Tag Archives: Beth Castantini

Newburyport brings down undefeated Manchester-Essex 62-47

Newburyport used its speed to get layups

Newburyport used its speed to get layups

Anna Hickman (20 points)

Anna Hickman (20 points)

(Newburyport MA) What a second quarter!

The Newburyport Clippers took the visiting Manchester-Essex Hornets apart in that second frame and took the suspense over the outcome along with it.

The final was 62-47 for this Tuesday night game but if you were on hand one minute into the second quarter you saw the Hornets with a 16-12 lead.

One minute into the second half, the Clippers (6-2) were in front, 37-20.  That was a 25-4 segment for the home team.

How did they do it?  After a period of allowing the Hornets, especially Melanie Carter, to get to the basket the Clippers protected the paint better.  They also rebounded better.  Good defense transferred into up-tempo offense and layups down the other end.  Even in their half-court offense Newburyport found ways to get to the basket for points or foul shots.

Anna Hickman (20 points) was a standout on both ends of the court.  Her tight D on ME point-guard Kaitlyn O’Connell impacted the Hornets ability to run their offense.  The sophomore forced turnovers and was part of numerous NHS fast-breaks.  Anna drained two 3’s, made four other baskets, and took ten free throws.  Quite a performance against a team that came in undefeated after six games.

Krysta Padellaro (17 points) in for two

Krysta Padellaro (17 points) in for two

Krysta Padellaro (17 points) had a big hand in the win as well,  She put up eleven points in the breakaway second quarter.  The ME deficit was only four (22-18) five minutes into the second quarter before the NHS junior dribbled the length of the court for one layup, drained a triple, and drove in for another layup.  Those seven unanswered, extended the NHS margin to eleven (29-18).

Two free throws by Sarah Robinson (17 points) stopped the bleeding temporarily but the Clippers came back with eight points in a row (Olivia Olson layup & 2 free throws, Krysta jump shot, Anna layup) and the lead was seventeen (37-20) one minute into the second half.

The teams played even the rest of the way.

Manchester-Essex used a zone defense.  Their trouble was getting back fast enough to get into it.  The Clippers were eager to run after every defensive rebound and collected layups at the other end by doing it.

The Hornets (6-1) were coming off an impressive win at home (39-37) against Pentucket on Friday night.

Newburyport ended up with eighteen turnovers including four straight starting the game.  ME finished with sixteen turnovers including five in their disastrous six-point second quarter.

Beth Castantini

Beth Castantini

Beth Castantini was on the Newburyport bench.  She was a 1000-point scorer for the Clippers back in the day.

Manchester-Essex box

Newburyport box

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

Melanie Carter (12 points) had an impressive first quarter

Melanie Carter (12 points) had an impressive first quarter

Sarah Robinson (17 points) hit three triples

Sarah Robinson (17 points) hit three triples

Katie Hadden

Katie Hadden

Olivia Olson (12 points)

Olivia Olson (12 points)

Loose ball

Loose ball

Krysta Padellaro covered by Bridgett Kiernan

Krysta Padellaro covered by Bridgett Kiernan

Anna Hickman shot ten free throws

Anna Hickman shot ten free throws

Paige Gouldthorpe

Paige Gouldthorpe

Katie Hadden to the basket

Katie Hadden to the basket

Freshman Maggie Pons defended by freshman Bridget Twombly

Freshman Maggie Pons defended by freshman Bridget Twombly



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Winchester runs its shutout streak to three games defeating Newburyport 2-0 in Division 2 North softball

Rory Connolly beating out a bunt in the first inning. She would later score the first Winchester run on an Emma Morton double.

Winchester celebrates a trip to the D2 North finals

(Lowell)  The Winchester Sachems added seven more shutout innings to their 2012 post-season run as they defeated Newburyport, 2-0, on overcast Thursday night at Martin Field in the Division 2 North semi-finals.

Winchester (16-5) will get either Dracut or Danvers on Sunday afternoon at Martin Field for the D2 North title.

The Sachems have shut out all three opponents in the D2 tournament and it was easy to see during four hitless innings that sophomore pitcher Rachel Smith was part of the reason.  Rachel recorded five of her six strikeouts in the first four innings.

Winchester jumped off to a 1-0 lead in the first.  Rory Connolly led off with a bunt single and reached third after a sacrifice bunt (Anne DeRosa) and a fielder’s choice (Rachel Smith).  Junior Emma Morton ripped a double to right center scoring Rory.

Newburyport (13-10) from the Cape Ann League came to life in the final three innings.  All four of their hits came during that segment and they stranded six runners.

Julia Staffiere – her triple drove in a run in the fifth

During the fifth inning Winchester added a second run.  Maddie Lepore reached on a flair behind first with no outs.  Andrea Cantalupa came on as a courtesy runner for Maddie.  Julia Staffiere delivered Andrea with a hot shot over the third base bag that rolled all the way to the left field corner for a triple.  Julia’s RBI gave the #7 seeded Sachems a 2-0 lead heading into the final two innings.

That lead would be severely threatened by the Clippers in the final two frames.

Newburyport (#14 seed) loaded the bases in the sixth.  Singles by Kendra Dow and Lea Tomasz were followed by Rachel Smith’s bobble of a Carley Siemasko grounder with two outs.  Rachel recovered from the error to retire Beth Castantini on a routine fly ball to center to end the bases-loaded threat.

The Clippers took another run at the Sachems in the seventh.  Newburyport had two loud outs (Maddy Stanton liner to center & Casey Barlow’s shot that shortstop Catherine Pitts speared) as well as a walk (Vicky Allman) and a single (Jackie Krusemark).  But again Winchester escaped being scored on as Kendra Dow grounded out to second to end the game.

Molly Rowe and Beth Castantini

Beth Castantini had a strong outing in her final endeavor as a Newburyport Clipper allowing only five hits.  She also struck out five Sachems and walked no one.

Catcher Emma Morton stroked two doubles and had several long-distance foul balls for the team from the Middlesex League.

Kendra Dow hurt her leg lunging for first on the last out of the Clipper season.

Clipper catcher Lauren Singer made a nice catch of a foul pop in the fourth inning.

Maddie Lepore saves a run with this two-out catch in the third inning.

Maddie Lepore jumped to make a run-saving catch in right field in the third inning.  Casey Barlow was on second for the Clippers at the time after reaching on shortstop Catherine Pitts’ two-base throwing error.

The weather?  Downpour an hour before game time delayed the ending of the Mystic Valley/Matignon game.  By the time the Clipper/Sachem game started the rain had stopped but threatening clouds had me wondering when the next deluge would drop.  But thankfully, the rain stayed away.

Winchester box score

Newburyport box score

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

Emma Morton – two doubles and an RBI

Anne DeRosa tosses to first for the final out of the game

Lauren Singer corrals a popup

Rachel Smith – four-hitter with six strikeouts

season-ending walkoff

watching the action

Kendra Dow and Lea Tomasz

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Amesbury hangs on to defeat Newburyport, 7-6, in Cape Ann League softball

Newburyport seniors Beth Castantini, Molly Rowe, and Maddy Stanton after playing their last home game.

Cassie Schultz waits for Casey Barlow to arrive

(Newburyport) The Amesbury Indians (15-4) swept the season series with Newburyport on the strength of a 7-6 win at Perkins Playground on a beautiful Wednesday afternoon in Cape Ann League softball.

Newburyport (10-8) gave away five runs in the field during the first two innings but came back with their bats to nearly pull this one out in the bottom of the seventh.

This was the last regular season home game for Newburyport’s three seniors (Beth Castantini, Molly Rowe, and Maddy Stanton) and they were honored by NHS coach Lori Solazzo before the game.

Sophomore Amanda Schell was the hitting star for the Indians collecting four RBI including two in Amesbury’s 2-run sixth.  Those two runs provided the winning margin as the Clippers tallied two runs in the bottom of the seventh to get within one run.

Amanda Schell – two hits and four RBI

In their previous meeting, Amesbury won 9-2 on April 24th.  That time around starter Carolina Merrill tossed a 4-hitter to get the victory.  This time around Newburyport stroked thirteen hits but could never get more than two runs in an inning.

The first inning was not pretty for either team defensively.  I counted five throwing errors by some normally reliable infielders on both teams.  Second baseman Alexis Boswell had a bobble on a potential inning-ending grounder.

When the defensive dust settled Amesbury led, 4-2, after one inning.

The Indians picked up another tainted run in the second.  A two-out, strikeout by Molly Rowe got past catcher Lauren Singer and Janine Fatal raced home with Amesbury’s fifth run.

Newburyport trailed, 5-2, going into the bottom of the fourth but ran themselves out of a promising inning.  A Casey Barlow single to left was followed by Lauren Singer’s single to right sending Casey to third with one out.  Amy Sullivan was put in as a courtesy runner for Lauren.  Amy tried to steal second but Indian catcher Cassie Schultz threw a strike to Amanda Schell to nab Amy.  Casey Barlow broke for home as the play at second was completed and Amanda threw a strike back to Cassie getting Casey by plenty.

The Clippers picked up two runs in the fifth to close to 5-4.  Kendra Dow singled and reached third after two infield outs.  Carley Siemasko brought Kendra home with a single to left.  Later it was Beth Castantini delivering Lea Tomasz with a single up the middle.

Janine Fatal scores an Amesbury run

Amesbury answered with two runs of their own in the sixth.  A walk (Rachel Cyr) and a single (Alexis Boswell) forced a Clipper pitching change as Beth Castantini replaced Molly Rowe.  After Alexis stole second Amanda Schell hit a loud double to left center deep enough to score both runners.

Newburyport made things interesting in their last at-bats.  They got runners (Lea Tomasz and Carley Siemasko) on first and second with two outs.  Senior Beth Castantini drove in Lea and fellow senior Maddy Stanton brought home Carley.  But that’s where the comeback ended as AHS pitcher Carolina Merrill got Vicki Allman to pop out to first baseman McKenzie Cloutier.

Janine Fatal and Amanda Schell each had two hits to pace Amesbury.  Janine and Alexis Boswell both scored two runs.

Carley Siemasko – had three hits and scored two runs

Freshman Carley Siemasko had three hits for the Clippers while Kendra Dow, Lea Tomasz, and Beth Castantini collected two hits.  Beth had two RBI.

Third baseman Maddy Stanton turned a pop fly into a double play in the 4th inning.

Indian pitcher Carolina Merrill had Lea Tomasz’ line drive go off her leg in the 7th inning.

A dog joined the action in the 4th inning even bringing along his own ball.

Amesbury has a 15-4 season going with no seniors.  The Indians close their regular season tomorrow (Thursday) at St. Mary’s.

The Clippers will be involved in the North Andover tournament starting on Friday.

Both Amesbury and Newburyport have qualified for the post-season tournament.  The Clippers will be playing on the road whereas the Indians may get a home game or two.

I can report now that this game was not at Cashman or Bresnahan?  Only an individual who had gone to both places could give you that sort of information.

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

NHS coaches Mark Rowe and Lori Solazzo

Amanda Schell jumps for second as Kendra Dow reaches for the throw

ready to play

Pitcher Molly Rowe fires to first as Maddy Stanton and AHS coach Chris Perry watch

Lea Tomasz beats the tag of AHS catcher Cassie Schultz

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Newburyport upsets Rockport 3-2 in Cape Ann League softball

Catcher Lauren Singer handles the throw as Kayla Parisi approaches

Lauren turns to tag Kayla

Lauren tags Kayla

Winning pitcher Beth Castantini fields a bunt by Amanda Chalmers

(Newburyport)  The Newburyport Clippers (6-5) may have turned their season around with this one.

The Clippers beat a very good Rockport team, 3-2, at Cashman Park on Monday afternoon in Cape Ann League play.

(I did not arrive in time to fill out a scorebook but I did have my camera and will provide some commentary as well.)

Rockport (9-2) has already won Division 3 of the Cape Ann League but they have now lost two of their last three.

Newburyport, on the other hand,  has been a disappointment.  Last year the 17-5 Clippers found ways to win.  This year the reverse has happened more times than expected.

Mollie Rowe takes a throw to get Haley Lorden at first in the seventh.

That’s why the win over Rockport may be the signal of better days ahead.  Here was a game in which pitching, hitting, and defense all clicked when needed and a game they could have been lost by Newburyport was won.

Winning pitcher Beth Castantini was several times within a pitch of walking in a run but it never happened.

The Clipper hitters put hits together early to grab a two-run lead and later came up with the game winner after Rockport had rallied to tie the score.

The Newburyport defense was also strong.  There was a dropped popup but the team was mistake-free otherwise.  Kendra Dow made several long/strong throws from short.

The most important Clipper play in the game was turned in by leftfielder Catherine Casellini.  In one of the early innings, catcher Lauren Singer tried to nail a runner getting back to third. Her throw sailed over third baseman Maddie Stanton’s head……but there stood Catherine, where she was supposed to be, backing the play up.  Catherine caught the errant throw and the run was saved.

And against a good team like Rockport, all those things had to be in place or the result would have been different.

Rockport’s Kristin Turner pitched well enough to win and the defense behind her, especially shortstop Gabby Muniz, was very good.  However, with base runners all over the place Rockport never turned the makings of big innings into realities with a clutch hit or two.

And if you’re looking for just one reason for the Viking loss, pin it on base running.  They made three outs on the base paths.  One runner was picked off third, another was out by plenty at the plate, and the final out of the game was a failed attempt at stealing second.

Rockport pitcher Kristin Turner talks with Coach Diane Parisi after getting hit by a line drive.

A scary moment happened in the sixth inning when a sharp Lea Tomasz liner grazed off the top of the head of Rockport pitcher Kristin Turner.  She and the rest of us were thankful that she was wearing a face shield.

The weather was downright pleasant at Cashman Park.  What happened to the wind, mist, and temps in the 40s?

I learned at the game that Kristin Turner learned to pitch from her older sister who pitched for Beverly.  The older sister now attends Salem State.

I thought that there might be some sort of on-site newspaper coverage of the game.  However, when I checked the CAL schedule afterwards for today, I noticed that 10-1 Masco was playing 10-1 Amesbury at Amesbury today.  I suspect that the details of that game will be extensively covered.

Rockport will host Amesbury on Wednesday, weather permitting.  On the same projected rainy day, Newburyport is scheduled to visit Pentucket.

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

Shortstop Gabby Muniz

Rockport catcher Mollie Watson catches a foul pop.

Kendra Adams scores a Rockport run

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Newburyport wins softball opener (3-2) over Lynnfield

Beth Castantini moves in to catch a deflection off of the glove of Maddie Stanton.

(Newburyport)  The Newburyport Clippers hung on to defeat Lynnfield, 3-2,  at cloudy, windy Cashman Park on Monday afternoon in nonleague action.

Not until dangerous Mel Mancinelli’s pop nestled into Clipper second baseman Jackie Krusemark’s glove for the final out was this game a W for the home team.

The inning before (6th) Mel had slammed a very long triple to deep centerfield and in this at bat had teammates on first and third trailing by a run.

But the Clippers survived to win their season opener as well as an initial win for new coach Lori Solazzo.

For the Clippers. retiring Mel Mancinelli for the last out was important but maybe even more important was a throw from centerfielder Lea Tomasz to catcher Lauren Singer that nailed Julia Goldstein for the final out of the sixth inning.  The Pioneers had to settle for two runs, and a tie score, in that inning.

Catcher Lauren Singer fields the throw from Lea Tomasz


Julia Goldstein tagged out at the plate.

Newburyport pushed across the actual game winner in the bottom of the sixth.  Maddie Stanton singled to center and reached third after a passed ball and a fielder’s choice.  Kendra Dow’s single to right drove Maddie home.

The Clippers picked up their other two runs in the 4th.  The wind/dust seemed to catch up to Pioneer right fielder Julia Sheehan and she dropped a catchable fly ball off Beth Castantini’s bat and she reached third.  Lea Tomasz scored the Clipper’s first run on the 3-base error.  Later Maddie Stanton drove Beth across for run #2.

Mel Mancinelli tripled in the 6th inning

That 2-0 lead held up until the sixth when the Pioneers tied the score.  Mel Mancinelli was delivered by Amanda McQueen’s single.  Two wild pitches later Amanda was on third and from there came home on Jackie Whelan’s single.

Pioneer Amanda LaSpina was called out for runner interference in the 3rd against first baseman Molly Rowe while Molly was nailed with the same call interfering with shortstop Katie Rowe in the 4th.

Centerfielder Sarah Flood made a nice running catch in the 5th on Beth Castantini’s sinking liner.

Winning pitcher Beth Castantini finished with seven K’s getting at least one in every inning except the seventh.

The umpires had both teams hollering in the seventh inning as close plays went the wrong way depending on the sideline you were on.

Beth Castantini struck out seven

Jackie Whelan scattered six hits for Lynnfield.  She also drove in a run.

Lea Tomasz, Maddie Stanton, and Kendra Dow had two hits each for Newburyport.

Lynnfield (1-1) hosts Ipswich on Wednesday.

Newburyport (1-0) returns to Cashman Park on the same day to play North Reading.

Lynnfield probably should have guessed it wasn’t their day in the 4th inning when Jackie Whelan’s popup bounced off of Maddie Stanton’s glove into Beth Castantini’s.

April games at Cashman are always challenging.  Today, however, was windier than usual and every now and then the infield dust would swirl toward the Lynnfield side of the field.

Former NHS coach Peter Murray was an interested spectator.

Newburyport box score

Lynnfield box score

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

Sam Wahlgren

ball gets away from Julia Sheehan

Lea Tomasz forced at second by Katie Rowe

Second baseman Jackie Krusemark gets final out.

Catcher Lauren Singer prepares her equipment

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Defense key to Newburyport win over Saugus (50-43) in D3 North First Round

Gabby Cogliano (12 points) looks for an opening against the Newburyport defense.

Beth Castantini (14 points) looks for daylight

(Newburyport) In a game with fifty-two turnovers it was hardly a work of art but Newburyport rallied from a 3-point deficit with 3 ½ minutes left to defeat Saugus, 50-43, on slippery Thursday night at Newburyport.

Newburyport (14-7) now moves on to the Quarterfinals of D3 North and will face Pentucket on Sunday afternoon (1PM) at Whittier in Haverhill.

A Gabby Cogliano converted rebound gave the Sachems a 43-40 lead with 3:47 left.  At this point the #11 seed was in position to knock off the #6 seed on the road.

However, Saugus (8-13) would not score a single point the rest of the way and commit four turnovers.  Newburyport had a well setup three from Lea Tomasz and made seven pressure-packed free throws out of eight attempts to grab the victory.

Lea came into the game for an inbounds play on the opposite side of the court.  Positioned beyond the arc in front of the Clipper bench, Ally Leahy got the ball to Lea for a clean look and the junior connected.

Lea’s triple gave Newburyport a 45-43 lead with three minutes to go.  The next 2 ½ minutes the teams took turns missing and turning the ball over.  One huge play for the Clippers was a block by Lilly Donovan on Allyssa Furtado in the lane with twenty seconds left.

Saugus was forced to foul and Beth Castantini made two free throws with fourteen seconds left to give Newburyport a little breathing room – 47-43.  After Stefani Terrazzano missed a three, Cady Bennett was fouled (hard) and made one freebie.  Beth closed out the scoring with two more free throws.

Jackie Nickolas blocks Molly Rowe

Saugus got up by as many as eight (22-14) in the second quarter but their wasted possessions (thirty-three turnovers) enabled Newburyport to stay in the game.  That eight-point lead shrunk to one point as the Sachems had eight turnovers in a five minute stretch.

Credit the Clipper defense.  They double-teamed anyone who handled the ball and were rewarded for it.

Newburyport put a 12-2 run together in the third quarter featuring two steals that led to points and a Molly Rowe long one.  This surge put the Clippers in front, 33-27, with 2 ½ minutes left in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter another Molly Rowe three had Newburyport leading 39-35 with six minutes left.  But for the next two minutes the Sachems put up eight points on the inside with the Clippers only answer a Cady Bennett free throw.  This gave Saugus the 43-40 advantage that slipped away from them in the final 3 ½ minutes.

Allyssa Furtado (19 points)

Senior Allyssa Furtado ended her high school career with a very solid nineteen points.

Newburyport can thank their defensive effort for this win.  When they started trapping in the second half the Sachems struggled to run any sort of offense.

Cady Bennett was the key to the success of the Clipper pressure.

Beth Castantini picked up her third foul early in the second half and didn’t return until the 4th period.

Pentucket coach John McNamara was in the house.  His team has defeated Newburyport twice this season.

Newburyport boxscore

Saugus boxscore

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

floor scramble

Lilly Donovan

Molly Rowe (13 points)

Norma Waggett (11 points)

Gabby Cogliano

NHS coach Gregg Dollas

Cady Bennett

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2012 MIAA Basketball Tournament……some of the qualifying North boy/girl teams and pictures of their key players

This is a collection of pictures I’ve taken during the 2011-12 Massachusetts High School basketball (girls/boys) regular season of players who will be active in the MIAA North Division of the post-season tournament.

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

Brigid OFlynn (Ipswich)

Aly Leahy (Newburyport)

Beth Castantini (Newburyport)

Tess Nogueira (Pentucket)

Coley Viselli (Pentucket)

Alex Moore (Pentucket)

Masey Zegarowski (Ipswich)

Natalie Soliozy (Ipswich)

Emily Freedland (Marblehead)

Lindsey Cohen (Marblehead)

Leah Chittick (North Andover)

Morgan Lumb (North Andover)

Steve Carangelo (Lynnfield)

Kevin Gamble (Lynnfield)

Lucas Hammel (Central Catholic)

Joel Berroa (Central Catholic)

Kyle Fox (East Boston)

Will March (East Boston)

Freddy Shove (St. Johns Prep)

Steve Haladyna (St. Johns Prep)

Mike Carbone (St.Johns Prep)

Justin Reyes (Whittier)

Ryan Grant (Whittier)

Brett Fontaine (Newburyport)

Ian Michaels (Newburyport)

Will Angelini (Pentucket)

Corey McNamara (Pentucket)

Stephen Tam (Hamilton-Wenham)

Ryan Beckett (Hamilton-Wenham)

Nicole Boudreau (Andover)

Ally Fazio (Andover)

Chelsea Nason (Masconomet)

Brooke Stewart (Masconomet)

Shannon Hayes (Billerica)

Joslyn King (Billerica)

Michaela Maguire (Revere)

Any Rotger (Revere)

Maya Heath (Manchester-Essex)

Morgan Fraley (Manchester-Essex)

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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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North Andover starts fast and never looks back in 47-36 win over Newburyport in girls basketball

Morgan Lumb (22 points) launches a triple. She made four of them in the game.

(Newburyport)  North Andover started NASCAR fast and left Newburyport in the distant dust while cruising to a 47-36 win at NHS on Friday night.

NHS senior sign

Prior to the Newburyport’s final regular-season home game, the Clippers recognized their three seniors (Beth Castantini, Molly Rowe, and Cady Bennett) and their parents. That was the last celebrating the home team would do.

The Knights shut down Newburyport for the opening six minutes and were up twelve zip.  NA hit the Clippers hard on both ends.  Their trapping and scrapping wrecked any kind of flow toward Clipper scoring opportunities while on offense their passing and cutting gave great looks.

NHS coach Gregg Dollas went through two quick timeouts with the volume in the huddle much louder in the second one.

After the noisy timeout the Clippers put in their best six minutes of play in the game.  They outscored the visitors, 16-7, and trailed only, 19-16, with four minutes to go in the first half.  The key to the good play was getting points from seven different players.  Meri Adsit had an old-fashioned 3-point play assisted by Molly Rowe to highlight the Clipper surge.  As the points rolled up, it was North Andover coach Susan Breen using a timeout to try and cool off Newburyport.

Leah Chittick (12 points) flies in for a layup.

And did the Clippers cool off.  It was like the disastrous beginning of this game all over again.  NA rattled off seven straight to end the first half (26-16) and their run wasn’t finished.

The third quarter saw NA’s Morgan Lumb put on an awfully good Brooke Stewart (Masco) impersonation, dropping fifteen of her game-high twenty-two points on the stunned Clippers.  There were three triples, a nifty spin down the lane, a turnover turned into a layup, and two free throws.  Dazzling display by the junior!

The Clippers found themselves behind, 43-21, after three quarters.

The final score of some games is misleading and this is certainly one of them.  NA got up, 45-21, fifteen seconds into the last quarter and didn’t get any more points until the very end, as liberal substituting kicked in for both teams.  The Clippers put together a collection of fourteen unanswered points but never got closer than ten.

Senior Beth Castantini (10 points) heavily defended by MacKenzie Mello

Newburyport (11-6) has all road games left starting Monday night with arguably the best team in the league, Pentucket, at Pentucket.  The Clippers have now lost three straight and need to find some positive traction before the Division 3 state tournament starts.

North Andover (10-6) qualified for the Division 2 state tournament with the win over Newburyport.  Their record is a bit deceiving since they lost to the best girls’ team in the state (Andover) twice this season.  The Knights next game is versus Triton at home on Tuesday night.

Freshman Leah Chittick had twelve points for the Knights.

Beth Castantini (10 points) led the Clipper scorers.  Lilly Donovan had six points and had the unenviable task of chasing Morgan Lumb around for a good part of the night.

I had hoped to get a picture of the seniors with their parents but it just didn’t work out.

North Andover boxscore

Newburyport boxscore

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

Morgan Lumb

Rebecca Kell shoots

Senior Cady Bennett

Aly Leahy and Leah Chittick

Alex Medlock defends

Senior Molly Rowe

Pam Coufos breaks away

loose ball

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