EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

February 13, 2013

Confident Hammel the difference maker

LAWRENCE -- Is it the constant drama, an air of mischief, or just a bit of his dad’s Westchester County swagger showing through?

Love him or hate him, he is Central Catholic senior Lucas Hammel and for some reason, your eyes always find him.

By many accounts, Hammel was the deciding factor in the two clashes between the Raiders and North Andover.

Two weeks ago, all Hammel could do was sit in sweats, tend to his bruised-up thigh and watch his teammates spiral to late defeat without him.

Last night, he was back here in the trenches, knocking down triples, pestering anyone in a Black Knight uniform and backboning a nasty Raider second-half defensive effort.

“Lucas made all the difference in the world,” said Central coach Rick Nault. “He’s our leader on the floor out there. He really gets after it. We challenged him tonight, putting him on Derek Collins an awful lot out there. He certainly proved how important he is to us.”

The elation Hammel and his mates shared after last night’s 70-60 win can only be fleeting. A trip to the dungeon (Dunn Gym in Andover) looms Friday night, followed by an IAABO Board 130 tourney laden with three of the state’s top 10 teams and finally an MVC-title deciding trip to Lowell.

But you can forgive the excitement, considering how low Hammel was just 15 days ago.

“It killed me to have to sit there and watch it all happen,” said Hammel of Central coughing up a second-half, 18-point lead to the Knights back on Jan. 29. “You’re sitting there helpless, with a giant pit in your stomach. Nothing has ever hurt me so much.”

Hammel found a way to net a positive out of the Raiders’ only conference defeat that night in the Crozier Fieldhouse. Through all the bluster and that contagious flurry of North Andover 3-point bombs, Hammel found a flaw.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Longhorns Coach Disses Texas With Compliment - @TheBuzzeronFOX How Will Wiggins Deal Impact Potential Love Trade? Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Dareus fails conditioning test, Watkins lifts spirits
Boston Sports
McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX MLB Trade Deadline Talk: Price, Stanton, Kemp Tony Romo will be a full-go for camp Teammate's Advice For Johnny Manziel & Josh Gordon - @TheBuzzeronFox Helfrich praises Mariota's commitment to improve Hillary Clinton Blamed Bill's Affair With Monica Lewinsky On Abuse He Suffered As A Child Who will Brady turn to if Gronk can’t stay healthy? Gronkowski cleared to participate in Patriots training camp Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent First impressions of Giants' new up-tempo offense Athletic Gaines: Where LeSean McCoy, Kenjon Barner, and more prepare for NFL season Shaughnessy: Dont count out the Sox just yet Blakely: Projecting the Celtics roster Daopolous: How will NFL cracking down on Defensive holding affect games? Jack White's Cub Face How Emmanuel Mudiay Ended Up in China Sterling says he's not trying to block Clippers sale Selig: MLB 'more popular today than ever' Eli, Giants learning new offense