(Newburyport) Hamilton-Wenham (8-3) broke away from a 47-47 tie in the last two minutes and defeated Newburyport, 55-50, on a warm Tuesday night at Newburyport.
The Clippers (10-3) had won the December meeting between these two (45-39) at HW. In this one the home team couldn’t hold a ten-point (30-20) second quarter lead or execute very well on either end in the final two minutes and it cost them dearly.
While the Generals looked to be in deep trouble trailing by ten points in the second quarter, the Clippers looked done when they fell behind, 45-39, in the fourth quarter. Both teams recovered nicely and turned it into an exciting two-minute game.
Freshman James Foye (10 points) opened the scoring in the “end game” with two clutch free throws. After a Newburyport miss, Stephen Tam (12 points) dribbled around near the top of the key appearing to be intent on taking a shot. Wrong assumption! Shane Jenkins (9 points) made a backdoor cut and caught the Clippers napping and made a layup. Then a Colby Morris turnover sent James Foye off for another layup. That put the Generals ahead by six (53-47) with only twenty-eight seconds left.
A triple by Colby Morris (11 points), assisted by Brett Fontaine, quickly had Newburyport within three with twenty-two seconds left. After a timeout, the pressuring Clippers got the turnover they needed but just as quickly turned the ball back over to HW. Off went Stephen Tam with the fumble for another layup and this game was over.
Tough loss for the Clippers. This makes them 4-2 in the Cape Ann League D2 standings. HW is now 4-1. The Generals have won the division the last two seasons.
Newburyport got that ten-point lead in the second quarter thanks to a 9-2 run over three minutes. Colby Morris (11 points) had two assists and a triple in that surge.
It took HW 2 ½ minutes to get nine of those points back. The killer basket in their nine straight was Jake Lindland’s desperation long one at the buzzer. It was another case of Newburyport heavily defending Stephen Tam and last year’s CAL D2 Player of the Year finding an open teammate.
The Clippers looked cooked when HW put a 13-2 run on them during a 3-minute segment that stretched into the final quarter. Stephen Tam scored off a turnover and added a three. Ryan Richard came off the HW bench to contribute two baskets from in close.
That 45-39 lead looked solid but four minutes later the hustling Clippers earned a 47-47 tie. Two of the Clipper baskets were converted rebounds by Colton Fontaine (12 points) and Alex Losh (10 points).
Stephen Tam did a nice job defending Brett Fontaine. Ian Michaels did the same defending Stephen Tam.
Ryan Willis (9 points) had three long ones for the Generals.
Colby Morris has three 3’s for Newburyport.
Senior Jake Lindland is recovering from a preseason knee injury. His minutes have been limited so far.
Hamilton-Wenham was very content to run an offense on the perimeter looking for an opening for a long one. The Clippers looked to get closer to the basket.
HW is 38-9 over the last 2+ seasons.
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