For a man with more hardware and accolades than half of Eastern Mass., John DiBiaso still appears rather uncomfortable bathing in personal accomplishments.
But there he was on Thursday evening, surrounded by his family as Everett superintendent Frederick Foresteire presented him with a basketball upon which was inscribed a particularly meaningful number: 500.
DiBiaso recorded his 500th victory as head coach of Everett basketball as the top-seeded Crimson rolled past No. 17 Chelmsford, 66-46, in the first round of the Division 1 North playoffs.
When asked to dwell on the biggest number of his hardwood career, DiBiaso, who will coach football at Catholic Memorial next season, stayed true to form.
“It means I’m very, very old,” he said. “My kids grew up here. I met my wife in the gym at Everett High, the old gym. There are a lot of good memories. I try to dwell on the good things.”
Chelmsford (9-13) outscored Everett in the opening quarter, 15-9, each of the visitors’ points coming from senior guard Chris McCarthy (25 points).
A 3-pointer courtesy of Marcus Alexis with less than a minute remaining in the second quarter gave Everett (20-1) a one-point halftime advantage, but a tenuous air remained in the Everett bleachers.
Chelmsford couldn’t stave off Everett’s dynamic senior backcourt of Isiaiah Likely (11 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 4 steals, 2 blocks) and Ghared Boyce (30 points), who faced a box-and-one defense for much of the evening, and the Crimson exited the locker room a different team than the one that had entered just ten minutes prior.
After ceding an early three, Everett peeled of a 12-0 run, fueled by a dizzying full-court press and the expert court vision of Likely, a Carolina football commit.
“He’s big,” Boyce said his point guard. “He’s very versatile, so it’s a tough cover, a tough matchup. Their big men have to cover him. He can play point guard or play big. Once he puts the ball on the floor, it opens for a lot of players to shoot.”
Juniors Eric Thompson and Nate Mehu helped anchor Everett in the paint, recording five blocks each. The Crimson will host Waltham on Saturday in the D1 North quarterfinals.
“I don’t think he cares much” admitted Boyce when asked about his coach’s accomplishment. “I know it’s a big milestone but we just want the state championship.”
Division 1 Central
Franklin 79, Lincoln-Sudbury 49 — Senior captain Paul Mahon tallied 19 points and junior Jalen Samuels scored 14 points and grabbed as many boards in the quarterfinal victory. The top-seeded Panthers improve to 20-3.
Division 2 South
O’Bryant 58, Canton 53 —Junior forward Rivaldo Soares (13 points, 16 rebounds, 5 assists) was a driving force in the second half as the 10th-seeded Bulldogs (13-9) erased a three-point deficit to record the first-round win over the hosts (16-5). Freshman point guard Dasonte Bowen delivered 22 points and seven assists. “We gave it our all in the second half and we were prepared,” said O’Bryant coach Drew Brock. “I’m glad our team had a great fourth-quarter run to give us the win against such a worthy opponent.”
Scituate 71, Randolph 52 — Freshman Kyrell Luc (22 points), Abel Lopes Jr. (19 points) and Jack Poirier (17 points) paced the Sailors (15-6) to a first-round win.
Divison 3 North
St. Mary’s 68, Newburyport 52 — Jalen Echavarria had 24 points for the visiting Spartans (18-3) in the quarterfinal win and Joey Abate-Walsh chipped in 17 points.
Division 3 South
Apponequet 59, Dedham 55 — Adam Seablom scored 19 of his game-high 33 points in the fourth quarter as the top-seeded Lakers (21-0) erased a 12-point fourth quarter deficit to advance to the semifinals. Juran Ligonde tallied 21 points and 20 rebounds in the loss for Dedham (15-7).
Norwell 48, Rockland 47 — Sophomore Nick Fantom made three free throws with 2.8 seconds left to lift the Clippers (14-8) to a quarterfinal victory.
Burke 81, Cardinal Spellman 61 — LeVar Williams finished with 21 points, going 6-for-6 from beyond the arc in the first half, as the Bulldogs (22-2) advanced to the sectional semifinals.
Division 1 Central
Algonquin 71, Wachusett 65 — Kyle Henderson scored 16 of his game-high 30 points from the free throw line and teammate Brian Duffy netted 19 to lead the visiting No. 7 Tomahawks (15-7) over the second-seeded Mountaineers (16-5) in a Central Division 1 quarterfinal. Algonquin will face No. 6 St. John’s at WPI on Sunday. Liam Griffin (28 points), Sam Dion (14) and Joey Nuttall (13) led Wachusett.
Division 2 Central
Westborough 69, Grafton 47 — Matt Doherty scored 20 points and Domenic Casparriello and Michael Doherty both tallied 12 to pace the visiting No. 6 Rangers (12-9) past the No. 3 Indians (12-9). Westboro advances to play second-seeded Groton-Dunstable at WPI at 6 p.m. Tuesday. Alex Badger netted 11 points for Westboro and teammate Jake Hughes chipped in 10. Grafton’s Kyle Sawtelle led all scorers with 22 points.
Shepherd Hill 61, Groton-Dunstable 51 — Cody Adams (18 points), Jason O’Regan (14) and Kenny Flynn (13) lifted the Rams in a Central Mass. Division 2 quarterfinal. Connor Keegan had a game-high 23 points for the Crusaders (12-10). Shepherd Hill will face Westboro at 6 p.m. Tuesday at WPI.
Division 4 Central
Worcester Tech 53, Advanced Math and Science 37 — Brendan Hamilton had 13 points and 13 rebounds as top-seeded Worcester Tech (20-1) topped No. 8 Advanced Math and Science (13-9). Worcester Tech’s Victor Florentino scored 12 points, while teammate Zaire Peart put up 10 points and seven rebounds.
Worcester Tech will the winner of Thursday’s game between Southbridge and Marian at 7:45 p.m. Monday at WPI.
Maynard 85, Innovation Academy 52 — Corey Olivier notched 30 points and 10 assists, while Chris Bastien had 16 points and 12 rebounds to propel the No. 3 Tigers (19-3) in the Division 4 Central quarterfinals. Teammate Tommy Smith scored 14 points and Kyle Monahan chipped in 12 points.
Maynard will face the winner of Friday’s game between Assabet and Abby Kelley Monday at WPI.
Southbridge 78, Marian 68 — Jared Figueroa scored 28 of his game-high 36 points in the second half to help the visiting No. 13 Pioneers (12-10) rally to beat the No. 12 Mustangs (11-11) in a Central Mass. Division 4 quarterfinal at Keefe Tech. Southbridge will play top-seeded Worcester Tech at WPI at 7:45 p.m. Monday.
Southbridge trailed by 12 after the half, but cut the deficit to 1 with the help of 20 third-quarter points by Figueroa.
Justin Reyes netted 17 points for Southbridge, teammate Elian Aponte chipped in 12 and Chris Reyes scored all six of his points in the fourth quarter.
Division 1 South
Newton South 57, Brockton 39 — Veronica Burton paced the Lions (20-1) with 22 points, and teammate Paige Ollivierre was close behind with 18 points in the first-round rout.
Braintree 68, Plymouth North 42 — Senior Jenna Roche and junior Adriana Timberlake each had 13 points for the Wamps (18-3).
Bridgewater-Raynham 63, Marshfield 37 — Junior Kaleigh Matulonis had 11 points, seven assists, and three steals for the fourth-seeded Trojans (17-4) in the first-round victory, which marks their 15th-straight win, and first tournament win in nine years.
Oliver Ames 69, New Bedford 39 — Despite sitting the entire fourth quarter, Kayla Raymond finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and six blocks, and Alex Sheldon added 19 points and 13 rebounds as the Tigers (16-5) advanced to the quarterfinals.
Walpole 59, Needham 51 — Sophomore Sydney Scales (12 points, 6 rebounds, 4 steals) and senior captain Bridget Lanchester (four 3-pointers) powered the host Rebels (16-5) to the first-round win over the Rockets (13-8), their third victory over their Bay State Conference rival this season.
Mansfield 38, Newton North 28 — Senior Meg Hill and juniors Syd Mulkern and Maggie Danehy had 11 points apiece for the 15th-ranked Hornets in the first-round win.
Division 4 South
Cohasset 55, Westport 21 — Lauren Cunning scored 14 points and Mary Catherine Crumley and Molly Greer added 10 points apiece for the Skippers (15-6).
Coyle & Cassidy 69, Diman 19— Junior Sam Hourihan scored 15 points in the first round win for the Warriors (18-3).
Blue Hills 39, South Shore Voc-Tech 35 — Sophomore guard Jamillia Ross netted 21 points for Blue Hills (20-2).
Divison 2 West
Tantasqua 57, Springfield Sci-Tech 22 — Lydia Boland scored 12 points and Lindsey Zak added 11 points as the second-seeded Warriors (18-3) beat the No. 7 Cybercats (15-6) in a Western Mass. Division 2 quarterfinal. Tantasqua will play the winner of Thursday’s game between East Longmeadow and Amherst in a semifinal at a date and venue to be determined.
Divison 3 Central
Millbury 55, Leicester 38 — Shannon Reno scored 19 points and Morgan Cronan netted 14 to boost the top seeded Woolies (20-1) in the Central Division 3 quarter finals. Jenna Soden notched 19 points for the No. 9 Wolverines (12-8).
Millbury pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Leicester 22-10. They will face Tyngsboro Wednesday at Clark.
BC High 6, Pope Francis 1 — Senior defenseman Andrew McDonough netted two goals and junior goalie Luke Garrity made 18 saves as the second-ranked Eagles (16-4-1) advanced to play St. John’s Prep in the second round Monday night back at Tsongas Center.
Central Catholic 5, St. John’s (Shrewsbury) 0 — Noah Jankowski netted two goals and Matt Pasquale posted the shutout in net as the top-ranked Raiders (22-2) won their first round matchup and advance to play Hingham in the second round.
St. John’s will face Andover in an elimination matchup.
Division 3 North
Swampscott 4, Revere 2 — Captain Brett Benoit netted two goals in the second period, which were enough to lead the Big Blue (10-5-6) to a first round win.
Tyler Blint-Welsh reported from Walpole, Andrew Higginbottom from Canton, Chris Bokum from Lowell, and Nate Weitzer from Jeremiah Burke HS.