Category Archives: Reading

Long-range Reading downs Amesbury 59-33

(Pictures will enlarge when you click on them.)

Jackie Malley (29 points including seven 3’s)
Avery Hallinan (18 points)

(Wilmington MA) “You can live by the three and you can die by the three.”

You usually hear that line when a team starts hot from long range but doesn’t know when to stop shooting from out there.

Fast forward to this afternoon’s girls’ basketball game between Amesbury and Reading.

There was no second part to the Rockets’ long-range game today.

Cali Catarius chases Ella Abreu

They not only lived by the three, but they thrived on it!

Reading connected from downtown thirteen times and overwhelmed Amesbury, 59-33.

This was a first-rounder in the Wilmington Holiday Tournament.  Both teams play again tomorrow.

Senior Jackie Malley (29 points) was amazing for Reading from the get-go.

McKenna Hallinan to the rim

Jackie had a sixteen-point first quarter that separated the Rockets from the Indians in a hurry.

“They couldn’t miss,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.  “I didn’t think that our defense was that bad.”

But on this afternoon, Reading (3-2) clicked consistently from beyond the arc.

Jackie Malley had seven of those three’s and her sister Jess had two others.

Jackie Malley looks to pass

“We have a lot of good shooters,” said Jackie afterwards, “and we found them really well today.  I just took shots as they came and felt confident.”

Jackie is committed to D3 basketball next year at St. Lawrence University in New York.  The Saints are located, as the name suggests, along the St. Lawrence River in northern New York.

“Jackie (Malley) had a great game today,” said Reading coach Kara Melillo post-game.  “She’s led us all year.  She definitely set the tone for us offensively and defensively.”

Ciara Keane scores

The Rockets started the first two minutes of the second quarter with a three from freshman Molly Trahan (16 points) followed by a three and a layup from Jackie Malley.  That burst of offense gave Reading a 29-9 advantage.

This one had long-afternoon written all over it for Amesbury.

The Indians (3-1) had limited their opponents to the 30’s but by halftime today the Rockets had a 32-19 lead.

An Amesbury optimist would have expected in the second half that the team from the Middlesex League would cool off while the team from the Cape Ann League would put some points together and make it a closer game.

Avery Hallinan to the rim

Not today.

In the third quarter, the Rockets made three more three’s, while holding Amesbury to only three points.

“We didn’t play together enough on offense,” said Coach Dollas.  “We need to fix that.”

The Indians settled too often for drives through traffic and the first open look that showed up.

Avery Hallinan (18 points) was the most successful of the Indians in getting to the basket.  She drew contact and ended up taking fourteen free throws.

Jackie Malley in close

The Rockets put a 19-1 run together in the second half to expand their lead to, 54-22, 2 ½ minutes into the final quarter.

“When you’re hitting 3’s, two or three feet outside the line with consistency it’s pretty hard to defend,” said Coach Dollas.

“Every game I’ve watched them play they didn’t hit like this,” he added.  “It was something I’ve never seen.”

“We worked really hard in practice this week,” said Jackie Malley. “We tried hard to move the ball around and everyone contributed.  We trusted each other.”

Gabby Redford

It was one of those games in which even when the Rockets missed a long shot, they were often able to find the rebound.

Coach Melillo: “We had one of our better practices yesterday.  The kids played with a lot of energy today.  The shots were falling today and that certainly helped us.”

Coach Dollas: “I doubt that we’ll see anyone as hot as this team in the Cape Ann League.”

I was impressed with the Wilmington facility.  It had plenty of seating as well as open space around the outside of the court.  The lighting was also very good.

Reading   21   11   15   12   =   59

Amesbury    9   10   3   11   =   33

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

Ella Abreu passes
Avery Hallinan guards Emily Bass
Eyeing a rebound
Molly Trahan (1) challenges a shot
Avery Hallinan sees an open lane
Tight Reading defense
McKenna Hallinan
Sami Kimball
Liv DeLong
Reading box
Amesbury box

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Plenty of excitement as well as baseball at Hadlock as Reading wins 8-7 over Portland

The Philadelphia Phillies top prospect (Alec Bohm) played for the AA Reading Fighin Phils in Portland tonight.

(Portland ME) Ever watch a group of young kids attempt to play musical chairs with no idea what the object of the game is?

Musical chairs winner exits the winning seat

That, and plenty more, was part of the fun at Hadlock Field tonight.

Reading shortstop Arquimedes Gamboa strikes a pre-game post

And there was a ballgame too!

The Reading Fightin Phils won 8-7 in ten innings.

There were lengthy line hours before the gates opened thanks to a promotion that gifted the first one thousand customers with an Andrew Benintendi bobble head.

And to add to the excitement, the ten millionth fan also was noted on this night and that brought out the local TV networks.

I drove through thunder and lightning to get to the game. My intention was to check out the Phillies top prospect (Alec Bohm) and the other prospects of the National League team.

Alec is a tall (6-5) third baseman with a home run swing.  That swing produced a 4-base blast (his 13th) to centerfield off Konner Wade.

Alec was picked first by the Phillies (3rd overall) in 2018, out of Wichita State.  He is 23 and on the fast track to the big team.

Mickey Moniak

Mickey Moniak was a first-round pick in 2016 out of high school.  Only 21, the young outfielder is leading the Eastern League in triples.  He notched his 13th tonight.  Very aggressive at the plate.

Jarren Duran is the top Boston prospect still with Portland.  Bobby Dalbec and CJ Chatham have moved on to Pawtucket.  Jarren has the speed to turn a routine grounder to short into a close play.  I suspect that Jarren starts at Portland in 2020 but will reach Pawtucket during the season.

Outfielder Marcus Wilson is the other ranked prospect with Portland.  He had a homer tonight to send the game into extra innings.

Slugger comes close tonight

Slugger ran a solid race tonight.  He didn’t trip.  He didn’t engage someone/anyone in conversation and get side-tracked. On this night the competition was serious (the kid had a great shirt) but the big guy hung in there.  If the young man had faltered, Slugger was close enough near home plate to get there first…….but the kid didn’t falter and the losing streak continues.

Musical chairs, on this night, was the highlight of the between-innings activities in my opinion.  The young ladies involved were excited.  I’m guessing 5-year-olds.  It was quickly obvious that none of them had ever played musical chairs.  They saw chairs and they jumped on them!  Of course, you jump on an inflatable and it’s likely to fall over…and they did.  The music played and the girls were already all over the chairs.  Next they learned that they had to wait until the music stopped before taking a seat.  One girl waited beside an empty seat instead of getting into it.  That didn’t go so well for her. It was also interesting to watch the girls enlarge the circle by running around the Hadlock staff members as well as the chairs.  A winner was finally determined but because of the size discrepancy between the chair and the participant nearly vanished from sight.  The crowd loved it.

Happy musical chairs participants

Hadlock continues to be friendly for all ages and all levels of baseball IQ.  I highly recommend a visit there before the season ends in very early September.

Thanks again to Chris Cameron for enabling me to witness the activities at Hadlock.

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

Alec Bohm after striking out to end an inning

Alec Bohm congratulated after homer

Alec Bohm leads off first as Konner Wade pitches

Alec Bohm on first with 1B Joey Curletta

Alec Bohm takes a cut

Austin Rei

Brett Netzer

Charlie Madden

Cornelius Randolph

Daniel McGrath

David Parkinson

Grant Dyer, Jakob Hernandez, and Jeff Singer

Jarren Duran bats

Jarren Duran hustles to first

Jarren Duran

Jeremy Rivera

Jhon Nunez

1B Joey Curletta

Luke Williams

Marcus Wilson homered in the 9th

Mauricio Llovera

3B Mike Osinski

Nick Maton

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Filed under Portland, Portland Sea Dogs, Reading, Reading Fightin Phils

Beverly Falls in Overtime to Reading 69-67 on Last-Second Layup

Kenny Reed (26 points) gets a ride from celebrating Reading fans after his last-second layup defeats Beverly.

(Reading) Denied a chance to win the game in regulation, Reading’s Kenny Reed (26 points) wasn’t denied in overtime.

The Rocket senior twisted in for a layup just before the buzzer to oust Beverly, 69-67, in the first round of Division 2 North basketball on Monday night at Reading.

A Beverly turnover (Felix Zamot  travel after getting trapped in front of the Beverly bench) with 14.6 seconds left kept the Panthers from setting up for the final shot and gave Reading a chance to organize for the game-deciding last shot.

The Rockets came out of the timeout and put the ball into the hands of Reed at midcourt with eleven seconds left and cleared out to give him room to operate.  With Curtis Manuel (17 points) in tight coverage, Reed spun in from the right and beat the buzzer with the game-winning shot.

Kenny Reed (arms folded) waits at the end of regulation to see if he’ll get a chance to win the game in regulation with a free throw.

Earlier, this same Kenny Reed was fouled in regulation at the buzzer, or so we thought, with the score tied at 61.  A discussion among the officials and the supervisor of officials, that lasted ten minutes, ended with the ruling that the foul had been committed after the game had ended.  This led to overtime.  Believe me, the most relieved player in Reading at that announcement was Zach Zigglebaum who had been charged with the foul.

Few players have ever been “iced” the way Kenny Reed was during the excruciating delay.  Even an amateur student of body language can detect in the photo that he was feeling the pressure as the delay went on-and-on.  Could he have made the free throw to win the game, with two chances at it?  We’ll never know.

At the start of the game Reading ran twelve straight after a couple of treys by Justin Marrs (14 points) had given Beverly an 11-4 lead.  The Rockets led 21-15 at the end of the first quarter and Kenny Reed already had fifteen points.  Six of the points came on 3’s, one that looked to be NBA range.

Reading built the lead to 31-24 at the half and there was little reason to think that Beverly had the firepower and defense to make a game of this one in the second half.

Turned out they did.  Michael Clayton (13 points) and Justin Marrs combined for Beverly’s next seventeen points.  Clayton’s put-back tied the score at 41-41 with a minute left in the third quarter.

Reading started fast in the final quarter as Kenny Reed and then Trey Jones found room for layups.  Trailing 49-43, the Panthers took an eight-point run, with Curtis Manuel adding the last two baskets and Beverly led, 51-49, with five minutes left in regulation.

There were seven lead changes over the next three minutes.  Trey Jones (16 points) put a three, a steal, and a layup into this late-game segment and gave Reading a 4-point lead (61-57) with two minutes to go.

Michael Clayton – 13 points for Beverly

Curtis Manuel – 17 points including 8 in the last quarter

Reading did not score again in regulation while Beverly got a layup from Michael Clayton and a Rocket turnover and a layup with 13 seconds left from Curtis Manuel to tie the score.  Then there was the debated foul at the buzzer before the game went into overtime.

In the overtime, Jerry-Ellis Williams (15 points) gave Reading an early 65-61 lead with a layup and a jump shot.  Beverly answered with a Clayton three and a free throw from Zach Zigglebaum.  Brian Borque (10 points) hit a jumper.  Curtis Manuel answered in kind.

Trey Jones missed a shot.  Beverly turned the ball over.  This set the stage for Reed’s game-winner at the buzzer in overtime.

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