LOWELL — Somebody said something, did something or promised the Central Catholic boys basketball team harm.
Since having half its conference title ripped away by Lowell and its honor torn from them by St. John’s in the opening round of the Board 130 Classic, the Raiders have hit the floor angry.
Last night in the Division 1 North title game here at the Tsongas Center, Central did exactly what it did to Andover in the North semis on Tuesday, smothering Lynn English with defense and attitude.
Call it payback for 2009. Call it setting its own state title agenda, but call the Raiders Garden bound Tuesday night and just two victories from that Division 1 state championship.
That’s thanks to a thorough 83-58 pasting of the Bulldogs.
“We are brothers in this locker-room, and with our two big guys (Doug Gemmell and Nick Cambio) down, we’ve developed an us-against-the-world mentality,” said point guard, head pest and pre-eminent charge-taker Lucas Hammel. “I think we are playing a little bit desperate right now, and we’re playing out best basketball because of it.”
A Lynn English team that knocked off St. John’s in the Board 130 title game and lit up Everett for 94 points in their semifinal was brought to its knees by Central pressure.
“We’re taking one at a time, but this one was pretty special,” said Central coach Rick Nault. “I keep thinking of 2009, when we came in here with a pretty established team, and they came in and took us out. Tonight, our guys had something to prove.
By the intermission, this one was over at 42-23.
Hammel shredded the vaunted English press, turning Lowell into “layup city.”
With Hammel in charge and English focused on Joel Berroa and Tyler Nelson, it was unsung junior Aaron Hall cashing in on the other end.