Watertown clips Pioneers basketball team in D-2 North semifinal game
Another season ends with another long postseason run
The Lynnfield High School boys’ basketball team (18-5, fourth seed) won’t be playing in the Division 3 North final game this year after getting bounced by Watertown (21-2), the top seed, in a North semifinal game, 58-46, on March 8. The Raiders went on to beat Bedford (17-5, sixth seed) in the North finals, 59-52, last Saturday.
Ironically, it was Bedford that eliminated the Pioneers in last year’s sectional final. Watertown, however, lost to Hanover in a state semifinal game at the TD Garden, 46-40, on March 13. It’s small consolation for the Lynnfield boys, who wanted the opportunity to avenge last year’s North final result.
Coach Scott MacKenzie’s crew did its best to stay close to the No. 1 seed. It was a defensive struggle throughout. Lynnfield was losing by only nine after three quarters, 35-29. It was a ridiculously low-scoring game for teams that are noted for their offensive exploits.
Lynnfield’s Big Three of Billy Arsenault, Mike Carangelo and Louis Ellis, like everybody else, had trouble getting started offensively. But in the fourth quarter, they started to heat up. They scored 20 points in the final frame, only to be still outscored by their worthy foes by three.
Arsenault, Lynnfield’s dynamic point guard, was a thorn in Watertown’s side throughout, and ended up as the team’s top scorer with 19 points. Ellis was the only other Pioneer who finished in double digits with 12. Carangelo chipped in with eight. Zachary Shone collected five points, and Bryant Dana was credited with two.
The Raiders controlled the boards, getting second chances at their end of the court, while maintaining possession for 20-plus seconds at a clip. No matter how you sliced it, the Pioneers had no chance with that strategy – employed by Watertown’s legendary coach Steve Harrington.
But an 18-win season can’t be overlooked, when analyzing the entire schedule, and back-to-back campaigns that stretched into March is something that many teams strive for, but few achieve throughout the three-month ordeal.
By Joe Mitchell
Northshore Stars Mites 1 Crowned League Champs
On Sunday the Northshore Stars Mite 1 team capped of an excellent season with a win in the Mite 1 North AA White Division at the Haverhill Valley Forum. The Stars faced off against a talented Danvers squad, and both teams went into the second period scoreless.
Andrew Carbone broke the ice for the Stars three minutes into the first period, capitalizing on an assist from Scott Crabtree. Declan Descheneaux followed up just minutes later with a re-direct goal to put the Stars up by two. The Stars headed into the third period up by two, but very much aware that the game was not in hand. Seven minutes into the third period, Scott Crabtree corralled a loose puck off a face off in the Danvers zone, skated to the hash marks and scored on a nice wrist shot. Brendan Driscoll finished the scoring for the Stars with a shot through traffic from the right hand circle, giving the Stars a four-goal lead.
The win was a great team effort for all the Stars, and the win was indicative of how they played throughout the playoffs, with Josh Healey, Carbone and Sam Curley frustrating Danvers throughout the neutral zone. Brendan Flynn, Chloe Crabtree and Descheneaux provided the Stars with an offensive presence in front of the net, forechecking and making it difficult for Danvers to get the puck out of their zone. Connor Wright, Nick Kelter, Scott Crabtree and Brendan Driscoll provided strong defense throughout. Matt Smith anchored the Stars in goal, and while not many shots made it through, Smith ensured that none saw the back of the net.
Through the playoffs the Stars outscored their opponents 16-0, an impressive accomplishment to finish the season strong. Congratulations Stars!