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Basketball: Lynn English girls in sectional final

Lynn English hadn’t advanced past the quarterfinals since the 2009 season. That’s all history now.

Third-ranked Lynn English advanced to the Division 1 North finals after defeating No. 17 Woburn, 57-39, Thursday in Danvers, setting up a Saturday match against No. 4 Central Catholic at the Tsongas Center.

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“This is the farthest we’ve ever made it to this point,” said Lynn English coach Fred Hogan. “And we told the girls we were going to kick the door down this time and that’s what we did, we kicked the door down. “

A key question for Hogan has been, “why not us?” Hogan believes his Bulldogs (24-0) can compete with anyone in the state.

“Everyone is saying we never can, so we’re like “why not us?” Hogan said. “And that’s what we’re saying to ourselves, ‘why not us?’

“We’ve been working so hard, we’ve had the pressure of an undefeated season on our back all year, but now we threw the 22-0 thing away and now we’re going one at a time; we’re 2-0 right now.”

When Woburn (20-3) jumped to a 7-0 lead, Hogan noticed the Bulldogs lacked energy and a sense or urgency. Hogan quickly subbed freshman guard Devinya Robinson to apply pressure on the Tanners guards as the Bulldogs went to a full-court press.

“It gave us our energy. We live off of our defense and our defense always creates our offense and tonight Devinya came in and gave us that energy.”

The press, headed by Robinson, gave the Bulldogs the spark they needed as Lynn English closed the first quarter on a 16-4 run.

With a 31-24 advantage at the break, and sensing the sectionals were within reach, the Bulldogs knew they couldn’t start the second half the same way they opened the game.

In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs stretched their lead to 13, but the Tanners soon cut the margin to 46-36. The Bulldogs then had an 11-3 run to end the game.

Bulldogs Senior Diondra Woumn led all scorers with 20 points.

Division 4 Central

Millis 48, Ayer Shirley 34 — Junior guard Amy Assad had a game-high 26 points to lead the Mohawks (14-10) to the championship at Clark University. Assad had 16 points in the first half. Millis will face the winner of Saturday’s Western Mass. final between Quaboag and Ware in a state semifinal on Tuesday at the MassMutual Center in Springfield. Taylor Wright and Hallie Young each had 7 points for the Panthers (15-6).

Boys’ basketball

Division 2 North

New Mission 70, Lynn Classical 32Fred Rivers had a game-high 24 points, the exact number he needed to reach the 1,000th of his career, and Shaquan Murray added 14 to lift the Titans into the division final.

Division 3 Central

Auburn 59, Greater Lowell 52D.J. Scavone had 25 points and Mike Thomas hit five free throws in the final minute to seal a win for the Rockets. Auburn will face Tyngsboro Saturday at WPI for the division title.

Division 2 West

Longmeadow 54, North Middlesex 33 — Tyler Thomas had 9 points as the Patriots fell to the Lancers in a semifinal game at Curry Hicks Cage. Longmeadow will face Shepherd Hill Saturday in the division final at Curry Hicks.

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