By Christopher Smith
LAWRENCE — Katie Zenevitch easily sprinted away from her defender, Peabody's Ginny Fleming, received a pass at the top of the key and nailed a 3-pointer to put Central ahead 9-0 just 1:35 into yesterday's Division 1 North semifinal game.
It simply was that easy for Central Catholic, specifically Zenevitch and Melissa Miller, who combined for 54 points total — nine more points than the entire Peabody team — as No. 1 Central cruised to a 80-45 win.
The Raiders are headed back to the TD Garden where they will face archrival Andover in the Division 1 North final on Friday.
"It's an amazing feeling to go to the Garden and play where the Celtics play," Zenevitch said. "The Celtics have been my favorite team. You go in and you see their locker room door and you just get pumped up. You think of all the players who have played there through all the years."
Zenevitch scored 34 points, collected 13 rebounds and had four assists. She netted four 3-pointers and was strong driving to the basket and posting up.
And whenever Zenevitch was double teamed, Miller was right there to lead the offense. Miller finished with 20 points, six rebounds and four steals.
"I thought she (Miller) played one of her best, if not her best game of the season," coach Sue Downer said. "She showed she has strength. She was huge when they were double-teaming Katie. Katie was dishing to her."
Central took a 14-3 lead with 4:16 left in the first quarter and it never gave up its double-digit advantage.
Now, it's time for the dream matchup. Round No. 4 against Andover.
Central is the top seed in the Division 1 North bracket, but Andover has beaten Central two out of three times this year.
Central will look to exploit hits height advantage over the Golden Warriors, led by 6-foot-3 Zenevitch and 6-0 Miller, as they did against Peabody.
"We definitely need to take advantage of our height," Miller said. "We definitely have a height advantage and we have to get better pressure on their guards."
Central Catholic 80, Peabody 45
Divison 1 North semifinal
Peabody (45): Ryan 0-1-1, Milley 0-2-2, Brunelle 1-0-3, Simard 1-0-3, O'Shea 1-0-2, Rodriguez 4-4-12, Helas 0-1-1, Fleming 1-2-4, Lefave 4-0-11, Dowd 1-2-4, Kayal 1-0-2. Totals 14-12-45
Central Catholic (80): Hebert 2-0-4, Santos 1-0-2, Williams 0-1-1, Borrelli 0-0-0, Sacco 0-0-0, Miller 9-2-20, Polce 4-2-11, Brillaud 0-0-0, Piemonte 0-0-0, White 2-2-6, Martin 1-0-2, McLaughlin 0-0-0, Zenevitch 13-4-34. Totals: 32-11-80
3-pointers: P — Simard, Lefave 3, Brunelle; CC — Polce, Zenevitch 4
Central Catholic (21-2):21âÇ16âÇ24âÇ19 — 80
Peabody (19-4):âÇ7âÇ15âÇâÇ8âÇ15 — 45