(West Newbury MA) The girl didn’t score a point yet afterwards her coach was singing her praises.
“I told the team afterwards that Maddie (Doyle) did a fantastic job,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara.
Maddie’s terrific defense on Masco’s Mak Graves was a key piece in the Sachems, 39-27, win tonight in Cape Ann League action.
“Mak is one of the best, if not the best, player around,” said Coach McNamara. “Maddie battles and battles. Our other defenders were ready to help but Maddie was front and center.”
Mak Graves finished with twelve points but her only open shots were at the foul line.
The final score in this one will fool you because Masconomet dominated the first half. The Cheiftains (5-2) put eleven unanswered points together and turned an early 3-2 deficit into a 13-3 advantage at the 6:30 mark of the second period. Mak Graves had both of her three’s in this segment. One of them was a remarkable step-back three.
The visitors led, 17-11, at the half.
“I thought that in the first half we were terrific,” recalled Masco coach Bob Romeo. “We came out of the gate flying. Maybe we should have had a bigger lead.”
One thing that probably prevented a bigger lead was the limited floor time for sophomore Morgan Bovardi. Morgan (“She’s one of our bigger scorers” – Coach Romeo) was a foul magnet all night and was on the bench longer than she played.
Pentucket (7-1) turned things around in the second half. “We needed to play better defense and slow down on offense,” explained junior Angelica Hurley (15 points) afterwards.
The Sachems tallied so few points in the first half that the chances to flash their full-court pressure had been minimal. In the second half, that changed.
After Mak Graves boosted the Masco lead to 19-11 with a layup through traffic, the Sachems went on a 10-point run. Senior Jess Galvin started things with a triple. Later, Angelica Hurley (15 points) converted an offensive rebound and added three free throws. Junior Angelina Yarabacci (13 points) contributed two free throws. The streak of points gave Pentucket a 21-19 lead halfway through the third quarter.
Credit Masco. They hung in there and at the end of the period the scored was tied at 24-24.
In a game when points seemed to come only in bunches, it was the next “bunch” that turned tonight’s game Pentucket’s way.
“We decided not to settle for the outside shot but instead get to the rim,” said Coach McNamara.
The first 3 ½ minutes of the final period combined a point-producing offense with a shutdown defense. The Sachems put nine unanswered points together and raced ahead 33-24. Their shutdown defense didn’t allow a Masco point for the first 5 ½ minutes of the last period. That combination almost always leads to a happy ending for the team doing it and that was what happened.
Pentucket had three points in the first quarter while Masco had three in the fourth quarter.
Masco had twenty-one turnovers by my count. Twelve of them came in a first half in which they ended up with a 17-11 lead. Pentucket finished with ten TOs with only four of them in the comebacking second half.
Bob Romeo: “Credit them. We couldn’t get any offensive rhythm. They played great defense.”
John McNamara: “It is always a war with Masco. They came out and took it to us. It was nice to see us respond. Any time you beat Masco it is a good win. We’ll enjoy it while we can.”
Angelica Hurley: “Maddie (Doyle) did a great job on Mak Graves. She’s a very good shooter. Morgan (Bovardi) being in foul trouble made a difference.”
Bob Romeo: “I had no problem with out kids’ effort. We held them to 39 points. They had been averaging close to 60. We’ll make more shots when we play them again in February.”
Watching Maddie Doyle and Mak Graves battle was a treat. They both are relentless.
Full house at Pentucket and they got their money’s worth.
Casey Hunt (now of Bradford Christian) was in the house.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)