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High School Basketball

Winthrop High girls’ off to an impressive start

Winthrop High girls rising

The Winthrop High girls’ basketball team continues its rise on the court under fourth-year coach Ignacio Oyola .

In his first two years, the Vikings recorded back-to-back 8-14 seasons, but won 16 games in the regular season a year ago before being eliminated in the second round of the tournament.

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This season, they won 11 of their first 13 games.

“The girls really came in this year and have gotten us out to a great start,” Oyola said. “We’re just trying to one-up ourselves each year, and that’s what’s happening.”

In her third season starting at the point, senior Ashelyne Babb is the floor general, averaging eight points, five assists, four rebounds, and two steals per game.

“She’s the prototypical type of coach on the floor,” Oyola said of his point guard. “She makes a lot of decisions, she knows what sets to run, when to run them, where to position the players, and who to get the right shot.”

Senior Theresa Jones and junior Kristen Siscamnis each average 10.5 points per game. Fellow senior Jen Adamson’s leadership also plays a major role as that “glue type of player,” according to Oyola.

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The Vikings are the defending Northeastern Conference South champions.

“We’re just looking to improve every day, keeping things internal,” Oyola added.

“We won one round last year [in the tournament], we’d like to move on and win two or three this year, or more.”

Here and there

For many outsiders, the Melrose boys’ chances of making a deep playoff run this year ended before the season started. Coming off a Middlesex League MVP season in which he averaged 21 points, 11 rebounds, and five assists, senior forward Frantzdy Pierrot broke his wrist at the end of his soccer season. Coach Mile Kasprzak ruled the injury as likely season-ending. His loss was a major blow, but the Raiders are not making excuses.

At 8-5 this season, Melrose has opened eyes around the league. Coming off an undefeated regular season, which ended in a loss to Brighton in the Division 2 North semifinals, Kasprzak’s boys are unfazed with a tougher season ahead.

“We’re really proud that we’ve kept it going through all of this,” the seventh-year coach said. “We’ve been right there; we have a great tradition and were getting character wins.” Sophomore guard Sherron Harris (15 points per game) and sophomore forward Julian Nyland’s (10 ppg.) pace the offense. . . .

On Wednesday night, the gymnasium/field house at Swampscott High will be named in honor of Dick Lynch , a highly respected teacher, coach, and administrator at the school. All friends, former players, and students are invited for the ceremony at 7. A reception will follow.

Joseph Saade can be reached at joseph.saade@globe.com.

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