Category Archives: Pentucket

Newburyport sweeps the CAL cross country championships

Lindsay MacLellan of North Reading (first)

Sam Acquaviva of Newburyport (first)

(Amesbury MA) The Newburyport Clippers had a big day at Woodsom Farm taking the Cape Ann League cross country titles in the boys and girls division.

Led by Sam Acquaviva and John Lucey, the Clippers added the CAL championship to their undefeated regular season.

“Sam is Sam,” said NHS coach Don Hennigar of his CAL championship repeat winner.  “That was the best race of John’s life.  To finish second in this league is so good.”

The misty/muddy conditions worried Sam although he ran most of the race alone.  “There was a lot that could go wrong in the conditions.  I always assume that the other runners will come back.”

On teammate John Lucey finishing second?  “It was nice to have John behind me.  It was unexpected.  He had a great race.”

John Lucey (2nd)

Newburyport won the race by forty points: (1) Sam Acquaviva, (2) John Lucey, (6) Dreese Fadil, (9) Cam Lasson, (17) Peter King.

Other top ten finishers: (3) Tyler Stranc, (4) Peter Lopata, (5) Sebastian Gilligan, (7) Will Kenny, (8) John Astrofsky, (10) Keegan Ritchie.

The totals in the girls’ race were much closer: Newburyport (68), Triton (76), Hamilton-Wenham (80).

The point scorers for Newburyport were; Ellie Schulson (4th), Lindsey Roberts (7th), Lucy Gagnon (14th), Olivia D’Ambrosio (20th), Caroline Wilson (23rd).

Clippers coach Don Hennigar: “Ellie Schulson (4th) and Lindsey Roberts (7th) were above and beyond today.  This was probably the best race Lindsey has ever had.”

Junior Lindsay MacLellan of North Reading was the upset winner.  Last year’s winner, Eva Feuerbach of Manchester-Essex, finished second.

Eve Feuerbach (2nd)

Don Hennigar: “That girl from Manchester-Essex doesn’t get beat very often and the girl from North Reading (Lindsay MacLellan) won by a lot.  Most people would call that an upset.”

I asked Lindsay MacLellan how she won the race.  “A lot of mud.  A lot of heart.  I’m a hilly person so this was the kind of course I like.  I gained separation (from Eva Feuerbach) at 2.75 miles.”

The win by Newburyport avenged a meet loss they had to Triton during the regular season.

Other top ten finishers; (3) Ellie Gay-Killeen, (5) Phoebe Rubio, (6) Lana Crosson, (8) Ava Cote, (9) Jemma Shea, (10) Sarah Harrington.

The race was held at Woodsom Farm in Amesbury.  Originally scheduled for Saturday at Bradley Palmer State Park but the weather forced a change.  The weather actually wasn’t all that great at Woodsom today.

Second-place finisher John Lucey: “It was a tough race for everyone.  I was able to plot the best course through the mud in some sections.  Coming down the hills was dangerous in some places.”

John ran much of the race with no one near him ahead (Sam Acquaviva) or behind (Tyler Stranc).  How do you stay tuned in?  “I kind of get delusional.  Then I keep going because I think someone’s right behind me.”

Excellent job done by Amesbury AD Glenn Gearin and his staff handling the parking and other logistical issues.

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

Newburyport’s Katherine Sheehy and Annie Siemasko accept the first-place trophy

Girls start

Ellie Gay-Killeen (Triton) 3rd

Ellie Schulson (Newburyport) 4th

Phoebe Rubio (Pentucket) 5th

Lana Crosson (Masconomet) 6th

Lindsey Roberts (Newburyport) 7th

Ava Cote (Hamilton-Wenham) 8th

Jemma Shea (Hamilton-Wenham) 9th

Sarah Harrington (Triton) 10th

Boys start

Sam Acquaviva shows off the Woodsom Farm mud

Tyler Stranc (Triton) 3rd

Peter Lopata (Pentucket) 4th

Sebastian Gilligan (Masconomet) 5th

Dreese Fadil (Newburyport) 6th

Will Kenny (Manchester-Essex) 7th

John Astrofsky (Lynnfield) 8th

Cam Lasson (Newburyport) 9th

Keegan Ritchie (Triton) 10th

 

 

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Filed under Hamilton-Wenham, Lynnfield, Manchester-Essex, Masconomet, Newburyport, North Reading, Pentucket, Triton

Anna Maria Ferrante (goal/assist) lifts Lynnfield over Pentucket 2-0

Lynnfield celebrates their first goal

Anna Maria Ferrante (6) had a goal and an assist.

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket needed a win to qualify for a berth in the post-season.

And the Sachems are still looking for that important W after falling to Lynnfield, 2-0, on cloudy, rainy Wednesday afternoon of Cape Ann League action.

The Pioneers (11-2-2) scored twice during a 12-minute segment in the first half.  Junior Anna Maria Ferrante tallied one goal for the visitors and assisted on the other.

“We lost it in the first half,” lamented Pentucket coach Dan Millard.  “The second half was pretty even.”

Three weeks ago, the two teams played to a 2-2 tie at Lynnfield.  The Sachems (7-5-3) came back to get the tie in that one and hit the crossbar on their last shot of the game.

Incoming corner kick

But that was then and this time around the home team was missing key players and there was also the excitement of it being Senior Night.

“Senior Night is awesome and it’s great for the girls but it’s easy to start flat after the celebration and that’s what happened,” said Coach Millard.  “The injuries are what they are.”

Pentucket’s three injured players include two of their top three scorers (Jacey Jennings and Annabelle Sylvanowicz) as well as senior goalie Vanessa Franco.

Anna Maria Ferrante fires the free kick that turned into a first-half goal

In the first half, Lynnfield’s Anna Maria Ferrante kicked a rebound over the net at the 23-minute mark.  A minute later she lined up a free kick from the right because of a foul on Pentucket’s Riley Roche.

Anna Maria’s free kick was high on keeper Sophia Heusser (JV call-up) and sailed in off her finger tips.

“Anna practices that shot a lot,” said Lynnfield coach Mark Vermont afterwards.  “She got a good strike on it.  It was no floater.”

“This was Sophia’s first varsity game,” explained Coach Millard.  “She hadn’t practiced with us.  That first goal was hit with speed and drive.”

Senior Emma Montanile breaks in

The Pioneers gained further separation from Pentucket with a second goal twelve minutes later. Emma Montanile dribbled in and cashed a wide-open look.

“It was set up by a nice give-and-go and a good finish by our senior,” explained Coach Vermont.

“Anna Maria (Ferrante) had the ball and she turned and got the ball to me,” recalled senior Emma Montanile.  “I tapped it in with the right side of my foot.”

Syiera Campbell (20) and Emma Nardone (8)

Pentucket’s Syiera Campbell impressed me with her speed and persistence.

Seven seniors were honored before the game…….actually eight, including Emma Montanile of Lynnfield.

I was unaware of a rain forecast.  Fortunately I had an umbrella in my car that I used to protect my camera.

The Sachems have three games left.

The Pioneers are 9-0-2 against Pentucket since 2011.

Lynnfield is unbeaten in their last six games.

Senior Tia Zanardi and sophomore Jacey Jennings were Cape Ann League All-Stars last season.

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

Sophia Heusser jumps for a high shot

Sarah Riter (14) and Emma Ricciardi (2)

Tia Zanardi (19) and Anna Maria Ferrante (6)

Adriana Parisi (1) and Syiera Campbell (20)

Ashley Mitchell (3) and Kinneal Dickens (12)

Emily Riter (10) about to shoot

Helen Olson (15) and Lauren Braconnier (12)

Kinneal Dickens

Looking to control

Loose ball in midfield

Mackenzie Currie set to corner kick

 

 

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Amesbury boys/girls sweep Pentucket and Newburyport in outdoor track

Michaela Halloran quickly takes the lead for Amesbury in the 2-mile

Drew Everett and Brian Abel are 1-2 in the two-mile

(Newburyport MA) Good day for the boys/girls track teams of Amesbury.

The undefeated Indians came away with victories over Pentucket and Newburyport on a comfortable, then chilly, Wednesday afternoon of Cape Ann League outdoor track at Fuller Field.

Division 2 Pentucket and Division 3 Amesbury have two of the best track teams in the area.  Both were 7-1 last year. Be certain that when the CAL season ends, the Sachems and Indians will figure significantly in the post-season races.

Please permit a paragraph of whine: With no numbers, it is a challenge to  sort out names.  With no posted stats, it is a challenge to produce accurate results.

Reminds me of some Maine lore.  An out-of-towner drove into a small Maine village and hit a tremendous pot hole.  After coming to a stop, and checking his tire, the Flatlander expressed his displeasure to the first local he saw.  “Why don’t you have a sign warning about that pot hole?” he asked.  The local guy responded, “Everybody knows about it.”

Pentucket’s Keegan O’Keefe finishes the 4×100

Kind of like area outdoor track.  Who needs a program when everyone knows each other!

That’s one of the things I like about outdoor track; relaxed atmosphere.  There’s plenty of socializing and plenty of encouraging going on.

I thought that host Newburyport was wonderfully organized.  Things ran smoothly and quickly.

Fuller Field seems to be perfectly set up for outdoor track.  Are bleachers a necessity?  Not on this afternoon.

Prime reason for covering today’s meet?  Take a look at UNH commit Saige Tudisco.  The Pentucket senior delivered.  Won all four events (long jump, high jump, 100 hurdles, 200) and she was in with a next-level approach to each event.  The highlight for Saige may have been beating the very fast Caroline Schissel (Amesbury) in the 200.

Saige Tudisco edges Caroline Schissel in the 200

Caroline Schissel (left) nips teammate Schuyler Snay in the 100. Kaley Enright is 3rd.

Earlier, Caroline had a win over teammate Schuyler Snay in the 100 setting an Amesbury school record (12.19) in the process.

The Amesbury girls defeated Pentucket 79-66 while the AHS boys won 78-67.

The third school in the tri-meet (Newburyport) had wins from Sam Acquaviva (800) and Donte Harmon (100 meters).

Freshman Syeira Campbell takes the 400

Pentucket’s promising freshman (Syeira Campell) cruised in the 400 (59-84).

Amesbury’s Chelsea Lynch (400 hurdles, pole vault, 800) and Michaela Halloran (mile, two mile, 4 x 100 relay) finished first in three events.

The weather today highlighted the best of spring (sunny 60s) early on and later lowlighted the worst of spring (cloudy, windy, fog, 40s). How do you dress for such conditions?

(All of the pictures, and there are plenty, will enlarge if you click on them.)

Charlie Schissel wins tight 200

Schuyler Snay finishes the 4 x 100

John Sydlowski wins 400

Amesbury’s Sydlowski twins

400 – Chelsea Lynch, Ellison Seymour, Maia Esty

Clippers Donte Harmon wins the 100

110 hurdles – Jack Clohisy wins

Saige in the 100 hurdles

Sam LaPointe, Zach Labrecque, John Nelson watch the shot put competition

Drew Everett and Chelsea Lynch

Saige in the high jump

Chelsea Lynch won the pole vault

Beverly Browne sets to pole vault

Peter Lopata takes the mile for Pentucket

Michaela Halloran cruises in the two-mile

Saige in the long jump

Saige Tudisco

Chelsea Lynch takes 400 hurdles

Newburyport senior Anastasia Hansen honored before the meet

 

 

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Pentucket takes D2 North title with 48-33 win over Wakefield

Hannah Dziadyk harassed by three Pentucket defenders

Casey Hunt on defense against Hailey Lovell

(Lowell MA) Rome wasn’t built in a day nor was that amount of time enough for Wakefield to prepare for Pentucket’s pressure.

The result? A 48-33 win by the Sachems (23-2) over the Warriors (18-6) on Saturday afternoon at the Tsongas Arena in the Divison 2 North final.

“No team in the Middlesex League plays that type of aggressive, double-teaming defense,” said WHS coach Jason Pavey afterwards. “It was tough to prepare for them in a day.”  The Warriors reached the D2 North final with a win over Wilmington on Thursday.

With today’s victory, Pentucket will return for a sixth time for a tournament game (Tuesday 5:45PM) at the TD Garden.  The good news for Pentucket is that they won’t be facing D3 Archbishop Williams.  The Sachems are 2-3 at the Garden and all three losses have been to the Archies.

The Warriors (18-6) had size and seniors.  After being down by seven in the first quarter, Wakefield started the second on a run of five points on a rebound basket by Allee Purcell and a free throw as well as a layup by Hannah Butler.  That narrowed the Pentucket advantage to 13-11 after two minutes in the second quarter.

Allee Purcell (11 points) ahead of everyone after a Pentucket turnover

That would be as good as it would get for Wakefield. The rest of the quarter the Pentucket defense stymied Wakefield while the Sachems scoring picked up.  Last six minutes of the half?  The Warriors had only a free throw (Hannah Dziadyk) while Pentucket collected thirteen points.

In that breakaway segment, Maddi Doyle had a free throw, but all the other points were on 3-pointers.  Casey Hunt started with an old-fashioned three.  Then it was Maddi Doyle, left all alone, draining a long one from straight away.  The last two?  Angelina Yacubacci set up by Casey Hunt and Liv Cross.

Angelina Yacubacci (15 points) made three 3’s

“The NBA lines on the court made it a little confusing at the start,” said Angelina after the game.

The Warriors trailed 26-12 at the half.

“We were better in the second half,” said Coach Pavey, “but we’d dug ourselves too deep a hole against a very good team.”

Pentucket’s lead was down to eight (33-25) after a buzzer-beating layup by Hannah Butler at the end of the 3rd period.

“They cut the lead to eight but then Angelina (Yacubacci) hit a three which was huge,” explained Pentucket coach John McNamara.

Pentucket applies pressure

The Warriors began the final quarter with four turnovers and the Sachems regained separation, 39-25, for good.  The final was 48-33.

It is easy to notice the Pentucket defense but what I am starting to notice is their ability to run an effective half-court offense when they have to.  Up by double-figures in the final quarter, there was plenty of organized movement that opened up lanes to the basket for layups or resulted in foul shots.

Angelina Yacubacci led all scorers with fifteen points.  Allee Purcell paced Wakefield with eleven points.

One of the keys to the Pentucket win was their ability to contain senior Hannah Dziadyk.  In this year’s post-season, Hannah had five 3’s against Burlington, seventeen points versus North Reading, and twenty-two points against Wilmington.  Maddi Doyle was the primary defender on Hannah although it seemed to me that there were multiple defenders most of the time.

Wakefield used a zone defense for part of the game.  “It was the first time we’ve seen a zone in a while,” said Coach McNamara.  The Sachems had several turnovers in the early going, trying to force passes into the interior of the Warrior zone.

Jelly Hurley hemmed in by Allee Purcell

“Wakefield hasn’t been this far in the tournament for a while, “said Coach Pavey.  “We had a lot of nervous energy and they wouldn’t let us settle in.”

“We want the other team to play at our pace and we try to force turnovers,” explained Casey Hunt afterwards regarding her team’s style of play.

“Our defense will take us as far as we’re going to go,” said Coach McNamara.  “Hopefully it will take us a couple more games.”

I like the Tsongas Arena.  The lighting is terrific.

Pentucket box

Wakefield box

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

Jess Galvin (8 points) puts up a three as Coach John McNamara watches

Maddi Doyle guards Hannah Dziadyk

Pentucket celebrates

Pentucket team

Jelly Hurley (24) gets away from Olivia Dziadyk

Casey Hunt (20) covered by Hailey Lovell (22)

Liv Cross (8 points) in for two

Angelina Yacubacci (22) on a breakaway after a steal

Casey Hunt drives on Allee Purcell

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Pentucket reaches D2 North finals with 59-45 win over Melrose

Pentucket celebrates after defeating Melrose

Casey Hunt (14 points) shoots over Sam Dewey

(Danvers MA) Pentucket dominated the beginning and the end defeating Melrose, 59-45, in the Division 2 North semi-finals on Thursday night at St. John’s Prep.

The Sachems (22-2) take on Wakefield on Saturday (2PM) in the D2 North finals at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell.  Melrose and Wakefield split in their two Middlesex League games this season.

Pentucket ran and pressed Melrose into mistakes from the outset and had a 10-0 lead after 4 ½ minutes.

“We never got into any kind of rhythm,” said Melrose coach Bill Hirchfield afterwards. “They were right on us from the get-go.”

Peri MacDonald (11) looks for a pass

What looked like a bad matchup early was anything but that as the game progressed.

Pentucket still led by ten (22-12) with 1 ½ minute left in the first half before a three-minute, twelve-point surge gave the Lady Raiders (19-4) the lead, 24-22, early in the third quarter.

During the run of good Melrose offense, Sam Smith’s big three ended the first half. Lily Cunningham (13 points) continued the Melrose scoring with a full-court layup and free throw.  Freshman Sam Dewey (17 points) finished the drive to the lead with a put-back.

“We scouted her (Sam Dewey) and knew she was good,” explained Pentucket coach John McNamara.  “She is very hard to handle down low.”

Freshman Sam Dewey (17 points) led all scorers

Liv Cross (10 points,10 rebounds) reignited the Pentucket offense with a rebound basket to tie things at 24-24.

Angleina Yacubacci (10 points) followed with two free throws that gave the Sachems the lead for good with four minutes to go in the 3rd quarter.

This game, however, was anything but settled.

The Lady Raiders stayed within one or two possessions until the Sachems gained serious separation with a run of seven points early in the final quarter to pull up by ten, 46-36.

That ten-point separation was just about as safe as that 10-0 lead at the start!

Alexis Doherty and Lily Cunningham drained three’s and Sam Dewey hit a free throw.  Suddenly that “comfortable” lead was once again a one-possession lead with three minutes left.

As I said at the start, Pentucket finished strong.  In the final stretch they controlled the ball without any turnovers and forced Melrose to foul by constantly going to the basket.

The Sachems late-game foul shooting was a very good eleven-for-fourteen.  There was also a Jess Galvin (11 points) layup set up by Casey Hunt (14 points).

The Lady Raiders could get just two free throws (Alexis Doherty) in those outcome-deciding final three minutes.

Peri MacDonald surrounded by Sachems

The final was 59-45.

“Everything we do is based off of our defense,” said Coach McNamara.  “When we play good defense, our offense opens up.”

That Sachems’ defense created a whopping thirty-two turnovers including six during the fast start and four during the strong finish.

The Lady Raiders were at their best when they turned Pentucket misses into fast breaks.  Lily Cunningham went the distance several times for Melrose.

“They were a good team,” said junior Liv Cross afterwards.

Liv gave credit to Coach McNamara: “He knows exactly what will work against teams.  He puts a lot of time and effort into scouting other teams.  We are always well prepared.”

Coach McNamara cited the play of junior Maddie Doyle: “She did a spectacular job on #32 (Alexis Doherty).  She is their high scorer and Maddie was very disciplined to keep focus on her.  Those little things are what gets a team to the divisional finals.”

Angleina Yacubacci (22) tries to drive by Abby Cunningham

The Sachems drove frequently to the basket. “We knew that they weren’t too deep, so we wanted to attack them and get them into foul trouble,” said Caoch McNamara. “We want to wear the other team down.”

I arrived early and wondered where everyone was.  Of course, I was at the old gym.  I told Coach McNamara about my mistake before the game and he said that he liked that old gym because Pentucket had never lost there.

The new gym is very nice.  The old one had one scoreboard.  This one has several.  I am not a fan of seats in the end zones but overall, I liked it.

Melrose’s last win over Wakefield gave them the Middlesex League Freedom Division title for the first time in ten years.

Melrose box

Pentucket box

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

Liv Cross (32) blocks a shot attempt by Sam Dewey

Jess Galvin (11 points)

Sam Dewey guards Liv Cross

Casey Hunt dives for a loose ball

Lily Cunningham (10) went coast-to-coast several times

Casey Hunt tied up by Lily and Abby Cunningham

Maddie Doyle (21) defends Alexis Doherty

Casey Hunt (20) takes off after another steal

Freshman MacKenzie Currie at the line

 

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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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