David Willis: Under the Lights: McKenzie chooses UMass Boston

·2 min read

Feb. 27—McKenzie a Beacon

Central Catholic star Xavier McKenzie will play his college basketball at UMass Boston, he announced on Twitter last week.

The dynamic guard is averaging 21.8 points per game with 30 3-pointers this winter. As a junior he was an All-Scholastic, and he's a two-time Eagle-Tribune Super Teamer. He scored his 1,000th career point in January.

Earlier in the winter, McKenzie had named the Beacons as a finalist, along with Brandeis University (Waltham) and Clark University (Worcester).

McKenzie and Central Catholic kick off the state tourney on Friday against the winner of Hingham and St. Paul Diocesan.

NECC in Finals

The No. 3-seeded Northern Essex Community College men's basketball team knocked off No. 2 Quincy College 86-78 in the Region 21 semifinals on Saturday. The win earned the Knights a berth in the NJCAA Division 3 East District Championship at the Community College of Rhode Island on Sunday (3 p.m.)

Another victory would send NECC to the NJCAA (National Junior College Athletic Association) Tournament.

The Knights are led by Mehmet Asik (13.7 points per game), Haverhill's Phillip Cunningham (10.6 ppg) and Lawrence's Daniel Almarante (10.2 ppg).

Football memories

It's hard to believe that, at this time last year, Massachusetts was gearing up for the high school football season.

The preseason for the COVID-delayed "Fall 2" season was already underway, with games kicking off on March 12. While far from perfect, it allowed athletes to have a semblance of a season. Methuen linebacker Anthony Romano (defense) and Central Catholic QB Ayden Pereira (offense) took home Eagle-Tribune Player of the Year honors.

Overcoming adversity

Anyone looking for an inspirational story needs to look no further than wrestler Adonis Lattimore, a senior at Landstown (Va.) High School.

Born without legs and with just one finger on his right hand, Lattimore won the 106-pound Class 6 state wrestling title last week. He finished the season with a 32-7 record.

Track credit

The website Live.athletic.net, in conjunction with MSTCA.org, deserve major credit for posting live results during recent track meets, including the MVC Meet, the Division 1 and 2 championships and Saturday's All-States.

For years, the unparalleled Lancertiming.com has posted live results from New Hampshire high school track meets, but Massachusetts results were a struggle to find.

For fans of track, and interested reporters, the opportunity to keep track of results live is a major advantage.