Category Archives: Newburyport

Newburyport hits and fields its way to a 10-4 win over Triton

Jax Budgell slides home safely during Newburyport’s six-run fourth inning
Brady Lindholm had two hits for Triton

(Rowley MA) Newburyport made full use of the equipment they brought.

The Clippers collected twelve hits defeating Triton, 10-4, at Eiras Park in the season opener for both teams on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

And then there were the gloves. 

Sometimes you’ll get one catch that earns a star in the scorebook.  On this afternoon, all the Clippers outfielders (Ryan Archer, Jake Buontempo, Jax Budgell) had highlight moments.

“We have some great outfielders,” understated NHS starter Jack Fehlner afterwards.

Newburyport picked up six runs in the fourth inning with two outs and Triton couldn’t completely recover.

The Vikings did recover enough to close to 6-4 with a run in the 4th and three in the 5th.

Newburyport starter Jack Fehlner ended both of Triton’s run-producing innings with called strikeouts to limit their comeback attempts.

Jax Budgell makes a diving catch to end the game

“Triton is a very good hitting team,” said Jack.

Ryan Archer scored twice for the Clippers

“When Triton was down by six, I told the team between innings that they won’t lay down,” said Coach Mark Rowe, “and they didn’t.”

Catcher Nick White, usually known for his defense behind the plate, was instead recognized (by me) for his hitting.  And why not, he had three hits and four RBI.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a hitting game like this before,” explained Nick.

“With the rain recently, we’ve done a lot of hitting under the stadium and I think it paid off,” said Coach Rowe.

Senior Ryan Archer also had three hits that turned into three RBI.

“Newburyport is a good team,” said Triton coach Ryan McCarthy.  “They have returning players and they’re aggressive at the plate.”

Triton managed seven hits with senior Brady Lindholm getting two hits for the Vikes.

Griffin Dupuis scores for Triton

Things did not go Triton’s way in Newburyport’s six-run fourth inning.  The Vikings nearly had baserunner Charlie Forrest picked off.  Later in the same inning, Newburyport loaded the bases with two outs and no runs in at this point.  An infield grounder didn’t result in an inning-ending force-out and two runs scored. Four more Clippers runs would follow before Triton could stop the damage.

“It stung that they got six with two outs,” recalled Coach McCarthy.

The Vikings rallied back in the 4th and 5th.  Cael Kohan’s bases-loaded single gave Triton its second run.

Kyle Odoy followed with a grounder to 3B Demetri Connor.  Demetri tried for a force at home, but his throw was wide, and two Vikings crossed the plate.

“I thought Jack (Fehlner) pitched great,” said Coach Rowe.  “We made some mistakes in the inning they scored three runs.”

Owen Tahnk pitched two innings for NHS

Sophomore Owen Tahnk pitched the last two innings for Newburyport.

Owen’s pitching probably won’t be remembered very much because it was during his two innings that Newburyport’s outfield trio put on their show.

In each of the catches, the outfielder had to dive forward to get the ball………and it worked for all three of them.

Plenty of sun and plenty of spectators.

“It was great weather, and we had a chance to play the game we love,” said Coach McCarthy.

Jax Budgell celebrates

Nick White: “Any time you can put up double-digit runs you’ve had a good hitting night.  I think that our two pitchers (Jack Fehlner, Owen Tahnk) will be among the best in the league.”

Besides getting twelve hits, the Clippers took eight walks.  Triton had only one walk.

Not counting today’s game, the last eight times these teams had met they had each won four times.

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

Luke Stallard scored two runs
Dylan Watson
Two of the areas best athletes
Coach Ryan McCarthy and Brady Lindholm
Coach Mark Rowe
Noah MacDonald out stealing
Looking for the handle
Jake Buontempo
Jack Fehlner steals second
Triton starter Cael Kohan
Ryan Lindholm
Andrew Masher

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Baseball is back

Newburyport’s Mark Rowe and Amesbury’s Joel Bierley meet pregame
Jack Fehlner started for Newburypot

(Newburyport MA) It’s been nearly two years for the Cape Ann League.

Today baseball resumed and I decided to catch a look.

Didn’t keep score because it was only a Friday afternoon scrimmage at Pettingell Field.

But it was high school baseball between familiar foes Amesbury and Newburyport.

The players were not in game shirts and the scoreboard was not being used. The atmosphere was relaxed.

The scrimmage was the first chance to get back doing something the participants, including the coaches, missed badly.

Jeremy Lopez was the Amesbury starter

Baseball in April around here?  You know the weather will be a factor!  Today, we had cloudy (Will it rain?) mixed with sunshine (Is it June?).  The wind didn’t disappoint.  Gusty at times, causing outfielders to misjudge flies in right field.  The Clippers, in fact, collected two runs on a wind-influenced single to right.

Without rosters I won’t attempt to put names to all the pictures.  I am, however, planning to post the pictures from this blog entry onto my Instagram site (@mcclellandmiscellanea) and if I get identifications, I’ll edit them into captions on this entry.  Give me some help, would ya!

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

Ryan Archer
Diving attempt by Jeremy Conlin
Shea Cucinotta
Killian Cronin questions the call after being picked off second by Tony Lucci
Best view
Drew MacDonald chats with a coach
Jack Fehlner throws to first
Nick White and Jake Buontempo listen to Coach Mark Rowe between innings
Clippers relief pitcher Owen Roberts
Amesbury shortstop Jaken Harring
Josh Sorgini and Cam Stanley in the Amesbury dugout
Amesbury relief pitcher Drew Scialdone
Will Arsenault reaches second
Newburyport shortstop Tony Lucci
Newburyport centerfielder Jax Budgell
Amesbury first baseman Tiernan Bentley
Amesbury catcher Connor MacDonald
Jaken Harring takes the throw as Finn Sullivan steals second

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Trevor Ward and Finn Sullivan shine in Newburyport’s 35-6 win over Pentucket

Trevor Ward (21) scored three times for Newburyport
Finn Sullivan had three TD passes and ran for a score

(Newburyport MA) Talk about filling the stat sheet!

Senior Trevor Ward rolled up numbers as the Clippers rolled over Pentucket, 35-6, on Friday night at Stehlin Stadium.

Trevor had a three-touchdown evening combined with two interceptions and a fumble recovery.

Quarterback Finn Sullivan had his best game for Newburyport.  The junior threw three touchdown passes and ran for another one.

“They were better than us tonight,” said Pentucket coach Steve Hayden afterwards.  “They were clearly more physical.”

The Sachems (0-3) lost two fumbles and had an interception in the first half and fell behind, 21-0.  There was no coming back against Newburyport (3-2) on Senior Night.

“Their quarterback was outstanding, and their defense was tough,” explained Coach Hayden.

QB Chase Dwight fumble

Newburyport had one turnover but never punted.

Pentucket struggled to stop Finn Sullivan running the quarterback option.  Most of his successful QB options followed good fakes to either Trevor Ward or Jacob Buontempo.

“Shoutout to the line,” said Finn.  “They made great holes.  I couldn’t have done anything without them.”

No question the openings were there but it was the damage that Trevor and Finn did once they broke into the secondary that was noticeable.  Both had great speed.

“That was the fastest I’ve ever seen him (Finn) run,” laughed Trevor post-game.

Trevor Ward’s first touchdown

Trevor claimed that Finn was “throwing the ball on a dot,” while Finn claimed that “Trevor made me look good.”

It was that kind of night with plenty of happiness on the Newburyport side.

It was certainly a boost the Clippers needed after last week’s 33-6 loss to Ipswich.

“We had a tough loss last week, but we had a good week of practice this week,” said Finn.  “Our goal is to win out.”

Dylan O’Rourke (22) had eleven carries for thirty yards

On the first touchdown, Trevor started left and then broke clear as he cut back into the middle.

On the second touchdown, Finn faked a handoff to Trevor and went clear up the middle.

Senior Andrew Goodwin kicked the extra point after both scores.  Not surprising was that holder Trevor Ward righted a low snap to make the second kick possible.

Newburyport’s offensive line gave Finn plenty of protection.  In the second quarter, that lengthy protection gave Finn time to go deep to junior Lucas Stallard for a 24-yard score.

Lucas Stallard celebrates a TD catch

Lucas was able to get behind defenders Ethan Ruszkowski and Joe Lynch.

Newburyport added a fourth TD in the third quarter.  It looked like a harmless pass into the flat to Trevor, but his speed and shiftiness allowed him to score from nine yards out.

Pentucket used a trick play to get deep into Newburyport territory in the 3rd quarter.  Andrew Melone started one way but handed off to Adam Payne going the other way.  The Clippers got caught chasing and Pentucket reached the Red Zone.

However, that promising drive ended with a Trevor Ward interception at the goal line.

Jack Hadden gets a sack

“Trevor is great in man coverage,” said Newburyport coach Ben Smolski.

Trevor closed out the Newburyport scoring in the final quarter with a 15-yard touchdown catch.

“On that last touchdown, I figured that Trevor was there somewhere, and he was,” explained Finn Sullivan.

Pentucket’s Chase Dwight was able to get a four-yard, clock-running touchdown in the final two minutes to put the visitors on the board.

Beautiful weather.  I was one of those back in the fall saying that football won’t work well in March and April because of the weather.  Okay, I was wrong!

Coach Smolski: “I am happy with the way we played tonight.”

Trevor Ward: “We’re lucky to even be able to play. I’m enjoying it.”

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

Late game scrum
Trevor (5 catches – 64 yards including 2 TDs) gets behind Will Sutton
Trevor Ward tries to escape from Joe Lynch
Dylan O’Rourke surrounded by Clippers
Nick Petty (80) set to tackle Chase Dwight (10 carries – 41 yards)
Andrew Melone looks for room
Finn Sullivan (12-for-18 passing for 127 yards) rolls right
Dylan O’Rourke loses his helmet
Finn Sullivan (15 carries – 169 yards) finds a huge opening
Trevor Ward recovers a fumble
Finn Sullivan (10) into the end zone
Henry Walsh returns an interception
Jacob Buontempo (10 carries – 38 yards) has many blockers
Andrew Goodwin kicks
Trevor Ward had a big game
Lucas Stallard and Finn Sullivan pre-game

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Newburyport edges Triton in back-and-forth thriller 3-2

Sydney Yim and Evelyn Pearson at the net
Emma Campbell finds an opening

(Byfield MA) Triton coach Karen Christian said the game was “probably the highlight of the season,” and her team lost!

The Vikings (5-5) took Newburyport to five games on Wednesday night at Triton.

The Clippers (8-2) extend their win streak to seven. Their last loss was to Triton in March.

Newburyport won the first two games tonight, 25-19 and 25-15.

In those first two, Sydney Yim (Purdue commit) gave Triton trouble serving, setting, and finishing.  Many of her finishes weren’t hard hits but, instead, dropped into open spaces.

Sydney Yim

I started thinking sweep and early evening.

The Vikings had other ideas.

“We flipped the switch in Games 3 & 4 and started making the plays we weren’t making before,” said Mia Berardino afterwards.

Suddenly the Vikings began to look like the team that had defeated the Clippers, 3-1, in March.

Triton took the next two games, 25-13 and 25-17.

The Vikings got off to good starts in both games and rode Newburyport errors to the two wins.

“We weren’t ourselves today,” said Newburyport coach Lori Solazzo post-match.  “but player for player we’ve improve so much.  My frustration is that I didn’t see the team I usually see most of the time.”

The level of play was remarkable at times. Hard hits were not definite winners. 

Both teams had terrific setters (Molly Kimball and Sydney Yim) so there was a steady diet of hard hits provided. 

Kate Sarra gets low

There was a play in Game Four in which both Sydney Yim and Abigail Gillingham launched hard hits, only to have Triton find a way to play on and eventually get the point.

In three of the games, the team with the early lead went on to victory.

That held true in crucial Game Five.  “We were overthinking it a bit early and we fell behind,” said Coach Christian.

The Vikings went down 6-1 and later 14-9. in the fifteen-point, deciding set, before turning on the “not-done-yet” button.

The Clippers struggled with four straight Evelyn Pearson serves and suddenly we had ourselves a 14-13 nail-biter!

Evelyn Pearson

A hard, deep hit by the Clippers was called in, and then it was called out, and then they decided to play it over again.

Fortunate for Triton because an “in” call ends the game.  Fortunate for Newburyport because an “out” call ties the game at 14-14.

“Thank goodness that out-of-bounds play didn’t end it,” said Coach Solazzo afterwards.

Given a second chance to win the game, the Clippers got it done.

Newburyport seniors keyed the set/match winner.  Kate Sarra received the serve and sent it to Sydney Yim.  Sydney set the ball near the net for Abigail Gillingham.  Abigail hit the ball through the Triton defense.

Clippers celebrate winning the match

“Abigail had an amazing game,” said Sydney Yim.  “She has been a huge part of our team this year.”

Abigail Gillingham at the net

“The team buckled down at the end, showed some grit, and pulled this one out,” said Coach Solazzo.

“It certainly had the feel of a championship game to me,” said Coach Christian.  “I would love to see them next week with the same energy.”

There will be a Cape Ann League tournament next week on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

“Triton is a great team,” said Coach Solazzo.  “They’re scrappy.  They played their hearts out.”

Evelyn Pearson: “I’m proud of my team.  We pulled our energy together.  Newburyport was a lot more competitive than the first time we saw them.”

Mia Berardino: “It wasn’t the outcome we wanted but I’m proud of the way we played.  I think if we play like this we can go far in the playoffs.”

The Clippers ended up undefeated (5-0) on the road. 

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

Sydney Yim and Mia Berardino
Sydney Yim sets
Mia Berardino serves
Mia Berardino spikes
Sydney Yim and Em Hoggard
Abigail Gillingham and Molly Kimball
Evelyn Pearson and Ava Hartley
Mia Berardino blocks Sydney Yim

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Newburyport runs streak to six with 3-1 win versus North Reading

Clippers celebrate another win
Abigail Gillingham and Sarah Gerber

(Newburyport MA) Six straight wins for Newburyport.

Tonight it was a 3-1 win against North Reading on Senior Night.

“It wasn’t our best effort,” said Clippers coach Lori Solazzo afterwards, “but I’m very happy with the win.”

Newburyport (7-2) has a win against every team in the Cape Ann League except Triton.

A rematch between those two teams is scheduled for Wednesday at Triton.

“I’ll be pretty disappointed if we play like we did last time (3-1 loss) against them,” said Newburyport senior Kate Sarra post-match.

Tonight, the sets went; 25-20, 25-17, 21-25, and 25-12.

“We came out slow tonight,” said NR coach Mike Milone.  “We weren’t clicking together very well and didn’t take advantage of their errors.” NR had won two straight.

Sydney Yim makes a hard hit

In Game One, the Hornets (4-5) trailed the entire game but were close to the lead most of the way.  It was 22-19 late but the Clippers wouldn’t give in.  Sophomore Ava Hartley dropped shots in and served well.

Sydney Yim has been noticeably good in every game I’ve seen her play.  No surprise that she’s in D1 Purdue’s plans in volleyball.

It’s not the big hits, although you see a few of them, it’s the steady diet of consistent play.  Some of her setups were so good that you actually wanted to come out of the stands and take a whack at them!

Tonight Sydney had a good eye for open spaces on the North Reading side that were reached with soft shots.

Sophia Messina

In Game Two, the Hornets started strong (9-8 lead) but then the bottom fell out.  With Kate Sarra serving, Newburyport pulled away, 17-10, and NR couldn’t recover.  Sophomore Sophia Messina finished the match with a neat drop shot. 

The third game was the most exciting.  Things were tied at 8-8 before the Hornets, led by Sarah Gerber, gained separation, 21-10.  Newburyport was down, but not out yet.  The Clippers put seven straight points together and suddenly the NR lead was just 23-21.  But the visitors hung tough and a nice hit by the Hornets Celia Standel was the game winner.

“We may have been too cocky in the third set,” said Kate Sarra.  “We had won two sets and just fell apart at the start of the third one.”

Sydney Yim was key in the decisive 4th game.  She set up teammates, especially Abigail Gillingham, and put away shots herself.  A 16-11 Clippers lead was 25-12 at the end.

“We played with them a while,” said Coach Milone.  “We just weren’t able to keep it up.  We should have been playing like a seasoned team, but we weren’t.”

Sydney Yim and Anna Bryk at the net

“Our energy was good tonight,” said Abigail Gillingham afterwards.  “When we got down in the 3rd game, we picked it back up in the 4th.”

“We got the win, but I thought North Reading was scrappier,” said Coach Solazzo.

Sydney Yim (21 assists), Ava Hartley (9 kills), Abigail Gillingham (7 kills), Laney Lucci (5 digs), and Kate Sarra (5 aces) led the Clippers.

Coach Milone: “Sarah Gerber was good tonight.  Her blocking, hitting, and passing were solid.”

The regular Cape Ann League season ends this week.  There will be a tournament next week although there has been nothing official on how many teams will be in the tournament.  Lynnfield with one loss (to Newburyport) and Newburyport with two losses (Lynnfield & Triton) will certainly be playing in it.

Kate Sarra

Coach Milone: “The season has been short and fast.  I am incredibly excited that our eight seniors have been able to have a season.”

Newburyport’s four seniors (Sydney Yim, Laney Lucci, Abigail Gillingham, Kate Sarra) were honored afterwards.

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

Abigail Gillingham and Anna Bryk
Sarah Gerber sets
Sophia Messina and Viive Godtfredsen with Sarah Gerber
Sydney Yim sets
Anna Bryk spikes
Abigail Gillingham blocks
Ava Hartley
Laney Lucci
Viive Godtfredsen
Anna Bryk and Abby Gerber
Sophia Messina
Team celebrates seniors

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Mia Berardino leads Triton VB past Newburyport 3-1

Mia Berardino up for a block against Viive Godtfredsen

Mia Berardino had five aces

(Newburyport MA) Two of the best volleyball players (Mia Berardino & Sydney Yim) in these parts had at it tonight as Triton visited Newburyport.

On this night it was Mia Berardino’s Vikings winning three sets to one in Cape Ann League action.

Mia (just a junior) has offers from Babson, Stonehill, and Bentley and is talking to Holy Cross.

“I love volleyball,” said Mia afterwards.  “This was a huge win for us.  It seems like we’ve lost so many times to Newburyport.”

Volleyball is a team game but Mia’s five aces, eighteen kills, eight digs, and two blocks were crucial in the Vikings (2-1) win.

“We made the plays when we needed to,” explained Triton coach Karen Christian.  “The energy and enthusiasm was great.”

Even though Newburyport (1-2) won the first set (25-16) Clippers coach Lori Solazzo wasn’t fooled.  “We won but it didn’t feel like we did.  We weren’t executing well even in the first game.  We had our highs and lows.  We need to find the middle ground and be more consistent.”

Evelyn Pearson and Emma Campbell of Triton battle Sydney Yim at the net

Ava Hartley (9 kills) for Newburyport

The second game was tight and tied at 15-15 before Mia led a run of nine unanswered points and Triton won, 25-16.

“In the first set we were all over the place,” explained Triton senior Evelyn Pearson.  “After that we settled down and covered a lot more.  We started diving.  Volleyball is all about coverage and communication.”

“We lost the first set and never gave up hope and came back with a vengeance,” said Coach Christian.

Sydney Yim went out with an injury in the third game with the Clippers trailing 20-15.  Newburyport would lose that one, 25-19.

Sydney returned in the 4th game, but her team was behind, 13-9.  Triton continued to make plays while the Clippers struggled with consistency falling, 25-18.

Sydney Kim (18) at the net

“We learned from playing a strong team,” explained Sydney post-match.  “We just need to communicate more.  We’re very young and still getting used to each other.”

Sydney is committed to Purdue.  “I leave June 12th for Purdue to start early training.  It will be nice to get playing time in the summer.  It looks like there will be a Big Ten season in the Fall.”

Sydney collected eighteen assists tonight against Triton.

Mia and Sydney play on the same club team (Smash Volleyball – Newton).

“Mia was awesome tonight,” said Sydney.  “She’s definitely looking to play in college.”

Evelyn Pearson and Abigail Gillingham battle

Mia: “They had a big block, so we had to be smart with our shots and we did that.”

Coach Christian: “I am consistently impressed with the effort the girls do day in and day out.  It was a sweet win and I’m happy for our seniors.”

Coach Solazzo: “Triton has definitely improved.”

Evelyn: “I am going into bio-medical engineering.  I’m not sure what college yet.  I have been accepted by my top choice (Northeastern).”

Sydney: “Purdue is now ranked #10 in the country.  We were #20 last year.  There are two graduating seniors.”

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

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter). Pictures should appear on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea).

Vikings celebrate 3-1 win

Emma Campbell block

Viive Godtfredsen (7)

Mia Berardino

Laney Lucci

Emma Campbell and Sophia Messina

Kate Sarra

Jess Manganello

Sydney Yim waits on a serve

Emily Hoggard

Sophia Messina and Emma Foley at the net

Kate Sarra

Sydney Yim setup

Mia Berardino spikes

Emma Foley (3 aces)

Sydney Yim (18 assists)

Molly Kimball (3 aces, 5 kills, 17 assists)

Evelyn Pearson (3 aces, 12 kills, 7 digs)

 

 

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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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