Category Archives: Haverhill

Pentucket rallies by Haverhill 15-6

Lana Mickelson (4 goals and six assists)
Alex Bushey had three goals for Haverhill

(West Newbury) The slow start didn’t bother Pentucket.

“We seem to start slow regularly and then get rolling,” explained Pentucket coach Angela Palmer afterwards.

Rolling is what they did.  Down 2-0 to non-league Haverhill, Pentucket responded with eleven straight goals to gain separation.

The final score was 15-6.

A Senior Day celebration followed the Pentucket win.

Senior Lana Mickelson (Iona commit) showed that she can score (four goals) and that she can set up teammates (six assists).

“Pentucket played well together,” said Haverhill coach Erik Perkins post-game.  “There was lots of team ball with cuts.  Our girls had trouble picking up on it.”

Kate Conover (3 goals and 5 assists)

“Lana never seems to run out of energy,” said Coach Palmer.  “She is an excellent passer.  We tell the team that assists are just as many points as goals are.”

Pentucket had thirteen assists on the fifteen goals they scored.

Sophomore Alex Bushey got the Hillies (7-7) off to a great start with two goals in the opening 2 ½ minutes. 

Lana had a hand in the Pentucket response reaching the scoresheet on six of the next seven goals.  Two were her own while on the other four she set up teammates Ella Palmer, Kate Conover, Cat Colvin, and Sydney Trout.

Pentucket (8-4) led 11-3 at the half.

Battle for possession

Kate Conover and Sarah Graninger boosted the Pentucket advantage to 13-3 five minutes into the second half.

Plenty of substituting followed.

Sophia Riley

“The weather could have been a factor in how we played,” said Coach Perkins.  “Pentucket wanted it more today.”

The two teams will meet again in a week at Haverhill.

“We have four games left and a chance to win a conference (Merrimack Valley Conference) championship,” said Coach Perkins.  “We also want to get a tournament bid.  Haverhill is currently ranked #33 in Division 1 in the MIAA Power Rankings. 

Pentucket is ranked #7 in Division 3.

Pentucket has now won four straight games.  They had one-goal losses to both Ipswich and Manchester-Essex before the win-streak. 

Seniors Jocelyn Alcantara, Gabby Cloutier, Charlene Basque, Lana Mickelson

Haverhill’s 2-14 record last year may not seem like much, but it was the most wins they have had since 2016.  That’s why this season with seven wins and counting is very special to the Hillies.

This was the first Pipestave game for me.  Getting to-and-from the field was more exercise than I’ve had in a while!

Pentucket   11   4   =   15

Haverhill       3   3   =     6

Goal scorers:

Pentucket goalie Jocelyn Alcantara

Pentucket – Lana Michelson (4), Kate Conover (3), Cat Colvin (3), Sarah Graninger (2), Audrey Conover (1), Ella Palmer (1), Sydney Trout (1).

Haverhill – Alex Bushey (3), Sophia Riley (1), Cailey Simard (1), Katrina Savvas (1).

Pentucket’s Lana Mickelson had six assists and Kate Conover had five assists.  Ella Palmer and Cat Colvin had one assist each.

Coach Palmer: “We worked hard in practice leading up to this game.  We worked on slides and shooting under pressure.  I think it paid off today.”

Battle for control

Sydney Trout on the run

Battle for position

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Emma Foley (31 points) leads Newburyport past Haverhill 58-35

Junior Emma Foley reached a career-high thirty-one points vs Haverhill
Sydney Turner honored pre-game

(Newburyport MA) The Haverhill Hillies were on the wrong end of Emma Foley’s career game.

“We couldn’t stop her,” said Haverhill coach Melissa Tarpy afterwards.  “She had a ton of points.”

Thirty-one, to be exact.

“It was the best I’ve done,” said Emma post-game.

Emma’s big night was the key in Newburyport’s 58-35 win over Haverhill on Monday night.

Haley Phillips (24) had fifteen points

“I definitely couldn’t have scored all those points without some great looks from Sydney (Turner), Makenna (Ward), and Deirdre (McElhinney),” said Emma.  “They did a really good job of finding me tonight.”

The Hillies (3-14) used a man-to-man defense in the first half.  The Clippers (15-2) countered by spreading out and putting Emma close to the basket.  With single coverage and space to operate, Emma went to work.

The two teams played a week ago and Newburyport only won by eight points (54-46).

Haverhill defense tightened in the second half

“I didn’t put the ball in the hoop very well,” said Emma of the sixteen points she had at Haverhill.

No such problem tonight.

The Clippers were up, 19-8, after a quarter and Emma already had eighteen points!  The variety of scoring maneuvers was impressive.  There were assisted baskets in close, mixed in with a rebound basket as well as one on a full-court drive.

A three-pointer by Haley Phillips (15 points) had the Hillies within two points (8-6).  Emma answered with nine straight points and Deirdre McElhinney (11 points) added a free throw.  Suddenly the NHS lead was twelve points (18-6).

Deirdre McElhinney (11 points)

In the second quarter, a three by Sydney Spencer set the score at 21-11 a minute into that quarter.

The game got away from Haverhill in the next four minutes.

The Clippers scored fifteen unanswered points to lead, 36-11, and took the mystery out of the outcome.

“We kept making mistakes,” said Coach Tarpy.

Lesha Burgos

Deirdre and Emma each had six points during the consecutive run of great offense and defense.

The Hillies played much better in the second half.  They switched to a zone defense and the easy passes to Emma Foley near the basket disappeared.  And when Emma did get the ball, she had to deal with multiple defenders. 

Emma still was able to add seven points to her 24-point first half and end up with a career-best thirty-one points.  The score difference kept Emma on the bench for some of the fourth quarter or she might have added to her total.

Sydney Turner breaks away

The biggest cheer of the night?  It wasn’t for Emma.  It was for Sydney Turner after she stole a pass and turned it into her first points of the night. 

It was Senior Day and Sydney is Newburyport’s only senior.  Sydney had a nice group of friends/family with “Syd” shirts on in attendance.

“I’m so proud of Sydney,” said Clippers coach Karen Grutchfield afterwards.  “We always put her on the other team’s best offensive player.”

Sydney Turner guards Kya Burdier

Emma had nine rebounds and her sister (Olivia) had five rebounds.  Makenna Ward had five steals.

I asked Emma about the 63-45 loss to Pentucket last Thursday: “We had breakdowns all over the court.  We struggled to score in the second half, and they were getting layup after layup.  When we do a good job of stopping the drives, we play well. It didn’t help that Makenna and I had four fouls.  It was tough to play defense with those fouls.  Hopefully, we’ll see them again.”

Newburyport   19   17   11   11   =   58

Haverhill             8     7    12     8   =   35

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Olivia McDonald double-teamed
Anna Seidel guarded by Kya Burdier
Yaribel Pena
Ball on the floor
Janisa Price
Sydney Spencer guarded by Olivia McDonald
Makenna Ward guards Janisa Price
Kya Burdier and Emma Foley
Newburyport box
Haverhill box

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Pentucket defeats Haverhill 60-29

Abby Dube (18 points)
Lana Mickelson (10 points)

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket (10-3) started slowly but Haverhill started very slowly. 

And it cost them.

“We’ve been playing catch-up most of the games we’ve been in,” explained Haverhill coach Melissa Tarpy afterwards.

The Hillies (2-10) fell to the Sachems, 60-29, on Monday evening in non-league action.

“Both teams started a little slow because neither team could practice during the last two days,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara post-game.

Abby Dube in the lane

“Then we started to hit shots and they didn’t,” added Coach McNamara.

Junior Abby Dube led all scorers with eighteen points.

Eight of Abby’s points came in Pentucket’s breakaway first quarter.

Abby had a couple of three’s, both set up by Audrey Conover, and two free throws leading the Sachems to a 12-0 start.

A free throw by senior Yaribel Pena finally put the Hillies on the board with less than a minute remaining.

Pentucket led 13-1 after a quarter and 25-9 at the half.  The Hillies were outscored, 35-20, in the second half.

Pentucket pressure

The Sachems pressure defense, whether man-to-man or trapping, gave the visitors trouble most of the night. 

“We just want to play basic basketball,” said Coach Tarpy.  “Tonight, we didn’t do the little things that needed to happen.”

“Pentucket is a great team with a great program,” she added.  “They’re fundamentally sound and play smart basketball.  They know where their teammates are, and they trust each other.”

Passing was a team-wide strength for Pentucket tonight.  Everyone was in on it.  Plenty of nice setups for high percentage shots.

Kya Burdier (10 points)

There were backdoor cuts that worked and drives with kickouts that led to wide-open looks.

Nine players scored for Pentucket.  Lana Mickelson (10 points) was the other Sachem in double figures.

Senior Kya Burdier (10 points) led the Hillies in scoring.  Sophomore Sydney Spencer finished with nine points.

Kya is committed to Nichols College next year where she will play volleyball and basketball for the Bison.

Kya Burdier guards Gabby Bellacqua

Pentucket has won eight of their last nine games.  “We started the season a bit shaky but now we’ve come together as a team,” said Abby Dube afterwards.

The Hillies have now lost ten straight games.  Their last win was on December 21st against Lawrence.

“We’ve probably only had our whole team together twice this season because of Covid and other illnesses,” said Coach Tarpy.  “But excuses aside, we have to come out and play basic basketball.”

Yaribel Pena

“We did okay on offense tonight,” said Coach McNamara, “but we’ve got to get better.  We’ve got some tough games coming up.”

One of the games ahead on Pentucket’s schedule is versus Newburyport at Newburyport on February 10th.  The undefeated Clippers won the first meeting by ten points but that was a while ago.  The rematch is on my calendar!

The talk after the game tonight included confirmation from AD Dan Thornton that the new school will open in the fall.  Dan also said that the gymnasium floor is in place.  There was also talk about possibly auctioning off pieces of the floor of the gymnasium currently being used.

Haverhill is in the Merrimack Valley Conference while Pentucket is in the Cape Ann League.

Abby said that she played AAU basketball with Kya Burdier.

Pentucket  13   12   18   17   =   60

Haverhill      1     8    13     7   =   29

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Finding the ball
Scramble for the ball
Trapped in the corner
Janisa Price
Haley Phillips looks to pass
Emma Lopata on a drive
Bethany Cloutier shoots a three
Alyssa Thompson
Lana Mickelson looks to pass
Audrey Conover
Pentucket box
Haverhill box

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Newburyport’s fast start enough to defeat Haverhill 47-35

Lindsay Joulbert faces tight defense by Jackie Doucette.

Makenna Ward (14) moves quickly after a Haverhill turnover

(Newburyport MA) Newburyport had the defensive heat on high from the get-go and gained permanent separation early against Haverhill.

The Monday night non-league game was an unsavory 47-35 loss for the Hillies.

“That was not Haverhill basketball you saw out there,” explained a disappointed HHS coach Melissa Tarpy afterwards.  “We didn’t play basic basketball.”

It certainly didn’t help the Hillies (3-6) that Merrimack Valley League All-Star McKayla Dingle was not in uniform.

“We were missing a player but that is no excuse,” added Coach Tarpy.  “Teams step up in those situations and we didn’t.”

The Clippers (6-2) turned full-court man-to-man defense into ten Haverhill turnovers and a nineteen-point first quarter. Haverhill never recovered from the 19-7 deficit.

Sami Cavanaugh covers Kya Burdier (9 points)

“We got turnovers and layups,” said Sami Cavanaugh afterwards.

Sometimes turnovers merely change possession.  The Clippers had the kind that led to points.

“If our defense is strong, everything else is dictated by that,” said Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield.

“We’ll never win a game with that many turnovers,” added Coach Tarpy.

The home team started the second quarter with two more hoops (Abby Gillingham layup from Sadie Vandenberg, Deirdre McElhinney steal and layin).  The Clippers’ advantage became, 23-7, and had me wondering why I thought this might be a competitive game!

The rest of the way, however, was competitive.  Haverhill outscored Newburyport 28-24 in the remaining twenty-three minutes of action, but the closest the Hillies would get to the lead was, 35-28, in the first minute of the final quarter.

Newburyport immediately answered by getting baskets when, first Makenna Ward, and then Ann Affolter, got the ball in to 6-3 Abby Gillingham on the block.  Abby was able to turn and get consecutive layups against out-sized opponents.

Makenna Ward sends a bounce pass to Abby Gillingham

Abby gets good positioning to receive a pass in close

Abby (14 points) gets a layup

“We have tall forwards,” said Sami.  “It was important to get the ball in to them because Haverhill couldn’t match up with them.”

Kya Burdier set to block Sami Cavanaugh’s shot

Sami added two free throws to run the Clippers consecutive-point total to six and boosted their margin to thirteen (41-28).  The NHS defense kept Haverhill from getting inside of double figures over the final five minutes.

The Clippers had one turnover in the breakaway first quarter but fifteen more (by my count) after that.  “We turned the ball over a lot,” said Coach Grutchfield, “and that helped them get back into the game.”

Against North Reading, last Wednesday, the Clippers struggled to get the ball inside without losing possession.  Much better job tonight.

Neither team did themselves any favors at the free throw line; Newburyport (8/18) & Haverhill (9/26).

Senior Leandra Kwo led HHS with thirteen points.  Sophomore Kya Burdier added nine points.

Deirdre McElhinney (9 points) looks to pass

Abby Gillingham (14 points) led all scorers.  A jumper from the corner was part of her collection of points.  Freshman Deirdre McElhinney added nine points including a triple.

Coach Grutchfield: “We have good depth.  We did a good job of getting the ball inside to Abby.  It was good to see Makenna (Ward) looking for her shot tonight.”

Coach Tarpy: “It was probably one of the worst games we’ve played defensively.  We’ve got more than half the season left.  We will also face Newburyport again.”

Haverhill is a D1 team from the Merrimack Valley Conference.  The Hillies had their best season in sixteen years last year when they were 16-6 and won a tournament game.  Haverhill was 17-62 in the four seasons before last year.

Kya Burdier was All-MVC last season.  Leandra Kwo was an Lawrence Eagle-Tribune All-Star in the same season.

Newburyport box

Haverhill box

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

Abby Gillingham sets a screen for Sami Cavanaugh

Anna Affolter

Christina Firek

Deirdre McElhinney drives right

Opening tip

Sami Cavanaugh

Sami Cavanaugh gets by Haley Phillips

Carli Quinlan

fight for possession

Jackie Doucette

Kya Burdier in for two

On the floor

 

 

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Bryana Michitson records 500th strikeout in 13-4 Haverhill win over Newburyport

Ashley Moore stole two bases, hit a home run, and make a nice catch in rightfield

Bryana Michitson and catcher Andrea Albano celebrate the last out

(Newburyport MA) Senior Bryana Michitson recorded her 500th strikeout as Haverhill defeated Newburyport, 13-4, on a sunny morning/afternoon at Pepe Field on Monday.

Bryana (Assumption commit) also had a home run in the Hillies 5th inning.  She limited the Clippers to three singles.

Newburyport (0-4) fell behind by three runs early but were able to keep the deficit there until a 12-batter, 7-run Haverhill 6th inning settled this one.

The Hillies (2-2) had a tough loss to Merrimack Valley Conference rival Central Catholic on Saturday, after the visiting Raiders rallied for nine runs in the last two innings to win, 14-12.

No rallies in today’s game.  Bryana saw to that striking out thirteen including two in every inning except the sixth.

That sixth inning looked promising for the Clippers.  After a dropped fly ball (Lindsay Joubert CF) and a single (Meghan Winn), there was a single by Jade Carpenter.  Bases loaded?  Not today.  Meghan overran second and Kerri McLaughlin’s throw to SS Molly McGonagle produced an out at second.  Newburyport ended up getting just one run out of an inning that could have started with the bases loaded and no outs.

Sophomore Ashley Moore paced Haverhill with three hits (including a home run in the 7-run sixth inning), and three RBI.  Ashley also stole two bases and made a nice running catch in the Newburyport 5th.

Meghan Winn tries to avoid the tag of Molly McGonagle

Sophomore Jadynne Hill scored three runs and drove in two runs for the Hillies.

Newburyport’s most productive inning was the third.  Catcher’s interference and a Haverhill infield error turned into a run with an infield hit by Anne Siemasko.  Later in that same inning Meghan Winn walked and the ball eluded Haverhill catcher Andrea Albano.  Paige Gouldthorpe alertly came home and teammate Anne Siemasko followed when Andrea’s throw got past pitcher Bryana Michitson.

Haverhill collected four hits in a row (Lindsay Joubert, Andrea Albano, Jadynne Hill, Bryana Mitchitson) before Ashley Moore’s homer in the decisive sixth inning.

Today’s win was Bryana’s 34th.  Quite a career and still counting.  There have been four no-hitters so far and a perfect game.  Most strikeouts in a game?  Last year she had nineteen versus North Andover.

Coach Kara Milillo (3rd year) has also been a big story at Haverhill.  She has definitely turned a team that was 29-67 around making the post-season last year for the first time in six years.

Newburyport pitcher Paige Gouldthorpe chases a ball that deflected off her in the first inning

It has been a struggle for Newburyport.  They have lost 12 of their last 13 games going back into last season.  Playing two MVC teams (North Andover, Haverhill) back-to-back is a tough way to turn things around.  Ahead is the Cape Ann League schedule and I would expect the Clippers to start putting W’s together.

Weather was remarkable for April.

This game actually started ten minutes early.  Glad I decided to be ½ hour early!

Haverhill – 3-0-2-0-1-7-0 = 13

Newburyport – 0-0-3-0-0-1-0 = 4

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

(Retweeting this story is the best way I know of to get this story to those who would enjoy it.)

Bryana Michitson – 505 strikeouts and 34 wins

Loose ball near second base

Baserunners Andrea Albano and Jadynne Hill on the move in the first inning

Anne Siemasko had a hit, an RBI, and scored a run

CF Anne Siemasko on the run for a fly ball

Bryana Michitson circles the bases

Ashley Moore slides home safely

Molly McGonagle scored a run and drove in two runs

Jadynne Hill beats throw home

Ashley Moore makes a nice catch

Mikayla Sargent steals 2B

Ashley Moore rounds 3B after homer

Ball goes off the glove of CF Lindsay Joubert

Jessica Meehan

 

 

 

 

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Poor Defense Dooms Haverhill 10-2 Against Newburyport

Cassie Davis reaches third as NHS Coach Peter Murray watches.

Lea Tomasz scores in the first on Rachel Webster’s rbi single.

(Newburyport) Newburyport defeated Haverhill, 10-2, on Thursday afternoon at Perkins Field in a non-league softball game.

The Clippers (11-3) have won eight of their last nine games and the contrast between them and visiting Haverhill (1-15) took a while to become evident.

I went anticipating a blowout and even tried, before the game, to get up to speed on softball’s mercy rule.  But this wasn’t one of those kinds of games, in fact the Hillies led 2-1 into the bottom of the 4th.

Newburyport got it’s run in the first on a double to right center by Lea Tomasz and 2-out bloop single to center by Rachel Webster.

Haverhill took the lead in a wild third inning after going runner-less in the first two innings.  They loaded the bases with one out on a Ellie MacArthur single to right, a hit batsman (Liz Murphy) and late throw to 3b by pitcher Molly Rowe on Kayla Pellot’s bunt.  Second baseman Taylor Summit took in Kallie Suplinskas’s liner and nearly picked Ellie MacArthur off of third for what would have been the last out.  Then Taylor dropped Casey Birch’s infield popup to let in the Hillies first run and Theresa Ross singled up the middle to bring home Liz Murphy.  However, Kayla Pellot also tried to score and was thrown out at the plate for the final out of the inning.

Haverhill’s Kallie Suplinskas was victimized by poor defense.

In the bottom of the fourth it was Haverhill’s chance to get “generous.”  It was a harmless start with two unassisted putouts by first baseman Haley DeRoche.  However, a couple of walks and Liz Murphy’s drop of a third-out infield popup and Newburyport’s Shannon Brunault crossed home with a run.  Ashley Casellini’s infield single drove Taylor Summit home with another run.

Newburyport led 3-2 going into the bottom of the 5th.  This was when Haverhill showed why it has lost twelve straight.  Lack of defense.  Three of the first four Clippers reached on errors.  Two routine fly balls to center were dropped and later an infield popup was dropped at first.  These miscues gave the Clippers two undeserved runs.  Shannon Brunault singled another run in and later a fielder’s choice by Taylor Summit brought home a fourth run.  All four runs were seriously unearned and put the Hillies down, 7-3.

The Clippers added three more in the sixth.

Except for the glitch on the infield popup in the third inning, the Newburyport defense was excellent especially against bunts.  The Hillies bunted often but had little to show for it because of solid infield defense by the Clippers.  Bobbles are infrequent and throws are usually strong and accurate.

Haverhill bunted often but the Newburyport infield defense reacted well.

Bad weather.  You just can’t get enough of it this season.  Cloudy and drizzly with a chance of serious rain at any moment.  Ink on paper never holds up well under those conditions.  My camera manual takes a dim view of dampness.  Point?  I lead the way to the exits when rain seems likely!

A game to look forward to is next Wednesday (May 25th) at Amesbury with Newburyport.  Amesbury is cruising along undefeated but in an earlier meeting (at Newburyport) the Indians barely won (10-9).  The Clippers had runners on 2nd and 3rd in the last inning with one out and couldn’t get either run in.  The game should be worth seeing.

(I collect my own information and take my own pictures.  Mistakes happen.)

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