(Newburyport) The Hamilton-Wenham Generals pulled off a remarkable comeback in the final four minutes and defeated the Newburyport Clippers, 49-44, in Cape Ann League action on blizzard eve (Thursday).
Hamilton-Wenham (9-7 overall and 9-5 in the CAL) edges ahead of Newburyport (10-6 overall and 8-6 in the CAL) with this victory in the battle for second place in the Cape Ann League Division One standings.
However, the Generals next game (Tuesday night) is at North Reading against the undefeated Hornets. The Clippers travel to last-place Pentucket on the same night.
For 3 ½ quarters in this game the best run of points the Generals could put together was four. Somehow, some way in the last four minutes of regulation, the visitors put a string of twelve unanswered points together. In the process, HW turned a seven-point deficit (44-37) into a shocking, 49-44, victory.
Newburyport took the lead early and attained a seven-point lead in the second quarter (24-17) and boosted that spread to ten (36-26) in the third period. Even with four minutes left the Clippers advantage was seven (44-37). They clearly looked as if they had this one under their control.
But they didn’t. An old-fashioned three-point play by Henry Eager (11 points), a converted rebound (James Foye), and a layup by Henry and this one was tied, 44-44, with 1:42 left.
A steal by Nikos Lara gave HW the ball back and James Foye sank one of two free throws (45-44).
Next Clipper possession, Colton Fontaine’s shot from in close was blocked by Henry Eagar. James Foye then made both free throws with twenty-two seconds left (47-44).
Still within range to tie, the best Newburyport could get was a forced three from Colby Morris that missed. Shawn Kotch was fouled after getting the rebound and the sophomore canned both free throws with three seconds left (49-44).
The Generals made five straight free throws in the final fifty-one seconds.
6-2 sophomore James Foye (23 points) was impressive. He was the primary ball-handler for HW and rarely forced his offense. He faced tight coverage (mainly Adam Traxler) all night long yet had few turnovers. James had a steal-and-score late in the third quarter and a key rebound-and-score during HW’s remarkable 12-point finish.
Newburyport had the long ball working – six. Colby Morris (14 points) had four of them.
Ian Michaels had a terrific second quarter collecting twelve points in a variety of ways. The surprise was that these were the only points Ian had in the game.
HW made fifteen-for-eighteen at the charity stripe.
Newburyport won the first meeting with the Generals, 54-50, in December at Hamilton.
Hamilton-Wenham started the season inexperienced and 1-5.
Moving the game up a day to avoid the potential bad weather was a smart idea. However, I’m sure the coaches would have been more comfortable with that extra day to prepare.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)