Monthly Archives: February 2013

Pingree overwhelms Winchendon 75-49 in New England Class C quarterfinals in boys basketball

Freshman Justin Assad (26 points) dunked twice against Winchendon

Freshman Justin Assad (26 points) dunked twice against Winchendon

Johnny Spears (12 points) chased by Batu Oztahtaci

Johnny Spears (12 points) chased by Batu Oztahtaci

(Hamilton) “I don’t think we could play any better,” was what I overheard afterwards from the Pingree School coaching staff.

And who on hand at Pingree School could conclude otherwise.

The Highlanders (19-7) did everything right to decisively defeat Winchendon, 75-49, on a rainy Wednesday afternoon at Pingree in front of a noisy crowd.

The victory moves Pingree on to the New England Class C semifinals on Friday.  They’ll face either Wheeler or Kent’s Hill.

The home team was missing starter Alonzo Jackson because the freshman had the misfortune of tearing his ACL in practice the day before.  With a teammate down, the rest of the Pingree team seemed determined to step up.  Their passing, shooting, rebounding, and defending were exceptional all game long.

Winchendon (12-7) hung around for the first ten minutes, trailing only 22-20, thanks to fifteen points by Malcolm Smith.  The Pingree scoring, however, never let up and they led by twelve (38-26) at the half.

Malcolm Smith (22 points) gets to the basket in the early going

Malcolm Smith (22 points) gets to the basket in the early going

The Highlanders started the second half with an 11-2 segment, covering 3 ½ minutes, to stretch their advantage to, 49-28.  Winch did well the rest of the way just to keep a rolling Pingree squad from only adding five points to their lead by game‘s end.

Justin Assad (26), Kyle Lentini (17), Connor Reardon (12), and Johnny Spears (12) all reached double figures for the Highlanders.

Malcolm Smith (22) and Mustafa Ozgumus (10) reached double figures for the visitors.

Anyone on hand for the first ten minutes wouldn’t have dreamed that Pingree would win by twenty-six points.

Blame Malcolm Smith.  The 6-3 junior had fifteen points in those first ten minutes including a jam and a three long ones and Winchendon was definitely in contention (22-20).

But the rest of the way?  Pingree just kept on putting up points but the tightened Highlander defense kept Winchendon from doing the same.  Switching freshman Justin Assad to cover Malcolm Smith limited the Winch star to seven points over the last twenty-two minutes.

Kyle Lentini (17 points) gets two

Kyle Lentini (17 points) gets two

Justin had fifteen points in the first half and Kyle Lentini had eleven.  The Pingree lead was twelve (38-26) at the half.

The Highlanders put the game out of reach quickly in the second half.  Two Johnny Spears’ free throws, a Reese Fulmer three, a Justin Assad jump shot, and two Connor Reardon layups were the points in an 11-2 run.  This collection of offense gave Pingree a twenty-one point spread (49-28) and the suspense about the winner ended.

I have seen Pingree play a few times and seen them look good on occasion.  They were collectively “good” in this one, in my opinion.

The reason?  The team put out a little extra effort in all areas to make up for the loss of freshman Alonzo Jackson.  Pingree was also helped by having plenty of student support in the stands.

Justin Assad had an eye-catching twenty-six points.  In Pingree’s half-court offense he could get any shot he wanted.  He was also quick enough in the open floor to fill a passing lane on Highlander fastbreaks.  The freshman had crowd-pleasing jams in both halves.

This was the best game I’ve seen Connor Reardon play.  The junior had plenty of rebounds and didn’t hesitate to take the ball to the basket.

Johnny Spears ahead of Isaiah Ruffen

Johnny Spears ahead of Isaiah Ruffen

Best player?  Had to be Johnny Spears.  The blazing speed and the in-your-face defense on the other team’s ball handler are to be seen in every game he plays.  The difference today?  He played more like Rajon Rondo.  How? He seemed determined to set up teammates rather than looking for his own scoring chances.  He set up teammates off the dribble, on the fly, as well as long-range and nearby.  It was pretty to watch and a big reason why the Pingree offense looked so good all game long.

Pingree’s defense tightened considerably after the first ten minutes.  Winchendon settled into perimeter offense and on this day the long ones weren’t falling.

Reese Fulmer took over as 5th starter and hit two three’s.

I knew that I was at a private school game when the student section was allowed to have noisemakers.  Believe me, those noisemakers were hard to miss!

Pingree Boxscore

Winchendon Boxscore

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

Connor Reardon and Mustafa Ozgumus

Connor Reardon and Mustafa Ozgumus

Malcolm Smith guarded by Justin Assad

Malcolm Smith guarded by Justin Assad

Mustafa Ozgumus defended by Connor Reardon (12 points)

Mustafa Ozgumus defended by Connor Reardon (12 points)

Malique McLaren launches from long range

Malique McLaren launches from long range

Senior Lucas Reeve shoots a free throw

Senior Lucas Reeve shoots a free throw

Opening tip with Pingree student section in the background

Opening tip with Pingree student section in the background

Nino Leone and Seamus Bell

Nino Leone and Seamus Bell

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Lynn Classical holds off Beverly 66-60 in Division 2 North First Round

Eraldo Custodio (16 points) had ten points in the first quarter

Eraldo Custodio (16 points) had ten points in the first quarter

Jalen Brown (16 points) sank two free throws with eighteen seconds left

Jalen Brown (16 points) sank two free throws with eighteen seconds left

(Beverly)  Lynn Classical was able to survive a frantic final thirty seconds and defeated Beverly, 66-60, in the First Round of Division 2 North on Tuesday night.

The Rams (15-8) move on to play Wakefield on Saturday.

Beverly (14-7) was within two (62-60) after Cam Rogers nailed a three from straightaway with thirty-two seconds left but the Panthers squandered their next two possessions.

The first squander came after Jon Berchoff  (14 points) stole the ball from Jalen Brown deep in the backcourt.  Instead of getting the game-tying layup Jon’s in-all-alone shot missed.

The Panthers quickly fouled Jordan Brown with twenty-two seconds left.  Jordan made the first to put LC ahead by three (63-60) but missed the second.  Then came squander #2 after Nick Cross gathered in the rebound as he threw the ball away over the Beverly bench.

Jalen Brown (16 points) followed with two straight free throws with eighteen seconds left (65-60) and his brother Jordan added another free throw with nine seconds remaining to finish the scoring.

This was a game with ten lead changes.

Beverly looked to be cooked in the third quarter when they fell behind, 47-36, with three minutes left.  However, the #6 seeded Panthers finished the quarter with nine unanswered points and only trailed by two (47-45) after three periods.

Nick Cross (22 points) fires from the corner

Nick Cross (22 points) fires from the corner

Nick Cross (22 points) had an old-fashioned three and a new-fashioned three in the run back for the home team.

Eraldo Custodio (16 points) returned to the Rams’ lineup in the fourth quarter.  He sat out part of the third with three fouls.  6-3 Eraldo made two fine moves to get open for points early in the 4th and enable LC to gain a 53-47 advantage with 6 ½ minutes remaining in the game.

The next three minutes were a nightmare for Lynn Classical.  They were held pointless.  They turned the ball over five times.  They gave up layups to Jon Berchoff and Chris Sinclair off the turnovers.

The total production for Beverly during this segment was eight unanswered points and it gave them the lead (55-53) with 3 ½ minutes left.

Phillip Rogers (12 points)

Phillip Rogers (12 points)

But back came the Rams with seven straight.  Two free throws by Phillip Rogers (12 points), another fancy move by Eraldo Custodio to get a layup, and a three by Jorge Perez (10 points) provided the LC points.  The Rams led, 60-55.

Chris Sinclair followed with a steal and layup for Beverly while Jorge Perez added two free throws.  Then Cam Rogers ignited the crowd wearing orange with his three with thirty-two seconds left.

This was the best Beverly could do as the Rams survived the closing seconds to get to play some more basketball.

The Panthers had a 25-20 lead after three minutes of the second quarter but the Rams, led by Jalen Brown’s six points, put a 12-2 run together to close out that quarter and led, 32-27, at the half.

Lynn Classical had defeated Beverly, 66-45, earlier in February.

LC won despite twenty-four turnovers.  Beverly was quick to the ball and eager to turn miscues into points.

The Panthers struggled to contain both Eraldo Custodio and Jalen Brown. Eraldo had ten points in the first quarter.

Nick Cross guards Jalen Brown

Nick Cross guards Jalen Brown

Nick Cross had nine points for the Panthers in the first quarter.

The #11 seed Rams have beaten both Salem and Lynn English twice.

Lynn Classical Boxscore

Beverly Boxscore

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

Jorge Perez (10 points) sails in for two

Jorge Perez (10 points) sails in for two

Beverly coach Scott Lewis

Beverly coach Scott Lewis

Jon Berchoff (14 points) guards Jalen Brown

Jon Berchoff (14 points) guards Jalen Brown

LC coach Tom Grassa

LC coach Tom Grassa

Cam Rogers (9 points)

Cam Rogers (9 points)

Chris Sinclair takes off with a steal

Chris Sinclair takes off with a steal

Jalen Brown floats in the lane

Jalen Brown floats in the lane

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Late Ian Michael’s three gives Newburyport 43-42 tourney win over Hamilton-Wenham

Ian Michaels cuts left to get room for game-winning three

Ian Michaels cuts left to get room for game-winning three

Clippers celebrate the one-point win

Clippers celebrate the one-point win

(Newburyport) Ian Michaels drained a three with two seconds left to carry Newburyport past Hamilton-Wenham, 43-42, in a thriller on Monday night in Division 3 North First Round action.

The Clippers (14-7) will now face the winner of the Amesbury/Whittier game.

Ian’s exciting game-winner came ten seconds after Henry Eagar’s runner in the lane had given the Generals (10-9) a two-point lead and revved up the HW fans.

After a timeout the Clippers put the ball in Ian’s hands in the backcourt.  The 5-11 senior crossed half court and looked as if he was going to use a high screen to go right (he’s a righty).  At the last second, he used a crossover dribble to cut left and get separation from defender Nikos Lara.  He then drilled the season-on-the-line long one.

James Foye (25 points) takes the last shot

James Foye (25 points) takes the last shot

James Foye launched a last-second heave from the backcourt that fell well short and Newburyport had the win.

This was a game when both teams had their very good moments and their very bad moments.  The points came consecutively and both teams looked at various times like sure winners and sure losers.

Newburyport had point runs of eight, six and twelve.  The Generals ran nine straight points and later ten plus a 9-1 segment after 3:44 of the final quarter.

Newburyport started fast (8-2) but by the end of the first quarter trailed, 11-8.

The HW lead was two (15-13) before the visitors put ten unanswered points up in less than six minutes during the second quarter.  Surprisingly, sophomore James Foye (25 points) was not part of the scoring.

James Foye puts up a layup with Dillon Guthro closing for a block attempt

James Foye puts up a layup with Dillon Guthro closing for a block attempt

The damage was done by: Henry Eagar (3 free throws), a layup off a steal by Shawn Kotch, a jump shot by Nikos Lara, and a three by Ben Kozlowski.  The Clippers had seven turnovers during the six minute dry spell.

That point barrage gave HW a 25-13 spread.  A Matt Canning three closed the NBPT deficit to, 25-16, at the half.

The Generals still looked to be in good shape with a 31-20 advantage with 3 ½ minutes left in the third quarter.

But just when you thought the Clippers were cooked they started putting points up while HW couldn’t buy a basket.

Over the next 7:15 stretching into the fourth quarter, Newburyport sliced and diced the Generals to an 18-2 tune.  Three assisted baskets by a cutting Colton Fontaine started the surge.  The 6-1 senior added three free throws before three’s by Ian Michals, Dillon Guthro (old-fashioned), and Dan Baribeault had the Clippers looking unbeatable with four minutes left (38-33).

But James Foye (25 points) was still in the game.  He nailed a three with 3:44 left and, after Ian Michaels missed the front end of a one-and-one, put in a layup to tie the score, 38-38, with 3:24 left.

Colton Fontaine (15 points) sees an opening

Colton Fontaine (15 points) sees an opening

James missed the free throw that went with the layup and HW turned the ball over the next two times they had it.  In between the HW miscues Colton Fontaine (15 points) had yet another assisted layup (from Ian Michaels) and up went Newburyport (40-38) with two minutes left.

Now it was Newburyport’s turn to turn the ball over two straight possessions.  James Foye hit a baseline jumper in between the turnovers with 49 seconds left to tie the score, 40-40.

The Generals would grab the lead after a steal by Henry Eagar.  HW had a timeout and thirty-six seconds to use.  I’m betting that everyone on hand figured that James Foye would get the shot out of the possession.  But it didn’t work that way.  Matt Canning kept James outside and as the clock ran down Dylan Guthro joined him.  James spotted teammate Henry Eagar open in the lane.  Henry got the pass and hit a runner with twelve seconds to go.

The HW crowd started celebrating just a bit early and left disappointed after Ian Michaels hit the 3-point, game-winner.

Dillon Guthro blocks the shot of James Foye

Dillon Guthro blocks the shot of James Foye

6-4 Dillon Guthro (9 points) challenged every HW layup attempt and blocked several shots including a couple taken by James Foye.

Ian Michaels and Henry Eagar both tallied eight points.

Newburyport finished with twenty-four turnovers by my count.  HW had sixteen.

Good crowd on hand.  Plenty of excitement for the partisans of both teams.
Newburyport boxscore

Hamilton-Wenham boxscore

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

loose ball

loose ball

Colton Fontaine gets inside for two

Colton Fontaine gets inside for two

Dan Baribeault made two long ones

Dan Baribeault made two long ones

Henry Eagar (#11) scores with twelve seconds left

Henry Eagar (#11) scores with twelve seconds left

James Foye defended by John Baribeault

James Foye defended by John Baribeault

Henry Eagar (8 points) shoots over Ian Michaels

Henry Eagar (8 points) shoots over Ian Michaels

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Governor’s Academy gets past Belmont Hill 65-57 with strong second half in boys basketball

Joe Kuo (19 points) grabs a rebound

Joe Kuo (19 points) grabs a rebound

Eli Earley soars in for two for GA

Eli Earley soars in for two for GA

(Byfield) Governor’s Academy had a very strong second half and defeated Belmont Hill, 65-57, on Friday night in Independent School League action.

The Govs (12-8) trailed by two (32-30) at the half and traded baskets to start the second half.

After that, the home team put on quite a show of offense and defense during the next 8 ½  minutes.  Maybe it was because the GA seniors were honored before the game and plenty of friends and family were on hand. Whatever it was, the Govs put together a 19-2 segment.

That great offense/defense turned a 34-32 deficit into a commanding 51-36 lead with six minutes left.

Maybe it was a coincidence but all of the points for Governor’s were scored by seniors during the game-deciding run.  Stephen Basden (6), Kam Nobles (2), Tate Jozokos (5), Eli Earley (2) and Joe Kuo (4) put the 19-point package together for GA.

Harry Roberson (17 points)

Harry Roberson (17 points)

Belmont Hill (8-16) responded with a 10-2 run of their own featuring two layups and two free throws by Harry Roberson (17 points) to close to seven (53-46) with three minutes to go.

The Hillies would cut the lead to six (59-53) on a Kevin Scarlet (12 points) layup with 1:09 left.  However, GA answered with a breakaway layup by Eli Earley (7 points) and a Joe Kuo (19 points) free throw to elevate the Govs lead to nine and seal the win.

Joe Kuo led all scorers with his nineteen points.  I saw the 6-9 senior get a career-high thirty-eight points against St. Paul’s.  The difference tonight?  Not enough touches for the big guy.  Some pretty active BH defense had a lot to do with it.

The Govs started fast and led 14-10 after 6 ½ minutes.  Then Belmont Hill ran eight unanswered points over the next three minutes to get in front (18-14).  They would maintain the lead into halftime (32-30).

A big part of the BH first-half success was the 3-pointer.  There were two each by Hilal Dahleh and Sultan Olusekun as well as one by Kevin Scarlett.

Harry Roberson (17 points) had twelve of them in the second half helping the Hillies fight back from the 19-2 run GA threw at them.

Sultan Olusekun looks for an opening

Sultan Olusekun looks for an opening

The crowd at GA was sizable and noisy.  Easily the biggest excitement was over a Joe Kuo jam on an inbounds play in the second half.

The tight defense forced turnovers (34 by my count) and plenty of foul shots.

To put it kindly, the foul shooting by both teams was pitiful.

Belmont Hill lost by eight points but they missed twelve free throws including three that were the front end of one-and-one’s.

Governor’s won by eight points despite missing sixteen free throws including two that were the front end of one-and-one’s.

Which shot do you suppose players everywhere practice the most…..layup, free throw or 3-pointer?

Stephen Basden (12 points)

Stephen Basden (12 points)

Stephen Basden (12 points), Tate Jozokos (11 points), and Kam Nobles (10 points) all reached double figures for GA.

Kam went down hard after a layup early in the second half.  He did return to action not too long after that.

I thought maybe BH alum Jonathan Kraft (President of the Patriots) might be in the house but word was that he was trying to find a Denver Boot big enough to fit on Gronk’s leg!

Governor’s Academy Boxscore

Belmont Hill Boxscore

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

Kyrief Kelley and Kevin Scarlett

Kyrief Kelley and Kevin Scarlett

Harry Roberson caught in GA traffic

Harry Roberson caught in GA traffic

loose ball

loose ball

Joe Kuo looks for a pass as Jesse Wims defends

Joe Kuo looks for a pass as Jesse Wims defends

Kevin Scarlett (12 points) shoots over Kam Nobles

Kevin Scarlett (12 points) shoots over Kam Nobles

Kam Nobles (10 points) looks for a pass

Kam Nobles (10 points) looks for a pass

Tate Jozokos (11 points)

Tate Jozokos (11 points)

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Undefeated Nobles (23-0) holds off Governor’s Academy 59-50 in Independent School League girls basketball

Kat Fogarty (27 points) looks to block the shot of Alexandra Maund (15 points)

Kat Fogarty (27 points) looks to block the shot of Alexandra Maund (15 points)

Katie Benzan (16 points) lines up a three

Katie Benzan (16 points) lines up a three

(Byfield)  Noble and Greenough School (23-0) continued on their undefeated ways with a, 59-50, win over Governor’s Academy on Wednesday night in Independent School League action.

The Bulldogs level of dominance in the ISL is mind boggling.  They are a win away (on Friday at Milton Academy) of winning the 13-team league for the tenth straight season.

Their won/loss record in ISL regular-season games during this amazing run?  117-2!

Nobles came close to picking up an “L” against league member Rivers on Friday night.  Rivers made only 13-of-28 free throws and missed two of them with no time on the clock in a 42-41 loss.

Today’s game with GA wasn’t that close at the end.  However, the Govs recovered from a bad start and had a two-point lead (38-36) with 9:40 left.

Governor’s (17-5) were still within one-possession territory at 44-42 (6:23) and 46-44 (5:10).

However, Nobles put a 10-2 segment together over the next 3 ½ minutes to get a commanding ten-point lead (56-46) with 1 ½ minutes left. GA couldn‘t recover.

Kat Fogarty shoots over Kate Kerrigan (14 points)

Kat Fogarty shoots over Kate Kerrigan (14 points)

Kat Fogarty (27 points) put on another remarkable scoring show.  The 6-1 Marist signee was trouble for Nobles every time she had the ball.  Junior Kate Kerrigan was her primary defender and was solely interested in denying Kat the ball.  When Kat did manage to get the ball, other defenders showed up to help Kate out.

Despite this sort of coverage Kat was still able to get twenty-five of her points during the first twenty-seven minutes of the game.  Holding Kat to only two points over the last five minutes of the game was certainly a reason why Nobles is still undefeated.

The visitors from Dedham jumped in front, 14-4, after six minutes.  Two three’s by freshman Katie Benzan (15 points) were big in the fast start.

The Govs put seven straight points together later in the half and got back to within two (18-16) with 5 ½ minutes left in the first half.  Kat Fogarty had three free throws in this run while Jackie Ham assisted on layups by her sister Kendall (10 points) and Isa Berzanski.

Nobles closed the half, 11-5, and led 29-21.

Nobles had been winning games by an average of twenty-eight points so I thought they might take off in the second half.  Didn’t happen that way.

The Govs went down by nine (34-25) before Kat carried the team to a 13-2 collection with eleven points including two 3’s.  Those 4 ½ minutes of excellent offense put the home team in front (38-36) with 9:40 left.

Kate Kerrigan heads for the hoop

Kate Kerrigan heads for the hoop

Down but definitely not out was Nobles.  A drive by Kate Kerrigan (14 points) tied the score.  Then the junior stole the ball and put in another layup for the lead.  A Lauren Dillon free throw was followed by Kate Benzan’s third three.  Nobles was now up by six (44-38).

GA would close to within two (46-44) with five minutes left.  Four free throws by Kat and two by Isa Berzanski provided the points.

Over the next 3 ½ minutes the Govs would get a steal and layin by Kendall Ham but that would be the only scoring they were able to manage.

During those same 3 ½ minutes Nobles registered ten points.  Six of the points came on free throws; two by Hannah Peterson and four by Katie Benzan.  Two of Katie’s free throws were the result of a technical foul called on the GA coach for, according to the referee, “for getting in my face.”

The other four points in the game-deciding minutes came on layups by Kate Kerrigan and Alexandra Maund (15 points).

Lauren Dillon

Lauren Dillon

Alexandra’s layup was well set up by point guard Lauren Dillon.  Lauren got by her defender into the lane and when Kat Fogarty came away from Alexandra to prevent Lauren from getting a layup Lauren’s pass set up Alexandra for a layup.  That play worked several times over the course of the game.

Kat Fogarty not only had twenty-seven points but also had at least four blocks.

Nobles was 25-1 last season and won their first Class A title in twenty-five years.  You’d have to like their chances of doing it again.

Despite all the good players in this game there were still (by my unofficial count) forty-eight turnovers.  Nobles was whistled for twenty-one of them.  However, another key to the win was that only one of the miscues happened in the last four minutes of this game.

Junior Lauren Dillon is an All-ISL selection in basketball and soccer.

Junior Kate Kerrigan was the MVP in the 2012 NEPSAC Class A tournament.

I thought that Nobles grad and Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck might be in the audience but I didn’t see him.  He was probably busy trying to decide if it’s time to trade Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce.

Governor’s Boxscore

Nobles Boxscore

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

Alexandra Maund caught between the Ham sisters

Alexandra Maund caught between the Ham sisters

Jackie Ham

Jackie Ham

Katie Benzan shoots technical foul shots

Katie Benzan shoots technical foul shots

loose ball

loose ball

Hayley Newhall and Kate Kerrigan

Hayley Newhall and Kate Kerrigan

Jackie Ham flies to the basket

Jackie Ham flies to the basket

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Pentucket defeats Central Catholic 59-49 to take IAABO Board 130 Classic title in girls basketball

Pentucket seniors (Emily Dresser, Coley Viselli, Tess Nogueira, and Alex Moore) with championship plaque

Pentucket seniors (Emily Dresser, Coley Viselli, Tess Nogueira, and Alex Moore) with championship plaque

(Lawrence)  The Pentucket Sachems defeated Central Catholic, 59-49, in the championship game to win the IAABO Board 130 Classic on Monday night at Central Catholic.

Coley Viselli congratulated after 1000th point

Coley Viselli congratulated after 1000th point

The win was special for Pentucket.  Not only did they get their 20th win of the season but senior Coley Viselli reached 1000 points late in the fourth quarter.

The Raiders trailed by one (46-45) with 6:44 left in the game but went into a four-minute scoring drought that featured four turnovers.  The Sachems, meanwhile, put a string of nine points together to create a ten-point spread (55-45) with 2:43 to go.  CC never recovered.

In the crucial four minutes, Alex Moore (11 points) started things with a layup down the lane and ended it with another layup on an inbounds pass from Coley Viselli (11 points).  Also in the mix were two Kelsi McNamara (21 points) free throws and a McKenna Kilian (7 points) three.

Kelsi McNamara (21 points) and Alex Nagri

Kelsi McNamara (21 points) and Alex Nagri

This game was physical from start to finish.  The three officials all brought whistles but seemed intent on letting the girls play.  Kelsi McNamara and Alex Nagri both drew technicals because of excessive contact.

Sophomore Kelsi McNamara took home the tourney MVP plaque.  Coley Viselli made the All-Tourney team.

I’m sure that Kelsi’s twenty-one points played a part in her selection but her handling of the ball against physical pressure may well have been more important.

On the scoring part, Kelsi hit two 3’s in thirteen seconds to give Pentucket a, 28-21, lead late in the first half.

Kelsi McNamara fires a first-half three

Kelsi McNamara fires a first-half three

The Sachems ended up with seven long ones – Kelsi (3),  Coley Viselli (2), Alex Moore and McKenna Kilian (1 each).

Stonehill-bound Casey McLaughlin (22 points) kept CC in the game for three quarters.  The six-foot senior seemed to be wherever the ball was on offense in close.

Casey had a remarkable third quarter putting up fourteen of the Raiders’ eighteen points.

One of the keys to the Pentucket win was shutting Casey down over the last 9 ½ minutes of the game.  Credit Coley Viselli on a special scoring night for also playing some special defense on the Raiders top player.

The Sachems jumped on top, 5-0, and held the five-point spread (13-8) with 2 ½ minutes left.  While Pentucket was held scoreless, Darion Summers, Amanda Williams (12 points), and Casey McLaughlin scored baskets to give CC a, 14-13, lead after one period.

Kelsi’s two three’s late in the second quarter put Pentucket ahead by seven but Central Catholic responded with two free throws by Courtney Walsh and Casey McLaughlin’s converted rebound.  Pentucket led, 28-25, at the half.

Casey McLaughlin (22 points) drives

Casey McLaughlin (22 points) drives

Casey put on the fourteen-point show in the third quarter but Pentucket had answers.  Coley Viselli connected on two 3’s.  Kelsi McNamara tallied two free throws and two layups.  Tess Nogueira (11 points) made a layup assisted by Alex Moore and added two free throws.  Pentucket was in front by a point (44-43) after three quarters.

The two teams traded free throws to start the final quarter before Pentucket took the game over with nine straight points over a four-minute segment to take home the title.

The Sachems (20-1) end the regular season with seven straight wins.  Only a loss to Division 2 Notre Dame of Hingham in January blemishes their record.

And if there was ever an opponent who could toughen the Sachems up for the Division 3 MIAA Tournament it was Central Catholic.  They took defending seriously and there weren’t many easy paths to the hoops for the defending D3 champs.

Tess Nogueira (11 points) gets fingers on a shot by Amanda Williams (12 points)

Tess Nogueira (11 points) gets fingers on a shot by Amanda Williams (12 points)

Pentucket thrives on pressuring after a made basket but CC was noticeably intent on not getting caught in the backcourt after the Sachems’ made baskets.  The home team did have eighteen turnovers but very few of those were in the backcourt.

Central Catholic (14-5) is ranked fourth in the Division 1 North by the Boston Herald.  This past week they avenged losses earlier in the season to both North Andover and Andover.

Pentucket defeated Newton South (52-45) in the first round on Sunday.  Central Catholic had a win over Auburn to get to the finals.

Two things I haven’t seen/heard before at a basketball game: a Zamboni-type machine cleaning the gymnasium floor, and the National Anthem played on a harmonica.

The Pentucket partisans gave away the news that Coley had reached 1000 points when they let out a loud cheer after Coley hit the first of two free throws with 1:51 left in the game.  Play was stopped and her feat was announced and her teammates congratulated her.
Pentucket boxscore

Central Catholic boxscore

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

Casey McLaughlin, Tess Nogueira, and Courtney Walsh look for a rebound

Casey McLaughlin, Tess Nogueira, and Courtney Walsh look for a rebound

Kelsi McNamara gets into the lane

Kelsi McNamara gets into the lane

Tess Nogueira (11 points) sees an opening

Tess Nogueira (11 points) sees an opening

Kelsi McNamara - tourney MVP

Kelsi McNamara – tourney MVP

Coley Viselli (11 points) in traffic

Coley Viselli (11 points) in traffic

loose ball

loose ball

Casey McLaughlin shoots over Emily Dresser

Casey McLaughlin shoots over Emily Dresser

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Filed under Central Catholic, Pentucket

Joe Kuo gets 38 points and takes Governor’s Academy past St. Paul’s 66-50

Joe Kuo (38 points) gets in for two

Joe Kuo (38 points) gets in for two

Joe Kuo (16-for-20 from the foul line)

Joe Kuo (16-for-20 from the foul line)

(Byfield) There was nothing St. Paul’s School could do about Joe Kuo.

The Governor’s Academy 6-9 senior poured thirty-eight points down on St. Paul’s (Concord NH) and led the Govs to a, 66-50, win on Wednesday afternoon in Independent School League action.

GA (10-7) led by only two points (29-27) at halftime but erupted with a 16-2 stretch to start the second half and never looked back.

In the early going St. Paul’s (4-13) had enough offense to stay with GA despite Joe Kuo.  Ethan Schlager (16 points) and David Smith (11 points) made three’s and Jared Neves (15 points) ran seven points in a row by himself.  This collection of offense was part of an attack that put Big Red in front, 23-18, with 3:42 left in the first half.

The next 2 ½ minutes the steady flow of Joe Kuo points kept coming (9 points) but there were no St. Paul’s answers.  Cam Nobles added two free throws and the Govs had an eleven-point run and the lead (29-23) with 1:25 until halftime.

Two free throws by Jackson Gates (8 points) and a layup in heavy traffic narrowed the Govs lead to, 29-27, at halftime.

Jared Neves (15 points) and Stephen Basden (10 points) battle

Jared Neves (15 points) and Stephen Basden (10 points) battle

Who knows what went on in the GA locker-room at halftime but they came out flying in the second half.  In the first five minutes of the second half the visitors had only a David Smith layup.  Meanwhile, the Govs rolled up sixteen points.

Naturally Joe Kuo had points (six) but also involved was Stephen Basden (six) and Tate Jozokos (four).  In the mix was a turnover that Stephen took in for a jam.

This good spell of scoring gave the Govs a, 45-29, advantage.  The rest of the way both teams scored twenty-one points each but the closest Big Red could get was, 56-45, with 4:17 remaining.  Joe Kuo (layup) and Cam Nobles (two free throws and a layup) provided a quick response and any suspense about the outcome departed.

Joe Kuo was very impressive.  His game is not of the highlight-reel variety but he was a big factor at both ends.

Ethan Schlager (16 points) looks for an opening

Ethan Schlager (16 points) looks for an opening

GA was very interested in getting Joe the ball because he was productive.  St. Paul’s had no one who could block his shot and were forced to foul him.  He made sixteen-of-twenty free throws.  He was also able to convert missed shots – he did it four times.

Even tougher for Big Red was that often times they had Joe blocked out but he could reach over players with his size and long arms and get rebounds anyway.  More than a few times the St. Paul’s bench yelled to referees that Joe was going over Big Red backs.

Joe had nineteen points in each half.

Defensively Joe had a number of blocks.  Instead of trying to block shots into the stands Joe blocked them enough so that the Govs could create some quick offense.

The play that raised the most excitement was a jam by fast-moving, 6-6(?) Jared Neves in which he went at and over 5-7 Charles Odei in the first half.  Charles looked for a moment as if he might consider taking a charge but wisely side-stepped Jared just before a bad collision occurred.

David Smith (11 points) and Tate Jozokos

David Smith (11 points) and Tate Jozokos

Tate Jozokos was terrific on defense for Governor’s.

I thought that St. Paul’s alum John Kerry might make this one but apparently he had better things to do.

Governor’s Academy boxscore

St. Paul’s boxscore

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

Joe Kuo shoots over Jared Neves

Joe Kuo shoots over Jared Neves

Stephen Basden

Stephen Basden

Kam Nobles (10 points) boxed in by David Smith and Josh Ward

Kam Nobles (10 points) boxed in by David Smith and Josh Ward

Jared Neves in the corner with Joe Kuo defending

Jared Neves in the corner with Joe Kuo defending

David Na

David Na

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Filed under Governor's Academy, St. Paul's