(Newburyport MA) Amesbury won a thriller over Newburyport, 40-39, on a three-point shot by senior Abbie Sartori with twelves second left.
The win was the 13th for the Indians and it erased the sting of their lone loss last week to Pentucket.
The Clippers made three 3’s in the final quarter and nearly had a fourth in the final seconds after Abbie’s 3-pointer.
Paige Gouldthorpe had the final shot. She had already made two three’s in the quarter. How she could be so wide open must have had AHS coach Matt Willis wondering. Of course, how Abbie Sartori (11 points), who had a triple in the game, could be wide open near the arc with Amesbury down by two, probably had the same effect on NHS coach Gregg Dollas.
This game was not sloppy. The shooting was. The total on both sides for missed layups, and wild shots in traffic, was large. On this night neither defense was giving much ground and there were few second shots.
Free throws? Both teams missed six. The report of Newburyport’s loss last week to Hamilton-Wenham placed the blame on poor foul shooting. Versus Amesbury the FT shooting wasn’t necessarily poor, just off at the wrong time.
Twice in the final thirty seconds the Clippers were at the foul line shooting one-and-one’s with a two-point (39-37) lead. Misses both times (Krysta Padellaro and Katie Hadden). Amesbury turned the ball over after Krysta’s miss but after Katie’s they produced the winning 3-pointer. Maddie Napoli found Abbie for the clincher.
The Clippers (7-5) fell behind early (4-3) after a Flannery O’Connor drive and stayed there for most of the game. The AHS lead was eight at the half (25-17) and after the third quarter (34-26).
The Clippers hadn’t made a three and the AHS interior defense was limiting most good looks inside. The exception being Anna Hickman (14 points) who managed four layups through heavy AHS traffic in the second quarter.
That Amesbury eight-point lead looked safe entering the final quarter. But it wasn’t. The home team put a 13-1 run together to grab a 39-34 lead with 2 ½ minutes left. Now who’s in control! It’s the Clippers.
In the 13-1 run, the Clippers made shots from everywhere. Krysta Padellaro had a layup. Katie Hadden a jump shot. And then there were the three’s: one by Anna Hickman, and two by Paige Gouldthorpe.
Amesbury was in trouble but was able to recover as Newburyport did not score a single point over the final 2 ½ minutes. The Clippers had chances but they couldn’t cash them on this night. I did think that Paige’s late 3-point try was a good bet after one of her three’s earlier in the quarter had come from the same spot. But not this time.
Amesbury had nine unanswered in the second quarter to get a ten-point (18-8) lead. A jump shot and a three by Abbie Sartori, a jump shot by Chelsea Lynch, and full-court drive by Flannery O’Connor (12 points) did the damage for AHS.
Both Julia LaMontagne and Mikayla Porcaro turned up layups in the final thirty seconds of the third quarter. Mikayla’s just beat the buzzer.
Krysta was injured the in the 4th quarter but a quick tape job by the NHS trainer enabled the junior to be on the floor in crunch time.
Paige Gouldthorpe easily transitioned from singer to starter.
The big surprise for me was seeing Krysta and Maddie Napoli held to only two points each. Maddie did a good job of denying passes to Krysta. I saw her do the same thing to Triton’s Tessa Lafrance in AHS’s win over Triton.
NHS now has three straight losses. They face a tough one (Pentucket) away on Friday night. Later they will get Pentucket at home.
Amesbury hosts Manchester-Essex on Friday night. In the games ahead, the Indians will face four teams that they have already beaten this season. You have to like their chances of being a near-the-top seed in Division 3 North come tourney time.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)