(Boston MA) The Pentucket boys did get better as the game went along but when a team starts with a two-point first quarter getting better may not be enough.
And it wasn’t as the Sachems fell to Old Rochester, 63-49, in the Division 3 state semifinals on Tuesday night at the TD Garden.
Old Rochester (#1 seed from the South) never trailed thanks to an aggressiveness on both ends of the floor that Pentucket couldn’t match up with.
Pentucket (#5 seed in the North) had a serious case of the Garden jitters and except for Pat Freiermuth (18 points) had a horrible shooting night. The accurate shooting that carried the Sachems past three higher seeds in the North sectionals vanished in the state semis.
The Bulldogs (22-3) were relentless. Almost every Pentucket shot was a contested one while on offense Old Rochester just attacked the rim.
Four Bulldogs average double figures and three of them William Santos (16), Jordan Menard (13), and Ryan Beatty (13) reached that plateau in this game.
The Sachems got off to a dreadful start. Pat Freiermuth’s layup 1 ½ minutes into the game was their only basket in the first eight minutes. They missed fourteen shots, including a number of layups, and had seven turnovers. Meanwhile ORR collected twelve points including the final eight of the quarter. Five different Bulldogs contributed points in the 12-2 start.
That start would have doomed most teams but the Sachems were able to hang around even though they never found the long-range accuracy carried them through the North to the Garden. Old Rochester missed a lot of shots too.
Pentucket made two serious runs at the lead in the second half but both times the Bulldogs responded with consecutive points to deny the team from West Newbury.
Brendan Sullivan had a three in a collection of five points that brought Pentucket to within seven (29-22) 2 ½ minutes into the second half. ORR answered with a free throw by William Santos and two straight 3’s from Jordan Menard restoring, in the process, Old Rochester’s advantage to fourteen.
Pentucket’s best chance came early in the final quarter. A Pat Beaton layup off an Old Rochester turnover and four points from Pat Freiermuth suddenly had the Sachems within two possessions (42-36) with 6 ½ minutes left. Play some defense. Make some three’s and see what happens at the end. None of that happened. Instead there were three more Pentucket turnovers up against a three by Ryan Beatty and a slashing layup and two free throws from William Santos. Back to twelve went the ORR lead (49-36) and Pentucket never recovered.
Old Rochester advances to the D3 state finals and the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday facing either Hoosac or Uxbridge.
Remarkable season for Pentucket of the Cape Ann League. Most of the playing time went to seniors and their poise against the higher seeds in the North carried the day for the team.
Sophomore Pat Freiermuth will be back and will surely draw plenty of defensive consideration next season as the lone returning starter. Pat ended up with 22 rebounds against Old Rochester.
Old Rochester is out of the South Coast Conference.
Where is the school? It is not in Rochester but in Mattapoisett. Okay, where’s Mattapoisett? It is about sixty miles from Providence and Boston down in the southeast corner of Massachusetts.
The Bulldogs brought nine busloads of fans to the Garden. There was plenty of red on one side of the Garden but some of it belonged to some early Watertown fans.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)