Talk about Penguin pride! Cushing took home not one, but two NEPSAC Championship titles on Sunday, March 3 in a matter of hours. After boys' hockey defeated Avon Old Farms 1-0 at the Salem Icenter, boys' basketball sunk a three-point buzzer-beater to defeat St. Andrew's, 61-60. Click here
to see the winning shot.
The last time the Penguins held the boys' basketball title: 1996
The last time the Penguins held the boys' hockey title: 1998
The game-winning hockey goal was scored by Shane Kavanagh 14, and the game-winning bball three-pointer by Jalen Adams '15 -- roommates in Ash House!Game Summaries:
Basketball: On Sunday, March 3, the Penguins traveled to the campus of Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, to participate in the Class AA New England Championship game. Cushing was matched up against the St. Andrew's School of Barrington, Rhode Island, and their venerable coach, Mike Hart. Cushing advanced to the final by defeating Brimmer and May in the quarterfinals and Kimball Union in the semis, while St. Andrew's earned their trip by defeating number one seed Worcester Academy and the Tilton School. While the two teams played earlier in the year, a game won handily by the Penguins, this was sure to be a tight contest.
In front of a packed house, Cushing jumped out to an early eight-point lead, and it looked like they might run away with the rematch as well, but early foul trouble to Cushing stars Andrew Chrabascz and Kaleb Joseph slowed the momentum and the teams played evenly the rest of the half. Cushing was able to take a five-point lead, 33-28, in the intermission, but it was evident that St. Andrew’s was ready to play and nothing was going to be easy for the Penguins. In fact, the Saints came out flying in the second half, scoring the first eight points of the frame, and quickly establishing a lead that they would not relinquish until the very end. The Penguins went flat, settled for quick shots, and found themselves struggling to get anything going offensively. With 3 minutes left, the Penguins were down by 11 points. It seemed, to everyone in gym, that the boys were done. But Cushing started to press and had a great deal of success in doing so, eventually bringing the score to 58-56 with less than a minute to go. With 44 seconds left in the game, Cushing stole the ball and went in for the tying basket, but missed, and in the ensuing struggle for the rebound the ball was awarded to the Saints. There was still time, but it would take one more defensive stop to give the Penguins a chance. Unfortunately, the Saints were able to solve our press and score an uncontested layup with 22 seconds on the clock, giving them a four-point lead, 60-56. On our next possession, Cushing drove straight to the rim, but missed; St. Andrew's rebounded, and began to run out the clock. In an incredible (and in retrospect, underappreciated and forgotten) play Jalen Adams tied up the ballhandler and caused a jump ball situation. Just our luck, the arrow favored the Saints and it was their ball, with 13 seconds to go, and a four-point lead. It seemed as though Cushing’s season was over, but the boys never gave up. Bearing down defensively, the boys were able to force a quick turnover, giving them the ball at mid-court with just over 12 seconds to go. Jalen Adams took the inbound pass and drove right to the rim, dropping a nice pass to Andrew Chrabascz who finished the layup, making the score St. Andrew’s 60, Cushing 58.
Cushing called our final timeout and the plan was to try and steal the inbounds pass, or foul immediately if unsuccessful. Unable to steal the inbounds pass, a heady Idris Taqqee immediately fouled the St. Andrew's player, stopping the clock with 5.5 seconds left. Down two, 5.5 seconds left, with a Saint at the line shooting one and one, things didn't look good, but we still had a chance. The front end was missed, a scramble ensued, and the ball went out of bounds with 3.3 seconds left, 75 feet from the basket, but it belonged to the Penguins. With no time outs, the Penguins had to gather themselves quickly, which they did and the ball was inbounded to Jalen Adams who headed upcourt. As the clock wound down, Jalen maneuvered, got himself into position and fired the shot heard round the world. As the buzzer sounded, Jalen's 35-foot prayer found the bottom of the net, setting off a scene that won't be forgotten by anyone in attendance for a long time, giving Cushing Academy the 2013 New England Class AA championship.
Hockey: Cushing took on Avon Old Farms in the New England Large School Championship on March 3 vs. in front of a huge crowd. The Penguins came out flying with Shane Kavanagh scoring the game’s only goal just 24 seconds into the game. Matt Hoover and Garrett Hehir were in on the play as Kavanagh ripped a turn-a-round shot from the left circle that went off the post and in.
Although this was the game’s only goal, there were many jaw-dropping checks and great saves by Senior Mike Dion. Dion was at his best on the last day of the season as were the rest of the Cushing players. On this day we played like a team and we stayed very disciplined not taking one penalty -- it was a great team and community effort!
Varsity Boys’ Basketball vs. Kimball Union Academy: WIN: 62-52
Varsity Girls’ Ice Hockey vs. Choate Rosemary Hall LOSS: 0-3
vs. Phillips Exeter Academy at Salem Icenter WIN: 4-2