Category Archives: Coyle and Cassidy

Coyle Cassidy reaches D4 state finals with 55-47 win over Fenway

Kaylee Haynes (13) passes ahead to an open teammate and an easy two points

Kassidy Fields (41) looks for an inbounds pass

(Boston MA) The storm arrived a day early for Coach John Rice and his Fenway Panthers.

That “storm” was the Coyle & Cassidy Warriors.

The Warriors (22-3) never trailed as they won the Division 4 state semi-final game, 55-47, on Monday afternoon at the TD Garden.

“We just played the best team we’ve played all year,” said Coach Rice afterwards.  “They did everything well.”

This was the first time Fenway (21-3) has lost at the Garden in the five times Coach Rice has brought his teams there.

The Warriors started fast (9-0) forcing the Panthers to burn two timeouts in the first four minutes.  Senior Me’ara Carter (10 points) finally got Fenway on the board with a nice spin down the lane.

The team from Taunton built their advantage to as many as seventeen points (40-23) in the third quarter and still were up by fourteen (44-30) two minutes into the final quarter.

Kaylee Haynes trapped by Dasiah Thornton and Colby Upchurch

But a good team like Fenway was not going to go away.

“I told the team at halftime that Fenway would make a run,” recalled Coach O’Brien, “and that was what happened.”

The Panthers put a run of eight straight together and suddenly with 3:20 left in the game the deficit was just six (44-38). Dasiah Thornton had a three during the rally.

Plenty of time for Fenway but on this afternoon C&C refused to let it happen.

A key play for the Warriors was a Kassidy Fields block that led to a breakaway layup.  “Kassidy blocked it and it came to me,” said Sam Hourihan afterwards.  “I outleted the ball and we ended up with a layup.”

The play Sam described was part of the ten points the Warriors put together after Fenway was within six.

Rachel Johnson (12 points) turns the corner on Nattaly David

Kaylee Haynes and Rachel Johnson were also major contributors in the game-sealing segment that gained C&C separation (54-38).

Kaylee had two layups and a free throw while Rachel assisted on the first two baskets in the two minutes of offensive excellence.

The Panthers would add nine points in the last minute, but time was on C&C’s side and they won, 55-47.

“We cut the lead to six but then left one of their players alone and they went down and got an and-one,” said Coach Rice.  “That turned the momentum their way.”

“We perservered,” said Coach O’Brien.  “We made some big shots down the stretch.”

Coyle & Cassidy will play for the state title on Saturday at Springfield against Monson.  It will be the Warriors first time in the state finals since 1987.

Plenty of good guard play by the Warriors.  The Panthers some serious pressure on those guards in the second half. The result was four C&C turnovers as the team from Roxbury cut the lead to six.

“We were too close to the sidelines,” said guard Kaylee Haynes after the game. “That is why they were able to trap us. When we got the ball into the middle we were able to spread them out and get layups.”

Dasiah Thornton (10 points) uses a Me’ara Carter screen

The Warriors ran early in the game with missed Fenway attempts to get that nine-zip lead.  Rachel Johnson, Sam Hourihan, Kaylee Haynes, and Kassidy Fields supplied the points.

Fenway had size (Me’ara Carter is 6-3) and drivers.  The Warriors handled those things with help defense. They also committed plenty of fouls but benefitted from an off afternoon at the line by the Panthers.

Fenway’s poor foul shooting (19-for-35) had a direct connection to the final outcome.  When the Panthers were within six, in the last quarter, they had already missed thirteen freebies.

C&C had success during the game breaking out with Fenway misses and getting layups before the Panthers shot blockers could get back on defense to be a factor.

Juniors Rachel Johnson and Kaylee Haynes led the Warriors with twelve points each.  Rachel had nine in the first half.

Junior Colby Upchurch (12 points) paced Fenway.  Junior Dasiah Thornton and senior Me’ara Carter both collected ten points for Fenway.

Jenna Piatelli at the line

Senior Jenna Piatelli came off the C&C bench to tally six points in short minutes.

“My father coached thirty years and never got a sniff at a state championship,” said Coach O’Brien.  “I’m happy to be in this situation.”

The Warriors were able to contain sophomore Janyah Gulley.  In the tournament, Janyah had twelve rebounds against Lowell Catholic and nineteen points versus Mystic Valley.

John Rice has won sixteen Boston City League titles; five at Fenway and thirteen at Burke.

It is always exciting for the players to play a big game at the Garden.  So much history.  Pretty exciting for a blogger to cover a game there too.

Coyle & Cassidy box

Fenway box

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

Post-game pose

Kaylee Haynes (13) gets past Colby Upchurch (11)

Kassidy Fields (9 points) about to cash a breakaway layup

Abbie Kurtzer puts up an open three

Nattaly David (20) looks to shoot

Colby Upchurch (12 points) tries to turn the corner on Kaylee Haynes

Kaylee Haynes (13) drew a charge from Janyah Gulley (25) on this play

Dasiah Thornton (3) heads down the lane with Stacie Leonard (23)

Guard Kaylee Haynes (13) looks one way and passes another

Abbie Kurtzer looks for someone to pass to

Rachel Johnson (12 points)

Me’ara Carter looks for open space

Me’ara Carter at the line

Sam Hourihan defends Colby Upchurch




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Clutch Free Throws Preserve St. Mary’s 53-50 Victory Over Coyle and Cassidy in State Semis

Cassi Amenta (nineteen points including four straight free throws in the last seventeen seconds.)

St. Mary’s celebrates their state semi-final win.

(Boston) St. Mary’s of Lynn reached the state D3 finals but it wasn’t easy at the TD Garden for them last night.  The Spartan girls led from beginning to end but there were numerous times when the perpetually rallying Coyle and Cassidy squad had the ball and were within a made basket of tying the game or getting a lead.

St. Mary’s (23-4) won 53-50 and will advance to Saturday’s championship game in the DCU Center in Worcester.

Cassi Amenta (19 points) turned out to be the late-game star for St. Mary’s by surrounding a Brenna Gonsalves three (the talented senior had 25 points) with two free throws before and after, in the last seventeen seconds of this crowd pleaser.  The second pair gave the Spartans a three-point cushion (53-50) with 3.8 seconds remaining and left little time for Brenna to get close enough for a last-second, backcourt heave that had much of a chance.

Brenna Gonsalves (twenty-five points including thirteen in the last quarter)

When Brenna’s shot fell short, the Warriors (22-3) could only look back and wonder if things would have been different if they’d been the ones starting fast.

The Spartans turned the ball over the first three times they had it (25 turnovers in the game) but then put up points in their next five possessions to get ahead, 9-2, after 3 ½ minutes.  St. Mary’s showed in this run that their size was going to be trouble for Coyle as 6-2 Tori Faieta (11 points) and 5-11 Cassi Amenta had two inside scores.

The Warriors rallied back to contention, as they did all night, and trailed 22-19 at halftime.

The Spartans had yet another fast start in the second half putting a 9-3 segment in place.  Freshman Jennie Mucciarone notched St. Mary’s only three during a run that gave them a 31-22 edge after three minutes.

St. Mary’s still was in command at the quarter’s end, 37-29, and 2 ½ minutes into the 4th quarter, 40-33.  But then the Warriors, led by Brenna Gonsalves and Missy Perry (13 points), began put up points and force the Spartans into a turnover-strewn final five minutes.

I overheard St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newhall say afterwards that his team shouldn’t have had trouble against the press but in front of a large crowd it sometimes feels like there are 3,000 defenders on the other team.

The Spartans had seven of their miscues during the last five minutes.  Two of those backcourt turnovers led to Brenna layups and a score, after the first (40-37), and the second (45-42), with three minutes left.  However, this was a game in which St. Mary’s always had a response to keep them in the lead.

Good thing, because the challenges from Coyle to their lead kept coming.

The most dangerous late-game challenge to St. Mary’s was when Brenna took the rebound of a missed free throw and dribbled the length of the court for a basket with twenty-seven seconds left, closing the gap to, 49-47.

After a timeout, Brianna Rudolph (10 points) was fouled but missed both free throws.  The Warriors had time (twenty-four seconds) but a traveling violation forced Coyle to foul and set up Cassi Amenta for her free throw shooting heroics.

(I collect my own stats, although the TD Garden boxscore helped, take my own pictures and draw my own conclusions.  Mistakes are sometimes made for which I apologize for in advance.)

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