(Newburyport MA) Pentucket tied the score with eight seconds left in regulation (McKenna Kilian layup) and then dominated overtime as they defeated Newburyport, 52-44, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.
For the Clippers (12-7), the loss to Pentucket (16-4) was way too similar to their loss on Monday to undefeated Masco. They held the lead in both games in the second half only to come away frustrated when each game was over.
Kelsi McNamara (27 points) had only ten points through three quarters. After that? Wow! The junior guard put up ten points in the 4th quarter and seven points in the four-minute overtime.
Fifteen of Kelsi’s points came on three’s. Biggest one? Her last one in the fourth quarter. An Emily Pettigrew free throw had Newburyport up by three (38-35) with 1:06 left. Kelsi followed by dribbling almost every second off the thirty-second clock before finding a long-range opening. Her shot went in, tying the score, as the shot-clock buzzer sounded.
Kelsi hit her 4th long one 1+ minutes into overtime and Pentucket went up by four (44-40). The lead was still four (46-42) when Kelsi drilled the back breaker with 1:49 left. The 5th of her 3’s hit rim, backboard, and then rim again before sliding in. Now down, 49-42, the struggling Newburyport offense had no quick answers and dropped a tough one.
There was plenty of excitement down the stretch in regulation. After Kelsi tied the score (38-38) with thirty-six seconds left, Aly Leahy (10 points) sank two pressure free throws to put the Clippers on top (40-38) with twenty-one seconds to go.
I was sure that Pentucket, after their timeout, would try to get Kelsi a 3-point attempt or have her drive and draw a foul. Didn’t happen. Instead, Kelsi took the ball out-of-bounds and found teammate McKenna Kilian (15 points) cutting across from the weakside. I then expected Kelsi to jump in-bounds, get a pass back and shoot or get fouled. Didn’t work that way. Kelsi came in-bounds and attracted a double-team but, instead of passing to Kelsi, McKenna drove past defender Aly Leahy to the basket to tie the score with eight seconds left.
Still plenty of time for the Clippers. Aly Leahy set off on a full-court drive down the right side with Boo Torrisi on her shoulder. With time just about gone Aly rushed a 10-footer that missed. Abbie Bresnahan grabbed the rebound but there wasn’t time for her to score the game-winner.
Pentucket has now won four straight and fifteen of their last sixteen. Their next game is against Belmont in the St. Mary’s (Lynn) tournament.
Newburyport has lost three of four in February. They face Saugus away on Tuesday. Cape Ann Scores lists the game at 5AM!
Newburyport honored its five seniors: Aly Leahy, Amy Sullivan, Jaycie Triandafilou, Lilly Donovan, and Mary Pettigrew.
The Clippers lost the previous meeting with the Sachems, 45-43, on January 6th at Pentucket. In that one the Clippers had a ten-point lead in the third quarter.
Pentucket came out at least a minute late in the second half.
Pentucket had only four turnovers total in the second half and overtime. Maybe putting the ball into Kelsi McNamara’s hands on every possession had something to do with it.
Newburyport had twenty-three turnovers in the game. Almost all of them were in the frontcourt.
Former players Sam Leahy and Coley Viselli were on hand for this one.
The interior defense of Pentucket did a terrific job limiting high-scoring Emily Pettigrew to five points. Emily likes to catch-and-spin but every time a pass came in to her the Sachems slid someone over to eliminate the “spin” part.
Seemed to me like there was an awful lot of whining from all parts of the gym during this game. Where was the Valentine’s Day spirit?
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)