Monthly Archives: December 2011

New Mission outpaced by St. Anthony

DORCHESTER — New Mission High’s night against defending national champions St. Anthony tonight was so rough that the Titans didn’t collect a basket in the second quarter until after the Friars famed coach Bob Hurley was called for a technical with 54 seconds left in the half.

Junior guard Leroy Hamilton sank the technical foul shots to send the defending MIAA Division 2 state champs to the locker room down 30-9 at the break. And the margin only grew deeper from there as the Titans lost 68-25 in the Shooting Touch Shootout at the Kroc Center in Dorchester.

“We were in awe of them,” New Mission coach Corry McCarthy said. “If you’re from the city you’re not supposed to be in awe of anybody. The mayor could walk down the street and I’d look at him and I’ll give him a ‘Hey what’s up?’ I won’t take his picture. And we were ready to take pictures. You can’t fall in love with what they do. We have to do what we do.

“We looked like a JV basketball team today. That’s not indicative of our talent. That’s not indicative of the character of our kids. It’s not Division 2 high school basketball and when you stop playing Division 2 high school basketball you get in trouble.”

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New Mission set to play St. Anthony tonight

Defending MIAA Division 2 state champion New Mission will play Jersey City, N.J. powerhouse and defending national champion St. Anthony in tonight’s inaugural Shooting Touch Shootout.

The game is at 6:30 p.m.  at the Kroc Center in Dorchester.

St. Anthony is led by legendary Naismith Hall of Fame Coach Bob Hurley. Easton Boston is also in the tournament along with  Archbishop Carroll, Hudson Catholic,  Bishop Loughlin, Amityville and Roman Catholic High School.

“We wanted to bring back a city pride type of tournament and display one of America’s most prominent showcases for high school basketball,” Justin Kittredge, Tournament Director and President of Shooting Touch, Inc. said in a statement. “The Shooting Touch Shootout will be a yearly tradition, it is here to stay.”

All tournament proceeds go back towards The Shooting Touch Sabbatical Program.  Referred to as “The Basketball Peace Corps”, Shooting Touch grants graduating college seniors the opportunity to travel the world and partake in a 10-month international work program using the platform of basketball to help foster education and influence positive social change in third world communities.

Here’s the tournament schedule:
Wednesday, December 28th
Archbishop Carroll (PA) vs. Hudson Catholic (N.J.), noon
Bishop Loughlin( NY) vs. East Boston, 2:00pm
Amityville (NY) vs. Roman Catholic (PA), 4:00pm
St.Anthony (NJ) vs. New Mission, 6:30pm

Thursday, December 29th
Loser of NY/MA vs. Loser of PA/NJ, 12:30pm
Winner of NY/MA vs. Winner of PA/NJ, 2:30pm
Loser of NJ/MA vs. Loser of NY/PA , 4:30pm
Winner of NJ/MA vs. Winner of NY/PA, 6:30pm

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English earns Brighton’s respect

The following is the second in a series of blog posts about English High’s basketball team and the school’s efforts to hold their athletes to higher academic standards. The posts are a follow up to the Boston Globe Magazine story I wrote about the school increasing its eligibility threshold for athletes to a district-high 2.5 GPA.

By Justin A. Rice

JAMAICA PLAIN — As English High took the floor for its first City League game of the season against Brighton High on Tuesday night, Jacko Tate sat in the first row of the bleachers with a while Red Sox hat on and a Hollister hoody that covered another powder blue hoody.

“Yo Jacko why aren’t you playing?” someone yelled from a few rows up.

“I have a 2.4,” the senior replied sheepishly before an assistant coach put an arm around his shoulder and whispered a few words of encouragement.

“Most likely, second term I will be playing,” the 17-year-old Dorchester resident reassures the coach.

A 2.4 GPA would be good enough to play for any other basketball team in Boston Public Schools, where all but a few schools require athletes to have a 1.67 to play. As part of a broader plan to create a culture of achievement in the school, English High increased its standards to a 2.0 two years ago, a 2.2 last year and a 2.5 this year. Tate has not been eligible to play basketball since his freshman year when the school still used the 1.67 threshold.

“That’s when I was a child basically, that’s when I was little,” Tate told me just before the game starts when I asked if he made the 2.0 requirement as a sophomore. “When I came in as a freshman I had a 4.0. But when I became a sophomore I started hanging around the wrong people, which brought my grades down, so I didn’t get the GPA requirements. So  I didn’t play.

“It’s all about a challenge so I’d rather face a challenge than run away from a challenge.  That’s one of the things coach [Barry Robinson] told me to do: ‘Always face a challenge instead of running away from a challenge.’ The GPA requirement is tough but it’s really what you make it. If you want to make it hard on yourself don’t come to school, don’t’ do your work but in order to get it you have to come do your work, pay attention in class, stay out of trouble. … If it wasn’t for basketball I honestly don’t think I would be coming to school.”

Tate is English’s biggest cheerleader as English battles Brighton, a team that beat the Blue & Blue by 46 points in their first meeting last year. Brighton—who has five players over 6-feet-2-inches compared to an English squad that is basically all 6-feet and under—lost to eventual state champion New Mission in the Division 2 North title game last year.

English is not only trying to avenge last year’s loss but they also felt disrespected by the fact that Brighton didn’t scout English’s season opening victory against a team from Australia last Friday.

Brighton’s respect was won after they struggled to move the ball up the court against English’s press and, after a furious pace, went into the locker room tied 37 with English at halftime.

“It’s going to come down to who wants this game,” Robinson, or Coach Rob, told his team at halftime. “You already got their respect. Respect is off the table right now, you already got their respect. They know you ain’t going away and you came to play. It’s going to come down to what you got.”

After Brighton takes a 42-39 lead early in the second half, Tate started the crowd in a “Let’s go English” chant as he stomps his feat on the bleachers.

“Yo can we get a ‘D-fense’ chant?” he shouts when Brighton scores again.

Just then English senior co-captain Tyrone Williams grabbed a tough rebound in the paint and puts it back for two to trail 44-42 with 5:57 seconds left in the quarter. On the other end of the court Williams draws a charge and the crowd goes crazy.

English’s press forced a Brighton turnover that results in a 3-pointer from freshman point guard Stanley Davis to give English its third and final lead of the game, 45-44. The Bengals rip off a 6-0 run to take a 55-53 lead after three quarters.

Brighton opened the fourth quarter in a 3-2 defensive zone that befuddled English. English didn’t score a basket for the first three minutes of the quarter. When English finally scored they were trailing 63-55 with 4:56 left in the game.

With 4:48 remaining, Davis failed to convert the free throw on a potential 3-point-play that would’ve put English down five. Starting with Dwayne Harper’s free throws with 4:19 left, Brighton closed out the game with a 14-3 run to collect the 77-60 victory.

Afterwards, Brighton coach, Hugh Coleman, admitted that his team might’ve taken English for granted.

“In the history of English, they played hard and they are well coached and they are smart,” Coleman said. “Our guys, a little nervous, playing with not good basketball IQ and that’s the reason why we were a little rusty.  … In some ways they might’ve underestimated English just a little bit because that’s just how kids get. We come off a great season but it’s a whole different team.  These guys don’t realize from year to year you can’t live off the past.”

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Making the grade at English

The following is the first in a series of blog posts about English High’s basketball team and the school’s efforts to hold their athletes to higher academic standards. The posts are a follow up to the Boston Globe Magazine story I wrote about the school increasing its eligibility threshold for athletes to a district-high 2.5 GPA. The majority of the athletes in the city can play with a 1.67 GPA. English opens its season today at 5 p.m.versus a team from Sydney Australia.

By Justin A. Rice

On the Monday after Thanksgiving, 13 basketball players are crammed into Room 222 in Boston English High School. Some are doing homework while others are chatting, reading a high school sports magazine or listening to music through headphones.

“I don’t see you doing work, if you’re in here I need you doing something,” said Marissa Rodriquez, who runs school’s academic resource room for athletes (known as an Academic Zone) funded by the Boston Scholar Athlete Program.

“If you are going to talk leave the Zone,” one played pleaded as Rodriquez left to check on other teams in the Zone.

It’s not just the first official day of basketball tryouts but it was also the day report cards were mailed home to parents. The final rung on English High’s three-year progressive plan to hold its athletes to higher academic standards was put in place at the start of the semester and today is judgment day.

Of the 55 kids who signed up for basketball, 32 of them reached the new academic standard (a 2.5 GPA) needed to play this winter.

“They said we couldn’t do it, we did it,” senior captain Tyrone Williams said a few weeks earlier on the last day of the marking period. “When we come out this year we’re going to surprise a lot of people.”

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BPS players to hoop in China

Eight BPS basketball players leave tomorrow for a 10-day trip to play a tournament in China.

Here’s the Globe’s story.

 

 

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Dragons overpowered by Nantucket in Div. 5 Super Bowl

By Patrick Flaherty, BPSsports Correspondent

TAUNTON — Reaching the Super Bowl for the first time since 1993, the Latin Academy Dragons hoped to silence their critics and take home the Division 5 crown.  But Taylor Hughes and the Nantucket Whalers had other ideas, as they blew out Latin Academy 35-7 yesterday at Taunton High School.

Nantucket came into Saturday averaging over 30 points per game during the regular season, and that high scoring offensive production continued against the Dragons.  Whalers quarterback Taylor Hughes had a huge day on the ground (18 rushes, 126 yards), through the air (5-5, 155 yards passing) and on defense (11 Tackles) to pace Nantucket.

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Concord student writes about BPS for ESPN Boston

Eitan Tye, a student a Concord Academy, recently published a story on ESPN Boston.com about BPS sports and efforts to improve athletic opportunities for youth in the city.
Good job Eitan. Here’s the link:

http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/high-school/post/_/id/11759/new-initiatives-helping-shape-bps-turnaround

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New BCYF Rec Center at Madison Park to host open house on Saturday

The new BCYF Recreation Center at Madison Park  will host an open house from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. this Saturday:

Elements of the day will include:

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Resource tables with program information for people to take with them
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Tours of the facility
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Food/Refreshments
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Speaking program with Mayor Menino and other special guests, begins at 11am

There will also be a number of programs and activities that are completely open that day for people to take advantage of.  Information on these programs are in the attached flyers and include, among others:

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Tebow-like QB knocks out Latin Academy in Super Bowl

Nantucket High QB Taylor Hughes was compared to Denver Bronco’s quarterback Tim Tebow during a 35-7 victory against Latin Academy in the Division 5 Super Bowl at Taunton High yesterday.

Here’s the Globe story.

Here’s the ESPN Boston story.

And here’s the Herald story.

Stay tuned for Patrick Flaherty’s dispatch from the game.

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Latin Academy ready for Super Bowl Saturday

By Evan Freedman, BPSsports.com Correspondent

Latin Academy will face off against Nantucket in the Division 5 Super Bowl tomorrow at noon at Taunton High School.  The Dragons will have their hands full defending against a Nantucket team which averaged over 30 points per game this season.

“They have a potent offensive attack,” said Latin Academy Head Coach Rocco Zizza.  “Their quarterback runs and throws well, and he has big targets to go to.”

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