Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria Women’s Hoops Tops Lasell On ‘Senior Day’


Courtesy of the Anna Maria sports information department, here’s today’s release about the women’s basketball team, which capped its ‘Senior Day’ with an 85-58 victory over Lasell:

Paxton, Mass. –  Anna Maria College juniors Trafficia Warburton (Worcester, Mass.) and Katie Pryor (Whitinsville, Mass.) combined for 44 points to lead the AMCATS to a 85-58 victory over Lasell College in Great Northeast Athletic Conference (GNAC) women’s basketball action on Saturday afternoon at the Fuller Activities Center.

In a pre-game ceremony, head coach Kevin Bigelow and the AMCATS honored senior Taylor Walker (Winchendon, Mass.) for her contributions to the women’s basketball team over her three-year career.

Pryor notched 22 points on 6-of-17 shooting from the field including three from beyond the arc and a nice 7-of-9 from the free throw line. Warburton added 22 points and 10 rebounds for her tenth double-double on the season. Walker poured in 15 points on 6-of-7 shooting from the floor, while freshman Christina Gauvin (Dudley, Mass.) ended the afternoon in double figures with 13 points.

Lasell was led by sophomore Katie Stopera (Hollis, NH), who totaled a team-high 19 points, 4 rebounds and 2 assists, while teammate Danielle Autencio (Montville, CT) garnered a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds.

The game opened with Lasell quickly building a 6-0 lead on a pair of threes from Molly Lauver (Cambridge, NY) and Stopera, however Anna Maria would settle into their half-court offense and tie the game at 6-all with 16:23 to play. The first nine minutes of the game would see five lead changes but when sophomore Brandi Pasternack (North Brookfield, Mass.) connected on a jumper from the elbow at the 10:15 mark Anna Maria would take a 16-15 advantage they would never relinquish. The AMCATS would outscore the Lasers 28-13 over the last ten minutes of the half to take a 16-point, 44-28 lead at intermission.

Anna Maria continued to apply the offensive pressure in the second frame and extended its lead to as many as 31 (79-48) on a layup by Walker with 5:48 to play in the game. The Lasers closed out the game with three straight from the charity stipe to set the final score at 85-58.

The AMCATS held the advantage in shooting percentage, (49.2% – 34.0%), rebounds (42-34) and steals (16-6) en route to the victory.

Anna Maria will head to Suffolk University for a GNAC match-up on Tuesday evening at 7:00p.m., while Lasell will return home to host Norwich University at 6:00 p.m. on the same night.

Catching Up With Ben Davis (Mount Ida Basketball HC)

Ben Davis, a former Wheaton College basketball player, was introduced last month as Mount Ida College's men's basketball head coach! (Photo Credit: Wheaton College Athletics)

Ben Davis, a former Wheaton College basketball player, was introduced last month as Mount Ida College’s men’s basketball head coach! (Photo Credit: Wheaton College Athletics)


A few weeks ago, Mount Ida College’s athletic department announced the hiring of Ben Davis, a former Wheaton College basketball player, who’ll be the new head coach of the Mustangs men’s basketball team this season.

“It’s awesome to have this opportunity to be a head coach and build your own program,” said Davis. “It’s exciting because we’ve got guys that are willing to work here and I am looking forward to being able to work with them and just try to build a foundation where we can be competitive in the league.”

Before Davis was hired to coach the Mustangs, the Dudley native spent time as an assistant coach with Sienna College, Stonehill College and Nichols College. And before he traded in his uniform for a jacket and tie, he guided Wheaton to back-to-back ECAC Tournament Championships in 2005 and 2006.

Noontime Sports recently caught up with the new head coach to chat about his new gig, as well as his past experiences on the bench.

On becoming a head coach: “I’ve been fortunate to work for some really good coaches. I broke into the business with Coach (Dave) Sokolnicki at Nichols College who knew me a little bit because I am from Dudley originally, so he knew me from high school and gave me an opportunity to coach. He was such a great mentor to me from the start and then at Stonehill College I worked under Coach (David) McLaughlin who was really tremendous. He gave me a ton of responsibility and really brought me along and helped develop me into what I wanted to be like as a coach. I worked for him for three years, which was awesome. We had a lot of success there each year I was there and then I had an opportunity to go to Sienna and had some positive experiences with each coach. The fans at Sienna were amazing. The amount of attention that surrounds that program is awesome, so again I was lucky to move up in the business and when I started out I knew I wanted to be a Division III head coach, and everything I did in coaching was to get to that point, so I feel fortunate that it worked out for me and that I finally get my chance to be a Division III head coach and I am excited to be here at Mount Ida.”

On coaching Division III basketball: “Anyone that plays Division III basketball or a Division III sport for that matter is doing it because they really love the sport and love to be on a team and compete with their teammates and for their school. You get a scholarship in Division I and II, so the higher up you get the more of a business it becomes, but Division III is just about playing for the guys that you go to class with, so it’s a pure genuine thing for people to compete at that level, but to me that’s really special and I wouldn’t have been in coaching at this level if I didn’t have that experience like I did at Wheaton. There’s really that special bond that is created with everyone you’re playing with in Division III and I knew I wanted to be apart of that by giving back to that experience I had as a player, which is something that I think is very important because that’s what makes it very unique and special.”

On coaching in the GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference): “There’s some excellent coaches in the league and I know some of those coaches and the perfect job they have done with their programs and building what they’ve built. It’s a tough conference, so my expectations is that we’re trying to build a foundation for a program moving forward to eventually have some classes that come through that eventually will be younger now, but hopefully older by the time the junior and seniors fully compete in the league. I don’t think we have specific goals in terms of competing for a championship right away because I don’t think that’s realistic, but down the road that’s what we’re trying to model our program after some of the older and tougher teams like Albertus Magnus and Anna Maria that have paved the way and be successful in the league, and that’s what we are trying to build.”

On prior knowledge of Mount Ida basketball: “When I was at Wheaton we played against Mount Ida, so I was familiar with the campus and the school just a little bit from being at a Division III school in the area. We actually played them last year and aren’t playing them next year for non-conference, so we don’t get to play them unfortunately. I’ve learned a lot about the school from obviously going through the interview process and it’s a really exciting time to be here. There’s a new president that has a real vision and direction of the school that is going to be tremendous moving forward and over the summer they’ll be doing renovations to various buildings and they’re adding a new fitness center to our athletic center, which is really going to be helpful, so within the last year or two years they’ve built a new turf field for football and lacrosse and other sports, so I think the president sees athletics as a building block to create the profile of the school and help the school move forward, so I am just learning more and more about it as I get acclimated here, but it’s definitely an exciting time to be apart of it.”

On learning from Coach McLaughlin at Stonehill: “He was tremendous in my development as a coach. I was there for over three years and a day didn’t go by that I wasn’t challenged to be a better coach or be a better recruiter or have my hand in alumni fundraising or something that was going on. He really took the time and I think sometimes it gets lost as a head coach because you’re so concerned about how the team is doing or what your own well being is so sometimes that connection gets lost in terms of helping your assistant coaches, but he did such a great job of challenging me to do more on the court as a coach or recruit better or just my own professional development and I think that really helped me a lot. The reason he has been so successful as a coach is because he takes the time to teach and bring along his assistances, so that really helped the program be successful for a long period of time, and that success helped me with getting a job at Sienna and I wouldn’t have been able to get that job if it wasn’t for the success that we had at Stonehill, so I owe him a ton. I talk to him still on a weekly basis and he was even instrumental at helping me prepare to get the job here in terms of the interview process, so I definitely owe him a ton for the little success I have had as a coach, but he’s been great.”

On playing at Wheaton College: “I think from where Wheaton has come as a program – just bringing it to the point where we were that first class that really made the program successful is special. We ended up graduating with the most wins in a four-year span. We didn’t make the NCAA tournament during those four years, but to have as much success as any other class or team that has ever come through Wheaton was a real true accomplishment for us and playing with guys like Sean Kelly, Josean Vega and Mike Stanton – those kids were just tough players and guys that I really respected and it was a lot of fun to feel like you’re building something to get to that point to have success and where the program and the school never had success before.”

On playing for Coach Brian Walmsley: “I wouldn’t be here today unless it was for Coach Walmsley. He gave me an opportunity to actually be on the team as a freshman because I pretty much talked him in to making the roster as a first-year, but he gave me an opportunity, which he didn’t have to and he really cares about his players and cared about me enough to give me an opportunity to play. I came back the next year and ended up being there all four years, so that’s something I appreciate every day. He definitely cares about his players and I respect him for the way he coaches and the way he cares about the team and I continue to stay in touch with him. I’ll probably be talking to him a lot more moving forward, especially being the head coach at Mount Ida, but he’s terrific and I owe a ton to him for just what he gave us and every other player there in terms of attention and care about what’s going on in our personal lives to how we’re doing in class and obviously on the basketball court, so I don’t think that’s something you find on a lot of basketball courts, but he’s always been terrific with that.”

Mass. College Hoops: Lasell’s Bertanza Named To GNAC All-Conference First Team


The Boston Globe reported earlier today that Lasell College senior Sean Bertanza, who passed away expectantly on December 20 at his home in Seymour, Connecticut, was named to the GNAC’s (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) All-Conference First Team.

Aaron Galletta, Lasell College’s men’s basketball coach, was quoted on the college’s press release saying, “I think it’s a high deserved honor. It shows how much respect the coaches in our league had for Sean and how special a player he was throughout his career.”

Through the first nine games of the Lacers past season, Bertanza averaged 20.6 points per game. In conference play he averaged 28.7 points.

For more information on Bertanza and this particular honor – HOP HERE.

For more information on the Lasell College men’s basketball team – HOP HERE

Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria’s Bristol, Clark & Conrad Earn Major GNAC Awards


Courtesy of the Anna Maria College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release about Javier BristolAnthony Click and Shawn Conrad earning GNAC (Great Northeast Athletic Conference) awards. Bristol was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year, Click received the Player of the Year honors and Conrad was named the Coach of the Year. Here’s the release:

Paxton, MA – Anna Maria College senior Anthony Click (Springfield, MA) has been named the 2012-13 GNAC Men’s Basketball Player of the Year as announced by the conference office on Monday afternoon. Also picking up major hardware from the league was senior Javier Bristol (Haverhill, MA) who was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year, while AMCAT head coach Shawn Conrad got the nod as GNAC Coach of the Year.

Post-graduate Brad Peterson (North Kingston, RI) earned   Second Team All-Conference honors along with Bristol while senior Daniel Beliard (Trumbull, CT) garnered GNAC Sportsmanship accolades.

Anthony Click, the backbone of the AMCATS team, notched 5 double-doubles this season and averaged 19.4 points and 7.0 rebounds per game, for the AMCATS. The senior is ranked 1st in

the conference in steals (42) and second in the GNAC in points per game (19.4), points (525) and minutes per game (35.9). He scored a career-high 39 points this season vs. Suffolk. Click earned GNAC Player of the Week honors twice this season, ECAC Player of the Week once and was named to the 2013 GNAC All-Tournament Team. Click currently sits in third place with 1735 points, on the AMCATS all-time scoring list and is 7th all-time in scoring in the GNAC.

Javier Bristol, the AMCATS best pure shooter, averaged 13.8 points and 7.8 rebounds per game this season in GNAC conference play. He is third in the GNAC in shooting percentage (58.3%) and is second on the AMCATS in points per game and third in rebounds. This season he set career highs in points (25), FG made (9) and FT made (7) while being matched-up against the opposition’s best player almost every night.

Brad Peterson averaged 12.3 points and 8.0 rebounds for the AMCATS this season. He ranked in the top 20 in GNAC scoring and fourth in rebounds. Peterson set the AMCATS’ record for rebounds in a career and scored his 1,000 point this season, while being named GNAC Player of the Week. Peterson joined Click on the 2013 GNAC All-Tournament Team.

Coach Conrad, pacing the AMCAT sideline for his 7th season, led the 2012-13 men’s basketball squad to their second consecutive GNAC Conference Championship Game appearance, posting a 20-8 overall record and a 16-2 conference mark. After dropping the first two conference contests of the year, the AMCATS reeled off 16 consecutive victories to earn the GNAC Regular Season Title and the number one seed in the GNAC Tournament. For the first time in 17 years (1995-96) and only the 5thtime in school history, the AMCATS topped the 20-win mark. Anna Maria also set a school record posting a 17-game winning streak in 2013. Coach Conrad is 2nd All-Time in AMC victories with 84.

Mass. College Hoops: Anna Maria Falls Short In GNAC Championship


Courtesy of the Anna Maria College sports information department, here’s this evening’s release from the men’s basketball game this afternoon. The AMCATs fell short of winning a Great Northeast Athletic Conference crown as Albertus Magnus defeated the hosts:

PAXTON, Mass. (02.23.13) – Junior Darius Watson (New Britain, CT) scored 34 points and grabbed 12 rebound to led the #2 seed Albertus Magnus men’s basketball team to an 87-80 victory over #1 seed Anna Maria College in the Great Northeast Athletic Conference Championship on Saturday afternoon at the Fuller Activities Center.

With the win the Falcons (24-4) become the first team since Norwich University in ’04-05, ’05-06 to win back-to-back conference titles, while the AMCATS snap a 17-game winning streak and drop to 20-8.

Anna Maria’s Anthony Click (Springfield, MA) and Brad Peterson (North Kingstown, RI) each notched double-doubles for the AMCATS. The senior captain poured in a team-high17 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, dished out 5 assists and made 3 steals, number 40 also notched 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting and pulled down 11 boards. Starters Joseph Barillo (Dania Beach, FLA) and Javier Bristol (Haverhill, MA) each added 10 points for the AMCATS in the loss.

Pacing the Falcons, senior Jefferson Lora (Bronx, NY) contributed 11 points and 9 rebounds while freshman James Jennings (Stratford, CT) also scored in double figures adding 17 points on 4-for-9 from beyond the three point mark.

The AMCATS started slow out of the gates as Albertus opened with consecutive baskets by Lora and Jennings for a quick 5-0 lead. Anna Maria then responded with a 12-0 run en route to a 12-5 advantage with 13:47 on the clock. Click was instrumental during the run, accounting for nine of the AMCATS’ twelve points.

Albertus stopped the run with a jumper in the paint by Lora to cut the deficit to 12-7 but again the AMCATS responded with a strong 8-1 run for a 20-8 advantage and their biggest lead of the game with just over ten minutes to play in the half.

The Falcons would chip away at the lead answering with a 14-2 streak to tie the game at 22-all with 5:08 remaining in the first stanza. The teams would trade baskets down the stretch, with Watson scoring eight of the final ten points of the half for Albertus. Anna Maria countered with a trifecta from Barillo and a pair of Hugh Daye (Worcester, MA) free-throws to carry a 36-32 lead into intermission.

Trailing to start the second half, Albertus outscored the AMCATS 8-2 and with 17:20 to play in the game we had a tied ballgame at 40-40.  Bristol hit a jumper in the paint to gain the two point advantage for the AMCATS but Jennings responded with a NBA 3-pointer to give the Falcons their first lead of the second half at 43-42.

AMCAT Joey Barillo sank a trey of his own and Click hit one-of-two from the charity stripe to push the AMCATS ahead 48-46. On the ensuing play Watson, after being fouled underneath, sank two freebies to tie the game at 48-48 with 14 minutes still to play. The two teams traded buckets and were still tied 63-63 with 6:57 remaining.

With 6:19 ticks on the clock, the Falcons then erupted to score eleven unanswered points, opening up a 12-point cushion at 77-65. Albertus’ Watson was a key factor in the run, contributing 6 points, while Jennings added the other five.

Anna Maria refused to go quietly; five consecutive free throws from Daye, Tyler Delorey (Worcester, MA) and Click cut the Falcon lead to 81-76 with just under a minute to  play but AMCATS couldn’t get any closer than five points finally falling 87-80 to the visiting Falcons.

Anna Maria held the slight shooting advantage on the night 43.8% to Albertus’ 40.3%. Albertus connected on ten three-pointers to just three for the AMCATS. Anna Maria out rebounded the Falcons 46-41.

With the win Albertus qualifies for the NCAA Division III tournament, selection announcement is set for Monday afternoon at 12:30pm. Anna Maria will wait until Monday evening for an ECAC Tournament invitation.