(Newburyport) Brooke Stewart is going to Division One William & Mary next year on a basketball scholarship.
Those on hand at Newburyport last night saw why, as she tortured the Clippers with twenty-seven points leading Masco to a 60-49 win in Cape Ann League action.
This was my third look at Brooke. The other two times were against Pentucket, both losses. In those games Brooke faced total denial defense and had limited opportunities to do damage.
Against Newburyport, she had the ball plenty and had all the shots working. Brooke hit four 3’s and had numerous slashes to the basket. Defending her was simply a nightmare.
Newburyport (11-4 overall / 6-1 CAL) had won eight straight, and despite Brooke’s heroics only trailed by three (46-43) a minute into the final quarter.
But a minute later, a Brooke layup followed by a three from Chelsea Nason (assisted by Danielle Davis) and Masco shot up by eight (51-43) and the Clippers couldn’t get closer than six the rest of the way.
A big part of the Chieftain success was limiting Newburyport’s top scorer, Beth Castantini, to four points all late in the game. Foul trouble and facing Brooke as defender made for a long night for the talented senior.
The Clippers went down ten (18-8) in the first quarter but rallied all the way back with five each from Lilly Donovan and Molly Rowe.
Newburyport was again down ten (31-21) in the second quarter and answered with nine straight (Molly Rowe-3, Lea Tomasz-2, Lilly Donovan-4) to get within one (32-31) with five minutes left in the third quarter.
Thanks to Brooke (sixteen points over the final thirteen minutes) Newburyport never caught up the rest of the way.
The eleven-point spread (60-49) at the end was an inaccurate indicator of the difference between the two teams.
Masco (11-2 overall / 7-1 CAL) has now won eight of their last nine games and will be at Triton on Tuesday.
Masco made seven 3’s. The Clippers lone three was a Molly Rowe (11 points) buzzer beater at the end of the first quarter.
Molly was injured (back) in a scramble midway through the last quarter and never returned.
Sophomore Lilly Donovan ended up chasing Brooke around most of the game yet still had enough energy to put up a team-leading fourteen points.
Chelsea Nason and Danielle Davis each had ten points for the Chieftains.
Both teams have qualified for post-season play. Masco is in Division 1 and Newburyport in Division 3.
The two referees arrived late for the second half. I trust that they did not assume that the cheer they received upon arrival was affectionate.
(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)