(Newburyport) Normally it’s the pressure defense that gets you when you face the Pentucket Sachems.
Not so tonight. It was an on-fire Pentucket offense.
Newburyport (10-7) had no defensive answers and were defeated, 60-29, by the defending Division 3 state champs on Tuesday night in Cape Ann League action.
The girls from West Newbury took great care of the ball (three turnovers in the first half) and made shots from everywhere.
Pentucket (18-1) had the long ball going early. Four minutes into the first quarter three different Sachems (Alex Moore, Kelsi McNamara, and Coley Viselli) clicked from downtown. That barrage of 3-point offense helped put the Clippers behind, 13-2, and there was no recovery.
The visitors closed the quarter with yet another three (Alex Moore) and two Tess Nogueira layups and the rout was on, 24-7, after one period.
It was one of those games where no matter what defense NHS coach Greg Dollas tried ran into trouble. He used a zone and Pentucket made three’s. He played man-to-man and the Sachems blew past one-on-one defenders for easy layups. It was a defensive nightmare for the Clippers, plain and simple.
In the second quarter the 3’s were key in another Pentucket run of points. With the score, 28-10, after three minutes, the Sachems put a 10-2 package in place over the next four minutes. Three-pointers by Alex and Coley as well as layups by Coley and McKenna Kilian provided the points. The Sachem advantage was extended to, 38-12, in the process, with a minute left.
The rest of the game was played mostly by reserves on both teams. Pentucket only had a 22-16 edge during the rest of the game but that was probably little consolation to anyone connected to the Newburyport program.
All of the Pentucket starters reached double figures in limited minutes: Kelsi McNamara (12), Alex Moore (11), Tess Nogueira (10), Coley Viselli (10), and McKenna Kilian (10).
Newburyport had ten girls score with the Pettigrew sisters (Mary and Emily) leading the way with four points each.
The Sachems connected on nine three-pointers. Reserve Kassidy Kennefick nailed two in the 4th quarter.
In the previous meeting between the two teams on January 4th at West Newbury, the Sachems rode Kelsi McNamara’s four 3’s to a, 61-33, win.
Newburyport, which has qualified for the state tournament, finishes its regular season on Thursday against Masconomet at Masconomet.
Pentucket will be hosting Hamilton-Wenham on the same night in what should be an emotional Seniors Day for the Sachems. Key pieces in the Pentucket success over the past few seasons (Alex Moore, Tess Nogueira, Coley Viselli, and Emily Dresser) will be honored.
Newburyport recognized its seniors tonight – Lea Tomasz, Rebecca Kell, and Casey Barlow.
Casey had her left hand wrapped but that didn’t stop the usual lefthander from making two free throws with her right hand.
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge if you click on them.)