Boys hockey the top story among many highlights in Tewksbury sports this week.
The Tewksbury Memorial High School boys’ hockey team had a week, posting three straight victories to push their overall record to 8-2-0.
The week started with a 4-2 victory over Lincoln-Sudbury, in a key MVC/DCL Division 2 showdown. The Redmen relied on a strong performance in net by freshman Ben O’Keefe, while, offensively sophomore Jason Cooke led the way with a hat trick. Cole Stone had the other goal, while Will O’Keefe dished out two assists, and single ones came from Campbell Pierce, Caden Connors, Kyle Morris, Asa DeRoche and Sean Lane.
Then this past Sunday and Monday, Tewksbury topped Lowell, 3-0, as senior Patrick Letourneau returned to net duties and made all 13 saves for the shut out. Offensively, Lane, Stone and Pierce had single goals.
On Monday night, Letourneau was excellent again making 25 saves in the team’s 4-1 win over Westford Academy, who plays out of the MVC/DCL Division 1 Conference. Cooke had two goals, while O’Keefe and Morris had the others.
“We’re playing better hockey right now,” said head coach Derek Doherty. “We’re playing tougher. We’re playing our style. We’re playing the body. We’re playing hard. We’re finishing checks. We’re not getting caught up in some stuff. Penalties are going to come. That’s part of the game.
“But I think everybody is on the same page and now we’re gradually starting to get better. That was our goal. At the beginning of the year we started off a little slow. I think the kids are getting it. They want to win. They’re going out there and they are working hard.”
The Tewksbury/Methuen Co-Op girls hockey team also had a big week, beating Needham, 2-0, behind a shut out by goalie Kaia Hollingsworth (19 saves) on goals by Jessica Driscoll and Riley Sheehan.
The Red Rangers then defeated Masconomet, 3-0, on the second shut out by Hollingsworth (19 saves) and goals from Driscoll and Brenna Greene.
Then on Saturday night, the Red Rangers ended in a 2-2 tie with HPNA with goals coming from Ryan Quinn and Driscoll, who continues to be on a tear.
Tewksbury/Methuen took five of six points from three teams that have a combined record of 16-2-1 and now are 4-1-3 overall.
Also on Monday, it was announced that head coach Sarah Oteri was named the National Federation of High School Coaches Girls Ice Hockey Coach of the Year (from 2019).
The Redmen Gymnastics team picked up their first win of the season, edging out Haverhill 133.7-133.3. Freshman Amanda Ogden finished first in the all-around with a score of 36.05, including scores of 9.35 on the floor exercise, 9.05 on the vault, 9.0 on the bars and an 8.05 on the balance beam.
Her teammate Isabelle Schille was second on the all-around with an 34.80, including a 9.1 on the bars, an 8.9 on the floor exercise, an 8.8 on the vault and an 8.0 on the bars.
Turning to wrestling, the Redmen continue to have an outstanding season with a 3-0 record in Saturday’s quad meet, with wins over Andover (41-36), Methuen (44-30) and Lowell (51-21) which came three days after knocking off previous Division 1 North Sectional Champion Haverhill, 36-32, last Wednesday.
“It was a good team win,” said head coach Steve O’Keefe after the win over the Hillies. “It is a good confidence builder for us. We have been where they are before after losing kids to graduation, but we have no control over their situation. All we can do is go out and wrestle the best we can and try to win.
“A big thing for us in this one was that even when some of our younger guys lost, they did not get pinned. So, we are only giving up three points instead of six, which can be very important.”
In the quad meet, Adam Donovan (106), Danny Lightfoot (132), Connor Charron (138), Kyle Darrigo (160), and Dylan Chandler (285) all went 3-0 on the day.
In basketball, the girls team lost two games in a row to Tyngsboro (52-48) and North Andover (45-43) before beating Lowell, 46-28, to improve to 5-4 on the season. The boys team fell to 1-6 after a strong performance against Lowell in a 63-45 loss, coupled with a 65-48 loss to North Andover last Tuesday.
Finally in track, the boys team defeated Chelmsford last Thursday 59.25-40.75 to finish 5-4 against MVC Division 2 teams in dual meets. Senior Zach LaLonde placed first in both the 300 (36.61) and 55-meter hurdles (8.93), while Thomas Barinelli was first in both the high jump (5-10) and long jump (20-06).
Neftali Mercedes also had a strong day by taking first in the 55-meter dash at 6.95 seconds and was a part of the winning 4×200 relay with Elijah Acholono, Derek Munroe and Alex Lacerda, who had a combined time of 1:39.14. Will Andella (2:56.03) and Alex Boudreau (41-08.25 in the shot put) had the other first places.
The girls were defeated by Billerica, 74-26. Makayla Paige won the 300 with a state best time of 40.13 seconds and she was also a part of the winning 4×200 relay team along with Ashlyn Nawn, jamie Constantino and Noelia Cura as they ran at 1:51.35. The other first place came from the 4×400 relay team of Maria DaSilva, Madison Forgione, Emma Jensen and Meghan Ostertag, who came in at 4:39.54.
Tewksbury also had several strong performances at the MSTCA Northeast Invitational Meet including Paige finishing with a school record and state best time in the 200 at 25.46 seconds, and then LaLonde was second in the 55-meter hurdles at 7.72 seconds. Both Paige, LaLonde, as well as Jensen and Nick Polimeno ran together as a mixed 400-meter relay team and finished second with a time of 3:44.40.