ROCKPORT -- Last night’s boys basketball matchup between Rockport and Lynnfield, with each team entering the game undefeated in the Cape Ann League, had the potential to be a good one.
While there’s a lot of basketball to be played, the winner would put itself in the driver’s seat in the CAL Small.
Unfortunately for coach Tim St. Laurent and the Vikings, though, the game was cheapened before it even began. Rockport was without five players, four starters and a key reserve, due to what St. Laurent termed a “violation of school policy.”
With Tucker Meredith, Rockport’s lone remaining starter, joined by fellow senior Caleb Tanson, sophomore Mike McCarthy and freshmen Andrew Waynrynen and Ryan Curtis to open the game against a tough Lynnfield squad, the final result wasn’t hard to predict.
The Pioneers (5-2) rode the play of Patrick Kearney (game-high 17 points) and Conor Sullivan (11 points) to jump out to a 28-point halftime lead and cruised from there, taking sole possession of first place in the CAL Small with a 67-36 win.
“I want to say that the kids who came in and stepped in worked their tails off,” St. Laurent said. “They were in a tough situation and I couldn’t be any prouder of how they worked. I think this is going to make us stronger.”
St. Laurent didn’t elaborate on the nature of the five suspensions, but did say that last night was the first game of a four-game suspension for each of the five players.
St. Laurent did, however, note that he learned of the violation on New Year’s Day, and the four-game suspensions are consistent with the MIAA’s mandated suspensions of 25% of a season for violations of its Chemical Health Policy. For teams competing in 16-19 regular season games (Rockport will play 18 this season), that works out to be four games.