The Salem News
---- — The sting of last year’s New England Prep School Athletic Conference Class C championship game loss still resonates with the Pingree boys basketball team.
Now, they’ve got a chance at redemption against the team that defeated them for the title a year ago.
Pingree began play in this year’s NEPSAC Class C playoffs with a convincing 77-62 quarterfinal win over visiting Providence Country Day yesterday in South Hamilton. Senior tri-captain Kyle Lentini led the way offensively with 22 points and 10 rebounds, while junior Erik Fyrer had some key minutes off the bench and scored 10 points to help pave the way.
Now the Highlanders (19-7) will take on top-seeded Green Farms Academy (23-3) of Westport, Conn. Saturday at a neutral site in the semifinals. The winner moves on to Sunday’s Class C title game at Worcester Polytech Institute.
“Green Farms beat us by four points last year in the final and our kids haven’t forgotten that,” said Pingree head coach Steve Gibbs. “It’s going to be a big test; they have three or four Division 1 players and will be the favorites. But it’ll be played at a neutral site (to be determined today, along with the starting time) and we’ll give it everything we’ve got.”
Reese Fulmer also had 10 points for Pingree yesterday, including a trio of 3-pointers. Alonzo Jackson kept Providence CD’s best player in check defensively while also contributing 10 points of his own to go along with eight rebounds. Floor general Johnnie Spears, who was injured the last time the Highlanders played Providence CD, played terrific help defense and ran his team’s offense expertly.
Mystic Valley 54, North Shore Tech/eSSEX Aggie 14: The Hawks saw their season end at 10-10 at the hands of fourth-seeded Mystic Valley (16-5).
TUESDAY’S LATE SCORES
Salem State 5, Worcester State 2: Mark Macdonald had two goals, Andrew Bucci had a goal and an assist and Chris Mastopietro’s game winning goal helped Salem State (14-9-2) clinch the MASCAC regular season title and the top seed in the upcoming conference playoffs. Kyle Phelan also scored and Alex Minter of Peabody and Keaton Cashin of Boxford had a goal and an assist each.
Salem State won the MASCAC regular season title and will be the No. 1 seed in the league playoffs. In doing so, the Vikings earned a first round bye and will host the winner of Saturday’s Framingham State/Fitchburg State clash in Tuesday’s semifinals (7 p.m.) at the Rockett Arena.
WOMEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Salem State 81, Fitchburg State 63: Junior Rachael Carter exploded for 28 points as the Lady Vikings won their MASCAC playoff opener to advance to tonight’s semifinals. Ginny Fleming of Peabody scored 15 points and Rachel Ledbetter impressed with a double-double with 17 points and 10 boards. Salem State evened its record at 13-13.
Endicott 72, Western New England 68: Kesley Cuddy’s team-high 18 points and 15 off the bench from Samantha Crough helped the Gulls close out WNEC and advance to the Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinals. Jennifer White scored 16 for Endicott (20-6) and Julie Manning chipped in 10.
MEN’S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Gordon 78, Roger Williams 59: Hans Miersma and eight players scored at least five as Gordon (15-10) advanced to host the Commonwealth Coast Conference semifinals tonight. Park Thomas scored 11 and Taylor Bajema scored 10 as the Fighting Scots used a dominant 41-19 edge on the glass to survive 10 Roger Williams 3-pointers.
Salve Regina 77, Endicott 76: Daquan Simpson’s layup with 1:26 to play gave Endicott a 76-74 lead, but Salve hit three free throws the rest of the way, including one with just three seconds left, to earn a thrilling CCC quarterfinal victory. John Henault had 19 points to lead four Gulls in double figures. Andre Makris had 13 and Lachlan Magee added 12 for Endicott (17-9).