St Mary’s Coach Jeff Newhall Reaches 250th Victory Milestone

Jeff Newhall earned the 250th victory of his high school basketball coaching career as St. Mary’s defeated Arlington Catholic, 64-34, Friday night at the Tony Conigliaro Gymnasium.

Newhall is regarded as one of the top basketball coaches in Massachusetts. He has led St. Mary’s to two state championships after a successful stint at Marblehead High School.

The win over perennial CCL power Arlington catholic was vintage Newhall. The Spartans’ coach installed a full-court press that resulted in numerous AC turnovers. On offense, the St. Mary’s players’ swift passes, well-executed screens and alert cuts and drives on the court, along with a variety of set plays, led to high percentage opportunities.

The Spartans are playing their best basketball of the season as they gear up for a run in the State Tournament. Junior guard Pam Gonzalez (18 points versus AC) is closing in on the 1,000-point milestone following teammate Olivia Nazaire’s entrance into the club.

Interestingly, one of St. Mary’s signature victories of this season was a triumph over Lynn Classical in the championship game of the  Boverini Tournament. After that game, Newhall lauded Tom Sawyer’s contingent, predicting that the Lady Rams might not lose another regular season game. So far, Newhall’s prediction is on the mark.

The school honored Newhall with a presentation after the game. Newhall’s family looked on proudly at the ceremony.

“It’s quite an achievement,” said his brother, Jason. “The dedication he puts in to everything, especially with the girls basketball program, is admirable. Dedication wins anywhere. I’m proud of him.”

His cousin, Matt Durgin, also praised the St. Mary’s coach. “This milestone is well deserved,” he said. “Jeff works very hard not just as athletic director, but also as a coach. They have a great program and it’s been consistent for the last ten years.”

Assistant coach Mike Jalbert, who has coached with Newhall since their Marblehead days, said, “It’s been a great ride. There are ups and downs along the way. Obviously what we want is what’s best for the team and best for the kids. The winning is something we’ve always placed a priority on, of course, but it’s surely about building to the end of the year and having a team that’s ready to compete in the postseason.”

Jalbert noted the alumni who have gone to attend college and excel. “That is the thing we’re most proud of,” he said.

Jeff Newhall is in the middle of his 16th season of coaching, which means his teams are averaging a phenomenal 16 wins per season.

“We’ve had some great kids and great teams,” said Newhall. “I love this team. I like the way we play. That energy that we had tonight, if we can just sustain that, I think we have a really good team here. I take pride in the fact that in our time here at St. Mary’s, it hasn’t been a fluke or a one-year flash in the plan. We’ve been consistent and that’s probably what I’m most proud of – that we’ve been able to put out a quality product every year. It’s a credit to the kids to win all these games in one of the best leagues in the state.”

Newhall picked up Win No. 251 Monday night as St. Mary’s defeated Tewskbury, 62-51.

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