Monthly Archives: January 2013

Beaver Country Day School overwhelms Pingree 64-36 in Eastern Independent League boys basketball

Jherson Colon (12 points) covered by John Spears (10 points)

Jherson Colon (12 points) covered by John Spears (10 points)

Mo Taylor above the crowd

Mo Taylor above the crowd

(Hamilton)  Beaver Country Day School (12-3) made easy work of Pingree, 64-36, on Wednesday night in Eastern Independent League action.

Even without top star Jacquil Taylor (foot surgery out six months), Beaver still had too much of just about everything for the outmatched but game Highlanders.

Right away it was evident that the visitors would run at every opportunity and had the jets to beat Pingree (11-5) in transition.

It also became quite clear that if necessary Beaver could run organized offense and get good shots out of it.

BCDS bolted out to a 20-5 lead in the first seven minutes and never were threatened thereafter.  Jordan Scurry (11 points), Joe Connelly (14 points), and Jeff Spellman (7 points) connected long range in the fast start.

Beaver hit Pingree with another big splash of points later in the first half.  This time is was twelve unanswered points in two minutes and the Pingree deficit of thirteen (25-12) suddenly was twenty-five (37-12) with four minutes left in the first half.

Breakaway jam by Jeff Spellman

Breakaway jam by Jeff Spellman

The damage doers for Beaver in this run were Jordan Scurry (layup and a three), Jherson Colon (layup and an old-fashioned three), and Jeff Spellman with a steal and a breakaway jam.

Pingree put together their best offense of the day in the rest of the half getting all nine points scored in the final four minutes to trail at halftime, 37-21.

Nino Leone tallied two layups and two free throws in this segment and John Spears cashed a three.

Joe Connelly dashed any Pingree hopes early in the second half by personally outscoring the Highlanders 11-2 over the first 3 ½ minutes.  Three of his scores were well-setup, long range shots.

Joe Connelly scored the first eleven points for Beaver in the second half

Joe Connelly scored the first eleven points for Beaver in the second half

Joe’s scoring tear pushed Pingree back to a 48-23 deficit and the rest of the game was heavily influenced by the reserves from both squads.

Beaver is still undefeated in the EIL (8-0) and likely to stay that way the rest of the way.  They have won the league three straight seasons.

Pingree was ahead by a point last year at halftime in the game with Beaver played at Pingree but had an atrocious second half and lost, 54-36.

Minus Jacquil Taylor I thought maybe Pingree could make things interesting but it never happened.

Jacquil’s brother, 6-6 Mo (North Carolina A&T) was a force on the defensive end and had moves inside and outside on the other end.

Heavily recruited Jeff Spellman was very content to develop his point-guard skills seldom forcing his offense.  He was efficient at penetrating the Pingree defense and then finding teammates open along the three-point line.

Jherson Colon

Jherson Colon

The player that caught my attention was Jherson Colon (12 points).  I have seen Pingree’s John Spears (10 points) several times and he is certainly very fast.  However, matched up with Jherson it was hard to tell which one was quicker.

Pingree (7-1) picks up its first loss in the EIL and will have to face Beaver again at Beaver on February 13th.

The team from Brookline has the enrollment to be  Division B while Pingree is Division C when it comes to the post-season NEPSAC tournaments.

Pingree’s next game is at Concord Academy on February 1st.  Beaver visits Lexington Christian Academy on the same day.

Beaver boxscore

Pingree boxscore

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

Mo Taylor goes at Connor Reardon

Mo Taylor goes at Connor Reardon

Jordan Scurry and Connor Reardon reach for a loose ball

Jordan Scurry and Connor Reardon reach for a loose ball

Mo Taylor will attend North Carolina A&T

Mo Taylor will attend North Carolina A&T

Justin Assad breaks through for two

Justin Assad breaks through for two

Leo Connelly

Leo Connelly

Nino Leone

Nino Leone

looking for a rebound

looking for a rebound

Jeff Spellman

Jeff Spellman

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Filed under Beaver Country Day, Pingree

Newburyport holds off Lynnfield in overtime 66-62 in boys basketball

Colton Fontaine (twenty points and twelve rebounds) breaks away in overtime

Colton Fontaine (twenty points and twelve rebounds) breaks away in overtime

Pat Kearney (31 points) drives past Adam Traxler

Pat Kearney (31 points) drives past Adam Traxler

(Newburyport) I overheard Clipper coach Tom L’Italien say to his team before overtime started, “I told you that this was going to be a struggle.”

And it sure was but Newburyport (9-4) held off a good Lynnfield (8-6) team, 66-62, in overtime on Tuesday night in Cape Ann League action.

The shorthanded Clippers were missing starters Ian Michaels (illness) and Matt Canning (injury) and labored to be consistent on offense and defense with replacements.

The Pioneers weren’t much better through three quarters missing a ton of shots.  But in the final quarter (down 38-26 at the start) Pat Kearney (31 points) and Eddie Moore (10 points) caught fire and led the visitors through a 26-point quarter all the way back to overtime.

Conor Sullivan (#10) ties the score in regulation with ten seconds left

Conor Sullivan (#10) ties the score in regulation with ten seconds left

Pat had three long ones and Eddie had two in the remarkable comeback.  An inbounds play with Corey Sullivan on the scoring end, with ten seconds left, finished the Pioneer run back to a tie (52-52).

The Clippers took charge in the five-minute overtime despite losing shot-blocking, rebounding, seventeen-point producing Dillon Guthro on fouls after little over a minute had gone by.

Senior John Baribeault tallied the go-ahead-for-good basket with 1 ½ left (60-57) in OT and Lynnfield ran out of the long-range success they needed to come back.

Senior Pat Kearney had eight points in the overtime to reach thirty-one points.  It was hard for me to believe that this was the same player I saw held to four points by undefeated North Reading four days ago in the Hornets’ 62-36 win.  When you’re hot you’re hot, when you’re not…….

Clipper John Baribeault (six points in OT) sees a possible turnover

Clipper John Baribeault (six points in OT) sees a possible turnover

This was a tough loss for Lynnfield.  They have now lost four straight with a home game ahead with a strong Manchester-Essex team on Friday night at home.

The good news for Lynnfield, however, is that they are on top in the CAL Division 2 standings.  That position alone, at the end of the regular season, would gain them a spot in the post-season state tournament.  They could be formidable in Division Four.

Newburyport (9-4) moves a win short of making the tournament in Division Three.  This was a win pulled off without several starters while losing formidable big man Dillon Guthro in overtime, and squandering a twelve-point lead.  The Clippers continued to add “excitement” in overtime by missing six of fourteen free throws.

The Clippers visit undefeated North Reading on Friday night.  I came away from NR’s 62-36 win over Lynnfield four days ago believing I had seen the best player in the Cape Ann League.  That player is 6-4 John Mastascusa.  The transfer from Malden Catholic had twenty points, including four dunks, without forcing his offense against Lynnfield.  John plays on the perimeter so I suspect that Colton Fontaine will draw the very tough defensive assignment.

Colton Fontaine scores despite a block attempt by Pat Kearney

Colton Fontaine scores despite a block attempt by Pat Kearney

6-1 Colton led the Newburyport scorers against Lynnfield with twenty points and also took in twelve rebounds.

John Baribeault (11 points) and Colby Morris (10 points) also reached double figures for the winners.

Impressive ball-handling performance at halftime by a large delegation of Bresnahan students.

Newburyport boxscore

Lynnfield boxscore

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

Colby Morris (10 points) shoots over Traverse Briana

Colby Morris (10 points) shoots over Traverse Briana

halftime performers

halftime performers

Drew Bourdeau rebounds

Drew Bourdeau rebounds

John Baribeault puts Newburyport ahead for good in OT

John Baribeault puts Newburyport ahead for good in OT

Eddie Moore (eight points in 4th quarter comeback) defends

Eddie Moore (eight points in 4th quarter comeback) defends

Dillon Guthro beats Adam Buchanan to the hoop

Dillon Guthro beats Adam Buchanan to the hoop

Pat Kearney blocks the shot of Mike Shay

Pat Kearney blocks the shot of Mike Shay

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Filed under Lynnfield, Newburyport

Triton holds off East Boston 36-27 in non-league girls basketball

Christine Ciccone heads for the basket.

Christine Ciccone heads for the basket.

Harley Wood (8 points) readies to rebound

Harley Wood (8 points) readies to rebound

(Byfield)  A run of nine unanswered points combined with clutch free throw shooting were keys in Triton getting past East Boston, 36-27, on a snowy Monday night of non-league action.

The Viking girls broke away from an 11-11 tie with a run of points that began late in the second quarter and stretched two minutes into the third quarter.  Their nine-point collection put the home team on top, 20-11.

Thereafter, strong Triton free throw shooting (eight-for-ten) was needed to hold off the fast-closing Jets.  The visitors would get within six (27-21) with 5 ½ minutes left in the game but that was the best they could do.

Megan Muldowney contributed five points in the nine-point run that gave the Vikings separation.  In there was an old-fashioned three as the sophomore went coast-to-coast down the left side and was fouled.

Amanda Colpitts and Hannah Canning trap Stephanie Rizzo

Amanda Colpitts and Hannah Canning trap Stephanie Rizzo

Freshman Christine Ciccone and sophomore Hannah Canning each had a basket in the important Triton run of points.

The hero of the free throw shooting was certainly senior co-captain Harley Wood.  Harley hit on all six attempts including a crucial four during the last 2 ½ minutes of this game.

The Jets were pesky on defense especially in the first half when they caused thirteen Viking turnovers.

A three by sophomore Daniela Villegas tied the Jets with Triton at eleven in the second period.

The teams had played at East Boston earlier in the season and Triton had been the winner, 26-20, so it was easy to imagine another tight game.  However, the nine straight Vikings points appeared, at the moment, to doom such a finish.

Chuckearah Johnson finishes a hook shot

Chuckearah Johnson finishes a hook shot

But the girls from the Boston City League put five straight points together in the fourth quarter (Daniela Villegas layup and free throw plus a Chuckearah Johnson hook) to make things interesting (27-21) with 5 ½ minutes left.

However,  Triton answered with a Hannah Canning layup, a free throw by Nikki Sullivan, and a jump shot from Kaitlyn Muldowney to restore their double digit lead (32-21) and take command.

Sophomore Jasmine Lemus (8 points) was high scorer for Eastie.

Harley Wood and Hannah Canning topped the Viking point producers.

Triton (2-12) will be at Georgetown tomorrow (Tuesday) night in Cape Ann League action.

Jasmine Lemus (8 points) takes a shot

Jasmine Lemus (8 points) takes a shot

East Boston (1-11) had its lone win over Snowden in the Boston City League.

Chuckearah Johnson (7 points) made the game’s highlight shot when she went into the lane and spun out nailing a nifty hook shot.

Triton boxscore

East Boston boxscore

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

Daniela Villegas lines up a shot

Daniela Villegas lines up a shot

Amanda Colpitts defends Chuckearah Johnson

Amanda Colpitts defends Chuckearah Johnson

scramble

scramble

Marisa Dorman

Marisa Dorman

Megan Muldowney

Megan Muldowney

Nikki Sullivan surrounded by Jets

Nikki Sullivan surrounded by Jets

Kaitlyn Muldowney

Kaitlyn Muldowney

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Undefeated North Reading beats Lynnfield 62-36 to win thirteenth in boys basketball

One of the four dunks John Mastascusa (20 points) had against Lynnfield

One of the four dunks John Mastascusa (20 points) had against Lynnfield

Pat Kearney dribbled into some strong North Reading second-half defense

Pat Kearney dribbled into some strong North Reading second-half defense

(Lynnfield) I swear it was the same group of North Reading Hornets playing the second half that played the first half.

You had to wonder, however,  after the North Reading boys started the second half trailing by a point (23-22) and then just thrashed Lynnfield with a twenty-five point third quarter.

In that same big point-producing quarter the Hornets were able to limit the Pioneers (8-5) to only six points and won going away, 62-36, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

The win keeps the Hornets undefeated (13-0) and you have to  wonder if anyone ahead in the CAL can keep them from a perfect regular season.  Not likely, from what I saw in this game.

The attraction of this game was that on January 2nd these two teams had played a very tight, 44-41, match at North Reading.  The Pioneers had the ball at the end of that game with a chance to tie it.  So there was history to suggest that in a rematch played at Lynnfield, the NR streak might be stopped.

That thought was still in my head after a half.  Undersized Lynnfield came out flying, and the taller, slower Hornets just couldn’t keep up for much of the first half.

Conor Sullivan (15 points) goes for a block against Chris Capozzoli

Conor Sullivan (15 points) goes for a block against Chris Capozzoli

North Reading had a run of five straight turnovers to start the second quarter while Lynnfield ran six straight points (two layups by Connor Sullivan and another by Adam Buchanan) near the end of that quarter.  The Pioneer point-streak put them up 23-18 with 1:23 left and led to a noisy Hornet timeout.

The visitors responded with all four points after that (John Mastascusa layup and a Tommy Hogan layup off a turnover) to trail, 23-22, at halftime.

I’m guessing that the noisy NR timeout extended into the locker room at halftime.  The Hornets came out just before halftime ended and took no warm-ups.

The second half started with 6-4 John Mastascusa (20 points) jamming home a rebound and Pat Kearney answering with two free throws.  So after a minute Lynnfield still had a one-point lead and another tight finish looked likely.

After that?  You almost had to be there to even fathom the way North Reading went off and Lynnfield went under from there on.  The simple math is that NR outscored Lynnfield, 38-11, the rest of the way.

It was a long second half for Lynnfield coach Scott MacKenzie

It was a long second half for Lynnfield coach Scott MacKenzie

2 ½ minutes after Lynnfield had the one-point lead, North Reading ran off eleven straight points and Coach Scott MacKenzie had burned two timeouts trying to find some way to stop what was happening.  The Pioneers were down, 35-25.

The difference?  The Hornets took much better care of the ball. The Pioneers gambled defensively all over the court and when that tactic didn’t work the visitors had layups.  Mike O’Brien had five in the run, while John Mastascusa had four, and Tommy Hogan two.

Conor Sullivan (15 points) finally hit a shot for Lynnfield to end their drought but only temporarily.  The next 2 ½ minutes saw NR put another run together (ten points) to vault ahead, 45-27, with 1:25 to go in the third quarter.  Mike O’Brien, Tommy Hogan, John Mastascusa, and Evan Wade registered points during this second big collection of unanswered points.

The rest of the game was played but not to determine the winner or loser.  There are rules that say you have to!  The Division Three Hornets, with a twenty-five point third quarter, had wrapped this one up early.  There was plenty of reserve action in the final quarter.

One of the things that killed Lynnfield in the second half was getting caught in close on their offensive end.  Over and over again, an NR player would get a rebound and send teammates off on fastbreaks.  In the first half, the Pioneers made enough shots so that they had time to get into some sort of defensive position. Not in the second half.

John Mastascusa (10) elevates

John Mastascusa (10) elevates

This was my first look at John Mastascusa.  I was impressed.  John lives in North Reading but until this year had been at Malden Catholic.  He was good enough in the Catholic Conference to earn All-Star honors after last season.  Suddenly in his senior year he decided to play in his hometown with teammates he was on travel teams with starting in fourth grade.

The usual pattern is that when a public school player becomes good enough they transfer to a private school but not in this case.

John can play above the rim, he had four dunks, but he was generally the point guard for North Reading.  His willingness to give up the ball to teammates was noticeable. However, when he wanted to get to the rim he could.  His highlight dunk was a flying put-down of someone else’s missed shot.  That was early in the third quarter.

I liked the hustle of Division Four Lynnfield.  In their excellent first half they forced turnovers and ran every chance they could.  No question it was a frustrating evening for Pat Kearney who was defended into a four-point game.

Both teams play next Tuesday.  North Reading hosts Ipswich while Lynnfield will be at Newburyport.

I chatted with Hornet coach Joe Casey before the game about Division Three.  He told me, “there’s Danvers and then there’s everyone else!”

North Reading was 7-13 last season.  Now they’re heading into territory that Coach Casey said, “they’d never come close to during his years of coaching at North Reading.”

Freshman Adam Buchanan added ten points for Lynnfield.  I would guess that he had at least that many rebounds.

Mike OBrien (13 points) looks for an opening against Paul Pasciuto

Mike OBrien (13 points) looks for an opening against Paul Pasciuto

Mike O’Brien (13 points) and Tommy Hogan (10 points) ended up in double figures for the Hornets.

Lynnfield is in first place in the CAL Small Division but have now lost three straight games.

North Reading has been averaging close to sixty points per game and giving up forty points.  Their shot blockers do not allow many in-close shots when opponents have to run half-court offenses.

I thought that there was a pretty good-sized Cape Ann League crowd on hand.

North Reading boxscore

Lynnfield boxscore

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

Evan Wade and Pat Kearney

Evan Wade and Pat Kearney

loose ball

loose ball

Carl Lipani

Carl Lipani

Adam Buchanan (10 points) shoots over John Fortes

Adam Buchanan (10 points) shoots over John Fortes

Tommy Hogan (10 points)

Tommy Hogan (10 points)

shot blocker

shot blocker

 

 

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Filed under Lynnfield, North Reading

Late rush gets Bishop Guertin boys past Winnacunnet 75-71

No shot available for Rich Ruffin of Winnacunnet late in the game

No shot available for Rich Ruffin of Winnacunnet late in the game

Freshman Jack Zimmerman scored the tying basket.

Freshman Jack Zimmerman scored the tying basket.

(Hampton NH) This game will not be a pleasant memory for the Winnacunnet Warriors boys basketball team.

Visiting Bishop Guerin (8-1) appeared to be heading for a loss until Winnacunnet (4-4) collapsed at both ends in the final quarter and suffered a tough, 75-71, defeat to the Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Winnacunnet took the lead early and seemed to have a night going in which they could answer every comeback by BG with a string of points.  The Warriors did it all night long until falling apart long enough late to let this game get away from them.

Junior Pat Lamprey (15 points) dropped four 3’s on the Cardinals in the last three minutes of the first quarter getting Winnacunnet away to a 17-13 after a quarter.

A long one by Ryan Gigliotti (16 points) boosted the WHS edge to ten (28-18) in the second quarter.

Ryan Gigliotti (16 points) tangles with Jeff Lunn

Ryan Gigliotti (16 points) tangles with Jeff Lunn

Again it was Ryan with a key basket as his steal and layup maintained the ten-point spread (50-40) in the third quarter.

The Cardinals would make mini-runs to cut inside ten but Winnacunnet seemed to have long-range answers (they had ten 3’s through three quarters) when they needed them.

Same thing at the start of the final quarter.  Pat Lamprey’s fifth three gave the Warriors yet another ten-point lead (65-55) and you sensed that the three-ball would carry them home.

After a Steve Toscano (15 points) three, Matt Guerin (10 points) answered with a layup.  Now up, 67-58, with 5:54 left in the game anyone watching the earlier give-and-take was not prepared for what happened during the next five minutes of playing time.

The accurate long shot deserted the home team entirely as did every other shot except one free throw (Ryan Gigliotti).

And while the Warriors couldn’t score, Bishop Guertin put a 16-1 segment together and went ahead 74-68 with fifty seconds left.

Rich Ruffin gets an open look in front of the Warrior student section

Rich Ruffin gets an open look in front of the Warrior student section

I don’t know how many shots WHS missed during those bleak five minutes but it was plenty.  Rich Ruffin had open three’s from either corner and couldn’t get either to drop.

The spark for BG was freshman Jack Zimmerman.  The young man hit a three and then a breakaway layup to tie the score at 67-67.  Later  (at 3:38) when senior point guard Steve Toscano fouled out, Jack took over at point guard the rest of the way.

Five Cardinal free throws enabled them to boost their advantage to 74-68 with 1:08 remaining.

Winnacunnet was obviously in serious trouble but their aggressiveness with the ball earned them six free throws over the next thirty seconds while BG turned the ball over twice.

The six freebies gave the Warriors a legitimate chance to rally but they missed three of the six attempts to douse their hopes.  A late free throw by Kyle Gavin (15 points) sealed the deal for Bishop Guertin.

Pat Lamprey (5 three-pointers)

Pat Lamprey (5 three-pointers)

The two teams combined to make nineteen long ones.  The same two teams combined to miss nineteen free throws.  Those kind of results make me wonder which shot gets the most practice.

Very aggressive defense by Winnacunnet gave 6-6 Jeff Lunn (9 points) a quiet evening.  The Cardinal center had been averaging 20 points per game.  But a defense that shows special attention to one player allows openings for other players.  BG had six three’s in the second half.

Winnacunnet turned every defensive rebound into the start of a fast break.  They were able to get a steady flow of good outside looks doing this.  The problem for the Warriors was when they tried to force their way in for layups against the taller Cardinals.  They just couldn’t finish consistently.

There is no shot clock in New Hampshire and neither of these teams ever came close to needing one.

Coach Jim Migneault instructs

Coach Jim Migneault instructs

Coach Jim Migneault dished out plenty of tough love to his team during the game.  He has done quite the job with a team with no returning starters and a point guard with a separated shoulder.

Next up for BG will be a home game on Friday with Trinity.

Winnacunnet travels to Merrimack on Friday.

Bishop Guertin box score

Winnacunnet box score

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

Matt Guerin (10 points) on the break

Matt Guerin (10 points) on the break

Sam Knollmeyer defended by Pat Bilodeau

Sam Knollmeyer defended by Pat Bilodeau

Niarhos Costas (13 points)

Niarhos Costas (13 points)

loose ball

loose ball

Kyle Gavin (15 points)

Kyle Gavin (15 points)

John Noon (12 points)

John Noon (12 points)

Steve Toscano (15 points)

Steve Toscano (15 points)

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Filed under Bishop Guertin, Winnicunnet

Newburyport holds off Ipswich 50-39 for eighth win in boys basketball

Sophomore Mike Shay had two layups off Ipswich turnovers

Sophomore Mike Shay had two layups off Ipswich turnovers

Colby Morris (15 points) had four 3-pointers

Colby Morris (15 points) had four 3-pointers

(Newburyport) The Newburyport withstood a late Ipswich rally and defeated the Tigers, 50-39, on Monday afternoon in a nonleague game.

The Clippers lead, which had been as high as fifteen points (37-22), was only six (41-35) with four minutes left in the fourth quarter.

At that point, the home team answered with a game-deciding seven straight points on layups by Colton Fontaine (14 points) and a 3-pointer by Colby Morris (15 points).  A tenuous six-point lead quickly became a much more comfortable thirteen-point lead with two minutes left.

Newburyport (8-3) needs two more wins in their six remaining games to qualify for the MIAA tournament.  The Clippers will be at Georgetown on Friday night.

Newburyport stung Ipswich (2-10) with six 3-pointers.  Colby Morris had four of them including three in the first 5 ½ minutes of the game.

Adam Traxler and Matt Jaeger

Adam Traxler and Matt Jaeger

While Colby had nine first-period points, Ipswich’s Matt Jaeger also had a three as well as two jumpers.  The Tigers trailed only 15-13 after a quarter.

If Ipswich coach Alan Laroche could erase one of the four quarters in this game it would surely be the second quarter.  Why?  The Tigers tallied just five points, had seven turnovers, watched Newburyport score eleven straight, and trailed by ten (28-18) when that quarter was over.

Sophomore Mike Shay came off the bench to be the finisher twice in that quarter after Ipswich miscues.  In the eleven-straight segment Ian Michaels (8 points) nailed a three and Colton Fontaine added a layup and a free throw.

The Clippers had another run of unanswered offense (eight straight) in the third period.  A second Ian Michaels three combined with a layup, a converted rebound, and a free throw, all by Colton Fontaine, did the damage for Newburyport.  This surge gave the Clippers a commanding 37-22 advantage with three minutes left in the third quarter.

Colton Fontaine (14 points) looks for an opening against Ipswich shot-blocker Erik Fyrer (11 points)

Colton Fontaine (14 points) looks for an opening against Ipswich shot-blocker Erik Fyrer (11 points)

Ipswich was down but not entirely out as Erik Fyrer (11 points) led the Tigers back into a challenging position during the next six minutes of playing time.  The 6-4 junior, despite heavy coverage by Colton Fontaine, posted eight points during the Ipswich rally and helped cut the Newburyport margin down to 41-35.

However, Newburyport was able to regain control and come away with their eighth victory of the season.

The Clippers have won four of their last five.  The Tigers have lost seven of their last eight.

Ipswich will host Hamilton-Wenham on Friday.

Both Doug Hoak (Hamilton-Wenham) and Dave Clay (Triton) were interested spectators.

Colby Morris drives past Kyle Blomster

Colby Morris drives past Kyle Blomster

A team with multiple 3-point shooters will always be difficult to defend.  With Colby Morris back, after missing five games, the Clippers can hurt opponents long range with Colby and Ian Michaels.

Colby Morris didn’t play in the regular season game with Ipswich that the Clippers won, 38-26.  That was the game in which the halftime score was an uninspiring, 13-7.

Erik Fyrer ended up with eight rebounds and four blocks according to my statistician.

Dillon Guthro slid painfully into the stands.

Newburyport boxscore

Ipswich boxscore

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably and get into better focus if you click on them.)

Matt Canning defended by Aleks Kuljic (12) and Kyle Blomster (15)

Matt Canning defended by Aleks Kuljic (12) and Kyle Blomster (15)

Erik Fyrer goes for the block against Ian Michaels

Erik Fyrer goes for the block against Ian Michaels

Erik Fyrer puts a block on Drew Bourdeau

Erik Fyrer puts a block on Drew Bourdeau

Dillon Guthro and Quinn OConnor

Dillon Guthro and Quinn OConnor

young Tiger fan

young Tiger fan

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Filed under Ipswich, Newburyport

Masconomet survives late North Andover rally to win 52-41 in nonleague girls basketball

Tight defense helped the Chieftains get a big lead

Tight defense helped the Chieftains get a big lead

Pam Coufos (10) steals from Meghan Collins (5) late in the game

Pam Coufos (10) steals from Meghan Collins (5) late in the game

(Topsfield)  The Masconomet Lady Chieftains never trailed but had to hold off the late-charging North Andover Scarlet Knights to win, 52-41, on Sunday afternoon in non-league play.

Masco (10-2) was smooth as silk on offense for 3 ½ quarters.  They ran plays that turned up many great scoring opportunities and built a commanding, 48-32, lead with 3:48 left in regulation.

I imagined a Masco coast-in from there but North Andover had other ideas.  After spending most of the game trying to find someone/anyone to pass to, the Knights began to use their pressure defense to create offense.

Led by Pam Coufos (two steals leading to two layups), the Division 2 visitors put together nine straight points in two minutes.  Five straight Masco miscues certainly helped, as NA closed to 48-41 with 1 ½ minutes left in the game.

But that was where the late run came to an end for the Knights.  Leah Chittick (eight points) missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have cut the lead to five. Then the Chieftains put a lengthy possession together (finally) and Nicole Femino (12 points) drove the lane to the left to squelch NA’s rally plans.

Morgan Lumb (on crutches) gives Abi Rose flowers

Morgan Lumb (on crutches) gives Abi Rose flowers

North Andover (9-3) struggled against the Masconomet pressure defense from beginning to end.  The Knights are trying to get used to life without Division 1 (Hartford) signee Morgan Lumb and it is clearly a work in progress.

When healthy, Morgan was able to make plays for herself ( I saw her get fifteen points in one quarter in a state tournament game last year against Tewksbury) and she could also set up teammates.

Megan Collins (17 points) supplied points for the Knights but there were very few assisted baskets for NA.

However, despite registering seventeen turnovers during the first half, NA trailed only 26-19 at halftime.

Claudia Marsh (nine points) shoots over McKenzie Mello

Claudia Marsh (nine points) shoots over McKenzie Mello

However, Masco’s last basket in the first half (Claudia Marsh layup) started ten straight unanswered points for the Division 1 home team.  Hannah Kiernan contributed two layups while Nicole Femino and Meghan Collins each added a pair of free throws in the ten-point surge that boosted the Chieftain advantage to 34-19 in the third quarter.

Masco started another run of unanswered scoring (seven) late in the third quarter that stretched their margin to 45-26 two minutes into the final quarter.

That lead would extend to 48-32 before NA made the late charge.

The very idea that North Andover had Masconomet on the ropes in this game is truly remarkable considering: (1) they played without Morgan Lumb, (2) they turned the ball over thirty times, and (3) they committed eighteen fouls and forced Coach Sue Breen to employ all sorts of unusual on-floor combinations.  Perhaps the biggest problem was point guard Pam Coufos getting limited first-half minutes because of three fouls.

Hannah Kiernan (15 points) took the ball to the basket on every opportunity for Masco and was rewarded numerous times with baskets or free throws.  She had an end-to-end drive in the fourth quarter.

Coach John McNamara (Pentucket) was an interested spectator.  His team faces Masco at Masco on February 1st.  The Lady Chieftains will certainly have to cut down on their turnovers (twenty-three) if they hope to avenge an early-season loss to the Division 3 Sachems.

North Andover, formerly in the Cape Ann League,  brought flowers for the Masconomet seniors.

Two of the three terrific National Anthem singers

Two of the three terrific National Anthem singers

The best part of the afternoon at Masconomet was the singing of the National Anthem by three little ladies.  I won’t try to guess their ages but their pitch and their diction was unbelievable.

It was a long afternoon for some of the North Andover faithful.  They had plenty of comments for the two officials about the frequent whistles, the eighteen fouls called against their Knights, and finally the eleven-point loss.  And then they had to go home and watch what the Ravens did to our Patriots!

Masconomet boxscore

North Andover boxscore

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

loose ball

loose ball

Abi Rose and Megan Collins

Abi Rose and Megan Collins

Meghan Collins and Pam Coufos

Meghan Collins and Pam Coufos

Nicole Femino (12 points) gets the basket that ended the late North Andover rally

Nicole Femino (12 points) gets the basket that ended the late North Andover rally

tight Knight defense

tight Knight defense

Megan Collins (17 points) shoots

Megan Collins (17 points) shoots

 

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Pingree School cruises past Concord Academy 62-47 in EIL boys basketball

Kyle Lentini (17 points) blocks Malin Segal (21 points)

Kyle Lentini (17 points) blocks Malin Segal (21 points)

Sam Stogdon (14 points) and Kyle Lentini battle

Sam Stogdon (14 points) and Kyle Lentini battle

(Hamilton) Pingree School gained twenty-point separation from Concord Academy early in the second half and cruised to a 62-47 win on Friday night in Eastern Independent League boys basketball action.

Pingree (10-3) combined a turnover-producing defense with segment of 6 ½ minutes of nearly unanswered offense to get the job done.

The visitors found themselves in double teams almost anywhere they had the ball. Steals and bad passes were frequent as CA registered, by my count, twenty turnovers in the first half and ten more in the second half.

If CA could have subtracted a certain 6 ½ minutes of this game, they would have been in a tight game (like last year) but unfortunately for Concord they couldn’t and had to live with the effects of a 19-2 Pingree run.

CA (6-3) made enough shots in the first thirteen minutes (Malin Segal has ten points including two 3’s) to trail by a very manageable two points, 23-21.

Griffin Beal gets in clean for two

Griffin Beal gets in clean for two

What Pingree did to Concord over the last three minutes of the first half, and the first 3 ½ minutes of the second half, will not appear on any season-highlights video on the campus of Concord Academy.

Let’s take care of the final three minutes of the first half first.  The Highlanders scored the last ten points of the first half despite missing five free throws.  CA registered seven of their twenty first-half turnovers during this segment.  CA also missed the front end of two one-and-one free throw attempts.

Kyle Lentini (17 points) hit a jump shot, stole a CA pass, and made a layup in the final twenty seconds.

Pingree had a 33-21 lead, as a result, at halftime.

Concord had the first points of the second half (Sam Stogdon layup) but then were victimized by another scoring drought.  The next three minutes of playing time saw only Pingree points go up…….nine of them.  At the end of it, what had been a competitive game earlier (23-21), became out of hand (42-23).

Justin Assad (13 points) floats in the lane

Justin Assad (13 points) floats in the lane

During the early second-half run of Pingree offense, Justin Assad (13 points) had a three and a layup, while Kyle Lentini converted a rebound, and Alonzo Jackson made two free throws.

Concord did score more points than Pingree the rest of the way but as they say in farm country, “The cows had left the barn.”

Malin Segal (21 points) and Sam Stogdon (14 points) reached double figures for CA.  Many of their points came against the Pingree reserves in the second half.

CA employed a 1-3-1 half court zone.  Pingree’s willingness to make extra passes turned up juicy shots for teammates closer to the basket.  The Highlanders made just one three (Justin Assad) but didn’t need the long ball in this game.

Johnny Spears

Johnny Spears

The constant Pingree pressure forced CA to play a lot faster than I suspect they were comfortable with.  Good defense is a team thing but Johnny Spears stands out in the Highlander defense.  He is as capable of stealing the ball, even from good dribblers, as anyone I’ve seen this season.

The two teams meet again on February 1st at Concord Academy.  If CA can upgrade their ball management that meeting could well produce a closer game than today’s was.

Those of us who like to chase the good matchups might want to get January 30th circled now.  That’s when Beaver Country Day School visits Hamilton.  Both teams are currently undefeated in EIL play.  I saw Beaver defeat Pingree, 54-36, last February at Pingree.

Pingree boxscore

Concord Academy boxscore

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

Alex Bernardi

Alex Bernardi

Jack Anderson goes for the block

Jack Anderson goes for the block

Johnny Spears surrounded

Johnny Spears surrounded

Malin Segal entertains Reese Fulmer

Malin Segal entertains Reese Fulmer

Kyle Lentini shoots over Sam Stogdon

Kyle Lentini shoots over Sam Stogdon

Lucas Reeve

Lucas Reeve

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Pentucket holds off Greater Lowell Tech 58-57 in boys basketball

Gbah Dualu gets caught in a triple-team in the closing seconds of the game.

Gbah Dualu gets caught in a triple-team in the closing seconds of the game.

Gbah Dualu (22 points) defended by Ryan Kuchar (19 points)

Gbah Dualu (22 points) defended by Ryan Kuchar (19 points)

(West Newbury)  The Pentucket Sachems came out on the right end of a back-and-forth final quarter and defeated Greater Lowell Tech, 58-57, on Thursday night in non-league boys action.

There were seven lead changes in the exciting fourth quarter.

The visiting Gryphons (4-6) had two possessions in the final minute to respond to Mike Aiduk’s layup (assist to Jake Bordeianu) that put the Sachems (3-7) in front, 58-57.

On the first possession, Gbah Dualu (22 points) settled for an outside shot (which he missed) .  On the second possession, the speedster was cornered by three Pentucket defenders and forced a shot that drew air as the game ended.

Pentucket started fast against the GLT man-to-man defense running ten straight points to get up 12-2 after 3 ½ minutes.  Once the team from Tyngsboro shifted into an active zone things went much better for them.

The Gryphons closed to 12-9 in the first quarter and stay close (22-19) in the second quarter.  The Sachem lead was 27-22 at the half.

Ryan Kuchar (19 points) had seven in the first quarter.  Anthony Zeoli (13 points) had nine in the second quarter including a three from the right corner that went in off the backboard.

Jayson Colon hit consecutive long shots

Jayson Colon hit consecutive long shots

Pentucket would build their lead up to 36-27 in the third after a layup and a three by junior Ryan Kuchar.  However, that nine-point lead evaporated over the next 1 ½ minutes as freshman Mechach Dunn drove the lane and Jayson Colon followed with two straight 3’s.

Suddenly the Gryphons were within one (36-35) and just as suddenly Sachem coach Ed Hickey called a timeout as he surely wondered why Jayson was completely unguarded on his second 3-point attempt.

Greater Lowell finally took its first lead of the game (39-38) as Winston Smith’s converted rebound ended the scoring in the third quarter.

As I said earlier, there were seven lead changes in the last quarter.  The Gryphons got up by as many as three (45-42) and the Sachems led by as many as five (56-51).

Pentucket took that five-point lead on Calvin Wiles (13 points) long one with 1:15 left in the game but in less than ten seconds Gbah Dualu answered with a three for GLT to cut the lead to two.

Mike Aiduk, here defended by Raul Navarro, would later score the winning basket for Pentucket

Mike Aiduk, here defended by Raul Navarro, would later score the winning basket for Pentucket

Mike Aiduk (10 points) tallied what turned out to be the winning basket with fifty seconds left before Gbah drove the length of the court for a layup and a free throw.

So the last forty-five seconds were played with Pentucket clinging to a one-point advantage.

Somehow the Sachems went home with the win despite two turnovers and a front end of a one-and-one miss by Ryan Kuchar.

The Gryphons had two possessions to tie or win the game.  I was very surprised when Gbah settled for a jump shot on the first one.  He had the speed and strength to get to the rim and had done it several times during the game.

Mike Aiduk fouls Jayson Colon with five seconds left

Mike Aiduk fouls Jayson Colon with five seconds left

The second possession, with eleven seconds left, was undone by an Ed Hickey coaching decision to foul since his team had one to waste.  Jayson Colon ended up dribbling away almost eight seconds before Mike Aiduk fouled him.  Greater Lowell now had only 4.9 seconds to do something from half court.

Gbah took the inbounds pass and was triple-teamed by the Sachems. This excellent defense left him with no openings and no time. He had to fire quickly and the shot wasn’t close.

Greater Lowell is in the Commonwealth Athletic Conference and is in Division 3 as our the Sachems.  There is only one senior (Christian Marbelt) on the team.  Their next game is at North Shore/Essex on January 22nd.

The Sachems will host Manchester-Essex tomorrow (Friday).

Jake Chory looks for a pass

Jake Chory looks for a pass

Pentucket made eight three’s.

Greater Lowell defeated Chelsea, 56-54, on January 15th.

A gryphon is a legendary creature with the head, talons, and wings of an eagle and the body of a lion.

Pentucket box score

Greater Lowell box score

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

Jake Bordeianu blocks the shot of Mechach Dunn

Jake Bordeianu blocks the shot of Mechach Dunn

Gbah Dualu makes a layup on the fly

Gbah Dualu makes a layup on the fly

Calvin Wiles (13 points) and Christian Marbelt

Calvin Wiles (13 points) and Christian Marbelt

fast break

fast break

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Governor’s Academy hangs on to defeat Tabor Academy 46-44 in prep school girls basketball

Kat Fogarty (25 points) gets above the Tabor defense

Kat Fogarty (25 points) gets above the Tabor defense

loose ball in the last minute

loose ball in the last minute

(Byfield) The Governor’s Academy girls held on down the stretch and eked out a, 46-44, win over Tabor Academy on Wednesday afternoon at GA.

The Govs (7-3) made a 46-44 advantage stand up through three possessions by Tabor (7-4) in the final 1 ½ minutes.

The first two tense possessions ended with Seawolves’ turnovers.  The game-on-the-line last one ended with a missed shot by Tabor’s Sarah Kourtesis with Kat Fogarty running at her. The resulting rebound led to a wild scramble as the final buzzer sounded.

Kat Fogarty (25 points) was terrific for the Govs despite drawing plenty of attention from the Seawolves defenders in a full-game performance.

Kat Fogarty made ten of eleven free throws

Kat Fogarty made ten of eleven free throws

6-1 Kat hit three 3’s and made 10-of-11 free throws.  She will be playing for Division 1 Marist in 2013-14.

Kat’s points were one thing but her rebounding, passing, and shot blocking were eye-catchers as well.  I was equally impressed with her part in finding open spots where she could receive outlet passes during Tabor’s relentless pressure.

What surprised me reviewing the play-by-play from this game was that Kat Fogarty did not score a single point over the final nine minutes of the game!  She made two free throws with nine minutes left to end Tabor’s eight-straight run and give GA a 37-36 edge.

The final nine Govs’ points were produced by the Ham sisters (Jackie and Kendall) and Hayley Newhall.

After a Gia Doonan (nine points) layup, Jackie Ham (nine points) answered with a layup of her own.  Sister Kendall converted a rebound before Aly Griffin answered with a driving layup.  This action put the score at 41-40 in favor of the Govs with five minutes left.

Katie Vareika chases down Jackie Ham

Katie Vareika chases down Jackie Ham

Next we watched the Ham sisters, in reverse order, tally two more baskets.  Kendall’s was a layup in the half court.  Jackie’s was a full-court sprint.  Sarah Kourtesis responded with a layup to make this a 45-42 game with 2:48 to be played.

Hayley Newhall made one of two free throws with 1:46 to go and not long after that Anel Ethenage (seven points) tallied Tabor’s last basket with a jumper in the lane.

To say that the final 1 ½ minutes were hectic is putting it mildly.  Not only did Tabor turn the ball over on their first two possessions but the home team did the same thing.

After the second turnover by the visitors from Marion, Jackie Ham was at the free throw line with 11.7 seconds left with the chance to build on the Govs’ two-point lead.  She missed both and that led to a final shot for Tabor that could have sent this game into overtime.

Kat Fogarty blocks Izzy Nappa

Kat Fogarty blocks Izzy Nappa

The Seawolves held a 6-4 lead after five minutes before Kat Fogarty keyed an 18-1 run over the next seven minutes.  Kat put together twelve straight points in the GA surge of good offense including two 3’s in a row.

Tabor’s lone point came from Lydia Caputi.  The Seawolves registered (by my count) nine turnovers during this segment and found themselves down, 22-7.

Tabor was down but definitely not out…too many good athletes.  Over the next 10 ½ minutes of playing time, stretching into the second half, the Seawolves climbed all the way back outscoring GA, 29-13, and pulled in front, 36-35, to set up an exciting final ten minutes.

Tabor was the Class A New England champion in 2011.

Jackie Ham shoots a free throw

Jackie Ham shoots a free throw

Governor’s Academy was 14-10 last season.

The two teams played at Tabor last year where the Seawolves won, 62-51.

Kat Fogarty has led the ISL (Independent School League) in scoring during the past two seasons.  She reached 1000 points last season.

Covering prep school games can be difficult and this one was especially so.  I have to have names and numbers of players to identify players that turn up in the pictures I take.  Neither school in this game offered any roster help on their websites and neither school had a typed roster at the site to use or at least look at and copy.  I ended up looking at a scorebook that was tough to read on some of the Tabor names.  The retired teacher in me wants to spell names correctly.

Governor’s Academy boxscore

Tabor Academy boxscore

(The pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Hayley Newhall tightly defended by Aly Griffin

Hayley Newhall tightly defended by Aly Griffin

Hayley Newhall puts her shoulder into Katie Vareika

Hayley Newhall puts her shoulder into Katie Vareika

Aly Griffin

Aly Griffin

another loose ball in the last minute

another loose ball in the last minute

Gia Doonan (nine points) shoots over Kendall Ham

Gia Doonan (nine points) shoots over Kendall Ham

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Filed under Governor's Academy, Tabor