Making a Habit Out of Making History

Milestones Reached as Crimson Tide Roll Past Chelmsford and Waltham in State Tournament Action

Every time John DiBiaso roams a sideline, celebrations seem to follow. The latest landmark occasion in a year filled with memorable moments came on Saturday afternoon inside the Everett High School Gymnasium, as senior guard Ghared Boyce became the first player in the history of the boys program to eclipse the 2,000-point barrier.

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Superintendent Frederick F. Foresteire presents a ball commemorating John DiBiaso’s 500th victory as a head basketball coach. MISSY RADUAZZO PHOTO

The record will show that Boyce scored the 2,000th and 2,001st points of his career on a driving layup in traffic, early in the fourth quarter of the Crimson Tide’s 84-51 demolition of Waltham in the Div. 1 North Quarterfinals. He is the 71st Massachusetts high school player to reach the 2,000-point plateau.

Boyce became the program’s all-time leading scorer a few weeks ago, and his place in school history has long been safe and secure. He is on the very short list of the best hoop players to tie up Crimson laces, period.

Not that Two Grand isn’t a big number. On the contrary, it’s a prestigious benchmark for a high school basketball player, one that’s only attained by those who perform at a very high level throughout their career. Boyce is a natural scorer. He can shoot. He can drive to the basket. He’s a finisher on fast breaks. He makes his free throws. He’s been fantastic since he walked into EHS four years ago.

“It’s special. I’ve worked so hard for four years to come to this point is such a great accomplishment,” Boyce told reporters after the game. “Now we move past it and I want a state championship. That’s our main goal.”

Indeed. Bigger things lie ahead for the Crimson Tide, who were set to play Lowell in a Division 1 North semifinal tilt Tuesday night at Salem High School. The winner of that game will meet either Lawrence or Cambridge in the sectional final on Saturday at Tsongas Arena in Lowell, with a trip to the TD Garden and the Eastern Mass. final on the line.

Boyce’s achievement continues what has been an historic season for the Crimson Tide football and basketball teams, both of which are coached by DiBiaso. In October, DiBiaso became just the fourth football coach in the history of the Commonwealth to win 300 games.

In December, EHS capped an undefeated season by winning its second consecutive Division 1 state title, its 12th under DiBiaso.

When the footballs were swapped out for basketballs, DiBiaso’s Crimson Tide didn’t blink, going 19-1, winning the league crown in their inaugural season in the Northeastern Conference and earning the No. 1 seed in the Div. 1 North Sectional. Last week, DiBiaso recorded his 500th victory as a head basketball coach when EHS crushed Chelmsford in the opening round of the MIAA State Tournament. He is the first coach in the state to post 300 wins in football and 500 in basketball.

And while it wasn’t marked with a ceremony, it must be noted that DiBiaso, who is retiring from the Everett Public Schools in June, coached his final home game on Saturday. It would be more than reasonable to suggest that, on the night of March 1, he walked off a court that one day should bear his name.

As for Boyce, Saturday’s game allowed him to approach and surpass the 2,000-point barrier in stress-free circumstances. In fact, he didn’t score a point in the first quarter, which didn’t prevent the Tide from building a 24-5 lead on the strength of a 13-0 run culminating in a fast-break layup by Isaiah Likely. The lead swelled to 31-5 early in the second quarter. A pull-up jumper by Caleb Jacobs gave EHS a laughable, 40-14, cushion at halftime.

The third quarter saw much of the same. A jump shot by Boyce at the 4:06 mark gave EHS a tidy, 50-20 advantage, prompting a timeout from Waltham. The breather seemed to remind everyone that Boyce was on the cusp of a big-time achievement, and you can’t accuse the senior of failing to sense that the moment was at hand.

He quickly drained a 3-pointer, letting everyone know that they wouldn’t have to wait long. He added two points at the end of the third and four quick points early in the final frame to take care of business.

After a quick ceremony was held, and with the game well in hand, Boyce took a much-deserved seat on the bench and no doubt turned his attention to bigger and better things.

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