Tag Archives: Alli Napoli

Pentucket holds off Amesbury 50-48

Angelica Hurley (12 points) looks for an opening

Flannery O’Connor (16 points) guarded by Arielle Cleveland (11 points)

(Amesbury MA) Amesbury was ahead 20-7 after 5 ½ minutes.

Pentucket was ahead 26-24 seven minutes later.

“It was back-and-forth a lot,” said Angelica Hurley afterwards.

That back-and-forth thing took time to materialize in the early going but in the final 2+ quarters it happened often.  Seven ties.  Eight lead changes.

In the end, it was Pentucket (14-1) making the big shots, at the line and from the floor, and turning defense into offense, that carried them to a tough 50-48 win on Tuesday night over Amesbury (12-2).

Pentucket coach John McNamara

Pentucket has the best record in Massachusetts in Division 2.

“I’m proud of our girls,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollos after. “We hung in there.  Pentucket is a good team.”

The Sachems took the lead for good (47-45) on a Liv Cross layin with 2:25 left.

Angelina Yacubacci (16 points) had a steal and made two resulting free throws a minute later to stretch the Sachems advantage to 50-46.

Freshman McKenna Hallinan (7 points) answered with a layup to close the gap to two with 1:04 left, but the Indians (12-2) couldn’t complete the comeback in their two possessions thereafter.

Turnover

“It was a great high school girls’ game,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara.  “We knew they were good coming in.  They have maybe two of the best players in the Cape Ann League.  Amesbury will be a tough out in Division 3.”

The Indians got off to a tremendous start.  Shots were falling and uncontested layups were showing up.

Senior Flannery O’Connor (16 points) dominated the 20-7 getaway with twelve points.  She had four layups, a free throw, and even a three.

“They were clearing out for her,” recalled Coach McNamara.  “We had to adjust.  We did everything we could in the second half to keep her from getting good looks inside.”

Flannery O’Connor guarded by Megan Reading

The adjustment worked because Flannery saw multiple defenders in the second half and ended up with just one free throw.

The other noticeable defensive effort was Maddie Doyle covering Alli Napoli.  Significant size difference but Maddie kept the athletic Alli from direct routes to the basket.  Alli had one full-court layup in the 2nd half.

How did Amesbury stay with Pentucket in the second half if Flannery and Alli weren’t putting up points? Solid man-to-man defense and terrific rebounding.

The Sachems had only one rebound basket the whole game – Arielle Cleveland at the very end of the first half.

“We wanted to stop fast breaks and second-chance points,” explained Coach Dollos.

The Indians led 24-17 at the 6:15 mark of the second quarter.  The next three minutes?  All Pentucket.  While the Indians were defended into five turnovers, the Sachems put nine unanswered points together to take their first lead, 26-24.

Liv Cross (9 points) lines up a free throw

Maddie Doyle and Angelina Yacubacci finished the nine-point comeback with 3’s.

I thought at the time that this might be the beginning of a long evening for the Indians, but I was wrong.  Amesbury began to answer with points and “back-and-forth” was what we witnessed the exciting rest of the way.

Pentucket made 3-of-4 free throws in the end game.  “Free throws are always important,” said senior Liv Cross.  “Every coach I’ve ever had always says that these kinds of games come down to free throws.”

Ciara Sullivan gave Amesbury a quick 43-38 lead with five straight points to start the final quarter.  Back came Pentucket, however, with two Angelica Hurley layups and two Liv Cross free throws.  It was all part of that back-and-forth thing.

Amesbury had twenty-three turnovers and Pentucket nineteen.  The 3-minute collection of five of them in the second period may well have cost Amesbury the game.  Credit the Pentucket defense.

Coach McNamara: “The way we started we could have given up, so I give credit to our girls for recovering.”

Ciara Sullivan lines up a three

On Maddie Doyle guarding Alli Napoli: “She gave away about two feet but she’s scrappy and tough.”

On Angelina Yacubacci’s steal late in the game: “She’s a very smart defensive player.  She reads passes and lanes very well.  Her steal was huge.”

Coach Dollos: “Foul trouble hurt us.  I’m happy with what we did.  Losing isn’t fun but I’ll say we played pretty well.”

Things to work on: “We needed to move the ball better to get it inside.  We also could have used better shot selection at times.”

The best assessment of the game belonged to Coach Dollos, “It easily could have gone either way.”

Angelica Hurley had twelve points for Pentucket and teammate Arielle Cleveland added eleven. Alli Napoli collected ten points for Amesbury.

The victory extends the Pentucket winning streak to eleven.  Only loss was to Westford Academy.

The Amesbury defeat stops their win streak at eleven.  They had an early-season loss to North Reading that I covered.

Liv Cross on next year: “I got into Northeastern the other night.  It’s my top school but expensive.  Nursing is what interests me.  I might go to UMass Lowell because I got into their nursing program.”

The intensity of the two coaches spread into the stands.  It seemed as if every whistle was challenged by the side whistled against.

Amesbury box

Pentucket box

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

Plenty of contact

Mary Bullis defends

Turnover

Angelica Hurley eyes the hoop guarded by Flannery O’Connor

Arielle Cleveland (11 points) looks to pass

 

 

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Alli Napoli (30 points) carries Amesbury past Georgetown 50-41

Alli Napoli (30 points) chased by Lyla Krol

Alli was Amesbury’s point guard

(Amesbury MA) Way too much Alli for Georgetown.

“She’s probably the best I’ve seen in the league this year,” said G’Town coach Hilary Glynn afterwards.

“There’s nothing she can’t do.”

Sophomore Alli Napoli had the whole basketball package working as she led Amesbury to a 50-41 win over the Royals on Thursday night in Cape Ann League play.

Alli had thirty points but it was the things beyond the points that led the Indians to their tournament-qualifying 10th win.

The “other things” that I noticed were; rebounds, blocked shots, assists, steals, and bringing the ball up the court.

Nicole Donnelly reaches in on Alli Napoli

“Sometimes I forget that she’s only a sophomore,” said AHS coach Matt Willis.  “We’ve had a captain who didn’t come out and a captain (Flannery O’Connor) who is out but Alli has stepped up.”

The two teams faced each other less than a week ago. Amesbury survived, 51-47, in that one.  “In both games, we’ve had big leads, but they came back,” said Coach Willis.  “They don’t quit.”

That lack of quit showed itself in the fourth quarter.  The Indians (10-4) had a comfortable, 46-29, lead one minute into the final quarter.  Good time to pack it in if you’re Georgetown, but they didn’t.

Amesbury went very cold (credit the G’Town defense) and turned the ball over nine times during the next 6+ minutes.  The visitors put a run of twelve unanswered points together including a layup by Lilly Dionne (assisted by Haylee Zadina) that had the Royals trailing by only five, 46-41, with forty-two seconds left.

Haylee Zadina (2) gets to the rim

Georgetown (2-12) had another possession with that five-point deficit and missed four shots in that possession, including three 3’s.  Make one of those and final seconds could have been verrrry interesting.

Things turned Amesbury’s way, thereafter.  Amesbury’s Kaicey Zimmer was fouled.  She missed the front end of a one-and-one with forty seconds left BUT there was a lane violation on the Royals.  Given another chance, Kaicey made the free throw but missed the second.  To the surprise of no one, Alli Napoli grabbed the rebound for Amesbury and was fouled.  That’s twice Georgetown could have had the ball but didn’t get it.

Alli made both free throws to push the AHS advantage to eight and the Royals were done for.

“We have a tendency to start slowly,” said Coach Glynn.  “We certainly came alive late in this game.”

Mary Bullis surrounded by Royals

Amesbury has now defeated Georgetown ten straight times.

Alli Napoli had twenty-six points in the first meeting with Georgetown.  “We tried to use a box-and-one on her,” added Coach Glynn.  “I thought that Lyla Krol played excellent defense.”

One play that was very effective for Amesbury was having Alli on one side (drawing multiple defenders) and having her throw a cross-court pass to the other side to an open teammate.  Mary Bullis (8 points) ended up with good 3-point looks out of that set.

Autumn Dionne (11 points) led the G’Town scorers.  Autumn wears a serious knee brace and has torn her ACL twice.  She fell once in the second half and required medical attention but did return later in the game.

The Royals weren’t shy about putting up 3-pointers.  Might have something to do with the fact that Coach Glynn holds the Framingham State career 3-point record.

I saw Amesbury lose a tough game to Hamilton-Wenham when Flannery O’Connor was playing.  In that one, the Indians were impatient on both ends of the court rushing shots and getting out of position on defense.  Not tonight.  The offense was organized and the defense (man-to-man) was stable.

Two hands on the ball

Amesbury ended up with seventeen turnovers, including nine in the final quarter when Georgetown made their run.  Georgetown had fifteen, but only one in the last quarter.

The Indians built up a 15-point lead in the second quarter with ten unanswered points.  Mary Bullis had two 3’s while Alli turned a steal into a basket and also made two free throws.

Nine players scored for the Royals.  Six different players (Maeve McNeill, Brenna Donoghue, Caitlin Donoghue, Grace MacDonald, Autumn Dionne, and Lilly Dionne) were part of Georgetown’s twelve-point streak in the final quarter.

Alli ended up with three 3’s.  She had eleven points in the second quarter and twelve in the third quarter. Her rebound in the final minute sealed this one for the home team.

I bring a camera to games as well as a mopod to stabilize it.  Tonight, one of the referees knew enough about my mopod to use it to loosen a basketball that was stuck against the rim.

Quiet crowd on hand.  I noticed Georgetown JV’s working on homework.

Amesbury box from the game

Georgetown box from the game

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

Nice pass by Autumn Dionne sets up Maeve McNeil for a layup

Late-game pressure by Georgetown

Brenna Donoghue (12) puts up a shot over Catherine LaForte (13)

Lyla Krol (14) in the middle of three Indians

Mary Bullis (8 points)

Autumn (11 points) covered by Ciara Sullivan

 

 

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Hamilton-Wenham rallies to defeat Amesbury 38-27

Jemma Shea and Cecily Szady double-team Flannery O’Connor

Alli Napoli (11 points) tries to get past Cecily Szady

(Amesbury MA) It looked like a long night for Hamilton-Wenham after 3 ½ minutes had been played.

The Generals trailed 11-5 and looked overmatched against AHS shooters Alli Napoli and Flannery O’Connor.

However, once the HW defense got up to speed the Indians were the ones in trouble as they fell, 38-27, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

“We pride ourselves on our defense,” said HW coach Jon Flanagan afterwards.

On this night that defense featured Jemma Shea (on Alli Napoli) and Cecily Szady (on Flannery O’Connor).  “The girls did a great job of focusing in on their better scorers,” said Coach Flanagan.

Jemma and Cecily played tight man-to-man defense while their teammates sagged into the lane to give them help.  The best thing that defense did was to keep Alli and Flannery on the perimeter.  Tonight the AHS shots weren’t falling from the outside.

Lauren Flynn (16 points) leads a HW break

Lauren Flynn led all scorers with sixteen points.  Lauren had two quick baskets in the 2nd quarter; one on a setup by Jemma Shea and another on a well-executed inbounds play.  That brought HW to within two (12-10).  Then it was Lauren again in the last second of the period, setup this time for a layup by Jacqueline Fibbe.  The halftime score was a very low 14-14.

The Indians (7-3) took the lead in the 3rd period on an Alli Napoli layup and a three by freshman Mary Bullis from the corner.

Mary Bullis (15) blocks Lauren Flynn’s shot

Amesbury, however, didn’t score again for four minutes while the visitors gained separation with eight unanswered points.  Senior Lauren Flynn was the key contributor with four free throws and a driving layup.  Teammates Cecily Szady and Maddy Rivers added free throws.  That run of points gave HW a 24-19 advantage with two minutes left in the third quarter.

AHS would get within three twice during the next 3+ minutes but they could not string points together the rest of the way.

The Generals gained final separation with six straight points; four of them were from Lauren Flynn and the other two on a drive by Jemma Shea.  This stretch of good offense pushed HW ahead, 32-23, with 2:44 left and AHS couldn’t recover.

“We moved the ball well and got good looks from different people,” said Coach Flanagan.  “When the opportunity arose, we took the shots that we needed to take.”

“We had a lot of assisted baskets,” added Coach Flanagan. “When we can fill the scorebook with a whole bunch of scorers, that is what we like to see.”  Seven of HW’s nine players had points.

Alli Napoli led the AHS scorers with eleven points before fouling out in the last minute.  A turning point in this game was when with 4:24 left, Alli picked up her 4th foul.

Kaylie Cloutier (25) covers Jemma Shea (3)

Amesbury had only ten turnovers in the game while Hamilton-Wenham had eleven miscues.

Coach Matt Willis put getting the ball out of the backcourt entirely into the hands of Alli Napoli and Flannery O’Connor.  Getting the ball inbounds was the hardest part because HW had defenders on either side of the girl getting the inbounds pass.  But the talented two-some handled this part of the game flawlessly.  The trouble for them was in the half-court where their perimeter shots weren’t falling, and the inside was filled with Generals.

Amesbury had won five straight games and had been undefeated (5-0) at home.

Plenty of scouts on hand from Pentucket.

HW defeated Amesbury 39-35 on December 15th.

Hamilton-Wenham was 15-9 last season reaching the Division 2 North title game.  Amesbury was 22-2 reaching the Division 3 state semifinals.

Amesbury box from the game

Hamilton-Wenham box from the game

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

Flannery O’Connor gets in for two in the first quarter

Flannery O’Connor (12) waits for a pass

Alli Napoli and Lauren Flynn battle for a rebound

Sadie Kermelewicz (4) guards Maddy Rivers

Lauren Flynn goes by Alli Napoli

Catherine LaForte defends Isabelle Dolan

Lauren Flynn looks to pass

Jemma Shea

Cecily Szady gets a layup

Jacqueline Fibbe eyes the hoop

Mary Bullis (15) fouled in the lane

Jacqueline Fibbe gets a layup

 

 

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Emma Richardson 2nd half goal gives Amesbury 2-1 win over Triton

amtr-a5-emma-richardson-shotamtr-a6-er-shot-over-daynaamtr-a7-er-shot-in-net

Alex Kennedy (14) kicks in traffic

Alex Kennedy (14) kicks in traffic

(Byfield MA) Amesbury ended a two week, win drought with a 2-1 Cape Ann League victory against Triton on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

The Indians (4-2-4) used a second-half score (see above) by senior Emma Richardson to get the job done.

Triton (2-6-1) played well enough to win but, thanks to a solid Indians defense, were limited to long shots for most of the afternoon.

Junior Meredith Kennedy drilled home one of those long shots for the Vikings that led to a 1-1 halftime tie.amtr-a1-meredith-kennedy-30-shot-on-way-to-goalamtr-a3-mk-shot-about-to-go-over-alli-napoli

Chelsea Lynch set to score first AHS goal

Chelsea Lynch set to score first AHS goal

Amesbury arrived late (to Triton) but started fast.  Sophomore Chelsea Lynch broke in very early with pregame space and time to dribble closer, look up, fire, and score.  At that point I suspected that Triton might be in for a long afternoon.  But it wasn’t that way at all.

The Vikings defense tightened up considerably and Amesbury chances were few.  On the other hand, Triton made runs down the sidelines on several occasions.

Junior Meredith Kennedy made one of those runs down the left sideline midway through the first half.  Meredith’s left-footed shot sailed over Amesbury goalie Alli Napoli to tie things.

Second half?  Amesbury had chances.  Triton had chances.

The Indians got in real close a number of times but senior Triton GK Dayna Rybicki had answers.

Mikayla Porcaro

Mikayla Porcaro

The Vikings had shots on net and several corner kicks but AHS senior defenders Julia LaMontagne and Mikayla Porcaro helped keep things long range.

Emma Richardson registered the game-winner midway through the second half.  The senior took a feed from teammate Emma DiPietro and raced down the right sideline.  As Emma cut toward the net she lifted a shot over Dayna Rybicki.

That goal held up.

Impressed with Meredith & Alex Kennedy.  Both are returning CAL All-Stars.  Defender Apphia Donoghue was very good handling AHS pressure.

Another returning CAL All-Star, Ashley Pettet, did a nice job passing and defending for Amesbury in the midfield area.

Senior Mikayla Porcaro was the ideal defender in front of AHS freshman goalie Alli Napoli.  Tall and experienced (Bishop Fenwick), Mikayla cleared numerous Triton attempts before they reached the AHS net minder.

Dayna Rybicki saves for Triton

Dayna Rybicki saves for Triton

Next for Amesbury is a game tomorrow (Friday) at home against seriously depleted Pentucket.

Triton will be at Ipswich on the same afternoon.

AHS has now scored ten goals in ten games while giving up seven goals.

Triton has tallied seven goals in nine games while giving up twenty-eight goals.  I have no doubt that the Vikings defense I saw this afternoon is a whole lot better than it was earlier in the season!

Instead of punting the ball out, Alli Napoli often passed the ball toward the sidelines.  That strategy led to several quick Triton counter-attacks.

Sara Stackpole was on the sidelines for Triton.

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

Emma Richardson (25) and Madison McGrath (4) challenge Triton keeper Dayna Rybicki

Emma Richardson (25) and Madison McGrath (4) challenge Triton keeper Dayna Rybicki

Vikings celebrate Meredith Kennedy's goal

Vikings celebrate Meredith Kennedy’s goal

Chelsea Lynch (12) and Apphia Donoghue (4)

Chelsea Lynch (12) and Apphia Donoghue (4)

Ashley Pettet (8) and Skyla Lewis (13)

Ashley Pettet (8) and Skyla Lewis (13)

Elizabeth Lindholm (24), Ashley Pettet (8), and Michaela Halloran (9)

Elizabeth Lindholm (24), Ashley Pettet (8), and Michaela Halloran (9)

Meredith Kennedy (14) and Michaela Halloran (9)

Meredith Kennedy (14) and Michaela Halloran (9)

Alex Kennedy

Alex Kennedy

Julia LaMontagne

Julia LaMontagne

Action in front of the Triton net

Action in front of the Triton net

Josie Smith

Josie Smith

 

 

 

 

 

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