Daily Archives: February 10, 2012

North Andover starts fast and never looks back in 47-36 win over Newburyport in girls basketball

Morgan Lumb (22 points) launches a triple. She made four of them in the game.

(Newburyport)  North Andover started NASCAR fast and left Newburyport in the distant dust while cruising to a 47-36 win at NHS on Friday night.

NHS senior sign

Prior to the Newburyport’s final regular-season home game, the Clippers recognized their three seniors (Beth Castantini, Molly Rowe, and Cady Bennett) and their parents. That was the last celebrating the home team would do.

The Knights shut down Newburyport for the opening six minutes and were up twelve zip.  NA hit the Clippers hard on both ends.  Their trapping and scrapping wrecked any kind of flow toward Clipper scoring opportunities while on offense their passing and cutting gave great looks.

NHS coach Gregg Dollas went through two quick timeouts with the volume in the huddle much louder in the second one.

After the noisy timeout the Clippers put in their best six minutes of play in the game.  They outscored the visitors, 16-7, and trailed only, 19-16, with four minutes to go in the first half.  The key to the good play was getting points from seven different players.  Meri Adsit had an old-fashioned 3-point play assisted by Molly Rowe to highlight the Clipper surge.  As the points rolled up, it was North Andover coach Susan Breen using a timeout to try and cool off Newburyport.

Leah Chittick (12 points) flies in for a layup.

And did the Clippers cool off.  It was like the disastrous beginning of this game all over again.  NA rattled off seven straight to end the first half (26-16) and their run wasn’t finished.

The third quarter saw NA’s Morgan Lumb put on an awfully good Brooke Stewart (Masco) impersonation, dropping fifteen of her game-high twenty-two points on the stunned Clippers.  There were three triples, a nifty spin down the lane, a turnover turned into a layup, and two free throws.  Dazzling display by the junior!

The Clippers found themselves behind, 43-21, after three quarters.

The final score of some games is misleading and this is certainly one of them.  NA got up, 45-21, fifteen seconds into the last quarter and didn’t get any more points until the very end, as liberal substituting kicked in for both teams.  The Clippers put together a collection of fourteen unanswered points but never got closer than ten.

Senior Beth Castantini (10 points) heavily defended by MacKenzie Mello

Newburyport (11-6) has all road games left starting Monday night with arguably the best team in the league, Pentucket, at Pentucket.  The Clippers have now lost three straight and need to find some positive traction before the Division 3 state tournament starts.

North Andover (10-6) qualified for the Division 2 state tournament with the win over Newburyport.  Their record is a bit deceiving since they lost to the best girls’ team in the state (Andover) twice this season.  The Knights next game is versus Triton at home on Tuesday night.

Freshman Leah Chittick had twelve points for the Knights.

Beth Castantini (10 points) led the Clipper scorers.  Lilly Donovan had six points and had the unenviable task of chasing Morgan Lumb around for a good part of the night.

I had hoped to get a picture of the seniors with their parents but it just didn’t work out.

North Andover boxscore

Newburyport boxscore

(All the pictures above and below enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Morgan Lumb

Rebecca Kell shoots

Senior Cady Bennett

Aly Leahy and Leah Chittick

Alex Medlock defends

Senior Molly Rowe

Pam Coufos breaks away

loose ball

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East Boston holds on to defeat St. John’s Prep (58-52) in boys basketball

Will March (16 points) fires from the corner

Steve Haladyna (31 points) gets a rare open shot.

(Danvers) East Boston spoiled the last regular season home game for St. John’s Prep with a 58-52 win at St. John’s.

The Jets took the lead for good (10-9) on an Ian Jones three late in the first quarter.  The EB spread would get as large as seventeen (41-24) with three minutes left in the third period before the Eagles rallied to make things very interesting down the stretch.

Senior Steve Haladyna had a memorable final home game (31 points) that was highlighted by fifteen points in the final period.  Those points were consecutive and at their end the Eagles trailed only, 52-49, with two minutes left.

Credit Eastie, they felt the come-backing heat in front of a raucous Eagle student section but had answers.  Consecutive points on a free throw by Pat Santos (1:57), a layup by Pat after a scramble (1:20), and a layup from Will March (48 seconds) and the Jet spread was eight (57-49) and in the books for the visitors.

I have seen a number of St. John games and am regularly impressed with their persistent defense.  This time the persistent defense belonged to East Boston.  Respecting the Jet speed, the Eagles settled into a zone with special coverage on Will March most of the game.  However, when the Steve Haladyna-led run got going it was heavy Eagle pressure that put a scare into East Boston.

Will March (16 points) and Kyle Fox (15 points) led the East Boston scorers.  Kyle drained three long ones.

Mike Carbone set up to tie the game

Mike Carbone (8 points) was set up for a three from in front of the student section with the Eagles down three with less than four minutes left.  That he missed that one was a surprise to me since I’ve seen him make so many for three seasons.  If that one had gone, St. John’s would have been all the way back………but it didn’t and Eastie had enough left to hold their lead.

Can an “incident” wake a team up?  That may have been the case in this one.  A scramble for a loose ball with three minutes left in the third quarter led to some pushing and pulling.  Before you knew it, the student section vocals picked up and the St. John’s players got riled up.

third quarter scramble

The glide-to-the-finish mode disappeared and the intensity on both sides picked up considerably.  Who benefited?  Definitely the senior-honoring Eagles.  Over the next 5 ½ minutes of playing time extending into the fourth quarter, the Eagles put a 21-7 hurt on the Jets and climbed to within two (47-45).

3 ½ minutes later, St. John’s was still one shot away (52-49) but Eastie didn’t cave in and came away with the W.

St. John’s (10-6) has qualified for the MIAA tourney but is a long way from last year’s team led by Pat Connaughton.  If Steve Haladyna can find some scoring help maybe the Eagles can make a run in the tournament.

East Boston (14-4?) was impressive.  Not too many teams perform very well in front of noisy Eagle partisans but Eastie jumped in front significantly early to take the crowd away.  And when things got close, and the fans got involved, Eastie was able to hold not fold.

The program provided had players’ numbers incorrect and at least one player unlisted.  Try identifying pictures with that handicap!

East Boston boxscore

St. John’s boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Kyle Fox (15 points) breakaway

Eagle student section

Jet coach Malcolm Smith

Algino Jean and Freddy Shove

Steve Haladyna gets 2 of his 15 fourth quarter points

Marcos Echevarria faces pressure from Pat Santos

Pat Santos

Steve Haladyna

Owen Marchetti

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