(Haverhill) Play two road games in two days and something is going to give on that second day.
What gave for Pentucket (7-4) was their shooting……… but it only lasted for a half.
The third quarter was probably one of the best ones the Sachems have had this season. They shot and defended their way from a 22-20 halftime deficit to a sixteen point lead and went on to defeat nonleague Whittier Tech (6-3), 63-52, at Haverhill on Wednesday afternoon.
A disorganized Wildcat offense ran into a rash of turnovers (five) in the first three minutes of the second half. Those struggles carried over to the other end where Pentucket started to connect from the outside. The Sachems went on a 9-2 run to gain the lead for good (29-24) and never trailed thereafter.
The key shot maker was Corey McNamara. The slender ball handler came up empty in the first half but dropped four long ones on his way to fourteen 3rd period points. Corey appears to have the green light that every shooter dreams of: anytime you’re within range and get an open look, take the shot. In this game, the same shots Corey missed in the first half started falling. A good shooter always believes that the next shot will go in no matter how many before it have been missed.
Pentucket dominated that crucial quarter to the tune of 23-5. With it came a 43-27 lead and a sense that garbage time loomed ahead.
Credit Whittier Tech. Playing at home, they decided not to go quietly. The Wildcats intentionally, or unintentionally, turned their offense over to Ryan Grant and tried to stay out of his way. The speedster put on quite a show from all the scoring stations collecting seventeen points.
Some on hand may not even have realized all the points Ryan was accumulating because Pentucket had answers themselves when they had the ball. The scoring strategy of the Sachems was to get the ball inside where Parker Kelly and John Modlish could take/make high percentage shots.
The Sachems led 51-33 with 4:15 to go. Ryan tallied eleven points thereafter but Pentucket’s free throw accuracy offset the bombs away Wildcat approach and the Sachems won the game.
Ryan Grant led all scorers with 28 points. The Wildcats were so one-dimensional on offense that no one else reached double figures.
Pentucket ran a noticeable offense and turned up good shots. Coach Leo Parent was screaming to his team to “get it inside,” during the second quarter. There was a costly love for the 3-point shot (4-for-18) by the visitors.
Serge Smaila left with an injured knee in the 4th quarter.
The Pentucket girls’ team was on hand to provide encouragement. I wonder how often that happens.
The game was shifted to 4PM to get it in before tonight’s latest edition of falling snow.
(I keep my own stats and take and caption my own pictures. The conclusions reached are my own. Mistakes are unintentional.)