Monthly Archives: March 2013

Plum Island oceanfront…………three weeks later

Cranes being used on Plum Island to restore the oceanfront dunes.

Cranes being used on Plum Island to restore the oceanfront dunes.

Longer view to the area where the cranes are being used.

Longer view to the area where the cranes are being used.

(Plum Island MA)  I contacted Newbury building inspector Sam Joslin this morning (Thursday) and learned that Plum Island Beach was open.

I decided to take a few pictures of the Plum Island oceanfront.  It turned out to be pretty close to high tide.

I wanted to see how the property recovery was going as well as how safe the surviving homes appeared to be when the next storm happens.

In the distance I could see workers using cranes to try and return the dunes to where they were before the storm.

Looking at houses that survived the storm it was easy to see that their locations are far from safe.  These houses are built on sand dunes.  I know that there are foundations involved but those too are resting on sand.

My religious background kicked in when I saw the houses and the sand:
“On Christ the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.” – from “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less” by Edward Mote

One homeowner has decided to stay on his oceanfront lot but move his house backward onto a foundation further inland.  His optimism regarding his ability to withstand future storms in the new location may be misplaced.

side view of home being moved back

home on left was moved back

front view of home being moved back

front view of home that was moved back

One lady with a house in the area told reporters that she had been coming to Plum Island each summer for forty years and that the water used to be, “hundreds of yards away.”  It is certainly not that far away anymore!

The shrinking beach size and the tenuous location of the surviving homes are a combination destined to lead to trouble in the future for the Plum Island oceanfront property owners.

Plum Island beach housesThe ocean in my pictures is where it is now reaching some three weeks after the storm.   How can it not be concluded that this area stands one storm away from being endangered yet again?

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Danvers downs Smith Academy 66-50 to get second straight Division 3 title

Danvers - 2012-13 Division 3 champs

Danvers – 2012-13 Division 3 champs

Mat Sulda, Derek McMahon, Coach Matt Zerneri, Seaver Rickert

Mat Sulda, Derek McMahon, Coach Matt Zerneri, Seaver Rickert

(Worcester) No last-minute heroics needed by Danvers this time.

After coming dangerously close to exiting from the tournament in the D3 North finals (Wayland) and the state semifinals (Martha’s Vineyard), Danvers pulled ahead of Smith Academy by double figures for good early in the final quarter and won the state title, 66-50, on Saturday afternoon at the DCU Center in Worcester.

This was Danvers (24-2) second straight Division 3 title.

(Both teams are the Falcons.)

DHS was hot during the first nine minutes against the SA zone burning the visitors from Hatfield with five three’s (Nick McKenna 3, Nick Bates and Eric Martin 1 each) and getting a 22-6 spread.  Was this going to be a blowout?  Hardly.

You live by the three, you can also die by it.  Danvers cooled off in the second quarter and Smith rattled off thirteen unanswered points.  While Danvers was pointless for nearly seven minutes SA closed to 22-19 before a Nick Bates layup in the last three seconds.

Mat Sulda (11 points) tries to get by Nick McKenna (20 points)

Mat Sulda (11 points) tries to get by Nick McKenna (20 points)

That five-point halftime lead (24-19) would shrink to two (24-22) and even one (26-25) on an old-fashioned three by Seaver Rickert (13 points) just a minute into the second half.

Nick Bates (12 points) responded with an old-fashioned three of his own and Seaver Rickert scored from in close on a pass from Derek McMahon.

At this point Danvers lead was a mere two points (29-27) with 6 ½ minutes to play in the third quarter.  This was when the pull away began for the Eastern Mass champs.

Danvers crafted two minutes of unanswered offense (seven points) getting a jump shot from Nick Bates, a free throw by Danny Connors (12 points), and two jump shots by Nick McKenna (20 points).  Suddenly, Smith Academy was down nine (36-27).

The Western Mass champs would cut the lead to six (38-32) before Vinny Clifford (11 points) struck from the corner on an inbounds play.

Vinny Clifford (11 points) guards David Longstreeth

Vinny Clifford (11 points) guards David Longstreeth

This make was crucial for Danvers because cold Vinny had now become hot Vinny.  The 6-2 sophomore had been through a disastrous first half missing every shot (including several air balls) and had a couple of turnovers.

But now Vinny was hot and he scored the next eleven Danvers points, including eight of them in the first two minutes of the final quarter.

While Vinny was making shots (a jump shot and two 3’s), SA was making only three-of-six free throws.  The result of all this activity was a 50-37 Danvers lead with six minutes to go.

Smith rallied to within ten (58-48) as David Longstreeth connected from long range and Will Halloran put in a layup with 2:19 left.

But Danvers took the “scary” out of the rest of the game by making six straight free throws and getting a Nick McKenna layup off of a steal to notch their second straight championship.

All five of the Danvers starters ended up in double figures.

Eric Martin (11 points) was at his best in the second half when Smith moved to full-court pressure in the second half.  There were very few Danvers turnovers.

Nick McKenna goes baseline

Nick McKenna goes baseline

Nick McKenna’s defense was a key to the win as he guarded Mat Sulda (11 points).  The speedy 5-10 lefty had been averaging 19.3 points per game.

Nick Bates had a double/double getting thirteen rebounds to go along with his twelve points.

This was the first state final for Smith Academy since 1992.

Mat Sulda ended up with 1579 career points.  Both his uncle and his grandfather were 1000-point scorers at Smith.

Danvers returned four starters to this year’s team but graduated was 6-7 George Merry (WPI).  The 2012-13 squad had to adjust significantly.  Gone were George’s interior defense and inside scoring.  But credit Coach John Walsh, the team adjusted well enough to win a second title.

Danvers boxscore

Smith Academy boxscore

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

Derek McMahon takes off with a turnover

Derek McMahon takes off with a turnover

loose ball

loose ball

Danny Connors (12 points) and Seaver Rickert (13 points)

Danny Connors (12 points) and Seaver Rickert (13 points)

Mat Sulda skies

Mat Sulda skies

Eric Martin, Danny Connors, Coach John Walsh, Nick McKenna, Nick Bates

Eric Martin, Danny Connors, Coach John Walsh, Nick McKenna, Nick Bates

rebound

rebound

Keith Natale and Nick Bates (12 points)

Keith Natale and Nick Bates (12 points)

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Archbishop Williams routs Lee 60-33 to win Division 3 state title

Archbishop Williams - 2012-13 Division 3 state champs

Archbishop Williams – 2012-13 Division 3 state champs

Stephanie Young guarded by Alana Gilmer

Stephanie Young guarded by Alana Gilmer

(Worcester) Archbishop Williams (23-5) will be switching from Division 3 to Division 1 next season.

Unfortunately, for the Lee Wildcats (19-6) they had to face the Bishops in this year’s state D3 finals and were routed, 60-33, on Saturday morning at the DCU Center in Worcester.

Both Lee and Pentucket (state semifinals) had few answers for the size and skill of the girls from Braintree.

In both of those games, the Archies were able to virtually shut down a top player on the other team.  It happened to Coley Viselli (3 points) of Pentucket and this morning Stephanie Young (3 points).

Both girls were 1000-point scorers for their respective teams but against ABW, and specifically 6-foot Alana Gilmer, the half-court openings were scarce.

MassLive reported that Stephanie Young was one-for-sixteen.  By the time the Western Massachusetts Player-of-the-Year made her only points Lee was behind, 52-27, in the final quarter.

6-3 Jaylen Williams (14 points) swings into the lane for two

6-3 Jaylen Williams (14 points) swings into the lane for two

This game got out of hand in the first four minutes.  During that segment all five ABW starters had scored and the Bishops were away on a, 13-0, advantage.

In the very first possession, the Archies had three offensive rebounds before Sara Ryan nailed a three.  The second, and even third, chance opportunities were frequent for the tall Bishops.

The Wildcats were able to get within eight (21-13) in the second quarter after a Courtney Picard jump shot but the Bishops closed 8-2 the rest of the half and led, 29-15.

Alana Gilmer (14 points) started the second half with a three after getting a rebound and then was on the scoring end of a fast break.

Eileen Dooley (16 points)

Eileen Dooley (16 points)

Lee answered with a three from Eileen Dooley (16 points).

Back came 6-3 Jaylen Williams (14 points) with a spin move for a layup and then a 10-foot jump shot.

The work of the two sophomores (Alana and Jaylen) boosted the Bishops margin to twenty (38-18) with fourteen minutes left to play.  The outcome mystery had been solved early.

Plenty of reserve action by both teams the rest of the way.

The Archies had nine different players score including senior (1000-point scorer) Sara Ryan.

Getting the biggest cheer was Julie Bloomer, put in by Coach Bancroft with just a few seconds left.  The Bishops junior was wearing a conspicuous knee brace.

Freshman Ednaija Lassiter (11 points) came off the bench to tally nine points in the third quarter for ABW.

sophomores Alana Gilmer and Jaylen Williams

sophomores Alana Gilmer and Jaylen Williams

The Bishops ended the season winning fourteen of their last fifteen.

Lee won nine of their last ten with the loss today.

This was Lee’s third time in the state finals in the last four years.  The Wildcats defeated Pentucket in 2010 to get the state title.

5-2 senior Eileen Dooley paced Lee with sixteen points.  Her quickness enabled her to get plenty of shots off.

Lee has won the Western title nineteen times in the last twenty-five years.

Stephanie Young is considering UMass, WPI, and RPI.

Jaylen Williams has verbally committed to Penn State.  Not bad for a sophomore!

Alana Gilmer has offers from UMass, Quinnipiac, and URI.  BC, Georgetown, and Villanova are also interested.

Archbishop Williams boxscore

Lee boxscore

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

Stephanie Young defended by Alana Gilmer

Stephanie Young defended by Alana Gilmer

Olivia Conrad and Hadley Cook

Olivia Conrad and Hadley Cook

Leah Spencer looks to drive

Leah Spencer looks to drive

Bishops captains Kayla Free and Sara Ryan

Bishops captains Kayla Free and Sara Ryan

Jaylen Williams lines up a free throw

Jaylen Williams lines up a free throw

Alana Gilmer (14 points) breaks in

Alana Gilmer (14 points) breaks in

loose ball

loose ball

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Danvers gets it done 50-47 defeating Martha’s Vineyard and reaching state D3 finals

Garden party begins

Garden party begins

Izak Browne (17 points) heads for the last shot

Izak Browne (17 points) heads for the last shot

(Boston) Until Izak Browne’s 3-point attempt from just inside half court went wide left, the outcome of the Danvers/Martha’s Vineyard game was in doubt.

But the game-tying attempt missed and Danvers had a 50-47 D3 state semi-finals win at the TD Garden on Tuesday night.

The exciting victory earned the Falcons (23-2) another trip to Worcester for a chance for consecutive state Division 3 titles.  Last year Danvers defeated St. Joe’s of Pittsfield in the championship match.

Game time on Saturday is 12:30PM at the DCU Center and the opponent will be Smith Academy of Hatfield (25 miles north of Springfield).

The state semi-finals put two very good teams together.  Danvers had the big-game experience but MV (18-6) had terrific athletes and could make 3’s.

Brandon Watkins chases a loose ball

Brandon Watkins chases a loose ball

There were fourteen lead changes and two ties.  That combination provided more than enough opportunities for fans from both schools to either cheer and groan.

Ultimately Danvers big-game experience made the difference…….but barely.

The Vineyard tied the score (41-41) on a three by Jack Roberts (12 points) with 3 ½ minutes left in the game.  Less than a minute later Jack connected on a short baseline floater and MV had a two-point lead (43-41) with 2:42 to go.

Kieran Beck reaches in and forces a turnover

Kieran Beck reaches in and forces a turnover

Down but not out, the Falcons were able to make good things happen on defense as they trapped dribblers and jumped passing lanes.  Three straight MV frontcourt turnovers resulted and Danvers was able to run six straight points to get up, 47-43, with forty seconds left.

The Falcons points came on two free throws each by Nick Bates and Danny Connors.  The other score was an Eric Martin basket assisted by Nick McKenna.

Danvers now in control?  No.

After a Navardo Anderson miss, Nick McKenna made one of two free throws (48-43) with twenty-seven seconds left.  Jack Roberts followed with two made free throws (48-45) while Eric Martin missed both of his with 11.8 seconds left.

Nick McKenna makes two free throws with 4.7 seconds left in the game

Nick McKenna makes two free throws with 4.7 seconds left in the game

Brandon Watkins went the length of the court (in a hurry) to reduce the Danvers margin to one (48-47) with 5.8 seconds to go.  Nick McKenna then received the inbounds pass, was immediately fouled, and sank two huge free throws with 4.7 seconds remaining.

Izak Browne (17 points) had a pretty good look at a last-second, game-tying shot but he didn’t come close to hitting it.

Both teams will surely look back at this game and think of  how much better they could have played.  Danvers missed eleven free throws in twenty-three tries including six in the final quarter.  Martha’s Vineyard did not take good care of the ball.  The team from the Eastern Athletic Conference had seventeen turnovers including six in the final quarter and three after they had a 2-point lead (43-41) in the late stages of the game.  MV also missed seven of eleven free throw attempts.

In a game with lead changes, missed free throws, and plenty at stake, the pressure on both teams was incredible.

Nick Bates (12 points), Nick McKenna (11 points), and Danny Connors (10 points) led the Falcons in scoring.

Izak Browne soars into a shot

Izak Browne soars into a shot

Izak Browne (17 points) and Jack Roberts (12 points) reached double figures for Martha’s Vineyard.

MV connected seven times from long range while Danvers had four 3-pointers.

Jake Cawlina (hero in the win over Wayland) hit a three in the second quarter.

Danvers had only six turnovers in the game.  Three of them were in the tension-filled final quarter.

The state semi-finals was the furthest Martha’s Vineyard had ever been.  They last played in the Garden in 1977.

Danvers boxscore

Martha’s Vineyard boxscore

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

Navardo Anderson drives on Nick McKenna

Navardo Anderson drives on Nick McKenna

Nick McKenna (11 points) looks for an opening

Nick McKenna (11 points) looks for an opening

Eric Martin drives

Eric Martin drives

Danvers celebrates

Danvers celebrates

Nick Bates (12 points)

Nick Bates (12 points)

Jack Roberts (12 points)

Jack Roberts (12 points)

loose ball late in the game

loose ball late in the game

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Archbishop Williams defeats Pentucket 52-38 to reach state Division 3 finals

Coley Viselli faces defender Alana Gilmer

Coley Viselli faces defender Alana Gilmer

Archbishop Williams - state Division 3 finalists

Archbishop Williams – state Division 3 finalists

(Boston) The Boston Globe had Archbishop Williams as the second-best team in the state behind Reading before today’s state semi-finals.

The #7 seed Archies (22-5) looked awfully good in their, 52-38, Division Three state semi-finals win over Pentucket at the TD Garden on Monday afternoon.

When I learned that Reading had been beaten by Medfield later today in the Division 2 semifinals, I think that it is safe to say that Archbishop Williams is now the best in the East in all divisions.

Lee will be the Archies’ opponent on Saturday at the Worcester Centrum (10:45AM) for the state Division Three title.  Just to caution the overconfident in the East: the Lee girls basketball program has won more state titles than any school in Massachusetts.

Alana Gilmer (12 points)

Alana Gilmer (12 points)

The Bishops were able to gain separation (18-9) from the Sachems with a ten-point run in the last three minutes of the first quarter.  A new three (Kayla Free), a converted rebound (Alana Gilmer), an old-fashioned three (Leah Spencer), and a layup at the buzzer (Jaylen Williams) provided the decisive 10-spot.

The Sachems (24-2) chased the Archies the rest of the afternoon. The undersized girls from West Newbury were within four (20-16) in the second quarter and five (28-23) in the third quarter.

The Sachems had their best moments in the final quarter when their pressing defense forced two turnovers and four quick points (two Kelsi McNamara free throws and Tess Nogueira layup from Kelsi).  Pentucket was suddenly within six (40-34) with six minutes left.

Those who have seen Pentucket play, envisioned the start of a big run and an interesting finish.  Didn’t happen.  Sara Ryan answered with a three.  Kelsi followed with two free throws. That put the difference at seven (43-36).

Pentucket then went into a five-minute scoring drought that sealed their fate.  During the same time frame, Archbishop Williams added eight points to their lead (51-36), and the reserves from both sides finished the last minute.  Jaylen Williams tallied from in close twice and Leah Spencer and Katryna Veasey had the other baskets in the late-game run.

There were few easy baskets at any time for Pentucket.  6-3 sophomore Jaylen Williams patrolled the lane on defense and the usual drives of the Sachems were discouraged.

Leah Spencer did a good job of keeping Kelsi McNamara (13 points) from getting looks at 3-point attempts.  Kelsi had only one three in the game.

6-3 Jaylen Williams

6-3 Jaylen Williams

Sophomore 6-footer Alana Gilmer (12 points) put the defensive blanket over Coley Viselli (3 points).  Just getting by Alana was difficult for the talented Pentucket senior and there was always 6-3 Jaylen Williams ready to pick up the defensive slack if Coley was driving.

If you had to narrow Pentucket’s twenty-four wins down to two reasons, I would say that one was being able to force turnovers that lead to quick points and the other was making three’s.  Neither one of those went the Sachems way on this day.

By my count, Pentucket had fourteen turnovers and the Archies only ten turnovers.  Only one of the Archie miscues led to a quick Pentucket basket.

The Sachems made only three long ones.  They really had trouble, because of the Archbishop Williams’ height, getting open looks even from long range.

Coley Viselli was injured early in the second quarter but came back before halftime.

At the end of the game, four seniors (Emily Dresser, Coley Viselli, Tess Nogueira, and Alex Moore) had ended their Pentucket hoop careers.

arpe A13 Emily, Coley, Tess, Alex

During Coach John McNamara’s seven seasons with Pentucket, the team has always been able to reload the following season despite graduation losses.  Don’t bet against it happening again.

Plenty of support on hand at the TD Garden for both teams.

I continue to wonder why those in charge of the chanting student sections don’t discourage them from taunting each other.  Directing positive chants toward their own team would make a lot more sense and create fewer hard feelings………but what do I know?

Archbishop Williams boxscore

Pentucket boxscore

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

Kelsi McNamara (13 points) drives on Leah Spencer

Kelsi McNamara (13 points) drives on Leah Spencer

Alex Moore gets her shot blocked by Sara Ryan

Alex Moore gets her shot blocked by Sara Ryan

Tess Nogueira was six-for-six from the line

Tess Nogueira was six-for-six from the line

Coley Viselli heads for the hoop

Coley Viselli heads for the hoop

McKenna Kilian gets into the lane

McKenna Kilian gets into the lane

Tess Nogueira reacts to her 5th foul

Tess Nogueira reacts to her 5th foul

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Danvers wins last-minute thriller 57-52 over Wayland to get D3 North title

Danvers celebrates last-minute win over Wayland

Danvers celebrates last-minute win over Wayland

Reserve Jake Cawlina (9 points) saved the day for the Falcons

Reserve Jake Cawlina (9 points) saved the day for the Falcons

(Lowell) If you saw last year’s game between Danvers and Wayland you knew what to expect….end of the game excitement.

The Falcons (22-2) broke free from a tie game in the last minute and defeated the Warriors, 57-52, to win the Division 3 North title at the Tsongas Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Danvers will face Martha’s Vineyard (17-5) in the state D3 semifinal game at the TD Bank Garden on Tuesday.  The finals are at the Worcester Centrum on Saturday.

Last time against Wayland, a 3-point shot by reserve Mike Scarfo was part of a 10-point rally that forced overtime in the Falcon’s 70-67 win.  Today it was seldom-used, senior Jake Cawlina who saved the day for Danvers.

With Dan Connors in game-long foul trouble and Vinny Clifford not as accurate as he has been recently, DHS coach John Walsh gave Jake a chance.  Nine points later Jake made the coach look like a genius.

Jake entered the game in the second quarter and nailed two 3’s as part of a ten-point run that gave Danvers its largest lead of the half, 31-20, with a minute left until halftime.

Jaleel Bell (17 points) with Eric Martin

Jaleel Bell (17 points) with Eric Martin

The Falcon advantage would grow to 35-23 two minutes into the second half but the never-say-die Warriors erased their entire deficit and had Danvers in a 52-52 tie with 1:41 left.

The Falcons extended their next possession with an offensive rebound and Jake Cawlina then hit his third 3-pointer of the game to give the Falcons a 3-point lead (55-52) with fifty-five seconds left.

But Jake was not done contributing.  On Wayland’s next possession, he and reserve Kieran Beck got Yannick Schaefer in a trap and Kieran stole the ball.

Danvers ran clock before Eric Martin fed Nick Bates cutting down the lane for the layup that sealed the deal (57-52) for the Falcons with thirteen seconds left.

Certainly a key to the Danvers win was limiting Jaleel Bell to seventeen points on 8-for-15 shooting.  Eric Martin was the primary defender.

Jaleel had 34 points/14 rebounds/9 steals in the Warriors semifinal win over North Reading.  Jaleel’s line today showed no rebounds or steals.

Nick Bates (13 points) heads for two

Nick Bates (13 points) heads for two

Nick McKenna (14 points) and Nick Bates (13 points) led the Danvers scorers.

Eric Martin had nine points and five assists plus the great defense on Jaleel Bell.

Dan Connors tallied only four points as fouls kept him on the bench more than on the floor.  He had three fouls in the first quarter and sat out the second quarter.  Thirty seconds into the third quarter he had his 4th and was benched.  Four minutes into the final quarter he was done for the game.  Dan’s inside scoring/rebounding were sorely missed.

Harry Leavitt (9 points) drove in for the layup that tied the score at 52-52.

Harry was part of 10-point run by the Warriors (19-5) in the third quarter.  He had a layup and two free throws.  Jaleel Bell, who had eleven points in the third quarter, added two layups and Greg Karpacz also had a layup.  That collection of unanswered points put Wayland within two (35-33) with four minutes left.

Eric Martin was part of quick five points in the first quarter.  He assisted on Nick McKenna’s three and then stole the inbounds pass and tallied a layup.

looking for a rebound

looking for a rebound

Wayland coach Dennis Doherty is probably wondering what this game would have looked like at the end if his team hadn’t missed eleven-of-fifteen free throws including three that were the front ends of one-and-one’s.

Danvers wasn’t too much better from the line.  They missed six-of-nine attempts including one front end of a one-and-one.

The Falcons have eliminated Wayland from the tournament three straight years.

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

All eyes on a Vinny Clifford three

All eyes on a Vinny Clifford three

foul-plagued Dan Connors

foul-plagued Dan Connors

Kieran Beck

Kieran Beck

Yannick Schaefer

Yannick Schaefer

holding

holding

Eric Martin in Wayland traffic

Eric Martin in Wayland traffic

loose ball

loose ball

D3 North champs

D3 North champs

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Pentucket defeats Watertown 38-24 to win Division 3 North title

Pentucket - Division 3 North champs

Pentucket – Division 3 North champs

Coley Viselli (15 points) fires from long range

Coley Viselli (15 points) fires from long range

(Lowell)  Some will call it great defense.  Some will call it very, very cold shooting.

Take your pick, Pentucket overwhelmed Watertown, 38-24, to win the Division 3 North title on Saturday afternoon at the Tsongas Center.

The Sachems will face Archbishop Williams (Braintree) at the TD Bank Garden on Monday in a state Division 3 semifinals battle.

Pentucket (24-1) was never behind against the Raiders (13-11).

After a 3-2 start (Kelsi McNamara three & Rachel Campbell layup), this game got away from Watertown completely over the next nine minutes of playing time stretching into the second period.

The Sachems ran off fifteen unanswered points and were ahead, 18-2, before Rachel Campbell made a free throw.

It is not unusual for Pentucket (#1 seed) to put runs of points together off of turnovers but that wasn’t the case here.  Simply explained: Pentucket made shots and Watertown didn’t.

Kelsi McNamara (15 points) hit a three on the first Pentucket possession

Kelsi McNamara (15 points) hit a three in the first Pentucket possession

The Sachem points in this run were spread around.  Kelsi McNamara (15 points) had a three and a floater in the lane.  Coley Viselli (15 points) nailed a three and two driving layups.  Alex Moore added a free throw and a layup.

Much of the credit for the nine-minute shutout goes to Pentucket’s half-court defense. The Raiders had little trouble in the backcourt because of point guard Gabby Coppola’s dribbling skills.  The frontcourt was a different story.  Watertown had very few good looks and had to settle for heavily-defended shot attempts.

Alex Moore and later Kelsi McNamara forced the Raiders top scorer (Gabby Coppola) to be a passer by denying her open looks from the outside and keeping the talented junior from driving.

There were six minutes of first half and the entire second half played after the 18-2 start, but on this day, Watertown couldn’t get enough stops or enough made shots to challenge the defending D3 champs.

looking for a rebound

looking for a rebound

The Raiders (#11 seed) actually “won” the last twenty-two minutes, 22-20, but it was too little, too late for Watertown.

The Raiders’ drought during those devastating nine minutes in the first half was so noticeable that the Pentucket student section cheered (insincerely) when Rachel Campbell ended the 15-point run with a free throw.

Kelsi McNamara hit two 3’s in the first three minutes and had ten of her fifteen points in the first half.  Her defense on Gabby Coppola, when Alex Moore didn’t have her, may have been more valuable than her point totals.

Coley Viselli connected twice from long range and was able to get to the basket three times on scoring drives.  The senior became a 1000-point scorer recently in a win over Division 1 Central Catholic.

Kelsi McNamara drives on Gabby Coppola

Kelsi McNamara drives on Gabby Coppola

Kelsi McNamara appeared fully recovered from the calf injury she suffered against Ipswich in the D3 North semifinals.  Kelsi went out in this game, with two minutes left, holding her elbow.

Alex Moore had short minutes after hurting her wrist falling during a drive to the basket in the first half.

As I mentioned earlier, turnovers were not a factor.  Pentucket had fourteen and Watertown ten.

The foul shooting by both teams was pitiful.  The Sachems missed five in eight attempts while the Raiders missed ten in fourteen attempts.

The Pentucket defense held Gabby Coppola to four points on 1-for-8 in field goal attempts.

You watch Pentucket play and wonder when their domination (93-11 over the past four years) will end.  Maybe not so soon.  Two sophomores start (Kelsi McNamara and McKenna Kilian) and in this game there were significant minutes for junior Sydney Snow, sophomore Sarah Wiles, and freshman Riley Holden.

Rachel Campbell and Riley Holden

Rachel Campbell and Riley Holden

Typical of Pentucket was a lack of jumping up-and-down and rushing the court after the win.  You could hardly tell afterwards whether they had won or lost!  I suspect that they’re saving that post-game excitement for the next game on Monday afternoon.

Rachel Campbell paced the Watertown scorers with seven points.

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

Coley Viselli gets in for two

Coley Viselli gets in for two

Sydney Snow (#3)

Sydney Snow (#3)

Gabby Coppola

Gabby Coppola

Pentucket coaching staff

Pentucket coaching staff

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