EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 20, 2012

Sports in a Minute

By Hector Longo
hlongo@eagletribune.com

---- — LOVED IN STATE COLLEGE

Central Catholic Athletic Hall of Famer Mike Lane headed to State College, Penn., this past weekend to pay a visit to old friend Bill O’Brien and watch the latter’s Penn State Nittany Lions take out Indiana and move to 7-4 in the coach’s first season.

Lane tells a great story about what happened postgame when he went to visit.

“He had to go talk to a couple of recruits who were in on visits, so we headed out to a local steak house,” said Lane, who was taken aback by what happened next.

It was a scene right out of the hoop movie, “Blue Chips.”

“We walk into the place, and the whole restaurant stops what they’re doing to give Bill a standing ovation,” said Lane of the former Patriots offensive coordinator. “He hasn’t been there long, but he’s absolutely loved out there.”

Long-running tradition

The 36th annual Methuen High alumni cross country meet will be today at 1 p.m. starting at the outdoor track equipment shed area. A reception will follow at the Methuen High dining room 4.

PINKERTON HOOP JAMBOREE

Pinkerton Academy will host a preseason scrimmage/jamboree on Dec. 1 from 3-6:30 p.m., featuring teams from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Scheduled to play are Norwich Free Academy and East Catholic from Connecticut; Boston Latin, and Lowell High from Massachusetts and St. Raphael from Rhode Island.

The event is held to benefit the Derry Food Pantry. Admission is free, but volunteer donations of food and cash will be collected.

CENTRAL-ST. ANTHONY’S SET

The folks at the Shooting Touch Tournament, Dec. 27 and 28 in Boston know a good draw when they see one.

In the marquee matchup on Friday night, Dec. 28, it will be Central Catholic, on a one-day Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament sabbatical, against fabled St. Anhony’s of New Jersey, 7 p.m., at Emmanuel College.

If you were looking to make a day of it, the rest of the games that day are: Amittyville vs. Winter Park, 1 p.m.; Iolani vs. Christ the King, 3 p.m.; and New Mission vs. Mansfield at 5 p.m.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

Haverhill’s Noah Vonleh stole the show in his senior season opener with New Hampton Prep in the Prep Classic.

Vonleh opened with a physical double-double, scoring 27 points and yanking down 18 rebounds, powering New Hampton past Hargrave Military Academy, 74-73.

The Indiana-bound Vonleh ripped down to game’s final board to secure the victory in a wild finish against a Hargrave team that featured top Louisville recruits Anton Gill and Terry Rozier.

WALSH OUT FOR KNIGHTS?

Stories have leaked out of North Andover that Casey Walsh will not play for the Knights on Thanksgiving morning.

That would be a huge blow for North Andover, which looks to tackle playoff-bound CAL-NEC 1 champ Masconomet.

Asked who would be his quarterback tomorrow, North Andover coach John Rafferty said, “no decision has been made on that yet.”

North Andover AD Jon Longley noted via email that: “ North Andover High School follows all of the rules and procedures in the MIAA and North Andover High School Athletic Handbook. We do not comment publicly on student discipline.”