Sports in a Minute: Mike Rowinski to be inducted into Northern Essex CC Hall of Fame

Courtesy PhotoFormer Georgetown basketball coach Mike Rowinski will be posthumously inducted into the Northern Essex CC Hall of Fame.

Call to the Hall

Northern Essex Community College announced on Thursday that Mike Rowinski, the university’s longtime men’s basketball coach who went on to enjoy a successful high school coaching career at Georgetown High, will be posthumously inducted into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame.

Rowinski graduated from Northern Essex in 1981 and later spent 13 seasons as the school’s men’s basketball coach, going 227-70 while also doubling as the school’s baseball coach in the spring. Rowinski later moved to Michigan, where he won a state baseball championship as head coach of Harper Woods High School, before returning to Greater Newburyport to become Georgetown High’s boys basketball coach. He spent eight years as coach of the Royals and went 95-79 before his untimely death in January of 2014. Since then, Amesbury, Georgetown, Newburyport and Triton boys basketball have held the Rowinski Holiday Tournament annually in his memory.

The Hall of Fame induction ceremony, which will also feature the school’s national semifinalist 2000-01 women’s basketball team, will take place on Tuesday, March 24 at 6 p.m. in the Haverhill Campus’ Technology Center. Tickets are $30 and guests can register online at

The quest for 1,000

Coming into the season two local high school basketball players — Amesbury’s Alli Napoli and Newburyport’s Parker McLaren — had a realistic shot of reaching 1,000 career points this winter. Through the first month of the season, Napoli is now at 874 career points and McLaren is up to 709 points.

Napoli entered the year with 778 points and is currently averaging 13.7 points per game. At her current pace, she should eclipse the 1,000-point mark sometime in early to mid-February. McLaren, on the other hand, had 556 career points coming into the year, so he needed a big push to make a run at 1,000. So far he is doing exactly that, averaging an area-best 19.1 points per game, but even at that pace he is still projected to finish the regular season with only around 940 points. That means McLaren could conceivably reach the 1,000-point milestone, but barring a couple of monster 30 or 40-point games, Newburyport will probably need to win a couple of tournament games for him to do so.

Amesbury ranked

Amesbury girls basketball is beginning to get recognition from around the state after starting the season 7-0. The Indians have broken into the Boston Globe’s Top 20 poll for the first time this winter, coming in at No. 19, and Pentucket (5-1) is down to No. 10 from No. 4 after the Sachems’ loss to CAL rival Masconomet. 

Both of the area’s girls hockey teams are also in the Globe’s Top 20 poll. The Masconomet co-op, which includes girls from Newburyport, Triton, Amesbury and Georgetown, is ranked No. 7 after starting 6-2. Haverhill-North Andover-Pentucket comes in at No. 13 after its 6-0-1 start.

Newburyport basketball rolling

Newburyport boys basketball (5-3) is rolling after a couple of early setbacks. Since the start of the new year, the Clippers have won three straight, including a 69-52 win over North Reading on Wednesday night. Parker McLaren led the way with 24 points on four 3-pointers and Jacob Robertson added 15 points on five threes.

The Newburyport girls (5-1) also pulled out a tight 38-36 win in their game against North Reading as well. Freshmen led the way, with Anna Affolter scoring a team-high nine points and Deirdre McElhinney adding seven.

Tough night on the ice

Wednesday night wasn’t kind to the local hockey clubs, with Triton and Newburyport hockey each suffering tough losses to high-profile opponents. The Clippers (2-4) dropped their non-conference tilt with No. 1 ranked St. Mary’s 6-1, while the Vikings (5-1-1) lost their first game of the season to CAL rival Masconomet 4-1. The good news is now the two rivals will have an opportunity to take their frustration out on each other, as Newburyport and Triton will face off this Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Graf Rink.

Spartan Basketball Tryouts

The New Hampshire Spartans AAU club will be holding spring basketball tryouts starting Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Sports Barn Facility in Hampton, N.H. Tryouts for boys and girls in grades 2-6 will be from 2 to 3 p.m., grades 7-8 will be 3 to 4 p.m. and high school players will be 4 to 5 p.m. In addition, there will also be a holiday basketball skills clinic on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 20, for boys and girls in grades 2-12. The clinic will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will focus on ball handling, shooting form and technique, position drills and instructional gameplay. The clinic will also be held at the Sports Barn, and to sign up or for more information, contact Chris Coates at or call the Sports Barn at 603-926-2276.

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