(Boston) Meredith Kelly led Cohasset (25-0) to the Division 4 title on Tuesday afternoon at the TD Garden as the Skippers defeated Manchester-Essex (13-13), 50-40.
Meredith led all scorers with nineteen points but that was only half the story. The defensive job she did on ME’s main scoring threat, Lizzy Ball, was the game decider.
Lizzy ended up with fourteen points but they’ll be the hardest points she’s ever gotten. She made six free throws (6-for-8) but only 3-of-18 from the floor and nothing (0-for-3) from long range. Credit Meredith and the Skipper help defense, which stepped in when Lizzy broke free.
The final score in this one is misleading. The Hornets were very much in contention (trailing only 15-14) with 5 ½ minutes left in the first half. Julia Martz (11 points) had eight of those points in what looked like anyone’s game.
However, ME’s chances slipped through the cracks over the next 7 ½ minutes of playing time, stretching into the second half. The Hornets came up pointless in the next fourteen possessions while the Skippers produced twelve points over the same span.
Seven turnovers by the Hornets during that scoreless segment were the chief contributors to the resulting 27-14 deficit 2 ½ minutes into the second half. ME would carry that double-digit deficit for the rest of the game.
Cohasset had the senior leadership with the lead to be patient on offense and used the clock. They settled for high percentage shots (their last six baskets were layups) and prevented ME from getting into any kind of comeback rush.
The final score is also misleading since ME scored the last seven points of the game over the last three minutes after Cohasset had turned things over to its reserves.
I saw St. Mary’s of Lynn defend Pentucket star Erin McNamara out of her normal game in the D3 North tournament (held to 9 points after averaging 20) but have teammates pick up the slack and carry the Sachems to victory. Lizzy Ball faced the same defensive situation versus Cohasset, but on this day, the talented junior found teammate help wanting.
( All stats are unofficial. )