AP NEWS

Boys squash Bruins capture 8th straight N.E. title

February 26, 2019

Not about to break tradition, the Brunswick School squash team ended its season with another championship on Sunday.

The past seven seasons saw the Bruins cap their campaign with the New England championship trophy in their possession and Sunday, they added to their collection of titles.

With five players winning their respective bracket titles, Brunswick won the NEISA Class A title for the eighth consecutive season, finishing with a team total of 113 points at Phillips Andover Academy.

Deerfield Academy was the runner-up (101), followed by St. Paul’s School (80), Hotchkiss School (76) and Avon Old Farms School (73) in the NEISA’s 16-team Class A tournament.

Dating back to 1996, Brunswick has captured 17 New England titles and has seen 74 players win individual championships at the event.

Brunswick was also awarded the Brandes Cup for registering the best record among New England teams (11-0).

The Bruins’ excellence at the New England tournament occurred after they claimed their fourth U.S. High School team title three weeks ago.

“Our team was very dominant,” Bruins coach Jim Stephens said. “It was a perfect season, we didn’t lose a match all year. We won everything we could win. It was as perfect a season as it could.”

Junior Brian Leonard won the No. 2 player title for his third consecutive New England championship on Sunday. In the No. 2 player title matchup, Leonard came back to defeat Ian Blatchford of Avon Old Farms in the final, 6-11, 7-11, 12-10, 11-8, 11-8.

Seeded first, Leonard swept his opening round-, quarterfinal- and semifinal-round matches to earn a spot in the championship match.

Coulter Mackesy gave Brunswick enough team points to clinch the NEISA Class A team title by winning the No. 5 player tournament. Mackesy, the No. 1 seed, recorded an 11-9, 11-9, 11-5 victory against Deerfield Academy’s Max Geraci in the title match.

“Mackesy clinched the team championship for us, mathematically,” Stephens said. “We were only one point ahead of Deerfield on Saturday night. Coulter winning that match took some of the pressure off the players that played after him.”

Brunswick junior Pierce Henderson earned his second straight individual New England title, defeating Deerfield’s Adrian Todd, 11-7, 7-8 (injury default). During the second game, the top-seeded Henderson was struck in the face by his opponent’s racquet. According to the rules of play, since the injury caused by an opponent, was significant enough to end the contest, Henderson was awarded the victory.

Mac Aube and Tad Carney also won their first New England titles for the Bruins. Aube was an 11-1, 11-7, 11-8 winner against Charles Braff (Locust Valley, N.Y.) in the final of the No. 6 player tourney.

He was a 3-0 winner in his first three matches of the competition. Carney, a freshman, posted a 3-0 (11-5, 11-7, 11-3) triumph against Ahmed Elwabory of Deerfield in the championship match of the No. 7 player bracket.

Carney swept his first two matches of the tournament, before notching a 3-1 semifinal-round victory. Junior Nick Spizzirri of Brunswick placed third in the No. 1 player tournament. Spizzirri won his first two matches, 3-0, before being defeated by Ally Hussein of Tabor Academy 18-16, 11-6, 11-4 in the semifinals. Spizzirri proceeded to place third in the tournament.

“Nick played his best match against him that he’s played all year,” Stephens said. “It was a great match. That first game went on and on. He (Hussein) just gets the ball back and never misses.”

Dana Santry, a junior, finished third in the No. 3 bracket. After sweeping his first two matches, Santry was edged by Merritt Wurts (Deerfield), 11-6, 11-7, 7-8, 7-8, 12-10.

“This was a great team to coach, they certainly made it easy for me,” Stephens said. “Almost the whole team is coming back next year, too. Everyone performed so well the whole season.”

NEISWA Class A final team standings

1. Brunswick 113 points; 2. Deerfield Academy 101; 3. St. Paul’s School 80; 4. Hotchkiss School 76; 5. Avon Old Farms School 73; 6. Belmont Hill 71; 7. Phillips Andover Academy 64; 7. Taft 64; 9. Hopkins 63 10. Milton Academy 52;11. Noble and Greenough 51;12. Tabor Academy 47;13. Choate Rosemary Hall 35; 14. Phillips Exeter Academy 29;15. Berkshire School 20; 16. Groton School 18.

dfierro@greenwichtime.com