EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 28, 2013

FInal Score

By David Willis

---- — No 20 Methuen topples No. 4

The first-year Tewksbury-Methuen girls hockey program continues to surprise. Yesterday in the first round of the Division 2 tourney 20th-seeded T-M manhandled Canton 7-3. Methuen High’s Amanda Conway had three more goals to give her 51 and Rangers Kelly Blackwell and Kathleen LeFebre also tallied.

Bickford’s best

Amanda Bickford scored a season-high 20 points, Emily Hickey added 17 and Brenna Blakslee chipped in with 11 as Salem tripped up Merrimack 71-49 in a Division 1 first-round matchup. Blakslee stymied the Tomahawks’ leading scorer and Lizzy Twomey also starred on defense. It was the Blue Devils’ first tourney win since 2008. Next up is top-seeded defending champ BG on Saturday.

Astros upset

Pinkerton’s girls basketball team had some defensive breakdowns in the second quarter and fell victim to a late 3-pointer in overtime and was upset by No. 14 seed Manchester Memorial, 40-39 in overtime. Val Martin led the No. 3 seed Astros (18-4), who beat Memorial 64-40 eight days earlier, with 10 points.

Surging Brooks

The Brooks boys hockey team continued to surge, blanking Middlesex 4-0 in the New England Prep quarterfinals. Brooks once again showed good balance with Connor Moore netting a goal and an assist. It will play in the semifinals at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the Icenter in Salem against a team to be determined today.

Shea leads Knights

North Andover placed sixth and Andover seventh at the State Team Gymanstics Championships at the DCU Center. The top four teams from the North and South sectionals qualified. Madeleine Shea came up big for the Knights. She had a strong performance in the all-around, stepping in for Nicole Stevens, who was limited to three events by an ankle injury. Julia Montecalvo nailed her new bar routine. Jessica Whitehead had a well executed “tuck tsuk” on the vault.

Simpson leads way

Aliza Simpson had 24 points and eight assists as the Londonderry girls crushed Nashua South 64-35 in the first round of the Division 1 girls tournament. The Lancers (16-5) will play at home Saturday against the winner of tonight’s Keene-Nashua North game.