As in the Fall season, the Indians found success this winter in every sport they competed in. Swimming, Gymnastics and Skiing have already held their state competitions (see Winter Season Over for Some Teams), and Wrestling has begun the preliminary rounds of states. Now with the Hockey and Hoop teams about to begin their roads to the Garden and DCU, here’s the outlook:
At this point, Wrestling has already gone through sectionals and states with All-States on tap for this weekend. At South Sectionals at Foxboro High, Mike McLeod, Colin Boutin, and Danny Ryan all took 2nd place for their weight class. Dillon Russell nabbed third, Damien Galotti got 4th, Rian Boutin and Jeff McDonald got 5th, while Hunter Gillis, Tyler Anderson and Pete Crowley placed 6th. Peter Basset also wrestled but was unable to place. McLeod, Ryan, Russell, Galotti and Colin Boutin qualified for states.
At States, Galotti was unable to wrestle and Ryan was unable to place, ending successful seasons for the pair of sophomores. McLeod, Russell, and Boutin were able to move to All-States with their top 6 performances. McLeod and Russell placed 6th, Boutin 5th. All three are back in action this weekend trying to end the season on a high note.
The Cohasset-Hanover hockey team had another solid season, but barely squeaked into the post-season with a tie in their last regular season game against Quincy-North Quincy. The team got stuck with the 23rd seed out of 25 teams in D2, giving them a tough draw to advance. They will face Medway-Ashland tonight (Feb 26) at Blackstone Valley Ice Arena. CH already played a home-and-home with them this year, tying them at home and losing out at their place. It will be a tough task to get off that long bus ride and face a very talented team, but a good goalie can take you far. Shea Kearney has been dominant for the team all year and will give them a chance in every game they play. The top line of Callie Hoadley, Sam Taylor, and Valerie Farren will need to be in sync and firing on all cylinders too. It should be a very competitive game and the team will try to advance like last season. Update: The team fell to a very talented Medway/Ashland Co-op in the 1st round last night 2-0.
The #roadtothegarden is never easy, but it’s hard to look at teams in the bracket and not envision a repeat. These last two seasons have justified why Hanover moved to D2 after their 2007 State Championship. They’ve been an absolute powerhouse since they moved back. Looking at D3 South, some of their potential opponents are almost laughable. Sure, upsets can happen, but if the Indians play to their capability, they are in great shape. In their first game they will face Diman, who just beat Apponequet in a prelim. Should be an easy win. Norwell, Cohasset and maybe Bourne (since Gallo is their home rink) look to be the only real challengers in the south. Wayland, Watertown, or Newton South will provide a real tough task in the EMass final should they reach that point. It looks as though the north is down this year while the south is up, meaning Hanover would likely be the favorite. After that, it would be on to the Garden where they are likely to see Shrewsbury again. Shrewsbury is still a very good hockey team, probably one of the top three that Hanover would face all year, but they have taken a considerable step back from last year’s team that dominated the Indians 7-1 due to the loss of a lot of seniors and a top underclassmen. To continue their success, Hanover needs to keep doing what they’re doing. They have a good mix of youth and experience. They’ve been consistently rolling 4 lines with great results and if that keeps up in the tournament, they’re a tough out. When Noah Clapp keeps things locked down in net, they can beat any team in D3. Look at it this way: Duxbury is a legitimate top 25 team in the MIAA and will make a tough team in D1 South and Hanover beat them by a solid margin in one of their best games of the year. Personally, I believe the only D3 teams you could maybe consider top 25 are Hanover, Norwell (who was there briefly), and Shrewsbury. So if Hanover brings their A game, I don’t see them bowing out.
The Girls Hoop team beat Ursuline Academy in a nail-biter yesterday (Feb. 25) to win their first tournament game. They won 47-45 in front of a home crowd. Coming off a great end to the season that included another Patriot League championship, they are a top team in D3 South. They earned the 5th seed entering the tourney, putting themselves in a good position. Ursuline was not a weak team, but it was definitely a game Hanover was expected to win. Next, they are headed to the Vineyard on Friday (Feb. 27). The team has all the tools to make a nice run. They have great scoring in games from Steph Flynn, Kayla McMahon and usually Meg Raab or Alyssa Delahunt as well. They play tough defense and at this point their whole roster has considerable experience. They have already shown great resiliency this year by bouncing back from a rough start. The other side of the bracket is tough with Abington and Archbishop Williams who knocked them off last year in their second game of the tournament. If they reach the sectional final, it will be against the Archies powerhouse. However, if Hanover takes it one game at a time, they have the talent and ability to keep moving on.
The Indians got a tough draw when the MIAA came out with its brackets over the weekend. They will start off with a talented Bishop Stang team today (Feb. 26) at Bishop Stang at 6:30. Hanover was in a 3-way tie for the 8-10 seeds and ended up with the 9th. Tourney favorite Old Rochester, as well as excellent Wareham and Martha’s Vineyard teams, are on their side of the bracket. The other side seems a little softer with the top teams being Norwell and Bourne. Hanover is coming off a rough stretch, 3 losses in league play. Jack Buckley hurt his ankle in the first of those three games and the hope is he will be back to close 100 percent for the tournament. His scoring, rebounding, and post defense are crucial to Hanover’s success. Buckley has been consistently dominant, even in his worst games going for 15 +. He will be their biggest factor, but the onus is on the trio of Jack Phelan, Evan Elkhill, and John Carroll to supply the secondary scoring load. All three of them have had great scoring nights but have also had nights where they didn’t break 5 points. All three need to find a level of consistency for the team to move forward. Phelan and Zach Thomson will be tasked with playing great defense on Stang’s tough guards, something Coach Hannigan has been preaching all week. The bench is inexperienced when it comes to tourney time, but if they step up instead of being overwhelmed, Hanover can beat any foe in D3 South. It’s on the Indians to play to their highest level and when they do, they can make a deep run in the tournament. Update: Hanover routed Bishop Stang 71-47 in a game that was close for awhile but Hanover was too hot shooting to lose.