EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 24, 2013

Memory Lane: Two days, two big hoop upsets

Memory Lane
Chuck Frye

---- — 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.

Scoring machine Chris Vetrano was his usual productive self, scoring 30 points, but Drew Watts became a surprise contributor with 27 points as the Warriors surged to a nine-point halftime lead.

But freshman Jonathan Cruz felt compelled to take control of the contest.

“As a freshman, I have to wait my turn. I know that,” Cruz said. “But coming out (after halftime), I knew it was time.”

The youngster’s infectious energy led to a 22-point, 12-rebound stat line while also energizing his teammates. With sophomore Jeremy Shannon, Tom Sipsey and junior Marquis Victor scoring 11 points apiece, Central got back into the game. Holding Andover scoreless over the final 1:50, putbacks by Dan O’’Shea (14 points) and finally Willis Martinez (8 points) gave Central the lead with 38 seconds left.

10 years ago last week

A Presidents Day snowstorm dropped up to 16 inches of snow in the Merrimack Valley region and 27 ½ inches in Boston, more than the Blizzard of 1978. …

Giving up almost a half-foot in height, 6-3 center Kevin Klipfel scored 16 points and grabbed eight rebounds as North Andover defeated newly-crowned CAL Division 1 champ Wilmington, 66-59. … Mike Sughrue scored 17 points to help Haverhill avenge a early-season loss to Lowell, 60-49. … Mike Scheeper dropped in 29 points with 10 assists but Sanborn dropped a two-overtime barnburner to Farmington, 104-96. …

With 16 points from sophomore Amanda Shannon, North Andover wrapped up its regular season with a 52-46 win over Chelmsford. … Melissa Anaya scored 25 points with seven 3’s as Lawrence battered PMA, 92-24. … Brandi Badgett scored 14 points and freshman Christina Ortega added 11 as Whittier beat Chelsea, 52-47, clsoing its regular season with eight wins in its last nine games. … Meghan MacDonald (13 points) led four players in double figures as Salem upended Manchester Central, 70-58. … A triple-double from Lauren Sickel (18 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists) led Timberlane to a 63-50 win over Trinity. …

Freshman Matt Colby rang up his second game-winning goal in three nights, scoring a breakaway with 53 seconds left to play as Andover beat Danvers, 4-3 to win the Newburyport Bank Classic title. Warriors goalie Torin Traynor was selected as the tourney’s MVP. … … Two goals from Neal Baroni got Salem past Manchester West, 3-2. …

Concord won the state gymnastics title, but Pinkerton, Salem and Londonderry performed well in finishing 2-3-4 respectively. Pinkerton junior Kerri Carter was the lone area champion, winning the beam with a score of 9.325. …

Pentucket’s Bill Burns was named CAL Hockey coach of the year. … Former All-MVC gymnast and Methuen coach Robin Corsetto was tabbed as the league’s coach of the year. …

20 years ago last week

With 23 points, Mike Roberts led Andover to a commanding 63-45 victory over Central Catholic to clinch the MVC title. Barry Spears had 14 points to lead Central. … Seth Dobson had 19 points and 15 rebounds as Whittier won its fifth straight, 84-60 over Greater Lawrence. … Playing at “another level,” according to head coach Dan Habib, senior Shaun Sullivan had 18 points, 12 rebounds and 4 blocks as Timberlane took down Sanborn, 63-48. …

Amy Veilleux and Shawna Murphy – a pair of 6-footers – scored 25 points as Haverhill humbled Lowell, 77-50 to finish its regular season at 19-1. … After losing to Timberlane by 19 points in their first meeting, Sanborn rebounded behind 19 points from Wendy Wojtkowski to upend the Owls, 48-41. Timberlane bounced back to beat Laconia in its regular season finale to qualify for postseason play. …

An acrobatic Matt Favalora turned aside 33 Central Catholic shots, helping Haverhill hang on for a 2-1 victory. …

Haverhill senior Sean Goggin won his third straight MVC diving title, breaking a 17-year-old league record in the process with 293.45 points. At the North sectional in Chelmsford, Goggin scored 447.8 points to beat his nearest competitor by over 100 points. …

Chad Lampros, Matt Marino, Chad Scott and Dimmy Gavriel won individual titles to lead Timberlane wrestling to the Class I-M-S state title. … Whittier athletes won both Outstanding Wrestler awards at the CAC league meet, 130-pounder Brian Boucher at the light weights and 152-pounder Bill Rivera in the heavier weights. … With Mark Diedering earning his first varsity victory at 103, Haverhill beat Burlington, 35-24 to wrap up its dual-meet schedule with a 17-6-1 record. …

40 years ago last week

Bobby Knipe (18 points) sank two crucial free throws late to get Timberlane past Goffstown, 60-58, and snap a five-game losing streak. Then Matt Crompton’s 22 points led the Owls to a 61-59 win over Salem to end the season at 10-8, the first winning record in school history. … Gary Silveira went 10 for 20 from the floor for 22 points as Haverhill Trade won its season finale over host Sanborn, 58-42. …

After becoming a three-time sectional wrestling champion, Pentucket’s Steve Hayden added the meet’s MVP award as he swept the 140-pound weight class to remain unbeaten for the season. … Tom Johnson, Paul Skinner and Matt Fitzgerald won state titles for Timberlane, which came in second as a team to host Keene. …

Winning the floor exercise title and coming in second in the high bar, Timberlane’s Mark Difeo easily took home the all-around crown as the Owls won the state boys gymnastics title. …