Category Archives: Newburyport

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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Girls soccer happens! Newburyport 1 North Reading 0

Deidre McElhinney chased by Sophia Galuppo

Mattie DeFeo and Norah McElhinney celebrate Newburyport’s goal in the 3rd quarter

(Newburyport MA) “If we had to play with our shoes tied together, we probably would have,” according to Newburyport girls soccer coach Kevin Sheridan.

And that pretty well summed up the attitude of today’s participants.  Whatever it takes to play!

“We were just happy to be playing,” said North Reading coach Sean Killeen.  “The Cape Ann League and the principals have done a nice job to make it happen for the kids.”

I talked to both officials pre-game to get a sense of how the game might go.

One of them said that without tournaments and playoffs that the games this season would be more like “friendly” games.

The other official gave me a 3-page copy of the MIAA soccer rules for 2020.  “It will be an adjustment for us and the teams.  Several teams had scrimmages in which referees came in so that everyone could get used to the new rules.”

There actually was a lot of “normal” soccer played.  “I thought it went pretty well with all the rule changes,” added Coach Killeen.  “It looked like a regular soccer game for a lot of it.”

Samantha Magner chased by Norah McElhinney

Newburyport came away the winner, 1-0, on a sunny, Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams at Newburyport.

The games are now played in quarters instead of halves.

Mattie DeFeo’s goal in the third quarter spelled the difference.

The NHS senior had a long run toward the goal after an excellent outlet pass/set up by junior Katie Gallagher.

“The entry pass split my two central defenders,” recalled Coach Killeen.  “The scorer ended up with a good look and she put it where she needed to.”

Olivia Vasquez (5) watched by Katie Gallagher (22)

“Katie (Gallagher) had a monster game,” added Coach Sheridan.  “She played the entire game without any mask breaks.”

“The goal and the assist couldn’t have happened to two better kids, in my opinion,” said Coach Sheridan.

Coach Sheridan used a different goalie each half: “We have two great goalies (senior Anneliese Truesdale & sophomore Gabby Loughran) and both of them deserve to play.”

Both of the Clippers’ GK’s were called on to make tough saves.

“We never got too comfortable and that was to North Reading’s credit,” added Coach Sheridan.

Newburyport GK Gabby Loughran saves in front of Madison DiNapoli

Coach Killeen was disappointed that his Hornets didn’t collect any goals.  “We need to calm down a little bit in the finishing third.  As we build our chemistry, I think we’ll be in a good place.”

“It was a good start for us considering we’ve had no scrimmages,” said Coach Sheridan.  “We could have been better connecting on passes.  I thought we played better in the second half.”

Senior Julia Thorstad was solid in net for NR.

Senior Allie Waters is back playing for Newburyport this season.  Allie has already committed to playing at Holy Cross next season.  Next Saturday, at Amesbury, Allie will play against Alyssa Pettet who has also committed to Holy Cross in 2021.

Anne MacLellan (12) and Allie Waters (21)

Both Katie Gallagher and NR’s Katelyn Gorgenyi had threatening long-range shots in this game.

Coach Sheridan regarding sophomore Deidre McElhinney: “She plays with such poise and control in the middle of the field.”

Gabby Waters has joined the Clippers after playing at Berwick Academy previously.

The hardest rule change to get used to was the second whistle.  Soccer is usually free flowing, but that rule forced players to distance themselves before a 2nd whistle would blow resuming play.

Coach Killeen probably summarized the game atmosphere best: “The kids were good despite some confusion.  It was a lot of fun.”

Stehlin Stadium is an excellent place for a soccer game.  I was limited to the stands but even from there I could get a good look at the action.

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

I will post the game story on McClelland Miscellanea.  I also plan to post pictures on my Instagram account (McclellandMiscelleanea).

Newburyport celebrates win

looking for control

collision course

Shot by Katelyn Gorgenyi (11)

Newburyport GK Gabby Loughran pressured by Madison DiNapoli

loose ball

Newburyport coach Kevin Sheridan

Julia Thorstad saves with Norah McElhinney nearby

Samantha Magner (9) and Molly Webster (19) in front of NR GK Julia Thorstad

Anna Affolter tries to get away from Samantha Magner

NR coach Sean Killeen at halftime

Madison DiNapoli (22) and Maddy Felts (15)

Marykate Lundy (17) tries to get control

Captains meet

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Mulching in the skateboard park at Nock…..brilliant?

Couldn’t agree with Mike Cronan’s letter in the Newburyport Daily News more.

The reactions of local authorities to the coronavirus are head scratchers.

Mulching in the skateboard park near Nock was an embarrassing piece of government overreach. It got Newburyport some “great” press!

According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health Covid-19 Dashboard for May 4th, ZERO teenagers have died from the coronavirus. Confining/Restricting teenagers is based then on what supporting health statistics? Destroying three months of schooling and activities for teenagers over these obvious numbers doesn’t make sense.

How about taking local action based on these statistics instead: The average age of the Massachusetts fatalities is 82, and 95% of the fatalities were seventy and over. How would closing schools and confining teenagers fix those stats? How has confining folks in nursing homes and healthcare facilities helped those stats?

The healthy and productive, as well as kids of all ages, have played along passively for far too long. The numbers do not support the treatment those groups have been enduring. Time for them to press the “had enough” button and at least question the actions of local officials.

(Sent this to the Newburyport Daily News on May 6, 2020)

 

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Weston rallies to beat Newburyport 86-81 in a shootout to gain D3 North semis

Sawyer Mayhugh and Parker McLaren

Jake Robertson (16 points) from the corner

(Newburyport MA) The shots were flying and many from beyond the arc.

Newburyport had fifty points in the first half while Weston had forty-nine in the second half.

Eight lead changes. Three in the first quarter and five in the last quarter.

Exciting? Ask anyone who was there!

Weston grabbed the final lead change with two minutes left, thanks to the remarkable 6-10 Sawyer Mayhugh (36 points), and came away, 86-81, winning the D3 North quarter finals match on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Parker McLaren (34 points) played his last game for the Clippers and it was a beauty.

Parker McLaren (34 points) shoots a three

6-4 Parker had every aspect of his shooting talents working. The long-range game was on target all night. He made seven from out there.

Twice in the final quarter Parker scored from in close to restore the Clippers to the lead.

With thirty-six seconds left his seventh triple, with thirty-six seconds left, brought the Clippers to within two (82-80).

The game-deciding possession followed. There was an urgency on the Clippers’ part to protect the inside and keep Sawyer Mayhugh from scoring. The inside was definitely protected but the perimeter wasn’t.

Will Van Houten (24 points) hits the game-deciding three

Wide open on the left side, in front of the Weston partisans, was junior Will Van Houten (24 points). Will had time (and courage) to take and make the open three with fifteen seconds left. Now down by five (85-80) Newburyport lacked the time and accuracy to recover.

Weston now moves on to face Amesbury in the D3 North semi-finals at Whittier on Wednesday night.

It looked to me as if most of the Amesbury team was in the crowd scouting their next opponent.

The Clippers (16-6) were on fire in the first half. They drained ten three’s and Parker put up eighteen points.

Newburyport was happy on the perimeter and their shots were falling from there.

Sawyer Mayhugh (36 points) over Parker McLaren

Weston’s attack featured outside shooters and Sawyer Mayhugh on the inside.

The Wildcats (12-10) were within two points (32-30) at 4:46 of the second period after two Sawyer free throws.

The next two minutes were all Newburyport. The Clippers put a twelve-point, unanswered segment together and came out with a 44-30 lead.

Parker had a three and a jump shot in this section. Jake Robertson (16 points) had four free throws. Two of Jake freebies came at the expense of a technical on Weston coach Dave First.

“I said to the ref with a couple of minutes left,” explained Coach First post-game, “that I think that the points on the technical are going to cost me, and he started laughing.”

The Clippers lead reached sixteen (50-34) later in the period.

Weston trailed 50-37 at halftime.

“It was so sad in the first half,” said Sawyer Mayhugh afterwards. “We couldn’t find our offense and we were giving up too many three’s.”

Christos Iatrides (16 points)

The Wildcats were able to shrink the Clippers lead in the third period. Three’s by Isaiah Kacyvenski and Christos Iatridis (16 points) had Weston within one (60-59).

“Honestly,” said Alton Jenkins post-game, “we don’t give up. That’s what Weston is all about. We’re going to give intensity from start to finish. That 13-point halftime lead didn’t matter to us. We were going to put in our work regardless.”

The Clippers recovered after Weston was within one, thanks to a three by Ronan Brown and Ryan Archie layup, assisted by Jack Fehlner. Newburyport was ahead by four (67-63) after three quarters.

A three by senior Ryan Archie (assist Trevor Ward) had Newburyport up by eight (73-65) with 5:55 left in the game.

Now it was Weston’s turn to put a run together.

Sawyer Mayhugh

Key play alert! The decisive comeback run started with Sawyer Mayhugh launching a three. Knowing what he can do around the basket, you’d think defensively that he was doing you a favor shooting from beyond the arc.

Sawyer took the shot and it missed but he raced in from the wing, got the rebound, and made a layup. That’s what hustle is all about!

That basket started Weston on an 8-point run. Will Van Houten’s three was the shot that gave Weston it’s first lead (74-73) since the first quarter.

Parker hit a floater in the lane. Sawyer put in a layup.

Parker went at Sawyer for a layup. Sawyer answered with a dunk.

Four straight free throws (Sawyer two, Christos Iatridis two) boosted the Weston edge to five (82-77) with forty-eight seconds left. Parker responded with a three.

Weston coach Dave First

Will Van Houten’s win-securing three followed and Weston now moves on to the D3 North semi-finals.

Those who have seen the Clippers play, probably had the same flashback I had when Will sank that crucial shot from the left wing. A year ago, Dracut’s Adrian Torres gave the Middies a tourney win over Newburyport from the same spot.

“Will sealed the deal with that shot,” said Sawyer Mayhugh. “It gave us the extra push to get another stop and finish the game.”

“It was a real team effort,” according to Will Van Houten. “We were in a similar situation last year in the tournament. We don’t give up. That’s what we’re made of.”

Coach First: “Newburyport is a terrific team. They are well coached and well disciplined. I can’t believe we came back from thirteen down against them. It was fun to watch Sawyer against Parker.”

Sawyer Mayhugh sets to dunk

Sawyer Maghugh: “Newburyport has great shooters. It was definitely a challenge to stop them, but we did it.”

Packed house with some spectators having to stand. Plenty of school officials around to make sure the crowd behaved.

Jack Fehlner (17 points) and Jake Robertson each had thirteen points in the first half.

The Clippers missed the front end of three one-and-one’s in the last five minutes of the game. The Wildcats were 14/24 from the line.

Weston is in the Dual County League. Newburyport is in the Cape Ann League.

Newburyport made more 3-point shots (17) than they did 2-point shots (10).

Alton Jenkins heads to the basket

In the previous tournament game against Shasheen, Sawyer had nineteen points, sixteen rebounds, and five blocks. Will the 6-10 sophomore have committed to a D1 school two years from now? Wouldn’t surprise this reporter.

Parker certainly showed that he can shine in the bright lights of a big game. He won’t be covering any 6-10 post players at the next level. I wonder what college he’ll end up at?

You stay close to the action you risk having the action come to you. Sure enough, in the 4th quarter Christos Iatridis drives hard to the basket, gets fouled to the ground and slides into me. No damage to either of us, fortunately.

Weston box

Newburyport box

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

Alton Jenkins grabs a rebound

Alton Jenkins shoots a free throw

Battle for a rebound

Christos Iatradis free throw

Will Van Houten (24 points) looks to pass

Christos Iatridis tosses the ball in the air to end the game

Isaiah Kacyvenski and Jake Robertson

Isaiah Kacyvenski guarded by Max Gagnon

Ronan Brown made two 3’s

Sawyer Mayhugh free throw in the last minute

Weston celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport rallies to defeat Dracut 67-57 in D3 North First Round

Parker McLaren (23 points) in the lane

Adrian Torres (10 points) for Dracut

(Newburyport MA) “I was getting flashbacks from last year in the first half,” said Newburyport coach Dave Clay afterwards.

And he probably wasn’t the only one.

Dracut, last year, came to Newburyport and stunned the higher seeded Clippers. The Middies would go on to stun a few other teams and win the Division 3 North title.

But that was last year. This time around, the Clippers turned things around offensively and defensively in the second half and defeated Dracut, 67-57, on Monday night in a D3 North First Round game.

Parker McLaren (23 points) and Jake Robertson (21 points) led Newburyport.

Jake Robertson (21 points)

Tyler Guerriero (19 points) and JC Santiago (14 points) paced Dracut.

The Clippers (16-5) were in front early, 12-6, and then fell apart defensively. The Middies whacked Newburyport with a 25-point second quarter and were in front, 35-29, at halftime.

“The tone at halftime was that we had to be the tougher team in the second half,” said Jake Robertson.

“We needed more effort defensively,” said Coach Clay. “We needed to help earlier and be tougher with our on-ball defense.”

The Clippers may have been doing those things to start the second half but for four minutes the scoreboard told a different story.

Tyler Guerriero (19 points)

Dracut was up, 45-38, with four minutes to play in the third quarter. The Middies were making tough shots against the taller Clippers.

Was Newburyport on its way to another shocking loss to Dracut?

Not tonight.

The #3 seed Clippers overwhelmed Dracut (8-14) on both ends of the court for the next 5 ½ minutes of playing time.

The tightened NHS defense didn’t allow a single point while the offense rolled up an unstopped fourteen straight points.

That 45-38 score turned into 52-45 one minute into the final quarter.

Parker McLaren and Jake Robertson each had 3’s during the scoring surge. There were also two well-run backdoor cuts that led to layups for Jack Fehlner and Trevor Ward.

Coach Brian Myers watches Adrian Torres and Jack Fehlner

Jack Fehlner did a nice job defending sophomore Adrian Torres. Adrian (10 points) was the one last year who nailed the game-deciding three in the last minute.

“Coach (Clay) told me to stay in front of him,” explained Jack. “He a great player. Very shifty. I just held my ground on defense.”

Adrian had four 3’s last year but none this time around. Jack added ten points tonight including seven in the comebacking third quarter.

The Middies were still within striking range (54-50) with 4 ½ minutes to play. Then junior Jake Robertson took over.

The next nine Newburyport points came from Jake hitting a three, finishing twice at the rim, and making two free throws.

“Jake is not one-dimensional,” said Coach Clay.

“In the second half, guys did a good job of pushing the ball up the court and I got some easy looks because of it,” explained Jake.

Parker McLaren to the hoop

“He (Jake) came up super clutch in the fourth quarter,” said Parker McLaren. “We were able to get out and run and he was found open on the wing. We know he’s going to knock those down every time.”

Jake’s run of nine points boosted the Clippers advantage to, 63-52, with two minutes left. Dracut didn’t have the time, or long-range shooting, to duplicate last year’s finish.

“We guarded for the first half,” said Dracut coach Brian Myers. “In the second half we got away from it. That’s been us all year. We haven’t been able to guard a unit for an entire game.”

It certainly helped the Clippers to have Parker McLaren stay out of foul trouble.

“It was a focus of mine going in,” said Parker. “I knew that they were going to attack me and try to get me into foul trouble. As it turned out, I had fouls I could use in the second half.”

“Parker is a physical presence,” said Coach Clay. “He’s huge. They did a good job of collapsing on him and taking away his driving angle. He hit some three’s to stretch out the defense.”

Scramble in the corner

Coach Myers: “Newburyport played with a greater sense of urgency in the 3rd and 4th quarters. They are a good team. They get the right guys the ball. You help a little bit and they make you pay.”

Jake Robertson: “It kind of felt like that Dracut game last year in the first half. We needed to play better help defense.”

Last year against Dracut the Clippers missed fifteen free throws. “We tried as a team to learn from our mistake of missing free throws,” added Coach Clay. “The team spent a lot of time in the off-season practicing pressure free throws.”

Parker was sure that his brother Casey, who was in the crowd, enjoyed the win over Dracut. “They ended his career last year.”

The Middies lost nine of the last eleven games.

The Clippers have now won six of seven games. They play again at home on Wednesday night.

The Middies play in the Merrimack Valley Conference.

Newburyport box

Dracut box

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

Adrian Torres

Farai Zuvaradoka

Jack Fehlner tries to get off a shot

Jake Robertson ended the first at the foul line

JC Santiago (14 points)

Loose ball coming my way

Max Gagnon

Parker McLaren rebounds

Ronan Brown on the move

Tyler Guerriero

 

 

 

 

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Cheyenne Nessinger scores 25 points but Newburyport defeats Danvers 48-37

Sadie Vandenberg tries to deny Cheyenne Nessinger (25 points) the ball

Abby Gillingham (12 points) shoots over Maddie Montanari

(Danvers MA) Cheyenne Nessinger was awesome tonight.

But Newburyport had the balance to offset Cheyenne’s big game and downed Danvers, 48-37, in the opening round of the Gieras Memorial Games.

The Clippers will face Reading in the title game tomorrow night.

Cheyenne had twenty-five points, twelve rebounds, and five blocks to literally carry Danvers on her back.

Cheyenne seemed as surprised as anyone regarding her special night: “I can’t explain the good game. We did have a shoot-around this morning and that probably helped.”

The Clippers (12-7) broke away from a close game (21-20) late in the first half while Cheyenne was on the bench.

While the Falons (10-9) went scoreless during the final 2 ½ minutes of the half, the Clippers put up nine straight points thanks to Deidre McElhinney (15 points) and Abby Gillingham (12 points).

Deidre’s part was a three and two free throws.

Deidre McElhinney (15 points) at the free throw line

Abby’s part was a jump shot (assist Jackie Doucette) and a nice put-back seconds before the halftime buzzer sounded.

Newburyport’s halftime lead was 30-20.

The Falcons were down 40-26 in the closing seconds of the third quarter but Sabrina Auciello drilled a three to give Danvers hope as they entered the final period.

Anna Affolter and Reese Pszenny

A free throw and a layup by Cheyenne Nesseinger and a layup by Kristina Yebba started things on a positive note for the Falcons in the final period. They were within six (40-34) with four minutes left.

The home team continued to stay close (43-37) with 1 ½ minutes left after Kristina Yebba dropped in a three-pointer.

But those would be the last points Danvers would score.

Key steal by Sami Cavanaugh along with a blocked shot by Makenna Ward protected the shrinking lead and helped earn the Clippers a win.

Newburyport had nine different players score points.

The Clippers guards were able to pressure the Danvers guards enough to limit their passes inside. That made perfect sense because it seemed that every time Cheyenne had the ball inside she scored.

Makenna Ward passes

Coach Crutchfield: “We had lots of contributions off the bench. Deidre had a good game tonight. Emma Foley helped us a lot off the bench. Makenna was composed and played tough defense.”

Deidre McElhinney: “We were looking for our offense tonight. When they got within six we had stop that run and end their momentum.”

Sami Cavanaugh: “I don’t think that the Danvers girl saw me. That was why I was able to steal it. I am committed to Holy Cross. I am interested in law. I expect to play club sports.”

This two-day tournament is the result of the love Danvers coach Pat Veilleux had for his friend Ed Gieras. Pat wanted to create a memory of his friend and has succeeded nicely.

Danvers box

Newburyport box

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

Cheyenne Nessinger at the line

Cheyenne Nessinger was money in close

Deidre McElhinney defends

Deidre McElhinney in the middle of Falcons

Gabby Chisholm with the ball

Jackie Doucette gets a rebound

Jackie Doucette in a trap

Julia Vaillancourt and Anna Affolter

Sami Cavanaugh

Sami Cavanaugh and Makenna Ward reach in

Sydney Turner looks to pass

 

 

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Lynnfield’s fast start leads to 44-35 win over Newburyport

Abby Gillingham and Tori Morelli

Grace Klonsky in alone

(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.

Makenna Ward

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.

Grace Klonsky

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!

Lynnfield box

Newburyport box

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

Deidre McElhinney in for two

Deidre McElhinney looks to pass by Cate MacDonald

Grace Klonsky and Sami Cavanaugh

Grace Klonsky catches an inbounds pass

Jackie Doucette shoots against Melissa Morelli

Jackie Doucette trapped by Ava Buonfiglio and Grace Klonsky

Melissa Morelli and Elle Doucette

Melissa Morelli looks to pass

Sadie Vandenberg

Sami Cavanaugh defends

Sydney Turner

Sami Cavanaugh

Sadie Vandenberg

Jess Rosseau

 

 

 

 

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Pentucket overwhelms Newburyport 58-24 to clinch CAL Kinney Division

Lana Mickelson (32) and Deidre McElhinney (4)

Angelina Yacubacci (16 points)

(West Newbury MA) It doesn’t happen every game but when it does…..watch out!

Pentucket was excellent on both ends of the court and that put Newburyport on the wrong end of a  58-24 score on Friday night.

Combined with a Masconomet loss, the Sachems (17-1) clinched their sixth straight Cape Ann League Kinney Division title.

“Our girls came out with a ton of energy and played great defense,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara afterwards.

The Clippers (9-6) ended up with a night full of tough shots and turnovers.

Pentucket mustered only thirty-eight points in the first meeting (January 20th) with Newburyport.

“Last time was a different style of game,” explained Coach McNamara.  “They controlled the tempo with their 1-2-2 halfcourt defense.  This time our defense got us going offensively.”

Sami Cavanaugh tries for control

The Sachems had thirty-six points in the first half alone and were comfortably ahead, 36-15, at that time.

The Clippers had won three of their last four games including a shocker over Masco.

Tonight, the score was tied (4-4) after three minutes before Pentucket began putting everything together.  On this evening, the visitors had no answers.

The Sachems ran nine unanswered points together and never looked back.

In this breakaway segment, Angelina Yacubacci (16 points) assisted on an Arielle Cleveland jump shot and a Hannah Lambert triple.

Angelica Hurley (11 points)

The nicest play in this collection of points was an Arielle Cleveland save of a ball going out of bounds that ended up with an Angelica Hurley (11 points) 3-pointer.

Pentucket was ahead, 13-7, after one quarter.

The Sachems put a 23-point second quarter together.  Freshman Abby Dube (12 points) had two beyond-the-arc three’s and one old-fashioned three in the high-scoring quarter.

“I tend to think a lot when I shoot,” explained Abby post-game.  “Tonight, I was just playing and having fun out there.”

Abby’s twelve points were a career high for her.

Most of the night the Clippers had trouble getting to the basket as well as getting the ball inside to their tallest player, Abby Gillingham.

“MacKenzie Currie didn’t score a lot tonight but what a job she did against Abigail (Gillingham),” explained Coach McNamara.  “She’s a good scorer but she may have had only one basket tonight because of MacKenzie’s defense.”

Abby Gillingham with MacKenzie Currie defending

MacKenzie tallied eighteen points in the first meeting.  Tonight she had only four points but her defense on Newburyport’s top scorer was crucial in Pentucket’s victory.

The Clippers had twenty-six turnovers (by my count) and some of the miscues quickly led to Sachem layups.

“We got them rattled early,” recalled Coach McNamara.  “We made some shots and fed off our defensive energy.  We got a lot of transition baskets.”

Pentucket has now won thirteen straight.  Last loss was to Masco on January 3rd.  Those two teams will meet again at Pentucket next Friday night.

The Sachems, with just one loss, have the best record in Division 2 North.  Another D2 school, Marblehead, was 16-2 going into tonight.

Sadie Vandenberg

Newburyport (9-6) is just a win away from qualifying for the post-season.

“Newburyport is a good, young team,” added Coach McNamara.  “They are going to be very good.”

Coach McNamara has now won 296 games in his 14+ years directing the Sachems.  If Pentucket takes care of their final three regular-season games, that memorable 300th win could happen in the first round of the D2 tournament at Pentucket.

Abby Dube: “Playing with seniors and juniors is scary but really fun.  At first I was terrified but eventually I got comfortable.”

I continue to be impressed with the Pentucket band.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

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

Terrific Angelica Hurley pass to Abby Dube

Abby Dube (12 points) and Anna Affolter

Abby Gillingham tries to block Angelina Yacubacci’s shot

Anna Affolter at the line

Anna Wyner and Sami Cavanaugh

Hannah Lambert

MacKenzie Currie

Jackie Doucette and MacKenzie Currie

Leah Metsker

Makenna Ward

MacKenzie Currie

Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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