Tag Archives: Alyssa Thompson

Pentucket downs Ursuline 64-41

Abby Dube (15 points) guards freshman Alana Hogan
Waverly Smart and Alyssa Thompson (15 points)

(West Newbury MA) “Pentucket played amazing defense,” said Ursuline coach Morgan O’Donnell afterwards.

How many times have we heard that from opposing coaches?

Pentucket (17-3) rode their full-court pressure defense to a, 64-41, win over Ursuline Academy on Friday night.

The victory moves the Sachems into the Round of 16.  Their next opponent will be either Masconomet or North Quincy.  Those teams play tomorrow (Saturday).

Ava Karol (10 points) gets a rebound

A Masco win brings another game to West Newbury.

“We have bleachers we can bring in to meet the requirements for seating,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara.

Pentucket had a house full of fans and there was plenty to cheer about.

“It was loud in here,” said Coach O’Donnell.  “This atmosphere was tough to play in.”

Audrey Conover chases a loose ball

Pentucket shut out the Bears (10-10) for the first four minutes and put up nine unanswered points.  Four different players scored for Pentucket and all of them had layups.

Abby Dube and Alyssa Thompson were the game’s top scorers with fifteen points each. 

This was a night, however, when most of the Pentucket baskets had assists attached to them and most of the baskets were inside shots.

Lana Mickelson and Ava Karol

“There are no star players on the team,” said Lana Mickelson.  “We all work together.”

The Pentucket lead elevated to ten (27-17) in the second quarter after an Emma Lopata layup assisted by Audrey Conover.

The Sachems put a 12-2 run together in the third quarter, ending the run on an Abby Dube three-pointer.  The lead at that point had reached twenty (43-23) with a little under four minutes left in the third quarter.

Ava DiBurro reaches in

Both teams substituted liberally after that.

“I think our defense bothered them,” said Coach McNamara.  “It was our turnovers and quick shots on offense that kept them hanging around a bit.”

Credit Ursuline.  Despite trailing the entire game, the team from Dedham and the Catholic Conference kept plugging away in a hostile environment.

Ava DiBurro looks to pass

“Our kids came ready, and they played hard,” said Coach O’Donnell.  “That’s all I ask of them.”

Seniors Rebecca Morrill and Ava Karol paced the Bears with ten points each.

I was impressed with Ursuline freshman Alana Hogan.  Alana had seventeen points against Scituate.  Tonight, she was very good at handling the ball and continued to the basket if the opening was there.  Bright future.

The unselfish play of Pentucket was noticeable.  They executed penetrate-and-pass beautifully and ended up with many layups. 

Emma Lopata stands ready to take a charge

Senior captain Emma Lopata got two of the biggest reactions from the crowd when she drew two charges.

“Those can hurt,” she said, “and I was nervous about taking them because I had three fouls.”

Abby Dube ( three 3’s)

Abby Dube now has fifty three’s this season.

Pentucket is the #9 seed in Division 2. 

The seats were filled early and the enthusiasm for the home team was continuous.

“We love our fans,” said Emma. “It was fun playing in front of a huge crowd.”

“It was a messy game, but our team defense was pretty good,” said Ava DiBurro post-game.

Pentucket   15   16   16   17   =   64

Ursuline        7    12   10   12   =   41

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Pentucket box
Ursuline box
Bethany Cloutier
Audrey Conover in the lane
Ava DiBurro in for a layup
Lana Mickelson breaks in
Abby Dube passes
Gabby Bellacqua in the lane
Coach John McNamara
Alana Hogan
Abby Dube in front of the crowd

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Pentucket wins CAL title 63-45 over Newburyport

Great crowd on hand for tonight’s game
Abby Dube (19 points)

(Newburyport MA) “Everyone did their job, and it was fun to watch,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara afterwards.

Fun for the team from West Newbury for sure, as they defeated Newburyport, 63-45, in a big-stakes Cape Ann League game on Thursday night.

The win gave the Sachems (13-2) the CAL Kinney Division title.

“They won by ten last time,” said Abby Dube (19 points), “and we’ve been working so hard to beat them.”

The Clippers (14-2) started well.  Olivia McDonald’s three put them up, 11-5.  Later, two baskets by Makenna Ward (19 points) in the last minute extended the NHS lead to, 18-10, at the end of the quarter.

Makenna Ward (19 points)

The Clippers were making shots and gathering offensive rebounds when they didn’t.

It took a backup defense and some life off the bench to turn things around for Pentucket.

“We don’t use that zone defense a lot, but we did tonight and I think it got them out of their rhythm,” said Coach McNamara.

The offensive rebounds decreased for the Clippers and their top scorer (Emma Foley) had to deal with multiple defenders on each possession.

Gabby Bellacqua (14 points)

“We put the first quarter behind us and played to win the next three quarters,” said Abby Dube.

The pleasant surprises off the bench were Bethany Cloutier and Ava DiBurro. 

Bethany gave Pentucket its first lead of the game (22-21) with an old-fashioned three-point play with two minutes left in the second quarter.

Ava DiBurro (11 points)

Ava (11 points) was the biggest surprise of all. In the most important game of the season, she came in, fit in, and produced points.

“Ava’s a talented kid,” said Coach McNamara.  “We’ve been waiting for this to happen.  Ava sure picked a great night to have a breakout game.  She has good finishing skills.”

Pentucket led by four, 26-22, at the half.

The Clippers got a terrific start to the second half.  They regained the lead (27-26) after just a minute. 

Deirdre McElhinney (10 points)

But an Abby Dube layup put Pentucket back in front (28-27) thirty seconds later and they would build on that lead the rest of the way.

A big problem for the home team in the third quarter was foul trouble.  Both Makenna Ward and Emma Foley (10 points) picked up their 4th fouls and lost time on the floor.  Both girls can score and defend, and the Clippers lost a lot in both categories with them on the bench.

Pentucket pushed their advantage to six (33-27) in the third quarter on two Alyssa Thompson (10 points) free throws.

Lana Mickelson

With Makenna on the bench for the final two minutes of the quarter, the Sachems turned that six-point lead into a twelve-point lead (46-34) by the end of the quarter.  Lana Mickelson contributed two layups and Abby Dube nailed a jump shot just before the quarter-ending buzzer.

Early in the final quarter, Makenna Ward and Deirdre McElhinney (10 points) hit consecutive three’s to cut the Pentucket lead to nine (50-41) with 6 ½ minutes left.  A quick timeout by Coach McNamara was followed by eleven straight points by the Sachems.  Ava DiBurro finished the run with two straight inside scores giving Pentucket a twenty-point lead (61-41).

Olivia McDonald plays defense

Newburyport was undefeated at home (7-0) before tonight’s loss.

Emma Lopata: “We had really good energy from start to finish.  The team is always supportive of each other.”

Abby Dube: “It felt amazing to win this one.  We knew we could do it.”

Audrey Conover: “It was definitely a high-energy game.  I think that our defense was the key tonight.  Abby (Dube) really pulled through on offense.  She was making everything.”

Alyssa Thompson: “We started off slow.  We talked at halftime about working together as a team.  We then passed the ball more.”

Alyssa Thompson (10 points)

Ava DiBurro: “We really wanted to beat them.  I just tried to do what the team needed me to do.  I’m playing better, but there are things I need to work on.”

Coach McNamara: “Newburyport is a good team.  They should make a deep run in the tournament.  From the second quarter on we played really good basketball.  We took care of the ball, and we minimized our turnovers.”

Great crowd from both schools.  The crowd was mostly adults.  Absent, but not missed by me, was the chanting that goes on when the crowd is dominated by students.

Emma Foley (10 points)

Both teams are in Division 2.  Back in the day, only one of them could have made it out of the North sectionals.  That changes now with the MIAA state-wide power rankings determining the seeding.  Pentucket is currently listed behind Newburyport in those rankings but that will change after tonight’s game.

Pentucket         10   16   20   17   =   63

Newburyport   18     4   12   11   =   45

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Chasing a loose ball
Abby Dube in the lane
Ava DiBurro
Pentucket box
Newburyport box
Audrey Conover guarded by Olivia McDonald
Deirdre McElhinney drives
Pentucket celebrates
Pentucket celebrates CAL Kinney title

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Pentucket defeats Triton 60-16

Audrey Conover had a big game on offense and defense
Alyssa Thompson (13 points) guards Isabella Basile

(Byfield MA) It was a tough night for Triton.

“They’re a powerhouse,” said Vikings coach Bryan Shields afterwards.

Pentucket turned in a dominating performance and came away with a, 60-16, win on Monday night.

“We did really well,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara post-game.  Not a soul who watched the game would argue otherwise!

“Our defense set the tone,” added Coach McNamara, “and our transition got us layups.”

The Vikings struggled in the backcourt after getting double-teamed and numerous turnovers/layups followed.

Molly Kimball

The Sachems also were quick to press for scores after getting possession in the frontcourt.

Even when forced to run halfcourt offense Pentucket (11-2) was textbook perfect against Triton’s zone defense.

“Their zone forced us to pass the ball more since you can’t drive against a zone,” explained Pentucket junior Audrey Conover afterwards.

And pass they did.  There were cross-court passes to open teammates on the weakside.  There were give-and-go layups and there were inbound passes for layups.

Maeve Heffernan guards Lana Mickelson (12 points)

“The kids were passing up a shot to get a better shot,” said Coach McNamara.  “They were really unselfish.  It was fun to watch.”

Almost every basket had an assist attached to it unless it was a breakaway off a turnover.

The Sachems took the mystery out of this game early racing ahead, 14-0, after four minutes.  The visitors took three turnovers in for layups and had two three’s (Abby Dube and Gabby Bellacqua) in the breakaway start.

Audrey Conover

Molly Kimball finally ended the Triton scoring drought with a free throw and later added a three-point shot before the quarter was over.

The quarter ended with the score, 23-4.

The Pentucket halfcourt defense was extra tough in the second quarter.  Most of the Triton movement in the frontcourt was sideways with few direct lines to the hoop.  Maeve Heffernan scored in the last minute for the only Vikings basket of the quarter.

Rebound battle

Pentucket led, 39-6, at the half.

“They defend well, and they rotate well,” said Coach Shields, “and they can all score.”

“Playing Pentucket will make us better,” added Coach Shields.  “You don’t gain as much playing weaker competition.  We want to be ready for the tournament.”

The Vikings are 8-8 with four games left.  “We’ve got winnable games ahead,” said Coach Shields.  “Three of the teams (North Reading, Saugus, and Manchester-Essex) we beat the first time around.”

Gabby Bellacqua (11 points)

Pentucket has a big game ahead on Thursday night at Newburyport.  “They are a good team and they beat us pretty good the first time,” said Coach McNamara.  “Right now, however, I’m thinking about Senior Night tomorrow night and that game (North Reading).”

Alyssa Thompson (13), Lana Mickelson (12), and Gabby Bellacqua (11) reached double figures for Pentucket.

Coach McNamara: “The key to the win tonight was the excellent passing of Audrey (Conover).”

Pentucket   23   16   14   7   =   60

Triton            4      2     5   5   =   16

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Brianna Welch double-teamed
Riley Bell guarded by Ally Cacciapuoti
Paige Leavitt goes baseline
Sophia Lesinski
Lia Hatheway
Liv Kiricoples
Audrey Conover in for two
Lana Mickelson double-teamed
Ally Cacciapuoti
Abby Dube
Alyssa Thompson layup
Abby Dube and Alyssa Thompson double-team Isabella Basile
Triton box
Pentucket box

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Pentucket defeats Hamilton-Wenham 47-23

There was plenty of action around the basket
Gabby Bellacqua looks for an opening

(West Newbury MA) “We just couldn’t close out quarters,” said Hamilton-Wenham coach Mark Cole afterwards.

The lack of consistency was costly as the Generals (7-4) fell to Pentucket, 47-23, on Tuesday night.

HW had nineteen points from talented Jane Maguire but her teammate combined for only four additional points.

Credit the Pentucket defense.  As usual they were persistent and ready to turn miscues into points.

Pentucket made five 3’s

“Pentucket is a very, very good team that can shoot the ball,” said Coach Cole.

The Sachems (8-2) had nine players score and hit from long range five times.

Lana Mickelson and Alyssa Thompson were Pentucket’s top scorers with nine points each.

Each of the end-of-quarter surges that Coach Cole referenced had 3-pointers in them.

Jane Maguire (19 points)

In the first quarter, Jane Maguire’s three-pointer had the visitors within three points (8-5) with four minutes left. 

Pentucket then rolled off ten unanswered points and the quarter ended with the home team in front, 18-5.

Three’s by Ally Cacciapuoti and Alyssa Thompson were involved in the Pentucket run.

Lana Mickelson (9 points and 9 rebounds)

In the second quarter, two layups and two three’s by Jane Maguire had the Generals within seven (22-15) with 3 ½ minutes left.

Pentucket then rolled off eight unanswered points to gain a, 30-15, halftime lead.

Three’s by Emma Lopata and Alyssa Thompson were part of the second-quarter surge.

Hamilton-Wenham scored the first three points of the third quarter and trailed, 30-18, with seven minutes left.

Coach John McNamara

Pentucket then shut out HW the rest of the quarter and added ten points to their lead.

Three’s by Abby Dube and Lana Mickelson were in the mix this time.  Lana’s three was the old-fashioned variety.

Pentucket was ahead, 40-18, after three periods and cruised home from there.

Pentucket coach John McNamara was glad to get the win.  “Both teams were sloppy.  We’ve got to play better than this.  But it was nice to get a win after our tough loss (in OT to Cathedral) the other day.”

Coach Mark Cole

There were plenty of whistles and plenty of fouls and turnovers.

“It seemed as if it was travel, after foul, after travel,” said Lana Mickelson afterwards.

The teams combined for thirty-seven fouls.  I’m going to guess that there were just as many turnovers.  It was ragged for sure.

“We knew that Hamilton-Wenham would be good because of their upset win over Amesbury the other day,” added Lana.

HW had lost by thirty to Amesbury earlier in the season but took out the Indians, 51-45, in the rematch recently.

Christa Coffey and Audrey Conover

“The fact that we held Pentucket to seventeen points in the second half was a good effort on our part,” said Coach Cole.

Lana Mickelson had nine rebounds to go with her nine points.  Against Cathedral she had twenty rebounds.

Jane Maguire had five three’s in HW’s win over Amesbury.  Christa Coffey added three from long range.

On February 10th Pentucket has a rematch with undefeated Newburyport at Newburyport.  The Clippers won by ten points in the first meeting.

              Pentucket   18   12   10   7   =   47

Hamilton-Wenham   5   10     3   5   =   23

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Ally Cacciapuoti
Marley Shea takes a shot
Ava DiBurro makes a save
Jane Maguire uses a screen
Jane Maguire in the open floor
Pentucket fans
Abby Dube
Nora Gamber guarded by Ally Cacciapuoti
Pentucket box
Hamilton-Wenham box

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