(Newburyport) Trust me, Pentucket didn’t win this one at the free throw line!
The Sachems (1-0) missed twenty of twenty-nine free throws yet still managed to get by Newburyport, 55-52, in overtime on Tuesday night.
This game started the Cape Ann League schedule for both teams.
Newburyport (0-1) looked close to victory in the final quarter after senior Dan Baribeault put five points together in a row to push the Clippers ahead, 44-38, with just under four minutes left. But Pentucket, which had six 3’s in the game, clicked on three of them in the final 2:25 to force overtime.
Lucas Chory, Jimmy Cleary, and Ryan DePaolo connected from long distance in the exciting Sachems’ finish. Ryan’s three was with fifteen seconds left.
The Clippers had the final possession is regulation and Dan Baribeault had a good look at the game-winner from the top of the key. On this evening Dan’s shots weren’t falling, he was limited to eight points, and overtime became necessary.
The key to the win? Pentucket’s ability to get to the basket. Granted at times this approach got them to the foul line where they had serious trouble but other times they made layups.
Sophomore Nate McGrail (21 points) had two such layups in overtime and that was enough to get Pentucket the victory.
Nate’s second layup gave the visitors a 53-52 lead with forty-three seconds left. The Clippers had two more possessions to answer back but neither of Quinn Stott’s shots connected. The Sachems responded with two free throws.
Jimmy Cleary totaled thirteen points for the Sachems. He also had an important block on Dan Baribeault late in regulation.
Nick Rogers paced Newburyport with twelve points all on 3’s.
The Newburyport student section went straight for the jugular pre-game chanting, “Where is Pat Friermuth?” The remarkable junior transferred to Brooks after leading Pentucket to the D3 state semifinals last year.
Lots of black and orange on display as a reminder of the passing of long-time Ipswich coach Doug Woodworth.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)