Monthly Archives: February 2020

Weston rallies to beat Newburyport 86-81 in a shootout to gain D3 North semis

Sawyer Mayhugh and Parker McLaren

Jake Robertson (16 points) from the corner

(Newburyport MA) The shots were flying and many from beyond the arc.

Newburyport had fifty points in the first half while Weston had forty-nine in the second half.

Eight lead changes. Three in the first quarter and five in the last quarter.

Exciting? Ask anyone who was there!

Weston grabbed the final lead change with two minutes left, thanks to the remarkable 6-10 Sawyer Mayhugh (36 points), and came away, 86-81, winning the D3 North quarter finals match on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Parker McLaren (34 points) played his last game for the Clippers and it was a beauty.

Parker McLaren (34 points) shoots a three

6-4 Parker had every aspect of his shooting talents working. The long-range game was on target all night. He made seven from out there.

Twice in the final quarter Parker scored from in close to restore the Clippers to the lead.

With thirty-six seconds left his seventh triple, with thirty-six seconds left, brought the Clippers to within two (82-80).

The game-deciding possession followed. There was an urgency on the Clippers’ part to protect the inside and keep Sawyer Mayhugh from scoring. The inside was definitely protected but the perimeter wasn’t.

Will Van Houten (24 points) hits the game-deciding three

Wide open on the left side, in front of the Weston partisans, was junior Will Van Houten (24 points). Will had time (and courage) to take and make the open three with fifteen seconds left. Now down by five (85-80) Newburyport lacked the time and accuracy to recover.

Weston now moves on to face Amesbury in the D3 North semi-finals at Whittier on Wednesday night.

It looked to me as if most of the Amesbury team was in the crowd scouting their next opponent.

The Clippers (16-6) were on fire in the first half. They drained ten three’s and Parker put up eighteen points.

Newburyport was happy on the perimeter and their shots were falling from there.

Sawyer Mayhugh (36 points) over Parker McLaren

Weston’s attack featured outside shooters and Sawyer Mayhugh on the inside.

The Wildcats (12-10) were within two points (32-30) at 4:46 of the second period after two Sawyer free throws.

The next two minutes were all Newburyport. The Clippers put a twelve-point, unanswered segment together and came out with a 44-30 lead.

Parker had a three and a jump shot in this section. Jake Robertson (16 points) had four free throws. Two of Jake freebies came at the expense of a technical on Weston coach Dave First.

“I said to the ref with a couple of minutes left,” explained Coach First post-game, “that I think that the points on the technical are going to cost me, and he started laughing.”

The Clippers lead reached sixteen (50-34) later in the period.

Weston trailed 50-37 at halftime.

“It was so sad in the first half,” said Sawyer Mayhugh afterwards. “We couldn’t find our offense and we were giving up too many three’s.”

Christos Iatrides (16 points)

The Wildcats were able to shrink the Clippers lead in the third period. Three’s by Isaiah Kacyvenski and Christos Iatridis (16 points) had Weston within one (60-59).

“Honestly,” said Alton Jenkins post-game, “we don’t give up. That’s what Weston is all about. We’re going to give intensity from start to finish. That 13-point halftime lead didn’t matter to us. We were going to put in our work regardless.”

The Clippers recovered after Weston was within one, thanks to a three by Ronan Brown and Ryan Archie layup, assisted by Jack Fehlner. Newburyport was ahead by four (67-63) after three quarters.

A three by senior Ryan Archie (assist Trevor Ward) had Newburyport up by eight (73-65) with 5:55 left in the game.

Now it was Weston’s turn to put a run together.

Sawyer Mayhugh

Key play alert! The decisive comeback run started with Sawyer Mayhugh launching a three. Knowing what he can do around the basket, you’d think defensively that he was doing you a favor shooting from beyond the arc.

Sawyer took the shot and it missed but he raced in from the wing, got the rebound, and made a layup. That’s what hustle is all about!

That basket started Weston on an 8-point run. Will Van Houten’s three was the shot that gave Weston it’s first lead (74-73) since the first quarter.

Parker hit a floater in the lane. Sawyer put in a layup.

Parker went at Sawyer for a layup. Sawyer answered with a dunk.

Four straight free throws (Sawyer two, Christos Iatridis two) boosted the Weston edge to five (82-77) with forty-eight seconds left. Parker responded with a three.

Weston coach Dave First

Will Van Houten’s win-securing three followed and Weston now moves on to the D3 North semi-finals.

Those who have seen the Clippers play, probably had the same flashback I had when Will sank that crucial shot from the left wing. A year ago, Dracut’s Adrian Torres gave the Middies a tourney win over Newburyport from the same spot.

“Will sealed the deal with that shot,” said Sawyer Mayhugh. “It gave us the extra push to get another stop and finish the game.”

“It was a real team effort,” according to Will Van Houten. “We were in a similar situation last year in the tournament. We don’t give up. That’s what we’re made of.”

Coach First: “Newburyport is a terrific team. They are well coached and well disciplined. I can’t believe we came back from thirteen down against them. It was fun to watch Sawyer against Parker.”

Sawyer Mayhugh sets to dunk

Sawyer Maghugh: “Newburyport has great shooters. It was definitely a challenge to stop them, but we did it.”

Packed house with some spectators having to stand. Plenty of school officials around to make sure the crowd behaved.

Jack Fehlner (17 points) and Jake Robertson each had thirteen points in the first half.

The Clippers missed the front end of three one-and-one’s in the last five minutes of the game. The Wildcats were 14/24 from the line.

Weston is in the Dual County League. Newburyport is in the Cape Ann League.

Newburyport made more 3-point shots (17) than they did 2-point shots (10).

Alton Jenkins heads to the basket

In the previous tournament game against Shasheen, Sawyer had nineteen points, sixteen rebounds, and five blocks. Will the 6-10 sophomore have committed to a D1 school two years from now? Wouldn’t surprise this reporter.

Parker certainly showed that he can shine in the bright lights of a big game. He won’t be covering any 6-10 post players at the next level. I wonder what college he’ll end up at?

You stay close to the action you risk having the action come to you. Sure enough, in the 4th quarter Christos Iatridis drives hard to the basket, gets fouled to the ground and slides into me. No damage to either of us, fortunately.

Weston box

Newburyport box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Alton Jenkins grabs a rebound

Alton Jenkins shoots a free throw

Battle for a rebound

Christos Iatradis free throw

Will Van Houten (24 points) looks to pass

Christos Iatridis tosses the ball in the air to end the game

Isaiah Kacyvenski and Jake Robertson

Isaiah Kacyvenski guarded by Max Gagnon

Ronan Brown made two 3’s

Sawyer Mayhugh free throw in the last minute

Weston celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury pressure defense key to 49-31 win over Watertown in D3 North Quarter Finals

Taylor Lambo double-teamed

Watertown under pressure

(Amesbury MA) The Amesbury offense was rusty, but their defense certainly wasn’t.

The Indians (#2 seed) rode their full-court, pressuring, trapping defense to a 49-31 win over Watertown (#10 seed) in the Division 3 North quarterfinals on Friday night.

“The defense saved us tonight,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards. “We hadn’t played in ten days and it showed on offense.”

The Indians (19-2) broke away from a 10-10 tie early in the second period on an Alli Napoli full-court drive and built their lead the rest of the way.

Avery Hallinan (16 points)

“We started off really slow but after a while we settled down and made our shots,” said sophomore Avery Hallinan (16 points).

Watertown led early (6-0) but generating offense was a game-long struggle thereafter.

“Their pressure kept us out of rhythm,” said Watertown coach Pat Ferdinand.

“We focused on our defense and trapping in our recent practices,” explained McKenna Hallinan. “It really helped us today. We needed to switch on pick-and-rolls because #53 (Taylor Lambo) was involved and we wanted to deny her the ball.”

Taylor ended up with thirteen points.

“#53 (Taylor) did a good job inside,” said Coach Dollas.

Amesbury registered seven straight points after tying the score at 10-10.

Alli Napoli (14 points) on her way to the basket

Alli Napoli (14 points) collected three layups in this surge. One was a full-court drive through the entire Raiders defense.

“She (Alli) was dynamic,” said Coach Ferdinand. “Regardless of what we did she was able to control the flow of the game.”

“Alli had another good game,” said Coach Dollas.

Amesbury’s next game will be at a neutral site, so this not only was another of the 1000-point scorer’s “good” games but her last at AHS.

The Indians ended the first half with two Gabby Redford (13 points) free throws that started Amesbury into ten unanswered points.

The Raiders (10-12) had gotten within seven (22-15) on a Brittany Catsoulis jump shot before Gabby’s free throws.

While the Raiders were shut out for nearly six minutes of the third period, the Indians scored eight in a row.

Gabby Redford (13 points)

Avery Hallinan had a layup and an old-fashioned 3-point play while Gabby Redford cashed the new-fashioned version of a three-pointer.

“I thought Gabby hit some big shots for us tonight,” said Coach Dollas. “She was a 2nd team Cape Ann League All-Star for good reason.”

The Amesbury lead had been built to 32-15 with three minutes left in the third quarter.

The teams played even (point-wise) the rest of the way.

Watertown’s Ellie Monahan had eight points in the second half including a buzzer-beating triple to close the third quarter.

The Raiders needed stops to go with their improved offense in the final period but on this night couldn’t find it.

“At times we got stops but we couldn’t get baskets on the other end,” said Coach Ferdinand.

Taylor Lambo (13 points) at the line

Watertown is from the Middlesex League. In their first-round game they defeated Latin Academy, 46-36. Taylor Lambo had twenty-two points, fifteen rebounds, and three blocks in that one.

Amesbury is in the Cape Ann League. Their two losses this season have been to the D2 North #1 seed (Pentucket) and the D3 #1 seed (St. Mary’s).

Coach Dollas: “Our defense was really good. We didn’t want them to be able to set up their offense. That was our goal. We had good energy the whole time.”

Gabby Redford: “At first it was very stressful because we were down at the beginning. It was good for us to step up in the second half. The fan section really helped.”

Mary Bullis: “I thought the girls stepped up on defense. Because of the pressure, #53 had to bring the ball up. I’m not sure she wanted to do that. I know that feeling.”

Coach Ferdinand: “I’m proud of our girls. We didn’t have enough tonight. Sometimes you see that a team has an edge on you. You just try to compete as much as possible and we did.”

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Watertown coach Pat Ferdinand

Taylor Lambo passes

Taylor Lambo looks for an opening

McKenna Hallinan

Liv DeLong defends an inbounds pass

Leah D’Amico looks for an opening against Ashlee Porcaro

Izzy Cambece

Gabby Redford and Catherine LaForte guard Taylor Lambo

Flannery O’Connor honored at halftime

Brittany Catsoulis and Ciara Sullivan

Battle for control

Ashley Shaughnessy chased by Avery Hallinan

Alli Napoli in among four Raiders

Alli Napoli floats in against Taylor Lambo

 

 

 

 

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Governor’s Academy downs Nobles 53-48 on Seniors’ Day

Governor’s pressure gave Nobles trouble

Seniors Zach Clough, Eljay Morris, Jason Mahoney, and John Gorgol honored pre-game

Gov’s coach Michael Shelton

(Byfield MA) “I told the team that tonight was not going to be about anybody but the seniors,” explained Governor’s Academy coach Michael Shelton afterwards.

And that’s the way it went.

The four Govs seniors were honored before the game, then started the game, and later finished it.

“Coach told us in the second half,” said senior John Gargol, “that we started it and we’re going to end it.”

Governor’s (17-8) held off fast-closing Nobles, 53-48, on Wednesday night to give the evening a perfect ending.

One more game on the Gov’s schedule before they start the Class B tournament next Wednesday.

Despite differing lineups, the Govs applied effective pressure against the Bulldogs (10-13).

Governor’s “run-and-jump stuff,” as Coach Shelton called it, helped turn a 10-9 Nobles lead into a 21-10 Govs’ lead five minutes later.

Henry Mitchell over Eljay Morris

Senior Eljay Morris was the chief contributor with six points in the 12-straight Govs points, including a crowd-pleasing dunk on an assist from Drew Sachs.

“They did a good job with their pressure defense,” said Nobles coach Adam Cluff post-game. “They were relentless and very disciplined with it.”

Nobles (10-13) rallied in the last 1 ½ minutes of the half (3 by Brendan McNamara, jump shot Duke Ferrara) and only trailed, 28-21.

The Govs dominated the first eight minutes of the second half. Six different players contributed points with senior Jason Mahoney nailing a 3-pointer. Defensively? Even better, as they limited the team from Dedham (MA) to only a triple by Channing Bryant (11 points).

The Govs lead increased to 49-29 with 5 ½ minutes left.

There wasn’t enough time for the Bulldogs to catch the bench-clearing Govs but they certainly finished with a rush and that pleased Coach Cluff.

Brett Cosby (10 points)

“We decided that no matter what happened we were going to be resilient,” said Coach Cluff. “We ended up going with a smaller lineup and it gave us a little more flexibility against their full-court pressure.”

Nobles made shots and forced the Govs into mistakes (four turnovers) and closed the game on a 19-4 run but lost, 53-48.

Brett Cosby (10 points) and Channing Bryant (11 points) each contributed 3-pointers and layups in Nobles late run of good basketball.

Governor’s has a five-game win streak going and will start Class B tournament play next Wednesday.

Peyton O’Leary (11 points)

“We’re peaking at the right time,” said Coach Shelton. “Our young guys have bought into our principles and our daily habits. On Saturday (against St. Sebastian’s) we had a season-high twenty assists. We’re really sharing the ball and defending at a really high level.”

The team-to-beat in Class B would be undefeated Brooks. “We were close against them on the road and they went on a big run to end the half,” said Coach Shelton. “It was a tough game for our young guys. We look forward to seeing them in the tournament.”

Will Batchelder: “Tonight was a fun game for our seniors. It was a good win in a good atmosphere.”

Will is taking his road test on Saturday. Stay clear of the Haverhill Registry on that day!

John Gorgol shoots

Senior John Gorgol on being from Arizona and choosing Governor’s Academy: “My uncle and grandmother live about three minutes away from Govs. I learned about it from them. Having my grandmother nearby has been great because I can go over to her house every weekend and eat chicken.”

John’s college plans: “I am going to go to Babson. It’s a great business school. I will be playing basketball. I met with some of the players and I felt like I was already part of the team.”

Coach Sanders: “We’re a talented young team so some of our seniors have had to sacrifice playing time to the younger kids. They have made it work. They are all captains for us. I wanted to send them out on a high note tonight.”

Governor’s box

Nobles box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Zach Clough

Will Batchelder past Marc Garraud

Will Batchelder

Midcourt scramble

Marc Garraud

Liam Dunfee

Holden Symonds

Gov’s team with seniors and parents

Duke Ferrara

Channing Bryant (11 points)

Brett Cosby from the corner

Brendan McNamara

 

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport rallies to defeat Dracut 67-57 in D3 North First Round

Parker McLaren (23 points) in the lane

Adrian Torres (10 points) for Dracut

(Newburyport MA) “I was getting flashbacks from last year in the first half,” said Newburyport coach Dave Clay afterwards.

And he probably wasn’t the only one.

Dracut, last year, came to Newburyport and stunned the higher seeded Clippers. The Middies would go on to stun a few other teams and win the Division 3 North title.

But that was last year. This time around, the Clippers turned things around offensively and defensively in the second half and defeated Dracut, 67-57, on Monday night in a D3 North First Round game.

Parker McLaren (23 points) and Jake Robertson (21 points) led Newburyport.

Jake Robertson (21 points)

Tyler Guerriero (19 points) and JC Santiago (14 points) paced Dracut.

The Clippers (16-5) were in front early, 12-6, and then fell apart defensively. The Middies whacked Newburyport with a 25-point second quarter and were in front, 35-29, at halftime.

“The tone at halftime was that we had to be the tougher team in the second half,” said Jake Robertson.

“We needed more effort defensively,” said Coach Clay. “We needed to help earlier and be tougher with our on-ball defense.”

The Clippers may have been doing those things to start the second half but for four minutes the scoreboard told a different story.

Tyler Guerriero (19 points)

Dracut was up, 45-38, with four minutes to play in the third quarter. The Middies were making tough shots against the taller Clippers.

Was Newburyport on its way to another shocking loss to Dracut?

Not tonight.

The #3 seed Clippers overwhelmed Dracut (8-14) on both ends of the court for the next 5 ½ minutes of playing time.

The tightened NHS defense didn’t allow a single point while the offense rolled up an unstopped fourteen straight points.

That 45-38 score turned into 52-45 one minute into the final quarter.

Parker McLaren and Jake Robertson each had 3’s during the scoring surge. There were also two well-run backdoor cuts that led to layups for Jack Fehlner and Trevor Ward.

Coach Brian Myers watches Adrian Torres and Jack Fehlner

Jack Fehlner did a nice job defending sophomore Adrian Torres. Adrian (10 points) was the one last year who nailed the game-deciding three in the last minute.

“Coach (Clay) told me to stay in front of him,” explained Jack. “He a great player. Very shifty. I just held my ground on defense.”

Adrian had four 3’s last year but none this time around. Jack added ten points tonight including seven in the comebacking third quarter.

The Middies were still within striking range (54-50) with 4 ½ minutes to play. Then junior Jake Robertson took over.

The next nine Newburyport points came from Jake hitting a three, finishing twice at the rim, and making two free throws.

“Jake is not one-dimensional,” said Coach Clay.

“In the second half, guys did a good job of pushing the ball up the court and I got some easy looks because of it,” explained Jake.

Parker McLaren to the hoop

“He (Jake) came up super clutch in the fourth quarter,” said Parker McLaren. “We were able to get out and run and he was found open on the wing. We know he’s going to knock those down every time.”

Jake’s run of nine points boosted the Clippers advantage to, 63-52, with two minutes left. Dracut didn’t have the time, or long-range shooting, to duplicate last year’s finish.

“We guarded for the first half,” said Dracut coach Brian Myers. “In the second half we got away from it. That’s been us all year. We haven’t been able to guard a unit for an entire game.”

It certainly helped the Clippers to have Parker McLaren stay out of foul trouble.

“It was a focus of mine going in,” said Parker. “I knew that they were going to attack me and try to get me into foul trouble. As it turned out, I had fouls I could use in the second half.”

“Parker is a physical presence,” said Coach Clay. “He’s huge. They did a good job of collapsing on him and taking away his driving angle. He hit some three’s to stretch out the defense.”

Scramble in the corner

Coach Myers: “Newburyport played with a greater sense of urgency in the 3rd and 4th quarters. They are a good team. They get the right guys the ball. You help a little bit and they make you pay.”

Jake Robertson: “It kind of felt like that Dracut game last year in the first half. We needed to play better help defense.”

Last year against Dracut the Clippers missed fifteen free throws. “We tried as a team to learn from our mistake of missing free throws,” added Coach Clay. “The team spent a lot of time in the off-season practicing pressure free throws.”

Parker was sure that his brother Casey, who was in the crowd, enjoyed the win over Dracut. “They ended his career last year.”

The Middies lost nine of the last eleven games.

The Clippers have now won six of seven games. They play again at home on Wednesday night.

The Middies play in the Merrimack Valley Conference.

Newburyport box

Dracut box

(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Adrian Torres

Farai Zuvaradoka

Jack Fehlner tries to get off a shot

Jake Robertson ended the first at the foul line

JC Santiago (14 points)

Loose ball coming my way

Max Gagnon

Parker McLaren rebounds

Ronan Brown on the move

Tyler Guerriero

 

 

 

 

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New Hampshire strong down the stretch in 56-53 win over Albany

Amanda Torres hit two free throws in the closing seconds for UNH

Helene Haegerstrand (15 points) guarded by Ashley Storey

(Durham NH) Albany went turnover, turnover, and missed three in the closing minute and it cost them.

New Hampshire took advantage and registered a, 56-53, American East Conference victory on Saturday afternoon at Lundholm Gymnasium.

The Wildcats (10-16) have now won three straight.

“It was a great win on Senior Day,” said UNH coach Maureen Magarity afterwards.

Albany coach Colleen Mullen’s team has now lost three in a row, but her eyes are on the big picture: “Although we didn’t win, we were better than the last two game. No one is getting an at-large this year so the (American East Conference) playoffs ahead are crucial.”

New Hampshire has Maine (home) and Binghamton (away) on the rest of their schedule.

Helena Delaruelle had a big steal in the last minute

“It’s cooking now with three wins in a row, but we know that we have tough games ahead,” said Coach Magarity. “If we can finish in the top four, we will host a playoff game.”

Binghamton (8-6) is currently one game ahead of the Wildcats (7-7) in 4th place.

The Wildcats had a woeful second quarter (1/14 – 3 points) and trailed, 22-15 at the half.

“We focused on finishing (at halftime),” said Coach Magarity. “I told them that they work so hard and execute so well that they deserve to finish.”

The Great Danes (9-18) were without junior point guard Kyara Frames. Kyara was a preseason All-Conference selection this year as well as a third team American East All-Star last season.

Albany struggled with turnovers (22 in the game) all afternoon.

Freshman Izzy Om

“Without (Kyara) Frames it was tough on them,” said Coach Magarity. Kyara played forty minutes on Wednesday versus Binghamton but was not in uniform today.

“We knew that they didn’t have many ball-handlers so getting up into them was a huge key to our game,” explained senior Caroline Soucy. Caroline had three of UNH’s nine steals.

“Twenty-two turnovers to their six is never a good stat,” said Coach Mullen. “The two down the stretch really hurt us.”

Albany was in front, 48-41, with six minutes left. Caroline Soucy started UNH on the way back with a steal/layup and a backdoor/layup (pass from Ashley Storey). Helena Delaruelle assisted on Maggie Ahearn’s layup and suddenly the Wildcats were within one (48-47).

Amanda Torres

The Wildcats took the lead (52-51) after an Amanda Torres steal/layin.

Two free throws later (Helene Haegerstrand), Albany was ahead, but not for long. Helena Delaruelle got to the hoop and now New Hampshire was on top with 1:21 left.

The rest of the way the Great Danes had three unproductive possessions.

“We had a freshman guard (Izzy Om) in there playing thirty-six minutes,” said Coach Mullen. “They have athletic guards that put pressure on the ball.”

One of those athletic guards (Helena Delaurelle) created the second turnover of the final minute and UNH had possession, and a one-point lead, with thirty-three seconds left.

Albany was going to get the ball back with several seconds left even if New Hampshire used the entire thirty seconds.

“With two seconds left there were a lot of things we could do,” explained Coach Mullen. The Great Danes opted to defend for the thirty seconds instead of fouling.

“It was a coaching strategy,” said Coach Mullen. “I was trusting my defense to get a stop and not foul doing it.”

“You never know it that situation,” added Coach Magarity. “You can foul and put the other team on the line and know you’re going to get it back or just play really good defense.”

“We moved the ball,” said Coach Magarity. “We waited because if you go too early you give them the ball back with more time left.”

With the shot clock running down, Amanda Torres got past Khepera Stokes and drew a foul from Helene Haegerstrand.

Amanda Torres drives by Khepera Stokes

Amanda Torres drives toward Helene Haegerstrand

Amanda cashed both free throws with two seconds left to give UNH its biggest lead (three points) of the game, 56-53.

Amanda Kantzy (9 points,7 rebounds) took the Great Dane’s last shot

After a timeout, Albany got off a tying attempt (Amanda Kantzy) but it went wide.

“You can’t say enough about Amanda Torres’ toughness,” added Coach Mullen. “She was able to draw the foul at the end of the game. I wish that one of us had stood up and taken a charge on that drive, though.”

The Wildcats had won the first meeting (48-47) in January on a last-second, inbounds, lob pass to Ashley Storey by Helena Delaurelle.

UNH struggled big-time to score points in the first half. “The first half was not pretty to say the least,” said Coach Magarity.

The Great Danes, despite thirteen first-half miscues, were in front 22-15 at the half. Freshman Helene Haegerstrand contributed eleven points.

Caroline Soucy – 11 points,3 steals

“I thought that our zone affected them in the first half,” explained Coach Mullen. “We wanted to slow them down.”

“Their pressure made us feel uncomfortable even from the start of the game,” said Coach Mullen.

Ashley Storey, Amanda Torres, and Caroline Soucy each had eleven points to lead UNH. Maggie Ahearn added ten points.

Helene Haegerstrand (15 points) paced Albany. Lexi Schecter finished with ten points.

Coach Magarity: “We were much more patient in the second half. We had great production from Ivy (Gogolin) and Brooke Kane. Maggie Ahearn was a difference maker in the second half with her aggressiveness, timing, rebounding, and defense.”

Ashley Storey and Lexi Scheter

Senior Ashley Storey: “It was fun today, but we have more things to do.”

Albany is now 5-9 in the America East.

Seniors Caroline Soucy, Ashley Storey, Maggie Ahearn, and Sarah Clement were honored pregame.

Thanks to the UNH media staff, especially Doug, for taking care of me.

Box from the game

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Ashley Storey (11 points) in for two

Ashley Storey in shot blocking position vs Kumsai Aslan

Ashley Storey up for an inbounds pass

Caroline Soucy

Albany coach Colleen Mullen

Faith Bonett covers Helena Haegerstrand

Helena Delaruelle drives

Khepera Stokes

Maggie Ahearn (10 points)

Mariah Gonzalez guards Helene Haegerstrand

Senior Sarah Clement entertains

shoeless

UNH seniors honored

UNH wins third straight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Cheyenne Nessinger scores 25 points but Newburyport defeats Danvers 48-37

Sadie Vandenberg tries to deny Cheyenne Nessinger (25 points) the ball

Abby Gillingham (12 points) shoots over Maddie Montanari

(Danvers MA) Cheyenne Nessinger was awesome tonight.

But Newburyport had the balance to offset Cheyenne’s big game and downed Danvers, 48-37, in the opening round of the Gieras Memorial Games.

The Clippers will face Reading in the title game tomorrow night.

Cheyenne had twenty-five points, twelve rebounds, and five blocks to literally carry Danvers on her back.

Cheyenne seemed as surprised as anyone regarding her special night: “I can’t explain the good game. We did have a shoot-around this morning and that probably helped.”

The Clippers (12-7) broke away from a close game (21-20) late in the first half while Cheyenne was on the bench.

While the Falons (10-9) went scoreless during the final 2 ½ minutes of the half, the Clippers put up nine straight points thanks to Deidre McElhinney (15 points) and Abby Gillingham (12 points).

Deidre’s part was a three and two free throws.

Deidre McElhinney (15 points) at the free throw line

Abby’s part was a jump shot (assist Jackie Doucette) and a nice put-back seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded.

Newburyport’s halftime lead was 30-20.

The Falcons were down 40-26 in the closing seconds of the third quarter but Sabrina Auciello drilled a three to give Danvers hope as they entered the final period.

Anna Affolter and Reese Pszenny

A free throw and a layup by Cheyenne Nesseinger and a layup by Kristina Yebba started things on a positive note for the Falcons in the final period. They were within six (40-34) with four minutes left.

The home team continued to stay close (43-37) with 1 ½ minutes left after Kristina Yebba dropped in a three-pointer.

But those would be the last points Danvers would score.

Key steal by Sami Cavanaugh along with a blocked shot by Makenna Ward protected the shrinking lead and helped earn the Clippers a win.

Newburyport had nine different players score points.

The Clippers guards were able to pressure the Danvers guards enough to limit their passes inside. That made perfect sense because it seemed that every time Cheyenne had the ball inside she scored.

Makenna Ward passes

Coach Crutchfield: “We had lots of contributions off the bench. Deidre had a good game tonight. Emma Foley helped us a lot off the bench. Makenna was composed and played tough defense.”

Deidre McElhinney: “We were looking for our offense tonight. When they got within six we had stop that run and end their momentum.”

Sami Cavanaugh: “I don’t think that the Danvers girl saw me. That was why I was able to steal it. I am committed to Holy Cross. I am interested in law. I expect to play club sports.”

This two-day tournament is the result of the love Danvers coach Pat Veilleux had for his friend Ed Gieras. Pat wanted to create a memory of his friend and has succeeded nicely.

Danvers box

Newburyport box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Cheyenne Nessinger at the line

Cheyenne Nessinger was money in close

Deidre McElhinney defends

Deidre McElhinney in the middle of Falcons

Gabby Chisholm with the ball

Jackie Doucette gets a rebound

Jackie Doucette in a trap

Julia Vaillancourt and Anna Affolter

Sami Cavanaugh

Sami Cavanaugh and Makenna Ward reach in

Sydney Turner looks to pass

 

 

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Medfield takes Spartan Classic title 47-42 snapping Pentucket’s 17-game win streak

Camilla Silk defends for Medfield

Tourney MVP Kayla McNeil

(Lynn MA) “Beating Pentucket, I’m pretty excited about that,” said Medfield coach Mark Nickerson afterwards.

And who could blame him.

Pentucket, now 20-2, is the defending D2 state champs.

They had won seventeen straight games.

But the Warriors (17-2) held off the Sachems, 47-42, on Monday night to win the Division 2 Spartan Classic and end a long (17-games) Pentucket win streak.

This was a one-possession game (44-42) with thirty seconds left and Pentucket had the ball.

Greta Mauer crowds Tess Patry

During most of this game, Medfield’s length and their zone defense severely disrupted Pentucket shot attempts close to the basket. The Warriors were tall enough inside that they discouraged as many inside shots as they blocked.

Both Angelina Yacubacci and MacKenzie Currie put up game-tying attempts through a host of tall defenders in the closing minute but neither shot fell.

Kate Olenik & tourney MVP Kayla McNeil then combined for three free throws to give Medfield the 47-42 win.

Lillie Cumming led Medfield scorers with 13 points

Lillie Cumming (13 points) and Annie McCarthy (11 points) led the Warriors in scoring.

Angelica Hurley (15 points) and Angelina Yacubacci (12 points) paced Pentucket.

Fatigue was likely a factor in the Pentucket loss. The Sachems rely on a high-energy defense and have a short bench. Playing at that pace for two straight days is tough.

Medfield pressed early but spent most of the game in a half-court zone defense. That approach kept them out of foul trouble and required less exertion.

The Sachems had a 17-13 lead after an Angelina Yacubacci layup and one MacKenzie Currie free throw four minutes into the second period.

The next seven minutes of playing time were a complete disaster for the team from West Newbury. They didn’t score a single point while Medfield added fourteen in a row!

Angelica Hurley

Shots weren’t falling for Pentucket and there were six turnovers mixed into the unproductive minutes.

Medfield ran the last seven points of the second period and the first seven points of the third period without an answer from Pentucket. When the Sachems finally recovered, they were down by ten (27-17) 2 ½ minutes into the second half.

Lillie Cumming had a three and a rebound basket during this unanswered run of points and teammate Annie McCarthy hit a jump shot and took a Pentucket turnover in for a layup.

Being down ten in the second half is very unfamiliar territory for Pentucket but they found the energy to cut their deficit to one, 28-27, over the next three minutes.

MacKenzie Currie looks to score against Kate Olenik

It was four straight Hannah Lambert free throws and two Angelica Hurley triples that did the trick for Pentucket

Despite the impressive comeback, the Sachems could never make the big shot or get the big stop to get even with Medfield.

Pentucket was within three (39-36) with three minutes left when Kayla McNeil nailed a back-breaking triple. The shot clock was being counted down by the Warriors bench and Kayla hurriedly fired away. The shot-clock buzzer sounded as her shot got into the net and Medfield was back up by six.

Triples by Angelina Yacubacci and Angelica Hurley followed surrounding two clutch free throws by Tess Patry.

The teams went into the final minute with only two points separating them (44-42) but Medfield escaped with the win.

“We made a lot of mistakes,” recalled Coach Nickerson, “but we overcame them at the end.”

Pentucket coach John McNamara won his 300th game in the First Round win over Wilmington yesterday

Medfield is out of the very tough Tri-Valley League.

The Warriors are in the Central Division and the only place a rematch with Pentucket could happen would be in the state D2 championship game.

Medfield won the D2 title in 2013.

“We’ve been trying to prove ourselves all year long,” said Coach Nickerson. “We’re still doing it but hopefully this is a step in the right direction.”

The Warriors have now won nine straight.

Pentucket had won the previous two Spartan Classics with a win over Groton-Dunstable last year and Arlington Catholic the year before.

Angelica Hurley had twenty-five points in Pentucket’s opening round win over Wilmington. She had six 3’s in that one.

Traditionally the tourney MVP comes from the team that wins the championship. Angelica added more three’s this afternoon and probably deserved the award…….but I digress.

Medfield’s only losses have been to Norwood (18-1) and Medway (17-2).

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Medfield celebrates

Angelia Hurley fires from long range

Angelina Yacubacci at the line

Angelina Yacubacci guarded by Tess Patry

Annie McCarthy (12 points) finds an opening down the lane

Annie McCarthy looks for a pass

Arielle Cleveland tries a three

Freshman Kate Olenik shoots free throws late in the game

Kayla McNeil layup

Tess Patry eludes Greta Mauer

 

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