(Amesbury MA) Even the referee wanted to know who was covering her!
His reason was that he had given the wrong number at the scorer’s table for the Frontier girl who had committed the foul.
So he asked the Frontier team, “Who was covering #11?”
That was a new one on me.
Avery Hallinan (#11) was the one who was fouled. She was indeed well covered most of the night yet still carried Amesbury to the Round of 8 with her 25-point performance against the Redhawks.
The final was 50-39.
The Indians (18-4) play Hamilton-Wenham at Whittier on Saturday at 3PM.
The visitors from South Deerfield went down by double figures in the first quarter and briefly recovered.
In the second quarter, Avery’s jump shot (assisted by her sister McKenna) extended the lead back to double figures (19-8). Frontier couldn’t break inside of ten points the rest of the way.
“We were a little jittery coming off the bus,” said Frontier coach Dave Machon afterwards. “When we got our feet under us it was a little too late.”
Avery had a sixteen-point first half carrying Amesbury to a 25-12 first half lead.
Liv DeLong (14 points) started the second half with three consecutive inside scores. Liv’s strong game around the basket boosted the AHS advantage to nineteen points (31-12) just 1 ½ minutes into the second half.
Credit Frontier. They “won” the rest of the game with organized offense and better defense.
“They figured out our defense and hit more shots,” said Avery post-game.
Frontier senior Kaitlyn Mackin scored eleven of her thirteen points in the second half.
Amesbury’s Sami Kimball was assigned to cover Kaitlyn. “Coach told me that I had to really clamp her up tonight,” said Sami, “because she’s one of their better players. She reminded me of Ali (Napoli) because she was tall and tough on the boards.”
“Our first-half defense was everything we practiced,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas. “In the second half they were setting screens all over the place and we were getting lost.”
“There weren’t many substitutions,” he added, “so our defense may have had tired legs in the second half.”
Junior Kylie Laford paced Frontier with fourteen points. She had two 3’s in the first half.
Going into the game, teams had been averaging only thirty-three points per game against the (17-5) Redhawks.
Amesbury got fifty points. Avery had half the points. There were no successful 3’s from Avery. Tonight, it was drives and free throws with a couple of jump shots in the lane for the Endicott commit.
Avery took on one defender and on several occasions two defenders on her way to inside scores.
“She was too much to handle tonight,” said Coach Machon referring to Avery. “She was a huge factor.”
“It feels great to play further than we were able to last year,” said Avery referencing Amesbury’s next game. “We love Whittier. We played there our freshman year. They have the great Bulls’ intro there.”
This was the last Amesbury home game for their talented senior quartet (Avery Hallinan, McKenna Hallinan, Gabby Redford, Liv DeLong) that have keyed years of Indians’ successes.
“This is what we’ve been working for since we were freshmen,” said Liv DeLong. “It is really sad that this is our last game. We’re made a lot of memories here.”
Amesbury 12 13 15 10 = 50
Frontier 4 8 11 16 = 39
(The pictures will enlarge.)