Red Devils await tourney announcement
The Chelsea High boys basketball team ended the regular season on a winning note with a 54-36 triumph at Greater Lawrence Monday.
The Red Devils jumped to an early lead at the outset and led all the way. Chelsea held advantages of 16-8 after the first quarter, 26-15 at the half, and 44-29 after three periods en route to the victory.
“We played a solid game from start to finish,” said CHS head coach Jay Seigal, whose team led by margins that ebbed and flowed in the range of 9-15 points throughout the contest.
Pivotman Jahro Marshall led the Red Devils with 14 points and pulled down rebounds in the double figures. “Jahro has really come on for us since the beginning of the year,” said Seigal. “He has improved tremendously as the season has progressed.”
Steve Lacey hit for 13 points and Angel Alvarez added 10. Chris Torrez contributed six points, all in the opening period, before being forced to leave the game early in the third frame after suffering what later was revealed to be a broken nose.
Other point scorers for the Red Devils were Balmeiro Daveiga with five points and the trio of Guillermo Zelata, Mohamed Ghell, and Werner Mazariegos with two points apiece.
The victory left Chelsea with an 11-9 record as they now await word from the MIAA of their seeding and opening-round pairing in the Division 2 North Sectional of the state basketball tournament.
Last Thursday the Red Devils played well in a 59-56 loss in overtime to Melrose on Senior Night. Chelsea led 10-8 after one period and 28-20 at the half, but Melrose crept back to tie in regulation.
Alvarez paced the Red Devils with 13 points and Marshall and Lacey reached double figures with 10 points apiece. Zelata scored eight points, Torrez chipped in six, Mazariegos added five, and Ralph Otero struck for four.
The contest was marred by controversy because of a discrepancy in the official scoring, which appeared to have added two points late in the game to the Melrose total.
Despite the loss, which at the time was the Red Devils’ third defeat in a row by a total of seven points, Seigal was pleased with his team’s performance.
“We had lost by almost 30 points to Melrose when we played them at their place earlier in the season,” said Seigal. “The fact that this was a game we could have won shows how much we’ve improved since then. We played three quality opponents — Greater Lowell, Mystic Valley, and Melrose — and lost by very close margins at the end of the game. Hopefully, we’ll keep up this strong level of play in the tournament and these close games will have been good learning experiences for us.”
Seigal and his crew, who punched their ticket for a Journey to the Tourney two weeks ago when they defeated Revere for their 10th victory of the season that assured them a .500 record, should learn of when they will undertake their role in the schoolboy version of March Madness this weekend.
Chelsea appears to be in line to host a preliminary round game that most likely will be played Monday or Tuesday.
Bruins Beat by Bob Morello
Bruins seeking solution
Let’s go through some of the list that refers to ‘home:’ “Home is where the heart is.” “There’s no place like home.” “You can’t beat home cooking,” and finally “Home, Sweet, Home!” Well, that obviously is not the case of the Bruins home record. Sixty games into the season, with half of them contested on Garden ice, the Bruins have played like the Garden ice has melted! Their inability to pick up more than 27 of 60 points available (12-15-3) starts to bring back those awful memories from last season when they were knocked out of the playoffs, and a wild card spot, by a mere two points, finishing behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, the same team they played last night (Wednesday) on Garden ice as the Record went to press.
One more win, two more overtime victories, either could have made a big difference. During the early part of last season, it all seemed so minimal to be concerned about the difference an overtime win would have made, or suffering through a blown third period lead to lose a game in overtime – and a point. Those memories come roaring back when you add up the numbers and the bottom line shows that at this point, this season the Bruins have not been a threat to opposing teams when playing at home. On the road it has been a completely different story this season, with Boston picking up 43 of 60 available 30 game points (20-7-3).
With the Bs hosting five of their next six game at the Garden, this stretch could be a difference-maker as to whether this season will be a disappointing repeat of missing the playoffs. Looking at the remaining games left on Boston’s schedule, the good news is that they play 11 more games on the road – the bad news is they also play 11 more games at home! No Bruins player would use the excuse of fatigue following their lengthy road trip, rather to the contrary, as the comments following the game indicated. Loui Eriksson, who scored a pair of goals in Monday night’s 6-4 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets was quick to admit, that losing at home was not acceptable. “It’s tough. Definitely we want to win when you come home and play in front of your fans, and we’re not playing like we should. I think we play a much better game style when we’re on the road. We just keep it simple and we’re playing hard and not giving that many chances to the other teams. It was another disappointing game to give up as many goals as we did and losing like we did.” Matt Beleskey, who also chipped in a pair, echoed Eriksson’s thoughts with, “I just think we had some lapses that killed us. We had four goals that were four-on-twos and just kind of some mental errors and they (Blue Jackets) capitalized.” When asked about the team having such a problem winning at home Beleskey commented, “It is hard to understand why it’s happening. I don’t know, I think we’re playing hard in front of the fans here. We’re just… maybe we’re not as focused or something. It’s no excuse; we need to be better at home for our fans.”
If the Bruins posted a victory last night (Wednesday) in their game with the Penguins, it would have given them a chance to widen the gap between the two teams to four points – with Pittsburgh still having two games in hand. In addition, those same two points would have jumped Boston over the Detroit Red Wings and the New York Islanders into a fourth place tie with Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference standings. Clearly, the extremely tight standings in the Eastern Conference shows just how a single point or loss can make a major difference as to whether a team makes the playoffs or not!
On Friday (2/26), the Bruins will be hosted by the Carolina Hurricanes in a brief one-game road trip, before returning to the Garden to open a four-game homestand that will have them facing the Lighting (Sunday, 2/28 at 6:30pm), the Calgary Flames (Tuesday, 2/28 at 7:00pm), the Chicago Blackhawks (Thursday, 3/3 at 7:00pm), and the Washington Capitals (Saturday, 3/5 at 7:00pm).
Could this be a problem that changes in personnel can correct? That answer will be forthcoming one way or another in the next few days, with the NHL Trade Deadline set for Monday, February 29th. Maybe that one extra day onduring the month of February will be enough extra time for a resolution to this ongoing matter of concern to the Boston Bruins.