Outstanding league seasons by both the 19-2 Dracut Girls 8th Grade Travel Basketball Team and the Dracut 7th Grade Boys (25-10) came to end as both squads were knocked out of the playoffs by teams from North Andover. The boys reached the final four of the Merrimack Valley playoffs by pounding Billerica 54-36 behind the strong play of Cam McCullough (11 rebounds and 5 points). This victory was especially sweet since Dracut had lost both regular season games to the Chiefs. Colby Manzueta (10), Kevin Carney (6), Jaeden Yylton (3) and William Peters (2) were part of the balanced scoring attack from the Middies. Trevor Usher hauled down 2 rebounds as Dracut grabbed their 25th win of the season.
Meghan Carney grabs a rebound and scores against North Andover
Meghan Carney grabs a rebound and scores against North Andover (Russ Carney)
The Middies ran into a buzz saw when they met up with North Andover in the next round of playoff action as they dropped a 64-45 decision. The smooth, controlled and tight play of the one-loss Scarlet Knights was impossible to defeat in this match-up. Mitchell Monette (12), Michael Patterson (5) and Jeremy Gray (3) were able to score for the Middies with some fine assists (4) from Aise Pream. Matt Rossetti had a steal as Dracut looks forward to the upcoming Massachusetts State Tournament. In girls' action, the 8th Grade Lady Middies were simply overmatched against a taller, faster and bigger North Andover team in the elite eight of the Division 1 River Valley playoffs. North Andover's deep bench and height advantage at every position allowed them to control the boards and run away from Dracut 55-39.


Melissa Iannuzzo (16) and Jaxy Marquez (10) scored for the Lady Middies as Meghan Carney (9) and Fatta Scott (7) tried their best to rebound and keep their crashing opponents away from the glass. Ashley Armano, Andrea Guerrero, Julia Otoski, Lilly King, Sarah Wilson and Meghan Cox left everything on the floor as they played their hearts out in this league-ending loss. Though defeated, the Lady Middies had an excellent year as they finished as the 16-0 undefeated Division 2 champs of the River Valley League. The girls hope to squeeze in one more tournament before their season ends.