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February 24, 2013

Memory Lane: Two days, two big hoop upsets

Two days, two big upsets

Ten years ago, a pair of local basketball teams became king-breakers by taking down the top teams in their respective states.

Andover started the ball rolling at the AT&T Broadband Tourney in Dorchester by upending No. 1 BC High, 68-65, dealing the Eagles their first loss of the year.

Chris Vetrano was unstoppable for the Golden Warriors (18-2), erupting with a season-best 39-point effort that included six 3-pointers and 15 made free throws. Jack Barrett added 11 in the victory.

Trailing by 13 points with five minutes left in the game, foul-plagued Andover turned to Jarrett Mackin and Jon DeLeo for some defensive pressure and the pair delivered.

“We started trapping them and forced them into mistakes,” head coach Dave Fazio said. “Look, you can lose by 20 or fight back. We have just fought the whole year.”

And the next day, Salem took down the Granite State’s top squad, Nashua, 78-64.

The victory snapped Nashua’s 14-game win streak.

Jay Cleary scored 21 points to lead the Blue Devils, who also got key contributions from Doug Carter (17 points including 9 of 10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and 7 assists) and Josh Bosch (10 point and 10 rebounds). Jimmy Nugent pitched in on the defensive end, holding high scorer Troy Bowen to just four points.

“This is one of the biggest wins since I’ve been here,” said fifth-year head coach E.J. Perry.

Adding an epic chapter to the Central-Andover rivalry.

Every time Central Catholic and Andover take the court for boys basketball battle, crowds flock to the game.

Ten years at Central this was no different. Crowds were lined up around the building as early as 4:30 p.m., over two hours before tip-off.

The Raiders already owned an overtime victory over Andover as 2,000 fans crammed every nook and cranny of the cozy gym for the rematch, wondering if Central could finish its season unbeaten.

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