King of the Court:Clarke-Dominque claims Knights’ free throw title
By Cary Shuman
Cristian Clarke-Dominique’s favorite NBA player is Stephen Curry of the Golden State Warriors, who is a 92 per cent free throw shooter.
Clarke-Dominique, a 13-year-old seventh grader at the Pickering hit 13 of 15 shots (87 percent) from the line to win the Knights of Columbus Free Throw Championships Saturday at the Lynn Boys and Girls Club.
“It feels pretty good to win,” said Clarke-Dominique, who outpointed the second-place finisher by three shots.
As the last competitor of the day, Clarke-Dominique knew what the top score was when he stepped to the line.
“I just knew I needed more than 10,” he said. “I just wanted to come out with confidence and make my shots.”
Clarke-Dominique hit eight shots in a row at one point. Virtually all of his connections were of the “nothing but net” variety.
“Yes, Stephen Curry is my favorite, he’s at 92 and second in the NBA. Paul George (Pacers) is first and Isaiah Thomas (Celtics) is pretty nasty from the line, too. He’s my second favorite player.”
Clarke-Dominique, who is 5-foot-8 and projects to “well over six feet,” according to his mother, said he practices free throws all the time.
“I’m always in the gym working on my shot,” said Clarke-Dominique, who advances to the Knights of Columbus district final this weekend.
Cristian’s mother, Mayra Clarke, was on hand for her son’s first free throw title.
“I’m really proud of him,” said Clarke. “He’s really into basketball and any time I see anything about basketball, I try to bring him. That’s his dream and I just want to encourage him to follow his dream.”
Ms. Clarke attended Boston University and works at Greater Lynn Senior Services. “It’s a great agency,” she said.
The other age divisions champions at the Knights Free Throw Championships were Isabella David (girls-10), Elijah Christiansen (boys-11), Mathhew Goncalves (boys-12), Kevin Smart (boys-10), and Adonis Fuentes (boys-9).
Lynn Classical Girls Basketball Reunion set for January 27
On behalf of Classical Principal (and former coach) Gene Constantino, Athletic Director Bill Devin and current coaches Tom Sawyer and Helen Ridley we invite all Lynn Classical Girls Basketball alumni (players and coaches) to the 2nd Annual Lynn Classical Girls Basketball Reunion. Come see the current version of the Lynn Classical Lady Rams basketball team play at home vs. Beverly at 7PM on January 27th and then join us for a social event after the game at a local destination to be determined. Details of the social event will be available at the January 27th game.
We hope you join us on January 27th to connect or reconnect with former teammates and coaches.
So we can plan appropriately for the social event, please let Helen Ridley know if you will be attending at your earliest convenience at [email protected] or 781-775-0778.
Basketball Breakout:Torres helps St. Mary’s best Fenwick
By Cary Shuman
Is Gaby Torres the best freshman basketball player on the North Shore?
Torres certainly looked worthy of that designation after scoring 14 points in the second half to help St. Mary’s High School defeat rival Bishop Fenwick, 53-40, Friday night at the Tony Conigliaro Gymnasium.
It was Fenwick who ousted Jeff Newhall’s team from last year’s State Tournament on the way to winning the Division 3 crown.
Newhall’s team has been red hot lately, winning seven straight before losing to Archbishop Williams Monday night. The win over Fenwick was another step forward and Torres was the breakout star.
“I thought Gaby grew up tonight,” said Newhall. “She’s a freshman. I talked to her at the half and told her she can play better. The second half – it wasn’t just the 14 points she scored, she was getting to loose balls and covering one of Fenwick’s best players.”
Newhall, who has two state titles at St. Mary’s and just missed a third at Marblehead, has looked to other freshman phenoms in past years. Current assistant coach Tori Faieta and Tufts player Jennie Mucciarone made immediate impacts in their St. Mary’s varsity careers.
Torres, who is from Peabody, has been a starting player all season. She is an accurate outside shooter and can handle the basketball well versus pressure defenses.
Assumption College-bound Temi Felayi was also a standout versus Fenwick with 18 points and 16 rebounds. Olivia Nazaire had 11 points. Mia Nowicki was steady with five assists at the helm of the offense.
Torres also handled well what was likely her first interview with multiple reporters after the game.
“I was looking more for my shot in the second half,” said Torres. “I needed to step up my game because I wasn’t doing too well in the first half. I stepped up and we pulled out a win.”
Torres said the team is playing its basketball of the season.
“At the beginning of the year we weren’t together and now we’re a team,” she said.
Torres and the Spartans have an 8-5 record and loom as a solid contender in Division 3 North where a rematch with Fenwick is likely. Williams is the favorite in Division 3 South for what could be an all-Catholic Central League showdown at the Garden.