EHS skaters fall to Medford in tourney
It is ironic that in the playoffs at every level of sports, almost every team will end its season on a losing note, with the lone exception, of course, of the last team left standing.
The Everett High boys hockey team learned the hard truth of that axiom last Wednesday with a 3-0 loss to Medford in the opening round of the Division I North Sectional of the MIAA state hockey tournament in Stoneham.
But it also is true that every team that has reached the post season can look back on what otherwise was a successful campaign. That certainly was the case for Coach Eric Naumann and his Crimson Tide skaters in 2011-12, who enjoyed what can only be described as a Cinderella Season in which they reversed more than a decade of oblivion for the EHS hockey program.
“It’s always tough to lose your last game. But all in all, we had a great year,” said Naumann. “For this team to have won 13 games after winning only one game last year is an amazing accomplishment.”
Naumann in particular cited the nucleus of his seniors, led by captains Ryan Considine, C.J. Sylvester, and Brian Ramunno, along with fellow Class of 2012 members Cody Nadeau, Richard Huff, Chris Brienza, Joe Raymond, and Justin Guevara, for instilling a winning attitude and strong work ethic that endured and blossomed from the first week of practice to the final game.
“We had tremendous leadership from our core group of seniors,” said Naumann, who himself contributed mightily to the team’s high spirits with his now famous Mohawk (which is still visible) at the midway mark of the campaign. “This team had great chemistry that created a wonderful experience for every boy on the team. After our game with Medford, we all just sat around and talked for 45 minutes in the locker room. It seemed none of us were ready to accept that the season had ended.”
As for the game, Medford scored two goals in the opening frame on scrambles in front (on the second goal, EHS goalie Vin Sottosanti appeared to have the puck tied up under his glove, but the refs did not blow the whistle to stop play). The Crimson Tide settled down nicely thereafter and with Sottosanti (38 saves) turning in his usual stellar performance, the Everett sextet fought valiantly to get back into the contest.
However, an extra insurance goal by Medford midway through the final frame proved too much for Everett to overcome.
“This team restored pride in Everett hockey,” said Naumann, who noted the strong support from the student body and fans who made the trek to Stoneham for the tourney game. “They established the model for our program for years to come.”
Lady Crimson Tide fall to English in tourney
The Everett High girls basketball team gave it their all for 32 minutes in their opening round contest of the MIAA Division 1 North Sectional of the girls basketball tournament last Tuesday evening at Lynn English. However, the Lady Crimson Tide were unable to overcome a slow start against a second seeded Lynn English squad and came out on the short end of a 58-35 decision.
Everett managed just three points in the opening period (all on free throws by Amanda DeSouza), though a hard nosed defensive effort at the other end kept matters at 9-3 after the initial eight minutes.
Both teams found their scoring touch in the second stanza, with English moving out to a 25-15 advantage at the half. EHS senior captain Tori Cyrus was particularly effective for the Lady Crimson Tide, taking the ball to the hoop to score six of her team’s 12 points in the period.
Everett came out strong after the intermission, slicing the English margin to five points on two occasions. However, key turnovers prevented the Lady Crimson Tide from making it all the way back. English, which has been ranked as one of the top teams in the state for the entire season and is known for its aggressive defense, took full advantage of the opportunities and turned the turnovers into transition baskets.
By the end of the third frame, the English lead had ballooned to 18, 41-23. Still, the Lady Crimson Tide refused to throw in the towel and continued to battle gamely until the final buzzer.
“It was a very frustrating game for us because we had watched two of their games on film and we felt that we were prepared for them,” said EHS head coach Tammy Turner, who noted that the Lady Crimson Tide shut down English’s top scorer, who was the MVP of the Northeastern Conference, limiting her to just six points in the scoring department. “But I’m very proud of the effort the team gave. Every girl played hard right to the very end.”
The senior captaincy trio of Cyrus (13 points), DeSouza (10 points), and Taylor Sweeney (seven points) led Everett in the scoring department in their final game in an EHS uniform. Mimi Febles added three points and Yemi Okhihan hit for two points. Everett played without the services of starter Spressa Ramadani, a key cog for the Lady Crimson Tide all season, who had been sidelined all week with a bug.
Although defeat in the playoffs always is a bittersweet experience, Turner and her crew can look back on what was a successful season in which they qualified for the state tourney for the second time in the past three years.
“We had out ups and downs, but overall we had a good season,” said Turner. “Hopefully this is something that our program can continue to build upon in the years ahead.”
Tigers finish season with 18-4 record
The Pope John High School girls basketball team completed an outstanding season with an appearance in the State Tournament. The No. 2-seeded Tigers defeated Manchester-Essex 42-31 in the first round before falling to New Mission 59-38 in the quarterfinals Monday night in Everett. Pope John finishes its season with an 18-4 record under first-year head coach Shawn Thornton. Six seniors – team captain and Catholic Central League All-Star Shannon Sholds and classmates Kayla Reis, Sammy McConaghy, Melissa Martin, Danielle Martin, and Shara Vu provided excellent leadership. The future looks bright with CCL All-Stars Maggie McCormack, a sophomore, and Dana Jackson, a freshman, returning to the program next season.