(Newburyport MA) The Newburyport girls basketball team started this season with seven straight wins.
But how good were they since they hadn’t faced Masconomet and Pentucket?
Tonight we found out. Masco came to town and defeated the Clippers, 52-42, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.
“We have things to work on,” said NHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards. “We gave up too many offensive rebounds and we missed too many layups.”
Masco coach Bob Romeo saw his team’s play early in the second quarter as the key to the win. “Our breakaway was quick and the separation from it stayed there the rest of the game.”
This was a tie game after six minutes before the Chieftains tallied the final three points of the quarter to lead 9-6.
Anna Hickman started the second quarter with a free throw. You sensed that this game might stay close after Nicole Amyouny missed two free throws in the first minute.
But two minutes later, Newburyport (7-1) was in serious trouble. Masco put a string of thirteen unanswered points together and separated 22-7. The home team never recovered although they did get back to within six points in the third quarter.
Two Masco freshmen (Olivia Filmore and Morgan Bovardi) sparked the breakaway segment. “They were impressive,” said Coach Romeo.
Olivia converted a missed free throw into a layup and then when teammate Paige Anyouny tossed a 3-point air ball, Olivia was under the basket to turn that miss into two more points.
Morgan’s part was stealing the ball and getting a layup off the steal. She followed those points with a three assisted by Mak Graves.
Mak Graves and Paige Anyouny collected the other two Masco baskets in the crucial 13-point run.
You take those disastrous two minutes out of this game and it becomes anyone’s.
The best matchup of the night was between seniors Paige Anyouny and Krysta Padellaro.
“Paige is rock solid,” said Coach Romeo. “Game in, game out. She’s a rebounder. She runs our offense and defends the other team’s top scorer.”
Both teams dug in on defense. “It was two good teams going after each other for thirty-two minutes,” said Coach Romeo.
Sophomore Mak Graves led all scorers with fifteen points. Her ability to dribble into open space and to make shots against taller opponents is remarkable. “Makayla didn’t shoot the ball as well tonight as she typically does,” said Coach Romeo. “But she draws a lot of attention and it allows other kids to make plays.”
The potential for a long night started early for the Clippers when starter Katie Hadden picked up two fouls in the first minute. Out she came for most of the first half. During Katie’s absence, the Chieftains (6-1) built the lead that the Clippers couldn’t overcome.
“That hurt us a lot not having Katie for all those minutes,” said Coach Dollas.
Because of the swarming man-to-man defenses by both squads, there was a fair amount of contact. Fouls probably could have been called on every possession! We might also still be at the Newburyport gym wondering when the game would end.
Masco lost to Pentucket this week, BUT Mak Graves didn’t play. Pentucket will be visiting Newburyport on Monday afternoon (1PM). The full-court, high-energy Sachems will certainly be another test for Newburyport.
We all got a chance to enjoy the impressive singing voice of Paige Gouldthorpe as she did the National Anthem. That girl does not need a microphone!
(All pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)