Editor's Note: This article was updated with correct wrestling results on Feb. 12 at 6:05 p.m.
With the winter term nearing its conclusion, local sports teams from Reading High and Austin Prep are gearing up for the final playoff push and looking to lock up league titles as they race down the home stretch.
Here’s a look at how the locals fared last week.
RMHS Girls: With just four regular-season contests remaining, it is looking increasingly unlikely that anyone will be able to spoil the No. 2 Lady Rockets perfect season, as they currently sit at 16-0 and are winning games by an average of just over 30 points per game. That being said, at 8-0 in the Middlesex League Large School Division with Woburn right behind at 7-1, there is still work to be done to wrap up yet another league crown. Reading faced a pair of ML Large battles last week, and emerged unscathed, with two wins. The Lady Rockets handled Lexington at home on Feb. 7 by the score of 67-44, and took care of Belmont at home on Feb. 10, 60-32.
RMHS Boys: The Rockets currently sit at the top of the ML Large standings at 13-4 overall and 7-1 in the league. Reading High split its two games last week, slipping past Lexington at Hawkes Field House on Feb. 7 by a 65-48 margin before dropping a close game on the road to Belmont, 53-47, on Feb. 10. Reading has three remaining contests—two of them league games—and a win in either one will give them the league title. The Rockets play Arlington at home on Valentine’s Day and Woburn on the road on Feb. 17.
Austin Prep Boys: This has been an especially cold winter for the AP boys hoops team, and weather forecasting rodents from upstate New York can’t summon the spring fast enough for the 0-14 Cougars. With two chances to get into the win column last week, a pair of league foes stopped Austin Prep from opening its account, as Arlington Catholic thwarted the Cougars, 61-41, on Feb. 7, while fellow Catholic Central League Large rival Cathedral High laid a savage 70-38 beating on the AP boys on Feb. 10. The Cougars face Shawsheen Tech on Feb. 17 before opening play at the two-day Lowell Catholic Tournament on Feb. 19. Here’s to hoping the AP squad can pull one back before it’s all said and done this year.
Austin Prep Girls: The Lady Cougars are currently 6-8 overall and 3-7 in the CCL Large, and after seeing a losing streak stretched to three games with a 55-23 loss against Arlington Catholic on Feb. 7 in a CCL Large bout, bounced back against Matignon, winning 60-53 on Feb. 10.
RMHS Boys: The 13th-ranked Rockets are now just a few wins away from sealing the ML Large crown, but second-placed Woburn is breathing right down their necks. With two league games on the docket last week, Reading High took care of business and dispatched its conference rivals to keep a two-game lead over the No. 8 Tanners in the league table. The Rockets began the week with an ML crossover tilt against No. 7 Burlington, and drew, 2-2, with the Red Devils on Feb. 6. Next up was Lexington, on Feb. 8, and the Rockets struck down the Minutemen, 2-1, at Burbank Arena. Finally, Reading played a road game on Feb. 11 against Belmont, and held off the hard charging Marauders by a 3-2 margin. Reading High is now 11-3-4 overall and 7-0-1 in the ML Large, while Woburn is 10-4-3 overall and 5-2-1 in league play. The Rockets have two more league games left, compared to just one for the Tanners, and a win in either of those—one of which is against Woburn on Feb. 18—will give the Rockets the league title. It might be time to start wondering why Woburn seems to be in the Super 8 discussion while Reading is not. With another win against the Tanners, however, all that could change. Not to mention, a big-time tilt with BC High on Feb. 15 could certainly play a role in that debate.
Austin Prep Boys: The Cougars snapped a devastating four-game losing streak on Feb. 8 in emphatic fashion, manhandling Matignon 11-3, before skating past Andover, 4-0, in non-league action on Feb. 11.
RMHS Girls: The Lady Rockets began the week off on the right foot, skating to a 5-1 win over Framingham on the road, in the opener of a three-game road trip, on Feb. 6, but matters would rapidly decline from there. Reading fell to Lexington, 5-4, on Feb. 8 and lost 4-2 against Belmont on Feb. 11. The Lady Rockets are now 3-14-1 overall and 0-7-1 in the Middlesex League.
Austin Prep Girls: The Lady Cougars lost twice last week, falling to St. Mary’s of Lynn on Feb. 6 by a 9-0 scoreline, before losing to Wakefield 3-1 on Feb. 8.
RMHS: The MIAA Division II State Championships were held at Reading High’s Hawkes Field House this weekend, and, unfortunately, both RMHS grapplers lost on Friday, although one was able to qualify for all-states through the consolation bracket. Nick Makrys, wrestling in the 120 pound weight class, got by his first opponent, Concord-Carlisle’s Gabe Arnold, thanks to a 16-5 decision, but could not replicate his success against North Attleboro’s Shane LeBlanc in a hotly contested 4-2 defeat in the first round. Makrys didn't give up, however, and tore through the consolation rounds, beating James Garfield of Marshfield by pin at 2:56, Chris O'Neil of Plymouth North by pin at 2:14 and Mark Carroll of Needham, 13-4, before falling against Adam Marquea of Greater Lawrence, 14-6, in the consolation final last night. At 160 pounds, Jonathan Ross fell victim to powerful Henry McKenna of Quabbin Regional, who dispatched Ross 17-0 in the opening round. Ross also lost the consolation round opener against Jesse Whitaker of Marshfield by a 7-0 score.
Makrys' fourth-place finish seals him a spot in the bracket at the All States, on Feb. 24 and 25 at Salem High.