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