Category Archives: Pentucket

Triton gets twenty-five hits defeating Pentucket 27-12

Haleigh Harris had one of Triton’s three home runs
Grace Romine gets an out at first

(Groveland MA) “Triton is a crazy hitting team,” said Pentucket coach Deb Smith afterwards.

No chance of an argument on that one from anyone at Groveland Pines this afternoon.

Triton put on a hitting show defeating Pentucket, 27-12, in a game called after five innings.

“We can hit,” said Triton coach Alan Noyes, “and when our pitching develops, we’re going to be pretty good.”

Triton coach Alan Noyes and Emily Johnson

The Vikings (1-1) climbed off the bus hitting today jumping into a seven-run lead in the first inning.

Credit Pentucket.  They put a six-run inning together in the second inning and the game was tied, 7-7, after two innings.

“Pentucket girls don’t quit,” added Coach Noyes.  “A lot of these kids play together on club teams.”

“I liked the way we came back after falling behind early,” said Coach Smith.

The good news for the Sachems (0-2) was the early comeback.  The bad news was that the Vikings weren’t done scoring.

Shortstop Sarah Sargent throws to first

The visitors from Byfield sent fourteen batters to the plate in the third inning adding nine runs.  In the fifth inning it was sixteen batters and ten more runs.

“Triton hit the ball so hard and so well and they were very disciplined waiting for their pitch,” said Coach Smith.  “It was hard to defend.”

Haleigh Harris, Natalie Indingaro, and Mallory Johnson had over-the-fence home runs for Triton.

Sophomore Grace Romine took the win going four innings in relief of starter Mallory Johnson.  Grace also scored three runs, had four hits, and drove five runs in.

Freshman Mallory Johnson collected three hits (including the HR), scored two runs, and added six RBI.

Mallory Johnson homered in the first

Sophomore Natalie Indingaro contributed four hits (including the HR), scored two runs, and drove in six.

Everyone in the Triton starting lineup had at least one hit.

Pentucket did end up getting twelve runs which would be enough to be competitive with many Cape Ann League teams.

Sophomore Ella Agocs and junior Bailey Stock each had three hits for the Sachems.

“There’s nothing we can do but get better,” said Coach Smith.  “I’m not worried.  We’ll learn from today and hopefully get some wins next week.”

Coach Noyes: “Seven of our starters are either freshman or sophomores.  Twelve of the thirteen kids on our roster had never dressed for a varsity game.”

Coach Smith: “We have almost all new players with only one returning starter.”

Crowd at second

Senior Charlotte Latham and junior Meg Hamel did the pitching for Pentucket.

It may be early, but Triton’s freshman shortstop Kyla Story looks to have the range and arm of her predecessor CAL All-Star Bridget Sheehan.  Kyla had three hits and scored three runs.

I haven’t done a Pentucket softball game for a while.  Last time for me may have been when Julie Freitas (assistant coach) pitched the Sachems past Newburyport.  Julie is now at UNH playing club softball.

There was plenty of “action” beyond the leftfield fence if dogs barking is your thing.  One of Triton’s home runs gave those dogs something to bark about landing in the midst of them.

I’ve done a few games and the pattern is for the visiting team to be late arriving.  Learned why today.  It’s because of a shortage of bus drivers due to Covid-19.  A driver has to finish his/her route before bringing a team to a game.

Pentucket scored twelve runs

Sunny afternoon but breezy.

When I get into Groveland Pines it takes me back to college days when I used to come here to watch drivers such as Bentley Warren and Ollie Silva in action.

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

Pitcher Meg Hamel waits for a throw
Emma Lopata caught in a rundown
Play at the plate
Ella Agocs and Grace Romine
Freshman Mallory Johnson
Freshman Kyla Story
Sophomore Liv Kiricoples
Sophomore Sydney Pichette
Senior Sarah Sargent
Junior Emma Lopata
Senior Charlotte Latham
Sophomore Ella Agocs

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Chase Dwight puts on a show in scrimmage against Ipswich

Chase Dwight pitched four shutout innings

(Groveland MA) Impressive.

Chase Dwight had a 3-run homer in the 4th inning against Ipswich
Chase Dwight in the midst of the HR celebration

Pentucket sophomore Chase Dwight pitched four shutout innings and drilled a 3-run homer.

Chase’s shot over the fence in left center in the 4th inning off Ipswich relief pitcher Jake Reily scored Joe Lynch and Andrew Melone.

It was only a scrimmage so overreacting in any direction is folly.

However, it seems quite certain that Chase Dwight will play a prominent role for the Sachems in the Cape Ann League regular season which starts later this week.

The Monday afternoon event was played at Groveland Pines.

Shortstop Ethan Hunt takes charge on an infield popup

The prevailing winds there made every ball in the air toward right field an adventure for the fielders.  Several drives that way either sliced away, or dropped in front, of fielders.

That same wind turned things from cool to cold for those of us spectators.  I lasted four innings.

Chase Dwight and catcher Joe Lynch

As is the habit with a scrimmage, there were no numbered uniforms worn or rosters available.  I took pictures but won’t be putting names to most of them.

I do plan to post the unnamed ones on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea) asking for IDs.  Once I get the names, I will add that picture to my online blog (McClelland Miscellanea) coverage of the scrimmage.

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

Senior Andrew Melone
Kyle Ventola
Bryce Winter
Finn MacLennan
Evan Stein
Will Baise
Cade Wetter
Trevor Kamuda scores for Pentucket against Ipswich
Kyle Ventola at the plate
Will Roberts
Ipswich starter Will Baise
Jack Wile
Cade Wetter
Jake Reily
Brad McGowan

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Amesbury unveils more weapons in 22-0 win over Pentucket

Nick Marden brings Andrew Melone to a halt
Kyle Donovan follows blocker Jarrid Schwindt

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury is good and appear to be getting even better.

Today the Indians (4-1) made it look easy as they defeated Pentucket, 22-0, on Saturday afternoon.

The significant issue for Amesbury ahead is whether or not they will play another game.

Next Friday they were scheduled to face Newburyport but the Clippers, for Covid-19 reasons, have cancelled that game and therefore the rest of their season.

Amesbury will try to find an opponent to fill that final slot.

“It’s a shame what happened to Newburyport,” said AHS coach Colin McQueen afterwards.  “We just want to keep playing if we can.”

Kyle Heidt tackles Johnny Igoe near the Pentucket sidelines

The Indians might scare off possible opponents if the livestream of this afternoon’s game is seen.

Amesbury now has three straight shutouts and appears to be getting stingier each week.

“Our defense loves running to the football,” said Coach McQueen.  “They take pride in it.  They watch a lot of film and they understand the game.  They have a good idea what the other team is trying to do.”

I don’t keep “official” stats, but I think Pentucket had only one first down all afternoon.

Kyle Donovan powers toward a 2-point conversion

Five of the Sachems six series ended in punts.  The other series was done after a fumble.

“Amesbury was tough,” said Pentucket coach Steve Hayden postgame.  “It was what it was.”

The Indians scored on both possessions in the first half and were on the Pentucket two when the half ended.

Amesbury loves to run the ball and run the clock.  Teams that can’t stop the run are likely to get a non-stop dose of it.

That’s what happened to Pentucket early on. 

The Indians reached the Pentucket 32 on run after run (three first downs). 

JT Tilton on his way to the first Amesbury TD

A fake inside and JT Tilton went around the left side to open the scoring for his second TD of the season.

“That buck sweep today for the first touchdown may have been executed as well as we’ve done it during the four years I’ve been here,” said Coach McQueen.

“We kept on our blocks and the back let the blocks develop.  He cut up like he was shot out of a cannon!”

Senior Kyle Donovan plunged over right tackle for the 2-point conversion.  Amesbury was in front, 8-0, at 3:40 of the first quarter.

The AHS second touchdown drive was the one that surely would get a future opponent’s attention. 

The key to the second drive was the passing of QB Drew MacDonald.  Who saw this coming?  To date, the AHS passing attack had been as ineffective as the running game had been effective.

QB Drew MacDonald (10) has Tyler Mazzaglia (9) open

“Drew told us pre-game that he felt good,” said Coach McQueen.  “He played with confidence.  He threw some awesomely catchable passes.  It was certainly his best passing game.”

Completions to Kyle Donovan and Tyler Mazzaglia put Amesbury in the Red Zone.  Runs by JT Tilton, Jeremy Lopez, and Kyle Donovan (1 yard score) took it the rest of the way. This was Kyle’s sixth touchdown of this season.

Drew’s pass to all-alone Kyle Donovan gave Amesbury the 2-point conversion and a 16-0 lead with 4:24 to go in the second period.

“We wanted them to pass, and we made them go to the air more than they usually want to,” said Coach Hayden. 

Brady Dore follows Jeremy Lopez (2)

Unfortunately, for the visitors from West Newbury, the Amesbury passing game was very good on this afternoon.

“We did pass more than we usually do,” confirmed Coach McQueen.  “It’s all about what the defense will give you.  They were stout in the middle and were moving defensive linemen and slanting a little bit.  It was difficult at times for us to do what we wanted to do.”

The “difficulty” seemed a minor hindrance on an afternoon when the home team moved the chains twenty-two times, by my count.

The Pentucket defense had their best moments in the third quarter.  On Amesbury’s first second-half series, junior Will Sutton intercepted a pass at the goal line.  On AHS’s next series the Sachems were able to take over on downs.

Coach Steve Hayden and Joe Lynch at halftime

On Amesbury’s third possession of the second half, Pentucket wasn’t as fortunate. A heavy dose of Brady Dore’s running led to a score.  Brady ran for three first downs in the drive and finished the final eight yards on a sweep left for his second TD of the season.

The two-point conversion attempt was easily Pentucket’s best defensive effort of the day.  Drew MacDonald tried to roll right but at least five of the Sachems had the play figured out and drove him out of bounds with authority.

The Amesbury lead was 22-0 with 7:40 left in the game.

After Andrew Melone’s fifth punt, the Indians went heavily to their reserves.

“It’s the best when you can get everyone in,” explained Coach McQueen.  “We don’t have many bodies, so everyone is involved in some capacity.  They work and prepare just like the starters.  I’m proud to see how happy our team was to see them out there.”

Pentucket (0-4) will get another chance to get that elusive first win on Friday against Triton.

Derek Couture celebrates a fumble recovery

Pentucket had won six of the previous seven meetings against Amesbury.

Taking pictures of the Amesbury offense in action is particularly challenging.  There are often fake handoffs and many of those fakes worked against ME! 

I asked Drew MacDonald about the steady flow of deception, that he’s a big part of, after the game: “It is the whole point of this offense.  If the defense doesn’t know where the ball is, then they can’t stop it.”  Or get many good pictures of it…..in my case.

Pentucket fumbled on the first play of three drives and were able to recover two of them.

Derek Couture had a fumble recovery for Amesbury.

It was a cloudy day, but it didn’t rain.  Surprised a bit by the teams that opted to play in the bad weather of Friday night.

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

Runner J’Quan Neal faces tackler Frank Majewski
Tom Buetow runs for a big gain
Henry O’Neill follows blocker Jarrid Schwindt
Luke Arsenault (3) takes over at quarterback
Tremendous blocking for Kyle Donovan
Runner Jeremy Lopez faces tackler Will Sutton
Brandon Lee
Drew MacDonald scrambles for a first down
Brady Dore makes a sidelines catch
Pentucket sidelines
Kyle Donovan hands the ball over after scoring
Ball on the ground
Kyle Donovan pre-game

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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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Ipswich sweeps Pentucket on the road in season opener for both teams

Megan Reading (23), Anna Mossler (11), Meghan Wallace (27)

Lou Roesler – 9 digs for Ipswich

(West Newbury MA) Some might call it rebuilding.

Others might prefer reloading.

Ipswich girls’ volleyball started their 2021 season with a three-set sweep over Ipswich (25-15,25-18,25-12) on Monday night.

The Tigers (1-0) reached the Division 3 state semifinals last season.

“We graduated seven seniors from that team (16-7) but the newcomers to this year’s team blew us away in practices and in the game today,” said senior captain Lou Roesler.

Rachel Alleva

“It was a great season opener,” said Ipswich first-year coach Staci Sonke post-match.  “Obviously we had a little bit of rust to shake off because a lot of these girls hadn’t played in six months.  We had four really good seniors (Jillian Gregory,Anna Mossler,Gabrielle Ring, Lou Roesler) giving us a good foundation out there tonight.”

Pentucket is only in its second season of having a team.  With plenty of enthusiasm, but little experience, the Sachems took their lumps going 0-16 in that first season.

Starting this season with the likes of talented/experienced Ipswich was not an ideal matchup for the home team.

But they gave it their best and had good starts in all three sets.

Pentucket coach John McNamara

“We battled, but we gave away a lot of points,” said John McNamara, Pentucket’s first-year coach.

“Ipswich is very good,” he said. “They’re solid.  We had stretches where we made multiple mistakes in a row and all of a sudden you spot them six points.  They’re going to keep that lead.”

“Pentucket gave us a good run in the first set,” said Coach Sonke, “and it was nice to get our groove back in the 2nd and 3rd sets.”

“We’ll get better,” said Coach McNamara, “but we have a lot of work to do.”

Coach Sonke also saw work ahead for her team.  “There are still things to improve on.  The idea is to stay consistent out there.”

These are some of the Ipswich numbers: Jillian Gregory 6 aces, Kendra Brown 7 assists, Meghan Wallace 6 kills, Lou Roesler 9 digs.

Ipswich coach Staci Sonke

Lou Roesler: “I was really excited to get back on the court after Covid.  During the summer, I set my expectations low and prepared myself for no season.  The reality that we would actually play came around Christmas.  I have been accepted at a number of colleges.  I am interested in humanities and environmental studies.”

It was interesting to see senior basketball players, Megan Reading & Mackenzie Currie, giving volleyball a try for the first time for Pentucket.

This story will be linked on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and pictures will appear later on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea).

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

Macey Rodrigues-Cowl leads the Sachems onto the court

Arielle Cleveland and Mackenzie Currie

Megan Reading

Ready for a return

Meghan Wallace

Arielle Cleveland block

Jillian Gregory

Meghan Wallace (6 kills)

Block at the net

Nicole Zahornasky

Kendra Brown (7 assists)

Ally Cacciapuoti

Anna Mossler dives

Anna Mossler and Meghan Wallace at the net

Lou Roesler – backrow hit

Anna Mossler serves the match winner

 

 

 

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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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Pentucket’s efficient defense leads to 42-23 win over Amesbury

Megan Reading (10 points) turns defense into a layup

McKenna Hallinan tries the baseline against Gabby Bellacqua

(Amesbury MA) “This was the cleanest game we’ve played defensively this season,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara post-game.

“What we talked about they executed really well,” he added.

The Sachems (9-1) challenged every Amesbury pass, dribble, and shot and coasted to a, 42-23, win on Friday night.

The Indians (7-3) went down, 9-1, in the first quarter and never recovered.

“Pentucket is very good,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.  “They’re very organized.  Very structured.  We just couldn’t gather ourselves.”

“We’ve had four practices in three weeks,” added Coach Dollas, “and at times in this game that lack of practice showed.”

Avery Hallinan shoots as Arielle Cleveland defends

That lack of practice was most apparent in Amesbury’s turnover number.  The Indians lost the ball on twenty-eight possessions without getting off a shot.  Plenty of wasted opportunities for Amesbury.

“We had way too many turnovers,” admitted Coach Dollas. “Plenty of silly passes and things like that.”

Senior Megan Reading led all scorers with ten points including several outside shots.

“My teammates made drives which set up the rest of us for nice open looks,” explained Megan.

And there were plenty of those open looks for Pentucket.  Amesbury was blessed that the Sachems were off from the outside and hit only four 3’s.

The Indians had as many three’s as Pentucket.  The home team had long one’s from McKenna Hallinan, Liv DeLong, and Meagan McAndrew in the last quarter.

Arielle Cleveland covered by Gabby Redford

Two years ago, Pentucket won at Amesbury by only two points.  Four years ago, it was a three-point game.  As a result, the one-sidedness of today’s game was surprising.  However, Covid-19 has taken the “normal” out of everything, including basketball.

“Amesbury is a good team,” said Coach McNamara.  “The score doesn’t indicate it.  They got off to a slow start and we were in control most of the way.”

The Sachems lead was 21-10 with three minutes left in the first half.  The next seven points belonged to Pentucket.  Freshman Gabby Bellacqua drained a three.  Senior Greta Mauer stole a pass and went for a layup.  Sophomore Audrey Conover drove from end-to-end.

This offensive collection elevated the Pentucket advantage to 28-10 in the early part of the second half.

Mackenzie Currie (9 points) splits Gabby Redford and Liv DeLong

Mackenzie Currie (9 points) and Arielle Cleveland (8 points) were the other two top scorers for the Sachems.

Gabby Redford paced Amesbury with six points.

When McKenna Hallinan got into early foul trouble, Gabby took over the point.  “I thought that Gabby stepped up in terms of controlling the ball,” said Coach Dollas.

The Indians three losses have been to Newburyport (twice) and Pentucket (once).  Neither of those teams are in Amesbury’s division in the Wednesday/Friday tournament of this coming week.  You have to like their chances.

Pentucket’s only loss has been to Newburyport.  Those two teams could well be facing each other for a second time in next Friday’s divisional championship.

Arielle Cleveland (8 points) breaks in with Ciara Sullivan in pursuit

In the February 3rd meeting, Pentucket’s top scorer (Arielle Cleveland) missed most of the game with an injury.  The Sachems squandered a lead in the last minute, falling, 58-54.  A rematch with the undefeated Clippers has “must-see” written all over it!

Megan Reading (senior): “I want to study kinesiology or exercise science. I want to get into the sports medicine field.”

Megan’s top school choice is Michigan.  “I have been accepted at Delaware, Maryland, Temple, and Penn State so far with a few more to hear from.”

Megan explained that her knee injury played a part in her interest in sports medicine.  “I got to experience that side of things with the injury.”

In the closing seconds of the game, reserves Ally Cacciapuoti (Pentucket) and Meagan McAndrews (Amesbury) nailed three’s.

Amesbury box

Pentucket box

The link to this game will appear on Twitter (mcclellandpeter) and Mascores.  Tomorrow I plan to post pictures on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea).

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

Emma Dollas looks for a pass

Emma Lopata (44) guards Liv DeLong

Ciara Sullivan shoots in the lane

Gabby Redford finds a lane

Abby Dube defends Alyssa Pettet

Ciara Sullivan looks to the rim as Mackenzie Currie defends

Bethany Cloutier gets a layup

Gabby Redford looks to pass as Audrey Conover defends

Alyssa Pettet trapped by Mackenzie Currie and Arielle Cleveland

Lana Mickelson to the basket

Scramble for the ball

Abby Dube

Megan Reading

 

 

 

 

 

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Great start, strong finish earns Ipswich 52-48 win over Pentucket

James Davis (Pentucket) and Charlie Henderson (Ipswich) were part of a very close game

Kenny Lee covered by Will Wertz

(West Newbury MA) The Ipswich Tigers started with shutout defense and ended with consecutive offense.

That combo was enough to defeat Pentucket, 52-48, on Thursday night at Pentucket.

The Tigers (5-4) scored the first nine points of the game while the Sachems (2-6) had eight turnovers. Nick Daly (20 points) got a layup four minutes into the opening quarter to get Pentucket on the board.

“We gave the ball away too much,” explained Pentucket coach Ed Hickey afterwards.  “It’s our Achilles Heel right now.”

Despite the lousy start, and later in the third period trailing by ten (36-26), the Sachems were far from finished.

Silas Bucco (10 points) eludes Evan Stein

Senior Silas Bucco and junior Nick Daly took the home team on their collective backs after their team went down ten. They led the Sachems on an impressive 15-3 segment.

During the exciting comeback, Silas had six points while Nick had seven including a three that put Pentucket on top, 41-39, with 4 ½ minutes left in the game.

“I think we lost that ten-point lead because we got too rushed on offense, while defensively our rotations broke down a little bit,” explained Ipswich coach Alan Laroche.

For the next two minutes there were ties and lead changes with no indication of the final outcome.

The Sachems’ Kenny Lee set up teammate Ryan Tedeschi for a three from the left corner and then made a layup himself in traffic to boost the Pentucket margin to three (48-45) with 2 ½ minutes left.

Those would be the last points the Sachems would score.

“We had opportunities down the stretch to make shots and win the game,” said Coach Hickey.  “We just didn’t get it done tonight.”

Meanwhile, the Tigers put consecutive offense together scoring the last eight points of the game to get the win, 52-48.

Aidan O’Flynn

“We had a nice run down the stretch,” recalled senior Aidan O’Flynn.  “We came through thanks to Ray’s clutch performance.”

Sophomore Ray Cuevas (26 points) had a 12-point final quarter.

In the 2 ½ minute, run to victory, Ray set up teammate Nikhil Walker for a layup, made a three, and blocked a shot.

Ray Cuevas (26 points) puts up a three

“Ray had a nice game,” said Coach Laroche.  “He’s really starting to come into his own offensively.  He’s finding where he can get his shot.”

Nikhil Walker made two free throws, with thirteen seconds left, out of a tense one-and-one situation.

Nikhil Walker about to make the 2nd of two free throws with thirteen seconds left

“His two made free throws took some of the pressure off us in the final thirteen seconds,” added Coach Laroache.

I asked Aidan O’Flynn if he was surprised that Nikhil made the two shots: “Not at all, he’s a clutch free throw shooter. He practices them a lot.  I wasn’t surprised he made both.”

Nick Daly (20 points)

It certainly dampened Pentucket’s chances when high-scorer Nick Daly fouled out with 1:22 left.

“Nick had a big game,” said Coach Hickey.  “Losing him hurt us.”

Coach Hickey: “The kids competed.  They played hard.  It just didn’t work out for us.”

Coach Laroche: “It’s been a nice season.  I told these kids that I wish I had them for twenty games because I think we could have done something in the real tournament.”

Silas Bucco had ten points for Pentucket and Will Wertz had the same amount for Ipswich.

I saw both teams defeat Triton by a point.

Coach Laroche: “We’re making the best of what we’re allowed to do.  It’s awesome that we’re allowed to be here right now.”

Ipswich box

Pentucket box

The story will be linked on Twitter (McclellandPeter).  It will also be posted on Mascores.  Tomorrow some of the pictures will show up on Instagram (mcclellandmiscellanea).

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

Michael Perlitch guards Nikhil Walker

Ray Cuevas (26 points) in for two in the last quarter

Nikhil Walker hustles for a rebound

Nikhil Walker (9 points) elevates to get an inside shot

Fighting for a rebound

CJ Condon guards Will Wertz (10 points)

Nick Daly puts up a shot in close

Reilly Dillon

Nick Daly shoots in the lane

Paul Wertz (23) challenges Chase Dwight’s layup try

CJ Condon defends

Aidan Tierney

Owen Tedeschi

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Pentucket notches first win 47-46 versus Triton after eleven lead changes

Dylan Wilkinson falls away after nearly winning the game at the buzzer for Triton

Nick Daly (10 points) had the game-winner for Pentucket

(Byfield MA) Nick Daly’s runner from the right gave Pentucket the lead with three seconds left.

Triton responded with a set play.

It nearly won the game for them at the buzzer.

“Nine out of ten times that shot goes in,” said Pentucket head coach Ed Hickey post-game.  “It was run well, and we were lucky it didn’t work.”

As a result, the relieved Sachems had their first win of the season, 47-46.

“Alden (Lentz) threw a great inbounds lob pass,” recalled Triton coach Ted Schruender of the final play. “Dylan (Wilkinson) came off a nice backscreen by Quintin McHale, but it just didn’t work out.”

It was catch-and-shoot for Dylan and “at a tough angle,” added Coach Hickey.

The Sachems (1-2) managed to lead at the end of every quarter but hardly dominated within each quarter.

Dylan Wilkinson elevates for a chance at a block

There were lead changes in every quarter totaling eleven for the game.  Three happened during the last two minutes of regulation.

Consecutive inside scores by Kyle Odoy, Travis Overbaugh, Quintin McHale, and Nick Dupuis pushed the Vikings ahead, 44-40, with three minutes left in the game.

Pentucket responded with a rebound basket by Michael Perlitch and a three from the right by Nick Daly with 1:47 remaining to retake the lead, 45-44.

After turnovers by both teams, Travis Overbaugh cashed an offensive rebound with eighteen seconds left putting Triton on top, 46-45.

On Pentucket’s final possession, Triton switched to a man-to-man and junior Nick Daly ended up with the ball on the right side with the clock running out.

“I was going to take a three,” explained Nick post-game,” but I saw an opening to get to the hoop.  The shot hit a lot of rim but went in.”

Quintin McHale (12 points) finds a teammate

“I thought that Quintin had great position on that last play,” recalled Triton coach Ted Schruender.  “He (Nick Daly) made a tough shot.  Quintin may have tipped the shot, but it still went in.”

Triton (3-5) had good looks, especially in the first half, but couldn’t make enough shots to gain separation.

Pentucket struggled to get high percentage shots most of the game.

“We played well,” said Coach Schruender, “but they hit shots at the end of the shot clock that were tough shots.”

“Triton caused a lot of turnovers and it got them some easy hoops,” said Coach Hickey.

The Sachems struck from beyond the arc seven times including four times in the first quarter.

Junior Che Condon paced Pentucket with fourteen points including three 3’s. Nick Daly added ten points.

Quintin McHale (12 points) and Dylan Wilkinson (11 points) led Triton.

Travis Overbaugh turns a turnover into two points

Senior Travis Overbaugh had nine points for Triton including two layups off steals in the second half.

Coach Hickey: “Being in quarantine for two weeks really set us back.  We’re getting better and the kids are really working hard.”

Nick Daly: (On the last play) “That last play was close. The pass went over my head and when I looked the shot was falling out.”

Pentucket had six games postponed during their quarantine time.  They are scheduled to play their final five games in an eight-day span.

“We don’t mind the games being packed in at the end,” said Coach Hickey.  “The kids just want to play them.”

Triton box

Pentucket box

The link to this story will be on Twitter @mcclellandpeter.  It should also end up on Mascores.  Pictures should make Instagram @mcclellandmiscellanea.

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

Ryan Tedeschi

Che Condon (14 points) defends

Jared Leonard

Quintin McHale and Dylan Wilkinson surround Che Condon

Drew Sullivan (32) and Griffin Dupuis (24)

Travis Overbaugh guards Silas Bucco

Dylan Wilkinson in for two

Kyle Odoy splits Silas Bucco and Nick Daly

Dylan Wilkinson double-teamed

Nick Dupuis in close

Kyle Odoy covered by Kenneth Lee

Alden Lentz set to run the final play for Triton

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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North Reading upsets Pentucket 41-36 to take D2 North title

North Reading wins D2 North title

Game over

Ali Grasso and Coach Bob Romeo

(Lowell MA) “Oh my goodness!”

Those were the first words that came out of Coach Bob Romeo’s mouth immediately after the game.

The excitement was understandable.

North Reading had just defeated Pentucket, last year’s state champs, 41-36, at Tsongas Arena on Saturday afternoon.

Winning the D2 North puts the Hornets (16-8) into the D2 state semi-finals against Foxboro on Wednesday (5:30PM).

The Hornets were behind by eight in the first half, took the lead for good in the third quarter, and held off a Pentucket rush in the last minute to get the win.

Angelica Hurley (20 points) hits a three with fifteen seconds left to get Pentucket within three points

“That last minute was the longest minute of my life,” exclaimed Coach Romeo.

North Reading had lost twice to Pentucket during the regular season and hadn’t scored more than ten points in any of the eight quarters played.

Lauren Sullivan (16 points)

“We were such underdogs,” said Lauren Sullivan (16 points) afterwards. “We were looking for revenge for the two losses.”

“These kids have been special all year,” said Coach Romeo. “We were down eight and looked like we couldn’t score in this game, but we kept going.”

An Anna Wyner reverse layup gave Pentucket the eight-point lead (14-6) five minutes into the second quarter.

Full-court defense by both teams limited the half-court structure for both teams. One-on-one basketball was the order of the day.

Angelica Hurley (20 points) carried the Sachems as far as she could. Angelica had eight points, including two three’s, as Pentucket took that eight-point lead.

Loose ball

Even with the lead, Pentucket was not playing well.

“We never got into synch,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara, “and that’s a credit to North Reading. Bob Romeo and his staff did a great job getting them ready. They deserved to beat us today.”

The Sachems’ defense created twenty-one turnovers, by my count, but most of them were in the front court. Pentucket is well known for turning miscues into quick points. But they didn’t have that going for them today.

Credit the ballhandling and passing of senior guard Ali Grasso for much of that. She saw the court really well today. When trapped, she’d find open teammates. Guarded one-on-one, she would bring the ball up without losing it.

Kiley McCarthy (12 points) guards Angelica Hurley

Pentucket had the eight-point lead but eight minutes of playing time later they trailed, 18-14. That’s twelve unanswered. The Sachems would never get the lead back.

Lauren Sullivan started the run of good NR offense with two 3’s in the closing 1 ½ minutes of the second period.

The Hornets’ streak of points continued with Ali Grasso setting up Nasha Arnold for a layup. Lauren Sullivan then had an old-fashioned 3-point play and Sarah Gerber added a free throw.

Angelica Hurley stopped the bleeding with a layup off a turnover, narrowing things to 18-16 with three minutes left in the third quarter.

The Sachems stayed within one-possession range until the end of the quarter when a free throw and a last-second, NBA-distance three by Kiley McCarthy (12 points) sent NR to a 27-21 edge.

Angelina Yacubacci and Nasha Arnold

Kiley’s triple was one of four she made on this afternoon. She had made two earlier but on several had missed everything. “I tried to get the ones I missed out of my head,” said Kiley.

That she did because the next points scored were yet another three by Kiley. This one went off the backboard and in. The NR lead was now a game-high nine points (30-21) with 6 ½ minutes left in the game.

You waited for Pentucket to put some defense/offense together and they did at the very end.

The Sachems started getting to the basket for layups in the final quarter but on this afternoon the Hornets had responses.

Lauren Sullivan shoots free throws to ice the win

NR was still up by eight (39-31) after Lauren Sullivan’s two free throws with 1:10 left.

Ali Grasso and Alyssa Thompson

A Mackenzie Currie layup followed and, after Ali Grasso missed the front end of a one-and-one, Angelica Hurley nailed a long 3-pointer. Pentucket was back within a possession with fifteen seconds left.

But North Reading was able to get the ball into Lauren Sullivan’s hands and she was fouled. The senior cashed two pressure free throws with ten seconds left and the Hornets had the win and the D3 North title.

“We came back but they made plays,” said Coach McNamara.

“I didn’t sub,” said Coach Romeo. “All five played thirty-two minutes. Lauren, Ali, and Kiley took turns making big shots.”

“It was an amazing team effort,” said Ali Grasso. “We worked so hard to get here. We scouted them. We came in so prepared.”

Scramble on the floor

Coach McNamara: “We didn’t seem to have a lot of energy. I don’t know why. We didn’t play our usual aggressive defense. We missed a lot of shots and we didn’t dribble very well. It was just one of those days. We didn’t play as good as we could, and they did…a recipe for a loss.”

Coach Romeo: “Credit to Pentucket. They’re state champs. They weren’t going to go away easy in this game. That last minute was the longest minute of my life.”

Kiley McCarthy: “I wasn’t going to let this be our last game. We’re a team. That’s how we won.”

Lauren Sullivan: “In the second quarter we knew we could do it. We just had to hang on. The five of us did amazing. We never stopped.”

Pentucket seniors

Pentucket will graduate four seniors. “They have won a state championship and been to Tsongas three times,” said Coach McNamara, “and they’re better people off the court than they are on it.”

Coach Romeo on being the underdog: “It’s a game. That’s why we play. Anything can happen.”

The MIAA. Who can figure them out? They decided that photographers should not be allowed in the area around the court until there was two minutes left. What were they afraid of? That we’d take pictures?? The result was that I ended up in the penalty box before I had even committed an infraction! But I digress.

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

Ali Grasso (7 points) and Anna Wyner

Ali Grasso and Abby Dube

Ali Grasso passes out of trouble

Angelica Hurley guarded by Lauren Sullivan

Angelica Hurley shoots a layup

Angelina Yacubacci introduced

Lauren Sullivan and Angelica Hurley

Mackenzie Currie defends

North Reading captains

On the floor

Pentucket ending

Sarah Gerber sets a screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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