevitch, Desrosiers command performances lift Central

Hector Longo

BOSTON — The sign on the fieldhouse wall might say Boston College High School, but Central Catholic makes it self quite at home here.

The Raider boys and girls hoop teams each hauled the championship hardware back up I-93 last night, sweeping the Comcast Officials Board 27 Basketball Tournament titles for the second straight year.

Central's blue-chip seniors — Boston College-bound Katie Zenevitch and Wake Forest-bound Carson Desrosiers — claimed the respective tourney MVP trophies.

In different ways, they earned them.

Epic night for Katie Z

Statistical historians are racking their brains right now, trying to find a more impressive performance in area history what Zenevitch delivered in the girls' 67-57 victory over previously 18-1 Westford, the No. 7 team in Eastern Mass.

Zenevitch made it back-to-back MVPs with 33 points and a Chamberlain-esque 31 rebounds.

"I love playing here. I like this court, and this tournament is a lot of fun," said Zenevitch. We had to win today, and I didn't play that well yesterday."

The 6-foot-3 Zenevitch was 11 for 17 from the field and added five steals, three assists and a pair of blocks to one of the great lines in area history.

"It was one of the most outstanding individual performances I've seen ever," lauded Raider coach Sue Downer. "You could tell the minute she stepped on the floor, she had a presence. And she had it the entire game. She was on and she went with it."

All-tourney selection Gabie Polce backed Zenevitch with 13 points, and Melissa Miller chipped in a dozen for the Raiders, who have one final regular season game with St. Mary's of Lynn before the Division 1 North tourney commences.

"I think this tournament has prepared us very well," said Zenevitch, who couldn't ever recall a 30-rebound game at any level in her life. "I feel very, very confident. I'm not nervous. I'm excited and confident in this team."

Ill Desrosiers paves way to win

Carson Desrosiers rated his bout with the flu about an 8 on a scale of 1-10.

Coach Rick Nault figured on the bus ride he'd be without the big guy.

Desrosiers gave it a shot, and despite foul trouble, was around to be the difference at the end. Desrosiers' spinning banker with 27 seconds left put the Raiders up 53-52 and his courageous rebound in traffic with 10 seconds to play sealed the one-point win for top-ranked Central over No. 6 Newton North.

"He missed the shoot-around and on the ride up we were making plans to go without him," said Nault.

That board was only Desrosiers' sixth of the night — probably a testament to how ill he really was. It was massive, though.

With Desrosiers minutes limited by nausea — and foul trouble shackling both he and Jimmy Zenevitch — Central needed help from other sources and got it.

Sophomore Luis Puello paced the Raiders with a career-high 18, including a monster triple that cut the Tigers lead to two midway through the fourth and a soaring putback in traffic with 73 seconds to play, slicing the margin to one at 52-51. The 6-1 leaper was named to the all-tournament team.

"What's happened over the last couple weeks with Jimmy being down with the ankle, guys have had opportunities to step up," said Nault. "We've been going deeper off the bench. That might have been the difference."

Alvarez hit a pair of threes in an eight-point night, while Zenevitch (8) and Evan Sheehan aided to the attack for Central, which won despite scoring just 16 second-half points.

Desrosiers, who scorched BC High for 32 points Saturday, finished with 11 to go with seven blocks.

"It's a little nerve-wracking," said Alvarez of the five-point deficit with six minutes left. "But we had confidence that we'd come back and win. Winning this tournament is a definite confidence booster."

Central girls 67, Westford Academy 57

Westford (57): Parker 1-2-4, Gallant 2-0-5, Wright 3-1-7, Maldoeuf 2-0-4, Boyle 3-5-12, Ewing 9-1-19, Webb 2-2-6, Totals 24-11-57

Central (67): Santos 1-0-2, Williams 2-0-4, Miller 5-2-12, Polce 4-5-13, Martin 1-0-2, McLaughlin 0-1-1, Zenevitch 11-10-33, Borrelli 0-0-0, Sacco 0-0-0, Brillaud 0-0-0, Totals 24-18-67

3-pointers: W - Gallant, Boyle; CC - Zenevitch

Westford Academy (18-2):11âÇ10âÇ15âÇ21 — 57

Central Catholic (18-2):18âÇ16âÇ13âÇ20 — 67

Central boys 53, Newton North 52

Newton North (52): Luke Westman 1 0-0 3, Michael Thorpe 6 0-0 14, Kourtney Wornum-Parker 5 2-4 12, Greg Kelley 6 0-0 12, Tevin Falzon 4 3-5 11, Totals 22 5-9 52

Central Catholic (53): Andrew Ouellette 1 0-0 2, Luis Puello 7 1-2 18, Jimmy Zenevitch 4 0-2 8, Michael Alvarez 2 2-2 8, Evan Sheehan 3 0-0 6, Carson Desrosiers 4 3-6 11, Totals 21 6-12 53

3-pointers: NN - Westman, Thorpe 2; CC - Puello 3, Alvarez 2

Newton North (19-3):14âÇ10âÇ20âÇâÇ8 — 52

Central Catholic (19-1):18âÇ19âÇâÇ6âÇ10 — 53