The Daily News sports desk's list of top 10 moments from a particular sports season always runs the day after the final local team has been eliminated from the state tournament.
This winter season, our list is running the day after each of the local sports teams opened spring practices. What does that mean? It means one of the local teams made a deep run through the state tournament.
Without further ado, here are the top 10 moments from the winter season.
1. In defense of Pentucket's title: The Pentucket girls basketball team discovered its formula for winning after a 3-3 start, relying on relentless full-court pressure defense in pursuit of its first state championship in John McNamara's sixth season as coach. What followed after the 3-3 start was 20 wins in the next 21 games, capping the Sachems' sixth 20-win season in a row, as well as the program's first Division 3 state title. The Sachems were dominant in the tournament, outscoring five opponents by an average of 21.8 points. They held opponents to 31.4 points per game. The Sachems also took home the Board 130 Basketball Classic title with a victory over Central Catholic in late February.
2. Two in a row for the Clippers on the track: The Newburyport boys indoor track team claimed a Division 4 state championship for the second winter in a row. Two Clipper athletes — senior captain Keith Conway (2-mile, 9:43.78) and freshman Nick Carleo (mile, 4:26.92) — won individual state championships. The only other Newburyport sports team to win back-to-back state championships since the turn of the century is the girls soccer team in 2007 and 2008. The Clippers logged a dual-meet record of 18-1 over the last two seasons, with the one loss coming against CAL Division 1 foe North Andover Jan. 25. That loss snapped Newburyport's 26-meet winning streak, which dated back to December 2009.
3. Triton a worthy defending champion: The Triton wrestling team entered the season looking to defend its Division 3 state team championship, as well as its two-year run as Division 3 North champion. The Vikings fell just short of the team title, losing to eventual state champion Norton in the semifinal of the Division 3 state dual meet tournament. Triton also relinquished its two-year hold on the Division 3 North title, placing second behind Wakefield at the sectional championship meet.
4. Perseverance pays off for Giblin: Triton senior wrestling captain Bryan Giblin captured a Division 3 state title at 182 pounds, besting previously undefeated Dave Dubin of Holliston in the title match. Giblin came back from a back injury that occurred during his junior season at Triton. He lost a fifth-place match against Dubin at last year's Division 3 Championships. Giblin, who went 47-5 on the season, was the second Triton wrestler in the last two years to win a state title after the program had a 16-year drought between state champions.
5. A Triton hockey program restored: The Triton hockey team returned to the top of the Cape Ann League for the first time since 2006, winning a league title with a breakout regular-season performance. The Vikings (15-5-2) eventually fell to Lincoln-Sudbury in the opening round of the Division 2 North tournament, although the team's progress under head coach Drew Wile has been substantial. Prior to Wile's arrival at the start of last season, the Vikings logged a combined record of 5-39-6 the previous two seasons. In the three years in which Wile has served as the Triton coach, a stint interrupted by three seasons, the Vikes have logged a combined record of 37-20-9. In the three years between his stints, Triton logged a combined record of 13-49-8.
6. The century club on the ice: Two local hockey players cracked the 100-point mark for their respective careers this winter. Newburyport senior center Cam Roy collected his 100th point during his team's victory over Masconomet in February. About a week later, Triton senior center Nate Williamson tallied his 100th career point in a victory over Pentucket. Ironically, Roy and Williamson were teammates as St. John's Prep as freshmen. Both transferred after one year with the Prep.
7. History was made on the hard court: Two local basketball players eclipsed the 1,000-point mark for their careers. Pentucket senior Corey McNamara scored his 1,000th career point during Pentucket's 45-32 over Marblehead in the semifinals of the Marblehead Tournament. McNamara's sister, 2010 Pentucket grad Erin McNamara, scored 1,106 career points. Corey finished with 1,065 points. Newburyport senior forward Beth Castantini also eclipsed the 1,000-point mark one night after Corey with a 28-point effort in a win over Marblehead.
8. Sectional titles on the mats: Triton had three wrestlers — juniors Victor Ramirez (106 lbs.) and Mark Rosmarinofski (120 lbs.) along with Giblin (182 lbs.) repeat as Division 3 North sectional champions. Giblin earned the Most Outstanding Wrestler of the meet at the Division 3 North sectionals, as well as the Cape Ann League Open. Georgetown's Matt Prescott also earned a sectional title at 160 pounds. Pentucket's Tom Funk (113 lbs.) also qualified, along with Giblin, for the New England High School Wrestling Championships.
9. Cheering their way to a sectional title: The Georgetown varsity basketball cheer team took first place at Eastern Mass. Regionals, winning the Cape Ann League Division 4 North championship. The Royals qualified for the All-State State competition for the first time in at least 30 years.
10. A special moment: In the waning minutes of a boys basketball game between Newburyport and Amesbury, the schools combined for a great show of sportsmanship. With Newburyport leading by double digits, the Amesbury student section began chanting for Zack Arguin, a player with special needs who had never scored a point in a varsity game. Amesbury coach Thom Connors put Arguin into the game, and the Newburyport players cleared the way for Arguin to score his first varsity points before the buzzer.