(Byfield MA) Friday night was a special night for the Lynnfield Pioneers girls basketball team.
Lynnfield defeated Triton, 47-18, and qualified for the post-season.
Extra special because the Pioneers (10-8) were 5-52 over the past three seasons and lost their coach (Jim Perry) in April.
“It means a lot tonight,” said Coach Peter Bocchino afterwards. “I was supposed to share the moment with (Coach) Jim Perry but unfortunately he’s not here.”
Another tough loss for Triton (3-14). “Our struggle all year has been trying to score,” said Vikings coach Dan Boyle. “We can’t find any consistency on offense.”
The visitors came out in a zone and defended Triton into a night full of turnovers and missed shots.
“We’ve been working hard on defense,” said Tori Morelli (15 points).
“Our zone defense has stifled a lot of people because we’re pretty long and athletic,” said Coach Bocchino.
The Pioneers had their share of struggles with turnovers (22) but, unlike Triton, they put points on the board regularly.
The direction of this game was set in the first quarter. The Pioneers put eleven unanswered points together while the Vikings put twelve turnovers together. Triton’s only points (two Caitlin White free throws) of the quarter came with fourteen seconds left. Lynnfield 11, Triton 2.
Sophomore Ava Buonfiglio (11 points) had two three’s for LHS in their fast start.
The Vikings lessened their miscues thereafter, but they didn’t get their 11th point until there were only three minutes left in the game.
The Pioneers put nine straight together at the end of the 2nd quarter, into the 3rd quarter, and a 17-6 lead bulged to 26-6. Ava, Riley Hallahan, Tori Morelli, and Catherine MacDonald contributed points.
Lynnfield collected fourteen in a row in the second half and a 26-10 spread became 40-10 in the final quarter. Melissa Morelli totaled six of the fourteen points.
Melissa/Tori Morelli: “We’ve worked hard all season and it’s finally paid off. We’re no longer a team you just roll over. We’ve played the season for Coach Perry.”
“Some role players stepped up, Ava (Buonfiglio) had big three’s and Riley (Hallahan) was killing the boards,” said Coach Bocchino.
Coach Bocchino: “I kept telling the team that we weren’t going to take the Sullivan Rule bid. I wanted to get into the tournament the real way and we did it tonight.”
Seniors Colleen McCarthy and Emily Karvielis each had six points for Triton.
Neither team shot “lights out,” but the lights did go completely out with a few minutes remaining. Both teams shot better after the lights came back……..I’m not sure what to make of that!
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)