EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

February 10, 2013

Haverhill's dunking freshman

Precocious

freshman

Not too many freshman guards dunk in varsity games but Haverhill’s Saul Phiri did it vs. Tewksbury. The 6-2 Phiri is more than just a leaper as he’s averaging 12.0 points and has 16 3-pointers.

Popular guy

Noah Vonleh (@Noah_Vonleh35) didn’t join Twitter until Feb. 2 and the Indiana basketball recruit from Haverhill already has 2,471 followers. It shouldn’t be confused with @NoahVonleh which was in use just in October and had 862 followers.

Worthless stats

ESPN bills Bradford Doolittle as a basketball stats expert a la baseball sabermetricians. I’m not buying it. He spit out the numbers and came up with a list of the top 10 perimeter defenders in the NBA and the Celtics’ Avery Bradley isn’t on it.

Many think he could be the best perimeter defender so to not make the top 10 is a joke. And 36-year-old Vince Carter is No. 8? He couldn’t defend 12 years ago never mind as an aging vet.

Still a warrior

Former Salem and Merrimack softball star Alex Gallant is a graduate assistant in the Merrimack athletic department.

Baseball fanatics

There is a junior baseball standout at Spanish River (Fla.) High by the name of Fenway Parks. Six years ago an Indiana couple named their son Wrigley Fields.

Cakes are baking

UTL birthday wishes go out to ex-BC basketball captain from Andover Ted Kelley (49 today), world class runner Matt Downin from Hampstead (36 today), former Eagle-Tribune Athlete of the Year Dr. Ethan Philpott from North Andover (turns 38 tomorrow), Rochester Rattlers lacrosse player Steve Boyle from Derry (turns 26 Tuesday), St. Lawrence-bound hockey star Brian Ward of Haverhill (turns 21 Thursday) and BC distance runner/3.80 GPA student Alana Poretta from Pentucket (turns 21 on Thursday).

All in the family

New coach Tracy Vadala, who replaced her sister Kristen after last year, is keeping it rolling with the Andover gymnastics team, which finished 9-1. Tracy was a standout gymnast at Salem High and went on to star for the Merrimack College softball team. Another sister, Leeann, is a Golden Warrior assistant.

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