The Triton sophomore had everything going today and led the Vikings to a, 13-1, win over Lynnfield in Cape Ann League action.
Mallory gave the Pioneers (0-2) trouble whether she was pitching or hitting.
She pitched five innings (mercy rule) and gave up just one hit (Sophia Brown) and struck out seven batters.
“It was the best I’ve seen her pitch in the two years that I’ve been here,” said Vikings coach Alan Noyes afterwards.
“She’s now able to throw the ball by kids on the inside rather than nibbling away on the outside,” he added.
Mallory the hitter was equally impressive. She had a hit in each of her four at-bats including a solo homer in the third inning. She also scored three times.
Even Mallory, herself, had to admit (reluctantly) afterwards that she “thought she had a good game.” The stats were screaming that she had done just that!
“Triton is a strong team,” said Lynnfield coach Peter Marinelli post-game. “His infield is very good, and he has some real good hitters.”
Triton (2-1) scored in every inning and had contributions from every batter in their lineup.
Sophomore Kyla Story had a two-run homer during the bat-around fifth inning.
Reghan Haley had two hits and scored twice. Teammate Izzy Oldini drove in a pair of runs.
“We’re getting better every day,” said Coach Noyes.
It was a tough afternoon for Lynnfield.
“It was a very long day,” said Coach Marinelli. “We’re missing kids and we have people playing out of position. We’re inexperienced and some of the players are still learning what to do before the ball is hit to them.”
Several times this afternoon, Pioneers’ fielders would have the ball and hesitate, and Triton would take extra bases.
The Vikings were missing Haleigh Harris (concussion protocol) but Skylar Colburn filled in nicely behind the plate.
“Skylar was good back there,” said Mallory. “I threw mostly fastballs. I felt strong today, much better than usual.”
Sophia Brown pitched for Lynnfield and also had the Pioneers hit.
Sophia’s solid shot up the middle led off the Lynnfield fifth inning. Catie Kampersal ran for Sophia and scored the Pioneers run.
Triton 2 1 3 2 5 = 13
Lynnfield 0 0 0 0 1 = 1
Nice weather for April 11th. Temperatures were close to sixty with plenty of sun.
(Byfield MA) “It was a great game, back and forth,” said Lynnfield coach Sue Breen afterwards.
A tie after the first quarter was followed by both teams having a lead in the second quarter. Triton had a tenuous one-point lead going into the final quarter.
In the final quarter, however, the Vikings (5-3) early on combined an effective zone defense with some unanswered offense to take a seven-point lead. Triton never trailed thereafter and secured a, 52-45, win over (1-4) Lynnfield on Sunday afternoon.
The win was special for Triton. “It was Senior Day, and you always like to get a W on that day,” said Vikings coach Bryon Shields post-game.
Sophomore Kendall Liebert had another big game for the Vikings with twenty-two points. Seven of Kendall’s points were in the final quarter when this game was decided.
When Kendall wasn’t making layups, she was getting contact on the way in. Kendall was an excellent 10-for-12 from the line.
Junior Bella George paced the Pioneers with thirteen points.
“Bella George is awesome,” said Coach Breen. “Really steady.”
Bella helped the visitors get to a, 22-15, advantage four minutes into the second quarter.
Triton had answers. Three’s from seniors Molly Kimball and Maeve Heffernan, as well as a layup by Maeve set up by Isabelle Basile put the home team in front, 25-24.
The Vikings had a 30-26 lead at halftime and a one-point lead (35-34) at the end of three periods.
This one had “tight finish” written all over it.
But something changed. Triton switched to a zone defense.
“We went into it (zone defense) coming out of the third quarter,” recalled Coach Shields. “They had trouble making shots against it and so we stayed with it.”
For two minutes the Vikings shut out the Pioneers. “Our zone defense is one of our strongest defenses,” said Maeve Heffernan afterwards.
A three by Molly Kimball (six points) and a successful drive by Kendall Liebert put consecutive points together and Triton was ahead, 41-34, with six minutes to go.
There was plenty of time left for Lynnfield to get back into it and they started to score consistently as Bella George heated up again. But on this afternoon, Triton responded with their own points. One time it was a Brianna Welch rebound basket. Another time it was a Lia Hatheway three. Kendall added two assisted layups. The Vikings came away with a 52-45 win.
“We had trouble when they went zone,” said Coach Breen. “You have to put the ball in the basket. It’s an easy game when you can do that.”
Coach Shields: “It was a dog fight. The difference was our intensity on the defensive end late in the game and our rebounding.”
Maeve Heffernan: “It was a hard-fought game. We’re not a team that gives up. We kept working hard.”
Coach Breen: “We competed the whole game. I think that it was the best game we’ve played so far.”
The 12:30PM start made for some interesting lighting.
Coach Breen coached Lynnfield from 1994-99 before switching to North Andover from 2000-2013.
The Pioneers broke a three-game losing streak with a win over Collegiate Charter School (Lowell) on January 4th.
The Vikings were 2-8 last season ending with eight straight losses. One of those losses was to Lynnfield, 54-20.
The two teams will meet again at Lynnfield on January 21st.
(Lynnfield MA) “Exciting,” won’t do this match justice.
It was more than that…..and there was no letup in the exhilaration on both sides.
Ipswich (15-1) had two crunch-time rallies and defeated Lynnfield, 3-2, on Tuesday night.
The scores were; 25-21, 17-25, 25-23, 18-25, and 15-17.
Even the fifth game was tight and tense!
The Pioneers (15-3) had been swept 3-0 by the Tigers at Ipswich on September 29th.
But that was then. Lynnfield came into this game having won eight of nine and they were playing at home where they were 7-0.
The teams were tied at the top of the CAL Kinney Division with identical 11-1 records.
The Pioneers had won last year’s abbreviated Cape Ann League season and have a volleyball banner on the gymnasium wall indicating other CAL championships.
Both schools had fans in the house, and it was loud. It was so loud that at times you couldn’t even hear the loud music.
Both teams had big hitters and there were tons of hard-hit finishes.
Lynnfield’s junior Ella Gizmunt had a night of well setup power hits. The six-footer knows how to finish.
“We tried to avoid her,” said Ipswich coach Staci Sonke afterwards. “She’s their best player. She’s going to go somewhere and play D1. Our goal was to get the ball away from her as much as possible and make the rest of her team work for it.”
In Game One, Ipswich broke away from a 10-10 tie and led the rest of the way winning, 25-21.
I thought then of the early-season Ipswich sweep and thought maybe things were heading in that direction.
Wrong on that one. Lynnfield broke away from an 8-8 tie in Game Two and didn’t look back winning, 25-17.
Game Three held the first of the two crucial late-game Ipswich rallies. The Tigers were tied 1-1 and advanced to a seemingly comfortable, 22-17, advantage. But Lynnfield wouldn’t go away. They ran seven straight points with the Lynnfield side getting more and more involved as the Ipswich lead disappeared. Now down 23-22, the Tigers’ Ella Stein had a hard hit and a strong serve to restore the Ipswich lead, 24-23. A Claire O’Flynn spike finished the game in the Tigers favor.
Tired and demoralized? Ready to give up? Didn’t notice any of that from Lynnfield in Game Four. Led by Ella Gizmunt, the Pioneers left a 5-5 tie and went on to win, 25-18. Ella was everywhere on this one with serves, digs, and spikes. She also showed spike several times and then tapped to an open space.
The deciding 15-point Game Five had several early ties before Lynnfield moved ahead 13-9, riding the play of Ella Gizmunt.
The Tigers looked to be in serious trouble but somehow were able to turn the momentum their way and even things at, 13-13.
Lynnfield had match point at 14-13 and couldn’t get it done.
Ipswich had match point at 15-14 and also couldn’t get it done.
(Hopefully, you’re getting a sense of how remarkable this match was!)
With the score tied at, 15-15, Ipswich put two straight points together for the victory. Meghan Wallace had an important hit in the first Tigers’ point and Grace Sorensen served the match winner.
“It came down to who had the ball at the right time,” said Lynnfield coach Brent Ashley afterwards, “and who had experience in the big moment before.”
“It was such a competitive match,” said Ipswich senior Claire O’Flynn. “Either team could have won. Lynnfield played so hard.”
The victory gives Ipswich at least a share of the Kinney Division title in the Cape Ann League. A win on Wednesday night (Triton) gives Ipswich the title outright.
Lynnfield setter Sarah Foley had plenty to do with many of Ella Gizmunt’s best hits.
“I don’t think we could have done any better, honestly,” said Sarah afterwards. “We played our hearts out. We put everything out there tonight. Ella (Gizmunt) had a great game.”
“It was an intense match,” said Ipswich sophomore Tess O’Flynn. “Serving at the end was a bit scary.”
“What a battle this was,” added Coach Sonke. “It was between two really great teams. Ella (Gizmunt) was unreal.”
“It came down to who made fewer mistakes in the end,” Coach Sonke said. “and who could make the last serve and who could get the ball on the court.”
“Good for Ipswich,” said Coach Ashley. “They’re only 5-6 years old and they get to put a number on their banner if they win on Wednesday.”
The big change in the post-season is that there no longer are divisions. There are now power rankings which will determine the seedings.
What does that mean for Ipswich and Lynnfield? Both teams are in Division 4. Ipswich is ranked #1 and Lynnfield #2.
The chance of the two teams meeting in the North Division title match, as under the previous post-season setup, has been replaced by the enticing possibility of the two teams meeting in the state finals. Now wouldn’t that be something!
“I’m ready to see them in the state finals,” said Sarah Foley.
Who wouldn’t want to see that rematch?
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(Newburyport MA) Lynnfield seldom loses to Cape Ann League opponents.
And Newburyport had too many unforced errors tonight to change that.
The Pioneers (14-2) took the match, 3-0, winning 25-23, 25-18, and 25-15.
Sydney Yim (now at Purdue) was a dominating player for Newburyport for several years.
Lynnfield now has a similar player in junior Ella Gizmunt.
“I must have done something right to get Ella on my roster,” said Lynnfield coach Brent Ashley with a smile afterwards.
The six-foot Ella finished with nineteen kills, ten digs, and three aces.
“We had trouble defending her in our back row and when she was hitting from their back row,” said Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo.
“You have to have blockers against a player like her,” added Coach Solazzo.
But the Clippers (6-10) didn’t do much blocking and the result was an evening with frequent hard-to-handle volleys coming their way.
Newburyport squandered a lead late in the first game and didn’t recover in the last two games.
“We came in strong and then we lost our stamina,” said Coach Solazzo. “I don’t have an explanation for it. Lynnfield came back around, and we couldn’t fight them off.”
The Clippers had a 19-14 lead in the first game and forced Coach Ashley to call a timeout. The Pioneers rallied to tie things at 20-20. It was still anyone’s game at 23-23. On the crucial next point, the visitors recovered after hitting the ball into the Newburyport ceiling. The final point was on a serve that the Clippers couldn’t keep in play.
“We knew that Newburyport would make adjustments after their loss to us earlier in the season,” said Coach Ashley. “Lori (Solazzo) has done so many new things with their offense and defense. It took us a while to adjust and figure out what they were doing.”
The slow start tonight didn’t surprise Ella Gizmunt. “Sometimes we start out slow,” she said. “That’s been our weakness this season. The second and third game we were ready to play. We were excited and got some momentum going.”
The home team went down 10-3 in the second game and 13-4 in the third game. Credit the Clippers for fighting back in each game but the unforced errors prevented any kind of threatening run.
“We’ve been battling the unforced errors all season,” said Coach Solazzo. “We talk about it all the time. It’s hard to pull ahead when you have so many of them.”
There were some bright spots for Newburyport. Sophia Messina had seven kills and Ava Hartley had six kills. Lauren Kolman recorded four aces.
I thought that Sarah Foley (Lynnfield) and Emma Foley (Newburyport) each did a nice job of setting up teammates.
Coach Ashley mentioned that big numbers were turned in by junior Giuliana Guarracino: sixteen digs, seven aces, and four kills.
I asked Ella Gizmunt about her volleyball plans after Lynnfield: “I don’t have any definite college plans yet but I’m certainly looking to keep playing. I’m talking to a few schools but no names to mention yet.” Based on what I saw in tonight’s limited sample, I could see her holding her own at the D1 level.
Coach Ashley: “Ella is a fantastic player. She knows the game so well. We knew that she was coming into our program when she was in seventh grade.”
Big game ahead for the Pioneers. On Monday night (October 25th), they will be hosting Ipswich. The Tigers have only one loss. They, in fact, shut out Lynnfield in their first meeting.
Of note is the fact that in the current MIAA power rankings for Volleyball Division 4, Ipswich is first and Lynnfield is second. Hamilton-Wenham is fourth.
“It will be a great match,” said Coach Solazzo.
“The game with Ipswich is really important,” said Ella. “We want to get our redemption.”
Coach Solazzo: “We improved from the last time we played Lynnfield. That was our first and foremost goal today.”
I did some checking on Lynnfield volleyball. Mascores has their VB stats starting in 2012. Between 2012 and now, they have been 178-37. They have been to the state finals or semi-finals six times.
The Pioneers have now won seven of their last eight games.
Newburyport has gone 2-8 since they had a four-game winning streak earlier in the season.
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(Amesbury MA) Lynnfield gave Amesbury (6-3) too many chances and it finally caught up to them in the last inning.
The Pioneers had issued seven walks and had hit two batters through six innings. However, they had a 5-3 lead.
That lead vanished after the Indians got two more walks in their half of the seventh. Senior Tiernan Bentley drove both walkers (Tim Gilleo & Trevor Kimball) in to tie the score.
“I haven’t been hitting all that well this season,” said Tiernan afterwards. “It felt good to get one.”
Two hit-batsmen followed (Luke Arsenault & Jake Harring) loading the bases with one out and Shea Cucinotta the batter. Shea had a hit the previous inning.
With a chance to seal the outcome, Shea delivered a shot to the outfield that scored pinchrunner Donovan Landry and the celebrating began for Amesbury’s 6-5 walk-off win.
“I’m not going to lie,” explained Shea, “I was a little nervous coming up in that situation. My heart was beating out of my chest! I knew that I just had to put the ball out there somewhere to score the run. It felt great.”
“Give Amesbury credit,” said Lynnfield coach John O’Brien post-game. “They hung in there and got the big hit when they needed it.”
“We just can’t walk people and hit people,” added Coach O’Brien. “You need to throw strikes and let the guys make the plays.”
Despite the loss, Lynnfield senior Evan Balian had an impressive afternoon. He came to bat in the seventh inning with a chance to hit for the cycle.
Evan hit a homer (3rd inning) over the rightfield fence and a triple (fifth inning) over the rightfielder’s head. He had a single in the first inning. Evan had three RBI.
A key moment in this game was the Lynnfield seventh. The Pioneers (3-6) had the two-run lead but Amesbury reliever Tiernan Bentley was able to retire the side in order. Tiernan got the dangerous Evan to ground out to first to end that inning.
“Coach (Brierley) told me to go out there and throw strikes and that’s exactly what I did,” said Tiernan.
Lynnfield got two runs in the top of the first. An RBI by Evan Balian and a wild throw to third on a steal attempt accounted for the LHS runs.
The Indians managed to get both those runs back thanks to six walks and a hit batsman in the first two innings. They did strand six runners.
“We gave them runs early and we left the bases loaded in the first two innings,” said Coach Joel Brierley. “We have to do better.”
The Pioneers got out of that second inning on an unusual play. Tim Gilleo’s popup into short left attracted both 3B Trent Balian and SS Nick Razzaboni. The fielders collided but Nick was able to stick out his hand and make a diving catch to save multiple runs from scoring.
Tim Pivero started the third inning in relief of starter Blake Peters. A nice throw (LF Aidan Burke) and tag (catcher Evan Balian) nailed Trevor Kimball at the plate for the final out of that inning.
Lynnfield built their lead to 5-2 in the sixth. A wild pitch (Drew Scialdone) allowed Luke Martinho to score. RF Luke Arsenault tossed out Nick Razzaboni at the plate trying to score on Jack Bird’s single, to record the final out of the inning.
Amesbury got that run back with a Luke Arsenault triple and a sacrifice fly by Jake Harring in their half of the sixth inning.
Amesbury then took advantage of the walks and HPB’s in the 7th and rallied to earn a walk-off win.
The Indians collected all their six hits in the final four innings.
“Once we get to see a pitcher for a second or third time, that’s when we score our runs,” explained Coach Brierley. “Even when we’re down, I know we’ll find ways to score.”
“We wanted the top of our order (Jake Harring, Shea Cucinotta, Jeremy Lopez) to get up in that final inning,” said Coach Brierley. “The walks and hit-batsmen enabled it to happen.”
Winning pitcher Tiernan Bentley is a senior. “I plan to go to UConn in the fall and play rugby.”
Lynnfield starter Blake Peters collected two hits. “Blake has pitched three or four really nice games,” said Coach O’Brien. “It wasn’t his day today.”
Trevor Kimball started for Amesbury.
Weather was good with low 80’s and a breeze.
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Coach Mark Rowe said afterwards that he was happy with the 5-0 start but wasn’t thrilled with the way his team played today.
“I think that we were a little flat,” he said. “Maybe it was because it was the first really warm day we’ve played in.”
There were popups and weak grounders by a team that has been making solid connections regularly.
“The majority of our at bats were disappointing,” Coach Rowe added.
But steady pitching by sophomore Owen Tahnk kept Newburyport in the game despite only three hits.
Senior Trent Balian pitched very effectively for the Pioneers.
Good teams find ways to win.
“We took advantage of our opportunities,” said Coach Rowe.
THE opportunity was the fifth inning. A one-out single by senior Michael Habib was followed by two walks (Jack Fehlner & Tony Lucci).
Luke Stallard’s long fly to center delivered Michael while Jake Buontempo’s sharp single to center brought Jack home.
Those two runs held up.
Lynnfield (1-4) had chances.
The Pioneers collected five hits and had runners in scoring position in the first four innings as well as the sixth inning.
“We couldn’t get him in,” said Lynnfield coach John O’Brien post-game, “that was the story of the game.”
“Newburyport took advantage of a couple of walks that hurt us,” said Coach O’Brien referencing Newburyport’s two-run fifth inning. “They got the timely hit.”
Evan Balian paced Lynnfield with two hits.
Spencer Riley hit a part of the leftfield fence in the fourth inning in a section of fencing that doesn’t exist in most of the rest of the field. Could have gone out if it wasn’t pulled so much. He had to settle for a double.
Newburyport pitcher Owen Tahnk remembered it: “That double off the fence was a scare.”
Owen limited Lynnfield to five hits and yielded only two walks.
“His limiting the walks was important,” said Coach Rowe.
Owen had six strikeouts getting two each in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th innings. In each of those innings the Pioneers had runners in scoring position.
“My slider and curve were working well today,” said Owen. “I got grounders and fly balls on off-speed pitches.”
Coach O’Brien: “We’re back to ground zero after getting a nice win the other day.”
Ryan Archer: “Our goal every day is to go 1-0. We have two games coming up and that’s what we’re focusing on.”
I didn’t hear the news, but I saw the news. The players weren’t wearing masks! Is this where I say, “It’s about time!” and give away my politics?
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McKenna Hallinan and Bella George go to the floor for a loose ball
Avery Hallinan (18 points) drives past Riley Hallahan
(Amesbury MA) There were six ties and six lead changes.
But it was Amesbury that took the last lead change.
The Indians were able to put together a good collection of offense/defense in the closing quarter and defeated Lynnfield, 47-43, on Friday night.
The winless Pioneers didn’t score a point in the final 6 ½ minutes.
This was only the second game for the Indians (1-1).
Three days ago, Amesbury faced Newburyport after just three days of practice. The result (46-18) wasn’t pretty.
Alyssa Pettet defends Grace Klonsky (11 points)
“It certainly felt better tonight than last game,” said Avery Hallinan (18 points) about the team’s first win. “We were more settled and definitely ready for this one.”
Lynnfield (0-5) which had also lost badly (61-29) to Newburyport, were in this game until the end.
“I saw them on film,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas. “They were much improved today.”
An issue for the Pioneers was depth. Injuries had limited them to only seven players in uniform.
The short bench caught up to Lynnfield in the last quarter.
Abby Adamo to the basket
Up until then, the Pioneers made shots and disrupted Amesbury with double-teams and pressure.
“We were better today,” said LHS coach Jeannine Cavallaro post-game. “We implemented a press the other day and they did a good job of executing it.”
At 6:30 of the final quarter, Grace Klonsky (11 points) nailed a jump shot from straight away and the Pioneers were up, 43-40.
Maybe it was the short Lynnfield bench. Maybe it was tighter Amesbury defense. Take your pick and/or add other reasons, but the Pioneers didn’t score another point.
Gabby Redford’s drive, and later her assist on a McKenna Hallinan three, gave the Indians the lead for good, 45-43, with 3 ½ minutes left.
Alyssa Pettet shoots a free throw
Several minutes later, Alyssa Pettet set up teammate Liv DeLong for a baseline jumper to boost the Amesbury margin to, 47-43, with 1 ½ minutes remaining.
That was how it ended but not before Lynnfield had good looks and Amesbury had free throws. However, there were no successful connections on either end, and the Indians held on for the victory.
“In the first half we were hitting,” said Coach Cavallaro. “The second half we were a little tired and I think it affected our shooting.”
Lynnfield’s Caroline Waisnor (17 points) was on fire in the first half notching fourteen points.
Caroline Waisnor (17 points) at the line
Avery Hallinan covered her. “She’s a very good player and I love playing against her,” said Avery.
Avery Hallinan and Caroline Waisnor
Avery had eighteen points with most coming off drives. Three of the baskets were set up by her sister McKenna.
“We were certainly better on offense today,” said Coach Dollas. “Every game is going to be a grind.”
“Alyssa Pettet made big plays for us late in the game,” added Coach Dollas. “She set up a basket and had a steal.”
“Amesbury had size,” said Coach Cavallaro. “We had trouble shooting against them on the inside.”
Caroline Waisnor beat the clock with a late three to end the third quarter.
The Pioneers had a six-point lead (26-20) three minutes into the 3rd quarter but two 3’s by senior Mary Bullis (assisted by Liv DeLong) brought Amesbury even. Liv’s cross-court passes gave Mary open looks against Lynnfield’s zone defense.
Sami Kimball blocks out
“I was certainly happy with our offense tonight after only getting eighteen total points at Newburyport,” said Coach Dollas. “However, I didn’t like giving up forty-three points although they were really hot early in the game.”
Coach Dollas told me that he had heard multiple answers on whether or not there will be playoffs at the end of the season.
Avery Hallinan: “The Newburyport game was almost like a warmup game because we had so little preparation. Now we’re moving on. We did much better today.”
Anna Affolter was part of a tight Newburyport defense
The Clippers turned missed Lynnfield shots into fast break opportunities.
Deidre McElhinney (13 points) led all scorers.
(Newburyport MA) Impressive performance by the Clippers.
Undefeated Newburyport (4-0) dazzled in every aspect of the game and routed Lynnfield, 61-29, on Wednesday night at NHS.
The Clippers smothered the winless Pioneers (0-3) defensively from the get-go and were about as good on offense as you can get.
“We came out strong,” said NHS high scorer Deidre McElhinney afterwards in what could well have been the understatement of the year!
The Clippers scored the first eleven points of the game and may not have missed a shot during the hot start.
By the end of the first quarter, seven different Clippers had contributed points and NHS was in control, 24-5.
Leah Metsker and Riley Hallahan
“Once we started making shots, we gained more confidence,” explained senior Leah Metsker.
Four of the NHS baskets were on offensive rebound conversions. Three came on 3-point shots, while another was off a turnover that high scorer Deidre McElhinney (13 points) turned into a layup.
“A lot of us were on tonight,” added Deidre in yet another understatement.
Sophomore Jackie Doucette told me post-game, “I wasn’t really on tonight,” yet she still ended up with eleven points.
Clippers coach Karen Grutchfield was pleased with the way things went: “I thought they did great. Our whole focus was defensive pressure and out of that pressure we got transition points.”
The Clippers seemed to have the right answers for each defense the Pioneers tried.
Abigail Gillingham (8 points) shoots over the Lynnfield defense
Against Ipswich, Newburyport struggled with the visitor’s zone defense. Not tonight. Plenty of good passes including cross-court ones that turned up high-percentage looks. Even on misses, the Clippers size and positioning resulted in nine rebound baskets.
Impressive show, to say the least.
Credit Lynnfield for never giving up despite falling behind by as many as thirty-five (56-21) early in the final quarter.
“They were taller than us and played great,” said Lynnfield coach Jeannine Cavallaro afterwards referencing Newburyport. “You get down by twenty early, it’s hard to come back.”
Tight Clippers defense on the inside kept two of Lynnfield’s Cape Ann League All-Stars (Caroline Waisnor & Grace Klonsky) on the perimeter and shut down the driving lanes for them. They were each limited to four points.
Caroline Waisnor on defense
“We got some decent looks,” added Coach Cavallaro, “but our offense has been stagnant so far.”
Sophomore Isabella George led the Pioneers with ten points.
Abigail Gillingham (8), Emma Foley (8), and Sydney Turner (7) added points for Newburyport.
I thought that the individual defense of Anna Affolter and Makenna Ward on Grace Klonsky was excellent.
The early score-separation gave both coaches opportunity to give everyone plenty of playing time. “We have plenty of depth,” said Coach Grutchfield, “and we don’t lose a lot when we substitute. Our scoring was spread out (nine players scored) and I like that.”
Newburyport lost twice to Lynnfield last year. “We remembered last year,” said Deidre.
Lynnfield coach Jeannine Cavallaro
The Pioneers have certainly gone through some changes since last year’s 13-7 season. The Morelli sisters graduated. CAL All-Star Cate MacDonald (averaged 12 rebounds per game) transferred to New Hampton Prep. Three players are out with injuries. And they have a new coach.
“We’re missing players,” said Coach Cavallaro, “and we’ve been quarantining it. So we’re behind but that’s no excuse. You have to come out and play.”
Grace Klonsky is committed to Denison while Caroline Waisnor will join the Endicott Gulls this fall.
The good start by Newburyport bodes well for their schedule ahead. “If we start the way we did tonight, we’ll be in good shape the rest of the way,” said Deidre McElhinney.
The other two CAL games I have covered have been posted on Mascores and this one should be also. The link to my blog (McClelland Miscellanea) will be on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) will be on Twitter. I also hope to get pictures on Instagram (Mcclellandmiscellanea).
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Gabby Loughran pressures Maggie Ozanian
Olivia McDonald in denial defense
Elizabeth Metsker defends Riley Hallahan
Anna Affolter tries to guard Grace Klonsky
Grace Klonsky guarded by Makenna Ward
Jackie Doucette (11 points)
Emma Foley (8 points)
Battle on the boards
Deidre McElhinney in for two
Makenna Ward guards Grace Klonsky
Ava Buonfiglio, Deidre McElhinney, and Maggie Ozanian
(Newburyport MA) That’s what finishing strong looks like.
The Lynnfield Pioneers ended the regular season with a win and have a nine-game winning streak going.
They defeated Newburyport, 44-35, tonight.
“We usually shoot well in the first half,” said Lynnfield coach Peter Bocchino post-game.
They certainly did that tonight.
Caroline Waisnor (8 points) took the opening tip in for a layup and the Pioneers (13-6) were on their way.
Deidre McElhinney looks for someone to pass to.
It took the Clippers (10-7) four minutes to score (Deidre McElhinney free throw) and even with that point Newburyport trailed 10-1.
The Lynnfield defense (3-2 zone) eliminated open looks.
“The girls have really stepped up defensively,” said Coach Bocchino. “We’re long and some of our length is athletic.”
The Clippers were denied layups and faced contested shots from elsewhere. They only made one three all night.
Sophomore Riley Hallahan drained two 3’s early in the second period and by the end of that period the Pioneers led, 30-15.
Kate MacDonald led all scorers with sixteen points. The sophomore had ten of them in the breakaway first half.
The Clippers are a tall team.
Riley Hallahan hit two 3’s in the second quarter
“They have a good defense and a lot of tall girls to block shots,” explained Tori Morelli afterwards. “We moved the ball quickly and that is what got us our good shots.”
“We run a continuity offense,” said Coach Bocchino. “Everybody has a chance to touch the ball, use a screen, and make cuts. We ended up with some layups out of it.”
While Lynnfield had layups, the Clippers were relegated to tougher shooting opportunities.
Newburyport’s best moments were early in the second half. Down by fifteen (30-15) the Clippers dominated the first 2 ½ minutes putting together seven straight points. Freshman Makenna Ward made a layup and then set up senior Sami Cavanaugh for a three. Deidre McElhinney added a nice pass to set up senior Sadie Vandenberg in close.
The run of points closed Newburyport to 30-22 but they could only tally two points over the final 5 ½ minutes of the same quarter.
The Clippers didn’t go away in the second half, in fact they outscored Lynnfield 20-14, but it just wasn’t enough to overcome the disastrous first half.
“We work really hard on our offense and it has started to click the last few games,” said Melissa Morelli.
One word I would use to describe the Lynnfield approach to offense would be “patient.” They were content to pass the ball around the perimeter and wait for openings in closer to the basket. Their screens worked well against Newburyport’s man-to-man defenders.
Abby Gillingham (13 points) looks to shoot over Cate MacDonald
I was impressed with Lynnfield point guard Grace Klonsky. She handled backcourt pressure efficiently. She also blocked several Clipper shots. “She’s pretty energetic and plays great defense,” said Coach Bocchino.
Abby Gillingham (13 points) led Newburyport in scoring.
Tori Morelli had ten points for Lynnfield while Caroline Waisnor and Riley Hallahan both added eight points.
The Clippers had twenty-two turnovers including thirteen in the first half. Many of the miscues were on attempts to pass either into the zone or over the zone.
The Pioneers last loss was on January 22nd to Arlington.
Lynnfield will have to wait a week + before they play again. Newburyport has games this week.
Newburyport seniors (Sadie Vandenberg, Sami Cavanaugh, Jess Rousseau) were honored pre-game.
In their first meeting (January 3rd) the Pioneers won, 53-44.
I talked to the Morelli twins post-game and they said that they had never won at Newburyport before tonight.
Cate MacDonald was a Cape Ann League first-team All-Star last year as a freshman.
Lynnfield is in Division 3. One-loss Amesbury and St. Mary’s (Lynn) are also in the D3 North. The Lynnfield I saw tonight might be able to upset either or both of them in the tournament.
The Pioneers finished 13-7 last year and now stand at 13-6 this year so far. The five years prior to those two fine seasons? 5-52! Talk about a program getting turned around!