(Haverhill MA) Newburyport outscored Pentucket 15-3 over the final six minutes to break a tie and go on to a 71-59 win in Round 1 of the D3 North at Whittier on Tuesday night.
And then there was Danny. Senior Danny Baribeault, that is. Forty-two points in as smooth a performance as you’ll see in such a big scoring night.
Only two three-point shots in Danny’s night. No need for low-percentage three-pointers when the inside had openings galore. Five times Danny was able to score off of offensive rebounds.
I knew Danny was accumulating points but what distracted me from noticing his totals was that undersized Pentucket was very much in this one until the final six minutes.
There were six lead changes and six ties before things went south at the end for the team from West Newbury.
The Sachems (9-10) hadn’t played in nineteen days but there certainly wasn’t any evidence of it in the early going. Pentucket put eleven unanswered points together (a three by Jimmy Cleary included) and were ahead 16-4 with two minutes left in the first quarter.
It took an 11-2 run in the second period for the Clippers (11-10) to get all the way back, 25-25, with 2:24 left until halftime.
Robbie Shays had a three in that sequence and Cam MacRae made a marvelous save of a ball going out of bounds (right in front of me) and set up teammate Brendan Powers for the tying score.
Jacob Dickson’s trey at the buzzer gave Pentucket a 32-27 advantage.
The Sachems only lost a point off their lead in the third quarter despite Danny Baribeault’s remarkable seventeen points. Danny put eight of those scores in a package to send NHS ahead, 39-35, but later Pentucket answered with nine in a row (another three from Jimmy Cleary in the mix) to lead 48-43. The quarter ended, 50-46.
The outcome was still very much in doubt into the final period. The Sachems, however, had players in foul trouble. Those are the players who hurt you on defense and on this night Danny Baribeault saw plenty of openings.
Conor O’Neil’s three knotted things at 56-56. But right after that came a layup by Danny (on a nice feed from Cam MacRae), two free throws by Robbie Shay, and a drive by Cam MacRae. This small run gave Newburyport separation (62-56) with four minutes left. Pentucket needed the long-range fix but in the end game dialing long-distance got no answers. All three of the Sachems’ points in the final four minutes were from the foul line.
Junior Conor O’Neil (18 points), and Nate McGrail (10 points) paced the Sachems.
Robbie Shay had thirteen points including seven in the final quarter. Cam MacRae added ten points.
Newburyport moves on to face Cape Ann League opponent Lynnfield on Friday night (7PM) at Lynnfield. The Clippers lost twice to the Pioneers during the regular season.
Plenty of support on hand for both teams.
Pentucket reached the D3 state semifinals at the Garden last year. The Sachems were wiped out by graduation and the transfer of Pat Friermuth but scrapped and scrambled their way to enough wins to qualify for the tournament this year.
One things that didn’t impress me about Pentucket was their free throw shooting. In the OT win over Newburyport to start the season they made only 9 of 29 attempts. Tonight it was 12-for-23.
In Newburyport’s win over Pentucket (48-32) freshman Casey McLaren had twenty-seven. This time around Casey had only two but teammate Danny made up plenty of slack with his 42 points.
After six turnovers in a tough first quarter the Clippers had only four miscues the rest of the way.
I was impressed with the speed and passing of Cam MacRae.
Danny Baribeault and Nate McGrail were matched up most of the game.
Another matchup of note was Spencer Pacy and Casey McLaren. Both are already impact players as freshman.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)