(Newburyport MA) Newburyport turned in an impressive win on Senior Night as they took down Lynnfield, 67-55.
The Pioneers (15-2) had a twelve-game winning streak snapped.
The Clippers (14-3) took the lead in the first two minutes and never gave it back.
The Pioneers went down by thirteen (34-21) three minutes into the second half but battled back to within three points (39-36) in the final two minutes of the third quarter.
Nick Rogers (18 points) pushed the NHS lead back to nine (47-38) with a pair of three’s.
Later, Cam MacRae (14 points) strung five points in a row to boost the advantage to double digits (57-44) with 3:35 to go and sealed Lynnfield’s fate.
Lynnfield hadn’t lost since December (non-league Melrose) but were in trouble early versus Newburyport because top scorer Louis Ellis was a foul magnet. Two minutes into this game he had two fouls. LHS coach Scott McKenzie had to bench him for the rest of the quarter. Two minutes into the second quarter Louis picked up his third foul. Again, he was benched for the rest of the quarter.
Did it affect Lynnfield? For sure! The Pioneers tallied just eighteen points TOTAL in the first half. Louis played only four of the sixteen minutes.
Over a year ago, in the MIAA tournament, Louis collected a career-high thirty-four points against Newburyport to help oust the Clippers from the post-season.
What I’m trying to tell you is that when Louis Ellis is on the bench for twelve minutes of the sixteen-minute first half, and then is held to two points in the second half, Lynnfield is in trouble.
Credit Newburyport for much of the Lynnfield trouble. They constantly took the ball to the basket.
After halftime, Louis Ellis was back on the court but another starter, Dan Jameson, wasn’t. He was sick.
And then there was the Lynnfield foul shooting. A very unfortunate six-for-eighteen. I swear that I saw the Pioneers’ terrific point guard (Billy Arseneault) put a free throw in off the backboard. Things didn’t make sense for Lynnfield on this night.
Again, credit Newburyport for taking advantage despite a dreadful first half shooting-wise of their own. Casey McLaren ended up with eighteen points but fourteen of them came in the second half after an apparent lid was removed that gave him trouble in the first half.
Despite tough shooting the Clippers had a 23-15 halftime lead.
Consecutive three’s starting the second half, by Casey McLaren and Nick Rogers from in front of the NHS bench, put the visitors down by eleven (29-18).
The best moments for Lynnfield were in an 11-2 run later in the 3rd quarter that included several spin moves down the lane by Billy Arseneault (16 points). That collection of good offense narrowed the NHS advantage to three (39-36) with plenty of game left.
Nick Rogers ended that third quarter with a three and added another one (he had four in the game) early in the final quarter. LHS fell back away from one-possession territory and never got that close again.
Lynnfield had defeated Newburyport 67-48 on December 23rd. The Pioneers raced off to a 20-5 first quarter lead. Billy Arseneault had twenty points in that game.
Newburyport made seven of its eight triples in the second half.
Good crowd with many there to honor the Clippers seven seniors.
Both teams used zones and man-to-man’s.
There were plenty of drives to the basket and attempted three’s.
Newburyport has now won fourteen of the last fifteen games.
In contrast to the Pioneers’ weak free throw shooting, Newburyport cashed thirteen of sixteen FT attempts.
Both teams are in Division 3. No doubt both teams will have home games in the MIAA tournament. There is also the possibility that they will meet for the 3rd time this season in the tourney.
(All pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)