(Newburyport MA) Tantalizingly close to getting it done…….but not quite.
Instead Newburyport saw its losing streak to Pentucket reach thirteen as the Clippers fell to the Sachems, 43-40, on Friday night before a full house at Newburyport.
Pentucket (12-2) started the game with five straight points and in the final minute put five more points together to escape with the win.
Plenty of quality man-to-man defense played by both squads. Most of the action was on the perimeter.
The Sachems were intent on keeping high-scoring Emily Pettigrew from doing too much damage. Every time Emily did get the ball inside there was an instant gathering of multiple defenders. Emily did get 14 points but three of them came in the last second when the game had been decided.
Biggest shot of the game? No question it was a three from in front of the Pentucket bench by junior Colleen Jameson. Colleen took a pass from Boo Torrisi and turned a one-point Sachem lead (38-37) into a much more comfortable 41-37 advantage.
The Clippers would get two shots (Anna Hickman and Krysta Padellaro) to cut into their 4-point deficit but neither connected. Carolyn Modlish (14 points) followed with two free throws with nine seconds left to seal the deal.
Senior Boo Torrisi (11 points) had ten of those points in the second half. Her defense was noticeable as well as her willingness to take the ball to the basket.
Pentucket did register sixteen turnovers, by my count, but after seeing them commit thirty-two miscues in a loss to Masco the improvement was significant.
After trailing early, Newburyport (10-3) put nine straight together in the first period to get ahead, 11-7. A three by Meghan Winn, a jump shot by Krysta Padellaro, and two inside scores by Emily Pettigrew provided the points.
The Clippers carried a lead into the second quarter before it was Pentucket’s turn to run nine points of their own. Three’s did the trick. One each by Jess Galvin, Colleen Jameson, and Taylor Moore. Taylor’s was the old-fashioned kind. Taylor ended up with an extra free throw attempt after Newburyport committed a lane violation.
The run of points gave the Sachem’s the lead, 20-17. The visitors would still be in front, 26-22, in the third before the Clippers put another nine-spot together. This time the damage was done with layups (Anna Hickman, Katie Hadden, and Krysta Padellaro) and a three from straight away by Krysta.
That flurry gave Newburyport a 31-26 advantage with 1 ½ minutes left in the third period.
Pentucket followed with an 8-2 sequence, including two 3’s from Boo Torrisi, and now they were ahead (34-33) with 5:44 remaining.
Two lead changes and a tie followed before Carolyn Modlish took a pass from Colleen Jameson in the lane and nailed a jumper to put Pentucket on top, 38-36, with 1:40 left.
Freshman Anna Hickman had two free throws to tie the score ten second later but missed the second one.
So Pentucket still had that slim one-point advantage going into the final minute. This was when Colleen hit the dagger-three the Clippers never recovered from.
Impressed with the passing of Newburyport. They took very good care of the ball (14 turnovers) against a team known for forcing mistakes. Both teams were very good with the ball in their backcourts.
Sophomore Krysta Padellaro (14 points) showed terrific skills on both ends of the court.
The Clippers certainly didn’t help themselves at the foul line. They missed nine-of-eighteen including the front end of two one-and-one’s.
Newburyport lost their first two games of the season before going on a ten-game win streak and qualifying for the state tournament.
Next for the Clippers with be an away tilt on Tuesday against North Reading. The Hornets were the other team to defeat the Clippers.
Senior Riley Holden was unavailable for Pentucket because of back issues similar to the ones that kept her off the court last season.
Pentucket will face Lynnfield next, also on Tuesday. The Sachems mauled the Pioneers, 68-26, in their first meeting.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)