Everett bests Charlestown in tourney opener
Zidor, Boyce, power Tide to 68-61 victory
By Cary Shuman
Everett basketball coach John DiBiaso couldn’t have asked for a better start to Saturday’s MIAA State Tournament game versus Charlestown.
Jordan McAfee hit two three-pointers, Ghared Boyce had one three-pointer, and Donnell Skeen had a basket as the Tide roared to an 11-0 lead.
But the Townies regrouped quickly and turned a potential rout in to a barnburner. Everett’s Theo Zidor ( points, 10 rebounds) Ghared Boyce (23 points) Jordan McAfee (16 points) and Josh Leaston utltimately provided the heroics that helped the Tide pull away to a 68-61 victory in the Division 1 North sectional quarterfinals.
Everett (18-3) was set to play No. 2 seed Lowell (19-2) in the North semifinals Wednesday night in Beverly.
Zidor, a 6-foot-6-inch junior whose last-minute touchdown reception (from McAfee) helped Everett topple Peabody in a memorable football comeback victory, once again showed a flair for the dramatic. Zidor made a key defensive play when he stood his ground and took an offensive charge from Charlestown junior Keywan Platt, which resulted in Platt’s fifth foul and his exit from the game. Interestingly Zidor had been in four trouble himself in the second half, having picked up his fourth foul with 4:29 left in the third quarter.
McAfee was red hot in the first half, hitting his first five shots. The 6-foot-4-inch junior also had a clutch hoop in the fourth quarter. Leaston, the Tide’s senior point guard, had two huge three-pointers in the third quarter.
Boyce, who averaged a sizzling 29 points a game this season, submitted another solid all-around performance. Arlind Sheu, a 6-foot-3-inch junior, was a standout off the bench with a nifty finish on a fast break in addition to grabbing five rebounds.
“I thought we let up a little bit at times and we got in foul trouble, but I was happy with the result,” said DiBiaso. “Lowell will be a big test for us. We’ve been to the semifinals four years in a row and we’d like to get over the hump.”
EHS girls basketball falls in state tourney
The Everett High girls basketball team came out on the short end of a 56-43 decision to Waltham Thursday in a first-round contest of the Division 1 North sectional of the MIAA state tournament that was played at the EHS gym. Everett came into the game as the sixth seed in the D-1 North with a 14-6 record. Waltham was the 11th seed with a 12-8 mark among the 15 teams that qualified for the North sectional.
A cold-shooting second period proved fatal for the Lady Crimson Tide. After the teams had battled to a closely-fought, 13-11 opening period in Waltham’s favor, the proverbial lid seemed to enclose the EHS basket in the second stanza. Waltham outscored Everett 16-7 in the frame to take a 29-18 advantage into the intermission.
“We had great ball movement and grabbed a lot of offensive rebounds that created what should have been some easy scoring opportunities for us,” said EHS head coach Tammy Turner. “But the ball just wouldn’t fall for us.”
The Lady Crimson Tide increased their offensive output in the second half, but were matched by a hot-shooting Waltham squad that hit many unlikely baskets that kept Everett at arms-length.
The Lady Crimson Tide managed to get as close as six points in the fourth period, energizing the hometown crowd, but were unable to sustain their momentum.
RHS senior captain Talia Riccioli, a candidate for Most Valuable Player honors in the Greater Boston League, ended her superb EHS career in fine style with 18 points. Yaz Guerrier reached double figures with 11 points, followed by Nyomi Dottin with eight points and Haley Powers with six. Turner also praised the play of senior Paige Fialho, whose defensive intensity (three steals in the first half) proved to be a thorn in Waltham’s side throughout the game.
Although the tourney loss brought a disappointing conclusion to the 2016 season, Turner noted that her team had a lot to be proud of. “It’s always tough to end your season with a loss in the state tourney. We had high hopes of making a run in the post-season.
“But in retrospect, we had a great season,” said Turner, whose squad was undefeated in the Greater Boston League — earning the Lady Crimson Tide what is believed to be the first-ever GBL title for an Everett girls basketball squad — and finishing with a 14-7 season, the best-ever in EHS girls hoop annals. “This was a great group of girls who accomplished things that never had been done before by an Everett High girls basketball team.”
EHS hockey team drops tourney opener
The Everett High hockey team dropped an 8-2 decision to North Reading last Tuesday evening in an opening round contest of the MIAA Division 2 North sectional of the state hockey tournament in Woburn.
The Crimson Tide entered the tourney as the number 15 seed in the D-2 North with a 10-10 record. No. Reading was the #2 seed with a 13-4-3 mark.
Marc Faia and Ray Suppa scored the goals for Everett.
“Overall, it was a great season for the team,” said EHS head coach Jason Lawrence of his Crimson Tide’s 2016 campaign in which Everett won a share of the Greater Boston League championship for the Tide’s first GBL title since 1970. After a slow start to the season, Everett won seven of eight games during a stretch of the second half of the campaign, including a big win over GBL rival Medford, to achieve a earn a share of the GBL crown and earn a ticket for a Journey to the Tourney.
“We had great team leadership and work ethic that led to a memorable season,” added Lawrence.