Tag Archives: Alli Napoli

PKs send Amesbury by Manchester-Essex and into D4 state semi-finals

Dasa Hase and Gracie Doherty

Alyssa Pettet kicked home the game-winner in the shootout

(Lynn MA) I struggled all afternoon trying to guess how this game was going to go.

I tried the Manchester-Essex end at the start because Amesbury had beaten them twice during the season.

That put me out of close range as the Hornets dominated the first half and had a goal (Mia Cromwell at 17:16)) to show for it.

Second half I favored the Amesbury end because that was where ME had spend a lot of time in the first half.

Alli Napoli leaves the goal with Rachel Albertazzi (10) near the ball

That put me long range as Amesbury scored (McKenna Hallinan at 35:43) and carried the play in at least half of the second half.

In the final twenty minutes, both teams had chances but the goalies (ME’s Kara Glynos & Amesbury’s Alli Napoli) made plays.

Overtime?  Not yet.

In the final five minutes of regulation, the Indians were called for an infraction in the box.  Suddenly there would be a penalty kick (far from where I was standing!).

Mia Cromwell tried to go to the left corner with her PK but GK Alli Napoli lunged that way and the game continued.

Now we had overtime.

Ashley Flood (20) and Alyssa Pettet (5)

Last year, Amesbury defeated Manchester-Essex in double overtime in the same D4 North title game.

Both teams had chances to end it in the overtimes.  Amesbury’s Alyssa Pettet came very close in the first OT but the game continued as no one was found who could finish for either team.

That opened the door for the dreaded shootout.  The pressure, the lonely walk to the penalty line, and the elation/agony with the result.

The two goal scorers (Mia Cromwell & McKenna Hallinan) shot first.  Mia froze GK Alli Napoli with a shot to the right.  (In the PK at the end of regulation she had gone to the left and Alli was there.) McKenna’s shot against Leilani Brown was high to the left.

Bella Hadaegh & Gracie Doherty shot second. Bella also tried to go right but hit the crossbar.  Gracie scored past Kara Glynos on a grounder to the left.

Grace Doherty PK

So after two rounds the score was tied.  Who expected this after these teams were tied after eighty minutes of regulation and twenty minutes of overtime??

Maya Baker and Avery Hallinan were in the third round.  Maya shot up the middle and Alli Napoli hardly moved to save it.  Avery shot to the right and it slipped by ME GK Leilani Brown.  Advantage Amesbury.

Maya Baker PK

Avery Hallinan PK

The last round this game would need to reach an outcome had Sofia Gillespie and Alyssa Pettet in it.  Sofia’s shot went over the top and that gave the CAL Player-of-the-Year a chance at the game-winner.  She shot hard to the upper left by GK Kara Glynos and Amesbury had a 2-1 win in PKs.

Alyssa Pettet PK

With the victory the Indians (14-1-6) capture the Division 4 North title again and will face Millis (again) on Wednesday night (5PM) at Manning Field.

The Hornets’ goal in the first half was nicely set up.  “Maya (Baker) and Mia (Cromwell) worked a nice give-and-go on that one,” explained ME coach Luke Cosgrove afterwards.  Mia ended up with a good look and drove her shot to the right side.

Mia Cromwell shoots

ME celebrates Mia Cromwell goal

Junior Dasa Hase started the play by getting the ball from the left wing into the middle to Maya. Dasa’s corner kicks were threatening all game long.

The Indians’ goal in the second half resulted from a halftime adjustment in their corner kick formation.  Alyssa Pettet normally draws two and three defenders and usually heads close to the goal when a corner kick heads that way.

“Avery (Hallinan) suggested that having Alyssa go away from the goal would open up the front of the goal,” said Coach Adam Thibodeau.

“I ran Alyssa’s route,” explained Avery, “and no one was on me as the corner kick (MK McElaney) came in.  I tipped it and then McKenna (Hallinan) put it in.”

Avery “insisted” that the shot would have gone in without her sister McKenna’s “help.”  My pictures tell me, however, that McKenna’s part was essential.  She dove feet first into a ball that was just about to be cleared out and sent it into the left corner of the net.

Avery (11) about to deflect to McKenna (1) in front

McKenna sees the ball near the goal line

McKenna kicks ball into corner by a defender and GK Kara Glynos

McKenna’s goal signaled by official

One thing that was certainly agreed on was the extraordinary game Alli Napoli had.  “Alli is an outstanding athlete, “said Coach Thibodeau.  “She took the team on her back today.  She was disappointed with the first goal.  She has forty-nine career shutouts for a reason.”

Waiting for the shootout

Amesbury doesn’t give up many goals (16) but they also don’t score very many (35).  “We’ve had six ties this year, so we have been preparing our penalty kicks for a while,” explained Coach Thibodeau.

Senior Gracie Doherty spent most of the afternoon chasing talented Dasa Hase around.  “She’s good with the ball and very fast,” said Gracie.

On her successful penalty kick: “I wanted to take my time and try to get it into a corner.”

Coach Cosgrove: “Amesbury was very good.  The D4 North was a showcase-and-a-half.  #5 (Alyssa Pettet) was phenomenal.  Almost unstoppable.”

Avery Hallinan didn’t practice yesterday.  “My ankle is killing me,” she said post-game.

On her successful PK: “I walked up and my stomach dropped.  I shot it and thought, ‘Okay, it went in!”

Bella Hadaegh and Lily O’Neill

Alyssa Pettet’s game-winning penalty kick was her 4th of the season.  “PK’s are very tough mentally,” the Holy Cross commit said afterwards.  “You have to tune out everything that is happening.”

On Alli Napoli: “I was confident with her in net in the shootout.  She’s so athletic that she would probably be good in any sport she tried.”

Alli may have seemed calm on the field but she wasn’t.  “I was nervous out there all the time,” she said.

McKenna Hallinan on the goal she scored: “Avery’s shot was NOT going in.  It was a twin-to-twin effort.  We have twin telepathy.  We love our twin-twin moments.”

The Hornets (11-4-5) alternated goalies.  Junior Leilani Brown was in net for the first half and the first overtime as well as for the first and third PK.  Senior Kara Glynos guarded the goal in the second half, second overtime, and the second and fourth PK.

Overcast conditions with light rain after the game was over.

Tough day for Manchester-Essex.  Their boys’ soccer team lost to Burke in the game before the Amesbury girls soccer game.

(Many of the pictures are long range.  Essential that you click on them to see them enlarged.  Some, also, are a bit blurry because of the distance away that they were taken from.)

Sophia Carter (13), Lily O’Neill (16), MK McElaney (14), Gabby Smyth (17)

Alli Napoli above the crowd

Coach Adam Thibodeau with captains and trophy

Amesbury goal celebrated

Amesbury celebrates goal

Amesbury team celebrates win

Amesbury team picture with banner

Amesbury trophy raised

Dasa Hase and MK McElaney

Gracie Doherty (18) and Maya Baker (1)

Coach Luke Cosgrove with ME captains and trophy

Maddy DiPietro ready to head

 

 

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Alyssa Pettet hat trick enough to get Amesbury past Ipswich 3-2

Alyssa Pettet lines up a penalty kick that turned into the first Amesbury goal

Alyssa Pettet and Lauryn Whynott

(Amesbury MA) Junior Alyssa Pettet switched from defender/playmaker to striker this year.

This afternoon that certainly looked like the right move as she scored three times as Amesbury held off Ipswich, 3-2.  It was Alyssa’s first hat trick and her fifth goal of the season.

“Striker is more fun,” Alyssa admitted afterwards, “but I like to learn different roles on the field because I think it makes me a better player.”  She has already committed to D1 Holy Cross.

Alyssa had all three of her goals twelve minutes into the second half and Amesbury (5-0-1) had a comfortable, 3-0, advantage, or so it seemed at the time.

Carter King (12) had a goal for Ipswich

The Tigers (0-5-1) had other ideas.

“One of the strengths of our team is that we keep fighting until the end of games,” said Ipswich coach David Wood.

And that they did.

There had been good chances for the Tigers but Indians goalie Alli Napoli (fresh off twenty-eight saves on Monday vs Masconomet) turned everything away.

But when Alli was injured, and had to leave the game, the winless Tigers had new life.

With no backup goalie available (out sick) sophomore Avery Hallinan took over as goalie…..on her birthday!

Avery was quite insistent after the game that playing goalie was not one of her birthday wishes.  “Last time I played there was in 8th grade in a town league game,” she explained.

Ipswich celebrates their second goal

With someone less experienced in net, Ipswich turned up the pressure.  By the time Alli returned to finish the game, the Tigers had collected two goals (Katie Rokes & Carter King).

Alyssa Pettet running off time in the closing second of the game

“How much time was left,” was a question only the lone official had any idea of.  Was in ten minutes?  Five minutes?  No one knew.

With little sense of how much time was left, you wondered if Ipswich had enough time to earn a remarkable tie.  They didn’t.  Alli went back in net after the second goal and the ball never reached her the rest of the way.

“It was an unfortunate situation with their goalie,” said Coach Wood.  “It did give us the opportunity to make a mini-comeback.”

Alyssa certainly took the pressure off her team after the Tigers two goals by getting into the distant corner with the ball and shielding off a defender while time ran out.

“We should have gone to the corners more, late in the game, to waste time,” added Alyssa.

AHS coach Adam Thibodeau was impressed with the Tigers.  “There is no quit in Ipswich.”

Alyssa’s first goal was on a penalty kick.  She dribbled past one defender and was tripped by another (Kyleigh Cranston) to set up the PK.

Goalie Alli Napoli confers with the Thibodeau’s

“Alyssa’s second goal was a thing of beauty,” said Coach Thibodeau.  “She blasted it into the far post.”

“My 3rd goal came after a clear-in from Gracie Doherty,” explained Alyssa.

The first Ipswich goal came on a long, high shot by senior Katie Rokes.  Teammate Carter King tallied the second goal after getting in close and firing a shot into the right corner.

Both Katie and Carter displayed the ability to get by defenders.  Carter was very effective dribbling laterally and finding openings.

The Indians had given up only two goals in their first five games.

Ipswich had scored eleven times but had surrendered twenty goals in five games.

Avery on the Masco win on Monday: “The Masco game was insane.  It was crazy from beginning to end.  McKenna (Hallinan) scored the only goal in the first five minutes of the second half.  She kicked a shot hard into the goalie that bounced back to her and she put it in.  We thought it didn’t go in and then it did.  We just packed it in defensively after that.  I moved back to defense and so did Alyssa.”

No, I don’t want my taxes to go up BUT it really is time for some turf fields with scoreboards and seating to become a reality in Amesbury.  I covered a boys soccer game on Monday at Stehlin Field in Newburyport so I know what could be.

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

Tigers second goal rolls into the corner

Throw-in for Rachel Bucher

Mary Kate McElaney set for a corner kick

Maddy DiPietro and Isabelle Harper

Katie Rokes and Avery Hallinan

Goalie Avery Hallinan clears with Gabby Smyth nearby

Carter King pressed by Indians

Ball loose (behind her leg) from Ipswich goalie Cayla Greenleaf with Alyssa Pettet close by

Angelina Rix guards the post on a corner kick

Alyssa Pettet shoots over Victoria Harper (18) and Kyleigh Cranston (19)

Alyssa Pettet finds the upper right corner for 3rd goal

Alli Napoli up for a save

Goalie Alli Napoli faces Carter King with Ashlee Porcaro defending

 

 

 

 

 

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Flannery O’Connor (24 points) drives Amesbury past Lynnfield 65-50

Flannery O’Connor (24 points) surrounded by Pioneers

Alli Napoli double-teamed

(Haverhill MA) There had been six lead changes and seven ties.

Then senior Flannery O’Connor took over in the third quarter.

The Cape Ann League All-Star engineered a run of nine unanswered points and a slim one-point lead (36-35) moved to a breathing-room 45-35 score.

The second-half surge of points was too much for foul-prone Lynnfield to overcome and they fell to (18-4) Amesbury 65-50 on Wednesday night at Whittier.

“We hung around for three quarters,” said Lynnfield coach Peter Bocchino afterwards.  “We ran out of gas in the fourth quarter.”

The Pioneers (14-9) did get within eight (51-43) with 5 ½ minutes to go in the game.

Ciara Sullivan

But then junior Alli Napoli set up teammate Ciara Sullivan for consecutive three’s and Amesbury’s double-digit spread was restored for good.

Tori Morelli and Cate MacDonald

Continuous fouling by both teams ruined any chance for patterned offense to be on display.  There were plenty of one-on-one’s which turned up fouls or layups.

Alli Napoli (Amesbury) and Tori Morelli (Lynnfield) were both in early foul trouble and on their respective benches for much of the first half.

The missing twosome were usually steadying influences on their teams and without them, the play was often ragged in the first half.

“I liked the way that the girls stayed composed with Alli out most of the first half,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollos.

Amesbury had a six-point lead (23-17) with two minutes left in the half but a three by freshman Riley Hallahan and a layup by Grace Klonsky and Lynnfield was back tight, 23-22, at the half.

Amesbury was 19-for-27 from the foul line

The Pioneers had a four-point lead (29-25) three minutes into the second half but two free throws by Alli Napoli and a layup by Flannery O’Connor, that Alli assisted on, and the teams were tied.

Three free throws by Melissa Morelli (14 points) had Lynnfield within one (36-35) with only three minutes remaining in the third quarter.

This was when Flannery took over and led AHS to separation.  Part of the nine-point run was a triple (McKenna Hallinin) set up by Flannery.

Lynnfield played a zone defense and Amesbury struggled to get open looks.

“They were playing a zone,” said Flannery afterwards.  “Moving the ball makes that defense work.  I try to find cracks and dive into them.”

Faced with tight coverage whenever she touched the ball, Flannery was quick to find open teammates.

McKenna Hallinan looks to the hoop

The Hallinan twins (Avery and McKenna) brought energy, points, and defense.  The two freshmen helped carry the scoring load for the Indians in the first half.

Avery ended the game with twelve points while McKenna totaled nine.

Freshman Cate MacDonald tallied twelve points for LHS.  “Our freshman (Cate) came to play tonight,” said Coach Bocchino.  “She got a learning experience.”

I was impressed with the ball-handling of sophomore Grace Klonsky.  Several times she took the ball the full length of the court for a score.

Amesbury will now face St. Mary’s (Lynn) at the Tsongas Arena on Saturday.  The Spartans had a decisive win over Amesbury during the regular season.

Lynnfield had two easy tourney wins before facing Amesbury in the D3 North semifinals.  The Pioneers downed Charlestown 53-9 and Greater Lawrence 69-43.

Peter Bocchino was the CAL coach-of-the-year.

Mary Bullis and Riley Hallahan

Lynnfield had been 5-52 over the previous three seasons.

The Pioneers tourney win over Charlestown was their first since 2009.

Despite missing most of the first half, Alli Napoli finished with eleven points.

The Pioneers missed thirteen free throws.

Amesbury box

Lynnfield box

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

McKenna Hallinan

Alli Napoli

Alli Napoli moves into an open space

Caroline Waisnor sets to receive a pass

Flannery O’Connor in traffic

Grace Klonsky

Grace Klonsky and McKenna Hallinan

Melissa Morelli and Avery Hallinan

 

 

 

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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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