---- — 10 years ago: Best friends set new record
During the 2003 McIntyre Elite Relays, St. John’s Prep carved over five seconds off its distance medley relay school record as North Andover’s John Gillespie and his best friend, Haverhill’s Mike Grant, helped the Eagles turn in a time of 1:24.9.
In the same race, Methuen’s Federico Lara, Kyle Jackson, Matt McCann and Stephen Plouffe came in third in 10:48.7, three seconds faster than the school’s best time.
Central Catholic got into the act, shattering records in both the boys and girls 4x400, winning each. Justine Douvadjian, Gillian Mundry, Dominique Caruso and Erin Doherty recorded the 10th fastest girls relay time in area history, indoor or outdoor, by running a 4:04.27. Brett Perron, Andy Verdura, Ryan McCarthy and Kevin Towler won in 3:26.7.
In the State Coaches Meet, Andover’s Phil Shaw was seeded ninth in the mile but ended up finishing third in a school indoor record time of 4:21.1.
At the New Hampshire Carnival Relays, Pinkerton’s 4x160 group of Monica Ronaghan, Kiah Quarles, Sarah Bakanosky and Jacki Sherry set a new school mark with a 1:28.2.
10 years ago: Stone stepping down at UMass Lowell
Jim Stone didn’t wait until the end of his season to announce his retirement, he decided to make the news known prior to UMass Lowell’s 2003 baseball season.
For 36 seasons, the Atkinson resident helmed the River Hawk program, taking the team to 19 postseason berths including 13 NCAA tourneys and two straight Division 2 College World Series appearances. He was named New England Division 2 Coach of the Year nine times while compiling a 769-381-7 record before his final season.
“He will retire with more wins than any coach in Lowell’s athletic history, and that says a great deal about not only his coaching talents, but his ability to motivate young people,” said AD Dana Skinner.
Stone’s most famous player was Mike LaValliere, who caught for 12 years in the majors and won the 1987 NL Gold Glove award.
Ken Connerty, a 19-year assistant coach, was named Stone’s successor.
10 years ago: OT win sends Salem into first-place tie
Salem picked the perfect time to produce what head coach E.J. Perry termed “one of the best high school games I’ve ever seen.”
Hosting previously unbeaten Dover 10 years ago, the Blue Devils battled into overtime and prevailed, 99-94. The victory lifted Salem into a first-place deadlock with Dover and Bishop Guertin.
Jim Nugent was the clutch performer for the Blue Devils. The senior guard, who was just 2 for 13 on 3-point shots coming into the game, hit a clutch 3 to send the game into OT, then scored six points in the extra session. Nugent finished with 15 points and seven assists.
Sophomore Chris White had eight of his 22 points in the fourth quarter and Jay Cleary dropped in a career-high 30 points. Nate Stanton also contributed 22 points.
10 years ago: Abbott lives up to prediction
Londonderry High’s girls basketball team drew the honors of christening its new gymnasium 10 years ago.
While on the way to the court, sophomore Kristen Abbott made a prediction.
“She told the assistant coach, ‘I’m going to be the first to score 20 points in this gym,’” head coach Ted Theos related.
In front of a packed house, Abbott dropped in 23 points as Londonderry upset Nashua.
20 years ago: Hillies in upset of the season
To say Billerica was confident of defeating Haverhill 20 years ago would be a huge understatement.
“(Before the game) they were skating around on one leg … the whole thing was a joke to them,” said Hillie captain Chuck Baker.
But the unbeaten Indians found out that the game wasn’t a joke to visiting Haverhill (5-3-4). A staunch effort in the second period from goalie Matt kept the Hillies out front, and goals from Baker, freshman Mark Duquette and Joel Fedenyszen sent the message home in a shocking 5-1 upset.
“This is the first time I’ve beaten them in high school,” said Baker. “We lost to them 10-1 my freshman year. I hope it’s a turning point for our season.”
10 years ago: Marchegiani, Knights roll
Justin Marchegiani led a North Andover sweep of the top six places in a North Shore Ski League victory over Andover. … Jonathan Meltz won the 200 IM and 100 backstroke while playing key roles in a pair of relay victories, pacing Andover to a 94-77 victory over Central Catholic.
Jim Dodge (19 points) and John Dowaliby (17 points) kept North Andover in the CAL title hunt with a big 58-50 win over Masconomet. John Murphy also came up big against the Chieftains, raining in 31 as North Reading prevailed in OT, 75-72. … Rick Pimental’s buzzer-beating jump shot earned Georgetown a 50-48 victory over Northeast. … Nick Reusch and Ryan Middlemiss had 18 points apiece as Methuen upset Dracut, 79-65. …
Holding area high scorer Meredith Waldie (19.3 points per game) to just six points, Central Catholic avenged an earlier defeat to Methuen with a 54-38 win. With help from Kait Folinus’ 16 points, Central then beat Billerica, 48-32. … Jen Corso had a clutch steal in the waning seconds of overtime to lock up Pentucket’s 48-46 defeat of Triton. … Two highlights for Brooks in a 52-48 win over neighbor Phillips: its first-ever victory against the Big Blue and Haverhill’s Mary Hart going over the 1,000-career point plateau. … Rose Dowling’s only basket was a putback that got North Andover a pulse-pounding 59-58 overtime win over Newburyport and a share of the CAL lead with Masconomet and the Clippers. … Sophomore Megan O’Connor had 16 points and 17 rebounds in Georgetown’s 45-41 triumph over North Reading. …
Matt Colbert tied a league record in the 50-yard dash, running a 5.5 as Methuen beat Lawrence, 53-33. …
Personal bests in the 600 and high jump from Jen Mosley aided Methuen in a 61-25 win over Lawrence that locked up the MVC Small title for coach Bill Blood’s Rangers. …
Salem wrestling coach Mike Bolduc was called to start a year of service in the military, and Mike Shaw stepped in to lead the Blue Devils to a 61-0 shutout of Winnacunnet in his first meet as coach. … Sparked by Sammy Gomez’ big win at 152 pounds, Greater Lawrence beat Tyngsboro, 54-18 to repeat as CAC champion. …
Katie Cail, Libby Fortier and Andover beat Methuen 132.1-128.5. … Katie Osgood had a personal-best 34.9 all-around as North Andover defeated Tewksbury. …
20 years ago: Roberts outduels Spears
In a battle of MVC unbeatens, Andover topped Central Catholic 61-52. Mike Roberts led the Warriors with 27 points while Barry Spears led the Raiders with 16. … Jeff Borgard had 20 points as Sanborn edged Kennett, 54-46. …
Jeff Shanahan had just four points, 15 below his average, but stepped up with 10 assists as Timberlane downed Souhegan, 61-50. … Shawna Murphy scored 26 points as Haverhill beat Lowell, 77-58. …
Steve Faxon registered the game-winner in Pentucket’s 3-2 win over North Reading … Led by an upset victory from Jeremy Bell at 160 pounds, Timberlane knocked off Central Catholic, 47-13. …
Winning the hurdles and high jump, Tony Dawidowicz carried Haverhill to a 46-40 win over Methuen and the MVC Small championship.
40 years ago: No stopping Knights’ LaBelle
… Area scoring leader Bill LaBelle scored 27 points as North Andover — winners of 27 straight games — flattened Georgetown, 95-45. ... High scorer Bob Cox was sidelined with a foot injury, but Pentucket rode 35 points from Dave Shorey to a 78-74 victory over Manchester. … Bill Lee led four Georgetown players in double figures with 14 points in a 67-64 decision over Masconomet. … Rallying from seven points down with 5:20 left, Haverhill rode clutch efforts from Ted DeRoche (21 points) and Mike Costello (15) to a 69-63 upset of Lynn English. …
Nancy Harriman had a game-high 17 points while Billie Wright added 14 and Julie Murphy 10 as Haverhill trounced host Peabody, 62-40. …
With Jerry Smith (100 pounds) and Mark Conway (unlimited) recording pins, Pentucket beat Ipswich, 58-12. … Timberlane prepped for a CAL showdown of unbeatens with Hamilton-Wenham by humbling North Reading, 48-19. Dan Schneider (147) and Matt Fitzgerald (167) posted quick pins. …
Bob Strout led a sweep of the 1,000-yard run, powering Haverhill to a 59-27 victory over Central Catholic and its first-ever unbeaten season (5-0-1). The Hillies clinched the North Shore Indoor Track League crown. …
Haverhill’s Rick Battistini set Nashua pool records in the 400-yard individual medley and 400 medley relay, qualifying for his seventh and eighth events in April’s national championships. … Haverhill coach Joe Carven Jr. was selected as the first Merrimack Valley coach ever to participate in the annual Agganis All-Star football game. He was coming off an 8-1 campaign, Haverhill’s best in 20 seasons. … Ninth-year Merrimack College hockey coach Thom Lawlor won his 100th career game, 4-2 over Lowell Tech.