Tag Archives: Abby Dube

Pentucket downs Ursuline 64-41

Abby Dube (15 points) guards freshman Alana Hogan
Waverly Smart and Alyssa Thompson (15 points)

(West Newbury MA) “Pentucket played amazing defense,” said Ursuline coach Morgan O’Donnell afterwards.

How many times have we heard that from opposing coaches?

Pentucket (17-3) rode their full-court pressure defense to a, 64-41, win over Ursuline Academy on Friday night.

The victory moves the Sachems into the Round of 16.  Their next opponent will be either Masconomet or North Quincy.  Those teams play tomorrow (Saturday).

Ava Karol (10 points) gets a rebound

A Masco win brings another game to West Newbury.

“We have bleachers we can bring in to meet the requirements for seating,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara.

Pentucket had a house full of fans and there was plenty to cheer about.

“It was loud in here,” said Coach O’Donnell.  “This atmosphere was tough to play in.”

Audrey Conover chases a loose ball

Pentucket shut out the Bears (10-10) for the first four minutes and put up nine unanswered points.  Four different players scored for Pentucket and all of them had layups.

Abby Dube and Alyssa Thompson were the game’s top scorers with fifteen points each. 

This was a night, however, when most of the Pentucket baskets had assists attached to them and most of the baskets were inside shots.

Lana Mickelson and Ava Karol

“There are no star players on the team,” said Lana Mickelson.  “We all work together.”

The Pentucket lead elevated to ten (27-17) in the second quarter after an Emma Lopata layup assisted by Audrey Conover.

The Sachems put a 12-2 run together in the third quarter, ending the run on an Abby Dube three-pointer.  The lead at that point had reached twenty (43-23) with a little under four minutes left in the third quarter.

Ava DiBurro reaches in

Both teams substituted liberally after that.

“I think our defense bothered them,” said Coach McNamara.  “It was our turnovers and quick shots on offense that kept them hanging around a bit.”

Credit Ursuline.  Despite trailing the entire game, the team from Dedham and the Catholic Conference kept plugging away in a hostile environment.

Ava DiBurro looks to pass

“Our kids came ready, and they played hard,” said Coach O’Donnell.  “That’s all I ask of them.”

Seniors Rebecca Morrill and Ava Karol paced the Bears with ten points each.

I was impressed with Ursuline freshman Alana Hogan.  Alana had seventeen points against Scituate.  Tonight, she was very good at handling the ball and continued to the basket if the opening was there.  Bright future.

The unselfish play of Pentucket was noticeable.  They executed penetrate-and-pass beautifully and ended up with many layups. 

Emma Lopata stands ready to take a charge

Senior captain Emma Lopata got two of the biggest reactions from the crowd when she drew two charges.

“Those can hurt,” she said, “and I was nervous about taking them because I had three fouls.”

Abby Dube ( three 3’s)

Abby Dube now has fifty three’s this season.

Pentucket is the #9 seed in Division 2. 

The seats were filled early and the enthusiasm for the home team was continuous.

“We love our fans,” said Emma. “It was fun playing in front of a huge crowd.”

“It was a messy game, but our team defense was pretty good,” said Ava DiBurro post-game.

Pentucket   15   16   16   17   =   64

Ursuline        7    12   10   12   =   41

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Pentucket box
Ursuline box
Bethany Cloutier
Audrey Conover in the lane
Ava DiBurro in for a layup
Lana Mickelson breaks in
Abby Dube passes
Gabby Bellacqua in the lane
Coach John McNamara
Alana Hogan
Abby Dube in front of the crowd

Leave a comment

Filed under Pentucket, Ursuline

Pentucket defeats Haverhill 60-29

Abby Dube (18 points)
Lana Mickelson (10 points)

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket (10-3) started slowly but Haverhill started very slowly. 

And it cost them.

“We’ve been playing catch-up most of the games we’ve been in,” explained Haverhill coach Melissa Tarpy afterwards.

The Hillies (2-10) fell to the Sachems, 60-29, on Monday evening in non-league action.

“Both teams started a little slow because neither team could practice during the last two days,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara post-game.

Abby Dube in the lane

“Then we started to hit shots and they didn’t,” added Coach McNamara.

Junior Abby Dube led all scorers with eighteen points.

Eight of Abby’s points came in Pentucket’s breakaway first quarter.

Abby had a couple of three’s, both set up by Audrey Conover, and two free throws leading the Sachems to a 12-0 start.

A free throw by senior Yaribel Pena finally put the Hillies on the board with less than a minute remaining.

Pentucket led 13-1 after a quarter and 25-9 at the half.  The Hillies were outscored, 35-20, in the second half.

Pentucket pressure

The Sachems pressure defense, whether man-to-man or trapping, gave the visitors trouble most of the night. 

“We just want to play basic basketball,” said Coach Tarpy.  “Tonight, we didn’t do the little things that needed to happen.”

“Pentucket is a great team with a great program,” she added.  “They’re fundamentally sound and play smart basketball.  They know where their teammates are, and they trust each other.”

Passing was a team-wide strength for Pentucket tonight.  Everyone was in on it.  Plenty of nice setups for high percentage shots.

Kya Burdier (10 points)

There were backdoor cuts that worked and drives with kickouts that led to wide-open looks.

Nine players scored for Pentucket.  Lana Mickelson (10 points) was the other Sachem in double figures.

Senior Kya Burdier (10 points) led the Hillies in scoring.  Sophomore Sydney Spencer finished with nine points.

Kya is committed to Nichols College next year where she will play volleyball and basketball for the Bison.

Kya Burdier guards Gabby Bellacqua

Pentucket has won eight of their last nine games.  “We started the season a bit shaky but now we’ve come together as a team,” said Abby Dube afterwards.

The Hillies have now lost ten straight games.  Their last win was on December 21st against Lawrence.

“We’ve probably only had our whole team together twice this season because of Covid and other illnesses,” said Coach Tarpy.  “But excuses aside, we have to come out and play basic basketball.”

Yaribel Pena

“We did okay on offense tonight,” said Coach McNamara, “but we’ve got to get better.  We’ve got some tough games coming up.”

One of the games ahead on Pentucket’s schedule is versus Newburyport at Newburyport on February 10th.  The undefeated Clippers won the first meeting by ten points but that was a while ago.  The rematch is on my calendar!

The talk after the game tonight included confirmation from AD Dan Thornton that the new school will open in the fall.  Dan also said that the gymnasium floor is in place.  There was also talk about possibly auctioning off pieces of the floor of the gymnasium currently being used.

Haverhill is in the Merrimack Valley Conference while Pentucket is in the Cape Ann League.

Abby said that she played AAU basketball with Kya Burdier.

Pentucket  13   12   18   17   =   60

Haverhill      1     8    13     7   =   29

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Finding the ball
Scramble for the ball
Trapped in the corner
Janisa Price
Haley Phillips looks to pass
Emma Lopata on a drive
Bethany Cloutier shoots a three
Alyssa Thompson
Lana Mickelson looks to pass
Audrey Conover
Pentucket box
Haverhill box

Leave a comment

Filed under Haverhill, Pentucket

Niya Morgen and Yirsy Queliz guide St. Mary’s past Pentucket 59-37

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

Niya Morgen (27 points) in for a layup
Yirsy Queliz (18 points)

(West Newbury MA) St. Mary’s got better as the game went along defeating Pentucket, 59-37, on Friday night.

The Spartans junior guards (Yirsy Queliz and Niya Morgen) were a game-long problem for Pentucket in their season opener.

“They might have the best backcourt in the state,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara afterwards.

Niya had seven three’s in twenty-seven points while Yirsy added eighteen points.

Action in front of the Pentucket student section

The points were one thing, but the defense and court-sense of both players was noticeable.

“Our guard play eventually took the game over,” explained Spartans coach Jeff Newhall post-game.

“They’re good friends,” added Coach Newhall.  “They play AAU together.  They are used to playing together.  There is no weakness in their games.”

The Pentucket student section was in place as was an ever-playing band.  There was a playoff-game atmosphere.

Gabby Bellacqua (11 points)

The Sachems started well, and even had a 6-2 lead, as St. Mary’s tried to settle in. 

But as time went on, it became apparent that Pentucket was going to have trouble scoring and that St. Mary’s wouldn’t. 

Yirsy Queliz created a turnover with seconds left in the first quarter and cashed it in to give the visitors their first lead, 9-7. They would build on that lead the rest of the game.

Audrey Conover defends Niya Morgen

Niya Morgen carried St. Mary’s in the second and third quarters.  The Swampscott transfer drained six three’s in those quarters.

One of Niya’s three-pointers was a step-back three.

“Niya made some big shots to keep us alive,” said Coach Newhall.

The Spartans extended a 24-18 halftime lead to 41-28 after three quarters.

The Pentucket problem wasn’t a lack of shots.  The issue was making some shots. 

Yirsy Queliz and Coach Newhall

“We had some good looks,” said Coach McNamara, “but against a good team you have to make shots.  The defense can only hold on for so long.”

Abby Dube paced Pentucket with fifteen points.  Gabby Bellacqua added eleven points mostly on free throws.

This game was an endowment game so it will have no effect on tournament standings.

“We haven’t played Pentucket in ten years,” said Coach Newhall.  “The last time was in 2011 when we beat them in the Division 3 North semi-finals and went on to win our first state championship. Before that, we used to play them all the time.”

Alyssa Thompson and Bella Owumi

“John (McNamara) and I planned to have this game last year but couldn’t,” said Coach Newhall.  “Any time we can play a quality opponent on the road that can challenge us we’re willing to do it.  Some teams aren’t willing to host us.”

“We had nothing to lose in scheduling them,” said Coach McNamara, “since it’s an endowment game.  We knew that they were loaded.  It was a learning experience for us.  We start our season next week against Georgetown.”

Yirsy Queliz and Brooke Moloney

It was easy to be impressed with Yirsy Queliz.  Coach Newhall summed her up this way: “Yirsy has been a starter since she was in eighth grade.  She does everything.  She may not score a ton but she’s a tremendous ballhandler.  She’s probably the best on-the-ball defender in the area.”

Yirsy’s teammate, Niya, is equally good at handling the ball and tonight showed the ability to hit outside shots and get to the basket.

Olivia Abbott and Lana Mickelson

“St. Mary’s is probably one of the top five teams in the state,” said Coach McNamara.  “They have four kids who can create their own offense.  There are probably three scholarship kids on that team.”

Coach Newhall was happy with the win and especially liked his team’s play at the end.  “I was impressed with our fourth quarter defensively and using the clock for good possessions,” he said.  “We had Yirsy with the ball, the court spread, and ran good sets.”

Yirsy said afterwards that “Pentucket was a tough team.”  Niya added that the “team had to chill out without fouling.”

Yirsy Queliz sets a pick for Niya Morgen

Both girls agreed that because they have played together so much, “they’ve built chemistry.”

Yirsy and Niya ran a perfect pick-and-roll in the fourth quarter.

This is the last season in the current Pentucket gymnasium.  Coach McNamara said afterwards that he was going to miss the place.

“One of my best memories of this place was beating a very good Masco team here my first year of coaching,” said Coach McNamara.  “They had been to the Tsongas the year before and had everyone back.  We were the new kids on the block.”

Kaylie Dalgar and Audrey Conover

Bob Romeo (former Masco coach and now North Reading coach) was in the house tonight.  I also saw Coach Dollas and some of his Amesbury players in attendance.

Graduated outside shooter Arielle Cleveland was also spotted afterwards.  Pentucket could have used her shooting tonight.

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

Pentucket box
St. Mary’s box
Bella Owumi guarded by Bethany Cloutier
Yirsy Queliz gets deliberate late in the game
Yirsy Queliz makes a steal
Gabby Bellacqua pressures Yirsy Queliz
AJ Hyacinthe
Audrey Conover
Emma Lopata

Leave a comment

Filed under Pentucket, St. Mary's

Newburyport stays undefeated with exciting 58-54 win at Pentucket

Newburyport celebrates a rare win over Pentucket

Mackenzie Currie (18 points) heads into the heart of the Newburyport defense

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket doesn’t lose very often at home, or anywhere else, for that matter.

But the visiting Newburyport Clippers got that rare feat done, 58-54, on Wednesday night.

Both teams were undefeated and had large-margin wins over everyone else in the Cape Ann League.

“It was the win of the season for us,” said Newburyport senior Abigail Gillingham (10 points) afterwards. “They don’t expect anyone to come in here and give them a hard time.  We had the mindset that this was our game, and no one was going to take it away from us.”

Both teams were aggressive on offense (taking the ball to the basket) and defense.  There was never a chance that the 30-second shot clock would be used.

Two Mackenzie Currie free throws put the Sachems (7-1) ahead by two, 52-50, with 1:18 left.

“I thought we had enough to win,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara, “after we got the lead but give them credit, they knocked down free throws.”

Not only did Newburyport make free throws (eight in the final forty-four seconds) but even when they missed, they were able to immediately get the ball back and produce points.

Senior Leah Metsker (9 points) made her first attempt, missed the second but got her own rebound and earned two more free throws.  She made both and the Clippers led, 53-52.

Leah Metsker shoots a free throw

After a Pentucket turnover, Deidre McElhinney (11 points) was fouled.  She made the first, missed the second, but the Sachems lost the rebound out of bounds.

Deidre McElhinney shoots free throws

More chances followed for Newburyport at the line.  Leah Metsker made both and now the Clippers were up four, 56-52, with ten seconds left as the game got away from Pentucket.

Deidre McElhinney guarded by Greta Maurer

“I’m glad I could make some clutch shots,” said Leah.  “I tried hard to focus because the gym was so loud.”

“It was such a relief that we could finish it out,” added Deidre.

“Props to Leah and Deidre for making their free throws at the end,” added Abigail Gillingham.

Part of Pentucket’s defensive strategy was limit Abigail’s touches.

“We focused on her and gave up shots to other kids instead,” explained Coach McNamara, “but some of those kids made shots.”

Abigail Gillingham (10 points) guarded by Mackenzie Currie

Abigail didn’t even touch the ball for the first four minutes of the game.

Credit Mackenzie Currie for the tough defense on the NHS top scorer although she had plenty of help from nearby teammates.

Mackenzie led all scorers with eighteen points.  The Pentucket senior (going to St. Joe’s next year) hit two 3’s and went hard to the basket even against multiple defenders.

Sophomore Abby Dube tallied fourteen points including three 3’s.  Her last three was part of a seven-point run in the final quarter that gave Pentucket the 52-50 lead.

A key contributor for NHS was sophomore Jackie Doucette (12 points).  Jackie had a couple of three’s, as well as a full-court drive.

Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield: “It was a nice team win.  I am so happy for Leah.  Shooting under those circumstances is hard, but she did it.  I thought that Emma (Foley) did a good job rebounding and scoring.”

It certainly didn’t help Pentucket to lose their top scorer (Arielle Cleveland) four minutes into the game.

Pentucket coach John McNamara

“Despite not having Arielle available, we still had a chance to win and didn’t,” added Coach McNamara.

Newburyport had lost seven straight to Pentucket dating back to February of 2017.

“We’re so excited to finally beat them,” said Leah.

The Clippers had only four turnovers in the second half while the Sachems had nine.

Jackie Doucette: “We’ve been preparing for Pentucket for a while.  We had a good idea of what they would do.”

Impressed with Pentucket sophomore Audrey Conover.  First time I’ve seen her play.

One of the advantages for coaches is that all of the Cape Ann League games are being filmed for the excluded public.  No need to do any in-person scouting.

Easy to imagine how noisy it would have been if folks could have attended.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

The coverage of this game will be linked on Twitter (@mcclellandpeter) and be on my McClelland Miscellanea online blog.  Hoping to get it posted on Mascores too.  Pictures should show up on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea).

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

Lana Mickelson

Jackie Doucette (12 points)

Deidre McElhinney breaks after a steal

Greta Mauer

Gabby Bellacqua, Abby Dube, Makenna Ward

Gabby Loughran

Deidre McElhinney passes out of a double-team

Abby Dube (14 points)

Mackenzie Currie

Audrey Conover and Deidre McElhinney

Emma Lopata

Deidre McElhinney

Mackenzie Currie puts Pentucket up by two

Jackie Doucette (12 points) shoots from long range

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Newburyport, Pennridge

Pentucket overwhelms Newburyport 58-24 to clinch CAL Kinney Division

Lana Mickelson (32) and Deidre McElhinney (4)

Angelina Yacubacci (16 points)

(West Newbury MA) It doesn’t happen every game but when it does…..watch out!

Pentucket was excellent on both ends of the court and that put Newburyport on the wrong end of a  58-24 score on Friday night.

Combined with a Masconomet loss, the Sachems (17-1) clinched their sixth straight Cape Ann League Kinney Division title.

“Our girls came out with a ton of energy and played great defense,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara afterwards.

The Clippers (9-6) ended up with a night full of tough shots and turnovers.

Pentucket mustered only thirty-eight points in the first meeting (January 20th) with Newburyport.

“Last time was a different style of game,” explained Coach McNamara.  “They controlled the tempo with their 1-2-2 halfcourt defense.  This time our defense got us going offensively.”

Sami Cavanaugh tries for control

The Sachems had thirty-six points in the first half alone and were comfortably ahead, 36-15, at that time.

The Clippers had won three of their last four games including a shocker over Masco.

Tonight, the score was tied (4-4) after three minutes before Pentucket began putting everything together.  On this evening, the visitors had no answers.

The Sachems ran nine unanswered points together and never looked back.

In this breakaway segment, Angelina Yacubacci (16 points) assisted on an Arielle Cleveland jump shot and a Hannah Lambert triple.

Angelica Hurley (11 points)

The nicest play in this collection of points was an Arielle Cleveland save of a ball going out of bounds that ended up with an Angelica Hurley (11 points) 3-pointer.

Pentucket was ahead, 13-7, after one quarter.

The Sachems put a 23-point second quarter together.  Freshman Abby Dube (12 points) had two beyond-the-arc three’s and one old-fashioned three in the high-scoring quarter.

“I tend to think a lot when I shoot,” explained Abby post-game.  “Tonight, I was just playing and having fun out there.”

Abby’s twelve points were a career high for her.

Most of the night the Clippers had trouble getting to the basket as well as getting the ball inside to their tallest player, Abby Gillingham.

“MacKenzie Currie didn’t score a lot tonight but what a job she did against Abigail (Gillingham),” explained Coach McNamara.  “She’s a good scorer but she may have had only one basket tonight because of MacKenzie’s defense.”

Abby Gillingham with MacKenzie Currie defending

MacKenzie tallied eighteen points in the first meeting.  Tonight she had only four points but her defense on Newburyport’s top scorer was crucial in Pentucket’s victory.

The Clippers had twenty-six turnovers (by my count) and some of the miscues quickly led to Sachem layups.

“We got them rattled early,” recalled Coach McNamara.  “We made some shots and fed off our defensive energy.  We got a lot of transition baskets.”

Pentucket has now won thirteen straight.  Last loss was to Masco on January 3rd.  Those two teams will meet again at Pentucket next Friday night.

The Sachems, with just one loss, have the best record in Division 2 North.  Another D2 school, Marblehead, was 16-2 going into tonight.

Sadie Vandenberg

Newburyport (9-6) is just a win away from qualifying for the post-season.

“Newburyport is a good, young team,” added Coach McNamara.  “They are going to be very good.”

Coach McNamara has now won 296 games in his 14+ years directing the Sachems.  If Pentucket takes care of their final three regular-season games, that memorable 300th win could happen in the first round of the D2 tournament at Pentucket.

Abby Dube: “Playing with seniors and juniors is scary but really fun.  At first I was terrified but eventually I got comfortable.”

I continue to be impressed with the Pentucket band.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

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

Terrific Angelica Hurley pass to Abby Dube

Abby Dube (12 points) and Anna Affolter

Abby Gillingham tries to block Angelina Yacubacci’s shot

Anna Affolter at the line

Anna Wyner and Sami Cavanaugh

Hannah Lambert

MacKenzie Currie

Jackie Doucette and MacKenzie Currie

Leah Metsker

Makenna Ward

MacKenzie Currie

Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Newburyport, Pentucket