Tag Archives: Ali Napoli

North Reading holds off Amesbury 43-41

Last shot of the game

Lauren Sullivan (11 points) made two 3’s

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury rallied from thirteen down in the final quarter and had a shot to tie it at the buzzer.

But the shot missed, and North Reading escaped with a 43-41 win in Cape Ann League action on Tuesday night.

The ups and downs in this game were significant.

If you came early, the Indians were unstoppable and off to an 8-0 lead in the first 1 ½ minutes.

If you saw just the middle section it was all Hornets.  They drained three’s (8 of them) and took very good care of the ball.

If you looked in after NR sported a nice cushion (42-29) at the 6:41 mark of the final quarter, you saw Amesbury put pressure defense and thirteen straight points together and nearly catch the Hornets.

Flannery O’Connor (12 points) finds an opening

This certainly was a game where the good things and the things needing work were obvious for both squads.

“We needed to play that defense the whole game,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.

The visitors ran an excellent offense against single coverage.  They passed, they drove, they got to the basket, and drew fouls.  When the taller Amesbury defenders started to double-team in the final quarter, NR struggled and turned the ball over six times in four minutes and set up the Indians late-game run.

The Indians (1-1) got off to the electric start because scoring threat Flannery O’Connor was able to get the ball in close against light coverage.  That quickly changed and most of the rest of the game Flannery had at least two defenders and sometimes a third one nearby.

Ali Grasso (16 points) finds teammate Lauren Sullivan (4) closer to the basket

“Once we start hitting our shots, we’ll be tough to beat,” added Coach Dollas.  With Flannery so closely covered there were shots for teammates that didn’t fall this time.

North Reading (2-0) was good from long range.  The Hornets struck eight times from far out with Ali Grasso and Casey McAuliffe getting three each.

Ali paced NR with sixteen points while Casey added twelve.  Lauren Sullivan contributed eleven points.

Amesbury had twelve from Flannery and eleven from newcomer Avery Hallinan.

After the home team grabbed the quick 8-0 lead, North Reading followed with a 15-1 stretch that had them ahead, 15-9, early in the second period.

Later the Hornets put eight straight together in the third quarter when Lauren Sullivan’s full-court layup was followed by three’s from Ali Grasso and Lauren.

Mary Bullis over Kiley McCarthy (1)

But no sooner did that happen in the third quarter than Amesbury puts its own run of points together.  Mary Bullis hit a three from Alli Napoli and Flannery O’Connor drove the length of the court.  Mary Bullis finished the run by converting her own missed shot.

Typical of this game, however, NR came back with its own version of good offense and was sitting pretty (42-29) with 6:41 remaining.

It is hard to believe that the Hornets had only one point (Ali Grasso free throw) the rest of the way.

Ciara Sullivan hit a couple of jump shots and Avery Hallinan made six free throws to key Amesbury’s late-game rush.

The Indians were within a point (42-41) but came up empty in the final minute.  Ali Napoli got a shot off to the right of the lane in heavy coverage that missed to end the game.

Free throw shooting was a struggle for both teams.

The free throw shooting was not good in this one.  North Reading missed ten (11-for-21) and Amesbury eight (12-for-20).  The Indians had six misses within their thirteen-point rally in the final quarter.

Enthusiastic crowd on hand.

Alli Napoli took a heavy fall late in the game driving to the basket.  Somehow, she managed to play on.

North Reading box

Amesbury box

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

Ali Grasso dribbles into space

Amesbury defense collapses on Mia DeNofrio (23)

Avery Hallinan (11) tries to pass to Flannery O’Connor (12)

Flannery O’Connor with three Hornets

Floor tussle

Mia DeNofrio shoots a free throw

Mine!

Sadie Kermelewicz (4) stays with Ali Grasso (3)

Hustling Alli Napoli (21) caught Julie Howse (33) and blocked her shot

Lauren Sullivan (4) in for a layup

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bedford executes late and defeats Amesbury 61-58 in D3N quarterfinals

Lauren Legere (13 points) goes baseline for Bedford

Mel Proulx looks to pass

(Amesbury MA) “That game could have gone either way,” said Bedford coach Jason Talanien afterwards.

When Flannery O’Connor’s 3-point attempt missed in the closing seconds, the Bedford Buccaneers had an, 61-58, Division 3 North quarterfinals win over Amesbury on Thursday night.

“It was back-and-forth all night,” said AHS coach Matt Willis.  “Great effort by both teams.”

The Bucs (13-9) trailed by three (57-54) with three minutes left.  “We’ve had many close games,” explained Coach Talanien, “and we have worked a lot on last-minute execution.”

One thing that the team from the Dual County League did well was take the ball to the basket.  The Indians (13-8) used a 3-2 zone to protect the perimeter but this gave the Bedford drivers openings and they weren’t shy about taking advantage.  Fifteen Bedford baskets were in the layup area.

Ali Napoli (26 points) in from the left

The Bucs defeated Whittier in the first round with eleven 3-pointers, hence the Amesbury’s 3-2 zone.  Bedford had only three long ones versus Amesbury but one of them, by Jenn Rennich, came in the final three minutes.

The Bucs were also good at the free-throw line hitting 17-for-23.  None bigger than two straight by Annie Cowen with fifteen seconds left.

Joelle DeLia’s layup (1:53) brought Bedford within one, 57-56.  Next possession Jenn Rennich drilled a three from in front of the Bedford bench to give the Bucs the lead, 59-57, with 1:25 to go.

Ali Napoli went to the line with thirty-three seconds left with a chance to tie the game but made only the second shot.

The Bucs guarded that slim one-point lead (59-58) until Annie Cowen was fouled with fifteen seconds remaining.  With the Amesbury student section yelling in her left ear, Annie made both shots.

The Indians needed a made three to tie but on this frantic evening it didn’t happen.

Flannery O’Connor secures a rebound

Both teams extended pressure full-court the whole game and every rebounder was liable to get double-teamed.

“Our defense was better in the second half,” said Coach Talanien. “Trying for steals got us into foul trouble in the first half.”

Ali Napoli (26 points) had another remarkable performance.  Because of the Indians youth and inexperience, Ali was expected to be the primary ball-handler, top rebounder, and leading scorer. The upgrade in my eyes of her game in this game was her ability to get the ball to open teammates.  I had her for seven assists.

Bedford had four players in double figures; Joelle Delia (18), Annie Cowen (15), Lauren Legere (13), and Cate Marcus (10).

Joelle DeLia (18 points) defended by Ali Napoli

Joelle had four successful driving layups in her 10-point final quarter.

Flannery O’Connor tallied fifteen for Amesbury.

Bedford was 5-15 last season.

Amesbury made 8-of-17 free throws.

There were ten lead changes including five in the final quarter.

The Buccaneers had a seven-point lead in the first quarter (11-4) before Ali Napoli and Catherine LaForte (three with 4 seconds left) drove AHS ahead 17-16 to end that quarter.

“This was a great experience for our young team,” explained Coach Willis.  “Every girl is coming back next season.”

Amesbury box

Bedford box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably.)

Annie Cowen hit clutch free throws in the closing seconds

Cate Marcus trapped in a corner by Ashley Porcaro and Ciara Sullivan

Ciara Sullivan and Joelle DeLia

Ali Napoli gets in for two

Flannery O’Connor tries to get past Cate Marcus

Joelle DeLia (11) runs into Mary Bullis

Annie Cowen (15 points) eyes the hoop

Lauren Legere finishes

Mary Bullis gets a rebound

Lauren Legere hit two 3’s

Jenn Rennich (hit a big three late in the game)

 

 

 

 

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Second half surge gets tourney win for Amesbury 48-34 over North Reading

Abbie Sartori (17 points) fires from the corner

Abbie Sartori (17 points) fires from the corner

Maddie Napoli (13 ponts) floats in the lane

Maddie Napoli (13 ponts) floats in the lane

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury was in trouble.

Tied with North Reading (27-27) 2 ½ minutes into the second half, and having top scorer Flannery O’Connor and starter Julia LaMontagne benched with foul trouble, the #1 seeded Indians appeared headed for a short post-season.

But Amesbury recovered and put together an impressive 19-1 segment over the next 10+ minutes of playing time and went from there to win, 48-34, on Thursday night in the quarterfinals of the Division 3 North tournament.

The Indians (20-1) will play the winner of tomorrow night’s matchup between Green Academy and St. Mary’s.

#8 seed North Reading got off to a rough start as senior Maddie Napoli (13 points) hit two three’s in the first 4 ½ minutes and the Indians led, 13-1.

Kat Hassapis (16 points) finds space in the lane

Kat Hassapis (16 points) finds space in the lane

But the Hornets came all the way back riding the terrific play of senior Kat Hassapis.  Kat’s three, halfway through the 2nd period, put the visitors in front, 18-17.

The Indians finished the half on a 7-2 run, helped by two technical foul shots, to lead at intermission, 27-22.

As I referenced before, Amesbury got into foul trouble early in the second half.  Losing Flannery O’Connor was serious since the sophomore had twenty-three points in the last NR/AHS meeting and only had four points so far in this one.

After the Hornets (11-12) knotted things at 27, the Indians took the game over for the next 10+ minutes of playing time.  Ali Napoli and Chelsea Lynch replaced their foul-prone teammates and before long Amesbury was going one way and North Reading was going the other.

In the 19-1 breakaway time, senior Abbie Sartori hit three jump shots and one triple while freshman Ali Napoli made a neat move in the lane to get a layup and assisted on three of the AHS baskets.

On the NR side, scoring was a big-time struggle.  The Hornets missed five-of-six free throws and had seven turnovers.

Mia DeNofrio

Mia DeNofrio

When North Reading finally made a field goal (Mia DeNorfio) with two minutes left, the visitors were down, 46-28, and the game had gotten away from them.

Mikayla Porcaro had a 3-pointer and a successful jump shot during Amesbury’s winning run.

Abbie Sartori led all scorers with seventeen points.

NR used a box-and-one to try to keep Flannery O’Connor from getting the ball.  Worked quite well although Flannery found some room inside late in the game.

The Indians defeated North Reading, 72-57, on January 6th.  The Hornets made eight three’s in the first half of that game.  Amesbury’s 1-3-1 zone defense worked well this time around, however, by limiting NR to only three long ones in this tourney win.

North Reading was called for a technical foul after a player entered the game and their name was not in the official scorebook.

Good crowd on hand.

Box for North Reading

Box for Amesbury

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

Lauren Sullivan blocks from behind

Lauren Sullivan blocks from behind

Flannery O'Connor draws a crowd

Flannery O’Connor draws a crowd

Loose ball

Loose ball

Kat Hassapis defended by the Napoli sisters

Kat Hassapis defended by the Napoli sisters

Noel Riley

Noel Riley

Amesbury cheerleaders show how it's done

Amesbury cheerleaders show how it’s done

Mikayla Porcaro and Victoria Grasso

Mikayla Porcaro and Victoria Grasso

Flannery O'Connor with Abbie Sartori

Flannery O’Connor with Abbie Sartori

Maddie Napoli

Maddie Napoli

Abbie Sartori

Abbie Sartori

Kat Hassapis and Ali Napoli (Two pretty good goalies in another season)

Kat Hassapis and Ali Napoli (Two pretty good goalies in another season)

Casey McAuliffe (#10) had two three's

Casey McAuliffe (#10) had two three’s

 

 

 

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