Published in the March 1, 2017 edition
By DAVID McCOUBREY
LYNNFIELD — The fourth seeded boys’ basketball team opened the Division 3 North state tournament with an impressive win over 13th Stoneham.
Lynnfield dominated the Cape Ann League this year, finishing 15-1 and winning the league championship. But they know they’re an excellent team and excellent teams have their eye on tournament play. The first test was the Stoneham Spartans, a team that wished they could have slowed down the pace and played a half-court style of basketball. Instead, Lynnfield pushed the ball all night, and Stoneham couldn’t keep pace with the locals. The Pioneers routed Stoneham 69-41, checking off one more box in their quest for a state championship.
“(Stoneham) likes to take the air out of the basketball,” said Cape Ann League Coach of the Year Scott MacKenzie. “They play a limited number of possessions and their entire scheme is geared toward (center Devon Chase). (Chase) is much stronger physically than anyone we have, so we just wanted to make him work.”
MacKenzie credited his offense as being his best defense.
“Stoneham doesn’t run,” he said. “And they don’t play a lot of guys. And we wanted to get up and down the floor and tire them out, and that happened in the second quarter. We were play to expand our lead because guys got tired on their side.”
Lynnfield really started pulling away from Stoneham in the third quarter, a quarter that saw the Pioneers balloon the lead to 23 points. Senior captain Mike Carangelo was a big reason why. Carangelo, a lanky center who can run the floor, made hustle plays during the third that led to easy baskets. He even hit a corner three.
“Mike was great,” said MacKenzie. “Mike sacrifices a lot of his game for (junior guard Billy Arseneault) and (senior captain Louis Ellis), and he does it because that’s what’s best for the team. But at the same he doesn’t complain about it. He just wants to win.”
Carangelo had 20 points in the game, living up to his first-team CAL All-League selection.
Ellis, another CAL All-League player, had 19 points including two threes from deep in the third quarter to essentially put the game away. The Pioneers went up 41-20 at that point and never looked back.
This game was in the books pretty early on, and the Pioneers have a lot to be excited about, not just the play on the court.
The large student section for Lynnfield came dressed in colorful bathrobes, pajamas and shower caps, and were shouting coordinated chants all night. It made for a raucous atmosphere, one that was not lost on MacKenzie.
“It was good for the boys to get a real good turn out,” he said. “We have the MVP of the league in (Billy Arseneault). He’s a great kid to watch. You got Louis, Mike. We score points. You know, always being in the tournament you’re going to get a real good turnout. I’m happy for the kids.”