Category Archives: Newburyport

Casey McLaren and Tyler Koglin lead Newburyport by Masco 2-1

Casey McLaren congratulated by teammates Tommy Murphy and Nick White

2B Tyler Koglin

(Newburyport MA) Casey McLaren didn’t even see the play.

The tying run on third.  One out in the final inning.

Masco’s Matt Aldrich flaired a blooper to right with trouble written all over it.

“I headed for home,” recalled Casey afterward, “to back up a throw.”

But then Casey heard cheering.  “It took me a few seconds to realize that we’d gotten an out.”

Newburyport second baseman Tyler Koglin caused the cheers by racing back into right and making a remarkable over-the-shoulder catch to keep Andrew Gotts from scoring from third.

Tyler then handled the final grounder and the home team (Newburyport) had a 2-1 win over Masconomet on a summer-like Saturday afternoon in Cape Ann League action.

“That play the second baseman made in the last inning saved the game for them,” said Chieftains coach TJ Baril.  “That’s a real tough catch for a second baseman to make.”

Mark Rowe and TJ Baril

Newburyport coach Mark Rowe was equally enthusiastic about Tyler’s catch: “As far as making a big play in a special situation, his catch would rank near the top of the list in all the years I’ve been coaching.”

And then there was the pitching!

Senior Casey McLaren had a no-hitter going into the seventh and finished with a one-hitter.

Easy to overlook was Masco’s pitching but it was also solid. Freshman Erik Sibbach yielded only four singles in 3 innings while sophomore Aaron Zenus followed and held Newburyport hitless during his three innings of work.

Ryan Archer had an RBI single

“It was your classic pitcher’s duel,” said Coach Baril.

The Clippers (2-1) put three of their four hits together in the second inning and produced two runs out of it.

Parker McLaren singled to short center and went to second on a passed ball with no outs. Tommy Murphy followed with an infield hit moving Parker to third and then took second on an infield out.

A wild pitch brought Parker home and advanced Tommy to third.  Ryan Archer’s bloop single to center scored Tommy with the eventual game winner.

Casey McLaren

Casey McLaren was overpowering.  He retired the first eleven Masco batters before walking Pat Costigan in the 4th. The Tufts commit had eight strikeouts.

An error (Tyler Koglin) gave Masco a baserunner with two out in the 5th but Casey ended the inning striking out Ethan Cote.

The seventh inning was the big test for the Clippers.  Casey walked leadoff batter Pat Costigan on four pitches.  Andrew Gotts then lined Masco’s first hit to center.

“When Casey works ahead in the count, good things happen, “said Coach Rowe.  “In the seventh he fell behind the first batter, walked him, and then anything could have happened.”

Last year the Chieftains slugged twenty-two homers.  Almost all of those HR’s graduated.  Therefore, this year Masco is developing other ways to score runs.  One of those ways is to be aggressive on the bases.  In their opening win (6-2) over Lynn Classical the Chieftains had five steals.

Seventh inning action with the tying run on third

Today in the 7th with two on and no outs, the Chieftains successfully executed a double steal.  Next thing you knew, a wild pitch led to Masco’s first run and moved the other runner to third with no outs.  Suddenly the outcome wasn’t so certain.

But then Casey surrounded Tyler’s terrific catch with two infield grounders and the Clippers had their second win of the young season.

“It was a great Cape Ann League game,” said Coach Rowe.  “Two pretty good teams that should be in it in the end.”

Casey said that he was aware that he hadn’t given up any hits.  “I started thinking about it in the fifth inning.  Last year I had several one-hitters so I wanted to finally get a no-hitter, but it will have to wait.  Getting the win was more important. Both of my pitches were working well.  My curve ball was big against the top of their order.”

The weather was very pleasant and brought out a good crowd.

Part of the crowd at Pettingell Field

Coach Rowe: “Casey was outstanding.  He pitched some pretty good ones at the end of last season.  It’s hard for me to rank them however in this one he was as in command as he has been in a long time.”

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

Final out

Andrew Gotts had Masco’s first and only hit

Caught in a rundown

Erik Sibbach

Parker McLaren scores on a wild pitch in the second inning

Pat Costigan

Pat Costigan scores in the seventh

Ryan Archer steals second

Trouble in the field

Tyler Koglin about to throw to first

Shortstop Will Hunter and Tommy Greene

Shortstop Will Hunter fields a grounder

Tommy Murphy

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Marianapolis, Masconomet, Newburyport

Manchester-Essex upsets Newburyport 8-7 in CAL girls lacrosse

Diane Rodier and Molly Brady rush to celebrate an 8-7 win over Newburyport ending six straight losses to the Clippers

ME goalie Bella Pomeroy congratulated by teammates

(Newburyport MA) What a difference a week makes!

Manchester-Essex won their third game of the week, edging Newburyport, 8-7, on a sunny Thursday afternoon at Newburyport.

Meanwhile, the Clippers, with only two losses in the last two seasons, suffered their second loss of this week.

Abby Lantz (7) in the middle of the action

Senior Abby Lantz netted the game-winner with 4:26 left and was quick to credit her teammates: “That last goal was the climax of what my teammates were doing throughout the entire game.”

Newburyport’s Sam King (3 goals) faces goalie Bella Pomeroy

Newburyport (1-2) dominated the first fifteen minutes getting two goals from sophomore Sam King and one from junior Maggie Pons.

“Being down early (3-0) didn’t bother us,” said ME coach Nan Gorton. “We like the challenge.  The same scenario happened against Marblehead (14-6 win).  We just had to figure out what they were trying to do and see how we were going to beat it.”

That “figuring out” happened in the final 6+ minutes of the first half as the Hornets, with goals by Brigid Edgerton, Lily Athanas (2), Emma Cochand, and Gianna Huet, left with a 5-3 halftime advantage.

The second half was tense.  Katie Hadden tied the score at 6-6 and later teammate Maggie Pons tied things at 7-7 with 5:47 left.

Maggie Pons covered by Lily Athanas

Lafayette College commit Abby Lantz tallied the decisive goal 1+ minutes later and ME held on to end a six-game losing streak to Newburyport.

“It feels really good to beat them,” said Abby afterwards.  “We came into the game with those past experiences as fuel for us.”

Last year the Hornets were a very good 17-4 but three of the defeats were to the Clippers including the D2 North finals.

“We did a better job in this game in the second half of finding open girls,” said NHS coach Catherine Batchelder.

Sam King ready to shoot as Molly Brady defends

“Lacrosse is a game of momentum,” added Coach Batchelder, “wherever the draw goes is where the goals go.  We had trouble possessing the ball in the draw and that enabled them to get back in the game.”

Maggie Pons looks for an opening as Isabel Amigo defends

The defense of Lily Athanas on Maggie Pons (Cornell commit) was a key to the win.  “She did a nice job shadowing a great player,” said Coach Gorton. Maggie had 112 goals last season but only two this afternoon.

The ME coach also commended goalie Bella Pomery: “She is one of the best of the best.  She’s also a great teammate.  She tells everyone in front of her where to be and where not to be.”

Bella made a huge save on Sam King in the closing minute.

Coach Batchelder: “We’re just very young.  We’re still trying to find our way out there. They stayed composed in a lot of different situations this afternoon.”

Abby Lantz came from behind the net on the winning goal and perfectly executed a crease roll.

Drew Charlton

Abby on her choice of Lafayette College (Easton PA): “Throughout high school I’ve been playing club soccer.  That got me a lot of exposure.  Lafayette (Division 1) reached out to me and later, after visiting, I reached back.  When I step on their campus, I get butterflies.  As far as I’m concerned, it has the perfect balance of academics and athletics.  I am interested in government and psychology.  I have met the other nine recruits and played with the team and interacted with the coaching staff.”

Excellent April weather…….sunshine and temperatures in the upper fifties.

There will be a rematch at Manchester on May 21st. It would also seem likely that the two teams could meet for a third time, like last year, in the tournament.

I would expect a little more scoring from Maggie Pons in the games ahead.  Too many minutes off the field today because of infractions.

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

Ball on the ground

Abby Lantz passes

Brigid Edgerton, Emma Cochand, Sami Cavanaugh, Gianna Huet

Brigid Edgerton

Brigid Edgerton (2 goals) chased by Sami Cavanaugh

Bella Pomeroy makes a save

Maggie Pons

Maggie Pons attacks

Liberty Palermino

Bridget Lane

Sam King checked by Christina Calandra

Sam King shoots as Drew Charlton defends

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Manchester-Essex, Newburyport

Late triple by Dracut knocks Newburyport out 57-54

Dracut celebrates the win

Mitch Monette’s pass led to the winning basket

(Newburyport MA) Freshman Adrian Torres delivered the shot Dracut needed to advance to the Division 3 North semifinals.

Adrian (16 points) took an excellent feed from Mitch Monette and swished a 3-pointer in the closing seconds from in front of the Middies crowd to give #12 Dracut a 57-54 upset win over #4 Newburyport on Friday night.

The Clippers (18-4) nearly got even in those closing seconds but Ryan Archie’s triple rimmed out.

George Coryell (11 points) defends Adrian Torres (16 points)

“Adrian shoots like that every day in practice,” said senior Mitch Monette afterwards. “I was confident that he would make it.”

The Middies (12-10) will face either Arlington Catholic or St. Mary’s in the next round.

Newburyport had a nine-point lead in the first half while Dracut was ahead by four in the second half.  But those leads didn’t hold up.

The Clippers led 12-10 after one period.  At halftime, the teams were even, 27-27. The third quarter ended with Newburyport in front, 40-39.  In the final quarter, the scored was tied, 54-54, with 1 ½ minutes remaining.

Neither team could gain separation.  The Middies were hurt by foul trouble while the Clippers missed fifteen free throws.

It came down to the final ninety seconds and the five possessions that filled them.

Newburyport sought the perfect shot and ended up with a shot-clock violation.

Ryan Archie guarded by Tyler Guerriero

Ryan Archie’s tight defense forced a bad Dracut pass.

George Coryell missed a shot.  Jake Robertson got the rebound but traveled.

This was the lead-in to Adrian’s game winner.  Mitch Monette (12 points) had been able to get to the basket, so when he looked to be about to come down the lane the Clippers defense sagged in to stop it.  But instead of shooting, Mitch tossed a jump-pass to his left to a wide-open Adrian Torres who didn’t miss.

“That freshman, he’s something else,” said senior Cam McCullough.  “I’m not surprised he made it because he does it every day in practice even when I’m guarding him!”

“We wanted to spread the court and see what turned up,” said Dracut coach Brian Myers about his team’s last possession.

Ball on the floor

The Clippers did have a chance to tie the game and came close. George Coryell tossed a full-court pass to Jake Robertson, who was fouled.  I suspect that the plan was for Jake to make the first shot and then miss the second hoping a rebound could produce a 2-point play for the tie.  Instead, Jake missed the first one.  The second shot was then missed intentionally and Harry Bovee was able to flip the rebound out to Ryan Archie, beyond the arc.  Against Swampscott, Ryan hit that shot.  Not tonight and the celebrating began for the Middies.

Coach Brian Myers said that playing in the tough Merrimack Valley Conference helped them.  “We play tight games like tonight’s every game in that league.”

The gymnasium was packed.  Many ended up standing around the perimeter.

Casey McLaren (21 points) chased by Jean Carlos Santiago

Casey McLaren (21 points) became Newburyport’s all-time leading scorer.  He passed Rachel Wile tonight to do it.

Casey scored all fifteen of Newburyport’s points in the second quarter.

Casey got those 15 points in the first six minutes of the second quarter giving NHS a 27-20 lead.  However, the last two minutes belonged to the visitors.  A layup be Cam McCullough and a triple and two free throws by Adrian Torres earned Dracut a halftime tie.

“Coming back from the nine-point deficit was key,” said Coach Myers.  “We showed that we could stay with them.”

After Dracut took a 3-point lead on Will Peters’ layup with 2:18 left in the game it was the Clippers’ turn to rally back.  A rebound conversion by Ryan Archie and a Casey McLaren free throw knotted things at 54.

Will Peters shoots against Parker McLaren

George Coryell & Parker McLaren each collected eleven points for NHS.

Mitch Monette added twelve points for Dracut.

That Dracut is even in the tournament is a story in and of itself.  The Middies had 1-19 seasons the last two years.  They were not only defeated a lot but often defeated by lopsided scores.  But along came Coach Brian Myers.  Brian said afterwards that he’s “a Dracut guy.”  After coaching successfully at Lowell, Brian opted to come back to coach the school he attended.  He said that he “saw potential.”

“It takes a group of kids buying into a system.  We work hard every day.”

Despite the team’s lack of size, they were able to hold their own against larger Casey McLaren and his brother Parker.  Casey had only three points in the second half.

Cam McCullough was in awe of the setting: “It was the loudest environment I’ve ever played in.  It was a great game to be part of.”

Newburyport box

Dracut box

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

Adrian Torres (16 points)

Cam McCullough

Casey McLaren chases a loose ball

Casey McLaren shoots a free throw

Discussing how to defend their 3-point lead

Dracut coach Brian Myers checks on his bench

Farai Zuvarokoka and Jake Robertson

Jake Robertson from the corner

Jean Carlos Santiago shoots a floater over Harry Bovee

Mitch Monette and Trevor Ward

Season ends for the Clippers

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Newburyport

Toskany Abreu gets 29 points but Newburyport edges Beverly 60-57

Micah Davies (34) takes the last shot over Parker McLaren

Casey McLaren made clutch free throws in the final minute

(Newburyport MA) This had the feel of a tournament game.

Close, tense, free throws, last shot, and jumping around in celebration for the winners.

It was the Clippers (16-3) enjoying the happy ending as they defeated a very good Beverly team, 60-57, on Monday night.

“It was an excellent high school basketball game from start to finish,” said Beverly coach Matt Karakoudas afterwards.

Senior Toskany Abreu (29 points) had a monster game for the Panthers (10-6).  The BHS guard was able to get into the lane most of the time for layups despite an assortment of Newburyport defenders trying to stop him.

NHS coach Dave Clay was impressed: “We were trying somehow to stop #3 (Toskany Abreu).  He was terrific.  We tried everything; zone, man-to-man, face guard, diamond-and-one.”

The visitors from the Northeastern Conference took a one-point lead (57-56) into the final 2 ½ minutes after Toskany hit two free throws.

Beverly wouldn’t score another point.

“The key to this win was our effort,” said Coach Clay.  “I love what we brought to the table.”

All eyes were on Toskany Abreu as he scored 29 points for Beverly

Parker McLaren (15 points) finished an eight-point quarter with a jump shot in the lane assisted by Ryan Archie to put the Clippers in front 58-57 with 1:54 remaining.

Both teams then traded turnovers and Beverly had the ball back with thirty seconds left.  After the way things had gone all night, it wasn’t hard to imagine Toskany getting the shot in the crucial possession.

But that’s not what happened.  Harry Bovee defended Toskany well enough so that he gave the ball up.  Teammate Micah Davies tried a pass to Marje Mulumba under the basket that was high and wide.

Casey McLaren honored for scoring 1000 points

Beverly quickly fouled Casey McLaren and the pre-game honoree rattled two free throws in to increase the NHS lead to 60-57 with twenty-three seconds left.  Still plenty of time for Beverly to tie it.

Again, I imagined Toskany doing something but the Clippers defense forced the ball out of his hands.  Instead, senior Micah Davies attempted to tie the game with a three over Parker McLaren.  It rimmed out, Newburyport secured the rebound, and the celebrating soon followed.

Beverly build up a 10-point lead in the second quarter (27-17) putting a 13-2 run together.  Contributors were; Micah Davies, Marje Mulumba, Toskany Abreu, Jack Crowley, and Kyle Camara.

Casey McLaren beats the half-time buzzer

The Clippers used the final 2 ½ minutes of that second quarter to erase most of their deficit.  Casey McLaren’s long-range, buzzer-beater had NHS within three (29-26) going into the second half.

Casey ended up with fourteen points.

“Toskany played very, very well,” said Coach Karakoudas.  “We needed to give him a little more help in scoring.  Give credit to Newburyport and Coach Clay because they did an excellent job on our big man, Jack Crowley. They limited him to ten points which is below his norm.  Jack still did very well but they did a good job focusing on him.”

Jack Crowley tries to get away from Ryan Archie

The Clippers controlled the first period while the Panthers controlled the second period.  The second half was small leads, ties, and back-and-forth.

“What more could you ask for as a fan?” asked Coach Karakoudas afterwards. “I could ask for a win, but the fans had to love it!”

Nice crowd on hand including a collection of Pentucket players.  The Sachems won a big one from Newburyport on Friday night.

Casey McLaren was honored pre-game by state representative James Kelcourse for reaching 1000 points.

Newburyport box

Beverly box

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

Closing second

Parker McLaren leans in for a tough layup

Toskany Abreu guarded by Max Gagnon and Casey McLaren

Toskany Abreu shoots a 3 from the corner

Decisive free throws by Casey McLaren

George Coryell sets to pass

Jacob Roberton gets to the hoop

Marje Mulumba guards Casey McLaren

Parker McLaren denied a layup by the Beverly defense

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Beverly, Newburyport

Masco dominates Newburyport 57-30

Mak Graves (16 points) heads to the basket after a steal

Good Masco defense

(Newburyport MA) “Stay solid on D and execute on offense.”

That’s what Masco coach Bob Romeo wanted, and he certainly got it as the Chieftains routed Newburyport, 57-30, on a chilly Friday night of Cape Ann League girls basketball.

The Clippers (8-7) scored the first basket (Meg Winn) but it was all downhill for them from there.

“They got the first hoop and went up 2-0 and I started thinking that this could be a tough night up here,” said Coach Romeo. “But we got that hoop back and had a whole bunch of stops.  Once we were up, 11-2, everyone relaxed.  Makayla got off to a great start.”

Paige Richardson looks to pass

Masco (12-4) had unanswered point streaks of eleven, eight, and sixteen before Coach Romeo permanently benched his starters with three minutes left in the third quarter.  The Chieftains had a 49-14 lead at the time.

The first Masco run of points (eleven) answered NHS’s two-point start.  A three by Mak Graves (16 points), a drive by Morgan Bovardi (16 points) and three baskets set up by Morgan sent Masco ahead, 11-2.

The second run of points (eight) happened soon after the first one.  Free throws by Paige Richardson started it and that was followed by two Mak Graves drives and a Morgan Bovardi drive.  This collection of points put Masco on top, 22-5, early in the second period.

Mak Graves gets an open three

Masco was able to get to the basket with ease.  Lacking for the Clippers was any sort of help defense.  Mak Graves hit from long distance and got to the hoop for twelve first-period points.  Mak had only two points in the first meeting.

On this evening it was quickly obvious that the Clippers would have their hands full trying to defend the Clippers.  Sometimes a team can score enough points to make up for it.  Didn’t happen tonight!

The Newburyport offense had an even tougher night than the defense did.  Anyone connected to NHS basketball may want to skip the next paragraph.  Consider yourself warned!

Alex Locke (33) and Sadie Vandenberg (22) battle for control

Two free throws late in the second period by Maggie Pons put the score at, 33-14, with 1:50 left.  The Clippers didn’t score for the next eight minutes of playing time (a full quarter of playing time).  The visitors tallied sixteen points in a row.  Morgan Bovardi had eleven of the points.  The worst part of it all for Newburyport?  They had thirteen turnovers during this trying time for them.

From where I was watching, most of the turnovers were bad passes in their half-court offense.  The Masco defenders jumped passing lanes with great success.

The deadly combo of less-than-the-best offense/defense left Newburyport down, 49-14, with plenty of playing time remaining.

The Clippers totaled twenty-nine turnovers for the night.  Masco had eight.

Olivia Filmore (24) covers Jess Rosseau (25)

“We play a team defense,” said Coach Romeo.  “Everyone is helping.”

“We executed some good stuff and we had some good looks,” added Coach Romeo.  “It’s that time of year.  We should be executing.  We’ve been in the gym for two months.”

Newburyport has two more tough games in the next six days; Amesbury and Pentucket.  The games are at Newburyport.  Pentucket had a two-point win over Amesbury on Tuesday.  Pentucket has a win over Masco.  Pentucket & Masco have a rematch this month at Masco.

Pretty impressive rendition of the National Anthem by a Newburyport freshman.

Newburyport box

Masco box

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

Tie-up in the lane

Jenna DiPietro guarded by Anna Hickman

Lily Troupe to the hoop

Lucy Palmer (2) catches a lob pass beyond Sami Cavanaugh (5)

Meg Winn (14) into the lane guarded by Jess DeLucia

Meg Winn guards Mak Graves

Morgan Bovardi gets an open look

Morgan Bovardi (16 points) gets to the basket

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Masconomet, Newburyport

Pentucket hits eleven 3’s in 68-44 win over Newburyport

Angelina Yacubacci applies the D to Sami Cavanaugh

Angelica Hurley had twenty-one points for Pentucket including four 3’s

(West Newbury MA) The Pentucket defense always catches your eye.

There are times when you’re sure that the Sachems must be using extra players because of the way they double team opponents.

Tonight their defense was good but 3-point shooting was even better as they defeated Newburyport, 68-44, on a very cold Monday evening.

Pentucket (12-1) has now won nine straight and have the best record in Division 2 North.  Swampscott is the only other D2 North team with one loss, but they’ve only won eight games.

Newburyport’s first-year coach Karen Grutchfield saw Pentucket in person for the first time. “They’re too good if we’re not smarter on each possession.”

The Sachems had good offense going from the get-go.  They jumped ahead 8-2 and ran that lead to 19-9 with two minutes left in the first quarter.  By then Pentucket had already drained three 3’s and they added another triple before the quarter ended and led, 23-9.

The Sachems would edge further ahead (36-18) at the half.

Abi Gillingham (11 points) gets two for Newburyport

The first two minutes of the second half settled the outcome.  Three different Sachems dropped three’s while at the same time NHS was held scoreless and had two turnovers.

Angelica Hurley (21 points) had the first triple after the possession was kept alive with two offensive rebounds.

Next it was Maddie Doyle assisted by Angelina Yacubacci.

Finally, Arielle Cleveland joined the 3-fest assisted by Angelica Hurley.

Those two minutes of long-range accuracy combined with shutdown defense extended the Sachem lead to 45-18.

“I give Newburyport credit,” said Coach John McNamara after the game.  “I thought that they out-hustled us in the second half.”

Center-court battle between Katie Hadden and Maddie Doyle

The Clippers (6-5) did put a nice run of ten unanswered points together at the end of the third quarter.  Both Katie Hadden and Anna Hickman (14 points) had multiple baskets during this stretch.

“The reason we won tonight was because we played together as a team,” explained Angelina Yacubacci afterwards.  That teamwork showed itself on defense as the Clippers had little space even to attempt 3-point shots.  The telling statistic was that Pentucket made eleven 3’s while Newburyport didn’t get any.

Coach Grutchfield: “It took us a while to get acclimated to what they were doing.  We have to be smarter with the ball and make better decisions.  I think that we can compete with them if we play better.”

Coach McNamara: “It’s human nature to let up.  We were up-and-down in the second half which isn’t always going to cut it.  We need to be more consistent.  We’ve got some work to do.”

Angelina Yacubacci (22)

Angelina: “We need to work on executing our offense better.”

Coach McNamara regarding all the made three’s: “I don’t know if they’re a good thing or a bad thing.  Maybe we’re settling too much?”

Angelica Hurley paced Pentucket with twenty-one points, including four three’s.

Jess Galvin had sixteen points with eleven of them in the breakaway first quarter.  She also had four triples.

Anna Hickman led Newburyport (14 points) and teammate Abi Gillingham added eleven points.

Kelsi McNamara (St. Joe’s) was in the house.

Bob Melillo (North Reading) and Bob Romeo (Masco) were also in the house looking at future opponents.

Newburyport box

Pentucket box

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

Megan Reading (33) and Sadie Vandenberg (22) look for a free throw miss

Meg Winn guards Angelina Yacubacci

Pentucket defense gangs up on Meg Winn

Angelica Hurley drives past Maggie Pons

Casey Snow (11) heads for the hoop

Greta Mauer (14)

Jess Galvin had eleven points in the first quarter

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Newburyport, Pentucket

Strong second half sends Newburyport to 65-49 win over North Reading

Sami Cavanaugh (15 points) keyed the Clippers second half comeback

Ali Grasso (23 points)

(Newburyport MA) It isn’t often that you go to one game and see two of them.

If all you saw was the first half of tonight’s Newburyport/North Reading game, you would have been very impressed with the Hornets.  They made shots in close and from long range (five 3’s).  The North Reading defense forced nine turnovers in the first half and Julia Howse had several blocks on layup attempts. Junior Ali Grasso had thirteen points and NR led, 35-27.

Fortunately for Newburyport there was a second half and it was their turn to dazzle.  The Clippers caught the Hornets in the third quarter and blew the visitors out in the final quarter to win, 65-49.

“That was us in the first half,” said North Reading coach Bob Melillo afterwards.  “We didn’t play defense in the second half.”

The high NHS point total was a big surprise to the NR coach.  “We gave up 65 points.  We never give up 65 points to anyone.”

Newburyport fast break

Junior Sami Cavanaugh (15 points) explained how things got turned around: “Coach (Grutchfield) told us at halftime, ‘No second shots.  Be smart on offense.  No turnovers.  Every possession counts.”

Newburyport (6-4) has now won six of their last seven games.  “We can compete with anyone when we play well,” explained NHS coach Karen Grutchfield.

One significant improvement was lessening the turnovers.  In this game the Clippers had nine TOs in the first quarter but had only ten more over the final three periods.

“When we attack offensively, we’re a different team,” added Coach Grutchfield. “Tonight, we had four players in double figures.”

Katie Hadden (11 points) battles for a rebound

Sami Cavanaugh (15) led the Clippers.  Anna Hickman (12), Katie Hadden (11), and Meg Winn (11) were also in double figures.

Junior Ali Grasso (23 points) led the Hornets.

A key to the Newburyport win?  Ali Grasso had only two points in the final quarter.

The teams were tied, 44-44, going into that final quarter.

The Clippers tight defense, with Sami Cavanaugh covering Ali Grasso, limited the visitors to one Ali drive in the first four minutes.  Meanwhile, the Clippers get-to-the-basket approach turned up three layups, and four free throws.  Meg Winn added a triple.  That’s a thirteen-point collection!

The burst of good everything separated the Clippers, 57-46, from NR and the Hornets couldn’t recover.

Coach Grutchfield: “The game was called so tight.  Our team seemed to adjust to it better than they did.”

The Clippers now 6-4 started the season with three straight losses. “The story of our season has been too many turnovers,” said Coach Grutchfield.  “We talk a lot about protecting the ball.”

North Reading (7-3) had won four straight games prior to tonight’s loss.

The Hornets defeated Newburyport, 53-45, in December at North Reading.  Casey McAuliffe had seventeen for NR in the win.  Tonight, Casey ended with seven points and none of them after the first minute of the second period.

North Reading box

Newburyport box

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

scramble

Anna Hickman (12 points) out front

Casey McAuliffe (10) in where shots get blocked

Maggie Pons (3) and Jessica Rosseau (44)

Maggie Pons in for two

Mia DeNofrio

Next generation

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Newburyport, North Reading