By Ed Niser
The Groton-Dunstable girls’ and boys’ basketball teams continue to impress at the midway point of the regular season.
The Crusaders are a combined 18-3 on the hardwood this winter and they don’t show any signs of slowing down.
After starting the season with the Pete Trainor Christmas Tournament title in tow, Groton-Dunstable has been virtually untouchable.
Since losing to Leominster back on December 16, Mark Hennelly’s Crusaders have not lost –winning seven straight to improve the girls’ team record to 9-1. On Monday, Groton-Dunstable traveled to Danvers and handed the Falcons a 62-24 defeat behind 12 points from Chloe McDonald.
McDonald was not the only Crusader rippling the twine. Senior Jordan Wynn scored 10 points to go along with 7 rebounds, 3 steals and 2 assists, while Bronwyn Mulligan also poured in 10 and ripped down 7 rebounds.
Notice the parity in the Groton-Dunstable lineup? That’s been the difference for the Crusaders both at home and on the road. There is not one player in particular who is the key to Groton-Dunstable’s success — if you are in the lineup, a contribution is expected.
And the Crusaders have held up their end of the bargain so far with a gutsy 51-46 win over Marlboro on Friday night.
Sophomore Rachel Romich leads the Crusaders in scoring averaging 10.3 points-per-game.
Groton-Dunstable is outscoring its opponents by an average of 21 points-per-game.
Friday @Westboro (7 p.m.), Sunday: Shepherd Hill (3:30 p.m.), Tuesday: Wachusett (7 p.m.)
G-D boys’ hoops look to start a new winning streak
After starting the regular season with eight consecutive wins with highlight victories over Westboro and Algonquin, the Crusaders (8-2, 3-3 Mid Wach B) have cooled off a bit.
If by cooled off you mean falling to league front-runner Nashoba (11-1) and second-place Marlboro (9-3) –you’d be correct. But, Groton-Dunstable is already making strides to get back to what it was at the start of the season with Monday night’s 61-58 win at Maynard, who is leading the Mid Wach E at 8-3. The key to Groton-Dunstable’s success is due to the veteran leadership of Gavin Keough, Tyler LeClerc,Ethan Cook and Michael Tammaro.
In Monday night’s win, Keough led the Crusaders with 18 points and 5 rebounds, while LeClerc added 14 points an 4 rebounds.
Coming off of a trip to the Clark Tournament last February, it is looking highly likely that the Crusaders will find themselves inside the Kneller Center again in 2017.
Friday: Westboro (7 p.m.), Sunday: @ Shepherd Hill (5 p.m.), Tuesday: @Wachusett ( 7 p.m.)
ASRHS girls’ basketball team is finding its stride
After beginning the season at 1-2, the Panthers have responded by winning six of their last seven games — with its only loss in that stretch coming at the hands of Mid Wach E front-runner, Narragansett back on January 10.
The Panthers have lived on the edge only outscoring their opponents on average by two points.
Hayley Sheriff and Juliana Nealy lead the Panthers offense averaging 9.5 and 8.7 points-per-game.
Ayer Shirley’s game at West Boylston was postponed Tuesday night due to winter weather conditions. In the Panthers’ 39-37 win at Parker Charter Saturday night, Ayer Shirley’s Hannah Justice and Nealy both scored 10 points.
Sitting at 7-3 and 4-1 in Mid Wach E play, the Panthers are still in prime position to compete for a league title.
Wednesday: @ West Boylston (7 p.m.), Friday: @ Maynard (7 p.m.), Tuesday: Narragansett (7 p.m.).
ASRHS hoops is still a contender in the Mid Wach E
On paper, Ayer Shirley’s overall record is by definition mediocre at 5-5, but the Panthers played the majority of its early schedule against higher opponents like Lunenburg, Oakmont and Clinton to name a few. Since starting league play, Ayer Shirley is 4-2 and sits in second place behind Maynard, who downed the Panthers back on January 6, 64-38. Ayer Shirley hosts the Tigers Friday night.
Friday: Maynard (7 p.m.), Tuesday: @ Narragansett (7 p.m.), Wednesday: Nashoba Tech (7 p.m.).
North Middlesex hockey is on a midseason tear
After starting the year with a big question mark in goal, the Patriots have found their way. North Middlesex (7-2-3, 4-1-1) is starting to head in the right direction. North Middlesex is 6-0-1 in its last seven games. The Patriots are averaging 4.6 goals-per-game through 11 outings as of Wednesday. North Middlesex has found the majority of its success away from its home ice with a 5-0-1 road record.
Senior forward Matthew McCarthy leads all of Central Mass in total points with 13 goals and 15 assists.
Senior Donnie Frederick (11 goals, 9 assists) and junior Matthew DeVito (11 goals, 7 assists) have been major contributors for Roy Conference leading North Middlesex
Monday: @ Fitchburg (5:30 p.m.), Saturday: @ Bishop Fenwick (6 p.m.), Wednesday: @ Algonquin (4:45 p.m.)
Crusaders look to rebound
After starting the season 5-0, Groton-Dunstable (6-5-1) has found itself on the losing side of one-goal games — three to be exact.
The Crusaders are 0-3-1 in their last four games, but that does not mean Groton-Dunstable is ready to hit the panic button. Groton-Dunstable has senior captain Ben McEvoy has been a constant in net for the Crusaders allowing 1.70 goals-per-game.
Groton-Dunstable is right in the thick of things in the Roy Conference with a 4-1-1 record.
Saturday: @ Leominster (3:30 p.m.), Feb. 4: Algonquin (7 p.m.), Feb. 8: Westboro (7 p.m.)