EHS Girls Basketball Claims GBL Crown
The Everett High girls basketball team clinched an undisputed and undefeated Greater Boston League championship with a pair of victories over GBL rivals Malden and Somerville this past week.
The Lady Crimson Tide concluded their league schedule with a perfect 8-0 record, thereby defending the GBL title that they had won in 2017, the last year before the GBL disbanded for two seasons to join the Northeastern Conference, only to get back together again for 2019-20.
The triumph over Somerville on Monday evening was a fitting celebration of Senior Night at which the six members of the Class of 2020, captain Carolann Cardinale, captain Maddy Duraes, Saunti Burton, Veronica Bento, Gianna Martin, and Stephanie Suavita, were honored for their contributions to the EHS girls basketball program.
For Burton, the evening was especially poignant. Saunti tore an ACL in the pre-season of fall volleyball and has been sidelined for the entire basketball season until she made her first appearance of the year in the starting line-up against Somerville Monday night. Burton then proceeded to score the first Everett basket of the contest to give her team a big morale boost.
However, Somerville hung tough and held a four point lead, 66-62, with about four minutes to play.
EHS head coach Tammy Turner called a propitious time-out to regroup her troops.
“We were pushing the ball too fast down the court on offense and either we would turn the ball over or take a bad shot,” said Turner. “I told the team we still had plenty of time left in the game and that we needed to play smart basketball. On defense, we also had to correct a breakdown in our 1-3-1 zone that had allowed a Somerville girl to get open on the baseline and hit three straight three-pointers.”
The Lady Crimson Tide took to the floor after the timeout, made the necessary adjustments, and then increased the pressure on defense, especially at the top of the 1-3-1. The result was a ball-hawking defense, led by Andrea Manley and Cardinale, that led to steals and breakaway baskets, lifting Everett into the lead.
A three-pointer by Cardinale proved to be the proverbial dagger that firmly turned the game’s momentum in Everett’s favor down the stretch.
In addition to the offensive exploits of Cardinale and Manley, Maya Kirnon had a nice scoring night for the Lady Crimson Tide.
The big win over Somerville, which ended up in second place in the GBL with a 5-3 record, was preceded earlier in the week by victories of 63-38 over Malden, 58-15 over Salem, and 82-55 over Charlestown, boosting Turner’s crew into a lofty 15-2 record.
“Clinching the GBL title was a beautiful thing,” said Turner. “But it is only one of the goals we have set for ourselves for this year.”
On the Everett girls’ immediate radar is a rematch with non-league rival Arlington Catholic this evening (Wednesday) in which the Lady Crimson Tide will be out to avenge one of their only two losses this season. The tip-off is set for 7 p.m.
Everett will play at North Reading on Saturday and will go to Saugus for their season finale next Tuesday.
Turner and her crew, who punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney two weeks ago, then will await word of their seeding and first-round opponent in the MIAA girls state basketball tournament. Given the team’s strong record, Everett should have a home game in the tourney’s first round.
EHS Hockey Tops Two Foes to Qualify for Tourney
The Everett High hockey team won both of its games this past week to clinch a berth in the post-season state high school hockey tournament.
Last Wednesday, coach Alex Naumann and his crew came through with a win of historic proportions with an 8-5 triumph at Medford, marking just the second Crimson Tide victory over the Mustangs in their last 19 meetings.
The Everett conquest was a true table-turner, inasmuch as Medford had skated to an easy 15-1 win over Everett in their first meeting earlier in the season.
“Even with the memory of a 15-1 loss to them in the third game of the season, our players have been building this confidence that they can play with anyone, and were unphased going into Medford’s rink,” said Naumann.
The Crimson Tide made it clear from the outset that the rematch was not going to be a repeat of the first game, jumping out to early leads of 1-0 and 2-1. Although Medford eventually punched back and held a 4-3 advantage after two periods,
The Crimson Tide were determined to bring an end to the Mustang domination in their rivalry.
Medford held an advantage in terms of puck control to start the final 15 minutes, but the Crimson Tide offense struck with laser-like precision, lighting the lamp no less than five times before the final horn, the last coming on an empty-netter by Aaron Hickey to take home the 8-5 win.
“Our team kept plugging away,” said Naumann. “To score five goals in the third period was unbelievable.”
Leading the way in the offensive firepower department were Max Brown, Everett’s leading scorer, who had two goals and two assists, and freshman David Saia, who notched his second hat trick of the year to go along with an assist.
Other goal-scorers for Everett were Jake Simpson, the lone eighth grade player on the team, who recorded his first varsity goal on a redirect of a shot by freshman Cam Couto, and Brendan Currie, who sniped the top corner on an odd-man rush.
This past Saturday, Naumann and his crew made the distant journey to Rockport/Manchester/Essex (RME), a tourney-bound team, and made the long bus ride northward a worthwhile effort, coming home with a 4-2 win on RME’s Senior Night.
Currie and Brown both scored a pair of goals. Dante Masucci played a stong game, picking up two assists. Hickey and Simpson earned an assist apiece.
This evening (Wednesday) the Crimson Tide will host Minuteman Regional in a contest that will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities. The opening face-off is set for 7 p.m.
“We want to make sure this senior class continues to rack up the memorable moments this season by taking another ‘W’ on senior night against Minuteman,” said Naumann. “In our first meeting with them, Minuteman had us on our heels by taking a 2-0 lead and then added two more goals in the third period, though we held on to win, 5-4.”
Naumann and his crew, who now stand at a lofty 11-4-1 on the season, will entertain Norton on Saturday at 1 p.m. and then will host the annual Bishop Mulloy Tournament at Allied Veterans Rink during the vacation week.