(Ipswich MA) The new-look Ipswich girls’ basketball team opened with a, 38-33, win over Amesbury on Friday night in their Cape Ann League openers.
The Tigers (1-0) have a new coach (Dot Stanley) and plenty of inexperienced players. Graduated are Brigid O’Flynn and Julia Davis. Transferred to private schools are Masey Zegarowski and Caroline Soucy. Those four girls were major parts of the 19-4 Tigers of 2012-13.
But on this night the new kids in the Tiger Den had enough to hold off Amesbury. The Indians (0-1) were within two (34-32) with less than two minutes left but couldn’t get shots to fall in crunch time.
The key to the Ipswich victory was their willingness to take the ball to the basket. Their aggressiveness turned up a ton of free throws (34) and also eliminated the Indians’ Amanda Martin during crunch time with five fouls.
Junior Abby McCarthy paced Ipswich with eleven points and was able to get to the free throw line thirteen times.
Junior Amanda Martin led Amesbury with eleven points and also had several steals.
Amesbury was 10-11 last season and qualified for the state tournament.
In this opener the Indians got a three from Amanda Martin in the first 1 1/2 minutes and then scored just one point over the next nine minutes. Ipswich took advantage of the scoring drought, as well as eleven Amesbury turnovers, and built up a 14-4 lead early in the second quarter.
The Ipswich still led, 17-8 with two minutes to go in the second period after a Jenna Gagnon steal and layin.
But Amesbury dominated the rest of the quarter. Steals by Amanda Martin (2) and freshman Madison Napoli all led to scores and the Indians only trailed, 17-16, at the half.
The visitors actually got the lead early in the third period but the Ipswich persistence in going to the rim made the difference the rest of the way.
Amesbury made more baskets (6) than Ipswich (3) in the second half but not free throws. The Tigers canned thirteen while Amesbury connected on five.
There were plenty of turnovers by both teams in this game. Most of them came on ill-advised passes in the front court.
In the first half Ipswich used the give-and-go a number of times to get good looks.
Free throw shooting for both teams should improve……….it needs to! The Tigers missed 15 while making 19. The Indians missed 8 while making 6.
Both teams return to action Tuesday night (6:30PM). Ipswich hosts Rockport while Amesbury hosts Manchester-Essex.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)