Category Archives: Watertown

Watertown takes out Pentucket 44-40 in Division 2 North finals

Kelsi McNamara found few openings but still tallied twenty-three points for Pentucket

Kelsi McNamara found few openings but still tallied twenty-three points for Pentucket

 

Gianna Coppola made three of four free throws in crunch time for Watertown

Gianna Coppola made three of four free throws in crunch time for Watertown

Michaela Antonellis (15 points) had a strong game for Watertown

Michaela Antonellis (15 points) had a strong game for Watertown

(Lowell MA) Watertown had twenty-three turnovers, missed nine free throws, and had a seven-minute scoring drought in the final eight-minute quarter.

Not the ingredients you’d expect to be part of a Watertown girls’ win but they were.  The Raiders had enough defense to offset the negatives and ousted Pentucket, 44-40, to gain the Division 2 North title on Saturday afternoon at the Tsongas Center.

Watertown will face South #1 seed Duxbury (24-1) on Tuesday night (5:45PM) at the TD North Garden in the Division 2 state semifinals.

Kelsi McNamara (23 points) was option one, two, three, and four for the Sachems (23-2) all afternoon.  Kelsi, who recently became Pentucket’s all-time scoring leader, saw plenty of defenders Rachel Morris and Felicia Korte during the afternoon.  The taller twosome alternated on Kelsi and did a solid job of limiting open 3-point attempts.

Felicia Korte defends Kelsi McNamara

Felicia Korte defends Kelsi McNamara

When Kelsi was able to find space past her outside defenders there was always 6-2 Shannon Murphy to also be dealt with.  Almost all of Kelsi’s open shots were taken in warmups!

Kelsi, however, had two of four 3’s during the first half of the final quarter.  Her second one put the Sachems within one possession (41-38) of the lead with half a quarter left.

The undefeated Raiders (21-0) made things more “interesting” than they should have as they nursed a three-point lead with a run thereafter of turnovers (three) and missed free throws (four).  But the team from West Newbury didn’t answer the Watertown miscues with points.  In fact, it wasn’t until twenty-four seconds were left when senior Audrey Tipson sank two free throws to put Pentucket on the doorstep trailing only 41-40.

Looking for a clutch performance?  Step up, Gianna Coppola.  The Sachems fouled Gianna to stop the clock after Audrey‘s free throws.  The WHS senior made the first shot but not the second.  The rebound on the missed shot, however, was mishandled by Pentucket and Watertown had the ball out-of-bounds.  A pass in and Gianna was fouled again.  This time she hit both free throws giving Watertown a four-point lead with nine seconds left.  A prayer by Kelsi McNamara a few seconds later was not answered and the Raiders had the title.

Michaela Antonellis gets double teamed by McKenna Kilian and Taylor Moore

Michaela Antonellis gets double teamed by McKenna Kilian and Taylor Moore

Watertown started fast (11-3) with Michaela Antonellis (15 points) cashing several inside shots.  The Sachems, however, shut out Watertown for the final five minutes of the quarter and went on a 12-1 run to lead 15-12 after a quarter.  Kelsi had two three’s in that segment.

The Raiders regained the lead but Pentucket was still close (27-25) in the first two minutes of the third quarter.  A layup by Audrey Tipson assisted by Boo Torrisi narrowed the gap to two.

Then junior Michaela Antonellis took over with eight consecutive points on a three, a jump shot, and a driving layup.  Gianna Coppola followed with a layup assisted by Michaela to end a nine-point run that put Watertown ahead 36-25 with 3:10 remaining in the third quarter.

Kelsi McNamara tries to get past 6-2 Shannon Murphy

Kelsi McNamara tries to get past 6-2 Shannon Murphy

After Shannon Murphy notched a layup to start the final quarter Watertown looked comfortable at 41-32.  But two Kelsi McNamara three’s later that lead was down to three with plenty of time left.  On this afternoon that “plenty of time” wasn’t enough for the Sachems.  No question they had plenty of glittering chances but couldn’t find a big shot in the end game.

I was impressed with ball-handling skills of Watertown’s Michaela Antonellis.
I was also impressed with the way Pentucket turned up the defense in the final quarter.  The way they double-teamed every Raider receiving a pass was effective.

This was the third straight year to the North finals for Watertown.  Two years ago Pentucket won, 38-24, as they put fifteen straight points together to get an early 18-2 lead and never looked back.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)Pentucket boxwatertown box

Kelsi McNamara puts up a runner in the lane

Kelsi McNamara puts up a runner in the lane

McKenna Kilian goes baseline

McKenna Kilian goes baseline

Kelsi McNamara was heavily defended on the perimeter

Kelsi McNamara was heavily defended on the perimeter

Audrey Tipson brought Pentucket within a point making two free throws in the last minute

Audrey Tipson brought Pentucket within a point making two free throws in the last minute

Kelsi McNamara gets a block on Gianna Coppola

Kelsi McNamara gets a block on Gianna Coppola

Kelsi McNamara in the midst of four Raiders

Kelsi McNamara in the midst of four Raiders

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Pentucket, Watertown

Cardinal Spellman reaches D3 state finals with 51-44 OT win over Watertown

Cardinal Spellman celebrates afterwards

Cardinal Spellman celebrates afterwards

Joey Crane (20 points) finds an opening in close for the tying basket

Joey Crane (20 points) finds an opening in close for the tying basket

(Boston MA) Watertown had only four made free throws to show for the final 9 1/2 minutes of playing time in the state Division 3 semi-finals.

Nothing good will come from a scoring drought of that magnitude……..and it didn’t as Cardinal Spellman (21-4) rallied into overtime and defeated the Raiders, 51-44, on Tuesday night at the TD Garden.

The Cardinals’ victory sends them to the state finals on Saturday at the DCU Center in Worcester against (22-2) Tyngsborough.

Watertown (18-6) had its scoring drought at the end and it cost them the game.  Cardinal Spellman had their scoring drought earlier and it nearly cost them the game.

Rory Donovan (15 points) looks for an opening

Rory Donovan (15 points) looks for an opening

CS had a, 23-20, lead with three minutes left in the first half.  Senior Rory Donovan (15 points) paced the Cardinals with eleven points.

But then it took the team from Brocton (MA) eight minutes to score another basket!  And while the Cardinals missed, the Raiders ran twelve unanswered points and jumped in front, 32-23, with 4 1/2 minutes to go in the third quarter.   Brendan Hoban, Cesar Fulcar, TJ Hairston, and Kevin DiPietrantonio put the 12-point package together.

The Cardinals ended up with a pitiful 4-point third quarter and ended it trailing by nine (36-27).

A layup by Brendan Hoban (10 points) gave Watertown it biggest lead (40-29) with 5 1/2 minutes left in regulation.

I couldn’t see at the time, that there was any way CS could even make a game of it the rest of the way.  They weren’t shooting well at all and Watertown was very capable of running time off the clock.

Christian Tapia, Mike Hagopian, Cesar Fulcar, TJ Hairston, and Brendan Hoban in overtime

Christian Tapia, Mike Hagopian, Cesar Fulcar, TJ Hairston, and Brendan Hoban in overtime

However, the Cardinals were able to get the ball into the hands of Joey Crane (20 points) often enough in the next 2+ minutes for the 6-4 senior to get a three, an old-fashioned three, and a layup.  This scoring spurt cut the Watertown lead to three (40-37) with three minutes left.

The Raiders finally stopped the bleeding with two Kevin DiPietrantonio (10 points) free throws.

But Austin Joseph answered with a three with ninety seconds left to get CS within two (42-40).

Austin Joseph breaks in

Austin Joseph breaks in

Cesar Fulcar missed and so did Ryan Roach.  Watertown then ran the shot clock down and ended up with a very long 3-point attempt by Kevin DiPietrantonio that missed.  Austin Joseph took in the rebound and CS called a timeout with twenty-three seconds left.

After the timeout, point guard Ryan Roach was able to find a cutting Joey Crane for a successful layup with three seconds remaining tying the score at 42-42.

Brendan Hoban got off a three that was well short as regulation ended.

Ryan Roach drives on Cesar Fulcar

Ryan Roach drives on Cesar Fulcar

I noted at the time that CS reacted as if they had won.  Watertown reacted as if they had lost.

Two minutes into overtime the Cardinals had a three points lead (45-42) on a converted rebound by Rory Donovan and a free throw by Joey Crane.

Austin Joseph followed with a dagger basket as he sped down the lane for a layup giving CS a five-point lead with 1:19 remaining.

Watertown continued to miss and were forced to foul.  Ryan Roach hit three free throws and Joey Crane added another.

Finally, with eleven seconds left TJ Hairston made tow free throws to end 6+ minutes of Raiders’ scorelessness.

Ryan Roach was able to dribble out the clock as the CS crowd chanted, “DCU, DCU.”

tight defense

tight defense

I came away very impressed with Watertown’s TJ Hairston.  The Raiders’ all-leaguer in football, basketball, and baseball tallied thirteen points and pulled down nineteen rebounds.

Rory Donohoe (15 points/11 rebounds) had a double/double for Cardinal Spellman.

Ryan Roach struggled shooting (2-for-15) but handed out nine assists including one to Joey Crane that sent the game into overtime.

Watertown and Cardinal Spellman played the same game (D3 state semi-finals) three years ago at the Garden.  The Raiders won big (56-36) leading by twenty-five after three quarters.  Watertown went on to lose to Whitinsville Christian in the state finals.

Cardinal Spellman was the #2 seed in the South and plays in the Catholic Central League.

Watertown was the #2 seed in the North and is in the Middlesex League.

Watertown has won six North titles.  CS has won the South title twice in the last four years.

Ryan Roach will be attending Stonehill while Austin Joseph will graduate to Gordon.

The MIAA provided stat sheets for the first time.  Everyone attempting to write a game story says, “Thanks!”

halftime box

full-game box

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

Cardinal Spellman ices the game with free throws

Cardinal Spellman ices the game with free throws

Ryan Roach dribbles away the closing seconds.

Ryan Roach dribbles away the closing seconds.

Cardinal Spellman student section

Cardinal Spellman student section

Joey Crane drives baseline

Joey Crane drives baseline

Leave a comment

Filed under Cardinal Spellman, Watertown

Pentucket defeats Watertown 38-24 to win Division 3 North title

Pentucket - Division 3 North champs

Pentucket – Division 3 North champs

Coley Viselli (15 points) fires from long range

Coley Viselli (15 points) fires from long range

(Lowell)  Some will call it great defense.  Some will call it very, very cold shooting.

Take your pick, Pentucket overwhelmed Watertown, 38-24, to win the Division 3 North title on Saturday afternoon at the Tsongas Center.

The Sachems will face Archbishop Williams (Braintree) at the TD Bank Garden on Monday in a state Division 3 semifinals battle.

Pentucket (24-1) was never behind against the Raiders (13-11).

After a 3-2 start (Kelsi McNamara three & Rachel Campbell layup), this game got away from Watertown completely over the next nine minutes of playing time stretching into the second period.

The Sachems ran off fifteen unanswered points and were ahead, 18-2, before Rachel Campbell made a free throw.

It is not unusual for Pentucket (#1 seed) to put runs of points together off of turnovers but that wasn’t the case here.  Simply explained: Pentucket made shots and Watertown didn’t.

Kelsi McNamara (15 points) hit a three on the first Pentucket possession

Kelsi McNamara (15 points) hit a three in the first Pentucket possession

The Sachem points in this run were spread around.  Kelsi McNamara (15 points) had a three and a floater in the lane.  Coley Viselli (15 points) nailed a three and two driving layups.  Alex Moore added a free throw and a layup.

Much of the credit for the nine-minute shutout goes to Pentucket’s half-court defense. The Raiders had little trouble in the backcourt because of point guard Gabby Coppola’s dribbling skills.  The frontcourt was a different story.  Watertown had very few good looks and had to settle for heavily-defended shot attempts.

Alex Moore and later Kelsi McNamara forced the Raiders top scorer (Gabby Coppola) to be a passer by denying her open looks from the outside and keeping the talented junior from driving.

There were six minutes of first half and the entire second half played after the 18-2 start, but on this day, Watertown couldn’t get enough stops or enough made shots to challenge the defending D3 champs.

looking for a rebound

looking for a rebound

The Raiders (#11 seed) actually “won” the last twenty-two minutes, 22-20, but it was too little, too late for Watertown.

The Raiders’ drought during those devastating nine minutes in the first half was so noticeable that the Pentucket student section cheered (insincerely) when Rachel Campbell ended the 15-point run with a free throw.

Kelsi McNamara hit two 3’s in the first three minutes and had ten of her fifteen points in the first half.  Her defense on Gabby Coppola, when Alex Moore didn’t have her, may have been more valuable than her point totals.

Coley Viselli connected twice from long range and was able to get to the basket three times on scoring drives.  The senior became a 1000-point scorer recently in a win over Division 1 Central Catholic.

Kelsi McNamara drives on Gabby Coppola

Kelsi McNamara drives on Gabby Coppola

Kelsi McNamara appeared fully recovered from the calf injury she suffered against Ipswich in the D3 North semifinals.  Kelsi went out in this game, with two minutes left, holding her elbow.

Alex Moore had short minutes after hurting her wrist falling during a drive to the basket in the first half.

As I mentioned earlier, turnovers were not a factor.  Pentucket had fourteen and Watertown ten.

The foul shooting by both teams was pitiful.  The Sachems missed five in eight attempts while the Raiders missed ten in fourteen attempts.

The Pentucket defense held Gabby Coppola to four points on 1-for-8 in field goal attempts.

You watch Pentucket play and wonder when their domination (93-11 over the past four years) will end.  Maybe not so soon.  Two sophomores start (Kelsi McNamara and McKenna Kilian) and in this game there were significant minutes for junior Sydney Snow, sophomore Sarah Wiles, and freshman Riley Holden.

Rachel Campbell and Riley Holden

Rachel Campbell and Riley Holden

Typical of Pentucket was a lack of jumping up-and-down and rushing the court after the win.  You could hardly tell afterwards whether they had won or lost!  I suspect that they’re saving that post-game excitement for the next game on Monday afternoon.

Rachel Campbell paced the Watertown scorers with seven points.

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

Coley Viselli gets in for two

Coley Viselli gets in for two

Sydney Snow (#3)

Sydney Snow (#3)

Gabby Coppola

Gabby Coppola

Pentucket coaching staff

Pentucket coaching staff

Leave a comment

Filed under Pentucket, Watertown

Newburyport gets a twenty-point lead by halftime and cruises to 56-42 win over Watertown in the D3 North

Ian Michaels (23 points) gets down the lane

Alex Losh defends Cory Fitzgerald

(Newburyport) Shorthanded Watertown got into a deep rut in the first half and never recovered bowing to Newburyport, 56-42, on a snowy/slippery Thursday night at NHS.

The win gets the Clippers (15-6) into the quarterfinals at home against #5 seed Arlington Catholic Sunday night at 5PM.

The #13 Raiders (6-15) were without Pat McHugh.  Pat injured his ankle in practice two days ago.  He had thirty-two points in Watertown’s opening win of the season.  Significant loss…..you bet!

The Clippers were well rested (hadn’t played in nearly two weeks) and played nearly flawlessly on both ends of the court for the first half.  Newburyport ran their lead to, 34-14, by halftime and the visitors would never get inside ten points the rest of the way.

action under the basket

Ian Michaels (23 points) had it going early with the Clippers first eight points.  The junior guard had fourteen in the decisive first half.

Newburyport from the Cape Ann League ran some of basketball’s basic plays (backdoor cuts, pick-and-roll) to perfection.  “Sharp” is the best way I can describe their execution.

Without Pat McHugh to score some points on the inside, Watertown from the Middlesex League tried to compete via the long ball.  They ended up hitting seven of them but on this night Newburyport had answers.

Watertown’s best burst of offense was by Kevin DiPietrantonio (12 points) who connected on eight straight points with a layup and two triples.  Kevin’s scoring brought the Raiders to, 47-33, 1 ½ minutes into the final period.  But Newburyport answered with an Alex Losh layup on an inbounds play and an AJ MacDougall layin.

The Raiders cut the lead to ten (51-41) late but the early deficit was too much to overcome.

Brett Fontaine of Newburyport went down with an ankle injury in the third period and didn’t return.

sophomore Cesar Fulcar (16 points)

Cesar Fulcar led the Raider scorers with sixteen points.

Colby Morris had four assists in the Clipper first half.

Watertown had seven turnovers in the second quarter and that combined with looking for scoring to replace Pat McHugh hurt them significantly.

The win avenges a loss Watertown handed Newburyport (55-31) in the Division 3 North final at the Tsongas Arena last year.

The road conditions after the game were scary/dangerous.  I couldn’t get my truck with studded tires up my driveway despite four or five attempts.  Driving back to Watertown had to have been an “adventure” for the Raider fans.

Newburyport boxscore

Watertown boxscore

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

Ian Michaels

Colton Fontaine (8 points) layup

Brett Fontaine down

Colby Morris

Joey Farrar (11 points)

NHS coach Tom LItalien

Leave a comment

Filed under Newburyport, Watertown

Whitinsville Christian Wins Tight One Over Watertown 42-36 to Gain State D3 Title

Whitinsville Christian School (2010-11 Boys Division 3 State Champions)

Taylor Bajema (14 points) hit three free throws in the last fourteen seconds to clinch the victory.

(Worcester)  Watertown had Whitinsville Christian right where they wanted them – tied at 30-30 with five minutes left.

The deliberate Raiders had run eight straight points, including a couple of huge 3’s by Cory Donahue (15 points), to tie the taller Crusaders.

Whitinsville (23-2), however, accumulated twelve points in those decisive last five minutes, and came away Massachusetts Division 3 champs, 42-36, on Saturday afternoon at the DCU Center.

The Raiders (19-6) could only score six points in a frustrating ending for the ‘07 and ‘09 state champs.  In their final twelve possessions (covering the last five minutes) Watertown had three turnovers and five missed 3-pointers.

Cory Donahue (15 points on five 3’s)

Marco Coppola (15 points) tallied all six of the Raiders points but in their last four possessions his stat line read: turnover, made layup, missed three, and turnover.

After the 30-30 tie, Colin Richey (12 points) hit a tough floater from the left to give Whitinsville the lead (32-30).  Hans Miersma (12 points) followed with a free throw and Marco added two before Colin set up Hans Miersma (12 points) for a layup making the score, 35-32, with 2:15 left.

That three-point cushion wasn’t much but on this afternoon the Raiders (6-for-35 from long range) couldn’t hit a big one to get closer.

Their next two 3-point attempts missed and they were forced to foul.  Peter Koopman made one free throw and Hans made two putting the Crusader up, 38-32, with 1:27 to go.

Marco followed with two free throws (38-34 – 1:17) before Peter Koopman threw a pass to me and then redeemed himself on the next play by stealing Marco’s pass in the lane.  The Raiders were quick to foul sending Grant Brown to the line.  Grant made one and Marco drove full-court for a layup (39-36 – :17)

Watertown was still just a turnover and a three away but WCS wisely got the ball to Taylor Bajema (14 points) and when he was fouled he made both shots (41-36 – :14).

Marco tried an NBA three and missed and Hans did the same with two free throws with nine seconds left.

Marco then tried to go end-to-end and lost the ball out-of-bounds under the basket. Taylor was again fouled and his last-second free throw ended the scoring at 42-36.

Hans Miersma (12 points) gets off one of his few inside attempts.

WCS had plenty of size and would have loved to have been able to get 6-9 Hans Miersma more touches.  Raider ball pressure made that very difficult.  The Crusaders had twenty-two turnovers, many coming from trying to pass into Raider overplays.

The Raiders were content to run the clock and settle for outside shots.  Those tactics had kept opponents playing more defense than offense in the tournament and had limited every tourney opponent to 40 points or less.

The Crusaders played an unaccustomed (for them) zone and probably wondered why, early on, as Watertown hit three of their first six long-range attempts.  WCS stuck with it though and the Raiders hit on only three of their last twenty-nine tries.

Cory Donahue made five of the six Watertown three’s.

Marco Coppola led the state in scoring (26 ppg).  I recall hearing someone in the pressroom say that he was leaning toward WPI for next season.  He’ll score a lot of points wherever he goes.

Hans Miersma had a dunk after a travel in the first half and did something to the clock above the basket in the process.  I saw the possibilities for one of my life-goals take shape as the basket got lower and lower!

Colin Richey (12 points) faced game-long tight defense from Tyler Romanelli (#5).

Sophomore Colin Richey ended up facing the relentless full-court pressure of Tyler Romanelli as WSC’s primary ball-handler.  Tyler had plenty to do with the Colin’s inability to find Hans in close to the basket very often.

Watertown jumped in front 9-2 after 4 ½ minutes on Cory Donahue’s three 3’s.  WCS rallied back into the start of the second quarter on an old-fashioned three by Hans, a Colin Richey jumper, and two Tyler VandenAkker free throws to tie the score.

Watertown was held scoreless over the last 4:45 of the 2nd quarter while WCS got seven points (Taylor’s layup and jumper, Hans layup, one Colin free throw) to lead, 21-16, at the half.

Watertown came all the way back to tie the game (30-30) in the final quarter.  Thereafter (over the last five minutes) WCS went on the 12-6 run that won the game.

(I collect my own stats and take my own pictures.  I also draw my own conclusions.  Inaccuracies of various degrees happen for which I apologize for.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Watertown, Whitinsville Christian