Pope John high school Boys Basketball
Photos & Story by Marianne Salza
While the rest of the neighborhood is quiet during an evening snowfall, the Pope John XXIII High School (PJHS) boys basketball team is vigorously practicing in the gym during its February vacation. This dedicated group of students, which trains for several hours every night after school, averages 77 points per game. The Pope John Tigers hold the Catholic Central League Small Division championship title, with a record of 13 wins and one loss.
“It’s a big credit to these guys. They’re having a very good year,” said Head Coach Matt Karakoudas. “As a team, out of the Catholic Central League, Large and Small, we lead the League in scoring points and defense. It’s a good recipe for success.”
Three players on the team, who all average over 20 points a game, are combating for League MVP: Travon Ford, junior, averages 26 points per game; junior, Jonathan Noel averages 22 points per game; and 6’4,” Thaddeus Allen, who plays on the perimeter, is a versatile player on the court.
“They’re all offensively talented and are excellent shooters. They practice hard,” said Karakoudas. “It’s a good group of kids that really love the game.”
For live updates by Coach Karakoudas, game scores, and player statistics, follow the PJHS Boys Basketball Team at www.Twitter.com/PopeJohnTigers.
EHS hockey team concludes season tonight
The Everett High hockey team will wrap up its 2016 regular season this evening when the Crimson Tide take on former long-time Greater Boston League rival Revere on the latter’s home ice at Cronin Rink. Face-off is set for 6:30.
Much is at stake for both teams in the contest. Everett, which stands at 10-9 on the season, will be seeking to finish over the .500 mark. For Revere, which sports a 9-10 record, a berth in the post-season state tournament is on the line, with the Patriots needing a victory in order to have a shot at qualifying for schoolboy hockey’s version of the Frozen Four and play for a state championship at Boston Garden.
The Crimson Tide are coming off a 6-4 loss to Northeast Regional last Wednesday in the championship round of the annual Mulloy Tournament at Allied Veterans Rink.
“We played hard and competed, but penalty trouble hurt us in the third period,” said EHS head coach Jason Lawrence. Four different Crimson Tide skaters, Ray Suppa, Marc Faia, Bryan Bessler and J.J. MacLaughlin, lit the lamp for Everett.
After tonight’s contest, Lawrence and his crew will await word of their seeding and first round opponent in the state tourney, which gets underway next week. The Crimson Tide have punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney both by attaining a .500 record and by having achieved a co-championship of the GBL, Everett’s first GBL title since 1970.
EHS girls hoop awaiting tourney
The Everett High girls basketball team, which already has achieved the best record-ever in EHS girls annals and having captured the first-ever Greater Boston League title in Lady Crimson Tide hoop history, was set to wrap up its regular season this week.
Coach Tammy Turner and her squad were set to host Marblehead last night (Tuesday) and then will host Haverhill in their season finale tomorrow evening (Thursday). The latter contest will be highlighted by Senior Night festivities at which the team members of the Class of 2016 will be honored for their contributions to the EHS girls basketball program.
The Lady Crimson Tide, who have qualified for the post-season state tourney both as GBL champs and for having attained a record over .500, then will await the MIAA’s announcement of their tourney seeding and first round opponent in the high school version of March Madness, which gets underway next week.
The Lady Crimson Tide dropped two contests this past week, 47-42 to Triton and 49-40 to Methuen, in a pair of non-league encounters. It was the EHS squad’s first two-game losing streak of the season. Talia Riccioli scored 14 points in the Methuen game and the duo of Nyomi Dottin and Yasmeen Guerrier scored 12 apiece against Triton.
Everett now stands at 13-5 entering the final two games this week.