(Newburyport MA) This was not a good matchup.
Amesbury was overwhelmed by Newburyport, 46-18, on Tuesday night at NHS.
The Indians faced undefeated Newburyport with only three days of practice, thanks to a ruling by the Amesbury School Committee.
The Clippers, now 6-0, could easily be the best team in the Cape Ann League. They have been together for weeks and their play on both ends of the court shows it.
In this game, Newburyport passed its way to high percentage shots while defending Amesbury into low percentage shots.
Abigail Gillingham (20 points) was a game-long problem for the Indians. Neither their perimeter defense nor their inside defense was effective enough to slow down the Clippers.
“Abigail Gillingham was very good tonight,” admitted Amesbury coach Gregg Dollos afterwards, “but we didn’t battle the post. We gave her all the positioning she wanted.”
Even when the Clippers missed shots in close there were teammates on hand to cash rebounds.
“Abigail did a great job of getting her body in the paint and we made really good passes to her,” said NHS coach Karen Grutchfield post-game.
Amesbury’s defensive struggles on the interior eliminated Newburyport’s need to rely on long-range shots and they took very few.
The Clippers gained separation 24-12 at halftime and Abigail had fifteen of Newburyport’s points.
The Clippers defense truly made things tough for the visitors later on and they could only get six points in the entire second half. There were very few clean looks from anyplace for the Indians all night long.
“Our defense is the key to everything we do,” explained Abigail afterwards. “Amesbury had trouble with our 1-2-2 press.”
“Our passing wasn’t good at all,” explained Coach Dollos. “There were just too many individual things going on out there.”
It all came down to a well-organized team facing a team just getting used to being together.
The Indians have two days to prepare for their home opener Friday versus Lynnfield. The time together should help them to improve.
“Amesbury has good kids and they’re physical,” said Coach Grutchfield. “We were fortunate to catch them when we did.”
Deidre McElhinney had nine points for Newburyport while Avery Hallinan paced the Indians with ten points.
Interesting to see Amesbury’s Alyssa Pettet trying basketball her senior year. She’ll be playing soccer for Holy Cross in the fall.
Newburyport’s two seniors (Abigail Gillingham & Leah Metsker) were honored after the game.
This story/pictures will appear on my online blog (McClelland Miscellanea). The link to the game with be on Twitter (mcclellandpeter). Mascores has also been posting my entries. There should be pictures showing up on Instagram (McclellandMiscellanea) over the next few days.
(All of the pictures above and below should enlarge considerably if you click on them.)