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Rockets Continue to Soar on Hardwood

A look at all the local sports action last week.

Both basketball squads at (RMHS) are enjoying stellar campaigns so far this season and the boys hockey team is proving to be a tough bunch as well. Last week held plenty of action for the Reading scholastic sports enthusiast to take in, and, without further delay, here's the rundown from around town.

BASKETBALL

RMHS boys: The Rockets have been on a tear this season, and won their tenth game in row on Jan. 21, at Hawkes Field House. Reading is 10-1 overall and 5-0 in the Middlesex League Large School Division and only a narrow loss on opening night against Melrose tarnishes Reading’s record. Against the Tanners, Jerry Ellis-Williams paced the attack with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Nate Clarke and Kenny Reed collected 12 and 13 points respectively. Chris Godwin and Drew Belcher contributed some huge minutes late in the game. The Rockets are currently ranked No. 20 by the Boston Globe.

boys: The AP boys continue to sputter, and are still seeking their first win of the season after falling, 58-28, against CCL Large foe St. Mary’s of Lynn on Jan. 20. The Cougars are now 0-8 overall and 0-7 in CCL play.

RMHS girls: This season has been one of near-total dominance for Kim Penney’s Lady Rockets. Led by junior Olivia Healy—who may already have the ML Large MVP sewn up—Reading has been chewing up the competition, winning by an average of more than 37 points per game. They are the Globe’s third-ranked team and they are good. Scary good, from the look of it. On Jan. 20, the Lady Rockets took on No. 18 Woburn in a ML Large contest, and the Lady Tanners gave a good account of themselves, managing to steer clear of an embarrassing final scoreline. The Lady Rockets won 54-45, but, the way they have been hanging up numbers this year, Woburn certainly played a good game to hang in there with a team that was coming off a 72-29 shellacking of Arlington, at the Spy Ponders’ place. The Lady Rockets are 9-0 overall and 5-0 in the league.

Austin Prep girls: The Lady Cougars pulled their overall record to .500 last week with a vital Catholic Central League victory on Jan. 20 over St. Mary’s of Lynn, 34-32, on the road in Lynn. Austin Prep is now 5-5 overall and 2-4 in the CCL Large.

HOCKEY

RMHS boys: The 16th-ranked Reading High boys hockey team had its hands full last week, as duels with two of the Boston Globe’s top ten teams loomed on the horizon—one of them against a league opponent, with heavy title implications. No. 5 Hingham was the first challenge for Reading, and on Jan. 16, the Rockets made the trip south to Pilgrim Arena but were not able to handle the Harbormen, falling 2-1. Next up was Middlesex League rival Woburn, the Globe’s current No. 2, on Jan. 21 at Burbank Arena. A game which offered the Rockets a chance to wrest the top spot in the table from the Tanners—albeit by a slim margin—with a win. That’s precisely what went down, as Reading skated to a 2-1 victory and claimed the league lead with the season about half over. The Rockets are 6-3-2 overall and 4-0-1 in league play.

Austin Prep boys: The 15th-ranked Cougars played twice last week and skated away with a win and a tie—the latter coming in thrilling, albeit controversial, fashion. Taking on Winchester on Jan. 16, in a non-league tilt, and after a power outage delayed the game’s start, Austin Prep trailed 4-3 with time winding down in the final frame. But with 20 seconds remaining, the Sachems were whistled for intentionally moving the net, an offense that resulted in the awarding of a penalty shot. Nolan Vesey skated in and buried the attempt, securing a 4-4 draw for the visiting Cougars. Ryan McDonough, Frank Candelino and Scott Corcoran provided the rest of the offensive output, each collecting a goal. On Jan. 21, the Austin Prep boys earned a win over league rivals Archbishop Williams, skating to a 3-2 win. The Cougars are second in the Catholic Central League at 6-1-1, with a 6-2-3 overall mark.

RMHS girls: The troubles of the Lady Rockets saw now respite last week, as they were blown out by Wakefield, 8-2, on Jan. 16 and fell to Woburn, 2-0, on Jan. 21 despite a strong effort. The Reading girls are now 1-10 overall and still seeking their first Middlesex League win at 0-5.

Austin Prep girls: The Lady Cougars played a league game last week, and dropped a 3-2 decision to CCL foes Archbishop Williams. Austin Prep is now 4-7 overall and 0-3 in the league.

WRESTLING

RMHS Boys: The Rockets hit the mat on Jan. 21 at the Timberlane Invitational Tournament in N.H., and amassed a score of 49 points, some distance off the pace of hosts and winners Timberlane High.

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