SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 28, 2014

In The Paint boys basketball column: Generals continue moving forward

(Continued)

Now that they’re back on pace to qualify for the postseason, Rudolph and the Chieftains are looking forward to the second half of the schedule.

“We started 1-5, and to be where we’re at and having played seven of 10 games on the road, it was really big to get that fifth win,” Shea said. “Hopefully we’ll do better than .500 in the second half. We’re happy to finally play some home games.”

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Beverly coach Scott Lewis hopes senior forward Nick Cross will return to the lineup soon. Cross injured his back in a win over Gloucester in early January and since then has either sat out or tried to play through injury. It hasn’t worked out too well for the Panthers; they were 4-2 after defeating Gloucester but now sit at 7-6.

Cross tried to play through his injury in losses to Danvers and Charlestown and has sat out the last five games. Through those seven games, Beverly has gone 3-4.

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Salem has been extremely busy in 2014, playing 10 games in 21 days. Of course, the Witches handled the brutal stretch almost perfectly.

Since suffering a close loss against Lynn Classical to kick off the new year, Salem has reeled off nine straight wins, including victories over previously unbeaten Danvers and Lynn English on back-to-back nights and two narrow wins over Lowell.

Now, the Witches get a quick breather before battling English again on Friday.

“Finally, a little down time. This is a little break for us; we have four days to prepare (for English),” Salem coach Tommy Doyle said Sunday night. “We’ll see what happens. I’m sure Lynn English is (looking forward to it). We’ll just try to prepare our best and take care of their pressure.”

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Pingree coach Steve Gibbs has a large collection of players who can cover a lot of ground on a basketball court, but none of them cover as much ground off the court as Tom Lennon. A junior, Lennon travels 90 minutes to and from school every day from Chester, N.H.

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