(Amesbury MA) Sometimes the start can finish a team.
That’s what happened to Ipswich as they fell to Amesbury, 39-23, on Tuesday night in Cape Ann League play.
“We got off to a slow start,” said Tigers coach Chris Tolios,” and dug ourselves a hole we couldn’t get out of.”
Amesbury (2-1) had nine unanswered points to start the game.
Early in the second quarter the Indians put eight straight together.
When those two collections of consecutive offense were over, Amesbury was in front, 19-5, four minutes into the second quarter.
The two teams were even the rest of the way but the ship had sailed on the Tigers.
A tight Amesbury man-to-man defense saw to it that Ipswich (1-4) stayed double digits away thereafter.
Avery Hallinan had eighteen points to lead the Indians. Twice in this one (in the 2nd quarter) she hit from long-range.
Amesbury had five 3’s in the game. “We hit three’s,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollas afterwards, “and we needed that against their tough zone.”
Riley Daly (16 points) paced Ipswich.
“McKenna (Hallinan) did a great job covering her,” said Coach Dollas. “Riley is one of the best players in the CAL.”
Riley was tightly covered on the perimeter and was confronted with extra defenders when she tried to get to the basket. Somehow, even with the special attention, the Ipswich senior made shots.
I have seen all three Amesbury games, and the biggest improvement tonight was their passing.
“The ball movement was greatly improved,” agreed Coach Dollas.
And it needed to be against a well-organized Ipswich zone.
“Riley does a great job in the middle of that zone,” said Coach Dollas. “She’s so athletic and she made it tough for Avery who lives in there.”
The heavy traffic, however, didn’t seem to deter Avery too much when passes did get inside. She was willing to absorb contact, attempt layups, draw fouls, and collect points.
“We had good ball movement,” explained junior Gabby Redford post-game. “Definitely better than last game (Lynnfield). We passed well and got good looks out of it.”
Gabby had several assists. “I looked up and they were cutting through, so I got them the ball.”
Coach Dollas: “He (Chris Tolios) does a terrific job with his kids. They hang around in every game.”
Coach Tolios: “Amesbury played good physical defense. We just couldn’t get anything going offensively. We work a lot on defense in practice. Our girls don’t quit. Even when the ball is not going into the basket you can still play hard defense.”
Gabby Redford: “I have been thrown off by the way the season has gone. Last year we had so much more practice and time to prepare. Now everything is rushed. I am still very happy to be playing.”
Covid-19 concerns have affected both teams. Amesbury had its first five games postponed. Ipswich hadn’t played in thirteen days.
Liv DeLong notched ten points for Amesbury.
Only three players scored for Ipswich.
Usually low-scoring games indicate a plentiful amount of turnovers, but not this time. Why? Ipswich kept the ball in Riley Daly’s hands as much as possible while Amesbury lessened their tendency (in the first two games) of panicking under pressure.
This coverage will be linked in Twitter @mcclellandpeter and should appear on Mascores. I plan to also post some of the pictures on Instagram @mcclellandmiscellanea.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)