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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • Page 51
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The Boston Globe from Boston, Massachusetts • Page 51

The Boston Globei
Boston, Massachusetts
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16 West THE BOSTON SUNDAY GLOBE MARCH 24, 1996 For Harvard, another estone Sports Calendar Delaney-Smith takes hoop team to NCAAs 'J By Marvin Pave GLOBE STAFF WTON Playing for her mother Ml? at Sacred Heart of Newton, she was the first Massachusetts girl to score a 1 tt 1,000 points in high school basketball. She was the first woman named 4r': '1; if 4 'if 'J. Jii -r iii ii GLOBE STAFF PHOTO SUZANNE KREITER Harvard basketball coach Kathy Delaney-Smith Is flanked by son, Jared, and husband, Francis, at their home in Newton. to the Massachusetts Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame. And, going into the 1995-'96 season, she was the winningest coach in Harvard University women's basketball history and the first Harvard women's coach to win an Ivy League title.

Now, Newton resident Kathy Delaney-Smith can add another first to her resume: The Crimson women won another Ivy title, the fourth under Delaney-Smith in her 14 seasons as head coach, and earned the school's first bid to the NCAA Division 1 women's tournament. Harvard, seeded 14th, lost last weekend at third-seed Vanderbilt, 100-83, but nevertheless had a 41-40 halftime lead and expanded the margin to seven points in the second half before Vanderbilt came roaring back. It was a great showing by underdog Harvard, which trailed by just 5 points with less than three minutes to play. "Unfortunately, the score isn't indicative of how well we played," Delaney-Smith said. "I told the team afterward that they had taken Harvard basketball to its highest level this season.

Jim Foster, the Vanderbilt coach, told me at the end of the game that 'I love your Delaney-Smith coached for 11 seasons at Westwood High and has a 194-168 career coaching record at Harvard, which has finished .500 or better nine consecutive seasons. Delaney-Smith's late father, Charles, coached in Newton Little League and her mother, Peg, who lives on Cape Cod and in Florida, was Sacred Heart's girls basketball coach for 27 years. "We had some great teams at Sacred Heart," said Delaney-Smith, whose five siblings all attended the now-closed Newton school. "Mom's record was phenomenal far better than mine. She coached me and my two sisters and she was a tremendous role model for me and for so many other students.

She was well-known as community recreation vol- working as an assistant coach at Bishop Cas-sidy High School in Taunton and as a game official to help pay tuition. The head coach at Cassidy was her Bridge-water classmate, Paula Sullivan, now at Stone-hill College and one of the winningest college coaches in the country. "That was my one big regret, not playing varsity basketball in college," said Delaney-Smith, who was a physical education and health teacher and girls basketball coach at Westwood High. Her first team at Westwood was 0-11, but the program turned around quickly. Westwood posted 96 consecutive regular-season victories under Delaney-Smith, whose overall record there was 204-31.

Delaney-Smith went to Harvard, reluctantly at first, in 1982. "Proposition had hit Westwood hard. I received a letter from Harvard probably because one of their assistant athletic directors unteer and she just loved working with young adults." Delaney-Smith will never forget the afternoon in 1967 when she cracked the mark: It was a home game against Sacred Heart of Weymouth and her mother knew she was about to reach that plateau. But she never told her daughter. "I went into the game just expecting to play a game," Delaney-Smith said.

"I hit a baseline corner shot and the buzzer went off and all my teammates ran onto the court to congratulate me. That was the first I knew of it. I got flowers, a watch, a trophy and the game ball and a lot of publicity." Delaney-Smith moved on to Bridgewater State College, where she decided not to play on the women's club basketball team and wound up on the synchronized swimming team. Bridgewater instituted varsity women's basketball her junior year, but she was already lived in Westwood. "My interview was something," she said.

"I borrowed a friend's suit for it and I was interviewed by a panel of nine." She admittedly had not wanted the Harvard job. There was some separation anxiety about leaving Westwood and a tenured position. But after a day walking around the Harvard campus and talking to students, her attitude changed. "I really wanted it, and I found out I got it about a month later," said Delaney-Smith, who was the Globe's coach of the year at Westwood in 1978-79 and the New England Junior Olympic team coach from 1980 to 1982. Harvard's program was eight years old when she arrived, and she inherited a team that had gone through three straight losing seasons.

"My first day on the job at Harvard I was Continued on next page AEROBICS Newton: The Newton Parks and Recreation Department will offer free water, low-impact and step classes at 5:15 p.m. April 1 and 3, 7 p.m. April 2 and 4 and 7:45 a.m. April 6 at the Emerson Community Center, the Lower Falls Community Center, the Boston Marriott Newton hotel and through the School Department. Cost is $60 for an eight-week program.

Call (617) 964-4015. Newton: The West Suburban YMCA will offer "Learn to Teach Aerobics" from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays. Cost is $160; $130 for YMCA and Harvard Community Health Plan members for an eight-week session. Call (617) 244-6050.

BASEBALL Regional: The Baystate Bandits AAU team seeks 12-year-old players to represent the state in the national tournament. Tryouts will be in the spring. Call (508) 359-5584 or (508) 359-7665. Waltham: AAU-Junior Olympics clinic, sponsored by South Shore Baseball Club in Hingham. For boys 11-16, two-day indoor clinic April 27 and 28 at Bentley College.

Call (617) 740-2240. FISHING Dover: Dover-Sherborn Community Education will offer fly casting instruction from 10 a.m to 4 p.m. March 30 at Dover-Sherborn Regional High School. Cost is $74. Call (508)785-0722.

FOOTBALL Newton: The Newton Athletic Association will hold registration for Pop Warner football from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. March 28 at the St. Elizabeth's Center on Elliot Street. Call (617) 965-0647. GOLF Dover Dover-Sherborn Community Education will offer indoor golf lessons April 4 at Dover-Sherborn Regional High School.

Outdoor lessons are to begin April 23. Call (508) 785-0722. HOCKEY 4 Marlborough: Bay State Adult League 'T Needs teams and players, all ages, levels at Navin Arena. Call (617) 982-5166. Newton: Newton Youth Hockey -Coaches wanted for intramural program.

Call (617)964-2799. Norfolk: Men's and women's leagues For all levels at Norfolk Arena. Call (508) 520-4300. ryeDesley: The Needham Fire Fight- are 1706 will take on the Boston Bru- ins Alumni at 7:30 p.m. March 25 at the Babson Skating Center.

Admis- sion is $8. Call (617) 455-7580. ICE SKATING fewton and Wattham: Ice skating classes for children and adults are I leld at the Daly MDC rink in New-n and the Veterans MDC rink in iValtham. Call (617) 890-8480. KARATE raminghafn: The Framingham Park uid Recreation Department will of-er karate classes noon to 1 p.m.

Sat-irdays through April 27. Cost is $40 'or a six-week program. Call (508) 204834. ankSR Forge Hill Family YMCA vill offer monthly karate sessions on Vlonday and Wednesday ev enings. (508)528-8708.

Bumpy ride to the top for Marian girls Div. 4 title redeems Framingham squad's season By Todd Archer GLOBE CORRESPONDENT I a. I 5 2. court and the tiny Catholic school had its championship. "It was better than I thought it would be," Kerr said.

"I've never put myself in that position, but it was like a dream finally coming true for all of us." 1 The victory capped a memorable season personally for Kerr, who will attend Assumption College in Worcester in the fall. She became the seventh girl in the state to score 2,000 career points, reaching the magical figure on Jan. 29 in a 79-63 win over St Mary's of Lynn. "I'm definitely going to miss it" said Kerr, who also plays softball for Marian. "I don't think anything I do from now on can compare to it I never dreamed of something like this happening." Marian finished the season with nine straight wins, but the middle of the year was tough, with a string of losses after the team started out 6-1.

In the tough Catholic Central Small league, which includes Division 2 and 3 teams, Marian struggled. "A number of things happened," Delraso said. "There was Katie scoring her point and then the kids went through finals. That's always a horror show. They're up till 2 or 3 in the morning studying.

And then the weather, we had to reschedule a bunch of games. Once we solved the problems, it was clear sailing." And it all paid off at UMass-Boston's Clark Athletic Center, site of the squad's championship win over Ipswich. "I don't know if it's really sunk in yet" Delraso said. "Everyone wants to keep talking about it so I don't know if it's hit me. I haven't had time to think." But there are preparations to be made.

A banquet will be forthcoming and the players will receive jackets and trophies. Yet after the long season, the finality of it has been a surprise. "We were celebrating out in the parking lot and I had to come into the school to bring the balls in and the water bottles," Delraso said, "and then it hit me that this was the last time I was going to be with this team." Delraso will have a lot of seniors to replace, with Jessica Smith, Julia Boyko, Carolyn Carney and Kim Kit-course graduating with Kerr, but he does have a solid nucleus returning with starters Rezzuti, Sicuso and point guard Jeanine Porier. "111 sit down with the players coming back and tell them what they need to do for next year," Delraso said. I thipk w-e have some nice pieces that are rough.

If thf put effort in. could be good text year." )j( TZ3 RAM INGHAM For five months, they fo- cused on one goal the Division 4 Eastern Mas-sachusetts girls basketball championship. The I road was sometimes bumpy, sometimes smooth, but when Marian High School's season finally ended March 13 with a 61-52 win over Ipswich, it was paved with gold. "It was always in my mind in the tournament that this could be the last practice or the last game," coach Mike Delraso said. "I didn't want to say it then and I didn't But before the first tournament game, I thought about it But after that, no, you get so focused on the next opponent that you couldn't think of those things." Entering the postseason, though, Marian might have seemed the least likely team to win the tournament Marian had seven losses during the year and even some of its players had doubts about winning it all.

"Honestly, I didn't think we would," said senior guard Katie Kerr. "We set a goal after the regular season to go as far as we could, and we just took it step by step." The first step in the tournament was a 62-28 thrashing of Bristol-Plymouth and then Marian knocked off top-seed West Bridgewater, 71-60, in the quarterfinals. "That showed us that we were just as good as anyone else," Kerr said. Then there was the South final win over neighborhood rival Ashland, 55-44, setting up the matchup with Ipswich, the defending Division 4 champion. "We had never trailed in the tournament in the first half until that game," Delraso said.

"I didn't think we played that well and we were only down four points with 16 minutes to go." In the second half, Marian was able to gain the lead despite Kerr missing some time with an injury. Freshman Rae-Ann Rezzuti scored 11 points and Andrea Sicu-so, who came into the game averaging about three points, finished with 11. Many thought that if Kerr could be slowed, Marian would falter, but they showed otherwise. "That was the best part," Kerr said. "It showed how much we came together." In the end, however, it was Kerr ho helped seal the winhe was 10 for 10 from the foul line and finished with yame-high 20 pointi in her final high school game.

When the buzzer sounded, the crowd poured onto the JUST Z. AT The Framigham Park uid Recreation Department will youth lacrosse teams for ihildren ages 10 to 14 to play in the vf assachusetts Bay Youth Lacrosse League April to June. Practices will re held at Framingham High School, 'articipants must provide own quipment Cost is $50. $40 for resi-Jents. Call (508) 620534.

Continued on next page GtOSE S'AfT O'0 ScZViNt oftjlta Marian High freshman Rae-Ann Rezzuti (right) goes ever Ashland's Jackie Lloyd to grab a rebound during their tournament lame..

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