Daily Archives: December 29, 2021

Long-range Reading downs Amesbury 59-33

(Pictures will enlarge when you click on them.)

Jackie Malley (29 points including seven 3’s)
Avery Hallinan (18 points)

(Wilmington MA) “You can live by the three and you can die by the three.”

You usually hear that line when a team starts hot from long range but doesn’t know when to stop shooting from out there.

Fast forward to this afternoon’s girls’ basketball game between Amesbury and Reading.

There was no second part to the Rockets’ long-range game today.

Cali Catarius chases Ella Abreu

They not only lived by the three, but they thrived on it!

Reading connected from downtown thirteen times and overwhelmed Amesbury, 59-33.

This was a first-rounder in the Wilmington Holiday Tournament.  Both teams play again tomorrow.

Senior Jackie Malley (29 points) was amazing for Reading from the get-go.

McKenna Hallinan to the rim

Jackie had a sixteen-point first quarter that separated the Rockets from the Indians in a hurry.

“They couldn’t miss,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.  “I didn’t think that our defense was that bad.”

But on this afternoon, Reading (3-2) clicked consistently from beyond the arc.

Jackie Malley had seven of those three’s and her sister Jess had two others.

Jackie Malley looks to pass

“We have a lot of good shooters,” said Jackie afterwards, “and we found them really well today.  I just took shots as they came and felt confident.”

Jackie is committed to D3 basketball next year at St. Lawrence University in New York.  The Saints are located, as the name suggests, along the St. Lawrence River in northern New York.

“Jackie (Malley) had a great game today,” said Reading coach Kara Melillo post-game.  “She’s led us all year.  She definitely set the tone for us offensively and defensively.”

Ciara Keane scores

The Rockets started the first two minutes of the second quarter with a three from freshman Molly Trahan (16 points) followed by a three and a layup from Jackie Malley.  That burst of offense gave Reading a 29-9 advantage.

This one had long-afternoon written all over it for Amesbury.

The Indians (3-1) had limited their opponents to the 30’s but by halftime today the Rockets had a 32-19 lead.

An Amesbury optimist would have expected in the second half that the team from the Middlesex League would cool off while the team from the Cape Ann League would put some points together and make it a closer game.

Avery Hallinan to the rim

Not today.

In the third quarter, the Rockets made three more three’s, while holding Amesbury to only three points.

“We didn’t play together enough on offense,” said Coach Dollas.  “We need to fix that.”

The Indians settled too often for drives through traffic and the first open look that showed up.

Avery Hallinan (18 points) was the most successful of the Indians in getting to the basket.  She drew contact and ended up taking fourteen free throws.

Jackie Malley in close

The Rockets put a 19-1 run together in the second half to expand their lead to, 54-22, 2 ½ minutes into the final quarter.

“When you’re hitting 3’s, two or three feet outside the line with consistency it’s pretty hard to defend,” said Coach Dollas.

“Every game I’ve watched them play they didn’t hit like this,” he added.  “It was something I’ve never seen.”

“We worked really hard in practice this week,” said Jackie Malley. “We tried hard to move the ball around and everyone contributed.  We trusted each other.”

Gabby Redford

It was one of those games in which even when the Rockets missed a long shot, they were often able to find the rebound.

Coach Melillo: “We had one of our better practices yesterday.  The kids played with a lot of energy today.  The shots were falling today and that certainly helped us.”

Coach Dollas: “I doubt that we’ll see anyone as hot as this team in the Cape Ann League.”

I was impressed with the Wilmington facility.  It had plenty of seating as well as open space around the outside of the court.  The lighting was also very good.

Reading   21   11   15   12   =   59

Amesbury    9   10   3   11   =   33

(All of the pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)

Ella Abreu passes
Avery Hallinan guards Emily Bass
Eyeing a rebound
Molly Trahan (1) challenges a shot
Avery Hallinan sees an open lane
Tight Reading defense
McKenna Hallinan
Sami Kimball
Liv DeLong
Reading box
Amesbury box

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Strong second half separates Newburyport from Triton 54-31

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Emma Foley (19 points) had a strong second half for Newburyport
Olivia McDonald (4) and Reese Renda (45)

(Newburyport MA) Key player Deirdre McElhinney was missing (Covid).

Inside presence Abigail Gillingham had graduated.

But neither of those things kept Newburyport from defeating Triton, 54-31, on Tuesday night.

The win advances the undefeated Clippers (4-0) to the title game of the Institution for Savings Girls Holiday Basketball Tournament tomorrow night against Hamilton-Wenham.

Sophomore Olivia McDonald filled in nicely for Deirdre while Emma Foley feasted on the inside of the Triton zone defense.

However, don’t be fooled by the final score.  The Vikings (3-2) were very much in this one (25-23) with only three minutes left in the third quarter. 

Kendall Liebert (16 points)

However, the two-point deficit at that time was a distant memory by the time the game ended.

“We just ran out of steam,” surmised Triton coach Bryan Shields afterwards. “Newburyport is a great team.”

The Clippers man-to-man pressure and foul trouble for high scoring Kendall Liebert (16 points) combined to limit Triton points severely.

Battle on the floor

The Vikings suddenly couldn’t match baskets with the Clippers.

Newburyport ran six straight points before Caitlin Frary (8 points) put in a layup.

The Clippers followed with ten unanswered points before a free throw from Lia Hatheway.

Then came eight straight Newburyport points and this game was out-of-hand, 49-26, with five minutes left.

Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield

Key performer for the Clippers during their productive second-half possessions was junior Emma Foley.  Emma had ten points during the breakaway segments and finished with nineteen points.

“We lost a lot of forwards from last year,” explained Emma post-game.  “I realized that I had to step up.  I’m working hard to do that this season. It’s really fun to play inside.”

Emma went out with an injury in the second quarter but returned to have a sixteen-point second half.

Emma Foley was injured in the second quarter on this play

“I have been playing on a sprained ankle for a couple of weeks now,” she said.  “A girl landed on it tonight.”

Molly Kimball looks to pass

The Vikings used a zone defense for most of the night.

“We wanted to slow them down and keep them out of the paint,” said Coach Shields.  “We were keying on “10” (Makenna Ward).  She’s a great player for sure.  We wanted to focus on her and make the rest of the team beat us.”

Makenna was limited to six points, but the rest of the team caught fire in the second half led by Emma Foley to get the victory.

Caitlin Frary on a drive

The Newburyport defense created twenty-four Triton turnovers.  Most of the Vikings’ miscues were in the halfcourt and didn’t lead to many breakaway layups.

Triton put its best basketball on display in the second quarter.  Trailing 17-9, the Vikings doubled their score while shutting out the Clippers during a three-minute segment.  Kendall Liebert had a fullcourt layup and two assists to spark the visitors to an 18-17 lead.

One thing that both teams had in common was poor foul shooting.  The Clippers missed ten while the Vikings missed eight.  Several were the front ends of one-and-one’s. 

Triton’s Molly Kimball was the only player to make a 3-point shot.

Free throw shooting was a problem for both teams

The Clippers came up with five rebound baskets.  “We pride ourselves in our rebounding, but we didn’t do quite enough of that tonight,” said Coach Shields.

Asked about the Institution for Savings tournament, Emma said, “We love this tournament.  It’s fun.  They have T-shirts and trophies.”

(The pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)

Triton box
Newburyport box
Lizzie Metsker chased by Vikings
Anna Seidel lines up a free throw
Emma Foley in for two points
Olivia McDonald (4) jump shot
Sydney Turner in close
Lilly Papatola (7 points)
Liv Kiricoples on a break
Emma Foley defends Liv Kiricoples

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