Monthly Archives: March 2010

Odena wakes up North All-Stars

South takes boys’ and girls’ All-Star titles

By Justin A. Rice

Osmel Odena rolled out of bed on Saturday before making his way to the Cabot Center for the Boston City Basketball All-Star Classic. Playing for the South All-Stars,  the senior guard from New Mission was asleep the entire game before scoring his first bucket of the night with 16.1 seconds remaining to send the game into overtime.

“I just got out of bed and I was asleep,” Odena said after the 80-79 victory against the North squad.

Trailing 62-50 about halfway through the final quarter, North went on a 12-2 run to go up 70-68 with 33 seconds to play. And when South turned the ball over on consecutive inbound plays, it looked like the game was over. But after North missed a pair of free throws New Mission’s Charles Gunter came down with the rebound for South and was fouled. North rebounded Gunter’s second missed free throw but threw the ball away to Odena, who darted down the lane and used an up-and-under move to tie the game at 70 and ultimately send it into OT.

“I needed that, I needed that,” Odena, who scored four points in overtime, said of his first bucket. “I wanted to win. It wouldn’t have been as much fun if we lost.”

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All-Star preview

Check out the Globe’s preview of tonight’s city’s basketball all-star games at Northeastern University’s Cabot Center. The girls’ game begins at 5 p.m. and the boys play at 7.

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Making the grade

BPS academic coaches put the student in student-athlete

By Justin A. Rice

In December, about 30 members of the Brighton High football team traveled to Franklin High and defeated Tri-County, 8-6, to earn a berth to the MIAA Division 4A Super Bowl against Northeast High at Bentley University.

Report cards were dispatched to parents two days before the big game.

“We came with only 15 players today, we lost a lot of players due to ineligibility,” Brighton senior Kevin DePina said after the 22-12 Super Bowl loss to Northeast. “We had a short team and we still played hard. They predicted we were going to lose 42-18 and it was a close game.

“We only had 15 [today], we came 50 strong in August.”

Each quarter in Boston Public Schools, a rash of ineligibility spreads as soon as report cards hit the streets, a long-standing trend in the district.

But now the fight against academic ineligibility no longer falls on the shoulders of athletic coaches alone. This winter the Boston Scholar Athlete program (BSA) alleviated some of that weight off the shoulders of BPS coaches by providing all 32 boys’ and girls’ varsity basketball teams academic coaches to run study halls, collect progress reports and monitor the student-athletes’ overall classroom performance.

“Without her none of us would make the team, she really helps,” English high senior forward Rashad Paultau said of his academic coach Rene Patten. “Without academic coaches it’s hard to stay on track and motivated. If she wasn’t there most of the team would’ve failed off the team.

“I noticed this year we really worked together, we helped each other academically and helped each other say on the team.”

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BPS coaching vacancies

Several BPS coaching vacancies are currently avaible. Click here for more info.  The application deadline is March 26.

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Madison Park falls short

Central Catholic ends Cardinals run

By Jamie Rosa and Justin A. Rice

With 30 seconds left in Monday night’s EMass Final, Madison Park trailed Central Catholic by 10 points when the Cardinals’ coach Dennis Wilson walked down his bench and shook each and every one of his players hands, thanking them for the magical run that was the longest in program history.

Check out Patrick O’Connor’ s slide show

“That was about thanking them for the season, thanking them for the love that we have for each other and thanking them for all of the love and joy that they brought to me and this school and this community,” Wilson said after the 59-50 loss at TD Garden.

“These guys don’t just represent Madison Park they represent Boston and I think we represented them in a fine fashion.”

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Mission accomplished

Titans defeat Cathedral High to win first state title

By Justin A. Rice

With about 1 minute and 15 seconds remaining in the Division 4 state championship boys’ basketball game on Monday afternoon at TD Garden, members of the New Mission girls’ basketball team started chanting “Cory, Cory, Cory, Cory!”

Check out Patrick O’Connor’s slide show

“Cory,” is the Titans boys’ coach Cory McCarthy, who led the girls program to their first ever state crown in 2007.

“Those were my girls in 2007,” McCarthy said after duplicating the feat by coaching the boys’ team to its first ever state championship by beating Cathedral High, 75-47, on Monday afternoon. It was great.

“New Mission High kids, I always tell people when I go on the train and when I go in public you can always pick out New Mission kids. Not because they’re the loudest but because they are usually the most well spoken, are aware of their surroundings and can have a conversation with anybody. This is for New Mission.”

When the previous boys’ coach left a team that was the doormat of the City League from its inception, McCarthy figured it was easier to take over the boys’ program himself and find a new girls’ coach.

But despite the fact that McCarthy is also New Mission’s Dean of Students, he still had to earn the boys’ trust.

“Corey coming in as a girls coach, I was thinking ‘He knows nothing about boys’ basketball,’” junior guard Samir McDaniels said after scoring 17 points against Cathedral on Monday. “So it was kind of hard for us to trust him. Girls’ basketball is a totally different story to be honest.

“Honestly, it took a couple practices and a couple games for him to show us he knows what he’s talking about, what he shows us actually works. We learned to trust each other. We became a family.”

Taking over the program last season, the easiest way for McCarthy to prove he knew what he was doing in those early days was to tell his players he’s coached on the famed parquet.

By the time they lost in the quarterfinals of the state tournament last season, McCarthy had well won over his new guys.

“We didn’t practice hard last year because they were still feeling me out, ‘Do I want to play for this guy, he thinks I’m a tough guy,’” McCarthy said. “Once they found out how much I loved them it changed. There’s a lot of love in that locker room.

“Thank you guys for allowing me to prove that I’m not a liar. This is where they want to be, they’re in awe of this place. I’m in awe of this place, in absolute awe of this place.”

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New Mission boys advance to Division 4 State Title Game

By Patrick E. O’Connor

The New Mission boys’ basketball team are off to the Division 4 state title game on Monday at the TD Banknorth Garden and will meet up with the Cathedral High Panthers. The Titans, led by Cory McCarthy, decisively defeated the Winthrop Vikings on Saturday, 70-38, at Emmanuel College.

Check out a slide show of New Mission photos

Right from the start, the Titans were up by nine  and ended the first period 19-8.  At halftime, the Titans were comfortably ahead 34-14 and looking for more as the game resumed.  Junior Samir McDaniels had a game-high with 19 points and the 1000th of his career in the third.  Ousamane Drame and Kachi Mzerem each contributed 10 points.  At the conclusion of the game, the tall Titans were presented their Division 4 North section trophy.  The Titans are now 22-1 and will face Cathedral (19-5).  The Panthers are hot too, defeating Westport on Saturday at Umass Boston by a score of 66-49.


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Madison Park dances to victory

Cardinals blow past Mansfield for first sectional title since 1982

By Jamie Rosa and Justin A. Rice

The Madison Park boys’ basketball team won its first South Sectional title since 1982 on Friday night, defeating Mansfield High 72-60 at TD Garden.

“I’m so much more happy for them, they worked for this since March,” Madison Park coach Dennis Wilson said after coaching his first game at the Garden. “We got three honor roll students and we all get along. They deserve all the accolades and the praise that they get.”

Senior center David Campbell led the way for the top-ranked Cardinals (22-1) with a game-high 29 points while senior guard Spencer Braithwaite contributed 19 points.

“I knew I had to catch it off the rebound, go right up and throw it right up,” Campbell said.

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New Mission headed to first sectional finals

Titans take out Snowden

The New Mission boys’ basketball team defeated Snowden 85-57 on Wednesday night to advance to its first ever  Division 4 North sectional finals.

The top-seeded Titans (21-2) will play No. 2 Winthrop (21-3) at noon on Saturday at Emmanuel College.

Samir McDaniels scored 20 points on Wednesday night and added 11 rebounds for New Mission while Kachi Nzerem had 18 points and 11 boards.

“It’s crazy we’ve come so far,” New Mission coach Corey McCarthy said in an email. “Plus, we have never beaten Winthrop.”

Winthrop beat Manchester-Essex on Wednesday night, 51-36.

New Mission lost to East Boston earlier this season at Emmanuel College.

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Cardinals in the Garden

Madison Park beats Brockton in OT

By Jamie Rosa
BPSsports.com Correspondent

DORCHESTER — Four quarters wasn’t enough to decide this one as top-seeded Madison Park gave up a 19-point halftime edge before holding on to defeat No. 4 Brockton on Tuesday night in the Division 1 South semifinals.

Check out Patrick O’Connor’s slide show from the game.

Senior center David Campbell collected a game-high 20 points along with 11 rebounds in the Cardinals 77-72 overtime victory at BC High — sending Madison Park to Friday night’s North sectional finals against Mansfield at TD Garden.

“I knew it had to come down to me, I had to hit my shots and layups,” said the 6-foot-5-inch senior with a big smile on his face. “First half I wasn’t into the game but I kept playing. Second half I stepped it up and started to hit some buckets.”

Madison Park (20-1) began overtime on a 10-0 run only to watch the Boxers responded with a 9-0 run of their own. Led by senior guard Kyle Houston’s clutch free throws  the Boxer’s got within one, 73-72, with 41.6 seconds to play.

But Madison Park was also clutch from the line in the final moments, going 4-for-4 from the stripe as senior guard Tyler Tettus’ free throws put the Cardinals up 75-72 with 38.1 to play. Senior guard Kevin Stokes also knocked down a pair to ice the game with 10.1 remaining.

“We played like warriors,” MP coach Denis Wilson said. “I’m on top of cloud nine right now, I’m just overjoyed. … I’m so proud of my kids. We found a way to win, blood and guts, MP character, MP pride.”

Trailing 41-22 at the break, the Boxers (17-4) scratched and clawed their way back into the game. A pair of free throws by senior guard Leonardo Medina tied the game 61-61 with 48.5 seconds left. Two Madison Park turnovers on consecutive possessions gave Brockton a chance to win it but Medina’s pull up jumper rimmed out as time expired.

“These kids deserve to go to the Garden,” Wilson said. “This was a goal of ours and it started in March.”

Jamie Rosa is a junior football player at South Boston High. He can be reached at biglui14@gmail.com.

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