Category Archives: North Reading

Second half surge gets tourney win for Amesbury 48-34 over North Reading

Abbie Sartori (17 points) fires from the corner

Abbie Sartori (17 points) fires from the corner

Maddie Napoli (13 ponts) floats in the lane

Maddie Napoli (13 ponts) floats in the lane

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury was in trouble.

Tied with North Reading (27-27) 2 ½ minutes into the second half, and having top scorer Flannery O’Connor and starter Julia LaMontagne benched with foul trouble, the #1 seeded Indians appeared headed for a short post-season.

But Amesbury recovered and put together an impressive 19-1 segment over the next 10+ minutes of playing time and went from there to win, 48-34, on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Division 3 North tournament.

The Indians (20-1) will play the winner of tomorrow night’s matchup between Green Academy and St. Mary’s.

#8 seed North Reading got off to a rough start as senior Maddie Napoli (13 points) hit two three’s in the first 4 ½ minutes and the Indians led, 13-1.

Kat Hassapis (16 points) finds space in the lane

Kat Hassapis (16 points) finds space in the lane

But the Hornets came all the way back riding the terrific play of senior Kat Hassapis.  Kat’s three, halfway through the 2nd period, put the visitors in front, 18-17.

The Indians finished the half on a 7-2 run, helped by two technical foul shots, to lead at intermission, 27-22.

As I referenced before, Amesbury got into foul trouble early in the second half.  Losing Flannery O’Connor was serious since the sophomore had twenty-three points in the last NR/AHS meeting and only had four points so far in this one.

After the Hornets (11-12) knotted things at 27, the Indians took the game over for the next 10+ minutes of playing time.  Ali Napoli and Chelsea Lynch replaced their foul-prone teammates and before long Amesbury was going one way and North Reading was going the other.

In the 19-1 breakaway time, senior Abbie Sartori hit three jump shots and one triple while freshman Ali Napoli made a neat move in the lane to get a layup and assisted on three of the AHS baskets.

On the NR side, scoring was a big-time struggle.  The Hornets missed five-of-six free throws and had seven turnovers.

Mia DeNofrio

Mia DeNofrio

When North Reading finally made a field goal (Mia DeNorfio) with two minutes left, the visitors were down, 46-28, and the game had gotten away from them.

Mikayla Porcaro had a 3-pointer and a successful jump shot during Amesbury’s winning run.

Abbie Sartori led all scorers with seventeen points.

NR used a box-and-one to try to keep Flannery O’Connor from getting the ball.  Worked quite well although Flannery found some room inside late in the game.

The Indians defeated North Reading, 72-57, on January 6th.  The Hornets made eight three’s in the first half of that game.  Amesbury’s 1-3-1 zone defense worked well this time around, however, by limiting NR to only three long ones in this tourney win.

North Reading was called for a technical foul after a player entered the game and their name was not in the official scorebook.

Good crowd on hand.

Box for North Reading

Box for Amesbury

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

Lauren Sullivan blocks from behind

Lauren Sullivan blocks from behind

Flannery O'Connor draws a crowd

Flannery O’Connor draws a crowd

Loose ball

Loose ball

Kat Hassapis defended by the Napoli sisters

Kat Hassapis defended by the Napoli sisters

Noel Riley

Noel Riley

Amesbury cheerleaders show how it's done

Amesbury cheerleaders show how it’s done

Mikayla Porcaro and Victoria Grasso

Mikayla Porcaro and Victoria Grasso

Flannery O'Connor with Abbie Sartori

Flannery O’Connor with Abbie Sartori

Maddie Napoli

Maddie Napoli

Abbie Sartori

Abbie Sartori

Kat Hassapis and Ali Napoli (Two pretty good goalies in another season)

Kat Hassapis and Ali Napoli (Two pretty good goalies in another season)

Casey McAuliffe (#10) had two three's

Casey McAuliffe (#10) had two three’s

 

 

 

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Strong second half gets Pentucket girls past North Reading 50-35

Pentucket trap

Pentucket trap

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket had a rousing second half and defeated North Reading, 50-35, in Cape Ann League action on Tuesday night.

These teams shared the league title last year and split their games with each other during the season.

Graduation had put a serious dent into both teams and I was curious to see what they would be like this season.

The defenses on both sides were impressive.  There were very few direct routes to the basket.

One of the glaring stats in this game was the high number of turnovers.  By my count, each team committed twenty-five of them.  The traveling violations by both squads almost reached the epidemic level.  But that is what happens when defenses play well.

Taylor Moore (33) and Emily Riley (31) eye one of the many rebounds off of free throws.

Taylor Moore (33) and Emily Riley (31) eye one of the many rebounds off of free throws.

The other glaring stat was the free throw shooting.  It was atrocious.  The Sachems (3-0) missed twenty-three times while the Hornets (2-1) missed ten.

The visitors broke away from a 6-6 tie (2:41 of the first) and had a ten-point lead (22-12) with 2:12 to go in the second quarter.  The key to the NR breakaway was made 3’s by Taylor Moore, Victoria Grasso, and Ali Grasso.

Meanwhile, Pentucket struggled to make any kind of shot.

The second half was an entirely different story.  Pentucket put in two freshmen (Angelina Yacubacci and Casey Hunt) to start and off the Sachems went.  The home team made shots and that allowed their press to get set up.  NR did not react well and had eleven of their TO’s in the third quarter alone.

Angelina Yacubacci had nine points in Pentucket's third quarter

Angelina Yacubacci had nine points in Pentucket’s third quarter

Angelina Yacubacci led the Sachems with nine points and all of them came in the terrific Pentucket third quarter.

Pentucket put a 15-1 run together to get ahead for good, 27-23 with an Alyssa Demeule layup assisted by Bella Doyle at 2:30 of the 3rd quarter being the final points.

By the end of the 3rd, the Sachems led, 34-27, and looked to be pulling away for good.  Suddenly, however, in two straight possessions in the final quarter, the Hornets (Casey McAuliffe, Lauren Sullivan) drained 3-pointers.  Now within a point (34-33) with 6 ½ minutes left, it was once again anyone’s game.

That Pentucket defense that had been good turned to very good over the final 6 ½ minutes.  NR was limited to two points by a defense that would not allow penetration.  There was plenty of side-to-side stuff going on but getting to the basket ended for North Reading.

In the same final minutes, Pentucket started with nine unanswered points. They had two layups (Liv Cross, Emily Riley) on assists by freshman Casey Hunt.  An NR turnover led to a layup (Emily Riley) and then senior Colleen Jameson added a dagger-three to drive the Pentucket lead to ten (43-33) and this game was history.

Sophomore Casey McAuliffe led all scorers with ten points.

Casey Hunt (20) and Ali Grasso (3)

Casey Hunt (20) and Ali Grasso (3)

Key matchup, with plenty of future potential, was between freshman point guards Casey Hunt and Ali Grasso.

NR’s 6-5 Jess Lezon is now at Yale.  Jess had seventeen points and twenty rebounds in the Hornets win last February at Pentucket.

NR’s Kat Hassapis will be playing soccer at Bentley in the fall of 2017.

John McNamara’s coaching record at Pentucket is now at 217-35.  This year’s team is young but the defense is very good.  The offense?  They have size but taking advantage of it versus NR led to many turnovers.  I’m guessing that the foul shooting will become less “foul” as the season goes on.

The biggest surprise for me was the temperature in the gym.  What happened to the heat?  Anyone who has been there in the past knows how tropical it was.  Maybe a window was open?

North Reading was 20-3 last year and reached the D3 North finals.  Pentucket was 16-6 and lost in the first round to Triton.

Pentucket box

North Reading box

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

Casey Hunt breaks away

Casey Hunt breaks away

Bella Doyle (14) dribbles in traffic

Bella Doyle (14) dribbles in traffic

Colleen Jameson made two 3's for Pentucket

Colleen Jameson made two 3’s for Pentucket

Second half starters for Pentucket

Second half starters for Pentucket

loose ball

loose ball

Lauren Sullivan drives

Lauren Sullivan drives

Liv Cross (32) makes a layup

Liv Cross (32) makes a layup

Kat Hassapis fouls out

Kat Hassapis fouls out

Lauren Sullivan sets to shoot with Alyssa Demeule defending

Lauren Sullivan sets to shoot with Alyssa Demeule defending

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport gets it done with PK’s to take D3 North title

 

Newburyport captains Jen Stuart, Amelia Kroschwitz, Sami Kelleher, and Margaret Cote pose with the D3 North championship trophy

Newburyport captains Jen Stuart, Amelia Kroschwitz, Sami Kelleher, and Margaret Cote pose with the D3 North championship trophy

Audra Greenblott's PK is past disappointed NR goalie Kat Hassapis

Audra Greenblott’s PK is past disappointed NR goalie Kat Hassapis

(Lynn MA) The Newburyport Clippers advance to the state D3 semifinals after defeating the North Reading Hornets on penalty kicks on Saturday afternoon/evening at Manning Field in Lynn.

The Clippers will now face Medway (18-1-2) on Tuesday night (7PM) at Westwood High School.

Newburyport (17-1-3) came away with the “W” but were outplayed and outshot for most of regulation and two overtimes.

The Clippers scored early (34:48) when Margaret Cote cashed a wonderful feed from Julia Groth in the middle.

Juliette Nadeau (2) sent in by Karlie Vesey gets a clean look.

Juliette Nadeau (2) sent in by Karlie Vesey gets a clean look.

The Hornets (15-5-1) had the answer less than five minutes later (30:17) when Karlie Vesey sent Juliette Nadeau in clean on NBPT goalie Jen Stuart.

The Newburyport coaching staff immediately called a timeout to settle things down.  They probably would have called quite a few more timeouts the rest of the way if they’d had them because the Clippers were a step slow most of the time.

On this night, North Reading could not apply the finishing touch.  Trust me, it wasn’t because of lack of setups.

Credit Clippers goalie Jen Stuart for handling the shots she could reach.  NR went over the net and just wide a number of times.

This was the kind of pressure Clippers GK Jen Stuart faced frequently

This was the kind of pressure Clippers GK Jen Stuart faced frequently

NR keeper Kat Hassapis had shots to deal with but none of the doorstep variety.

Kat Hassapis dives for Margaret Cote's successful PK

Kat Hassapis dives for Margaret Cote’s successful PK

That’s why the penalty-kick segment was just what Newburyport needed to take the Division 3 North title.

In the penalty kick part, there are five rounds unless a team builds up an insurmountable lead.  North Reading lost the toss and Newburyport opted to shoot first.

Margaret Cote and Kat Hassapis both connected in round one.

Karlie Vesey (16) and Margaret Cote (11)

Karlie Vesey (16) and Margaret Cote (11)

Amelia Kroschwitz and Karlie Vesey (wide right) both were unsuccessful in the second round.

In the third round, Krysta Padellaro put Newburyport up 2-1 while Marissa Zarella’s attempt hit the crossbar.

In round four, Kat Hassapis made a diving stop of Colleen Bryon’s try while Clippers GK Jen Stuart slid to her left to block Jessica Muise’s attempt.

In the fifth round, Audra Greenblott found the left corner and for the second straight game gave the Clippers an insurmountable lead and the victory.

This was the third time these two rivals met this season.  There was a win, a loss, and a tie for both of them.

I was at Manning Field last year when North Reading defeated Bishop Fenwick, 2-1, on a Haley Nathan goal to win the D3 North.

Krysta Padellaro (19) and Rachel Hill (12)

Krysta Padellaro (19) and Rachel Hill (12)

Newburyport has only allowed seven goals this season, not counting the penalty kicks of tournament play.

North Reading certainly played well enough to win.  Just couldn’t take advantage of their numerous chances.

Impressed with defender Jessica Muise.  Her strong foot made every corner kick a scoring opportunity.

Good crowd at an excellent facility for tournament soccer.

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

2016 Division Three North champs

2016 Division Three North champs

North Reading team captains - Marissa Zarella, Kat Hassapis, and Kristina Copelas

North Reading team captains – Marissa Zarella, Kat Hassapis, and Kristina Copelas

Clippers celebrate first goal

Clippers celebrate first goal

Jen Stuart corrals a shot

Jen Stuart corrals a shot

Sami Kelleher (8) and Kirsten Bradley (20)

Sami Kelleher (8) and Kirsten Bradley (20)

North Reading threatens (Rachel Hill on the left)

North Reading threatens (Rachel Hill on the left)

header

header

Marissa Zarella (14) gets a head on a corner kick

Marissa Zarella (14) gets a head on a corner kick

Ball in the middle

Ball in the middle

Audra Greenblott

Audra Greenblott

There was some contact

There was some contact

Kaitlyn Shevlin (6) and Colleen Byron (18)

Kaitlyn Shevlin (6) and Colleen Byron (18)

Haley Nathan (11) traps a ball

Haley Nathan (11) traps a ball

 

 

 

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Girls Soccer: Newburyport and North Reading in scoreless tie

Action off a corner kick in front of the North Reading goal

Action off a corner kick in front of the North Reading goal

Pressure on Newburyport goalie Jen Stuart

Pressure on Newburyport goalie Jen Stuart

(Newburyport MA) Shutouts are not unusual for either team.

North Reading entered today’s game with nine shutouts while Newburyport hit the turf field with eleven.

Therefore, the 0-0 final score between two of the Cape Ann League’s best girls’ soccer teams was no real surprise on this warm Monday afternoon.

However, the outcome was important to both teams.  Why?  In North Reading’s last game (Thursday) they had lost 2-0 to Masconomet.  That was the second loss to the Chieftains this season.  There was a need to tighten up the defense which, led by Kirsten Bradley and Kat Hassapis, was accomplished versus Newburyport.

For Newburyport this game put to rest the memory of a disturbing 3-0 loss the Clippers suffered on September 13th at North Reading.  I did not see that game but over the twelve games since then Newburyport has only allowed one goal.  That’s what you call tightening up your defense!

Newburyport (10-1-3) needed that solid defense today as North Reading (10-3-1) had the better of the scoring chances in my opinion.

NR’s Meredith Griffin came the closest to scoring as her shot at 14:50 of the first half caromed off the crossbar.  Here is the sequence of that action involving Meredith (green), Cricket Good (4), Krysta Padellaro, and goalie Jen Stuart:nrne-a1-near-goal-1nrne-a2-near-goal-2nrne-a3-near-goal-3nrne-a4-near-goal-4nrne-a5-near-goal-5

In the second half (15:10), Haley Nathan had Clippers GK Jen Stuart defending her on the left but Haley passed instead of shooting. Haley’s pass across the goal put Jen out of position and had “open net” written all over it.  Fortunately, for Newburyport there were no Hornets breaking in from the right and the ball rolled harmlessly across the endline.  This is what that sequence looked like.  Haley Nathan is #11:nrne-a6-haley-nathan-11-set-to-shoot-or-passnrne-a7-haleys-pass-goes-through-the-creasenrne-a8-haleys-pass-rolls-out-the-other-side

Kat Hassapis about to make a save

Kat Hassapis about to make a save

The Clippers held their own on the defensive end and in midfield.  They frequently put two or three passes together.  However, the Hornets did not allow open looks.  Kirsten Bradley was especially good at getting the ball away from Newburyport attackers.  On the rare occasions that the ball got closer, there was the 2015 Cape Ann League Player-of-the-Year (Kat Hassapis) in net for North Reading.

Impressed with the play of Newburyport’s Krysta Padellaro and Margaret Cote.  Both of them displayed the fearlessness that had them winning more than a few 50-50 balls.

Newburyport goalie Jen Stuart is unscored on in nine straight games.  Next game for the Clippers is hosting Triton Wednesday (6:30PM).

Kirsten Bradley (20) and Sami Kelleher (8)

Kirsten Bradley (20) and Sami Kelleher (8)

Next for North Reading is hosting Pentucket on Wednesday at 4:30PM.

The weather was amazing.  Temperatures in the 70’s this late in October?

The last time I saw North Reading girls’ soccer was last November at Fraser Field in Lynn when they defeated Bishop Fenwick 2-1 to take the D3 North.  I got a pretty good shot of Haley Nathan driving home the game-winner.

Unusual call (to me) in this game was against North Reading for having too many players on the field.  I also saw an NR player sent to the sidelines by a referee for unsportsmanlike conduct.

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

Rachel Hill (12) and Margaret Cote (11)

Rachel Hill (12) and Margaret Cote (11)

Olivia Sullivan (20) and Kaitlyn Shevlin (6)

Olivia Sullivan (20) and Kaitlyn Shevlin (6)

Chasing the ball

Chasing the ball

Kirsten Bradley

Kirsten Bradley

Cricket Good (4) collides with Meredith Griffin

Cricket Good (4) collides with Meredith Griffin

Ball in the middle

Ball in the middle

Action around Kat Hassapis (19)

Action around Kat Hassapis (19)

Jess Muise (9)

Jess Muise (9)

 

 

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SC 2016 Cape Ann League Outdoor Championship Track Meet

Meet MVP Alec Reduker

Meet MVP Alec Reduker

Meet MVP Carolyn Modlish

Meet MVP Carolyn Modlish

(Boxford MA) The team winners at the 2016 Cape Ann League outdoor championship track meet were the Amesbury boys and the North Reading girls on a cloudy Saturday afternoon at Masconomet.

Amesbury held off second-place North Reading 113 to 100 while the NR girls had a 125.75 to 91 advantage over runner-up Hamilton-Wenham.

Newburyport’s Alec Reduker and Pentucket’s Carolyn Modlish were selected by the CAL coaches as the top performers at the meet.

I was at Masco for the afternoon part of the event.

OFFICIAL STATS FROM THE MEET

Girls’ team stats

Boys’ team stats

(All of the pictures in this blog entry will ENLARGE considerably if you click on them.)

Alex Reduker

Alex Reduker

Alec Reduker (Newburyport), Brandon Amello (Triton) - 110 meter hurdles

Alec Reduker (Newburyport), Brandon Amello (Triton) – 110 meter hurdles

Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury), Caroline Schissel (Amesbury) - 100 meters

Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury), Caroline Schissel (Amesbury) – 100 meters

Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Ian Riaf (Hamilton-Wenham), Jackson Hastings (North Reading) - 100 meters

Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Ian Riaf (Hamilton-Wenham), Jackson Hastings (North Reading) – 100 meters

lunge for the finish

lunge for the finish

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Jack Carleo (Newburyport) - 800 meters

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Jack Carleo (Newburyport) – 800 meters

Carolyn Modlish (Pentucket), Julia Koenig (Hamilton-Wenham) - 400 meters

Carolyn Modlish (Pentucket), Julia Koenig (Hamilton-Wenham) – 400 meters

Daniel Allara (Hamilton-Wenham), Fred Halloran (Amesbury) - 400 meters

Daniel Allara (Hamilton-Wenham), Fred Halloran (Amesbury) – 400 meters

Geena Gangi (Masco), Carolina Ivanov (Ipswich), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury) - 200 meters

Geena Gangi (Masco), Carolina Ivanov (Ipswich), Brooke Taylor (Amesbury) – 200 meters

Relay start

Relay start

Keith Merchant and Nick Copelas

Keith Merchant and Nick Copelas

Jack Carleo and Joe Molvar exchange the baton for Newburyport

Jack Carleo and Joe Molvar exchange the baton for Newburyport

Katryn Dwyer (Pentucket), Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Jenna Raffael (North Reading) - 4X100 relay

Katryn Dwyer (Pentucket), Daniela Garcia (Hamilton-Wenham), Jenna Raffael (North Reading) – 4X100 relay

Tight relay finish

Tight relay finish

Passing the baton

Passing the baton

Amanda Recupero ((pswich), Sarah Maggiacomo (Triton) - 4X400 relay

Amanda Recupero (Ipswich), Sarah Maggiacomo (Triton) – 4X400 relay

Ipswich baton exchange

Ipswich baton exchange

Fred Halloran

Keith Merchant

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Keith Merchant (Amesbury), Tom Helms (North Reading) in 4X100 relay

Sam Coppola (Pentucket), Fred Halloran (Amesbury), Tom Helms (North Reading) in 4X100 relay

Maddie Quigley and Morgan Snow

Maddie Quigley and Morgan Snow

 

 

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North Reading dominates formerly undefeated Amesbury 7-0 in softball

North Reading pitcher Julia Perrone tossed a 4-hit, 7K, gem against Amesbury

North Reading pitcher Julia Perrone tossed a 4-hit, 7K, gem against Amesbury

Sophomore Tara Driver smiles her way around the bases after hitting a 3-run homer in the sixth inning

Sophomore Tara Driver smiles her way around the bases after hitting a 3-run homer in the sixth inning

(North Reading MA)  This was a surprise.

North Reading (5-1) dominated Amesbury to the tune of 7-0 with terrific pitching (Julia Perrone) and nonstop hitting on Monday afternoon in Cape Ann League action.

This was the first loss for the Indians (5-1).  The shutout was a real surprise since Amesbury had rattled five opponents with forty-five runs before running into NR junior Julia Perrone.

The Hornets’ righty allowed only four singles and struck out seven Indians.  Julia ended the 2nd and 3rd innings with K’s after the visitors had runners in scoring position in each of them.

It was easy to miss the Hornets excellent pitching with all the hitting they did.  The word “squibber” would not describe any of those hits.  NR hit the fence on a line, hit one over the fence (Tara Driver), and had four doubles.

The only starter without a hit was leadoff batter Carly Swartz but Carly’s terrific defense at second more than made up for her not getting a hit.

Senior Lily Malloy drove in NR’s first two runs with a single in the second and a double to center in the third.

It was a very busy afternoon in the Amesbury outfield

It was a very busy afternoon in the Amesbury outfield

North Reading would get two more runs in the fifth inning on sophomore Guiliana Peppe’s two-out, bases-loaded double to left field.

The Hornets carried that 4-0 lead into the sixth.  After two quick outs, Abby Paine singled.  3B Emily Robinson handled the grounder of next batter Julia Perrone okay but looked first to second and then threw wildly to first allowing Julia to reach and extend the inning.  That was unfortunate for Amesbury because next batter Tara Driver lofted a high fly to right that cleared the fence for a 3-run homer.

Pitcher Julia Perrone throws to first as teammate Cassidy looks on

Pitcher Julia Perrone throws to first as teammate Cassidy looks on

This was Tara’s fifth home run of the season.

Starter Julia Perrone now has 46 strikeouts over 37 innings.

Amesbury starter Hayley Catania had three strikeouts but as the thirteen hits would indicate was not missing many bats on this afternoon.

With both teams in Division 2 you can almost be certain that to get where they want to get in the post-season they have a good chance of meeting again.

The Indians had defeated North Reading three straight years by one run each time.  I was expecting a close game but NR on this afternoon would have none of that.

Cassandra Pascucci was one of four Hornets with two hits

Cassandra Pascucci was one of four Hornets with two hits

Julia Perrone, Cassidy Gaetta, Cassandra Pascucci, and Guiliana Peppe each had two hits for North Reading.

Lauren Fedorchak, Hayley Catania, Adrienne Harris, and Chloe Kramer singled for Amesbury.

Next game for North Reading is on the road Wednesday versus Ipwich.

Amesbury’s next game is hosting Masco on Friday.

Danny Ventura of the Boston Herald was in the house.

A wild throw to first by 3B Tara Driver found my ankle.  That comes with the territory when you try to get action shots and have the reflexes of a sidewalk.

North Reading box

Amesbury box

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

Zoe Fitzgerald

Zoe Fitzgerald

Megan Reid

Megan Reid

2B Carly Swartz fields the final out

2B Carly Swartz fields the final out

Adrienne Harris connects

Adrienne Harris connects

3B Tara Driver fires toward first ......and finds my ankle.

3B Tara Driver fires toward first ……and finds my ankle.

Hayley Catania

Hayley Catania

CF Abby Paine sights a fly ball

CF Abby Paine sights a fly ball

Caity Baker

Caity Baker

2B Lauren Fedorchak tries to track down a hit up the middle

2B Lauren Fedorchak tries to track down a hit up the middle

Hayley Catania caught stealing by shortstop Cassandra Pascucci

Hayley Catania caught stealing by shortstop Cassandra Pascucci

Catcher Caity Baker applies the tag at home to Jessica Ferrazzani

Catcher Caity Baker applies the tag at home to Jessica Ferrazzani

Amesbury nearly turned two.

Amesbury nearly turned two.

1B Zoe Fitzgerald set to tag Carly Swartz

1B Zoe Fitzgerald set to tag Carly Swartz

 

 

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North Reading defeats Triton 41-31 to gain share of CAL Kinney Division title

North Reading: 2015-16 Cape Ann League Kinney Division co-champs

North Reading: 2015-16 Cape Ann League Kinney Division co-champs

Jess Lezon (19 points) defended by Tessa Lafrance (13 points)

Jess Lezon (19 points) defended by Tessa Lafrance (13 points)

(Byfield MA) North Reading is not going to have any problem with sharing.

The Hornets (18-2) rode Jess Lezon’s nineteen points to defeat Triton, 41-31, on Wednesday night. The win gives NR a share of the Cape Ann League Kinney Division title with Pentucket.

The Hornets haven’t had a CAL girls’ basketball title, shared or unshared, since 1993!

But the drought is over and NR now can get ready for the Division 3 tournament. The MIAA bracket will be released on Friday.

Triton (10-10) sealed their ride to the Division 2 tourney with a recent win over Everett.

The visitors took the lead for good (5-4) just three minutes into the game on a three by senior Julia McDonald.

Jess Lezon (6’5”) drew plenty of Vikings defenders wherever she was. The Yale commit dominated the second quarter with eleven points getting terrific feeds from teammates. North Reading led 28-15 at halftime.

Jess Lezon gets a layup over Abby Ostrander

Jess Lezon gets a layup over Abby Ostrander

Junior Tessa Lafrance had thirteen points and defended Jess Lezon. Her problem? Foul trouble. If there is such a thing as a foul magnet, Tessa was it. Triton coach Dan Boyle was forced to keep the 6’ junior on the bench for half of the second quarter and didn’t start her in the 3rd quarter. Tough place to have your top scorer and your best defensive matchup against Jess Lezon.

The Vikings were able to chop some points off the NR halftime advantage in the second half. After an Erin Savage three, Triton got as close as they would get, 36-29, with three minutes left.

A couple of things that caught my eye in this game were: Triton played some serious defense, and North Reading did not force the ball inside but passed into open shots on the perimeter.

The Vikings constantly applied pressure and were quick enough to be able to take chances and recover defensively. They jumped passing/dribbling lanes and forced thirteen turnovers by my count.

North Reading wasn’t shy about taking three’s, especially wide open ones. And there were quite a few available because Triton did everything they could to deny passes inside. One thing that worked several times for NR was quick breakouts. Several times when the break didn’t produce a good shot they were able to hit Jess Lezon rolling down the lane.

Triton seniors honored before their last home game

Triton seniors honored before their last home game

Triton seniors (Morgan Snow, Hannah Clark, Jessica Greaney, and Abby Ostrander) were honored before the game.

The Hornets have won five straight and sixteen of their last seventeen. They could be the top seed in the Division 3 North.

NR’s two losses were against Pentucket and Newburyport. Both of those teams are in Division 2.

Pentucket coach John McNamara was in the house.

Last time I saw the North Reading girls in action was at Manning Field in Lynn when they won the Division 3 North soccer title.

Two weeks ago North Reading defeated Triton, 51-36, at home. Jess had twenty in that game while Carly Swartz had seventeen.

Jess scored her 1000th point on February 11th.

Morgan Snow on the move

Morgan Snow on the move

The Hornets are now a man-to-man team. They have nine seniors on their roster.

Being courtside I catch things that are said on the court. I also get a glimpse of facial reactions. At one point Jess Lezon was covering Mel Primpas. The height discrepancy was very noticeable. Hannah Clark had the ball on the wing and Mel backed down on the block with Jess behind her. Hannah saw the mismatch and smiled.

Box score Triton

Box score North Reading

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

Tessa Lafrance gets her 5th foul

Tessa Lafrance gets her 5th foul

Jess Lezon looks for a pass

Jess Lezon looks for a pass

Erin Savage guarded by Julia McDonald

Erin Savage guarded by Julia McDonald

Katie Welch (#5) covers Tessa Lafrance (#20)

Katie Welch (#5) covers Tessa Lafrance (#20)

Pentucket coach John McNamara does some scouting

Pentucket coach John McNamara does some scouting

Morgan Snow shoots over Carly Swartz

Morgan Snow shoots over Carly Swartz

Halftime entertainment

Halftime entertainment

 

 

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