Golden Tornadoes step up against Marblehead
By Julian Cardillo
The Malden boys’ basketball team has again proved they’re a jack-of-all-trades team with multiple offensive weapons.
On Tuesday, the Golden Tornadoes squeaked out a 50-48 victory over Marblehead in the Northeast Conference play to improve to 13-5.
“Really good victory for us,” said Malden coach Don Nally. “They came in and they dug in and played us hard. They had a decent plan to get to us, but we made some huge shots and got excellent stops on defense.”
Malden’s two main scorers – Fern Berard and Tyler Holness – played but didn’t have strong performances due to illness. The pair combined for just 12 points, which is much less than either would score on their own on a typical night.
“Their plan was definitely to lock in on Fern and Tyler, who were both a little of their game because they picked up some knocks,” Nally said. “So they put some extra coverage on them, but we were able to step up in other areas.”
Captain Malik Bissett led the way on defense, but Mozzell Johniken took over on offense for Holness and Berard, picking up 19 points.
“Mozzell had an amazing game, as did Malik,” Nally said. “They put up strong performances. Just really tough on both sides of the court. When two players were kind of out of it we needed others to step up, and they did.”
Behind a complete team performance, Malden managed to turn a 10-point third quarter deficit into a come from behind rally in the fourth quarter.
Performances like this are helping the Golden Tornadoes pad their stats and up their seeding before the state tournament.
Malden girls’ hoop puts it together against Marblehead
By Julian Cardillo
Malden’s best performance of the season was a tight loss at Danvers last Friday night, which coach Scott Marino set his team up to earn a pivotal win against Marblehead on Tuesday.
The Golden Tornadoes took down Marblehead 48-32 at home, doing many of the same things that gave them success last Friday against the Falcons.
“I think we took our level from that Danvers game and matched it against Marblehead,” said Marino. “With Lynn Classical, Danvers is probably the best team in the Northeast Conference. The way we played, it was our best of the year.
“We put it all together right after against Marblehead. It was a very good defensive effort. We just took care of business.”
Malden hardly looked back on the Magicians once they got rolling, starting out with a 10-1 run.
The Golden Tornadoes pulled away in the second and secured a 20-point lead in the third.
“We had a 20-point lead for basically the entire second half,” Marino said. “We made the most of our possessions and held them to just one shot on each of their possessions.”
Tiffany Tortora led Malden scoring with 18 points and Xue Zhou was close behind with 15. Zhou had a pair of three-pointers in the third that helped Malden establish a dominating advantage.
“Those two three-pointers helped make it a 20-point game,” Marino said. “We got up another 10 points in a hurry thanks to those shots.”
Malden is now 9-11 on the season and has an outside shot of making the post-season. Though the formula might not work out to see the Golden Tornadoes in the state tournament, Marino feels they’ve been right there with the best of them.
“We’ve played well enough to advance to the tourney,” he said. “We’re playing our best right now, which is what you’d want as a tournament team.”
Malden Sports Round-up
By Julian Cardillo
The Revere-Malden hockey team started out fine against Beverly, though they didn’t last too long on equal footing.
Beverly scored a pair of goals in the first period off power plays to go up 2-0. Mike Giordano trimmed the Panthers’ lead to 2-1 with a goal in the second.
Then, a rout ensued, as Beverly scored four unanswered goals in the third period.
“We played hard, we were right in there in the first two periods,” said Revere-Malden coach Joe Ciccarello. “The wheels came off. I thought we had a chance because we pulled one back and their first two goals were off power plays, but sooner or later a team that’s that skilled will score.”
Revere-Malden is now 7-7-3 on the season and needs three points from three games to make the state tournament. They host Essex on Saturday.
“We need two points desperately,” Ciccarello said. “But we’ll see just how desperate we are.”
Track and Field
Malden High School junior Shataeya Smith took first in the women’s shot-put at the Northeast Conference Indoor Track Championship at the Reggie Lewis Center.
Stephanie Campos took second in the girls’ K-12 Wrestling Championship Tournament at Madison Park on February 11.
Meanwhile, after taking second place at D1 central sectionals, Wisly Pericles Jr. (220) will be heading to D1 states this weekend.