Category Archives: Pentucket

Late run gets Pentucket past Newburyport 63-57

Nate McGrail (19 points) starts Pentucket on an eight-point run with this layup in the final quarter

Parker McLaren (19 points) shoots over Alex Willis (22)

(Newburyport MA) This game was close, very close.

There were six lead changes and seven ties.

It was a one-point game (53-52) with three minutes left.

Anyone’s game, for sure, before Pentucket took it over with eight straight points and defeated Newburyport, 63-57, on Senior Night on Friday.

Newburyport coach Dave Clay referenced his team’s defense afterwards: “We needed to play better help defense.”  Who could argue?  The Sachems registered seventeen layups, by my count.

In the crucial eight-point streak in the final three minutes of the game it was four drives to the rim that turned this game to Pentucket.

George Coryell gets Casey McLaren (22) an open shot

According to Pentucket coach Ed Hickey, containing the McLarens (Parker and Casey) was crucial.  “They were terrific tonight.  We made adjustments at halftime to help us to cover them better.  Casey (18.6 points per game) is always capable of scoring a lot of points.”

The Sachems played a high 3-2 zone that limited the outside looks of NHS.  It did open things up for Parker McLaren (19 points) in the lane area.

Junior Spencer Pacy (17 points) got to the rim successfully eight different times.

Let’s review the game-changing segment in the final three minutes.  After a three by Casey McLaren (15 points), the home team trailed by only a point (53-52).  Nate McGrail (19 points) then scored a layup and was fouled but missed the freebie.  Next possession by Newburyport ended with a technical foul.  Gus Flaherty tallied both technical free throws boosting the Sachems lead to 57-52 with 2:45 to go.

Gus Flaherty shoots the technical foul shots

After a turnover, Pentucket had two profitable possessions in a row.  Both were assisted layups.  First by Sam Stys from Alex Willis and then Gus Flaherty from Spencer Pacy.  Those two plays extended the Pentucket advantage to nine (61-52) with a minute left.  Game. Set. Match.

“We made extra passes and it opened things up,” said Coach Hickey.

The visitors from West Newbury had another run of eight unanswered points in the final three minutes of the first half changing a 31-23 score into a halftime tie.

Newburyport put a 10-2 collection together in the first period with five different players (Ryan MacDonald, Ryan Archie, George Coryell, Casey McLaren, Parker McLaren) contributing.

The Clippers will close out the regular season with four straight away games.

The Sachems have now defeated Newburyport three straight times.

The Sachems have a 7-5 edge versus NHS over the past five seasons.

The Pentucket defense collapses on Parker McLaren

Gus Flaherty had twenty-three points in the first meeting (68-54 Pentucket win) including five 3’s.  The Clippers took the long shot away (Gus had only one 3 in tonight’s game) but gave up too many inside scores.

The Clippers five seniors, and their families, were honored before the game and started the game even though none of them were normally starters.

Newburyport (11-6) and Pentucket (12-5) are both in the post-season tournament and both are in Division 3.  And both of them are in the north.  Point?  They could meet again this season.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

(For the second game in a row I am disagreeing with the official scorer. Maybe I should stop believing my lying eyes?)

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

George Coryell guards Spencer Pacy

Harry Bovee (1) guards Spencer Pacy

Sam Stys (8 points) draws a foul on senior Noah Van Schalkwyk

Parker McLaren (44) and Alex Willis (22)

Senior Austin Rosseau sets to shoot

Nate McGrail (24) flies out to defend Casey McLaren

Alex Willis and Spencer Pacy trap Casey McLaren

Senior Ryan MacDonald puts up a shot

Senior Jeevan Kowalski looks for someone to pass to

Senior Jake Valcich (9 points) covered by Sam Stys

 

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Masco edges Pentucket 74-73 in the final seconds

Spencer Pacy of Pentucket gets close in the final seconds

Will Schena (20) prepares to shoot two free throws with six second left in the game

Gus Flaherty (14) and Colby Jacques (2) chase a loose ball

(West Newbury MA) You thought the Super Bowl had an exciting finish?  You should have been at Pentucket tonight!

Masconomet was the opponent and the game came down to two clutch free throws and a missed layup just before the buzzer.

When it was over the Chieftains had a 74-73 win and qualified for the MIAA tournament.

“It was two good teams going at it,” said a relieved Coach Bryan Duplissie of Masco afterwards.  “Just a great game.”

The team from Boxford trailed by a point with twenty seconds left after missing a shot, but Pentucket turned the ball over giving the Chieftains time to organize with seventeen seconds left.

“We wanted the ball in his (Will Schena) hands,” said Coach Duplessie. “We ran a play for him and he got fouled.”

Will Schena (20) and the final score

Will drained both pressure-packed free throws with six seconds left giving the visitors a one-point lead. “He’s the guy we wanted in the clutch,” said Coach Duplessie. “He hit a three against Peabody to force overtime.”

Plenty of time for Pentucket.  Masco opted to double-team Nate McGrail to keep him from getting the inbounds pass.  That left Spencer Pacy with the ball.

“They took away Nate but Spencer is usually a good finisher,” said Pentucket coach Ed Hickey.  “We had the opportunity but just didn’t finish.”

Spencer dribbled the length of the court and into the lane with three defenders. He got off a shot that missed before the buzzer sounded.

The combination of the clock running down, and the lack of any shot-block attempt by the Chieftains’ defenders probably influenced Spencer’s shot.

“We got lucky,” said Coach Duplessie. “We told our players that when they go to the rim we have to step in and take a charge.  They went all the way to the rim and we were fortunate that the shot didn’t fall.”

Nate McGrail (24) gets to the basket

So you can see that the end was pretty exciting.  The rest of the game wasn’t too shabby either.

Pentucket put a 9-point run together in the first quarter to get ahead, 17-10.  In the final quarter, Masco used an 8-2 segment to create a, 62-54, margin.

Other than that this game was very tight.  In a 32-minute game there were EIGHTEEN lead changes and six ties.  There were six lead changes in the last three minutes of the game!

Both teams had players who could score and neither team was shy about taking the ball to the rim.

Both teams changed defenses frequently.

Battle around the basket

The Chieftains were better on the boards and had four second-chance baskets.  “It was a physical game,” said Coach Hickey.  “We needed to do a better job rebounding.  We have them too many extra opportunities.”

The Sachems had fourteen turnovers while Masco had twelve.  Two of the Pentucket miscues were in the final ninety seconds.

Division 2 Masconomet (10-4) has now won six of their last seven games. The Chieftains were 6-14 last season.

Division 3 Pentucket (10-5) had beaten Masco three straight times before tonight’s loss.

Masco and Pentucket will meet again in eleven days at Masco.  I suspect that it will be another close one.

It certainly didn’t help Pentucket’s chances of winning to miss six free throws in the final quarter including the front end of a one-and-one.

The Sachems have lost twice to another D3 team (Lynnfield) that is also in the playoffs.

David Hunter (16), Will Schena (15) and Daniel Monagle (14) led the Masco scorers.

Spencer Pacy guarded by Daniel Monagle

Nate McGrail and Gus Flaherty had fifteen points to pace the Sachems and Spencer Pacy added thirteen points.

(My stats disagree with the official scorebook but being old and stubborn I choose to think that my unofficial stats are right…..although I could be wrong.)

Pentucket box

Masco box

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

David Hunter scores two

Colby Jacques (2) leads a break

David Hunter in the lane

Mike Budrewicz (11) passes as Gus Flaherty defends

Justin Snow (5) lets a three fly from the corner

 

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Pentucket rides last quarter to 44-32 win over Newburyport

Casey Hunt tries to drive past Krysta Padellaro

Sophomore Angelina Yacubacci had sixteen points to lead the Sachems

(Newburyport MA) Pentucket 44, Newburyport 32.

It’s why I cover games!  Scores alone can be very misleading.

This wasn’t a “twelve-point” game. This was a close game with FOURTEEN lead changes through three quarters.

“Newburyport is a very good team,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara afterwards.

And that they were……….for three quarters.

The 4th quarter?  The Clippers defense was still good, but the offense disappeared.

“We needed to take better shots,” conceded Newburyport coach Gregg Dollas. “We needed to move the ball.  We really struggled with shot choices in the last quarter.”

Today’s last quarter probably brought back bad memories from the last time Pentucket and Newburyport faced each other.  It was March 1st in the first round of the D2 North tournament.  In that one the Clippers were down 12-1 after a quarter and ended up losing badly, 46-19.

Abi Gillingham and Liv Cross near the basket

Today it was the last quarter that sunk the Clippers. They were outscored 9-1 in that quarter and squandered a game in which they were impressive otherwise.

The Sachems (8-1) are a team that will press and use defense to create offense.

The Clippers (7-2) play a tight man-to-man defense and will run with turnovers and rebounds.

The most impressive thing about Newburyport (IMO) in this game was that they had fewer turnovers (12) than Pentucket did (19).  The Clippers took good care of the ball.

The most impressive thing about Pentucket?  Their game-long organized offense. They certainly looked to get the ball inside to junior Liv Cross (“She’s a stud! – Coach Dollas) but they were patient about it.

That patience on offense was most noticeable in the final quarter when Newburyport raised the pressure.

Angelina Yacubacci blocks Meghan Winn’s shot

Sophomore Angelina Yacubacci topped all scorers with sixteen points.  Angelina drained a three in the third quarter and made four straight free throws in the final two minutes to make NHS pay for fouling.

The best one-on-one matchup was between Cape Ann League All-Stars Casey Hunt and Krysta Padellaro.

Krysta lost some time because of fouls.  “We can’t have her sitting on the bench with foul trouble,” said Coach Dollas.

Coach McNamara also had a key player on the bench with fouls. Inside threat Liv Cross sat out in the first half with two quick fouls. “We missed having her out there,” said Coach McNamara.

Newburyport broke away from a 9-9 tie 1 ½ minutes into the second half.  A rebound basket by Abi Gillingham, a steal and layin by Anna Hickman, and a Maggie Pons jump shot from the right had the Clippers in front by six (15-9).

Back came the visitors with nine straight points.  Two inside scores by Angelina Yacubacci and a layup by Emily Riley was followed by a 3-point shot (off the backboard) from straightaway by sophomore Angelica Hurley.

Against some teams a Pentucket run like that one is the beginning of an avalanche of points.  Not this time.  The Clippers had answers and took the lead three more times.  An inbounds play by NHS (to Abi Gillingham) tied the score at 31 with thirty-five seconds left in the 3rd period.

Thereafter, Newburyport’s inability to make shots or even draw fouls did them in.  Meanwhile, the Sachems scored the next seven points, including another three by Angelica Hurley (from Casey Hunt) that put Pentucket up, 38-31.

The Clippers finally got a point (free throw Meghan Winn) with two minutes left but the last six points scored in this game were by Pentucket’s Angelina Yacubacci.

Pentucket is looking to win their fourth straight Cape Ann League title.

Abi Gillingham deflects Angelica Hurley’s shot

Player to watch?  Newburyport’s Abi Gillingham. The 6-1 freshman is a presence at both ends of the court.  She discouraged several Sachems shooters from even attempting a shot in close to the basket.  “She has potential,” added Coach Dollas.

Now in his 12th year, John McNamara has a remarkable 240-42 record.  Many of those losses are against non-CAL teams.

The Clippers did put a 33-29 win together against Pentucket last season on February 14th at Newburyport.

The two Division 2 opponents will meet again on February 9th at Pentucket.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

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

Angelica Hurley dives for a loose ball

Jess Galvin takes a three from in front of the Pentucket bench

Anna Hickman chases a ball going out of bounds

Krysta Padellaro sees an opening

Krysta Padellaro guards Angelina Yacubacci

Paige Gouldthorpe and Liv Cross collide

Bella Doyle

Pentucket had nineteen turnovers

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport uses Pentucket turnovers to gain 21-13 victory

Senior Myles Maloof (9) followed some excellent blocking to get two Newburyport TDs

Thomas Murphy (10) intercepts a pass intended for Jake Etter

(Newburyport MA) You can’t always get away with things in a football game.

And that was certainly the case for Pentucket on Friday night as they were done in by three turnovers.

The costly result of the three miscues was a 21-13 loss to Newburyport in a Cape Ann League matchup and an extension of a losing streak that has now reached four.

The Sachems (1-5) led 13-7 entering the fourth quarter but the Clippers (3-2) tied things one minute into the final frame.

The visitors followed with a forgettable possession that included a holding penalty (Liam Murray), a sack (Connor Smith), and an interception by junior Thomas Murphy.

Set up on the Pentucket 36 with 7 ½ minutes to go, Newburyport ran senior Myles Maloof right on one play and left on the next.  On the first play, Myles was untouched thirty-six yards into the end zone.  On the second play, Myles was untouched for the two-point conversion.  NBPT led 21-13.

Untouched runs always direct your attention to terrific blocking and there was plenty of that for Newburyport with the outcome in the balance.

Nathan McGrail (2) had eight catches and two Sachem scores

The Sachems had 7:29 left to catch up.  They ended up with two possessions. During this game’s hectic ending, quarterback Gus Flaherty had first-down passes to wide receiver Nathan McGrail in both possessions.  Nathan’s catches brought Pentucket to the Clippers 32-yard-line where both drives ended.

In the first of those Pentucket possessions, a sack by NHS senior Eben Mulvey was the killer.  The next possession?  A game-deciding interception by Myles Maloof that turned out to be the last play of the contest.

Truly an exciting game at a terrific stadium with fine weather to boot for a mid-October night game.

Nathan McGrail encounters Connor Smith

I referenced the costly mistakes of Pentucket.  There were others they made that weren’t costly but could have been.  The Sachems had fumbles in the first and second quarters that were recovered (Gus Flahery, Brian Wilbur).  Later, a low snap by center Jack Mitchell on an extra point attempt threw off the timing of Daniels Lathum and his kick went wide right.

The missed EP didn’t hurt because the Clippers missed on their EP attempt after their second touchdown.

The Sachems had serious trouble, especially in the second half, stopping Myles Maloof.  Clever ball-handling by QB Owen Bradbury was a factor.  (I found myself visually chasing the wrong runner on several occasions.)  I have included pictures to show the kind of blocking Myles had in front of him.

Ethan Dore left the game early with a leg injury

A leg injury sent two-way Sachems starter Ethan Dore to the sidelines on Newburyport’s second possession of the game.

Give credit to the Sachems because despite all these handicaps they gave the Clippers plenty of trouble.

Pentucket was able to run the ball (Brandon Wilbur) and pass it during the first half.  The second half?  The Clippers took away the run.  That left the Sachems one dimensional and easier to defend.  The Clippers single coverage gave way to zone coverage in the end game and interceptions resulted.

Nathan McGrail (8 catches/132 yards) and Jake Etter (7 catches/68 yards) were favorite targets of QB Gus Flaherty.

Nathan McGrail got behind the Newburyport secondary twice for touchdowns

Nathan torched the NBPT secondary twice for scores.  Both times the Clippers deep defenders appeared to underestimate the arm strength of Gus Flaherty (17-for-24 217 yards) and were beaten deep.  Later when Newburyport’s zone coverage was in place, there was no getting beaten deep.  Extra defenders downfield in the pass-receiving areas led to the two crucial late-game interceptions.

Connor Smith excelled on offense and defense for the home team.  With good height and instincts, he provided constant problems for Pentucket.

Just wondering: If coaches can manage defenses without having a player come to the sidelines and report back in, why can’t they do it on offense?  I think of that when a team needs to move quickly because they are trailing, but instead the trailing team waits while the seconds run off for the quarterback to go to the sidelines and then back to the huddle.

Brandon Wilbur (21) tries to excape Noah Van Schalkwyk (20)

How to drive your coach crazy.  Late in the game, Newburyport had the lead and the ball.  Pentucket was burning it timeouts hoping for another series of downs.  Newburyport quarterback Owen Bradbury looked to be running an option but at the last second decided to pass into the flat.  The ball was dropped and the clock STOPPED with 59 seconds left instead of running and running until a 4th down punt was attempted quite a few seconds later.

Pentucket had won four of the last five meeting with Newburyport.

Both teams were defeated badly by Masco.  Lynnfield also took down Newburyport by a big score (32-0).  Pentucket has the Pioneers ahead on their schedule.

The lights and the setting at the stadium were excellent.

Wide receiver Nathan McGrail showed the ability to jump over defenders.

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

Nathan McGrail

QB Owen Bradbury pitches to Myles Maloof

Brandon Wilbur (21) looks for running room

Jake Etter (left) interferes with Owen Bradbury

Leaping catch by Nathan McGrail in front of Noah Van Schalkwyk

Nathan McGrail (2) finishes his 2nd TD

Donte Harmon (15) tries the right side

Myles Maloof (9) finds the end zone

Action at midfield

Gus Flaherty (7) was 17-for-24 with two touchdown passes

Myles Maloof behind excellent blocking

Myles Maloof (9) outruns Jake Etter for six

Myles Maloof (9) heads for the end zone

Myles Maloof (9) ends the game with an interception

 

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury takes out Pentucket 13-4 with seven-run 4th inning

Sage Dodier had a 2-run homer in the decisive Amesbury 4th inning

AHS starter Hayley Catania allowed just three hits after the third inning.

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury (7-2) blew open a close game with a 7-run fourth inning and defeated Pentucket, 13-4, on a chilly Monday afternoon of Cape Ann League softball.

The Indians sent eleven batters to the plate in the deciding 4th and rattled seven hits around Perry Field including home runs by sophomores Kaylie Cloutier and Sage Dodier.

This game started as a slugfest with loud outs and hits by both teams.

The Sachems (8-4) were ahead 3-1 after 2 ½ innings thanks to an RBI triple by Taylor Fitzpatrick and a home run by Madi Codair.

The rest of the way AHS winning pitcher, Hayley Catania, limited the visitors to only three hits and one run.

The Indians pushed ahead in their half of the 3rd inning.  A dropped throw (2B Caitlin Kutcher) in the infield and a ball misplayed in the outfield (LF Mo Quinn) were crucial in allowing the home team to get three runs and take the lead (4-3) for good.

Caity Baker (3 hits, 2 rbi) drops down a bunt

Everything went right for the Indians in the game-deciding 4th inning.  There were solid hits, bloopers, and bunts to clog the bases and big hits (triple Hayley Catania) to clear them.

What happened after Mikayla Porcaro drove in the 4th run of the inning was what did in Pentucket.  Kaylie Cloutier, who had looked overmatched in striking out the inning before, got into a Julie Freitas fastball and lined it over the head of RF Taylor Fitzpatrick and circled the bases.

After Abby Aponas walked, Pentucket coach John Walsh brought in junior Mady Gatchell to face pinch-hitter Sage Dodier.  The sophomore matched the Cloutier shot over RF and also ran the bases.

Now in front, 11-3, the Indians had the margin to thwart any comeback plans by the Sachems the rest of the way.

Caity Baker paced the AHS attack with three of their sixteen hits.  Maddie Napoli, Emma DiPietro, Hannaih Burdick, Hayley Catania, and Mikayla Porcaro each had two hits.

Madi Codair homered in the 3rd inning

Junior Madi Codair had two hits and two RBI for Pentucket.

Busy schedule ahead for both teams as they have three more games this week.

Neither team had lost in May coming into this afternoon’s game.  Pentucket had won six straight.  Amesbury had now won four in a row.

Both teams have losses to North Reading.

The temperatures were in the mid-50’s even though the sun was shining.

It struck me as odd to have someone named “Autumn” (West) playing third at Amesbury.  Brought back memories of Autumn Kligerman.  What a senior year she had!

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

(Retweets are appreciated.  If you were interested enough to read this far, and look at the pictures, then you probably have Twitter followers who would have a similar interest.)

Shortstop Maddie Napoli throws to first

Maddie Napoli flips to 2B Abby Aponas to force Autumn West as Emma DiPietro watches from the outfield

Mo Quinn

Julie Freitas

Sage Dodier

Fiona Hill makes a nice catch in center

Brigid Ramsden

The flip that ended the game

Emma DiPietro slides into 2B as Kim Kowalick awaits throw

2B Caitlin Kutcher

Hannaih Burdick (2 hits,2 runs scored) fields a single in right.

Senior Mikayla Porcaro (2 hits,3 rbi)

Taylor Fitzpatrick (triple,rbi) handles a single to right

 

 

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Autumn West and Julie Freitas lead Pentucket to opening win

Autumn West scores the first Pentucket run as Paige Gouldthorpe applies the late tag.

Pitcher Julie Freitas and Caitlin Kutcher after Newburyport’s final out

(Newburyport MA) The Pentucket/Newburyport softball matchup once again did not deviate from its usual pattern.

The Sachems (1-0), for the third straight time, carried a tight game into the late innings and came away with a win.

This time the final was 3-2 on a gorgeous Monday afternoon at Pepe Field in Pioneer Park in Cape Ann League action.

Junior Autumn West the hitting star for Pentucket.  The Sachems third baseman collected half of their six hits, scored their first run, and drove in what turned out to be the game winner.

Junior Julie (“Bug” to some) Freitas got the win for Pentucket striking out six including Mandy Linehan with two-on, and two out, in the bottom of the 7th.

Neither team hit the ball very hard.  There were no extra-base hits.

Junior Paige Gouldthorpe was the tough-luck loser for Newburyport (0-1).  Paige struck out Sachems in every inning and ended with 12 K’s.

Seeing-eye, dribblers through the NHS infield by Autumn West and Madi Codair in the first inning turned into two runs later in the inning.  Autumn slid home on a wild pitch and Madi scored on Gina D’Agostino’s fielder’s choice.

Madi Codair saves a run.

Fiona Hill saved runs with her catch in the 6th.

Those two Pentucket runs held up until the 5th and 6th.  The Clippers scored twice but stranded five baserunners in those two frames.  The key to limiting Newburyport to just two runs?  Terrific catches by 2B Madi Codair (5th) and CF Fiona Hill (6th).  In both instances the catches were made just above the ground.  Fiona’s catch was with the bases loaded.  If that ball had gotten past her the Clippers probably would have added three runs.  Crucial catches by both players!

Catrina Madden tallied the winning run with aggressive baserunning in the final inning

Aggressive base-running by sophomore Catrina Madden set up Pentucket’s game winner in the seventh inning.  Catrina singled, stole second after a strikeout, and reached third on a passed ball.  Autumn West’s opposite-field grounder over first easily scored Catrina with the Sachems third run.

In the Clippers 7th, pinchrunner Meghan Rogers reached second with two outs.  Olivia Salvatore ripped a single to left but it was hit so hard, and Pentucket LF Taylor Fitzpatrick got the ball back in so fast, that Meghan was held a third.  Julie Freitas then ended this one by striking out Mandy Linehan.

Good game.  Close game.  Entertaining game.

The weather (70’s) for April 10th was remarkable.

Sophomore Mikayla Vincent made several nice plays in left for the Clippers while Taylor Fitzpatrick did the same in the same position for Pentucket.

Pentucket was 13-8 last year while Newburyport was 7-13.

Last year in Newburyport’s opener at Pentucket, Mo Quinn drove in two runs in the bottom of the 7th for an 8-7 Sachems win.  Later when the teams met in May in Newburyport, Madi Codair had a 2-run double in the 9th inning that led to a 3-1 Pentucket victory.

The Clippers stranded eleven baserunners including eight in the final four innings.  Clutch pitching by Julie Freitas and star-in-the-book catches by Madi Codair and Fiona Hill gave Pentucket the W.

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

NHS captains Caitlin Clarke, Jade Carpenter, and Mandy Linehan

Madi Codair throws to first

Grounder gets past NHS shortstop Jade Carpenter in the first

Meghan Winn throws to first

Infield hit

Taylor Fitzpatrick makes a catch in left

Taylor Fitzpatrick runs down a potential gapper.

Autumn West flashes a smile after driving in the eventual game winner in the 7th

Madi Codair tosses to first

Julie Freitas pitches

Paige Gouldthorpe had 12 strikeouts

LF Mikayla Vincnet snares a liner. The sophomore also drove in a NHS run

Catrina Madden reaches third in the 7th inning

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Will Parsons (21 points) leads Triton by Pentucket 48-39 in D3 North First Round

 

Will Parsons (21 points) and Spencer Pacy (14 points)

Will Parsons (21 points) and Spencer Pacy (14 points)

Will Parsons had seventeen points in the second half

Will Parsons had seventeen points in the second half

(Byfield MA) Will Parsons (21 points) carried Triton to a 48-39 First Round win over Pentucket on Tuesday night.

Triton will face Newburyport on Friday night at Newburyport (7PM) in the Division 3 North quarterfinals.

Will Parsons had a seventeen-point second half.  His three with 1:48 left in the game gave the Vikings two-possession separation (43-37) and Pentucket couldn’t recover.

Pentucket (12-9) did make a remarkable recovery in the first half.  Held to one point in the first quarter and down 14-5 two minutes into the second quarter, it looked like a blowout in the making.  But it wasn’t.

Nate McGrail squeezed between two Vikings

Nate McGrail squeezed between two Vikings

The Sachems put a run of sixteen straight points together and 1 ½ minutes into the second half had a 21-14 advantage.  Now it was Triton’s turn to look to be in serious trouble.

A key to Pentucket’s run to the lead was Spencer Pacy’s ability to get to the basket.  The Sachems’ sophomore had eight in the second quarter and fourteen for the game.

Triton’s Will Parsons took over the offense in the second half.  Tightly covered by Spencer Pacy and other, the talented junior found ways to add twelve points in the third quarter alone.  His old-fashioned three in the closing seconds of the quarter put the Vikings in front for good (28-26).

If you watch enough Triton games you’ve seen junior Colin Brennan get hot a few times.  Pentucket did everything they could to prevent it.  However, in the first 1 ½ minutes of the final quarter, Colin drained two three’s.  The second one put the Vikings ahead, 36-28.

Jack McCarthy hemmed in by a trio of Sachems

Jack McCarthy hemmed in by a trio of Sachems

Time for Pentucket to look to be in serious trouble.  But with two close games versus Triton this season you suspected that they weren’t done.  An old-fashioned three (Nate McGrail), a jumper (Spencer Pacy), and a Conor O’Neil triple put Pentucket within two 38-36 with 3 ½ minutes left.  Anyone’s game.

The crowd was amazing throughout the contest.  And they had plenty to get excited about.  Two-point game with 3 ½ left in a tournament game?  It got loud!

The Sachems, however, had only a Conor O’Neil free throw to show for the crunch-time 2 ½ minutes that followed.

The Vikings during this same segment combined a layup by Jack McCarthy, a three by Will Parsons, and another layup by Jack McCarthy and this restored their eight-point lead (45-37) with a minute left.

Three turnovers and two missed free throws were unfortunate parts of the final minutes of Pentucket’s 2016-17 season.

Both Will Parsons and Liam Spillane went off the court in the 4th quarter with what appeared to be leg cramps.  Will did return to nail a crucial 3-pointer.

Triton was without point-guard Chris Trotta.  Sophomores Dylan Shute and Gabe Butts gained extra floor time as a result.

Liam Spillane loose in the lane

Liam Spillane loose in the lane

Both teams entered tonight’s game on 3-game winning streaks.

Pentucket had a remarkable win over Newburyport recently after losing to the Clippers by 35 points in their first meeting.  A number of the NHS players took in tonight’s game.

It was a well-behaved crowd that had plenty to cheer about.

Conor O’Neil had ten points for Pentucket.

Pentucket box

Triton box

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

Triton starts to celebrate

Triton starts to celebrate

Jack McCarthy looks for an opening

Jack McCarthy looks for an opening

Battle for a rebound

Battle for a rebound

Liam Spillane looks to pass

Liam Spillane looks to pass

Colin Brennan finds the range

Colin Brennan finds the range

Pentucket faithful

Pentucket faithful

Gus Flaherty on a break

Gus Flaherty on a break

Nate McGrail finds a lane to the hoop

Nate McGrail finds a lane to the hoop

Gus Flaherty shoots the last shot of the first quarter

Gus Flaherty shoots the last shot of the first quarter

 

 

 

 

 

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