Tag Archives: Aly Leahy

Pentucket stuns Newburyport in OT 52-44

Kelsi McNamara (27 points) launches a three.  She made five in the game.

Kelsi McNamara (27 points) launches a three. She made five in the game.

McKenna Kilian (15 points) starts her drive for the tying basket in regulation

McKenna Kilian (15 points) starts her drive for the tying basket in regulation

(Newburyport MA) Pentucket tied the score with eight seconds left in regulation (McKenna Kilian layup) and then dominated overtime as they defeated Newburyport, 52-44, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

For the Clippers (12-7), the loss to Pentucket (16-4) was way too similar to their loss on Monday to undefeated Masco.  They held the lead in both games in the second half only to come away frustrated when each game was over.

Kelsi McNamara (27 points) had only ten points through three quarters.  After that?  Wow!  The junior guard put up ten points in the 4th quarter and seven points in the four-minute overtime.

Fifteen of Kelsi’s points came on three’s.  Biggest one?  Her last one in the fourth quarter.  An Emily Pettigrew free throw had Newburyport up by three (38-35) with 1:06 left.  Kelsi followed by dribbling almost every second off the thirty-second clock before finding a long-range opening.  Her shot went in, tying the score, as the shot-clock buzzer sounded.

Kelsi hit her 4th long one 1+ minutes into overtime and Pentucket went up by four (44-40).  The lead was still four (46-42) when Kelsi drilled the back breaker with 1:49 left.  The 5th of her 3’s hit rim, backboard, and then rim again before sliding in.  Now down, 49-42, the struggling Newburyport offense had no quick answers and dropped a tough one.

There was plenty of excitement down the stretch in regulation.  After Kelsi tied the score (38-38) with thirty-six seconds left, Aly Leahy (10 points) sank two pressure free throws to put the Clippers on top (40-38) with twenty-one seconds to go.

I was sure that Pentucket, after their timeout, would try to get Kelsi a 3-point attempt or have her drive and draw a foul.  Didn’t happen. Instead, Kelsi took the ball out-of-bounds and found teammate McKenna Kilian (15 points) cutting across from the weakside.  I then expected Kelsi to jump in-bounds, get a pass back and shoot or get fouled.  Didn’t work that way.  Kelsi came in-bounds and attracted a double-team but, instead of passing to Kelsi, McKenna drove past defender Aly Leahy to the basket to tie the score with eight seconds left.

Boo Torrisi defends Aly Leahy in the closing seconds of regulation

Boo Torrisi defends Aly Leahy in the closing seconds of regulation

Still plenty of time for the Clippers.  Aly Leahy set off on a full-court drive down the right side with Boo Torrisi on her shoulder.  With time just about gone Aly rushed a 10-footer that missed.  Abbie Bresnahan grabbed the rebound but there wasn’t time for her to score the game-winner.

Pentucket has now won four straight and fifteen of their last sixteen.  Their next game is against Belmont in the St. Mary’s (Lynn) tournament.

Newburyport has lost three of four in February.  They face Saugus away on Tuesday.  Cape Ann Scores lists the game at 5AM!

Newburyport honored its five seniors: Aly Leahy, Amy Sullivan, Jaycie Triandafilou, Lilly Donovan, and Mary Pettigrew.

The Clippers lost the previous meeting with the Sachems, 45-43, on January 6th at Pentucket.  In that one the Clippers had a ten-point lead in the third quarter.

Pentucket came out at least a minute late in the second half.

Kelsi McNamara made ten free throws

Kelsi McNamara made ten free throws

Pentucket had only four turnovers total in the second half and overtime.  Maybe putting the ball into Kelsi McNamara’s hands on every possession had something to do with it.

Newburyport had twenty-three turnovers in the game.  Almost all of them were in the frontcourt.

Former players Sam Leahy and Coley Viselli were on hand for this one.

The interior defense of Pentucket did a terrific job limiting high-scoring Emily Pettigrew to five points.  Emily likes to catch-and-spin but every time a pass came in to her the Sachems slid someone over to eliminate the “spin” part.

Seemed to me like there was an awful lot of whining from all parts of the gym during this game.  Where was the Valentine’s Day spirit?

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

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

Jaycie Triandafilou

Jaycie Triandafilou

Amy Sullivan

Amy Sullivan

Mary Pettigrew

Mary Pettigrew

Aly Leahy

Aly Leahy

Lilly Donovan

Lilly Donovan

Morgan Johnston and McKenna Kilian

Morgan Johnston and McKenna Kilian

Emily Pettigrew finds little room to operate

Emily Pettigrew finds little room to operate

Lilly Donovan shoots in the lane

Lilly Donovan shoots in the lane

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Last-minute rally gets Whittier past Newburyport 57-51

Lilly Donovan guards Andrea Terranova (16 points)

Lilly Donovan guards Andrea Terranova (16 points)

Emily Pettigrew (21 points) shoots over 6-3 Samnell Vonleh

Emily Pettigrew (21 points) shoots over 6-3 Samnell Vonleh

(Newburyport MA) The Whittier Tech girls had ten-point runs in both halves and defeated Newburyport, 57-51, on Monday afternoon in non-league action.

The second ten-point streak happened in the final minute and enabled WT to overcome a four-point deficit and pull out a victory.

The Wildcats (7-2) had only two three’s in the first three quarters but connected on two straight (Andrea Terranova & Michaela Martin) in the last minute to jump ahead, 53-51, with thirty-two seconds left.

Andrea (16 points) and Michaela (16 points) closed things out with four consecutive free throws.

At the same time everything was going right for the visitors from Haverhill, the home-team Clippers (9-3) will do best to forget what happened when they had the ball in the last minute.

After Whittier’s first three, the Clippers still had a one-point lead (51-50).  However, Aly Leahy missed the front end of a one-and-one in the possession before WT’s second three gave them the lead with 32 seconds left.

Down by only two (53-51), again with plenty of time to score, the Clippers turned the ball over in the backcourt and fouled the stealer (Andrea Terranova).  Andrea made both free throws.

Samnell Vonleh ready to block Abbie Bresnahan in the last minute

Samnell Vonleh ready to block Abbie Bresnahan in the last minute

Now down four (55-51), Abbie Bresnahan had a shot blocked out-of-bounds by 6-3 Samnell Vonleh.  Still time left, Emily Pettigrew traveled.  The Clippers were forced to foul and Michaela Martin finished things with two free throws.

The loss diminished the glow of a terrific performance by Newburyport’s Emily Pettigrew.  The 6-foot sophomore tallied twenty-one points and seemed unfazed by WT’s size and physical play.

The Clippers built up a ten-point lead (21-11) 1 1/2 minutes into the second quarter.  Some of that success for Newburyport was the way Mary Pettigrew kept the Wildcats Michaela Martin in check.

Trailing by ten, Whittier put their first ten-point run together.  Two free throws by Andrea Terranova helped but the real damage was done by junior Kayla Riley notching two layups, a free throw, and a three to tie the score at 21-21 three minutes before the half.

Newburyport had five turnovers and missed the front end of a one-and-one during this segment.

Aly Leahy (13 points) tries to steal from Dominque Ortiz as NHS coach Gregg Dollas watches

Aly Leahy (13 points) tries to steal from Dominque Ortiz as NHS coach Gregg Dollas watches

It was the Clippers’ turn to put points together in the third quarter after trailing, 31-27.  A nine-point streak featured an old-fashioned three by Abbie Bresnahan (9 points) and a normal three by Aly Leahy (13 points).  This collection of points put Newburyport ahead, 36-31, with a minute left in the third quarter.

The Clippers were able to hold onto the lead until the final minute of the game.

Both teams pressed and pressured wherever the ball was.  Neither team was very successful, as a result, in getting clean looks.  The usual result was a shot in traffic or a turnover.

rebound action

rebound action

The two teams combined for an unspectacular FIFTY turnovers.  Newburyport had 27 and Whittier 23, by my unofficial count.

Both teams missed seven free throws.  WT, however, connected twenty-three times including seven-of-eight in the final minute.  The Clippers hit nine free throws.

I was impressed by the speed and spark of sophomore Abbie Bresnahan.

Whittier has now won four straight.  They were 22-2 last season, losing in the Division 4 North final.  It is not hard to imagine the Wildcats doing well in the state tournament again this year.

The Clippers will have to wait another day to qualify for the state tournament.  They need one more win to get there.  They are scheduled to face Amesbury on Friday night (7PM) in their next game.

Whittier is scheduled to host non-league Gloucester on Wednesday (5:30PM).

Michaela Martin (16 points)

Michaela Martin (16 points)

Michaela Martin was a Lawrence Eagle Tribune All-Star last season.

Juniors Kayla Riley, Andrea Terranova, and Samnell Vonleh were Commonwealth Athletic Conference All-Stars in 2012-13.

WT has no seniors on their roster.

Whittier box

Newburyport box

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

Kayla Riley (13 points) sees an opening

Kayla Riley (13 points) sees an opening

Abbie Bresnahan drives on Andrea Terranova

Abbie Bresnahan drives on Andrea Terranova

Plenty of defenders around Emily Pettigrew

Plenty of defenders around Emily Pettigrew

Aly Leahy lines up a free throw

Aly Leahy lines up a free throw

Aly Leahy double teamed

Aly Leahy double teamed

Morgan Johnston eyes the hoop

Morgan Johnston eyes the hoop

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Kelsi McNamara (22 points) leads Pentucket past Newburyport 45-43

Kelsi McNamara (22 points) on the break

Kelsi McNamara (22 points) on the break

Jaycie Triandafilou pressures Kelsi McNamara

Jaycie Triandafilou pressures Kelsi McNamara

(West Newbury MA) Maybe they’re not dead after all.

But trust me, the Pentucket girls looked close to dead when they went down by ten (36-26) with 3:18 left in the third quarter against undefeated Newburyport.

However, the rest of the way the Sachems (4-3) made shots, forced eight turnovers, and defeated the Clippers, 45-43, on Monday night at steamy Pentucket.

Kelsi McNamara (22 points) had a remarkable game for Pentucket.  The junior guard notched four 3’s, and set up teammate Carolyn Modlish for four layups including the game winner with 1:19 left.  In the last minute Kelsi had a block, a free throw, and a steal.

I was there for Kelsi’s three’s in the tournament but I’m wondering if she has had a better all-around, regular-season game than this one.

Aly Leahy (12 points) heads for the basket as McKenna Kilian defends

Aly Leahy (12 points) heads for the basket as McKenna Kilian defends

This Cape Ann League game was especially intense in the final five minutes after Emily Pettigrew (12 points) tied the score at 40-40 on an inbounds play.

Pentucket got the next two baskets (McKenna Kilian jumper and Carolyn Modlish layup) before Aly Leahy (12 points) nailed a three with 1:04 left.

After freshman Colleen Jameson had a near-miss on a three, Newburyport took over trailing only by one (44-43).  Senior Aly Leahy twice tried to drive down the lane but was blocked both times (McKenna Kilian and Kelsi McNamara).  Without a shot hitting the rim, the Clippers were called for a 30-second shot clock violation with six seconds left.

Kelsi took the inbounds pass, was fouled, and made the front end of a one-and-one to put the Sachems ahead, 45-43.

Kelsi McNamara dribbles out the clock

Kelsi McNamara dribbles out the clock

Still time for Newburyport to get off a shot but Emily Pettigrew’s pass, intended for Aly Leahy, sailed over her head.  Kelsi retrieved the overthrow and Pentucket had the win.

Pentucket used a zone for quite a while in this game and Newburyport took full advantage of it.  Aly Leahy hit three longs ones while the Pettigrew sisters (Mary & Emily) chewed up the Sachems on the inside.  When Pentucket played man-to-man in the second half the Clippers were a lot less comfortable.  Carolyn Modlish and McKenna Kilian did a terrific job keeping the ball away from Mary or Emily in the late stages of the final quarter.

Amy Sullivan, Jaycie Triandafilou, and Aly Leahy all took turns closely guarding Kelsi McNamara.  There were no easy shots for Kelsi.  She did make several tough ones inside in traffic.

With Kelsi certain to be closely guarded, even double-teamed, openings turned up for teammates.  Finding sophomore Carolyn Modlish for four layups was a key to the Pentucket victory.

Freshman Colleen Jameson

Freshman Colleen Jameson

Another key was the play of freshman Colleen Jameson.  Colleen was not even on the program so I assume that she played in the JV game.  I think she played the entire second half in the varsity game.  Her contribution?  She could get the ball up the court freeing Kelsi from having to do it.  She passed well and played good defense.  Colleen should be on the varsity program for the Sachems’ home game on Wednesday with Hamilton-Wenham.

There were ten lead changes.

Senior Mary Pettigrew (14 points) is a returning Cape Ann League All-Leaguer.  She made seven of eight free throws.

What a difference a year makes.  Last year Pentucket defeated Newburyport 61-33 and 60-29.

The teams are scheduled to spend Valentine’s Day together in a rematch at Newburyport.

Next game for the Clippers (5-1) is Wednesday (6:30PM) at Amesbury.

I learned at the concessions stand that Alex Moore is at Rhode Island College playing for the Anchorwomen.  The former Sachem had twenty-two points in a recent win over undefeated Bowdoin.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

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

Riley Holden gets a high five from Coach John McNamara

Riley Holden gets a high five from Coach John McNamara

Kelsi McNamara gives Pentucket a two-point lead

Kelsi McNamara gives Pentucket a two-point lead

McKenna Kilian (23) blocks Aly Leahy

McKenna Kilian (23) blocks Aly Leahy

Carolyn Modlish gets the game winner

Carolyn Modlish gets the game winner

Aly Leahy and Rebecca Torrisi chase a loose ball

Aly Leahy and Rebecca Torrisi chase a loose ball

Mary Pettigrew (14 points) and Riley Holden

Mary Pettigrew (14 points) and Riley Holden

Audrey Tipson surrounded by Clippers

Audrey Tipson surrounded by Clippers

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Masco defeats Newburyport 2-1 in girls soccer denying Clippers CAL title

Lexi Sheehan of Masco puts her foot into the game-winner.

Kaleigh White, Claudia Marsh (22), and Lexi Sheehan celebrate the first Chieftain goal.

(Topsfield) Neither team needed the game to qualify for the state tournament but visiting Newburyport was playing for a share of the Cape Ann League Division 1 title.

Masconomet (11-3-1) played the spoiler role defeating the Clippers, 2-1, on a sunny Thursday afternoon in their final home game of the regular season.

Newburyport (12-2-2) entered the game sharing the top spot with Hamilton-Wenham.  But the Newburyport loss combined with HW’s win over Pentucket (5-0) gave the CAL D1 title to the Generals with a 13-1-2 record.

Surprisingly, this game went from a lengthy defensive struggle to a shootout in the final six minutes.

With six minutes left, Claudia Marsh set up teammate Lexi Sheehan for a header for Masco’s first goal. Four minutes later Lexi Sheehan was back for a second goal after dribbling down the middle and blasting a shot past NHS goalie Lilly Donovan to her left.

Newburyport came right back with a top-shelf goal by Jaycie Triantafillou a minute later, in the last minute of the game, but the Clippers didn‘t have time to threaten to tie the game.

first half scramble in Masconomet end

Masco and Newburyport had played to a 1-1 tie on September 25th and after watching sixty minutes of scoreless play in this game I suspected that a 0-0 tie was a strong possibility.

Both teams had returning CAL award-winners on defense.  No question that Paige Pratt (Masco) and Aly Leahy (Newburyport) play the last-defender position extremely well.  So there were shots in the first sixty minutes but mostly long range tries.

Katie Gorenflo did get in for a close one seventeen minutes into the second half but Masco goalie Nancy Palermo was able to smother the attempt.

The one that will haunt the Clippers, when they recall this game, was a shot by Jaycie Triandofilou twenty-five minutes into the second half.  Jaycie struck a hard shot that hit the crossbar and went straight down in front.  Masco was somehow able to clear the rebound and keep the visitors off the board.

The key to the Chieftains first goal was the sideline run by senior Claudia Marsh.  She was able to get space and send a hard shot toward the front of the net.  NHS goalie Lilly Donovan was set up close to the goal-line protecting for a shot directly on net.  When the shot/pass was sent out away from the goal-line, Claudia’s teammate (Lexi Sheehan) was able to move in and head it past Lilly before she could get out to catch it.

Now down by a goal and only six minutes left, the Clippers quickly put a couple of shots on MHS goalie Nancy Palermo moving more players into the offensive end.

However, when the Chieftains were able to get control, they set out on a long run toward the NHS goal.  Lexi Sheehan covered a lot of ground down the middle and was able to get away a clear shot from in close for the game winner with two minutes left.

Jaycie came back with a quick answer but it was too little too late.

Newburyport finishes its regular season on Monday (weather permitting?) against Tewksbury at home.  Masco finishes tomorrow at North Reading.

Both Masco and Newburyport are tireless.  There were many long runs in this game.

Paige Pratt (16) sets to take a direct kick.

One aspect that needs work on both teams are direct kicks.  There were at least sixteen taken, by my unofficial count, during the game and not one of them turned into any kind of threat.  Way too many of them missed the goal entirely and some of the kicks were taken from very close range.  Maybe I was spoiled by watching Hannah Martin kick them in recent years for Newburyport.

Missing for Newburyport (as she has been all season) was Carly Brand.  The junior was injured in March and has just been cleared to practice.  She was on the Clipper bench for this one.

The last time I was at the Masco soccer field (last year) the Chieftain boys defeated Lincoln-Sudbury in a tournament shootout prompting one of the most dangerous student stampedes I’ve seen.

There were three soccer games going on at the same time.  I saw a few JV soccer balls escape onto the varsity field but no confusion resulted.

There was a scoreboard at Masco………but it didn’t work.

The sun was tough down one end for Lilly Donovan in the first half and for Nancy Palermo for part of the second half.  The sun, however, was not a factor in any of the goals.

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

Paige Pratt

Delaney Bartol

Lilly Donovan

Masco goalie Nancy Palermo reaches for a high shot.

Lilly Donovan makes a catch in front of Lexi Sheehan (8) and Dominique Anderson (21)

Maryam Moshrefi, Kaleigh White, Bella Palma

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Beth Castantini Trifecta: 28 points, 1000 points, and Newburyport win (55-36) over Marblehead

(Marblehead) Beth Castantini needed eight points to get to 1000.  The Clipper senior took care of that business before the first quarter was over, then went on to get twenty more in a 55-36 Newburyport win over Marblehead on Wednesday afternoon.

Beth Castantini poses with teammates after the game

Beth Castantini with Coach Gregg Dollas and her parents

This was a nonleague game that ends the regular season for the two tournament-qualifying teams. A team needs ten wins to get in.

In this game, Newburyport (13-7) broke away from a 2-2 tie and never looked back.

Clippers celebrate 1000-point moment in a timeout

Beth’s spin inside in the opening quarter gave her the points she needed for 1000 with little over a minute left.  She followed the 1000th point basket with a jumper off a rebound and a feed to Lilly Donovan for a score before the quarter ended.  That trio of baskets put Newburyport ahead, 19-7.

A run of six by Lindsey Cohen (18 points) put some intrigue back in the game (19-13) but a Beth baseline jumper and an assist on a Lea Tomasz jump shot gave the Clippers a 27-18 advantage at halftime.

It should be noted that during that second quarter, point guard Aly Leahy rolled her ankle and didn’t return.  The Clippers will need her back when tournament play starts next week.

It should also be noted that with Aly out, the point guard the rest of the way was the versatile Beth Castantini.

Lindsey Cohen (18 points) on her way to one of her eight layups

The Magicians were still within nine (34-25) with 3 ½ to go in the third quarter.  However, they didn’t score a point over the next three minutes as Newburyport offered up nine straight.

This is how Newburyport collected the nine unanswered: Beth layup after a terrific save by Lilly Donovan of a ball going out of bounds, a Katy Bennett free throw, a converted rebound of her own miss by Mary Pettigrew, two Beth free throws, and an inbounds (pass from Molly Rowe) jump shot in the lane by Beth.

That solid offense turned the nine-point deficit into an eighteen-point deficit (43-25) and significantly lessened the  suspense in predicting the outcome.  The closest Marblehead could get the rest of the way was thirteen (47-34) midway through the last quarter.

Senior Lindsey Cohen scored well for Marblehead.  The Clippers had trouble keeping her from taking the ball to the basket – all of her points came from layups.

Beth attracts defenders

All of Beth’s twenty-eight points were made in the first three quarters.  She also had four assists.  There were no 3’s in the point collection.  The Magician defense obviously were aware of her but didn’t have a matchup or a defense to keep her from getting good looks in high percentage areas.

Marblehead (10-10) will be in Division 2 of the state tournament.  Newburyport is Division 3.

Newburyport won the first meeting (43-25) on Martin Luther King Monday.  In that game, Marblehead was missing two starters – Kathryn Digiammarino and Sydney Pliner.  The Clippers were without Molly Rowe.  Beth had twenty the first time around.

Newburyport made their two 3’s at the end of the game.  Seldom-hesitant, long-range shooter Casey Barlow made the first and seldom-looking-for-her-shot Caty Bennett had the second go in off the backboard.

I saw St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newman in the house.  Let’s see, his team (last year’s state champs) is in D3 and Newburyport is in D3.……..

Newburyport boxscore

Marblehead boxscore

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

Beth with her parents

Beth with Coach Dollas

Mary Pettigrew heads down the lane

action under the basket

Lea Tomasz shoots over Emily Freedland (7 points)

Aly Leahy

McKenna Barrett (#20) and Lindsey Cohen (#15)

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Pentucket wins 7th straight defeating Newburyport 49-30 in girls basketball

Coley Viselli (15 points) applies backcourt pressure to Molly Rowe.

Sarah Higgins (13 points) breaks away after steal

(West Newbury)  Pentucket defeated Newburyport, 49-30, on Monday night in a game that was settled in the third quarter.

The Sachems (15-4) scored the first fourteen points in that decisive quarter, helped by six Clipper turnovers, and Pentucket’s 24-17 halftime lead burst into a 38-17 rout with 2 ½ minutes left in that quarter.

The Clippers (11-7) put together a 10-2 run in the final quarter but had given up way too much ground in the previous quarter to pose any sort of challenge late.

Pentucket has now won seven straight and twelve of their last thirteen.  To say that they’re on a roll, is an understatement.  Their pressure defense forces opponents to be uncomfortable anywhere on the court.  Against the Clippers, their half-court offense looked very smooth.

Beth Castantini (10 points) shoots over Tori Lane

The Clippers/Sachems matched up in the season opener on December 12th in Newburyport. Pentucket won, 44-37.  In that one, Newburyport trailed by just two (35-32) with five minutes left.  The Sachems pressure defense worked but their poor long-range shooting kept the game close.

This time the Sachems kept the pressure defense (forced twenty turnovers) but took fewer long ones and instead took more drives to the basket.  Pentucket made fifteen baskets (other than free throws) and twelve of them were layups, another basket was a converted rebound, and the other two were three’s.

The Pentucket pressure gave Newburyport a lot of problems as expected but the killer for the Clippers was the early foul trouble of Lilly Donovan and Mary Pettigrew.  Both of them had four fouls, two minutes into the second half.

Coley Viselli breaks loose

It was no coincidence that with Lilly and Mary on the bench Pentucket’s five-point run, that started the third quarter, turned into a fourteen-point run.

The Pentucket points in The Run were; Leigh McNamara -free throw,  Sarah Higgins – two layups (assisted on one of them by Alex Moore), and Coley Viselli – layup, two free throws and a three assisted by Sarah Higgins.

The home team started fast jumping in front 14-5 after three minutes.  But credit the Clippers, they rallied back into contention (16-13) midway into the second quarter with a three by Beth Castantini from Lilly Donovan within the rally.

A jump shot by Meri Adsit (from Molly Rowe) with ten seconds left had the Clippers within range (24-17) at the half.

Last year the Clippers upset Pentucket (53-52) at Pentucket so the seven-point halftime deficit didn‘t appear insurmountable.  But six minutes of playing time later, that wasn’t the case.

Coley Viselli (15 points) led all scorers while teammates Sarah Higgins and Tess Nogueira had 13 points apiece.  The trio was solid on defense as well.

Aly Leahy defended by Alex Moore

Beth Castantini paced Newburyport with ten points while teammate Aly Leahy had nine points.

Pentucket has their last home game on Wednesday against Triton.

Newburyport will look to end their four-game losing streak at Amesbury on Thursday.  AHS coach Chris Perry just “happened” to be at the game tonight.

There was a rumor at the game that the gymnasium would soon be named after Al Gore.  Most of the folks there were hot under the collar by game’s end.

One of the referees gave NHS coach Gregg Dollas a warning (for friendly advice?) with two minutes left in the first half.  From long range, it sounded to me as if the referee told the scorekeeper, “Two minute warning on the Newburyport coach.”  That somehow sounded like football terminology to me.

The young lady singing the national anthem without a microphone gets an emphatic, “Wow!”

Pentucket boxscore

Newburyport boxscore

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

national anthem

Tess Nogueira fronts Beth Castantini

Sarah Higgins passes to Liza Brackbill

Molly Rowe drives baseline

Lilly Donovan tries to get by Sydney Snow

Meri Adsit shoots

Alex Moore

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Newburyport Defeats Marblehead With Late Surge 43-25 in Girls Basketball

Beth Castantini (20 points) puts up a lefthanded layup.

Emily Freedland (8 points) defends Aly Leahy (12 points).

(Newburyport) Newburyport defeated non-league Marblehead, 43-25, thanks to dominating (16-3) final quarter on Monday (MLK Day) afternoon at NHS.

This game was as much about who didn’t play as it was about who did.  Kathryn DiGiammarino and Sydney Pliner for the Magicians and Molly Rowe for the Clippers did not play.  All three girls had injuries.

(To get a sense of the level of loss this was: Kathryn had twenty rebounds and fourteen points in Marblehead’s last game, Sydney generally defends the other team’s best player, and I saw Molly put up twenty-six points and handle the ball versus pressure against a strong Ipswich team.)

Let’s just say both coaches (Greg Dollas & Skip Likins) were looking at Plan B in this matchup.

Beth Castantini layup in traffic

How did Newburyport (8-3) win the game?  The Magicians had no answers for Beth Castantini.  The Clipper senior saw large and small defenders but never was discouraged from taking shots and putting up twenty points.  She dominated the boards and held Marblehead’s inside player (Lindsey Cohen) to a quiet four points.

Minus someone to defend Beth, the Magicians (7-5) were going to have to score a lot of points to win.

But, this is one of those games where the final score would give the wrong impression of how the game went.  That’s one of the reasons I script games……so I can sort games out for those who are interested yet couldn’t attend them.

Marblehead, despite its undermanned status, was very much in this one until the final quarter.  How?  They refused to go away.  Down 15-4, after four minutes in the second period, they put together a 12-4 response to trail just, 19-16, three minutes into the third quarter.

The Magician rally featured making eight of ten free throw attempts plus two McKenna Barrett layups.

McKenna Barrett layup

The visitors completed the comeback when a McKenna jump shot tied the score at 22-22 with only a minute to go in the third quarter.  Unfortunately, for Marblehead, the rest of the quarter shows a Beth Castantini triple, two missed free throws (Mia Bongiorno), and two Aly Leahy free throws – 27-22 after three periods.

The fourth quarter started harmlessly enough – an Emily Freedland layup and a McKenna free throw surrounded a Beth Castantini converted rebound of her own miss – 29-25 with 6:50 left.  No one on hand expected what happened the rest of the way.

Marblehead didn’t score another point while the Clippers totaled fourteen.  That’s a long time to go scoreless……and very frustrating to be on the scoreless end.  Coach Skip Likins picked up a technical near the end and was seen looking for the names of the officials afterwards.

Aly Leahy (12 points) scored seven in the final run including 3-of-4 from the foul line.

Emily Freedland was Marblehead’s top scorer with eight points.

The effects of an afternoon holiday game?  The Clippers missed five shots on their first possession and neither team scored during the first four minutes.

A key in this game was Aly Leahy’s ability to handle Marblehead pressure.  Usually she shares that responsibility with Molly Rowe.

Mark Rowe & Molly Rowe

Molly was in uniform and looked ready to play despite an icepack on her knee before the game.  Instead, she sat this one out next to her father on the NHS bench.

Newburyport’s next game is home on Friday night against North Reading.

Why is this entry so late?  Good question.  I had the opportunity to go to the Celtics reunion with Kendrick Perkins (Oklahoma City Thunder) and took it.  TNT made a game that started shortly after eight last nearly three hours.  Then the ride home……….Route 1 and 128 snowy, icy and untreated!  That resulted in an arrival time home (Newburyport) after 12:30AM.  That’s the best excuse I could think of for the delay………and I’m sticking with it!

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

Beth Castantini fouled

Lindsey Cohen shoots against Lea Tomasz

McKenna Barrett (20) & Mary Pettigrew (33)

Mia Bongiorno collides with Cady Bennett

Lindsey Cohen shoots – Casey Barlow defends.

Emily Freedland shoots free throws at the end of first half.

Caroline Helms

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