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