The co-op team confounded the so-called experts and reached the Division 2 state semifinals.
Scaring a superpower
Central Catholic basketball fans can be impossible to please. Cover 16 straight games and they wonder where in the world you were for the 17th game.
The Eagle-Tribune couldn’t make it to the late-December game vs. St. Anthony’s of Jersey City at Emmanuel College, but we didn’t figure it was a big deal as St. A’s would likely win by 20-30 points.
This was St. Anthony’s with coach Bob Hurley Sr. with 1,000-plus wins and one of three high school coaches in the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield. The Friars were defending MaxPrep national champions.
The Raiders stayed close, but it was early. But the Friars just couldn’t shake the locals as Nick Cambio (15 points on 7-of-10 shooting), defensive ace Lucas Hammel and Tyler Nelson (12 points, 5 assists) led the way.
Central trailed just 45-44 late in the game and fell 54-50 to the then No. 6 team in the country.
It may have been a loss, but it was one of the great performances in the program’s proud history.
Windham’s King James
With Eagle-Tribune All-Stars Andrew Pesci and Chris Ulbrich and a talent-laden roster, Windham soccer was primed to upset top-seed Hollis-Brookline in the Division 2 state final.
Who among Windham’s cavalcade of stars would be the hero in the overtime shootout? Remarkably, James Baiguy.
Windham led 3-2 in the shootout when Baiguy, a junior reserve, was pressed into action. The native of Costa Rica had never even attempted a penalty shot since coming to the States five years ago.
But with standout David Carbonello out with an ankle injury, Baiguy got his big chance and delivered.
A goal, a win and a state title.