(Newburyport) In a game with fifty-two turnovers it was hardly a work of art but Newburyport rallied from a 3-point deficit with 3 ½ minutes left to defeat Saugus, 50-43, on slippery Thursday night at Newburyport.
Newburyport (14-7) now moves on to the Quarterfinals of D3 North and will face Pentucket on Sunday afternoon (1PM) at Whittier in Haverhill.
A Gabby Cogliano converted rebound gave the Sachems a 43-40 lead with 3:47 left. At this point the #11 seed was in position to knock off the #6 seed on the road.
However, Saugus (8-13) would not score a single point the rest of the way and commit four turnovers. Newburyport had a well setup three from Lea Tomasz and made seven pressure-packed free throws out of eight attempts to grab the victory.
Lea came into the game for an inbounds play on the opposite side of the court. Positioned beyond the arc in front of the Clipper bench, Ally Leahy got the ball to Lea for a clean look and the junior connected.
Lea’s triple gave Newburyport a 45-43 lead with three minutes to go. The next 2 ½ minutes the teams took turns missing and turning the ball over. One huge play for the Clippers was a block by Lilly Donovan on Allyssa Furtado in the lane with twenty seconds left.
Saugus was forced to foul and Beth Castantini made two free throws with fourteen seconds left to give Newburyport a little breathing room – 47-43. After Stefani Terrazzano missed a three, Cady Bennett was fouled (hard) and made one freebie. Beth closed out the scoring with two more free throws.
Saugus got up by as many as eight (22-14) in the second quarter but their wasted possessions (thirty-three turnovers) enabled Newburyport to stay in the game. That eight-point lead shrunk to one point as the Sachems had eight turnovers in a five minute stretch.
Credit the Clipper defense. They double-teamed anyone who handled the ball and were rewarded for it.
Newburyport put a 12-2 run together in the third quarter featuring two steals that led to points and a Molly Rowe long one. This surge put the Clippers in front, 33-27, with 2 ½ minutes left in the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter another Molly Rowe three had Newburyport leading 39-35 with six minutes left. But for the next two minutes the Sachems put up eight points on the inside with the Clippers only answer a Cady Bennett free throw. This gave Saugus the 43-40 advantage that slipped away from them in the final 3 ½ minutes.
Senior Allyssa Furtado ended her high school career with a very solid nineteen points.
Newburyport can thank their defensive effort for this win. When they started trapping in the second half the Sachems struggled to run any sort of offense.
Cady Bennett was the key to the success of the Clipper pressure.
Beth Castantini picked up her third foul early in the second half and didn’t return until the 4th period.
Pentucket coach John McNamara was in the house. His team has defeated Newburyport twice this season.
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