(The pictures will enlarge when you click on them.)
(Newburyport MA) You never know for sure what to expect in a non-league game.
You read about your opponent and maybe even scout them, but actual conclusions are reserved for the game itself.
Newburyport put the clamps on Lawrence’s best player (Tyanna Medina) and the visitors from the Merrimack Valley Conference never had a chance.
The final was Newburyport 61, Lawrence 23.
Tyanna displayed all the skills of a next-level player but she was usually kept far from the basket.
“She was a really good player,” said Olivia McDonald who took a turn defending Tyanna. “Our coaches told me to force her left and there would be help. Everyone did a good job of helping.”
Sydney Turner, MaKenna Ward, and Anna Seidel also spent time corralling the Lancers’ sophomore and limited her to six points.
Meanwhile, on the offensive end, the Clippers were productive in the first-half, up-tempo approach as well as the second-half, deliberate approach.
The Lancers (1-5) used a zone defense that was slow to set up after missed shots. The fast-breaking Clippers turned rebounds into open looks and layups.
Newburyport scored all the points in the first four minutes and sped ahead, 14-0.
Emma Foley continues to be able to maneuver into open looks in close. Her ability to go either right or left, and use either hand successfully, makes her a scoring threat against any single coverage she faces.
Emma had twenty points tonight.
“Our team was really ready to play tonight,” said Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield post-game. “We have to learn to do that against every team, not just against a team that is not that strong.”
The Clippers had a 24-4 first quarter lead and extended the margin to 44-10 at the half.
Deirdre McElhinney (12 points) and Sydney Turner (11 points) scored all their points in the first half.
In the second half, the Clippers resisted the fast breaks and were very patient on offense.
The most entertaining part of the second half was when Tyanna Medina and Olivia McDonald turned up the defensive pressure on each other.
Both are tenacious and confident. Tyanna is used to being hounded because of her scoring reputation. Olivia is quick and willing to cause a turnover any way she can.
“I told Olivia that I got goosebumps tonight watching her play such good defense on such a talented player,” said Coach Grutchfield.
Here is a four-picture sequence of the two of them getting after it:
Coach Grutchfield had two players on her bench that she couldn’t use. Why? Emerson McCormick and Maddie Hopwood had played the entire JV game in which Newburyport won late. Emerson scored the go-ahead basket while Maddie sealed the win with free throws.
Olivia McDonald: “I think that the reason we are doing so well this season is that our defense leads into our offense.”
Newburyport 24 20 6 11 = 61
Lawrence 4 6 5 8 = 23
(The pictures enlarge if you click on them.)