(Byfield MA) It was a tough night for Triton.
“They’re a powerhouse,” said Vikings coach Bryan Shields afterwards.
Pentucket turned in a dominating performance and came away with a, 60-16, win on Monday night.
“We did really well,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara post-game. Not a soul who watched the game would argue otherwise!
“Our defense set the tone,” added Coach McNamara, “and our transition got us layups.”
The Vikings struggled in the backcourt after getting double-teamed and numerous turnovers/layups followed.
The Sachems also were quick to press for scores after getting possession in the frontcourt.
Even when forced to run halfcourt offense Pentucket (11-2) was textbook perfect against Triton’s zone defense.
“Their zone forced us to pass the ball more since you can’t drive against a zone,” explained Pentucket junior Audrey Conover afterwards.
And pass they did. There were cross-court passes to open teammates on the weakside. There were give-and-go layups and there were inbound passes for layups.
“The kids were passing up a shot to get a better shot,” said Coach McNamara. “They were really unselfish. It was fun to watch.”
Almost every basket had an assist attached to it unless it was a breakaway off a turnover.
The Sachems took the mystery out of this game early racing ahead, 14-0, after four minutes. The visitors took three turnovers in for layups and had two three’s (Abby Dube and Gabby Bellacqua) in the breakaway start.
Molly Kimball finally ended the Triton scoring drought with a free throw and later added a three-point shot before the quarter was over.
The quarter ended with the score, 23-4.
The Pentucket halfcourt defense was extra tough in the second quarter. Most of the Triton movement in the frontcourt was sideways with few direct lines to the hoop. Maeve Heffernan scored in the last minute for the only Vikings basket of the quarter.
Pentucket led, 39-6, at the half.
“They defend well, and they rotate well,” said Coach Shields, “and they can all score.”
“Playing Pentucket will make us better,” added Coach Shields. “You don’t gain as much playing weaker competition. We want to be ready for the tournament.”
The Vikings are 8-8 with four games left. “We’ve got winnable games ahead,” said Coach Shields. “Three of the teams (North Reading, Saugus, and Manchester-Essex) we beat the first time around.”
Pentucket has a big game ahead on Thursday night at Newburyport. “They are a good team and they beat us pretty good the first time,” said Coach McNamara. “Right now, however, I’m thinking about Senior Night tomorrow night and that game (North Reading).”
Alyssa Thompson (13), Lana Mickelson (12), and Gabby Bellacqua (11) reached double figures for Pentucket.
Coach McNamara: “The key to the win tonight was the excellent passing of Audrey (Conover).”
Pentucket 23 16 14 7 = 60
Triton 4 2 5 5 = 16
(The pictures will enlarge.)