Category Archives: Hamilton-Wenham

Amesbury seniors lead to 13-4 win over Hamilton-Wenham

(Amesbury) It’s your day, why not put on a show!

Drew MacDonald, Shea Cucinotta, Cam Stanley
Drew MacDonald 5 RBI

And that’s what the three Amesbury seniors did on Senior Day.

Amesbury defeated Hamilton-Wenham, 13-4, on Tuesday afternoon.

Drew MacDonald had five RBI.

Shea Cucinotta had four hits.

Cam Stanley scored three times.

Each of the Amesbury seniors led the category they were mentioned in.

The win evened the season’s series with the (10-9) Generals.

Three weeks ago, HW defeated Amesbury, 2-1, at Patton Park in Hamilton.

“In that 2-1 loss, we left a lot of runners on base,” recalled Amesbury coach Joel Brierley afterwards.  “We had the bases loaded with one out in the seventh and couldn’t score.”

“Today, when we got runners on base we scored them,” he added.

Amesbury (14-4) had thirteen hits and received five walks in their six innings at the plate.

Connor McClintock had 3 hits

Junior Connor McClintock led the Generals with three hits and two RBI.  Only a leaping catch by Amesbury shortstop Shea Cucinotta in the fifth inning kept Connor from having four hits. 

Connor also impressed on defense.  The HW centerfielder showed good lateral range robbing Drew MacDonald of extra bases in the third inning.  Later, he rushed in to take a hit away from Jake Harring on a sinking line drive.

“No question, Connor is good,” said HW coach Reggie Maidment afterwards.  “We’re glad he’s on our side.”

Connor led off the game with a triple and was driven home by Nick Freni.  In the second inning, Connor came up with two runners on and delivered both of them.

Shea Cucinotta – 4 hits/3 RBI

Amesbury was able to match the Generals’ run in the first inning with a Drew MacDonald RBI single.

Amesbury picked up three runs in their second inning.  Jake Harring had a two-run double and Drew Scialdone had a sacrifice fly.

So, it was 4-3 after two innings in a game that looked to have a high-scoring future.

That future became a reality for Amesbury but not for Hamilton-Wenham.

Amesbury starter Trevor Kimball settled in over the next four innings allowing just one hit (Nick Freni) and one run.

Amesbury gained separation with a five-run fourth inning.

Cam Stanley – scored 3 runs and had 2 hits

“We had one tough inning,” said Coach Maidment referring to that inning.  “We made a few mistakes.  Against a lineup like Amesbury’s, you can’t do that or it’s going to hurt you.”

Amesbury batted around in their productive fifth inning.  The big hit was Drew MacDonald’s bases-clearing double.  Will Arsenault and Shea Cucinotta drove in single runs.

Amesbury picked up an unearned run in the sixth inning and batted around (again) to collect three more runs in their sixth inning. 

“This was probably one of our best team performances of the season,” said Coach Brierley post-game.  “Trevor threw strikes and got a lot of outs.  Our defense was good, and we hit the ball.”

Catcher Nick Freni looks for a sign

Today’s game featured two of the best teams in the state in Division 4.  Amesbury is ranked second while Hamilton-Wenham is fourth in the MIAA Power Rankings that came out May 23rd.

The two teams could face each other again but this time in the post-season.  Being so highly ranked, that possible next meeting would probably be somewhere in Final Four territory.

It was indeed a big day for Amesbury’s three seniors.  The trio scored six runs, had nine hits, and drove in eight runs. 

Hamilton-Wenham   1   2   0   0   0   1   0   =   4

                 Amesbury   1   3   0   5   1   3   –   =   13

The weather became less comfortable as the afternoon wore on. 

Trevor Kimball gave up four hits and four runs.

Watching the game

Amesbury coach Joel Brierley busy coaching third

Luke Arsenault scores Amesbury’s fifth run

Hamilton-Wenham unofficial box

Amesbury unofficial box

Leave a comment

Filed under Amesbury, Hamilton-Wenham

Amesbury reaches D4 Final Four with 56-37 win over Hamilton-Wenham

Amesbury reaches the Final Four in Division Four
Avery Hallinan (25 points)

(Haverhill MA) On January 21st, Hamilton-Wenham defeated Amesbury, 51-45.

That result transformed both teams.

The Generals realized that if they played their best, they could knock off a very good team.

For Amesbury, it alerted them to what can happen if they don’t play very well.

This afternoon at Whittier, the Indians were on their game and never gave Hamilton-Wenham a chance.

Jane Maguire (15 points)

Amesbury won, 56-37, and are now in the Division Four Final Four. They will face South Hadley on Tuesday at Framingham at 5PM.

“We thrive on man-to-man defense, but Amesbury is absolutely the worst team for us to try to match up with,” said HW coach Mark Cole afterwards.  “They’re big and they can shoot.”

Senior Avery Hallinan continued her post-season dominance with twenty-five points matching her total in Amesbury’s previous game with Frontier.  In the tourney opener vs Cape Cod Academy, Avery collected thirty-three points.

In transition Avery has been gathering points driving.  In Amesbury’s half-court offense, she has set up down low and feasted on single coverage.

Avery Hallinan in close to the basket with single coverage
AHS coach Gregg Dollas

“Our loss to them earlier made me anxious about this game,” explained AHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.  “Our girls, though, always come to play and I knew that they weren’t going to let another loss happen.”

“We said coming in that we can’t get behind,” explained Coach Cole.  “We’ve got to come out of the first quarter even.”

Just the opposite happened.  Amesbury rolled off to a 12-1 lead (14-4 after a quarter) and it was clear that the HW defense was in trouble.

“The big thing was ball movement,” recalled Avery Hallinan.  “In the loss to them, we were forcing too many shots and passes.  Today we worked it in, and we worked it out and got shots from everywhere.”

HW coach Mark Cole

While Avery had a ten-point first quarter, the Amesbury defense concentrated on talented HW senior Jane Maguire.

Jane had five three’s in the win over Amesbury in January.

“We focused on covering the three because that’s their specialty,” said McKenna Hallinan.  “Jane (Maguire) is a great player.  We play her in soccer too.”

Gabby Redford covered Jane most of the game.  “I tried to stop her from getting off three’s,” said Gabby. 

Jane led the Generals (17-6) with fifteen points and did make three 3’s.  However, many of those points came in the second half when Hamilton-Wenham already had a twenty-point deficit.

Avery Hallinan goes baseline

The Indians (19-4) doubled up HW in the second quarter (24-12) on a Liv DeLong triple.

McKenna Hallinan’s two free throws in the third quarter increased the margin to twenty points (44-23) with 1 ½ minutes left in that quarter.

The rest of the game saw bench clearings for both squads.

Junior Sami Kimball had eleven points to go with shot blocks and rebounds.  “It’s such a great moment,” she said, “to get to the Final Four.  I’ve been dreaming about this since I was in middle school.  We learned from our loss to them and really played as a team.”

Kailee Whelan

Liv DeLong added ten points.  “We worked the ball to each other and spread the court.  They had trouble guarding Avery and Sami.”

McKenna: “We focused on getting the ball inside because when we beat them, they couldn’t cover our bigs.”

Coach Dollas: “We played defense from start to finish.  All five of our starters were phenomenal.  Cali (Catarius) came off the bench and held her own.”

McKenna Hallinan

Coach Cole: “The one team I didn’t want to play until the finals was Amesbury.  I think that the winner of today’s game will win the whole thing.”

An active crowd attended supporting their respective schools. 

Amesbury has now won ten of their last eleven games.

HW finished winning ten of their last twelve games.

“If anyone had told me that at the start of the season that we would win seventeen games, I would have told them that they were nuts,” said Coach Cole.  “But we got better and after our Amesbury win, we gained the confidence that took us three rounds into the post-season.  I’m very proud of what we accomplished.”

Amesbury   14   13   19   10   =   56

              HW   4   10   10   13   =   37

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Game ends
Ellie Marden
Michaela DeSimone
Christa Coffey pressured by Avery Hallinan
Gabby Redford
Lily Cassidy
Sadie Gamber and Gabby Redford
Avery Hallinan in alone
Jane Maguire and McKenna Hallinan
Battle for control
Sami Kimball blocks a shot
Final Four banner

Leave a comment

Filed under Amesbury, Hamilton-Wenham

Pentucket defeats Hamilton-Wenham 47-23

There was plenty of action around the basket
Gabby Bellacqua looks for an opening

(West Newbury MA) “We just couldn’t close out quarters,” said Hamilton-Wenham coach Mark Cole afterwards.

The lack of consistency was costly as the Generals (7-4) fell to Pentucket, 47-23, on Tuesday night.

HW had nineteen points from talented Jane Maguire but her teammate combined for only four additional points.

Credit the Pentucket defense.  As usual they were persistent and ready to turn miscues into points.

Pentucket made five 3’s

“Pentucket is a very, very good team that can shoot the ball,” said Coach Cole.

The Sachems (8-2) had nine players score and hit from long range five times.

Lana Mickelson and Alyssa Thompson were Pentucket’s top scorers with nine points each.

Each of the end-of-quarter surges that Coach Cole referenced had 3-pointers in them.

Jane Maguire (19 points)

In the first quarter, Jane Maguire’s three-pointer had the visitors within three points (8-5) with four minutes left. 

Pentucket then rolled off ten unanswered points and the quarter ended with the home team in front, 18-5.

Three’s by Ally Cacciapuoti and Alyssa Thompson were involved in the Pentucket run.

Lana Mickelson (9 points and 9 rebounds)

In the second quarter, two layups and two three’s by Jane Maguire had the Generals within seven (22-15) with 3 ½ minutes left.

Pentucket then rolled off eight unanswered points to gain a, 30-15, halftime lead.

Three’s by Emma Lopata and Alyssa Thompson were part of the second-quarter surge.

Hamilton-Wenham scored the first three points of the third quarter and trailed, 30-18, with seven minutes left.

Coach John McNamara

Pentucket then shut out HW the rest of the quarter and added ten points to their lead.

Three’s by Abby Dube and Lana Mickelson were in the mix this time.  Lana’s three was the old-fashioned variety.

Pentucket was ahead, 40-18, after three periods and cruised home from there.

Pentucket coach John McNamara was glad to get the win.  “Both teams were sloppy.  We’ve got to play better than this.  But it was nice to get a win after our tough loss (in OT to Cathedral) the other day.”

Coach Mark Cole

There were plenty of whistles and plenty of fouls and turnovers.

“It seemed as if it was travel, after foul, after travel,” said Lana Mickelson afterwards.

The teams combined for thirty-seven fouls.  I’m going to guess that there were just as many turnovers.  It was ragged for sure.

“We knew that Hamilton-Wenham would be good because of their upset win over Amesbury the other day,” added Lana.

HW had lost by thirty to Amesbury earlier in the season but took out the Indians, 51-45, in the rematch recently.

Christa Coffey and Audrey Conover

“The fact that we held Pentucket to seventeen points in the second half was a good effort on our part,” said Coach Cole.

Lana Mickelson had nine rebounds to go with her nine points.  Against Cathedral she had twenty rebounds.

Jane Maguire had five three’s in HW’s win over Amesbury.  Christa Coffey added three from long range.

On February 10th Pentucket has a rematch with undefeated Newburyport at Newburyport.  The Clippers won by ten points in the first meeting.

              Pentucket   18   12   10   7   =   47

Hamilton-Wenham   5   10     3   5   =   23

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Ally Cacciapuoti
Marley Shea takes a shot
Ava DiBurro makes a save
Jane Maguire uses a screen
Jane Maguire in the open floor
Pentucket fans
Abby Dube
Nora Gamber guarded by Ally Cacciapuoti
Pentucket box
Hamilton-Wenham box

Leave a comment

Filed under Hamilton-Wenham, Pentucket

Newburyport sweeps the CAL cross country championships

Lindsay MacLellan of North Reading (first)

Sam Acquaviva of Newburyport (first)

(Amesbury MA) The Newburyport Clippers had a big day at Woodsom Farm taking the Cape Ann League cross country titles in the boys and girls division.

Led by Sam Acquaviva and John Lucey, the Clippers added the CAL championship to their undefeated regular season.

“Sam is Sam,” said NHS coach Don Hennigar of his CAL championship repeat winner.  “That was the best race of John’s life.  To finish second in this league is so good.”

The misty/muddy conditions worried Sam although he ran most of the race alone.  “There was a lot that could go wrong in the conditions.  I always assume that the other runners will come back.”

On teammate John Lucey finishing second?  “It was nice to have John behind me.  It was unexpected.  He had a great race.”

John Lucey (2nd)

Newburyport won the race by forty points: (1) Sam Acquaviva, (2) John Lucey, (6) Dreese Fadil, (9) Cam Lasson, (17) Peter King.

Other top ten finishers: (3) Tyler Stranc, (4) Peter Lopata, (5) Sebastian Gilligan, (7) Will Kenny, (8) John Astrofsky, (10) Keegan Ritchie.

The totals in the girls’ race were much closer: Newburyport (68), Triton (76), Hamilton-Wenham (80).

The point scorers for Newburyport were; Ellie Schulson (4th), Lindsey Roberts (7th), Lucy Gagnon (14th), Olivia D’Ambrosio (20th), Caroline Wilson (23rd).

Clippers coach Don Hennigar: “Ellie Schulson (4th) and Lindsey Roberts (7th) were above and beyond today.  This was probably the best race Lindsey has ever had.”

Junior Lindsay MacLellan of North Reading was the upset winner.  Last year’s winner, Eva Feuerbach of Manchester-Essex, finished second.

Eve Feuerbach (2nd)

Don Hennigar: “That girl from Manchester-Essex doesn’t get beat very often and the girl from North Reading (Lindsay MacLellan) won by a lot.  Most people would call that an upset.”

I asked Lindsay MacLellan how she won the race.  “A lot of mud.  A lot of heart.  I’m a hilly person so this was the kind of course I like.  I gained separation (from Eva Feuerbach) at 2.75 miles.”

The win by Newburyport avenged a meet loss they had to Triton during the regular season.

Other top ten finishers; (3) Ellie Gay-Killeen, (5) Phoebe Rubio, (6) Lana Crosson, (8) Ava Cote, (9) Jemma Shea, (10) Sarah Harrington.

The race was held at Woodsom Farm in Amesbury.  Originally scheduled for Saturday at Bradley Palmer State Park but the weather forced a change.  The weather actually wasn’t all that great at Woodsom today.

Second-place finisher John Lucey: “It was a tough race for everyone.  I was able to plot the best course through the mud in some sections.  Coming down the hills was dangerous in some places.”

John ran much of the race with no one near him ahead (Sam Acquaviva) or behind (Tyler Stranc).  How do you stay tuned in?  “I kind of get delusional.  Then I keep going because I think someone’s right behind me.”

Excellent job done by Amesbury AD Glenn Gearin and his staff handling the parking and other logistical issues.

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

Newburyport’s Katherine Sheehy and Annie Siemasko accept the first-place trophy

Girls start

Ellie Gay-Killeen (Triton) 3rd

Ellie Schulson (Newburyport) 4th

Phoebe Rubio (Pentucket) 5th

Lana Crosson (Masconomet) 6th

Lindsey Roberts (Newburyport) 7th

Ava Cote (Hamilton-Wenham) 8th

Jemma Shea (Hamilton-Wenham) 9th

Sarah Harrington (Triton) 10th

Boys start

Sam Acquaviva shows off the Woodsom Farm mud

Tyler Stranc (Triton) 3rd

Peter Lopata (Pentucket) 4th

Sebastian Gilligan (Masconomet) 5th

Dreese Fadil (Newburyport) 6th

Will Kenny (Manchester-Essex) 7th

John Astrofsky (Lynnfield) 8th

Cam Lasson (Newburyport) 9th

Keegan Ritchie (Triton) 10th



Leave a comment

Filed under Hamilton-Wenham, Lynnfield, Manchester-Essex, Masconomet, Newburyport, North Reading, Pentucket, Triton

Hamilton-Wenham rallies to defeat Amesbury 38-27

Jemma Shea and Cecily Szady double-team Flannery O’Connor

Alli Napoli (11 points) tries to get past Cecily Szady

(Amesbury MA) It looked like a long night for Hamilton-Wenham after 3 ½ minutes had been played.

The Generals trailed 11-5 and looked overmatched against AHS shooters Alli Napoli and Flannery O’Connor.

However, once the HW defense got up to speed the Indians were the ones in trouble as they fell, 38-27, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

“We pride ourselves on our defense,” said HW coach Jon Flanagan afterwards.

On this night that defense featured Jemma Shea (on Alli Napoli) and Cecily Szady (on Flannery O’Connor).  “The girls did a great job of focusing in on their better scorers,” said Coach Flanagan.

Jemma and Cecily played tight man-to-man defense while their teammates sagged into the lane to give them help.  The best thing that defense did was to keep Alli and Flannery on the perimeter.  Tonight the AHS shots weren’t falling from the outside.

Lauren Flynn (16 points) leads a HW break

Lauren Flynn led all scorers with sixteen points.  Lauren had two quick baskets in the 2nd quarter; one on a setup by Jemma Shea and another on a well-executed inbounds play.  That brought HW to within two (12-10).  Then it was Lauren again in the last second of the period, setup this time for a layup by Jacqueline Fibbe.  The halftime score was a very low 14-14.

The Indians (7-3) took the lead in the 3rd period on an Alli Napoli layup and a three by freshman Mary Bullis from the corner.

Mary Bullis (15) blocks Lauren Flynn’s shot

Amesbury, however, didn’t score again for four minutes while the visitors gained separation with eight unanswered points.  Senior Lauren Flynn was the key contributor with four free throws and a driving layup.  Teammates Cecily Szady and Maddy Rivers added free throws.  That run of points gave HW a 24-19 advantage with two minutes left in the third quarter.

AHS would get within three twice during the next 3+ minutes but they could not string points together the rest of the way.

The Generals gained final separation with six straight points; four of them were from Lauren Flynn and the other two on a drive by Jemma Shea.  This stretch of good offense pushed HW ahead, 32-23, with 2:44 left and AHS couldn’t recover.

“We moved the ball well and got good looks from different people,” said Coach Flanagan.  “When the opportunity arose, we took the shots that we needed to take.”

“We had a lot of assisted baskets,” added Coach Flanagan. “When we can fill the scorebook with a whole bunch of scorers, that is what we like to see.”  Seven of HW’s nine players had points.

Alli Napoli led the AHS scorers with eleven points before fouling out in the last minute.  A turning point in this game was when with 4:24 left, Alli picked up her 4th foul.

Kaylie Cloutier (25) covers Jemma Shea (3)

Amesbury had only ten turnovers in the game while Hamilton-Wenham had eleven miscues.

Coach Matt Willis put getting the ball out of the backcourt entirely into the hands of Alli Napoli and Flannery O’Connor.  Getting the ball inbounds was the hardest part because HW had defenders on either side of the girl getting the inbounds pass.  But the talented two-some handled this part of the game flawlessly.  The trouble for them was in the half-court where their perimeter shots weren’t falling, and the inside was filled with Generals.

Amesbury had won five straight games and had been undefeated (5-0) at home.

Plenty of scouts on hand from Pentucket.

HW defeated Amesbury 39-35 on December 15th.

Hamilton-Wenham was 15-9 last season reaching the Division 2 North title game.  Amesbury was 22-2 reaching the Division 3 state semifinals.

Amesbury box from the game

Hamilton-Wenham box from the game

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

Flannery O’Connor gets in for two in the first quarter

Flannery O’Connor (12) waits for a pass

Alli Napoli and Lauren Flynn battle for a rebound

Sadie Kermelewicz (4) guards Maddy Rivers

Lauren Flynn goes by Alli Napoli

Catherine LaForte defends Isabelle Dolan

Lauren Flynn looks to pass

Jemma Shea

Cecily Szady gets a layup

Jacqueline Fibbe eyes the hoop

Mary Bullis (15) fouled in the lane

Jacqueline Fibbe gets a layup



Leave a comment

Filed under Amesbury, Hamilton-Wenham

Hamilton-Wenham holds off energetic Amesbury 50-46

Jake Lanciani (18 points) guarded by Chris Chabot

Amesbury was scrappy all game long

(Amesbury MA) “We didn’t deserve that one,” said HW coach Michael DiMarino after the season opener for both squads.

And who would disagree.

Amesbury, without a starter back, looked to be a mismatch against the Generals with several starters back off a 17-4 team last season.

What the Indians lacked in finesse, however, they made up for in hustle and aggressive man-to-man defense.

“You can’t ask for much more than the kids gave tonight,” explained AHS coach Tom Comeau.  “They (HW) have been very good in recent years.  They’re all seniors and they expect to win and go deep in the tournament.  Yet we had a shot to tie them at the end in our first game with no returning starters.”

Chris Chabot shoots for the tie in the closing seconds

This game did come down to the closing seconds as Amesbury, trailing by three, had two chances in the closing seconds to reach overtime.  Both of Chris Chabot’s hurried three-point attempts missed the mark.

There were eight lead changes and six ties along the way.  Separation was impossible because every shot was challenged, and accuracy suffered big-time.

Amesbury had the lead (44-42) with three minutes left before foul trouble, and clutch HW shooting, did them in.  Both of the Sydlowski twins (John and Billy) fouled out in the first minute of the final three minutes.  They were Amesbury’s top scorers.

The fouls on the Sydlowski’s gave HW four free throws and seniors James Lustig and Jake Lanciani made three of them to give the visitors the lead for good, 45-44, with 2:03 remaining.

Plenty of time for Amesbury, but a steal by Cam Peach set up James Lustig for an accurate top-of-the-key three with 1:38 to go.

Block or foul late in the game. Called a foul by the officials.

Later, a free throw by Jake Lanciani, after a controversial block/foul call, stretched the HW lead to 49-46. When Chris Chabot’s 3-point attempts misfired the win belonged to the Generals.

James Lustig (11 points) breaks between Chris Chabot and Austin Hallisey

“James (Lustig) is a senior captain,” said Coach Dimarino.  “He is a three-year starter.  That 3-point shot late was huge.”

James finished with eleven points despite spending much of the game on the bench in foul trouble.  His only field goal was the decisive three in crunch time.

If you had to list just one key to the HW victory, it was their trapping defense.  “Their defense is stifling,” agreed Coach Comeau.  “Their whole scheme is built around it.”  Put five non-starters from a year ago on the floor against it in their first game and bad things can happen and they did for the Indians.

HW pressure caused thirty Amesbury turnovers

I keep track of turnovers because they often lead to easy baskets and wasted possessions.  Amesbury, and this is not a typo, had THIRTY turnovers.  HW had just thirteen.  That’s why is was a marvel that Amesbury made such a good game of it.

“We made some adjustments in our trapping defense at halftime, “said Coach DiMarino.  “We were having trouble scoring and hoped for some easy baskets.”  Those adjustments were golden as the home team has possession miscues thirteen times in the third period alone and HW collected fifteen points while holding AHS to seven.

But even with the turnover disparity AHS hung in.  How did they do it?  If Amesbury had trouble taking care of the ball, Hamilton-Wenham had trouble at the foul line.  HW missed THIRTEEN free throws including the front end of three one-and-one’s.

The Generals led 41-35 after three periods, and then missed seven of their next eight free throws.  AHS said “Thank you” and ran seven straight unanswered points to take the lead.

Cam Grinnell (13 points) caught everyone napping after he missed a first-half free throw

Surprise play of the game?  With less than two minutes left in the first half, Cam Grinnell (13 points) was at the line shooting one–and-one, BUT he was the only one who knew it was a one-and-one.  Cam missed the first free throw and no one reacted so he picked the rebound off the floor and got a layup.  Later in that same quarter the senior pulled in a rebound and nailed a fadeaway at the halftime buzzer.

The Boston Herald chose Hamilton-Wenham to finish 4th in Division 3 North.  James Lustig and Billy Whelan were listed as players to watch.

Billy Whelan is still recovering from a collarbone injury suffered in a football playoff game.

I asked Coach Dimarino when Billy would be back: “Not soon enough,” he answered.

Hamilton-Wenham box

Amesbury box

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

Cole Dwyer (33) and Zach Labrecque battle for position

Sophomore Jaden Keliher (15) shadowed Jake Lanciani

Noah Lynch

Billy Sydlowski (10 points) takes off after a steal

John Sydlowski (5) heads for the basket

Zach Labrecque (22) on the move

Alex Renaud chases a loose ball

John Sydlowski (5) had eleven points for Amesbury






Leave a comment

Filed under Amesbury, Hamilton-Wenham

Hamilton-Wenham rallies dropping Amesbury 11-5 in eight innings

Adam Parady hustles out an infield hit as Derek Beaupre stretches for the throw

Jake Lanciani touches home with the tying run in the 7th inning

(Amesbury MA) Very close…..but I’m sure that isn’t any consolation.

Amesbury put a solid six innings together and looked to be on the verge of ending a 10-game losing streak.

Hamilton-Wenham, however, opted not to cooperate.

The Generals (7-5) tied the score in the top of the 7th and then exploded in the extra inning for an 11-5 win.

This was a Saturday afternoon Cape Ann League contest played in cold (upper 40s) conditions.

Winning pitcher Jake Lanciani

Jake Lanciani (2nd team CAL All-Star last year) had plenty to do with the HW victory.  Jake had three hits and scored three runs.  He also transferred from shortstop to pitching in the 5th inning and was the winning pitcher.

The Indians (1-13) broke a 2-2 tie during Jake’s first inning of relief.  AHS collected three runs as the HW defense (Michael Crowley, Nick DiMarino) gifted the scores with drops in the infield.

After that rough fifth, the HW errors ended and Jake held the home team hitless and notched three strikeouts.

While Amesbury struggled in the late innings, the visitors tallied nine hits in the final two innings after having just four hits in the first six innings.

Zach Prentiss pitched his arm off for Amesbury.  He scattered four hits during the first six innings. The AHS senior was the frustrated losing pitcher.

In the comeback top of the 7th, HW had the three runs they needed back in a hurry.  Cam Vautour walked, and then consecutive singles by Conor Evers, Sal Gaurino, and Jake Lanciani followed.  A sacrifice fly by Hunter Wilichoski (3 RBI) tied the score.

In the put-away 8th inning, HW again started strong with a hit batsman, single, walk, and another hit batsman before AHS had an out registered.  Three straight singles followed and the Generals had a six-run, game-winning inning.

Ball drops in near CF Pat Birmingham

The ball did not seem to carry at all on this cold afternoon.  HW had a number of bloop hits landing just in front of diving AHS fielders.

Freshman Will Jones went the first four innings for the Generals.  He was adept at escaping jams.  Will stranded three in the first and two in the third and fourth.

Freshman Conor Evers had two hits and scored three runs.

Ray Arsenault, DJ Grandmaison, and Luke Lagos each recorded two hits for Amesbury.  The Indians had nine hits through five innings but none after that.

Adam Parady showed his speed beating out an infield hit in the HW seventh.

Luke Lagos pitched an inning of relief for Amesbury.

The two teams will go at it again on Monday at Hamilton-Wenham.

Right fielder DJ Grandmaison nearly had a force out at home after an apparent hit.  It became a hit after the runner scored.

The umpire ruled that shortstop Jake Lanciani missed the bag on this play

Hamilton-Wenham had two double plays nullified on close plays.  One involved touching second base before the relay to first.

(Retweeting this story is greatly appreciated.)

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Nick DiMarino

Shortstop Derek Doherty

HW starter Will Jones

Ian Coffey greeted after scoring the go-ahead run in the 8th inning

Reliever Luke Lagos

Cam Vautour beats a force play at home

Hunter Wilichoski drove in 3 runs including the tying run in the 7th inning

RF DJ Grandmaison sets to throw home

Out at second

Zach Prentiss, covering 3B, avoids a sliding runner as HW coach Reggie Maidment and AHS coach Gene Burnham watch

SS Jake Lanciana drops a popup

AHS starter Zach Prentiss

Catcher Scotty Franco between innings

Michael Crowley set to apply the tag to Zach Prentiss

Logan Burrill



Leave a comment

Filed under Amesbury, Hamilton-Wenham

SC 2016 Cape Ann League Outdoor Championship Track Meet

Meet MVP Alec Reduker

Meet MVP Alec Reduker

Meet MVP Carolyn Modlish

Meet MVP Carolyn Modlish

(Boxford MA) The team winners at the 2016 Cape Ann League outdoor championship track meet were the Amesbury boys and the North Reading girls on a cloudy Saturday afternoon at Masconomet.

Amesbury held off second-place North Reading 113 to 100 while the NR girls had a 125.75 to 91 advantage over runner-up Hamilton-Wenham.

Newburyport’s Alec Reduker and Pentucket’s Carolyn Modlish were selected by the CAL coaches as the top performers at the meet.

I was at Masco for the afternoon part of the event.


Girls’ team stats

Boys’ team stats

(All of the pictures in this blog entry will ENLARGE considerably if you click on them.)

Alex Reduker

Alex Reduker

Alec Reduker (Newburyport), Brandon Amello (Triton) - 110 meter hurdles

Alec Reduker (Newburyport), Brandon Amello (Triton) – 110 meter hurdles

Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury), Caroline Schissel (Amesbury) - 100 meters

Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury), Caroline Schissel (Amesbury) – 100 meters

Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Ian Riaf (Hamilton-Wenham), Jackson Hastings (North Reading) - 100 meters

Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Ian Riaf (Hamilton-Wenham), Jackson Hastings (North Reading) – 100 meters

lunge for the finish

lunge for the finish

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Jack Carleo (Newburyport) - 800 meters

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Jack Carleo (Newburyport) – 800 meters

Carolyn Modlish (Pentucket), Julia Koenig (Hamilton-Wenham) - 400 meters

Carolyn Modlish (Pentucket), Julia Koenig (Hamilton-Wenham) – 400 meters

Daniel Allara (Hamilton-Wenham), Fred Halloran (Amesbury) - 400 meters

Daniel Allara (Hamilton-Wenham), Fred Halloran (Amesbury) – 400 meters

Geena Gangi (Masco), Carolina Ivanov (Ipswich), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury) - 200 meters

Geena Gangi (Masco), Carolina Ivanov (Ipswich), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury) – 200 meters

Relay start

Relay start

Keith Merchant and Nick Copelas

Keith Merchant and Nick Copelas

Jack Carleo and Joe Molvar exchange the baton for Newburyport

Jack Carleo and Joe Molvar exchange the baton for Newburyport

Katryn Dwyer (Pentucket), Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Jenna Raffael (North Reading) - 4X100 relay

Katryn Dwyer (Pentucket), Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Jenna Raffael (North Reading) – 4X100 relay

Tight relay finish

Tight relay finish

Passing the baton

Passing the baton

Amanda Recupero ((pswich), Sarah Maggiacomo (Triton) - 4X400 relay

Amanda Recupero (Ipswich), Sarah Maggiacomo (Triton) – 4X400 relay

Ipswich baton exchange

Ipswich baton exchange

Fred Halloran

Keith Merchant

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Tom Helms (North Reading) in 4X100 relay

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Fred Halloran (Amesbury), Tom Helms (North Reading) in 4X100 relay

Maddie Quigley and Morgan Snow

Maddie Quigley and Morgan Snow



Leave a comment

Filed under Amesbury, Hamilton-Wenham, Ipswich, North Reading, Pentucket, Triton

Triton runs nineteen straight in 36-19 rout of Hamilton-Wenham

Tessa Lafrance (19 points) had her way inside against Hamilton-Wenham

Tessa Lafrance (19 points) had her way inside against Hamilton-Wenham

Cate Blatchford scored the first basket on a full-court drive

Cate Blatchford scored the first basket on a full-court drive

(Byfield MA) Triton scored nineteen straight points during the first half and easily defeated cold-shooting Hamilton-Wenham, 36-19, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

Tessa Lafrance (19 points) paced the Vikings.

Hamilton-Wenham (4-4) started fast with layups by Cate Blatchford and Cecily Szady but after that the home team was the only team making shots for over twelve minutes of playing time.

Kelly Walsh did miss four free throw attempts during the disastrous segment and there were five turnovers but it was the shooting from the floor that killed the Generals.

My research told me that HW was intent on pressuring full-court but in order to do that a team has to make shots and that just didn’t happen on this evening.

Tessa had ten of her points during the nineteen-point run. Other contributors were Erin Savage, Morgan Snow (4 points), and Alexandra Kennedy (3-pointer).

Tessa Lafrance draws a crowd

Tessa Lafrance draws a crowd

The best moments for HW were at the start (quick 4-0 lead) and at the end when they shut down Triton for the final 4 ½ minutes, created six turnovers, and tallied seven points (Lauren Flynn, Kristina Renaud, and Haley Rivers).

The Vikings (5-4), other than in the final 4 ½ minutes, handled HW pressure with good passing. Credit Mel Primpas, Morgan Snow, and Erin Savage for preventing costly backcourt miscues.

6’ Tessa Lafrance was a matchup nightmare for the shorter HW squad. Tessa can take and make from long range, although she had only one from long range versus HW. Closer to the basket, however, Tessa’s height and strength overwhelmed the Generals. And from what I saw in this game, her teammates will find her when she’s in close. Erin Savage collected several assists this way.

Best pass of the game may have been Alexandra Kennedy’s to Tessa for a layup in the last quarter.

Erin Savage (9 points) defended by Liz Kirschner

Erin Savage (9 points) defended by Liz Kirschner

Junior Erin Savage (9 points) was a crowd pleaser early in the 4th quarter when she rebounded a Tessa miss, scored and was fouled.

Both teams return to action on Monday night (6:30PM). Triton is at Amesbury while HW hosts Pentucket.

Hamilton-Wenham was 2-18 last season with one of those wins being in their opener over Triton, 52-50.

Triton was 11-11 last season going out in the D2 North first round to Wakefield.

Triton box

HW box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Dive for the ball!

Dive for the ball!

Alex Kennedy (32) blocks

Alex Kennedy (32) blocks

Lauren Flynn (1) gets an opening

Lauren Flynn (1) gets an opening

Mel Primpas covered by Liz Kirschner

Mel Primpas covered by Liz Kirschner

Tessa Lafrance shoots in the lane

Tessa Lafrance shoots in the lane

Game on!

Game on!

Kelly Walsh heads baseline

Kelly Walsh heads baseline

Jacqueline Fibbe and Morgan Snow

Jacqueline Fibbe and Morgan Snow

Jacqueline Fibbe, Cecily Szady, and Bridget Sheehan

Jacqueline Fibbe, Cecily Szady, and Bridget Sheehan

Tessa Lafrance launches a three

Tessa Lafrance launches a three

Leave a comment

Filed under Hamilton-Wenham, Triton

Hamilton-Wenham recovers to rout Cathedral 64-35 in D4 state semfinals

Marcus Zegarowski (24 points) floats in for two

Marcus Zegarowski (24 points) floats in for two

Nolan Wilson (13 points) scored all his points in the second half

Nolan Wilson (13 points) scored all his points in the second half

(Boston MA) It was as dramatic a change as you’ll ever see come over two basketball teams in a game.

For twelve minutes one team (Cathedral) was quick and made shots while the other team (Hamilton-Wenham) looked a step slow and couldn’t hit anything.  That disparity sent the South champion Panthers (17-8) off to a 12-5 first quarter lead and the team from Boston was still up 18-12 halfway through the second quarter.

After that the dramatic change took place and the undefeated North champion Generals (24-0) put everything together to overwhelm Cathedral, 64-35, and win the Division 4 state semifinals on Monday afternoon at the TD Garden.

The reasons for the change?  One was the HW zone defense.  The Generals had size and Cathedral had limited good looks at the 3’s they generally take.  The Panthers still tried to live long range and had almost no offensive rebounds or layups.  The other reason for the HW turnaround was sophomore point guard Marcus Zegarowski (24 points).  His ability to run an offense became more and more evident as the game went on.  Marcus created for himself and he also set up teammates (6 assists).  The Panthers ran a number of man-to-man defenders at him but his quickness opened up shots from near and far.  Marcus was able to get to the rim for five scores.

Moses Flowers dribbles and Nikos Lara defends

Moses Flowers dribbles and Nikos Lara defends

But in the early going Cathedral looked to be the better team.  Though smaller than HW, they connected twice from long range (Trevor Lynch and Moses Flowers) and forced three Generals’ turnovers in the first quarter.

Two layups by Julian Howell and a converted rebound by Trevor Lynch in the first four minutes of the second quarter started to make believers of some of the upset-hopers in the crowd.

But before that second quarter was over the Generals had rattled off ten unanswered points to hold a 22-18 halftime advantage.

The last minute of that first half (eight HW points) was a foretaste of Hamilton-Wenham’s domination to come.  Marcus Zegarowski started it with a steal and layup. (Cathedral had three turnovers in the final minute.)  Then after a turnover, reserve Nick DiMarino drained a three.  After yet another turnover Max Zegarowski finished the pull-away final minute with three of his own to finish the quarter.

Marcus Zegarowski gets to the rim

Marcus Zegarowski gets to the rim

You thought maybe Cathedral would regroup at halftime.  They were only down four.  You thought wrong.  HW was just getting started.  The Generals added eleven more in a row to start the third quarter before Christopher Alzate hit a three for Cathedral.  That basket cut the Cathedral deficit to 33-21.

Plenty of time for the Panthers to regroup with 1 ½ quarters remaining.  But as I said before, the Generals weren’t finished.  The rest of the quarter was all Hamilton-Wenham.  The Panthers tried to tighten up on the perimeter but HW then had husky 6-4 Nolan Wilson (13 points) getting single coverage in close.  The Generals milked that mismatch for eight points.  Meanwhile Marcus Zegarowski added his ten points to the 26-point HW quarter.  The team from the Central Catholic League had only the 3-pointer to show for the quarter.

When that quarter ended the Generals were in complete command, 48-21.  That quarter was either beautiful or horrific depending on the team you were with but there was definitely no middle ground!

If there had been a Mercy Rule, as in softball, this one would have ended after three quarters but it didn’t.  I was glad for that because both teams had the opportunity to give their entire rosters a chance to play at the Garden.

Jimmy Campbell

Jimmy Campbell

Senior Jimmy Campbell collected thirteen rebounds for the Generals.

Hamilton-Wenham will play for the Division 4 state title on Friday night at WPI at 7:45PM.

Cathedral won the state D4 title in 2006, 2007, and 2009.

HW coach Doug Hoak won a state title coaching the Generals baseball team back in the day.

Hamilton-Wenham is from the Cape Ann League.

Cathedral had twenty-five turnovers while the Generals had only eight.

Hamilton-Wenham box

Cathedral box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Marcus Zegarowski

Marcus Zegarowski

Max Zegarowski

Max Zegarowski

Nick DiMarino clicked twice from long range

Nick DiMarino clicked twice from long range

HW whiteout

HW whiteout

tie up

tie up

Trevor Lynch

Trevor Lynch

prom question

prom question


Leave a comment

Filed under Cathedral, Hamilton-Wenham