Tewksbury resident Sean Murphy shows off his skating skills

Tewksbury resident Sean Murphy shows off his skating skills while handling the puck for the Rams Boys Hockey team during a recent game held against Wilmington.

    (photo by Bob DeChiara).

With a pair of wins this past week, the Shawsheen Tech Boys Hockey team continued their recent surge and continued to look like a team that will be playing at their best when the post season begins in a couple of weeks.

It was a big week for the Rams, as their 2-1 record improved them to 10-6 on the season, clinching a spot in the Division 3 North playoffs, while they also improved to 7-1 in the CAC and closed in on their third straight CAC title.

Shawsheen began their week last Thursday with an impressive 6-2 win over non-league rival Wayland, a potential opponent in the Division 3 Tournament, and closed it out this past Monday night with a 6-1 road win over CAC rival Northeast, with the wins surrounding a hard fought 3-1 loss to non-league rival Hamilton-Wenham on Saturday afternoon.

While Shawsheen coach Chuck Baker was a little hesitant to say that his team is peaking at the right time, he has liked what he has seen in recent weeks.

“We have been coming together in spurts as of late and putting together some full effort games,” Baker said. “We have been dealing with injury after injury to some key players and have been doing a pretty good job having kids step into a role and perform. Hopefully we will be getting some kids back soon, and who knows how the team may perform at that point?

In their win over Wayland last Thursday at the Hallenborg, the Rams were led by an outstanding effort by senior forward Nate Silva of Tewksbury, who had three goals and an assist. Silva would follow up that performance with two more goals in the win over Northeast and has been on a roll as of late as the Rams try to overcome the injury bug. Silva now has a team high 35 points on the season.

“Nate has been stepping it up and trying to get the rest to do as well with all of the injuries and sickness we have been dealing with,” Baker said. “He had a great game last Thursday with the hat trick while also adding the assist.”

Juniors Sean Murphy of Tewksbury and Anthony Papa also each added a goal for the Rams in the win, while senior goalie Kam Neault of Tewksbury made 24 saves to pick up the win.

The win over Wayland was the second in a row over a non-league Division 3 opponent for the Rams, as they had beaten Methuen the week before by a score of 4-2, and Baker knows how important it is that his team show they can play with other quality Division 3 opponents.

“With the win over Methuen and then Wayland, and with everything going on like I said with injuries and sickness we are getting some confidence and playing well,” Baker said.

While the non-league wins certainly say a lot of about the Rams, the fact is at this point the most important games are their CAC games, and the Rams once again stepped up in that area as well in their 6-1 win over Northeast.

Silva once again chipped in with his two goals on the night, but the Rams were led by a balanced scoring attack with freshman Brady Darcy adding a goal and two assists, junior defenseman Jonah Varallo dishing out three assists and junior DJ Ducharme adding a goal and an assist.

“We have been getting some pretty good balance as far as the scoring goes all season, and especially right now it is great to see kids stepping up in contributing,” Baker said.

With a 7-1 record in the CAC, the Rams are closing in on their third straight league title, but there is still work to be done, with both Rockport and Essex Tech within a game of the Rams in the standings, making Shawsheen’s clash with Essex this Thursday night at the Hallenborg critical for both teams.

“We need to focus on Essex this week to lock up the league and win a couple more games after for qualification for the state vocational championship,” Baker said.

GIRLS HOOP

The Shawsheen Girls Basketball team is looking to clinch a Tournament spot of their own, and with a pair of wins this past week they certainly took a step in the right direction, as they routed Lynn Tech in a home victory last Wednesday before hitting the road to pick up a hard fought win over Mystic Valley last Friday night.

The two wins, along with a loss to non-league rival Malden Catholic on Monday night left the Rams with a .500 record at 7-7 as they continue their quest for the post season.

The win over Lynn Tech was especially important as it came one night after they had suffered a surprising road loss to Innovation Academy last Tuesday which at the time had dropped their record below .500 at 5-6.

The Rams responded well to the adversity, however, coming out and dominating the Tigers from the start on their way to a 50-27 victory.

“The Lynn Tech win was much needed after our Innovation loss,” Shawsheen coach Kate Marshall said. “We’ve been dealing with the flu for about three weeks now and so our numbers have been down, our stamina has been down, and the overall dynamic keeps shifting because we’ve had to get really creative with lineups. So we had almost a full roster for the Lynn Tech game which we hadn’t had in over two weeks.”

The Rams were led by a pair of outstanding efforts by their captains, with Susanna Gillis chipping in 11 points, four rebound and four steals, while Shelby Bourdeau had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds.

“Susanna and Shelby really set the tone when they’re on the court,” Marshall said. “Not only do they provide points but it’s their defense and tempo that really drive our squad at both ends of the court.”

Things were not as easy for the Rams on the road on Friday night, but they worked their way to a 52-46 win over Mystic Valley to give them a 7-6 record at the time. Shawsheen was in a battle all game, but led throughout the contest, leading 22-15 at the half and 38-29 after three quarters.

Mystic always gives us a good battle. This is actually the first time I can remember in my six years that we’ve swept them on the season, which was a huge victory for our program,” Marshall said. “This was one of top three games this season in my opinion. From start to finish we played like a team and we didn’t let adversity take us out of our game in the second half which has been a problem all season. And we kept up high intensity throughout all four quarters.

The Rams were led once again by Bourdeau, who had her second double double in a row with 19 points and 12 rebounds, but they also got a big contribution from senior Steph Mercurio of Tewksbury, who had 12 points and six rebounds.

“When Steph’s shot is on, she can be lethal. She always contributes six to eight points per game but when she finds her rhythm it’s easy for her to rack up double digits,” Marshall said. “Her confidence plays a huge factor in that. Plus, most teams now focus on shutting down Susanna and Shelby so to have another weapon out on the court is a huge bonus.”

Shawsheen will be back in action this Friday night when they host Northeast, before hosting Greater Lowell next Tuesday night in a pair of critical CAC matchups.

BOYS HOOP

The Shawsheen Boys Basketball team has a chance to clinch their spot in the state tournament this week, as they are currently just two wins shy of the ten win mark with an 8-6 (7-4 CAC) record after going 1-1 this past week in a pair of CAC games this past week with a win over Mystic Valley at home last Friday night and a road loss to Greater Lowell on Monday night.

In their win over Mystic Valley on Friday night the Rams were led by a pair of outstanding performances by junior Jake Tyler and senior Santino Garofolo of Tewksbury as they pulled out a dramatic victory over their CAC rivals.

Jake Tyler finished with 23 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Rams while Garofolo dominated in the paint for the Rams putting up a double-double of 16 points and 17 rebounds and making a clutch steal with three seconds remaining to seal the win.

Shawsheen led by just one point in the closing seconds until Jeremy Perez of Tewksbury scored a layup with three seconds left to give the Rams a 75-72 lead. Mystic then attempted to make an inbounds pass to attempt a game tying three point shot, but with Garofolo defending, they never got the chance as he came up with the big steal.

“Santino is six foot five with a seven foot wing span and they were tying to pass it over him, but he got a hand on it and made the play,” Shawsheen coach Gore said. “That was an important win for us because we had gone into that game with a three game losing streak.

That of course was not the only big play of the game for Garofolo, who was outstanding throughout the game with both his scoring and his rebounding.

“Santino just dominated,” Gore said. “If the opponent doesn’t have a big guy then Santino can just take control and that is what he did. He had a really solid game.”

The other dominant force was Tyler, who has now had three outstanding games in a row, with a 24 point effort in a loss to Arlington Catholic last week, the 23 point, ten rebound effort in this game and then another 24 point performance in Monday’s loss to Greater Lowell.

“Tyler has gotten an opportunity to play more recently and he has taken advantage of it,” Gore said. “He was originally going to come off the bench for us but earned a starting role and he has embraced it. He can score in bunches and he is a tough guy to defend.”

In their 69-52 Monday night loss to Greater Lowell, the Rams were once again led by Tyler, but they could not overcome a slow start which saw them trailing 39-17 at the half. While they did fight back in the second half to close within 12 points, they were unable to overcome the early deficit.

“It was a tough first half for us,” Gore said. “We just started really slow and dug ourselves too deep of a hole to come out of. When you play a good team on the road, you are not going to win many games when you start out the way we did.

“It was really good to see the guys continue to fight for four quarters, so hopefully that is something we can use going forward. It would have been very easy to pack it in at halftime, but our kids kept battling. It was just too little too late.

The Rams will be back in action on Friday night when they travel to Whittier Tech for a CAC matchup before hosting another CAC rival, Northeast on Monday night.

WRESTLING

Following up their big win over Tewksbury, Shawsheen had an even bigger weekend, sweeping a home quad meet over Monty Tech, Nashoba Tech and Northeast to wrap up their 12 consecutive CAC title.

The Rams improved to 25-2 overall, and remained unbeaten in the conference, as they downed Monty Tech, 42-6, Nashoba Tech, 60-9, and Northeast, 36-12.

Earning three wins each for Shawsheen Tech on the day were Austin Dube (120 pounds), Frank Foti (132, 3 pins) and Justin Merrifield (138, 3 pins). Earning two wins apiece were Lucien Trembley (106, 2 pins), Walter Humphrey (113, pin) and Diandre Turner of Wilmington (145, 2 pins).

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