Both of Mystic Valley’s varsity basketball teams picked up wins over Notre Dame on Wednesday. The teams are each playing well as they get ready for the MIAA Tournament.
Riding a four game winning streak, the Mystic Valley boys’ varsity basketball team is peaking at the right time of the season. Its latest victory, a 56-45 road triumph over Notre Dame High School of Lawrence qualified the Eagles (10-8, 5-2 in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference) to participate in the state tournament for the sixth consecutive season.
“I am very happy and proud of our team for how they have improved and come together throughout the season,” said Mystic Valley head coach Tony Ferullo. “This is a whole new team from last year, but what our players may lack in experience, they make up for with their heart, hustle and determination. They support one another and they never give up.”
Against Notre Dame, the Eagles maintained the lead from beginning to end, thanks mainly to fast break points and accurate free throw shooting. The team is now on a roll, posting an 8-4 record since starting the season with a 2-4 mark.
“It’s quite rewarding to see our team accomplish its pre-season goal of qualifying for the state tournament,” said Ferullo. “These kids work hard every day at practice and give everything they have each game from beginning to end. When you play with that relentless effort, good things happen.”
The girls played a game to remember in Lawrence. The girls came back from more than 20 points down to defeat Notre Dame-Lawrence by a score of 56-53. The score at the end of the first quarter saw the Eagles down 23-5. The girls began chipping away at the lead, but still trailed by 14 (35-21) at the half.
The second half comeback was led by senior Jordan Sullivan who canned 3 big three-pointers and sophomore Paulina Petras who grabbed a career high 21 rebounds. The girls scored the first 5 points of the second half and were able to cut the NDL lead to just 7 before the start of the 4th quarter. In the 4th quarter the MV defense was able to hold NDL to just 7 points (3 of which came on a 25 foot buzzer beating three-pointer).
“The first half went about as bad is it possibly could have. We weren’t getting to loose balls, giving up second, third, and fourth chance opportunities and couldn’t buy a basket. However, the girls were able to pull it together and as a team began to climb back into the game. I couldn’t have been more proud of the girls and how they fought back to win the game” said Coach Jay Cantwell.
The girls were able to tie the game at 48-48 with about 3 minutes left on a basket by freshman Meghan Foley (16 hard earned points). NDL answered right back to go up 50-48. On the next possession Paulina Petras was able to score in the post and the game was again tied. On the following possession, sophomore Jessica Phinney (9 points) was whistled for a foul, her 5th of the game. Coach Cantwell then called upon freshman Bailey Chiccuarelli to take her place for the final 2+ minutes. With less than 45 seconds remaining and the score still deadlocked at 50-50, Chiccuarelli drove on the right side and pulled up for a jumper to go up 52-50. The next time down the floor Chiccuarelli did it again to push the lead to 54-50. Foley added 2 more free throws to put the game out of reach and clinch the Eagles 15th victory of the season.