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SPORTS SHORTS

Postseason Brings Out Best in Boys' Basketball

ORR Sports Update

By Michael Kassabian

This week, the sports teams at Old Rochester Regional High School began their postseason runs as the MIAA tournaments started up. Here is a look at the 11th week of scheduled games for ORR winter athletics.

Boys' Basketball: The first-seeded Bulldogs had the best week out of anyone, cruising to two early-round wins in the Division 3 South tournament to advance to the semifinals. The boys' first win of the week came against 16th-seeded Apponequet, where they easily defeated the Lakers 79-57. The Bulldogs took a commanding 20-13 lead after the first quarter and never looked back, largely thanks to junior Evan Santos, who played consistently all game and scored a team-high 17 points on the night. Ryan Beatty also played well, notching 15 points. With the win, the Bulldogs advanced to the South quarterfinals, where they faced off against ninth-seeded Hanover. Though there were many rumors swirling that Hanover might undo the Bulldogs (they easily defeated Bishop Stang, to whom ORR lost twice this season), ORR quickly squandered those rumors with an explosive 78-60 win. With the gym filled to capacity, ORR held a lengthy lead for the majority of the game due to a strong offensive performance by the whole team. Four Bulldogs (Santos, Beatty, Will Santos, and scoring leader Jordan Menard) were in the double digits by the final buzzer, and the Bulldog defense also played fantastically, halting any offensive progress by Hanover. The Bulldogs now face off against league rival Wareham in the South semifinals. It marks the second straight year that the Bulldogs have made it this far in the tournament.

Girls' Basketball: The ninth-seeded Lady Bulldogs saw their season come to a close this week, as they lost to conference rival and eighth-seeded Wareham in the opening round of the state tournament. Despite a tough first half, the girls fought back in the fourth quarter and substantially shortened the point deficit, but it would not be enough, as Wareham advanced to the quarterfinals with the 36-31 victory. Seniors Kaleigh Goulart and Ashley Pacheco led the girls in scoring, recording 8 and 7 points, respectively. Despite the doubts surrounding the team coming into this season, the girls proved ORR girls' basketball has a strong future ahead of them. The girls graduate three seniors: Goulart, Pacheco, and Morgan Browning.

Boys' Track: Only one track athlete competed in a meet this week for ORR, but his results were enough to make waves across the ORR community. Senior Kevin Saccone competed in the New England Track and Field Championships, a prestigious meet that is extremely difficult to qualify for, as it features the best athletes from across the Northeast. Despite the tough competition, Saccone held his own and then some, as he conquered the New England title in the 55-meter hurdles by placing first overall with a lifetime-best time of 7.45 seconds. Saccone crossed the line in a photo-finish with Sebastian Silveira from Andover, and it was later determined upon inspection that Saccone had won by four thousandths of a second. This is Saccone's second New England championship (his first came last spring, when he won the long jump). Saccone also placed well in the long jump, placing fifth overall with a leap of 21'6". Next up for the track star is the New Balance Nationals Meet, where Saccone will go up against the best athletes in the country.

Ice Hockey: The boys' hockey season also came to a close this week, as the sixth-seeded ORR/Fairhaven Bulldogs fell 4-2 to 22nd-seeded Bishop Stang. It was an exciting game; after Stang got out to an early 1-0 lead, Fairhaven's Jeremy Lawton scored an equalizer to tie the game 1-1. Mike Lygren then scored to give the Bulldogs a slight advantage, which Stang quickly squandered with an equalizer of their own. In the third period, Stang managed to sneak one by the ORR defense, and the Bulldogs were never able to recover. The final goal of the game came when a Stang player scored on an open net, as ORR/Fairhaven tactically pulled their goalie. Despite their season being over, the Bulldogs have nothing to be ashamed of, as they finish the 2014-2015 season with a 16-6 overall record.

Below are the overall winter team records, followed by the conference records in wins, losses, and ties as of March 1.

Boys' Basketball: (19-3-0) (16-0-0); Girls' Basketball: (12-9-0) (10-6-0); Boys' Track: (8-1-0) (7-1-0); Girls' Track: (9-0-0) (8-0-0); Boys' Swimming: (1-5-0) (0-5-0); Girls' Swimming: (2-4-0) (1-3-0); Ice Hockey: (16-6-1) (9-1-0).

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