Category Archives: Pentucket

Pentucket edges Newburyport 2-1 in eight innings in D3 North First Round

Owen Kamuda scores the winning run in the 8th

Pentucket starts to celebrate

Peter Cleary

Casey McLaren

(Groveland MA) Nothing surprising here.

You knew it would be tight and you knew it would be decided at the end.

With eleven days off, you knew that the aces, Peter Cleary and Casey McLaren, would be doing the pitching.

You also knew that at the end there would be significant celebrating and dejection.

And that was how it was as Pentucket edged Newburyport, 2-1, in eight innings on Thursday afternoon at Groveland Pines in First Round action.

Andrew Melone scores the first Pentucket run

The Sachems (14-7) now move on in the D3 North tournament to the next round.

The Clippers (11-10) end their season on a five-game losing streak.

“This game went exactly how we thought it would,” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe afterwards.  “More great performances by Casey and Peter.  We had our opportunities and they did too.”

The score was tied, 1-1, after four innings.

The Clippers had a runner in scoring position in the fifth, seventh, and eighth but couldn’t break through.  The key for the Sachems was that in each of those innings was that although the Clippers put the ball in play they hit it in the direction of CAL All-Star shortstop Gus Flaherty. Gus handled a popup and two grounders flawlessly to get Pentucket off the field unscored on in those threatening innings.

Parker McLaren reaches for home in the 4th inning

The end came for Newburyport in the 8th inning.  A popup by Owen Kamuda fell for a single into short center to start the inning.  After Andrew Melone struck out, Gus Flaherty reached on a walk.  Two on, one out.  A grounder to shortstop Ryan Archie.  Might have been two but at least would be a force out.  Instead, Ryan bobbled the ball and hurried the feed to 2B Tyler Koglin.  Runner Gus Flaherty slide into Tyler as he reached for the throw and the throw went by Tyler into right field. Owen Kamuda, who was heading for 3B when the grounder was hit, raced home with the winning run.

“The ending was tough for Newburyport,” said Pentucket coach Mike Wendt.  “However, in a game like this, that was so well played, that’s what you get at the end.”

The Sachems celebrated their First Round win in a big way and it was understandable.  Pentucket was 2-18 last year!

Jordan Cane drove in the first Pentucket run

1B Jordan Case was with St. Mary’s last season.  The Spartans make the state tournament with regularity.  “I told this team that there’s something special about playoff baseball.”

Jordan drove in Pentucket’s first run in the first inning.  Andrew Melone led off with a double to left and went to 3B on Jake Etter’s fielder’s choice.  Jordan then singled up the middle with two outs to score Andrew.

“I was thinking middle away, but he grooved a fastball down the middle and I had good contact,” said Jordan.

Walker Bartkiewicz drove in Newburyport’s run

The Clippers tied things in the fourth.  Parker McLaren doubled leading that inning off.  After two outs, Walker Bartkiewicz singled Parker home.

Newburyport finished with six hits but only Walker’s drove in a run.  “We certainly would have liked some more timely hits,” said Casey.

Winning pitcher Peter Cleary credited his defense: “It was good.  I was pitching to contact.”

Coach Wendt: “Peter (Cleary) is unflappable.  When I give him the ball in any game, especially a big game, he is always poised and always in control.”

Parker McLaren and Gus Flaherty

Coach Wendt: “Peter’s pitch count was low because Newburyport was first-pitch, fastball aggressive knowing he would pound the zone early in the count.”

Jordan Cane: “Newburyport is so athletic.  I have great respect for them after playing against them in hockey and baseball.”

Casey McLaren finishes a remarkable basketball/baseball career at Newburyport.  I again asked him about possibly playing baseball at Tufts along with basketball.  “I am not opposed to it.  I may have to get in touch with them over that.”  He added that he thinks that he will study economics and finance at Tufts.

Nice crowd took in the action on a sunny late afternoon.

2B Trevor Blanchard went backwards to make a nice catch to end the Newburyport sixth.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

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

Chris Husak 3B

Elusive popup

Elusive popup

Gus Flaherty throws to 1B

Safe or out?

Tommy Murphy and Gus Flaherty

Trevor Blanchard makes a catch

Ty Koglin, Ryan Archie, Parker McLaren pre-game

Joe Lynch steals 2B as Ryan Archie reaches to tag

Ryan Archie steals 2B

 

 

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Pentucket takes Spofford defeating Triton 4-2

Pentucket Sachems win the 2019 Spofford Tournament

Pentucket captains with the trophy

(Georgetown MA) If you’re looking for a star after a Pentucket win, good luck!

“Every kid has come up for us at some point this season,” said Sachems coach Mike Wendt.

Today was no exception as Pentucket was able to piece together a, 4-2, win over Triton and take the Spofford Tournament title for the first time.

“Hats off to a team that was 2-18 last season,” added Triton coach Ryan McCarthy.  “They’ve made it to the tournament and clinched a share of the Cape Ann League title.  Good for Coach Wendt and those guys.”

The Vikings (8-12) carried a 2-1 lead into the fifth inning but lost it when Pentucket (13-7) notched two runs.

Chris Husak -2 hits and an rbi

Chris Husak started the inning with a single. Both Owen Kamuda and Andrew Melone then reached on bunts that were intended to be sacrifices but became hits.

“We made some mistakes in the fifth inning,” said Coach McCarthy.  “We have to make those plays and we have to get outs in those situations.”

But they didn’t and Pentucket had the bases loaded, down a run, with no outs.

Credit Triton starter Mark Glickman.  He nearly pitched his way out of trouble as he struck out the next two batters. However, a two-out flair by Jordan Cane brought in two Sachems.

“I thought Mark battled,” said Coach McCarthy.  “He got two of their better hitters (Gus Flaherty & Jake Etter) and then they got that ball that fell in.  That was kind of it right there.”

“It felt great to get that hit,” said Jordan Cane afterwards.  “I was thinking middle away for sure.  I got a good pitch on the outer part.”

Sophomore Andrew Melone took the win for Pentucket striking out five and giving up only four hits in his 6+ innings of work.

Andrew Melone

“This was Andrew’s best start of the year,” said Coach Wendt.  “In this one he was able to throw strikes into the 7th inning.  His command has gotten him into trouble this year but not today.”

The Sachems added their fourth run in the 6th.  Joe Lynch singled, was sacrificed to second by Kyle Stock, and scored on Chris Husak’s double to right center.

Pentucket carried a two-run lead into the bottom of the 7th and then things got real interesting/entertaining. Just ask anyone who was there!

Jack Tummino singled and Coach Wendt brought on Jake Etter to pitch.

When Cam Gilroy thought Jake had thrown ball four, he headed for first.  Jack, assuming that Cam had walked, trotted for second.

The umpire called Cam back, saying it was only ball three.  As a result, Jack ended up caught in a rundown but miraculously escaped to second.

Jack Tummino (right) escapes a rundown

After Cam struck out, Tyler Godfrey walked.  That put two men on, with one out, in a two-run game.

Enter 3B Chris Husak.  Jared Berardino hit a flair over the infield, down the third baseline.  Three fielders, including Chris converged.

Chris, at the last instance, stuck his hand out (not his glove!) and caught the ball.

Chris Husak makes a bare-handed catch in the 7th

“There wasn’t room to catch it with the glove,” Chris explained.  “I didn’t want to collide with the left fielder.  I kind of reached over my shoulder and got it.  It was in the moment.”

If Chris doesn’t make that play, the Vikings would have had the bases loaded with one out.

Jordan Cane and Jake Etter at game’s end

But the play was made and then Jake Etter retired Kyle Odoy to end the game.

Triton picked up a run in the first inning.  Jared Berardino singled and reached second on a passed ball.  Kyle Odoy brought in Jared with a double to the fence in right.

Pentucket tied it in the same inning.  Gus Flaherty walked, stole second and scored on Jake Etter’s single.

Two Pentucket errors (Kyle Stock & Gus Flaherty) enabled Tyler Godfrey to give Triton a 2-1 lead in their half of the third inning.

Owen Kamuda (3 hits) scores the go-ahead third run

The Sachems finished with ten hits.  Junior Owen Kamuda had three of them.

Senior Jack Tummino had two of Triton’s four hits.

This was Pentucket’s third win over the Vikings this season.  The other two game were shutouts.

Triton starter Mark Glickman had six strikeouts.

Coach Wendt: “This was a typical game for us.  We grind it out.  The kids made plays when we needed them.”

Andrew Melone: “My off speed was working.  I pounded the zone with my fast ball and finished them with the off speed.”

Jordan Cane: “I was at St. Mary’s last year.  This season has been a great ride.  There’s something special about playing for a town.”

Andrew on the Pentucket turnaround: “We had lots of players coming back and thought we could have a good season.  Our whole mentality was to win the next game.  We continued to win and had fun with it.”

Pentucket box

Triton box

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

Chris Husak after the catch.

Devin Parsons and Jake Etter

Gus Flaherty nears home with the first Pentucket run

Gus Flaherty tries to handle a grounder

Gus Flaherty (SS) leaps

Jack Tummino (CF) makes a catch

Ryan McCarthy

Vikings watch

Jordan Cane and Jake Etter celebrate the win

Play at second

 

 

 

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On to the D2 North finals for Pentucket after 52-28 win over Swampscott

Pentucket double-team

MacKenzie Currie had ten points off the bench for Pentucket

(Haverhill MA) Fouls were a problem for Pentucket in the first half but that didn’t prevent the Sachems from defeating Swampscott, 52-28, on Tuesday night at Whittier.

The win sends Pentucket (21-3) to the Division 2 North finals at the Tsongas Arena on Saturday to face the winner of the Tewksbury/Melrose game.

For part of the second quarter, Maddie Doyle was the only Pentucket starter on the floor.  Angelica Hurley, Angelina Yacubacci, and Jess Galvin each had two fouls while Liv Cross had an injury.

On this evening the Sachems reserves were crucial contributors.  “Z (MacKenzie Currie) gave us points,” said Coach John McNamara. “Anna (Wyner) covered their best player, and Arielle (Cleveland) was good on both ends.”

Angelina Yacubacci (15 points) between Nikki Rosa (15) and Sophia DiGrande (5)

Instead of Swampscott taking advantage of Pentucket’s foul woes, they instead fell behind, 15-5, after one quarter.

“Pentucket is a very, very tough team,” said Swampscott coach Katelyn Leonard afterwards.  “We just couldn’t find the basket.”

The personnel for the Sachems may have changed but the effective defense didn’t.  Their full-court pressure often forced turnovers and hurried shots.

“Defense is what we focus most on in practice,” said senior Maddi Doyle.  “Everyone wants their chance to play run-and-jump.”

The Big Blue (16-6) were only down 26-16 at the half.  Make some shots and things could get interesting.

“I told the team at halftime,” said Coach McNamara, “that they had to settle down and play better defense.”  And that is what they did.

Maddi Doyle uses a Liv Cross screen

The starters applied their tight brand of defense with few fouls, while down the other end the points started to pile up.  Angelina Yacubacci (15 points) had a triple and two free throws while teammate Maddi Doyle added a layup and a triple to pace the Sachems in the breakaway third quarter.

That 10-point halftime lead bulged to 39-22 and the #1 seed coasted through the final quarter.

Coach Leonard: “Pentucket didn’t do anything we didn’t expect.  They just execute so well.  It’s one thing to know something is coming. It’s another thing to stop it.”

Maddi Doyle: “Surprisingly, I wasn’t in foul trouble.  I’m usually the first one on the bench with fouls.  Kids came off the bench and stepped up.  It shows the depth we have.”

Sophie DiGrande shoots against Liv Cross

Coach McNamara: “We were anxious at the start.  It took a whole half for us to be playing defense the way we wanted to. In the second half, we played defense without all the fouling.”

Arielle Cleveland: “Our team is deep.  I had more playing time and tried to contribute any way I could.”

Maddi Doyle told me after the game that she wants to go to the College of Charleston in South Carolina in the fall and study physical therapy.

Senior Grace DiGrande paced SHS with eleven points.

Sophomore MacKenzie Currie had ten points for Pentucket.

Swampscott’s Nikki Rosa is going to play basketball for Roger Williams next year.

Katie Watts is going to go to Endicott to play softball.

MacKenzie Kearney and Sophie DiGrande

The Big Blue reached the semifinals by defeating North Reading 49-47.  Nikki had nineteen points and twelve rebounds against the Hornets.

Maddie Doyle: “I would rather play defense than anything.  When we’re trapping it does things to other teams.”

The Sachems are three wins away from a state title. “We were so close (state semifinals) last year,” said Maddie.  “I want to just keep going forward.”

Pentucket box

Swampscott box

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

Angelica Hurley and Nikki Rosa

Angelica Hurley in the open

Anna Wyner guarded by Katie Watts

Jess Galvin

Katie Watts

loose ball

Maddie Doyle brings pressure to Sophie DiGrande

Sophie DiGrande tries to get the ball back from Angelina Yacubacci

Nikki Rosa and Angelica Hurley

 

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Pentucket advances to D2 North semi-finals with 61-34 win versus Wilmington

Kylie DuCharme brings the ball up the court against Pentucket pressure

Maddi Doyle guards Jenna Tavanese

(West Newbury MA) “No amount of scouting can help you against that kind of defense.”

That was what Wilmington coach Jessica Robinson said after her Wildcats fell to Pentucket, 61-34, in the Division 2 North quarter-finals on Thursday night.

The Sachems (20-3) move on to the semi-finals on Tuesday night against #4 Swampscott at Whittier.

The top-seed hounded #8 Wilmington into twenty-five turnovers and kept the Wildcats from functioning smoothly on offense for much of the game.

“We work hard on defense,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara.  “They had a couple of very good players and so we had to key on them.”

Jenna Tavanese (2) paced Wilmington with fifteen points.

One of those players was junior Jenna Tavanese (15 points).  Jenna hit two 3’s and Olivia Almeida added another during 1 ½ minutes of the first quarter.  That burst of great shooting propelled the visitors into a, 9-4, lead with three minutes left in that quarter.  Sophomore Kylie DuCharme assisted in all three triples.

“We were definitely nervous in the early going,” explained Pentucket senior Jess Galvin afterwards.  “We were getting used to the crowd.”

Once the team from the Cape Ann League settled in, the Wildcats were in trouble.  The Sachems trapping stymied the offensive flow of Wilmington and when Pentucket’s offense began to click, this game turned in their favor.

Pentucket answered the Wilmington 3’s with two of their own (Anna Wyner & Angelina Yacubacci) plus a layup from Angelina (17 points).

The Sachems led 12-11 after one quarter.

Full-court pressure by Pentucket.

The home team took the lead for good early in the second quarter after Liv Cross converted a rebound and teammate Maddi Doyle drained a three.

Jess Galvin (10 points)

Up by two (17-15) three minutes into the 2nd quarter, the Sachems put a 10-2 segment together (featuring 3’s from MacKenzie Currie and Jess Galvin) and the spread rose to double digits (28-17).

Pentucket led, 33-22 at the half.

“We hung in there with them for a while,” said Coach Robinson, “but we ran out of offensive gas.”

Credit the persistent Pentucket pressure with wearing down the team from the Middlesex League.

Gabby Bond gets a shot

“Our main focus is defense,” said Jess Galvin.  “Coach has said all four years that defense wins games and I agree.”

The Wildcats (12-9) were able to draw within ten (38-28) after Jenna Tavanese hit a three and made a free throw with 3:25 to go in the third quarter.

Thereafter it was all Pentucket.

“We gave up a lot of easy baskets in the first half,” said Coach McNamara, “we did much better defensively in the second half.”

Wilmington scored two baskets in the last minute of the game.  Other than that, the Sachems turned their ten-point lead (38-28) into a 59-30 spread.  That’s a 21-2 segment!

Jess Galvin (10 points) led the Pentucket surge.  She had a beyond-the-arc three, an old-fashioned three, and a free throw.

Cassidy Collins defends

“We work hard in practice,” said Jess.  “Coach gets all the offenses and defenses that the other teams play, and we just execute against them.  Coach always changes things up so that teams won’t know what’s coming.”

One of the key Pentucket defenders was junior Angelica Hurley.  Angelica scored only two points but her defense on sophomore Kylie DuCharme (4 points) was significant.

“Angelica did a great job defensively,” explained Coach McNamara.  “She sacrificed her offensive game to play defense like that.  It is what you have to do in the tournament to advance.”

Coach Robinson: “We were hoping to keep this game in the 30’s and 40’s because then we could hang with them offensively, but it got out of hand for us.”

Maddi Doyle under pressure

Jess Galvin: “I’m looking at UMass Amherst next year.  I am going to try and play basketball there.  I want to study sports business.”

Former Sachem Tess Noguiera was in the house.  She was part of the Pentucket state championship team in 2012.  From Pentucket she went to WPI where she was also on a championship team.  She now works at Raytheon.

Good crowd.  Bleachers were added to the bench side of the gym.

Pentucket box

Wilmington box

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

Angelica Hurley, Kylie DuCharme, Jenna Tavanese

Angelica Hurley with a steal

Anne Wingate (10)

Arielle Cleveland in the open court

Double-team by Pentucket

Kylie DuCharme finds Gabby Bond (44)

Tight defense by Angelica Hurley on Kylie DuCharme

 

 

 

 

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Masco avenges earlier loss downing Pentucket 56-43

Morgan Bovardi (17 points) on the move

Rebound battle

(Boxford MA) Masco coach Bob Romeo told his team afterwards, “if you play the way you did tonight you can play with anyone in Division 1 North.”

Hard to disagree after seeing his D1 Chieftains dominate Pentucket in the second half and take a 56-43 win on Friday night.

The Sachems (17-3) have the best record in Division 2 North.

Masco (15-5) lost to Pentucket in January (39-27) but played with much more poise this time around.

“We knew what this team (Pentucket) was capable of doing,” said Mak Graves (19 points) after the game.  “We practiced hard to be ready for them.”

In the first meeting, Masconomet took a 17-11 lead into the second half and then stumbled through a 10-point second half.

Mak Graves (19 points) gets away from Maddie Doyle

This time around Pentucket had a 21-18 lead at halftime and it was the Chieftains pleasing the home crowd with a 38-point second half.

With the scored tied, 26-26, three minutes into the second half, Mak Graves took over.  The flashy junior put a jump shot, a three (from Cally McSweeney), and two free throws together.  Pentucket had just a free throw (Angelica Hurley) during this three-minute segment.  Masco had separation, 33-27.

The game was far from over.  Early in the 4th quarter two free throws and a Jess Galvin three (from Maddie Doyle) had the Sachems down four, 39-35.

Later, a layup by Angelica Hurley (15 points), a free throw (Anna Wyner), and a three by Angelina Yacubacci (16 points) and Pentucket was within one possession, 44-41, with 3:50 remaining.

Angelina Yacubacci (16 points) chased by Marissa DeLucia and Sara Fogarty

On this evening, Pentucket couldn’t stay close down the stretch.

“We were outplayed in the second half,” explained Pentucket coach John McNamara.  “We just didn’t have the legs to shoot the ball and defend at the end.”

Pressure games, tight games, always seem to come down to free throws in crunch time.

After an Olivia Filmore jump shot on an inbounds play started the final 3:50, the Chieftains paraded to the foul line twelve times.  They made ten!  “We made our free throws when we had to,” said Coach Romeo.

The Sachems had just two made free throws (in four tries) during the final 3:50.

That 14-2 finish for Masco was enough to give Pentucket a rare loss.

“Hats off to Masco,” said Coach McNamara.  “They are aggressive on this court and a tough team to beat.”

Marissa DuLucia covers Angelica Hurley (15 points)

Morgan Bovardi had seventeen points for Masconomet.  In the first meeting, Morgan was in foul trouble early and had a 3-point night.

Having both Mak Graves and Morgan on the court most of the night enabled the Chieftains to handle Pentucket’s non-stop pressure.

“You have to make plays against Pentucket because they play such great team defense,” said Coach Romeo.  “They won’t give you anything easy.”

Coach Romeo: “Jenna DiPietro, Olivia Filmore, and Paige Richardson made important contributions in the win.”

Paige had ten points and ten rebounds.

You had to think that it might be Masco’s night when in their first-half struggle to score points they were able to bank in two 3-pointers.

“We got some breaks early when those bank-three’s went in but it was a good sign,” Coach Romeo said.  “It loosened everyone up.”

In bounds play

Take those two shots away and Masco is down by nine at the half instead of three.

Both teams had surprising losses recently against teams they had defeated soundly in first meetings.  For Pentucket it was Notre Dame (Hingham) and for Masco it was North Reading.

But that’s why we show up to games; you never know what will happen.

The Chieftains honored their two seniors (Sara Fogarty and Marissa DeLucia) before the game.

Pentucket box

Masco box

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

Sara Fogarty

Anna Wyner in for two

Jenna DiPietro

Liv Cross

Mak Graves (19 points) gets loose

Marissa DeLucia

Morgan Bovardi (17 points) floats one up

Olivia Filmore guards Angelina Yacubacck

 

 

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Pentucket holds off Amesbury 50-48

Angelica Hurley (12 points) looks for an opening

Flannery O’Connor (16 points) guarded by Arielle Cleveland (11 points)

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury was ahead 20-7 after 5 ½ minutes.

Pentucket was ahead 26-24 seven minutes later.

“It was back-and-forth a lot,” said Angelica Hurley afterwards.

That back-and-forth thing took time to materialize in the early going but in the final 2+ quarters it happened often.  Seven ties.  Eight lead changes.

In the end, it was Pentucket (14-1) making the big shots, at the line and from the floor, and turning defense into offense, that carried them to a tough 50-48 win on Tuesday night over Amesbury (12-2).

Pentucket coach John McNamara

Pentucket has the best record in Massachusetts in Division 2.

“I’m proud of our girls,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollos after. “We hung in there.  Pentucket is a good team.”

The Sachems took the lead for good (47-45) on a Liv Cross layin with 2:25 left.

Angelina Yacubacci (16 points) had a steal and made two resulting free throws a minute later to stretch the Sachems advantage to 50-46.

Freshman McKenna Hallinan (7 points) answered with a layup to close the gap to two with 1:04 left, but the Indians (12-2) couldn’t complete the comeback in their two possessions thereafter.

Turnover

“It was a great high school girls’ game,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara.  “We knew they were good coming in.  They have maybe two of the best players in the Cape Ann League.  Amesbury will be a tough out in Division 3.”

The Indians got off to a tremendous start.  Shots were falling and uncontested layups were showing up.

Senior Flannery O’Connor (16 points) dominated the 20-7 getaway with twelve points.  She had four layups, a free throw, and even a three.

“They were clearing out for her,” recalled Coach McNamara.  “We had to adjust.  We did everything we could in the second half to keep her from getting good looks inside.”

Flannery O’Connor guarded by Megan Reading

The adjustment worked because Flannery saw multiple defenders in the second half and ended up with just one free throw.

The other noticeable defensive effort was Maddie Doyle covering Alli Napoli.  Significant size difference but Maddie kept the athletic Alli from direct routes to the basket.  Alli had one full-court layup in the 2nd half.

How did Amesbury stay with Pentucket in the second half if Flannery and Alli weren’t putting up points? Solid man-to-man defense and terrific rebounding.

The Sachems had only one rebound basket the whole game – Arielle Cleveland at the very end of the first half.

“We wanted to stop fast breaks and second-chance points,” explained Coach Dollos.

The Indians led 24-17 at the 6:15 mark of the second quarter.  The next three minutes?  All Pentucket.  While the Indians were defended into five turnovers, the Sachems put nine unanswered points together to take their first lead, 26-24.

Liv Cross (9 points) lines up a free throw

Maddie Doyle and Angelina Yacubacci finished the nine-point comeback with 3’s.

I thought at the time that this might be the beginning of a long evening for the Indians, but I was wrong.  Amesbury began to answer with points and “back-and-forth” was what we witnessed the exciting rest of the way.

Pentucket made 3-of-4 free throws in the end game.  “Free throws are always important,” said senior Liv Cross.  “Every coach I’ve ever had always says that these kinds of games come down to free throws.”

Ciara Sullivan gave Amesbury a quick 43-38 lead with five straight points to start the final quarter.  Back came Pentucket, however, with two Angelica Hurley layups and two Liv Cross free throws.  It was all part of that back-and-forth thing.

Amesbury had twenty-three turnovers and Pentucket nineteen.  The 3-minute collection of five of them in the second period may well have cost Amesbury the game.  Credit the Pentucket defense.

Coach McNamara: “The way we started we could have given up, so I give credit to our girls for recovering.”

Ciara Sullivan lines up a three

On Maddie Doyle guarding Alli Napoli: “She gave away about two feet but she’s scrappy and tough.”

On Angelina Yacubacci’s steal late in the game: “She’s a very smart defensive player.  She reads passes and lanes very well.  Her steal was huge.”

Coach Dollos: “Foul trouble hurt us.  I’m happy with what we did.  Losing isn’t fun but I’ll say we played pretty well.”

Things to work on: “We needed to move the ball better to get it inside.  We also could have used better shot selection at times.”

The best assessment of the game belonged to Coach Dollos, “It easily could have gone either way.”

Angelica Hurley had twelve points for Pentucket and teammate Arielle Cleveland added eleven. Alli Napoli collected ten points for Amesbury.

The victory extends the Pentucket winning streak to eleven.  Only loss was to Westford Academy.

The Amesbury defeat stops their win streak at eleven.  They had an early-season loss to North Reading that I covered.

Liv Cross on next year: “I got into Northeastern the other night.  It’s my top school but expensive.  Nursing is what interests me.  I might go to UMass Lowell because I got into their nursing program.”

The intensity of the two coaches spread into the stands.  It seemed as if every whistle was challenged by the side whistled against.

Amesbury box

Pentucket box

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

Plenty of contact

Mary Bullis defends

Turnover

Angelica Hurley eyes the hoop guarded by Flannery O’Connor

Arielle Cleveland (11 points) looks to pass

 

 

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Pentucket hits eleven 3’s in 68-44 win over Newburyport

Angelina Yacubacci applies the D to Sami Cavanaugh

Angelica Hurley had twenty-one points for Pentucket including four 3’s

(West Newbury MA) The Pentucket defense always catches your eye.

There are times when you’re sure that the Sachems must be using extra players because of the way they double team opponents.

Tonight their defense was good but 3-point shooting was even better as they defeated Newburyport, 68-44, on a very cold Monday evening.

Pentucket (12-1) has now won nine straight and have the best record in Division 2 North.  Swampscott is the only other D2 North team with one loss, but they’ve only won eight games.

Newburyport’s first-year coach Karen Grutchfield saw Pentucket in person for the first time. “They’re too good if we’re not smarter on each possession.”

The Sachems had good offense going from the get-go.  They jumped ahead 8-2 and ran that lead to 19-9 with two minutes left in the first quarter.  By then Pentucket had already drained three 3’s and they added another triple before the quarter ended and led, 23-9.

The Sachems would edge further ahead (36-18) at the half.

Abi Gillingham (11 points) gets two for Newburyport

The first two minutes of the second half settled the outcome.  Three different Sachems dropped three’s while at the same time NHS was held scoreless and had two turnovers.

Angelica Hurley (21 points) had the first triple after the possession was kept alive with two offensive rebounds.

Next it was Maddie Doyle assisted by Angelina Yacubacci.

Finally, Arielle Cleveland joined the 3-fest assisted by Angelica Hurley.

Those two minutes of long-range accuracy combined with shutdown defense extended the Sachem lead to 45-18.

“I give Newburyport credit,” said Coach John McNamara after the game.  “I thought that they out-hustled us in the second half.”

Center-court battle between Katie Hadden and Maddie Doyle

The Clippers (6-5) did put a nice run of ten unanswered points together at the end of the third quarter.  Both Katie Hadden and Anna Hickman (14 points) had multiple baskets during this stretch.

“The reason we won tonight was because we played together as a team,” explained Angelina Yacubacci afterwards.  That teamwork showed itself on defense as the Clippers had little space even to attempt 3-point shots.  The telling statistic was that Pentucket made eleven 3’s while Newburyport didn’t get any.

Coach Grutchfield: “It took us a while to get acclimated to what they were doing.  We have to be smarter with the ball and make better decisions.  I think that we can compete with them if we play better.”

Coach McNamara: “It’s human nature to let up.  We were up-and-down in the second half which isn’t always going to cut it.  We need to be more consistent.  We’ve got some work to do.”

Angelina Yacubacci (22)

Angelina: “We need to work on executing our offense better.”

Coach McNamara regarding all the made three’s: “I don’t know if they’re a good thing or a bad thing.  Maybe we’re settling too much?”

Angelica Hurley paced Pentucket with twenty-one points, including four three’s.

Jess Galvin had sixteen points with eleven of them in the breakaway first quarter.  She also had four triples.

Anna Hickman led Newburyport (14 points) and teammate Abi Gillingham added eleven points.

Kelsi McNamara (St. Joe’s) was in the house.

Bob Melillo (North Reading) and Bob Romeo (Masco) were also in the house looking at future opponents.

Newburyport box

Pentucket box

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

Megan Reading (33) and Sadie Vandenberg (22) look for a free throw miss

Meg Winn guards Angelina Yacubacci

Pentucket defense gangs up on Meg Winn

Angelica Hurley drives past Maggie Pons

Casey Snow (11) heads for the hoop

Greta Mauer (14)

Jess Galvin had eleven points in the first quarter

 

 

 

 

 

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