March 5, 2014
By Ellen Oliver
The Chieftains have been busy representing Nashoba on the ice, hardwood, mats, slopes and around the track. Here’s the latest on post-season action from Nashoba athletes.
Basketball – Girls
After a first round bye, the Chieftains met Auburn in the D2 Central Mass playoff semifinals, quelling the Rocket’s red glare 66-43 at the buzzer. Although the starters were out by the time the game ended, Nashoba went into the half with only an 8 point lead.
“The whole week we worked on defense, trying to eliminate most of the mistakes,” said Cecilia Burke, senior captain. “We still had a lot today on defense. It wasn’t what we had seen ourselves in practice be able to do.”
The second half was more like Burke had envisioned. The girls went on an 11 point scoring run in the third period before Auburn ever netted one.
“We talked about rebounding at halftime. We talked about moving better offensively and they came out and they did it,” said Nashoba Coach Beth McNamara. “Our game plan was the same as when we went in: move the ball well, take good shots, and defend and defend hard.”
Thanks to a shuffling of divisions, the Chieftains will meet up with their 2013 state championship rival Medfield on March 8 in the Central Mass D2 finals.
“Medfield is really tough, they’re the number two team in the state and that’s legit,” said McNamara. “They’ve got a lot of height, but they’re not just tall, they are tall and athletic and have good skills. They’re good basketball players.”
Nikkiah Snoddy recognized that besting Medfield was going to require tapping into the key skills of her team.
“I’m normally the tallest girl on the floor,” said the 6”1’ junior. “I don’t think they have anyone my height, but compared to our team they are giants. We’ll use our speed against them; we’re a really fast team. CeCe [Burke] is probably one of the most agile players we have in this division.”
Basketball – Boys
The playoff journey ended quickly for the Nashoba boys’ basketball team. Hoping to carry their end of season momentum deep into the brackets, the Chieftains (#3) fell 60-57 in the quarterfinal round to rival Westboro (#6). The Rangers defeated Nashoba twice during the regular season, but were faltering at the finish line, while the Chieftains appeared to be ramping up.
The match-up was as exciting as billed, with Nashoba taking an 11 point lead in the first half. The Rangers battled back to overtake Nashoba 55-49 with four minutes left. The Chieftains pushed the accelerator and tied it up 57-all with less than a minute on the clock. Then a layup and a free throw gave the Rangers the lead at the buzzer. Nashoba ends the season at 12-9.
Hockey – Boys
On ice, Nashoba (#5) proved the spoiler, upsetting #4 Oakmont 5-2 in the D3A quarterfinals. Thanks to Jack Charbonneau’s first of two goals, the Chieftains were tied 1-1 after the first period. Charbonneau welcomed the Spartans back to the ice with a rebound goal to open the second. Brad Colvin added another to bring the score to 3-1 Nashoba.
At the beginning of the third, Matt LeBlanc had the hospitality honors, greeting Oakmont with a goal in the third to put the Chieftains up 4-1 over the Spartans.
The Spartans tried to rally, scoring with less than seven minutes on the game clock, but that goal was nullified by Kevin Gilchrest who took advantage of the empty net as the buzzer sounded on the 5-2 Nashoba victory.
The triumph earned Coach Steve Kendall his 100th win as Nashoba head coach and sends the Chieftains to the semifinals against North Middlesex (#1) on Wednesday March 5 at the Wallace Civic Center.
Hockey – Girls
Most trips to the Cape are vacations, but the Algonquin/Hudson/Stow girls hockey team (#19) worked hard during their time on the Cape and Islands, skating their way into the D2 playoffs.
The Tomahawks traveled to Martha’s Vineyard (#14) on February 26 to compete in the preliminary round handing the Vineyarders a 3-2 loss. Three days later, the girls got on the bus and headed to Falmouth on March 1, where they exited post season play after a 2-0 loss to the #3 seed Clippers.
The team finishes the season 10-8-4.
Sarah Militano was the sole Chieftain to participate in the New England Regionals on March 1. Militano finished fifth in the 55m dash (7.23) coming off a record breaking appearance in the Massachusetts state championship.
Five Nashoba wrestlers qualified to enter the Massachusetts All-State Tournament held February 28 – March 1, with sophomore Ronan Ball advancing to New England Interscholastic Wrestling Championships by placing fourth in the 145-pound weight class.
Sophomore James Kilgo was hampered by injuries and did not place at 132lbs. Sophomore Jake Kennedy, wrestling at 220 pounds and junior heavyweight Richie Stamos did not place, but each had excellent matches. Senior Ed Quill was slated to compete at 195 pounds, but had a bout with the flu and did not wrestle in the tournament.
Jenna Peabody represented the Chieftains at the Massachusetts High School state alpine ski races on February 25 at Wachusett Mountain. Peabody placed 20th in the Slalom (41.09) and 22nd in the Giant Slalom (59.53).