By Michael Muldoon
---- — Andover guard Max Silveira’s aunt, Stacy Silveira, is well known in certain parts of the area girls basketball community.
It was March of 1987 and now defunct St. Mary’s of Lawrence had a team to be reckoned with. The Chargers were led by 5-9 Sue Stewart, now the successful head coach at Central Catholic. She was a two-time Eagle-Tribune All-Star who earned All-Scholastic honors and was headed to Merrimack on a scholarship.
Junior Tricia Lentz, a 6-foot junior, also made the Eagle-Tribune team. The next year, she, too, would sign with Merrimack. Then there was up-and-coming 6-foot sophomore Betsy Wrobel, who two years later would sign with Stonehill.
That sort of size and talent (all three went on to enjoy fine college careers) is highly unusual for a high school team. Especially for a Division 2 team.
The Chargers were flying high after Stewart went wild with a 37-point effort in the Division 2 North semifinals, leading her team back from a 20-point second quarter deficit to beat North Andover, 73-70.
Coach Jack Stephenson’s Knights, led by Eagle-Tribune All-Stars Kendra Lippmann and Maggie Pemble, had won 18 straight and had been giving up just 33 points a game.
Sure, unbeaten Wakefield would be tough, but folks in the Merrimack Valley figured the top-seeded Warriors would learn a tough lesson just like the Scarlet Knights.
But this reporter and everyone in the Billerica High gym could barely believe what they saw that night.
Stacy Silveira took on second-seeded St. Mary’s and its Big 3 and they simply had no answers for her in a 78-54 romp.
As I wrote, “Stacy Silveira, the 6-foot-1 freshman sensation, set the tone early with 10 points, 3 blocks and 3 rebounds in the first period.”
She finished with 22 points and 12 rebounds although St. Mary’s coach Barry McCloskey questioned my numbers. He said a couple of days ago that 20 rebounds seemed much more like it.
McCloskey, who has seen an awful lot of girls basketball in the last 40 years, won’t soon forget Silveira.
“She was the best freshman I ever saw,” he said. “I didn’t think Sarah Behn (scored 2,523 points at BC) was as good as Silveira. Katie (Zenevitch of Central Catholic, now starring at BC) was close but still not. She was just special.”
So special that Silveira received her first recruiting letter as an 8th grader from UConn coach Geno Auriemma.
Sadly, a couple of devastating knee injuries later in her Wakefield career kept her from realizing her big-time basketball destiny.
But she has done well off the court. She practiced law and lived in Andover for seven years.
She moved to Lynnfield in 2011 and now practices law there.