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MIAA state championships

We are the co-champions, my friends: A special salute to the MIAA basketball and hockey state titleists

With their blowout victory over Beverly secure, the starts of the Whitman-Hanson boys' basketball team cheer on their subs as time expires in the MIAA Division 2 state semifinals at TD Garden.
With their blowout victory over Beverly secure, the starts of the Whitman-Hanson boys' basketball team cheer on their subs as time expires in the MIAA Division 2 state semifinals at TD Garden.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Boys’ basketball

▪ DIVISION 1

Co-champions: LYNN ENGLISH (23-2) and SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (22-1).

Championship mettle: After winning the school’s first state title since 1939, Lynn English returned guards Jarnel Guzman, Jack Rodriguez, and Mason Jean-Baptiste. Ademide Badmus, a 6-foot-6 bruiser, transferred back to English after a sophomore year at St. Mary’s of Lynn; 6-foot-8 senior Jean-Baptiste Mukeba transferred from Arizona to live with his guardian in Lynn. This team had all the tools necessary to defend its state title with size, leadership, and incredible athleticism.

Team MVP: Senior point Jarnel Guzman (23 points per game) is lightning quick with the ability to step back and pull 3-pointers from all angles. With th 5-7 Guzman facilitating, defenses were put in the impossible position of trying to contain their penetration without giving up easy looks to the Bulldogs twin towers (Badmus and Mukeba).

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Unsung Hero: When English needed an alternative playmaker, Jack Rodriguez was always there to step up. The senior guard produced 9 points in overtime to propel the Bulldogs past Lowell, 73-63, in a thrilling sectional final. Rodriguez starred at TD Garden with 20 points and a team-high six assists, ensuring that English never relinquished a double digit lead after Guzman fouled out in the fourth quarter of a 74-58 win against Mansfield.

Coach Antonio Anderson: “This group, they were all so coachable and loved to learn,” said Anderson, who played at English and Lynn Tech before playing at Memphis and briefly in the NBA.

“Once the seasoned started, we pushed and we pushed, and they responded. They held everyone accountable.”

▪ DIVISION 2

Co-champions: WHITMAN-HANSON (25-2) and TACONIC (20-4).

Championship mettle: Riding a highly-efficient and potent offense, Whitman-Hanson ended the season on a state-best 23-game winning streak, capped off by a dominant 49-point first half performance against Beverly in the state semifinals. The Panthers leaned on a veteran starting unit en route to compiling the most wins in school history.

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Team MVP: Senior Stevie Kelly (14 ppg, 10 apg, 8 rpg) fueled Whitman-Hanson’s offense from the point guard position.

Unsung hero: Kelly, Ben Rice, Nate Amado, and Cole LeVangie did most of Whitman-Hanson’s scoring, but senior guard Jonathan Zeidan was the glue that held it all together on both ends.

Coach Bob Rodgers: “Obviously everybody talks about our offense which is clearly prolific, but defensively is where we were able to win. These kids have been coming to my camp since they were little kids and they planted the seed for all the kids who come to Panther camp and look up to them. This season was terrific and I think it will impact basketball in this community for a long time.”

▪ DIVISION 3

Co-champions: BURKE (18-7) and SUTTON (22-2).

Championship mettle: Coach Sean Ryan often speculated his team was equally capable of losing the first round or winning the state title. As it turned out, Burke used a tumultuous regular season to lock in for the playoffs, blazing through the D3 South bracket on the strength of its defense. Then the Bulldogs showed their unity by edging St. Mary’s, 50-47, at TD Garden despite losing team MVP Josh Roseboro to a knee injury in the second quarter for the program’s first title.

Burke's Pedro St Fluer (10) swats away a attempted shot by Saint Mary's Lisandro Pacheco (24) during the Div. 3 boy's basketball semifinal at TD Garden.
Burke's Pedro St Fluer (10) swats away a attempted shot by Saint Mary's Lisandro Pacheco (24) during the Div. 3 boy's basketball semifinal at TD Garden.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Team MVP: A dynamic lefty point guard who transferred from Edward M. Kennedy Academy, Roseboro stepped into the large shoes of 1,000-point scorer Devante Jamison, showing poise and leaders while averaging 14 points, 8.5 assists, and three steals per game.

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Unsung hero: In the second half of the D3 state semifinal against St. Mary’s, Burke switched to a creative defensive zone and leaned on its defense, holding the high-powered Spartans to just 15 second-half points. Anchoring that zone was 6-foot-4 senior Pedro St. Fluer, who blocked six shots to spark Burke’s gritty victory.

Coach Sean Ryan: “Although we were inconsistent on the offensive end, I thought defensively, more games than not, we were really solid. This year, it was new to me to see us struggle [offensively], but pride ourselves in other areas. We revamped our team, and it was very satisfying to [win at TD Garden].”

▪ DIVISION 4

Co-champions: ABINGTON (22-5) and HOPEDALE (20-4).

Championship mettle: Returning four starters from last year’s state finalist team, Abington rolled through the D4 tournament once again despite a late season injury to second-leading scorer Derek Nuttall. Junior guard Matt Maguire (18 ppg, 9 rpg) took a big leap offensively, while the emergence of sophomore guards Antwonne Graham and Thomas Fanara helped the Green Wave end the season on a 10-1 stretch.

Abington's William Klein (4) hits a three pointer in front of his team's bench with less than a second left in the game to give his team an improbable come from behind victory against Pope John in the MIAA Div. 4 state semifinal.
Abington's William Klein (4) hits a three pointer in front of his team's bench with less than a second left in the game to give his team an improbable come from behind victory against Pope John in the MIAA Div. 4 state semifinal.Jim Davis/Globe Staff

Team MVP: Cam Curney (12 points, 14 rebounds per game), a 6-foot-7 senior, was a walking double-double down low.

Unsung hero: Without the contributions of senior captains Colby Augusta and Will Klein, Abington coach Peter Serino believes the Green Wave would have been a .500 team.

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Coach Peter Serino:— “This team really put Abington basketball on the map and solidified it as a legitimate program. There aren’t many teams that have back-to-back state final appearances. The biggest thing that I’ll take away from these kids is their selflessness and their willingness to buy into everything we asked as coaches.”

Girls’ basketball

▪ DIVISION 1

Co-champions: ANDOVER (19-6) and FRANKLIN (25-0).

Championship mettle / Andover: The sixth seed in D1 North knocked off four straight teams in the Globe’s Top 20 on the way to advancing to the final against Franklin. Freshmen Anna Foley and Amelia Hanscom, emerged as impact players alongside a veteran core as the Warriors surprised everyone but themselves.

The Andover girls' basketball team celebrates its 52-44 win over Bridgewater-Raynham in the MIAA Div. 1 girls' state semifinal at TD Garden.
The Andover girls' basketball team celebrates its 52-44 win over Bridgewater-Raynham in the MIAA Div. 1 girls' state semifinal at TD Garden.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Team MVP: Junior guard Tatum Shaw (team-leading 16.1 ppg) exuded poise and toughness.

Unsung hero: Freshman post Anna Foley (9.8 points, 6.5 rebounds 1.4 blocks per game) emerged as a go-to player.

Coach Alan Hibino: “An unbelievable season and a magical postseason run. The team never stopped believing in each other and felt that together anything was possible and together they could achieve anything they wanted to. Ultimately, they did and our entire program is so proud of what we accomplished."

Championship mettle/Franklin: With four starters over 6-feet headlining the state’s most complete roster, the unbeaten Panthers dominated from start to finish. It all started with incredible defensive tenacity.

Team MVP: George Washington-bound senior center Ali Brigham (21.6 points, 12.7 rebounds) was the state’s best.

Unsung hero: Her stats were not eye-popping, but junior point Erin Quaile (3.3 points and 3.7 assists per game. +51 assist/turnover ratio) was invaluable.

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Coach John Leighton: "This team was special from day one. They adopted the maxim ‘We Over Me’ and lived up to it. With all of our talent, it was their ability to work together that made the difference for us. I will be forever grateful to our three seniors for their leadership.”

▪ DIVISION 2

Co-champions: FOXBOROUGH 24-2 and TACONIC (22-2).

Championship mettle: After a year away from the TD Garden, Foxborough returned to the parquet floor with a talented, veteran roster. The Warriors were battle-tested in the Hockomock League, and had the size and skills to match up with most anyone they played.

The Foxborough girls' basketball team storms the court at TD Garden in celebration of its victory over North Reading in the Div. 2 state semifinals.
The Foxborough girls' basketball team storms the court at TD Garden in celebration of its victory over North Reading in the Div. 2 state semifinals.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Team MVP: If the Warriors needed a basket, junior guard Katelyn Mollica (19.1 points) found a way.

Unsung hero: Senior forward Shakirah Ketant (11.4 points, 9.2 rebounds per game) became a ferocious inside presence.

Coach Lisa Downs: "I am so proud of the growth my team showed this year and the drive and character that they displayed which propelled them to such a successful season. To finish 24-2 and with 14 consecutive wins behind them is something that cannot be forgotten.”

▪ DIVISION 3

Co-champions: ST. MARY’S (25-2) and HOOSAC (18-6).

Championship mettle: One of the top scoring teams in the state, St. Mary’s rode a bevy of 3-point shooters to complement the inside play of junior transfer Maiya Bergdorf. The Spartans averaged nearly 70 points per game and were ne of the deepest and most consistent teams in the MIAA.

Team MVP: Belmont High transfer Maiya Bergdorf (15.2 points, 7.3 rebounds per game) gave the Spartans a big lift.

Unsung hero: Senior guard Olivia Matela (11.5 points ppg.) helped open up the floor for her teammates.

Coach Jeff Newhall: “They are a tremendous group that was really so fun to be with on the court and off. They embraced the challenge and pressure to be the best and succeeded on achieving their ultimate goal. They are a special group and will have that banner to point to in the gymnasium forever.”

▪ DIVISION 4

Co-champions: CATHEDRAL (21-4) and MAYNARD (20-4).

Championship mettle: It was difficult for any foe to match Cathedral’s starting 5 of Mackenzie Daleba, Ariana Vanderhoop, Tayla Barros, Ciana Gibson and Kiara Ansley. The result? The program’s fifth trip to the semifinals in six seasons. Cathedral would’ve challenged for a title at any division.


The Cathedral girls' basketball team basks in the the euphoria of a  61-37 win over Matignon in the Div. 4 girls' state semifinal at TD Garden.
The Cathedral girls' basketball team basks in the the euphoria of a 61-37 win over Matignon in the Div. 4 girls' state semifinal at TD Garden.Barry Chin/Globe Staff

Team MVP: Senior Mackenzie Daleba (18 points, 13 rebounds per game) was unstoppable in the paint.

Unsung hero: Healthy for the first time in her career, senior guard Ariana Vanderhoop (15 points,14 rebounds per game) produced.

Coach Clinton Lassiter: “Our team’s success came from each individual player being selfless and [doing] whatever it took for Cathedral to have success.”

Boys’ hockey

▪ SUPER 8

Co-champions: ARLINGTON (19-1-4) and POPE FRANCIS (16-5-2).

Championship mettle / Arlington: The Spy Ponders went unbeaten in their final 21 games, including three straight in the winners’ bracket to become the first public school program to win a second Division 1A championship. Many of the Arlington seniors also were part of the 2017 championship squad.

Team MVP: Northeastern-bound forward Anthony Messuri spearheaded a dominant senior class for the Spy Ponders, along with Brendan Jones, Ryan Davies and goalie Nathan Brennan.

Unsung heroes: While other seniors got the glory, forwards John Hourican, Brendan Pigott and defenseman Declan Dolan quietly played their roles well all season.

Coach John Messuri: “Our seniors went 69-15-13 in four years and won two Super 8 championships. That’s a pretty good run.”

Championship mettle / Pope Francis: Despite losing 12 seniors off consecutive runner-up teams, and losing three games before Jan. 1, the young Cardinals put it all together at the right time. They shook off a loss to Arlington to beat St. John’s Prep in overtime, in a game coach Brian Foley said had a championship game feel.

Team MVP: Junior goalie Ben Zaranek (1.57 GAA) was a steadying force, along with senior defenseman Logan Dapprich, while the young Cardinals grew.

Unsung hero: Senior defenseman Matt Pelletier (4-7—11) provided quality leadership throughout Pope Francis’s three-year run.

Coach Brian Foley: “We weren’t expected to get back to the final. But once January came around I felt we were as good as than anybody in the state. We were focused on winning the Super 8, and after Wednesday’s game we were really excited about playing in the Garden.”

▪ DIVISION 1

Co-champions: BELMONT (14-5-5) and WALPOLE (13-8-5).

Championship mettle/Belmont: The Marauders showed their grit throughout the postseason, winning four consecutive one-goal games, including the North championship game against St. John’s (Shrewsbury). A game earlier, Belmont scored a 3-2 victory against a Reading team that had beaten the Marauders twice by a goal during the regular season.

Team MVP: Senior goalie Nico Carere (1.46 GAA) was the team’s “rock,” according to coach Fred Allard.

Unsung hero: Senior forward Matt Brody (11-15—26) served as captain for the Marauders, and also had a goal and assist in the North title win.

Coach Fred Allard: “It goes back to being last in the Middlesex League last year and how that felt. They all thought we should be better than that. They didn’t get lazy and worked just even harder to put ourselves in this position. … I’ve never had more fun coaching. I’ve had some great groups over the years, and these kids are right up there. Fun to be around.”

Championship mettle/Walpole: The Rebels had their backs against the wall ever since a Feb. 12 loss to Milton. Needing five points in their final three games, they embarked on a seven-game win streak capped by the Div. 1 South title victory against Archbishop Williams, allowing eight total goals in that run.

Team MVP: Senior defenseman Liam Fisher (4-10—14), who scored the lone goal in the South title win, was voted team MVP by his peers.

Unsung hero: Tom Fruci (8-7—15) is a senior forward, but played whatever role was asked throughout the season for the Rebels.

Coach Ron Dowd: “We were a young team who went through tough times during the year. No one would have given us a chance prior to the tournament to do much. The kids came together, believed in themselves and each other. It was fun to see and be a part of. Great group of players and kids both on and off the ice.”

▪ DIVISION 2

Co-champions: CANTON (21-1-3) and LINCOLN-SUDBURY (20-3-2).

Championship mettle/Canton: Coming off a state championship in 2019, and carrying their unbeaten streak into mid-February, the Bulldogs had a target on their backs for most of the season. But they shook off a loss to Lincoln-Sudbury to repeat as Division 2 South champions.

Team MVP: A Globe All-Scholastic last season, senior forward Johnny Hagan (18-31—49) didn’t miss a beat this season in leading the Bulldogs back.

Unsung hero: Coach Brian Shuman says senior Joe Cammarata (1.30 GAA) didn’t receive the accolades of more recent Bulldogs goalies, but was “quietly outstanding” all season.

Coach Brian Shuman: “The guys put playoff-like pressure on themselves since December, knowing that people across the state were rooting for them and against them each and every game. Their mental toughness and ability to stay focused on one game at a time allowed them to earn a remarkable 21-1-3 season.”

Championship mettle/Lincoln-Sudbury: The Warriors survived a pair of overtimes in the Division 2 North tournament, rallying late to beat Gloucester, then holding off Merrimack Valley/Dual County 2 rival North Andover. While they lost out on a rematch with Canton, they are the only team to beat the Bulldogs in two years.

Team MVP: Senior goalie Jack Hankey (2.40 GAA) was named the top goalie in Merrimack Valley/Dual County 2.

Unsung hero: Senior defenseman Tim Duffy was a rock on the blue line as the Warriors’ depth proved critical all season.

Coach Matt Carlin: “Right from the goalie out, it [seemed] like it was different guys every game. A lot of guys playing with a lot of confidence, which translates to good hockey.”

▪ DIVISION 3

Co-champions: HANOVER (21-3-1) and LONGMEADOW (11-9-3).

Championship mettle: One year after losing in the Division 3 South quarterfinals as the No. 1 seed, the Indians were among the favorites all season. They survived an overtime game against North Quincy in the first round, then essentially three more “one-goal” victories (two empty-netters) for the South crown.

Team MVP: Manning Morris (22-23-45) already has passed the 100-point career mark as a junior, and constantly came up big in critical moments.

Unsung heroes: Senior goalies Matt Rowe (1.39 GAA) and John Aidonidis (1.17 GAA) rotated all season and were equally effective throughout.

Coach Jonny Abban: "Obviously it’s disappointing not playing in the [TD] Garden, but as I told my kids, ‘The journey just getting to the Garden is full of incredible memories.’ Our team really jelled in the postseason. We lost to Norwell in our last game of the regular season and that gave us time to hit the reset button.”

Girls’ hockey

▪ DIVISION 1

Co-champions: AUSTIN PREP (22-1-2) and WOBURN (19-2-2).

Championship mettle/Austin Prep: A year after being denied by Methuen/Tewksbury in double OT in the final, the Cougars reloaded and got right back in the mix. Eighth grader Monique Lyons joined her sister, Elise, a junior, up front, and sophomore goalie Lauryn Hanafin filled a void in net.

Team MVP: Bedford’s Monique Lyons (42 goals, 22 assists) made an impact from the start.

Unsung hero: Senior Frankie Frelick (10 goals, 13 assists) was a lockdown defender and offensive catalyst on the blue line.

Coach Stephanie Wood: “I’m just extremely proud of our kids. We’ve been waiting a full year to get back to this position. We just said ‘This isn’t going to be our last game,’ and we’d do whatever it takes to win.”

Championship mettle/Woburn: The Tanners had a 13-player roster in 2018-19. This season, freshman twins Angelina and Lucia DiGirolamo were immediate contributors, propelling Woburn to the final.

Team MVP: Angelina DiGirolamo (43 goals, 12 assists) shone in the regular season, but in the postseason, she scored all the Tanners’ goals in the quarterfinals and semis.

Unsung hero: Four-year starter Amanda Essigmann yielded 20 total goals all season.

Coach Steve Kennedy: “[Seniors Amanda Essigmann, Erin McComiskey, and Jackie Lees] have taken it all the way through now. As many practices as they can have, as many games as they can have, they’re going to see it through. That is a team that really loves each other.”

▪ DIVISION 2

Co-champions: WELLESLEY (22-1) and CANTON (22-1).

Championship mettle/Wellesley: The Raiders returned the core from back-to-back title squads, namely forwards Emily Rourke and Mackenzie O’Neil, blueliner Erin Fleming, and goalie Liddy Schultz.

Team MVP: One season after netting the winner in the D2 final, senior Emily Rourke delivered 27 goals and 14 assists, including eight goals in the postseason.

Unsung hero: Senior Erin Fleming limited scoring changes in front of Schultz and also netted eight goals and 14 assists.

Coach PT Donato: “We have a core of seniors that stuck at Wellesley High for four years. That’s shown over the last few years. They could have left [for private schools] but said, ‘Hey, we’re really proud to be Wellesley players.’”

Championship mettle/Canton: A trio of freshmen, defenders Olivia Maffeo and Maya Batista (who moved from Texas), along with goalie Carolyn Durand, gave a seasoned roster the lift it needed to advance to the final for the third time in four year years.

Team MVP: From the blue line, freshman Olivia Maffeo produced a team-high 33 goals and added six assists..

Unsung hero: Senior Alexa Maffeo was a stout defender and had a team-high 16 helpers.

Coach Dennis Aldrich: “The whole attitude is different. The leaders are working. It’s comforting, as a coach, to have that. We’re very fortunate.”

Compiled by Jim Clark, Jenna Ciccotelli, Matt Doherty, Greg Levinsky, and Nate Weitzer.