Sports 03-01-2018

CHS basketball team ousted by Waltham in State Tournament

By Cary Shuman

The Chelsea High School boys basketball team fell way behind in the first quarter and though it played considerably better basketball over the next three quarters, Waltham left the Saul Nechtem Gymnasium with a 60-45 victory in a Division 1 North opening round game Monday night.

The visiting Hawks from the Dual County League scored the first 18 points of the game before the Red Devils became accustomed to their opponents’ full-court defensive pressure and scored six of the last eight points of the quarter to close the gap to 20-6.

Junior guard Werner Maziereigos, who was Chelsea’s leading scorer with 17 points, launched his team’s spirited, uphill fight as the Red Devils began to slice away the large deficit. Two free throws by sophomore Armani Cheek brought Chelsea to within 28-17 at the midpoint of the second quarter.

Senior captain Kris Torres also began to find the range at the offensive end, draining two three-pointers in a solid 13-point effort. A three-pointer by Torres helped Chelsea climb within striking distance at 35-23 in the third quarter.

But Waltham (16-5), an experienced team with nine seniors, seized control early in the fourth quarter and held off the Red Devils to earn a convincing victory.

Senior Franklin Cruz and sophomore Armani Cheek each finished with four points. Calvin Ware and CJ Moore-Perkins each had two points.

Waltham coach Mike Wilder said coming into the game he was aware of Chelsea’s excellent regular season record (16-6) and its ability to create offense in transition.

“I was concerned about Chelsea’s athleticism, and I know they like to get up and down the floor,” said Wilder. “I think our big lead early deflated them at home. Chelsea found its groove a little bit, and they fought back in to the game, and then we opened the second half strong again, and that was the difference.”

Chelsea was playing its first Division 1 opponent of the season and it was a difficult assignment under the glare of the tourney spotlight.

“It was tough to fall behind like that in the first quarter but we had prepared for this pressure but unfortunately when the lights are on, it’s a bit more realistic and the pressure got to us in our home gym,” said Jackson. “We were never able to recover from that. I thought we moved the ball well, but this game takes a level of sacrifice that we did not commit to tonight.”

Despite the first-round loss, it was a successful season from every standpoint as Jackson and his coaching staff moved the program forward with 16 wins while earning a high seed in the tournament that guaranteed Chelsea an opening-round home game.

“It was definitely a successful season,” said Jackson. “You hate to see your season end this way. We have been in this situation before and we thought this was the time we would get over that [first round] hump, but unfortunately we didn’t do it this time, but there’s always next season.”

Interestingly had Chelsea defeated Waltham, there was a very good chance that the Red Devils were going to play next at Everett High – the alma mater of Judah Jackson and assistant coach Ross Pietrantonio – who were both superstar athletes for the Crimson Tide.

“It would have been good to go back home and play that game but we didn’t make it there,” said Jackson.

RED DEVIL NOTEBOOK

Franklin Cruz, Kris Torres, and Tom Thompson were selected to the Commonwealth Conference All-Star Team.

Five Chelsea seniors were playing their final high school game: Kris Torres, Franklin Cruz, Ellinson Cruz, Lugman Shariff, and Tom Thompson.

                  One of the returning players is 6-foot-9-inch junior center CJ Moore, who has improved his game under the guidance of coach Jackson and looms large in the program’s immediate future. Werner Maziereigos, Jose Guitierrez, Bryan Sanches Torres, Ryan Sanchez Torres, Calvin Ware, and Armani Cheek also return for the Red Devils.

A large crowd of Chelsea fans turned out for the game and rooted on the Red Devils with fervor, including an enthusiastic “Let’s Go Chelsea” cheer.

The exciting atmosphere in the gym brought back memories of the great run by the Red Devils in the mid-to-late 1970s and early 1980s when Dave Molloy, Richard Zaluski, Jay Ash, Dom LaMarra Dave Batchelor, Dave Rudolph, Craig Walker, Jeff Hagan, Joe Mullaney, John Martin, Darren Cromwell, Darren Moore, and others made Chelsea a formidable tournament contender. In the late 1980s, such standouts as Richie Harris, Nestor Lopez, Joseph Smith, Roy Valentin, John Saunders, and Chris Jones brought the school its final GBL title.

The CHS cheerleading team, led by coach Colleen Gillis, did an excellent job leading the crowd that included many CHS students who were present in what was a wonderful display of school spirit.

There was an outstanding presence by Chelsea Police at the game. Chelsea Police officers were visible at courtside and there were no incidents during the game. Fans on both sides were well behaved and respectful of the players on the court.  Chelsea Police escorted the Waltham team to the bus and the Hawks’ coaches and players were clearly appreciative of the extra effort.

CHS director of athletics Amanda Alpert had the rosters for both teams available at the entrance, which is always a plus for fans and any college scouts in attendance.

Former CHS director of athletics Frank DePatto, a member of the Chelsea School Committee, was on hand for the game. Also seen in the crowd were Council President Damali Vidot, Councilor-at-Large Leo Robinson, District 7 Councillor Yamir Rodriguez, School Committee members Richard Maronski and Julio Hernandez, and Executive Director for Administration and Finance Gerald McCue. Former CHS hoopster and Hall of Fame candlepin bowler Richie “Hawk” Halas was also at the game.

CHS Roundup

Simon wins medal at all-states; moves on to New Englands

Chelsea High indoor track star Stephanie Simon had another big day at the MIAA All-State Championship this past Saturday.  The sophomore finished sixth in the high jump with a personal best mark of 5′-4.”

The meet is the combination of the best performers of athletes from all divisions, which means that Stephanie ranks as the sixth-best high jumper in Massachusetts this year.

Simon’s accomplishment marks the highest-finish ever for the Chelsea girls’ program. It has been over 10 years since a boy achieved this feat.

Stephanie now moves on to the New England Championship that will be held at the Reggie Lewis Track center this coming Saturday.

“Stephanie has worked so hard late in the season to be ready for this and is peaking at the right time,” said CHS head coach Mark Martineau. “Who knows what her ceiling will be?”

Two weeks ago at the MIAA Division 2 championships at the Reggie Lewis Center the Chelsea girls turned in some fine performances.

The 4 x 200m relay quartet of Isha Osman, Ana Chang, Stephanie Simon, and Martine Simon ran a season’s best of 1:50.88 to finish 12th.

Stephanie Simon had a career day in the high jump, clearing a personal record (PR)  of 5’2″ to finish fifth, which qualified her to move on to the MIAA All State Championship.

The star of the day for the Lady Red Devils was senior Martine Simon, who capped off an amazing indoor career with a pair of medal-winning performances, a sixth-place finish in the long jump with a leap of 16′-4″ and a seventh-place finish in the 55 meter dash with a sprint of 7.61.

“Martine was strong in both events,” said Martineau. “She will be greatly missed next year, though we still will have her in the spring.”

Bruins Beat

 by Bob Morello

Bruins make roster moves

The Bruins proved over the last week that they were not content to stand by and hope that the roster they had will continue to chalk up the points as they head to the playoffs. With a two-game losing streak under their belt, the Bruins’ GM Don Sweeney had already been working the phones in an attempt to strengthen the team as they head down the stretch. Sweeney took a shot at trading for one of the major prizes available, and successfully landed the highly touted Rick Nash from the New York Rangers. The price was fair, and included sending, forwards Ryan Spooner and Matt Beleskey, defensive prospect Ryan Lindgren and a pair of picks (2018 first-round pick and 2019 seventh-round conditional pick) to New York.

The 6’ 4” Nash, a six-time All-Star, with two Olympic gold medals to his credit, carries a solid 211-pound frame, and is fully capable of creating space for his line mates, as he showed during his work with David Krejci’s line He wasted little time showing his assets in his second game as a Bruin, notching his first goal in Tuesday nights win 4-3 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes. While Spooner had shown signs of brilliance during his career in Boston, it wasn’t enough to make him indispensable. Beleskey on the other hand was a major disappointment after signing a sizeable contract with Boston; he failed to produce in a way to justify the amount. Bruins prospect Lindgren was a second round draft pick (49th overall) from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, a product of the University of Minnesota.

Earlier in the week Sweeney had obtained, also from the New York Rangers, defenseman Nick Holden, another good-sized player carrying 214-pound frame on a 6’ 4” body. Holden showed his capabilities alongside Rangers defenseman Ryan McDonagh as part of New York’s top pairing. In return the Rangers received Providence Bruins defenseman Rob O’Gara and a 2018 third-round draft pick. Sweeney’s shopping cart was just beginning to fill, as his next move was to trade a conditional 2019 fifth-round pick to the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for Tommy Wingels, a six-foot, 200-pound center. Wingels also managed to quickly find his way to the scoresheet on Tuesday, hitting the back of the Hurricanes’ net with his first goal as a Bruin, plus an assist.

Sweeney also provided the Bs with some additional depth by signing veteran forward Brian Gionta to a one-year, one-way $700,000 contract for the remainder of the 2017-18 season. Gionta was recently center stage at the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeonchang, South Korea, serving at Captain for Team USA, and has performed for NHL’s Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils. His impressive college career played out at Boston College finishing up as BC’s all-time leading scorer with 123 goals and 109 assists (232 points), and was a three-time Hobey Baker Award finalist. Boston made room on their roster by swapping forward Frank Vatrano to the Florida Panthers for their 2018 third-round draft pick.

Amidst all the excitement of the new acquisitions was the disappointing injury report that Patrice Bergeron will be out with a fractured right foot and will be evaluated in two weeks. Bergeron was injured while blocking a shot during the team’s game in Toronto this past Saturday. An x-ray showed negative, and Bergeron played through the pain the following day versus the Buffalo Sabres. A secondary, more definitive CT scan on Monday showed a small fracture in the foot. The fact, that his foot will need to be evaluated in two weeks, often leads to the concern that the injury may likely lead to a more extensive time regarding his loss to the team. Sweeney’s recent additions to the current roster could definitely be a factor in Boston’s ability to deal with the loss of Bergeron. The Bruins also suffered the services of rookie Anders Bjork, who underwent left shoulder arthroscopy and labral repair (February 20), and his expected recovery time is approximately six months.

The Bruins continue their six-game homestand tonight (Thursday at 7:00 p.m.) as they host the Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins who are riding a two-game losing streak, but will be without All-Star goaltender Matt Murray, out with a concussion.  Next up will be a rare 5:00pm start on Saturday with the Montreal Canadiens, a Tuesday 7:00 p.m. contest with the Detroit Red Wings, the latter two teams in the role of ‘spoilers.’ Next Thursday night’s contest on Garden ice, will have the suddenly streaking, (9-0-1 last 10 games) Philadelphia Flyers, currently battling with the Washington Capitals and the Penguins for the top spot in the Metropolitan Division.

The Bruins recently announced that current Season Ticket holders, who hold season tickets for personal use, are now able to renew their Season Tickets for the 2018-19 NHL season. Having seen no price increase for the past two seasons, this group will see a slight increase as compared to the 2017-18 prices. The Bruins are committed to offering their fan base the greatest savings, with pricing on average of 47% below single game box office pricing. The range of Season Ticket Holder renewal prices will be: Loge Seas: $98-$164 per game, and Balcony Seat pricing: $52-$113 per game.

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