EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

January 12, 2013

Picture-perfect play

Central bands together for convincing win over Lancers

By Chuck Frye

---- — LAWRENCE — It’s no secret that there are many high school coaches who would like their team to play the game the way Central Catholic does.

After two encounters with the Raiders, most recently a suffocating 63-46 decision at home last night, Lawrence’s Raymond Nunez is near the top of that list.

“Right now, we need to work on being able to play team defense,” the rookie head coach said. “We need to be able to keep their guards out of the paint, and our secondary needs to be able to rotate to the right spots. It just comes down to taking pride on defense.”

The same philosophy extends to the offensive end, where Nunez feels “we have to make the proper reads, be unselfish, swing the ball and pass it all around. That’s what we’re trying to instill — that the team is bigger than one person.”

The Lancers (now 5-3) managed that for a four-minute stretch of the third quarter. Junior Roberto Speing (team-high 12 points, 9 rebounds and 3 blocks) had a nice dish to Esmelin Romero for a 3-pointer, sank a pair of putbacks and was immense in the paint in a 12-2 run that cut the Raider lead to six at 35-29.

But Central (8-1) played at a high level of unselfishness all night, getting assists on all but two of its final 12 baskets to extend the lead back to 19 after three quarters (51-32) before settling for a 17-point win.

“We want each other to do well,” said co-captain Doug Gemmell (12 points and 9 boards). “If Lucas (Hammel) comes down and hits Joel (Berroa) with a nice pass, the next time down, Joel’s going to be looking for Lucas.”

The dishes were plentiful and blue-plate all the way. Led by Hammel’s seven assists and five more from Nick Cambio, the Raiders rang up 19 dimes on 27 field goals. In comparison, Lawrence had but three assists on 20 baskets.

“It’s a special group that enjoys playing together,” Nault said. “I thought we had great energy (last night) and we were constantly looking for each other.”

Premier point guard Tyler Nelson benefited most from his teammates largesse, scoring 20 points on 7 of 12 shooting, followed by Gemmell and Cambio (10 points and 8 rebounds).

“It’s a matter of preparation,” Nunez concluded. “I need to do a better job, so I’ll take this one. That’s what I was hired to do. I need to get the boys prepped on the court and off the court in their home situations and the classroom. Once we get that, we’ll be fine on the court.”

For Nault, last night’s strong effort ends a stretch of six straight road games — four of them played in Lawrence — with second-ranked Lowell looming on Friday.

“We’ve only played twice at home so it’ll be nice to get back home. Lawrence is well-coached and very athletic. They were a good test for us, and next Friday we’ll have our hands full.”

Central Catholic 63,

Lawrence 46

agateText:Central Catholic (63): Tyler Nelson 7 3-3 20, Doug Gemmell 6 0-0 12, Nick Cambio 5 0-0 10, Lucas Hammel 4 0-0 9, Joel Berroa 3 0-0 6, Mike Barry 2 0-0 5, Jamahl Lopez 0 1-2 1, Neil Sheehan 0 0-0 0, Aaron Hall 0 0-0 0, Alex Santos 0 0-0 0, Nick Boes 0 0-0 0, Austin Perry 0 0-0 0, Ryan Barry 0 0-0 0, Andrew Hamel 0 0-0 0. Totals 27 4-5 63

Lawrence (46): Roberto Speing 5 2-4 12, Julius Martinez 4 0-2 8, Tre’von Farley 4 0-0 8, Esmelin Romero 2 2-6 7, Jonathan Paulino 2 0-0 4, Dantae Neal 1 1-2 3, Luis Torres 1 0-0 2, Carlos Padilla 1 0-0 2, Bryan Morales 0 0-0 0, Kevin Fabian 0 0-0 0, Anderson Morales 0 0-0 0, Franziel Reyes 0 0-0 0. Totals 20 5-14 46

3-pointers: CC — Nelson 3, Hammel, Barry; L — Romero

Central Catholic (9-1):22 11 18 12 — 63

Lawrence (5-3): 8 11 13 14 — 46