They are the elephant in the Cape Ann League room. Who? The Pentucket Regional girls basketball team.
There’s good and then there’s them.
Pentucket won their 20th game of the season last night (February 5th) at Newburyport High School, 64-32.
This terrific team is undefeated, and certainly unchallenged, in the Cape Ann League this season. They have won by an average of THIRTY points in the fourteen CAL games. A “close” CAL game for them was the 62-44 “nail-biter” at North Reading on December 23rd.
To finish off the unbeaten season, the Sachems will have to find a way to defeat Amesbury at Amesbury on February 9th (won earlier 66-44) and Triton at home on February 11th (won earlier 76-56).
There is a website called “Maxpreps” which rates Pentucket 5th in all of Massachusetts. Those teams rated better must be realllllllly good.
My visit to NHS was my first in-person look at Pentucket. I had read that their press was very effective. That was/is true but being on hand enabled me to see a few other positives.
(1)This team can shoot from the outside.
(2)They have size inside that can score.
(3)Their pressure isn’t just backcourt pressure. Many of the first-half turnovers that they forced the Clippers into happened in the frontcourt. Picking up your dribble is the first step toward getting yourself turned over anywhere on the court.
(4)I also saw many Newburyport dribblers being forced toward their left – weak dribbling hand.
(5)I watched the Sachems shoot before the game and noticed quickly that they all shoot from the outside with the same form. They didn’t make every shot but the misses weren’t form related.
(6)I checked their roster listed on the program and this domination of the CAL is not likely to end soon. The tallest player (Victoria Cahill) is a junior. Arguably, the two best players on the team (Ashley Viselli and Erin McNamara) have younger sisters (freshman Nicole Viselli and sophomore Leigh McNamara) on the roster. There also is a sophomore Tori Lane who may be the younger sister of senior starter Emily Lane.
Anyhow, Pentucket is a very impressive team. They should end the regular season 22-0 and be a major player in the MIAA Division 3 state tournament, which starts in a couple of weeks.