EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

March 2, 2010

Red Sea reward

Central Crazies delight at doubleheader; foes not thrilled

The news circulated through the Central Catholic student section Sunday night quicker than the Raiders' "Moses" parted the "Red Sea:"

Tuesday night, a Raider hoop doubleheader delight had been granted by the MIAA. Central's top-seeded girls would host Peabody at 6 p.m. with the Raider boys entertaining Acton-Boxboro at 8 p.m. — at the new, spectacular Lawrence High gym.

High-fives all-around ... a cross-city commute for the "Crazies." And they get a two-for-one for the admission.

The Internet spread the word, and Jane Heil had a bit of a different reaction when one of her assistants broke the news.

"This is my 29th year of coaching at Peabody High School," explained Heil. "We are governed by the MIAA, respect the MIAA and abide totally by its rules and decisions.

"That said, I wouldn't be surprised if they asked us to pick up Central on the way and provide them with pizza."

Heil's message, laced with sarcasm brings to light an interesting question.

Words like "host" and "entertain" aren't supposed to factor in the sectional semis, which are to be played on neutral courts.

A twinbill at Lawrence offers two reasons for Central fans to turn out en masse. Then, there's the fact that the Raider boys have already played four games on that court this year, while the girls opened the season there.

You have to figure the phenomenon that has grown to be the Central student section weighed heavily in the MIAA's decision.

Were the Raiders rewarded for doing it right?

Frankly, Central senior Jimmy Abdallah — known to folks in Memorial Gym as the "bucket drum guy" isn't interested in why it happened. He's too busy getting jacked up for twice the emotion, twice the thrills.

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