Category Archives: Newburyport

Pentucket avenges earlier loss winning Kinney Division title 34-23 over Newburyport

Pentucket wins the Kinney Division (CAL vs Cancer) tournament

Emma Foley and Arielle Cleveland

Makenna Ward surrounded by Sachems

(Newburyport MA) Just over two weeks ago, Newburyport got the best of Pentucket.

The game was fast, and the points were flowing.

Against most teams, that works in the Sachems favor.  But it didn’t against Newburyport and a 58-54 loss resulted.

“We probably over-coached last time,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara after tonight’s 34-23 win.

“We went back to our basic man-to-man principles for tonight’s game and didn’t do anything fancy,” he explained.  “We just kept kids in front of us.”

The victory won the Kinney Division (CAL vs Cancer) tournament for Pentucket (12-1).

The formerly undefeated Clippers (11-1) were done in by a three-point second quarter and a two-point third quarter.

Mackenzie Currie (11 points) 5-for-7 from the line

After those two scoring famines, Newburyport was behind, 23-13, and could not generate enough offense to make things interesting in the final quarter.

“You have to give Pentucket credit,” said Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield afterwards.  “They played harder than we did.”

“It was frustrating to miss so many layups and free throws,” added Coach Grutchfield.

Poor free throw shooting may have been the key to the loss.  The Clippers were only able to make three-of-sixteen from the stripe.

In the win at Pentucket, the Clippers sealed that one by making eight free throws in the final forty seconds.

“A lot of our shots were off tonight,” said senior Abigail Gillingham.  “We haven’t played this way all season.”

The Clippers did start off well.  Sophomore Emma Foley hit two jump shots during an eight-point first-quarter run to put Newburyport in front 8-3.

Arielle Cleveland (10 points) 6-for-10 from the line

Pentucket took the lead, 11-10, in the second quarter after Arielle Cleveland (10 points) cashed two free throws.

Arielle ended the Sachems second-quarter scoring connecting a long pass to Greta Mauer for a layup.

Pentucket’s halftime lead was 16-11.

“We were confident that if we tweaked our defense enough, we could contain them,” said Coach McNamara, “the question was whether we could score enough points.”

The Clippers had been putting up plenty of points all season, so a five-point deficit at halftime seemed like a minor obstacle.

An Abigail Gillingham jumper (from Leah Metsker) made this a one-possession game with six minutes left in the third quarter.

Whether it was poor offense or great defense is speculation.  The fact is that Newburyport didn’t score a point in the final six minutes.

Abigail Gillingham (9 points) shoots over Mackenzie Currie

Pentucket used this time to build up a ten-point lead (23-13) by quarter’s end thanks to an Arielle Cleveland free throw and two other layups from the Sachems senior.

Arielle’s last basket was a runner in the lane just before the quarter ended.

Arielle (10 points) played only four minutes in the first meeting between the two teams.

“It hurt us last time not having Arielle,” said Coach McNamara.  “She can handle the ball and score baskets. We were thrown for a loop a little bit when we lost her last game.”

The Clippers were able to get within six points twice in the final quarter.

“I was proud of the way we kept pushing, even to the end,” said Abigail Gillingham (9 points).

Abigail’s jump shot (assist Jackie Doucette) put Newburyport within six (25-19) with five minutes left.

Abby Dube made the only three of the game

Abby Dube answered for Pentucket (assist Arielle Cleveland) with the only three either team would make during the entire game.

Abigail then had a free throw and a jump shot from the corner (assist Makenna Ward) to narrow things to, 28-22, with three minutes remaining.

Pentucket, however, built their lead back up by getting points on three straight possessions (Audrey Conover free throw, two Mackenzie Currie layups) and shutting out the Clippers during this segment.

The margin was now eleven (33-22) in the closing minute and Pentucket had the victory.

Greta Mauer: “This was our second time playing them.  We had to bring it to them, and we did.”

Greta Mauer lines up a shot

Mackenzie Currie (11 points): “It was hard to turn around from the Lynnfield game yesterday, but we all stepped up in some way.  For a very weird season, it was a good way to go out.”

Coach Grutchfield: “There were no easy shots in this one.  It was a hard one to end on.”

Coach McNamara: “This was only the third time we’ve ended a season with a tournament win.  The other times were state championships.  We have five seniors who contributed so much to the program.”

The Sachems defense limited sophomores Jackie Doucette and Deidre McElhinney to two points each.  In the first meeting, Jackie had twelve and Deidre eleven.

Newburyport box

Pentucket box

The link to this game will be posted on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter).  It also should appear in Mascores.  Pictures should be posted on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea) on Friday.

All of the pictures above and below should enlarge considerably if you click on them.

Arielle Cleveland guarded by Jackie Doucette

Makenna Ward drives to the basket

Emma Foley in for two

Anna Affolter in the lane

Audrey Conover elevates to defend

Greta Mauer gets a layup

Gabby Loughran block

Jackie Doucette pressures Arielle Cleveland

Makenna Ward

Emma Foley (7 points)

Audrey Conover and Deidre McElhinney

Mackenzie Currie

 

 

 

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Undefeated Newburyport (11-0) wins Kinney semi-finals 69-45 vs Triton

Adam Bovee finds Clipper teammate Tommy Jahn for a layup

Trevor Ward was part of a very effective Newburyport defense

(Newburyport MA) Newburyport continues to roll along.

The Clippers (11-0) are now just one win away from a perfect season after taking out Triton, 69-45, on Wednesday night in the semi-finals of the Kinney Tournament.

“They’re a really good team,” said Triton coach Ted Schruender afterwards.

Hard to argue.

The Clippers were unselfish on offense and relentless on defense.

That combination made it a tough night for the Vikings (3-8).

“Newburyport plays great pressure defense,” added Coach Schruender.  “They’re physical and they overplay.  You have to take advantage with backdoors and by attacking the rim.”

Jake Robertson had twenty points including five 3’s

Newburyport had a 15-point win (63-48) against Triton on February 3rd at Newburyport.  In that game, Jake Robertson had twenty points including six 3’s.  Also, in that game, the Clippers gained separation with a 24-point second quarter.

In tonight’s game, Jake again had twenty points but “only” five 3’s.  Separation in this one?  The Clippers, led by Max Gagnon, had a 24-point third quarter.

Kyle Odoy guarded by Jake Robertson

The struggle for Triton was trying to get open shots.  The Clippers were man-to-man in the first half and had active zone pressure in the second half.  Both were very effective in limiting second chances and clear paths to the basket.

“We were at them right away,” explained senior Trevor Ward. “Our defense gave us the advantage tonight.”

Trevor had two layups in a nine-point Clipper run in the first quarter that pushed them ahead, 12-4.

An eight-point run, including two Jake Robertson 3’s gave the home team a, 20-11, lead in the second quarter.

The game got away from Triton in the big Newburyport third quarter.

Junior Max Gagnon (13 points) had a stretch of terrific offense during that quarter.  First, he hit a three (from Jack Fehlner).  Then he went full-court on a rebound.  Next, Max had a steal that he took in for a layup.  Not bad for a minute’s worth of work!

Dylan Wilkinson (12 points) looks for an opening

That surge of offense gave Newburyport a, 48-29, lead with four minutes left in that third quarter. Triton didn’t have the weapons on this night to recover.

“I was feeling it tonight,” said Max post-game.  “To see it go in gives me confidence.  I have put in a lot of work on my shooting and we do plenty of shooting in practice.”

Part of the success Newburyport had on defense was keeping track of Triton’s Dylan Wilkinson.

“He can shoot and he can get hot,” said Newburyport coach Dave Clay.  “We were keying on him.  We wanted to mark him every time he stepped over halfcourt.”

Dylan was limited to twelve points and had Triton’s lone 3-point basket.

The Newburyport offense was spread.  They had thirteen 3’s and thirteen 2-point shots.

Trevor Ward makes a pass for a layup

Their passing was excellent.  Most of their outside shots were open looks after several passes.

The second-half point separation gave both coaches opportunities to use everyone in uniform.

“I enjoyed watching the progress of the players who haven’t been getting a lot of minutes,” said Coach Clay.  “They’ve played against very good players in practice and it’s helped them grow.”

Part of Coach Clay’s concern over Dylan Wilkinson was over the fact that in Newburyport’s last two games, individual players Kyle Beal (Rockport) and Cam Keliher (Amesbury) had big games versus the Clippers.  I watched Cam put up a remarkable 44 points and nearly lead Amesbury to a huge upset.

Action on the boards

Triton has now lost twelve straight to Newburyport (by my count).  Last win for the Vikings was in 2015 when Dave Clay was coaching at Triton.

Ten players scored for Newburyport.

Coach Schruender: “We got outplayed by a very good team.  However, I don’t question the heart of our team.  It was a tough win-lose season but that doesn’t change the fact that I had a great group of seniors that I’ll miss a lot.”

Newburyport box

Triton box

The link to this game will be posted on Twitter (mcclellandpeter).  It also should be posted on Mascores.  Pictures from the game will be posted on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea) in a day or so.

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

Peter Sullivan

Dennis Brendan and Tommy Jahn battle

Jack Fehlner

Kyle Odoy and Jake Robertson

Jared Leonard chased by Adam Bovee

Griffin Dupuis

Dylan Wilkinson (12 points) gets to the rim

Jack Fehlner and Charlie Cahalane pressure Alden Lentz

Andrew Cullen saves a ball going out of bounds

Charlie Cahalane (9 points) eyes the basket

Jake Robertson passes to the perimeter

Nick White finds the camera

Stone Butler

 

 

 

 

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Despite Cam Keliher’s 44 points, Newburyport defeats Amesbury 86-83 in overtime

Cam Keliher scored forty-four points including eleven 3’s

(Newburyport MA) Both coaches said the same thing right afterwards.

“This game was fun.”

Everyone watched Amesbury’s last shot (Matt Welch) in overtime

Jake Robertson (17 points) hit a last-second shot to get Newburyport into overtime

I would have gone with, “exciting” to describe Newburyport’s, 86-83, overtime win against Amesbury on Friday night.

The game was certainly worthy of superlatives!

I’m going to guess that records were set.

Undefeated Newburyport (9-0) and Amesbury (2-5) combined for twenty-eight three’s.

Junior Cam Keliher collected forty-four points in a night where he made eleven three’s.

Amesbury played as if they didn’t remember their last meeting versus the Clippers; a 28-point loss in January.

The Indians also played as if they hadn’t played last night, which they had.

“Amesbury was relentless,” add NHS coach Dave Clay.  “They played well in their win over Manchester-Essex last night and it carried over into this one.”

The Indians came very close to winning in regulation.

A Cam Keliher three had Amesbury ahead by three with twenty-two seconds left.

You suspected that the Clippers’ high scorer, Jake Robertson, would be involved in the final shot……….and he was, but it took a while.

Tight AHS defense forced Max Gagnon (17 points) into what looked to be the last shot.  He missed, but Jack Fehlner (16 points) found the rebound and quickly found Jake.

Jake Robertson congratulated by teammates after sending game into overtime

“It was close to being over,” said Jake afterwards.  “Great offensive rebound by Jack.”

Trevor Ward draws a foul on Matt Heidt

Jake launched a long, straightaway three just before the buzzer sounded.  “I couldn’t tell if it was in because I fell off to the side,” said Jake.

But in it went, and Newburyport had five more minutes of playing time.

“We attacked the offensive glass and got that last chance,” said Coach Clay.

The Clippers took a quick four-point lead in overtime against the tiring Indians on inside scores by Jack Fehlner and Tommy Jahn (10 points).

Defensively the Clippers changed to a 1-2-2 zone defense and lessened Cam Keliher’s clean looks.

“We were just trying to give them a different look,” explained Coach Clay.  “Cam was really killing us with that step-back.  It was a gamble.  We did it earlier in the game and he hit a corner three.”

“That zone in overtime was effective because we missed some inside shots,” said Coach Comeau.

Cam Keliher closely guarded by Trevor Ward

After a layup by Kyle Donovan (11 points) Jack Fehlner and Tommy Jahn both scored again from in close.

Cam followed with his 11th three to cut the lead to three (86-83) with 22 seconds left.

The Indians would get a final possession with a chance to tie but weren’t able to do it.

“We had them,” said Cam post-game, “and he (Jake) made that tough shot. Credit to him.”

“I’m sad that we lost but it was a fantastic game,” said Coach Comeau.  “This what the Amesbury/Newburyport rivalry is supposed to be like.”

Max Gagnon (17 points) in the lane

“I’m excited for our kids to have been in a game like this,” said Coach Clay.  “Win or lose, you never forget these.”

Coach Clay: “Jake (Robertson) always makes the right play.  It doesn’t always end with him shooting the ball.  I was certainly glad to see the ball in his hands at the end, I’ll admit.  That was a tough shot, but we’ve seen him hit those in practice.”

You would have never guessed the ending by the way the first half went.

The teams were tied, 7-7, after four minutes but then the Clippers took over.  They scored the next fourteen points, while Amesbury committed five turnovers.

To make this worse, Cam Keliher limped off and missed most of the final four minutes.

Newburyport led, 21-7, after a quarter.

The lead was sixteen (36-20) halfway through the second quarter.

One minute into the second half, the Clippers still had a nice cushion, 46-30.

Matt Welch (13 points) guarded by Jack Fehlner

Newburyport winning by twenty-eight in January started dancing in my head.

But as Coach Comeau said afterwards, “There’s no quit in these kids.”

The Indians absolutely owned the next 3 ½ minutes of playing time in the third quarter.  They went on a 19-3 run and tied the game, 49-49.

Matt Welch (13 points) had seven during the run as did Cam Keliher.

Five ties and seven lead changes followed through regulation.

“I really feel bad that we didn’t have fans in the stands for this one,” said Coach Comeau.

I asked Cam if he had eaten anything special pregame. “I had Subway.”

There was some back-and-forth banter between the teams as the long shots started falling.  The referees put an end to it.  “It was all fun and games,” said Cam.  “We’ve been playing each other since fifth grade.”

Cam had three points in the first quarter and in overtime.  In between he went; 13, 13, and 12.  Remarkable performance.

“Cam’s a fantastic player,” said Coach Comeau, “and he’s going to play at the next level.”

Scramble on the floor

Jake Robertson: “Amesbury always gives us a good run.”

Jake described this season’s success this way, “We’ve been good at creating our own energy off the court and it transfers onto the court.”

It appears that there will be a post-season in the Cape Ann League during February vacation.

“It will give the seniors some more games,” said Coach Clay.

“If we are in the tournament, no one is going to be happy to play us,” added Coach Comeau.

Newburyport box

Amesbury box

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter @mcclellandpeter and also Mascores.  Pictures from the game should appear on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea) on Saturday.

(The pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Nick White

Andrew Cullen

Cam Keliher leaves with an injury in the first quarter

Tommy Jahn (10 points)

Kyle Donovan gets a block

Jack Fehlner (16 points) including four 3’s

Kyle Donovan (11 points) in for two in overtime

Cam ties the game

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport stays undefeated with exciting 58-54 win at Pentucket

Newburyport celebrates a rare win over Pentucket

Mackenzie Currie (18 points) heads into the heart of the Newburyport defense

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket doesn’t lose very often at home, or anywhere else, for that matter.

But the visiting Newburyport Clippers got that rare feat done, 58-54, on Wednesday night.

Both teams were undefeated and had large-margin wins over everyone else in the Cape Ann League.

“It was the win of the season for us,” said Newburyport senior Abigail Gillingham (10 points) afterwards. “They don’t expect anyone to come in here and give them a hard time.  We had the mindset that this was our game, and no one was going to take it away from us.”

Both teams were aggressive on offense (taking the ball to the basket) and defense.  There was never a chance that the 30-second shot clock would be used.

Two Mackenzie Currie free throws put the Sachems (7-1) ahead by two, 52-50, with 1:18 left.

“I thought we had enough to win,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara, “after we got the lead but give them credit, they knocked down free throws.”

Not only did Newburyport make free throws (eight in the final forty-four seconds) but even when they missed, they were able to immediately get the ball back and produce points.

Senior Leah Metsker (9 points) made her first attempt, missed the second but got her own rebound and earned two more free throws.  She made both and the Clippers led, 53-52.

Leah Metsker shoots a free throw

After a Pentucket turnover, Deidre McElhinney (11 points) was fouled.  She made the first, missed the second, but the Sachems lost the rebound out of bounds.

Deidre McElhinney shoots free throws

More chances followed for Newburyport at the line.  Leah Metsker made both and now the Clippers were up four, 56-52, with ten seconds left as the game got away from Pentucket.

Deidre McElhinney guarded by Greta Maurer

“I’m glad I could make some clutch shots,” said Leah.  “I tried hard to focus because the gym was so loud.”

“It was such a relief that we could finish it out,” added Deidre.

“Props to Leah and Deidre for making their free throws at the end,” added Abigail Gillingham.

Part of Pentucket’s defensive strategy was limit Abigail’s touches.

“We focused on her and gave up shots to other kids instead,” explained Coach McNamara, “but some of those kids made shots.”

Abigail Gillingham (10 points) guarded by Mackenzie Currie

Abigail didn’t even touch the ball for the first four minutes of the game.

Credit Mackenzie Currie for the tough defense on the NHS top scorer although she had plenty of help from nearby teammates.

Mackenzie led all scorers with eighteen points.  The Pentucket senior (going to St. Joe’s next year) hit two 3’s and went hard to the basket even against multiple defenders.

Sophomore Abby Dube tallied fourteen points including three 3’s.  Her last three was part of a seven-point run in the final quarter that gave Pentucket the 52-50 lead.

A key contributor for NHS was sophomore Jackie Doucette (12 points).  Jackie had a couple of three’s, as well as a full-court drive.

Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield: “It was a nice team win.  I am so happy for Leah.  Shooting under those circumstances is hard, but she did it.  I thought that Emma (Foley) did a good job rebounding and scoring.”

It certainly didn’t help Pentucket to lose their top scorer (Arielle Cleveland) four minutes into the game.

Pentucket coach John McNamara

“Despite not having Arielle available, we still had a chance to win and didn’t,” added Coach McNamara.

Newburyport had lost seven straight to Pentucket dating back to February of 2017.

“We’re so excited to finally beat them,” said Leah.

The Clippers had only four turnovers in the second half while the Sachems had nine.

Jackie Doucette: “We’ve been preparing for Pentucket for a while.  We had a good idea of what they would do.”

Impressed with Pentucket sophomore Audrey Conover.  First time I’ve seen her play.

One of the advantages for coaches is that all of the Cape Ann League games are being filmed for the excluded public.  No need to do any in-person scouting.

Easy to imagine how noisy it would have been if folks could have attended.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

The coverage of this game will be linked on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and be on my McClelland Miscellanea online blog.  Hoping to get it posted on Mascores too.  Pictures should show up on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea).

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

Lana Mickelson

Jackie Doucette (12 points)

Deidre McElhinney breaks after a steal

Greta Mauer

Gabby Bellacqua, Abby Dube, Makenna Ward

Gabby Loughran

Deidre McElhinney passes out of a double-team

Abby Dube (14 points)

Mackenzie Currie

Audrey Conover and Deidre McElhinney

Emma Lopata

Deidre McElhinney

Mackenzie Currie puts Pentucket up by two

Jackie Doucette (12 points) shoots from long range

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Undefeated Newburyport defeats Amesbury 46-18 led by Abigail Gillingham’s 20 points

Newburyport Clippers are undefeated after six games

Amesbury’s Avery Hallinan (11) looks for someone to pass to.

Abigail Gillingham (20 points)

(Newburyport MA) This was not a good matchup.

Amesbury was overwhelmed by Newburyport, 46-18, on Tuesday night at NHS.

The Indians faced undefeated Newburyport with only three days of practice, thanks to a ruling by the Amesbury School Committee.

The Clippers, now 6-0, could easily be the best team in the Cape Ann League.  They have been together for weeks and their play on both ends of the court shows it.

In this game, Newburyport passed its way to high percentage shots while defending Amesbury into low percentage shots.

Abigail Gillingham (20 points) was a game-long problem for the Indians.  Neither their perimeter defense nor their inside defense was effective enough to slow down the Clippers.

Avery Hallinan tries to cover Abigail Gillingham in close

“Abigail Gillingham was very good tonight,” admitted Amesbury coach Gregg Dollos afterwards, “but we didn’t battle the post.  We gave her all the positioning she wanted.”

Even when the Clippers missed shots in close there were teammates on hand to cash rebounds.

“Abigail did a great job of getting her body in the paint and we made really good passes to her,” said NHS coach Karen Grutchfield post-game.

Amesbury’s defensive struggles on the interior eliminated Newburyport’s need to rely on long-range shots and they took very few.

The Clippers gained separation 24-12 at halftime and Abigail had fifteen of Newburyport’s points.

Clippers interior defense

The Clippers defense truly made things tough for the visitors later on and they could only get six points in the entire second half. There were very few clean looks from anyplace for the Indians all night long.

“Our defense is the key to everything we do,” explained Abigail afterwards.  “Amesbury had trouble with our 1-2-2 press.”

“Our passing wasn’t good at all,” explained Coach Dollos.  “There were just too many individual things going on out there.”

It all came down to a well-organized team facing a team just getting used to being together.

Block by Liv DeLong

The Indians have two days to prepare for their home opener Friday versus Lynnfield. The time together should help them to improve.

“Amesbury has good kids and they’re physical,” said Coach Grutchfield.  “We were fortunate to catch them when we did.”

Deidre McElhinney had nine points for Newburyport while Avery Hallinan paced the Indians with ten points.

Newburyport box

Amesbury box

Interesting to see Amesbury’s Alyssa Pettet trying basketball her senior year.  She’ll be playing soccer for Holy Cross in the fall.

Newburyport seniors

Newburyport’s two seniors (Abigail Gillingham & Leah Metsker) were honored after the game.

This story/pictures will appear on my online blog (McClelland Miscellanea).  The link to the game with be on Twitter (mcclellandpeter).  Mascores has also been posting my entries.  There should be pictures showing up on Instagram (McclellandMiscellanea) over the next few days.

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

Newburyport triple-team

Alyssa Pettet gets to the basket

Gabby Redford tied up by Gabby Loughran and Makenna Ward

Jackie Doucette guards Gabby Redford

Abigail Gillingham jump shot in the lane

Deidre McElhinney (9 points) to the rim

Leah Metsker

Liv DeLong guards Abigail Gillingham

Mary Bullis

Metskers

Gillinghams

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport overwhelms Lynnfield early getting 61-29 win

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).

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

Gabby Loughran pressures Maggie Ozanian

Olivia McDonald in denial defense

Elizabeth Metsker defends Riley Hallahan

Anna Affolter tries to guard Grace Klonsky

Loose ball

Grace Klonsky guarded by Makenna Ward

Jackie Doucette (11 points)

Caroline Waisnor

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

Livia Tare

 

 

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Abigail Gillingham (17 points) leads Newburyport by Ipswich 39-24 in CAL opener

Senior Abigail Gillingham (17 pts) led all scorers

Leah Metsker and Gabby Loughran trap Ava Horsman

(Newburyport MA)  The Newburyport Clippers were good defensively all night.

The offense took a while to kick in.

But when it did, the visiting Ipswich Tigers were in trouble and fell to the Clippers, 39-24, on Tuesday night at NHS in the Cape Ann League opener for both teams.

Senior Abigail Gillingham (17 points) collected nine points in Newburyport’s game-turning, 16-point unanswered streak in the second half.

Jennie Tarr’s shot-clock buzzer beater had the Tigers within one, 21-20, with 1 ½ minutes left in the third quarter.

Riley Daly drew plenty of Newburyport attention

Ipswich coach Chris Tolios was pleased with the rally: “The girls played hard.  We went into the final quarter only down three points against one of the best teams in the Cape Ann League.”

And the Tiger’s top returning scorer (Riley Daly) hadn’t scored a point yet!

“We had missed a ton of shots,” explained Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield post-game.  “I don’t think that our shot selection was great.  We didn’t take what they gave us.”

None of that had to do with the 4th quarter, however.

The Clippers began to make shots and make it look easy.

Newburyport huddle

“When things got ugly, we did recover,” admitted Coach Grutchfield.

The Clippers made shots inside and outside and Ipswich couldn’t match them down the other end.

Key basket (Abigail Gillingham) in the sixteen-point streak was scored after three straight, offensive putbacks.

Sydney Turner’s layup from Makenna Ward ended the NHS run five minutes into the 4th period with the score now, 37-20.

The Clippers defense was tough throughout.

“Our team strength is our lockdown defense,” explained Abigail.  Newburyport has length and allowed few open shots from anywhere.

Emma Foley steals from Riley Daly

It seemed as if almost every Ipswich possession in the first half had Coach Chris Tolios counting down the final seconds so that the Tigers would get off a shot before the thirty-second clock went off.

Ipswich was quicker on offense in the second half and that was how they rallied to make things interesting in the third quarter.

“Newburyport made plays at the end that we couldn’t make,” added Coach Tolios.

Coach Grutchfield was pleased with the win but added, “offensively we’ve got a lot of work to do against zone defenses.”

It wasn’t hard to miss the novelty of the situation.  The doors were locked. There were no spectators.  Everyone had a mask on.  There were some rule adjustments especially on free throws.

Maddie Duffy gets off a shot for Ipswich

The game was extremely quick.  I think it lasted just an hour.  I think that half-time was five minutes long and the teams didn’t leave the court.

There was a bigger picture.

Coach Tolios: “At the end of the day we were playing basketball.  We’re lucky to be here.”

Abigail Gillingham: “All of us have made the decision that we have to make the most of what we’ve got.  We’re grateful that we even get to play.  We’ll work through the rules and make something great out of it.”

Newburyport box

Ipswich box

(The story and pictures will be posted on Mascores and the link to it on Twitter.  May post some pictures on Instagram.)

The pictures above and below will enlarge if you click on them.

Referee

Makenna Ward

Ipswich coach Chris Tolios

Battle under the basket

Jennie Tarr

Freshman Olivia McDonald set to play defense

Deidre McElhinney

Ava Horsman eyes the hoop with Brela Pavao defending

Jennie Tarr beats the 30-second clock with a three

Jackie Doucette looks to pass

Abigail Gillingham was hot from the outside

Riley Daly

Maddie Richard defends Jackie Doucette

Battle for the ball

 

 

 

 

 

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Ipswich finds enough defense to hold Newburyport to 0-0 tie in Cape Ann League girls soccer

Allie Waters and Lauryn Whynott battle for control.

Maddy Farris was busy in the Ipswich net

(Newburyport MA) I don’t know the last time Ipswich girls soccer tied or won a game against Newburyport.

I do know from Mascores that the last time the Tigers scored a goal against the Clippers was in 2012.

Ipswich didn’t end the scoring drought tonight, but they did play enough defense to earn a 0-0 tie with Newburyport.

“Newburyport is a good team,” said Ipswich coach Dave Wood afterwards, “and this is a great result for us.”

Dana Farardeau defends Anna Affolter

Things weren’t so upbeat on the Newburyport side post-game.

“We had plenty of chances especially early, but we just didn’t finish,” said NHS coach Kevin Sheridan.

Just three minutes into the game the Clippers (4-2-3) had a sequence with four quality shots and no return.  Credit Ipswich goalie Maddy Farris for being where she needed to be during the barrage of NHS shots.

“Their goalie was very good,” said Coach Sheridan.  “She stopped some crosses and she also was able to hold onto some long-range high shots.”

Over and over senior Allie Waters facilitated Newburyport setups by getting by Ipswich defenders and finding teammates for good looks.  She also had several quality shots on net.

Allie Waters and Carter King

But that first goal never came for the home team.

And because the Tigers (3-4-2) survived the first half they gained confidence and did a better job of limiting the NHS scoring chances in the second half.

“We could have gone into the second half up 2-0,” explained Coach Sheridan.  “It would have been a different game in the second half if that had happened.”

But it didn’t happen, and the Tigers were able to put some shots on Newburyport’s second-half goalie Gabby Loughran.  Lauren Waters and Carter King had the best chances.

The Clippers never stopped having chances but on this extremely cold (30’s & windy) Monday evening they couldn’t finish.

Izzy Kirby and Colby Filosa

“We did have some chances in the second half,” recalled Coach Wood.  “We finally started working the ball to the outside and then across.  We just didn’t get on the end of any of them.”

Some of that Ipswich offense was generated by senior Lauren Waters.  “It was a great last away game for her.”

Ipswich will close with Amesbury at home on Wednesday.

Coach Wood cited the defense of Lauryn Whynott: “It was her best game all year.  She was aggressive and she was willing to carry the ball out of the back which she’s not always willing to do.  She had faith in her first touch.  They gave her space, and she took advantage of it.”

This was a game in which there appeared to be plenty of open space in the middle of the field.  Allie Waters, Deidre McElhinney, and Carter King found opportunities to flash some nifty dribbling skills in those spaces.

Deidre McElhinney

Coach Sheridan: “We had some quality play tonight.  It just didn’t result in a goal.  We have a great group and I’m super proud of them.  I want them to finish the season on a high note on Wednesday against Lynnfield.”

Junior Katie Gallagher may have had the best Clippers scoring opportunity early in the second quarter.  The strong-footed defender blasted a long kick just under the crossbar, but Ipswich GK Maddy Farris jumped to snag it.

The cold in this game was real.  Add a steady wind to the low temps and only the truly committed lasted the whole game.

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

This story will appear on my McClelland Miscellanea blog and the link will be on my Twitter account (McClellandPeter).  Individual pictures will show up on Instagram (McClellandMiscellanea).

Carter King chased by Allie Waters

Lucy Harmon and Shannon Harrington

Katie Gallagher between Lauren Waters and Olivia Novello

Allie Waters chased by Dana Falardeau and Jennie Tarr

Lauryn Whynott

Allie Waters defended by Jennie Tarr

Lauren Waters chased by Anna Affolter

Katie Gallagher and Colby Filosa

Carter King

 

 

 

 

 

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Brady O’Donnell (2 goals/2 assists) in Clippers 5-0 shutout vs Georgetown

Brady O’Donnell (2 goals/2 assists) and Carson Purcell

Max Gagnon and Cam Rooney

(Newburyport MA) The weather changed but the Newburyport Clippers didn’t.

On a cloudy/rainy/sunny Saturday morning, the home team was consistently persistent and earned a 5-0 win over Georgetown.

“We have depth,” said NHS coach Shawn Bleau afterwards.  “We can run eighteen players out there and not have much of a drop off.”

Pacing the Clippers (3-0-2) was junior Brady O’Donnell with two goals and two assists.

“Super exciting to win this one,” said Brady who had a hat trick against Amesbury last week.  “Georgetown is always tough.”

Some NHS starters sat out 4th quarter

Newburyport was up by three at halftime and added two more in the third quarter.  Many of the Clippers’ starters sat out the entire final period.

“Give Newburyport credit,” said Georgetown coach Chris DiFranco post-game.  “They really dominated the play.”

The Royals (1-2-2) were missing their top two goalies (Luke van Galen & Riley Soucy) because of injuries.

Freshman Jake Gilstein started as a result.  Sophomore Kyle Davies took over in the second half.

The Clippers poured into the Royals half of the field from the get-go.  A direct kick by Trevor Ward turned into a rebound in front that senior Owen Spence cashed with an assist to Owen McNeil.  Just over two minutes had gone by.

Ryan Archer (goal and assist)

Less than two minutes into the 2nd quarter, another direct kick from the left (Ryan Archer) caromed loose on the right side and Brady O’Donnell hit the open spot.

Just over a minute later Max Gagnon boosted the NHS advantage to three.  Max was in the middle with plenty of players in the way of an open, low shot on net.  Instead of trying to shoot through the players, Max lofted a shot over them. It worked. Max caught the GHS goalie out from the net and his shot went just under the crossbar.

The Clippers, in five games, have only been scored on once and that was off a penalty kick.  That 3-0 halftime lead was going to hard to come back against for the Royals.

“We’ve got to find our scoring,” explained Coach DiFranco.  “We had chances today but didn’t finish.”

The Clippers, however, weren’t done finishing.  They added two more goals in the third quarter.

Brady O’Donnell came in from the right, after a pass from Ronan Brown, with a defender (Cole Zadina) to his left.  Brady was able to get off a low shot that went through the legs of GK Kyle Davies at 9:45.

Three + minutes later the “prettiest” goal of the day was scored.  Brady O’Donnell had possession on the right side and was able to send a pass across the front.  Ryan Archer, with perfect timing, redirected the pass past Kyle Davies.

Ryan Archer converts a crossing pass

“We’ve been working on crossing the ball on the ground, since we can’t head it,” explained Coach Bleau.  “We’ve had similar chances this season, but this was the first one that ended in a goal.”

“It was an awesome pass (by Brady O’Donnell),” said Ryan Archer afterwards.

Coach Bleau rested numerous starters for the final quarter.

Coach DiFranco: “There’s no blame on the fill-in goalies today.  They’re young and we didn’t help them very much.”

Ryan Archer: “The game (this year) is very different.  You have to play a whole different style because there’s no heading.”

Coach DiFranco: “The season is so short (ten games) that every game really counts.”

Ryan Archer: “I am hoping at the end that there is a Cape Ann League tournament going and we get a championship here.”

Newburyport seniors honored

Newburyport seniors were honored pre-game.

The Clippers are undefeated in their last seven meetings with the Royals.  There have been three ties.

I will post this story on my blog (McClelland Miscellanea).  I am also on Twitter (McClellandPeter) and Instagram (McClellandMiscellanea)

All the pictures will enlarge if you click on them.

Sean Lavell and Ronan Brown

Evan Philbrook and Spencer Colwell

John Donovan makes a save for NHS

Zach Rosa and Adam Sadler

Ryan Archer and Brady O’Donnell

Graham Smith and Aidan Maguire

Kyle Davies makes a leaping save

Ronan Brown and Cam Rooney

Kyle Davies saves in front of Brady O’Donnell

Aidan Maguire kicks. Chris Thoreson defends

loose ball

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GK Julia Campbell stars in Amesbury’s 1-0 win over Newburyport

Senior Julia Campbell earned a shutout against Newburyport this morning.

GK Julia Campbell

(Amesbury MA) Senior goalkeeper Julia Campbell has not played much for Amesbury.

Blame graduated Cape Ann League MVP Alli Napoli for that.

However, although Julia didn’t play often, she did get to face Newburyport several times because of injuries to Alli.

“I’ve played them quite a few times and I knew their offense really well,” said Julia post-game.

Julia’s goalkeeping turned out to be a key for the Indians (2-0) as they defeated Newburyport, 1-0, on a sunny, windy Saturday morning of soccer at Landry Stadium in Amesbury.

“We don’t win this without Julia,” admitted Amesbury coach Adam Thibodeau afterwards.  “She earned that shutout today especially in the first half.”

Avery Hallinan’s goal celebrated

Defender Avery Hallinan struck the game-winner for the Indians in the third quarter.

The Clippers (1-1) started the game with a double-team on CAL All-Star Alyssa Pettet and the (substantial) wind to their backs.

Both factored significantly early on.

It was 6 ½ minutes before Alyssa actually touched the ball.

It was eleven minutes before Amesbury could even get the ball into the Newburyport side of the field.

That’s dominance………..but the Clippers didn’t score.

Allie Waters and Riley Doherty

“We had more chances and more possessions early,” said Newburyport coach Kevin Sheridan.  “We just didn’t capitalize.”

A number of the good Newburyport looks were shot over the net, certainly influenced by the strong winds.

The teams changed ends after the first quarter, which didn’t happen last game I was at.  It gave Amesbury the favorable wind.

Now it was Newburyport GK Anneliese Truesdale’s chance to face pressure.  And she faced it well.

Amesbury’s MK McElaney had a golden chance after a rebound in that 2nd quarter but Anneliese dove to stop an in-close shot.  Later, Anneliese was out of the net to beat McKenna Hallinan to a dangerous ball.

GK Anneliese Truesdale robs MK McElaney

“Anneliese is fearless,” said Coach Sheridan.

Gabby Loughran replaced Anneliese in the second half.

“We made some adjustments at halftime,” explained Coach Thibodeau.  “We wanted to fill the middle better.  They were taking away our immediate scoring threats, so we looked to get the ball to our 2nd and 3rd layer of players.”

That strategy paid off in the third quarter.

“I got a rebound off of a Newburyport player and dribbled in closer,” said junior defender Avery Hallinan discussing her goal.  “I had an opening, and their goalie was a little bit out, so I took the shot.  It dipped just under the crossbar.”

GK Gabby Loughran leaps for Avery Hallinan’s high shot.

“Two players dove at her and she got around them for the shot,” recalled Coach Sheridan.  “We needed to be containing there.”

That goal, at 12:29 of the 3rd quarter, spelled trouble for the Clippers.

Why?  The Indians switched into a defensive mode and moved Alyssa Pettet (Holy Cross commit) back as a defender.

“We knew that she (Alyssa Pettet) would go to defense if they scored,” said Coach Sheridan.  “She is a high-quality player.”

Alyssa was happy with the switch: “I feel more natural playing defense.”

A key to Alyssa being on defense was her ability to make long kicks, especially on goal kicks, that relieved pressure on Amesbury.

Maddie Felts shadows Alyssa Pettet

GK Julia Campbell was also happy to have Alyssa on defense. “The wind was killing all my punts,” said Julia.  “Alyssa could actually kick the ball out.”

“We packed it in defensively in the second half and it kept Newburyport from getting good chances,” recalled Alyssa.

Julia Campbell: “Avery’s goal was beautiful.  She had the wherewithal to hold onto the ball as long as she could.  She saw an opening and took it.”

Coach Sheridan: “I thought we did a fairly good job of shutting down Alyssa Pettet.  Using her the way they did was a winning strategy for them.”

Continue to be impressed with Deidre McElhinney’s in-traffic skills.

There were a limited number of spectators at this game.  First time that’s happened.  I counted twenty-six of them in the second half.

I have no doubt that “real” soccer folks are being, or would be, driven crazy by the rules that are in play for soccer in Massachusetts.  The ever-blowing whistles are the most maddening part.  I had to agree with Amesbury’s Sydney Aldrich when she said as the game was going on, “The game is now like field hockey and lacrosse.”  BUT, and I have to keep reminding myself, they are playing!

Coach Adam Thibodeau and Katie Gallagher

Great rivalry between Newburyport and Amesbury.  The last two years it was 1-1 ties.  Before that it was a 1-0 Amesbury win and the two years before that Newburyport won by a 1-0 score.

This game story, with pictures will be posted my McClelland Miscellanea blog.  There will also be coverage posted on Twitter (McClellandPeter) and Instagram (McClellandMiscellanea).

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

Amesbury celebrates a win

Jackie Doucette, Calista Catarius, Izzy Kirby

loose ball

Alyssa Pettet shielded from the ball by Maddie Felts

Avery Hallinan and Liberty Palermino

Maddie Felts and Sydney Aldrich

Deidre McElhinney and Sarah Chace

Deidre McElhinney and Avery Hallinan

Sarah Chace defends Allie Waters

Calista Catarius and Gabby Waters

Molly Webster (19) shoots

Allie Waters and Gabby Smyth

Allie Waters and Riley Doherty

 

 

 

 

 

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