Daily Archives: February 14, 2020

Pentucket holds off Masco 44-42 after eleven lead changes

A strong final quarter by Angelina Yacubacci helped Pentucket hold off Masconomet

Mak Graves led Masco with 16 points

(West Newbury MA) Masco led by nine after one period.

Pentucket led by one at the half.

Masco led by seven after three periods.

Pentucket led by two at the end (44-42).

Back and forth it went all night long.

There were eleven lead changes with at least two in each quarter.

It was anyone’s game right down to the last shot by Mak Graves (16 points).

The Sachems (19-1) played with fire in the last eleven seconds and didn’t get burned.

Pentucket had the ball with eleven seconds left and a two-point lead.

Angelica Hurley inbounds pass attempt was intercepted by Paige Richardson.

“I was so scared to throw it too far that I didn’t throw it far enough,” explained Angelica post-game.

That put Masco in possession and very quickly Mak Graves had the ball in her talented hands and she was stepping back beyond the arc.

Mak steps back beyond the arc

“My heart stopped, I’m not going to lie,” said Anna Wyner.

“I was petrified,” said Coach McNamara. “I thought she was going to pull up and shoot a three. They had the ball in their best player’s hands and that’s scary. I was happy when she drove because a two would let us keep playing.”

“It was nerve-racking with her at the 3-point line,” said Greta Mauer, “because you don’t know what could happen.”

Angelica, who had thrown the bad pass reacted quickly. “I knew that I had to play defense (on Mak Graves) and get the ball back,” she said.

When Mak stepped back, Angelica stepped forward to discourage a 3-point attempt.

Angelica Hurley steps out to discourage a 3-point attempt

Mak chose, instead, to drive baseline. The Pentucket defense closed on her and her shot missed. Angelica was there to secure the rebound and the game ended.

Mak decides to drive

Angelica secures the final rebound as the game ends

A collective sigh of relief and disappointment followed from both sides.

Liv Fillmore (11 points) shoots over MacKenzie Currie

Senior Angelina Yacubacci carried Pentucket down the stretch after she was a foul magnet early and spent much of the game on the bench.

“When she finally got in, she was a difference maker,” said Coach McNamara.

Angelina scored all her points (eight) in the final quarter.

In that productive quarter, Angelina got to the basket three times without charging and made two free throws.

On one of her missed free throws in the last thirty seconds, she stole the ball from the rebounder (Paige Richardson) to continue the Pentucket possession.

Tonight was Masco’s last game in the Cape Ann League and they played very well.

The Chieftains (11-6) took charges on the hard-driving Sachems and made shots early.

Seven straight points (Liv Fillmore three, Mak Graves jumper and layup) had Masco ahead 13-6 with 2 ½ minutes left in the first quarter.

MacKenzie Currie (15 points) takes a shot in the lane

Pentucket recovered nicely in the second quarter. Masco was held scoreless for the first six minutes while the Sachems put a ten-point run together. An old-fashioned 3-point play by MacKenzie Currie (15 points) started Pentucket on their comeback. Senior Hannah Lambert hit a triple and a fast-break layup. Abby Dube finished the run with a jump shot assisted by Alyssa Thompson.

The Sachems held a 22-21 halftime lead.

The Chieftains limited Pentucket to only five points in the third quarter and scored the last five points to create a 34-27 advantage after three quarters. Mak Graves hit a jump shot and assisted on Liv Fillmore’s 3-pointer to account for the closing surge.

The Sachems were down seven, but Angelina Yacubacci came to their rescue. “We played as a team in the 4th quarter,” she explained. “Each of us seems to take turns getting into foul trouble. We support each other from the bench even if we can’t be on the floor.”

But Angelina was now on the floor.

After a MacKenzie Currie jumper in the lane, Angelina sent MacKenzie away on a fastbreak layin. Angelina then twice successfully drove to the basket. Masco’s lead was now gone and Pentucket was up by one (35-34) with 5 ½ minutes left.

Masco stopped the bleeding with a Mak Graves layup and retook the lead.

Arielle Cleveland layup

Back came the Sachems. Angelina assisted on an Arielle Cleveland layup and MacKenzie followed with a drive to the hoop. Those scoring plays gave Pentucket the lead for good, 39-36, with 3:40 remaining.

Masco would get within two twice in the closing minute but Pentucket made enough plays to save the win.

“Give Masco credit,” said Coach McNamara. “They fought hard.”

The Sachems have now won sixteen straight. Last loss? To Masco, 56-51, at Masco.

“We’ve been preparing for this game ever since we lost to them,” said Anna Wyner.

Angelica: “We’re excited to win on Senior Night. We knew it would be a tough game. They are a very good team. Mak Graves kept me from doing a lot of things with her defense.”

Jenna DiPietro surrounded by Sachems

Coach McNamara: “It was really nice to beat them in their last CAL game. They have lost five games in the league this year which is a testament to how strong this league is.”

I asked the four Pentucket seniors about their college plans:

Angelica: I am going to St. Joe’s. I thought at first that the campus was too small but the coach there has been very encouraging. He came to our North Reading game which was important to me. I intend to go into the nursing program.”

Angelina: Not sure exactly. Probably somewhere local like Bridgewater State, Endicott, Keene State or UMass Boston. Won’t be playing basketball. I want to go into business.”

Anna Wyner: My top two choice are UVM and UNH. I am interested in the medical field. I have an interest in being a physician’s assistant.”

Hannah Lambert: “I want to study nursing. I am looking at Fairfield and James Madison.”

Full house at Pentucket for this game and they saw a beauty!

Pentucket box

Masco box

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

Angelina Yacubacci forces a turnover

Cally McSweeney

Greta Mauer

Hannah Lambert’s layup

Mak Graves guards Angelica Hurley

Maria Lantzakis draws a charge on Anna Wyner

Paige Richardson

Pentucket seniors honored

 

 

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Lynnfield’s fast start leads to 44-35 win over Newburyport

Abby Gillingham and Tori Morelli

Grace Klonsky in alone

(Newburyport MA) That’s what finishing strong looks like.

The Lynnfield Pioneers ended the regular season with a win and have a nine-game winning streak going.

They defeated Newburyport, 44-35, tonight.

“We usually shoot well in the first half,” said Lynnfield coach Peter Bocchino post-game.

They certainly did that tonight.

Caroline Waisnor (8 points) took the opening tip in for a layup and the Pioneers (13-6) were on their way.

Deidre McElhinney looks for someone to pass to.

It took the Clippers (10-7) four minutes to score (Deidre McElhinney free throw) and even with that point Newburyport trailed 10-1.

The Lynnfield defense (3-2 zone) eliminated open looks.

“The girls have really stepped up defensively,” said Coach Bocchino. “We’re long and some of our length is athletic.”

The Clippers were denied layups and faced contested shots from elsewhere. They only made one three all night.

Sophomore Riley Hallahan drained two 3’s early in the second period and by the end of that period the Pioneers led, 30-15.

Kate MacDonald led all scorers with sixteen points. The sophomore had ten of them in the breakaway first half.

The Clippers are a tall team.

Riley Hallahan hit two 3’s in the second quarter

“They have a good defense and a lot of tall girls to block shots,” explained Tori Morelli afterwards. “We moved the ball quickly and that is what got us our good shots.”

“We run a continuity offense,” said Coach Bocchino. “Everybody has a chance to touch the ball, use a screen, and make cuts. We ended up with some layups out of it.”

While Lynnfield had layups, the Clippers were relegated to tougher shooting opportunities.

Newburyport’s best moments were early in the second half. Down by fifteen (30-15) the Clippers dominated the first 2 ½ minutes putting together seven straight points. Freshman Makenna Ward made a layup and then set up senior Sami Cavanaugh for a three. Deidre McElhinney added a nice pass to set up senior Sadie Vandenberg in close.

Makenna Ward

The run of points closed Newburyport to 30-22 but they could only tally two points over the final 5 ½ minutes of the same quarter.

The Clippers didn’t go away in the second half, in fact they outscored Lynnfield 20-14, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the disastrous first half.

“We work really hard on our offense and it has started to click the last few games,” said Melissa Morelli.

One word I would use to describe the Lynnfield approach to offense would be “patient.” They were content to pass the ball around the perimeter and wait for openings in closer to the basket. Their screens worked well against Newburyport’s man-to-man defenders.

Abby Gillingham (13 points) looks to shoot over Cate MacDonald

I was impressed with Lynnfield point guard Grace Klonsky. She handled backcourt pressure efficiently. She also blocked several Clipper shots. “She’s pretty energetic and plays great defense,” said Coach Bocchino.

Abby Gillingham (13 points) led Newburyport in scoring.

Tori Morelli had ten points for Lynnfield while Caroline Waisnor and Riley Hallahan both added eight points.

The Clippers had twenty-two turnovers including thirteen in the first half. Many of the miscues were on attempts to pass either into the zone or over the zone.

The Pioneers last loss was on January 22nd to Arlington.

Grace Klonsky

Lynnfield will have to wait a week + before they play again. Newburyport has games this week.

Newburyport seniors (Sadie Vandenberg, Sami Cavanaugh, Jess Rousseau) were honored pre-game.

In their first meeting (January 3rd) the Pioneers won, 53-44.

I talked to the Morelli twins post-game and they said that they had never won at Newburyport before tonight.

Cate MacDonald was a Cape Ann League first-team All-Star last year as a freshman.

Lynnfield is in Division 3. One-loss Amesbury and St. Mary’s (Lynn) are also in the D3 North. The Lynnfield I saw tonight might be able to upset either or both of them in the tournament.

The Pioneers finished 13-7 last year and now stand at 13-6 this year so far. The five years prior to those two fine seasons? 5-52! Talk about a program getting turned around!

Lynnfield box

Newburyport box

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

Deidre McElhinney in for two

Deidre McElhinney looks to pass by Cate MacDonald

Grace Klonsky and Sami Cavanaugh

Grace Klonsky catches an inbounds pass

Jackie Doucette shoots against Melissa Morelli

Jackie Doucette trapped by Ava Buonfiglio and Grace Klonsky

Melissa Morelli and Elle Doucette

Melissa Morelli looks to pass

Sadie Vandenberg

Sami Cavanaugh defends

Sydney Turner

Sami Cavanaugh

Sadie Vandenberg

Jess Rosseau

 

 

 

 

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