Tag Archives: Bob Romeo

Pentucket defeats Masconomet 44-43 in overtime as Tess Nogueira gets twenty points

Tess Nogueira (20 points) drives on Claudia Marsh

Tess Nogueira (20 points) drives on Claudia Marsh

(West Newbury)  It is not often that you see two good teams have so much trouble shooting and taking care of the ball.

But those on hand at Pentucket High School saw a night full of misfiring and mishandles before the Sachems (15-1) eked out a, 44-43, overtime win over Masconomet (11-3) on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

Tess Nogueira made ten free throws in fourteen attempts

Tess Nogueira made ten free throws in fourteen attempts

No question the key to the Pentucket win was the steady play of Tess Nogueira.  The 6-foot senior led all scorers with twenty points and owned the boards.

Masco had Pentucket on the ropes (40-36 with 1:11 left) in regulation.  However, a Tess Nogueira offensive rebound and two Chieftain turnovers opened the door for the Sachems to get back and get overtime.

The four-minute overtime fit perfectly into the pattern established in regulation – missed opportunities galore.  Masco didn’t make any shot until the final buzzer!

Kelsi McNamara missed two free throws with 2 ½ minutes remaining in OT.  However, Tess Nogueira made two with 1:02 to go and Pentucket had a 42-40 lead.

Nicole Femino (14 points) about to launch a buzzer-beating three in overtime

Nicole Femino (14 points) about to launch a buzzer-beating three in overtime

Nicole Femino (14 points) then missed both free throws with forty-three seconds left but a Pentucket turnover gave Masco another chance with fourteen seconds left.

However, the visitors messed up the inbounds pass (Tess was in the vicinity of where the pass went) and now the Chieftains were forced to foul (Kelsi McNamara) with 7.7 seconds left.  Kelsi had missed two earlier in OT but this time she connected twice to give the Sachems a four-point advantage.

Good thing, for Pentucket, that Kelsi made both of them because Nicole Femino tossed in a buzzer-beating three.

Hannah Kiernan blocks the shot of Kelsi McNamara

Hannah Kiernan blocks the shot of Kelsi McNamara

It is easy to harp on the poor shooting and turnovers and forget that both teams are loaded with tireless defenders.  In a gym that is always tropical, the wear-and-tear of facing game-long Pentucket pressure will usually cause trouble.  By my count, the Chieftains had thirty turnovers.

Another factor in the Masco loss was Claudia Marsh getting into foul trouble.  Claudia picked up her third foul late in the first half and fouled out late in the game.  Her strong defense on Tess Nogueira was sorely missed for many minutes.  Claudia scored a basket at the buzzer to end the third quarter.

There were ten lead changes and neither team was able to get ahead by more than four points.

Meghan Collins and Kate Kitsakos connected on consecutive three’s in the fourth quarter.

Kassidy Kennefick gets into the lane

Kassidy Kennefick gets into the lane

Kassidy Kennefick came off the Sachem bench in the first quarter to hit a quick long one.

One of the biggest baskets in the game was a jump shot in the lane by McKenna Kilian off a missed Kelsi McNamara shot in the last thirty seconds of regulation.

Pentucket was determined to spread the Masco man-to-man defense and get to the hoop for layups or foul shots.  On this night making the layups, under heavy Masco defensive pressure, was difficult.  The Sachems did get thirty-four free throws out of attacking the basket and made twenty-two of them.  Tess Nogueira was 10-for-14.

This game featured two of the areas most successful coaches.  John McNamara in his 7th season with Pentucket is now 149-19.  Bob Romeo in his 11th season is 175-51.

John McNamara and Bob Romeo

John McNamara and Bob Romeo

Pentucket won the first meeting in December with Masco, 45-33.

Pentucket suffered its only loss of the season on January 26th at Hingham against Division 2 Notre Dame.  A week earlier, at Pentucket, the Sachems had won.

Masconomet hosts Hamilton-Wenham on Tuesday.  Pentucket will visit North Reading on the same day.

Good crowd on hand.  We saw some organized Sachem support late in the game.

Pentucket Boxscore

Masconomet Boxscore

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

Hannah Kiernan blocks the shot of Tess Nogueira

Hannah Kiernan blocks the shot of Tess Nogueira

Pentucket crowd

Pentucket crowd

Kate Kitsakos

Kate Kitsakos

Kelsi McNamara lines up an overtime free throw

Kelsi McNamara lines up an overtime free throw

Coley Viselli

Coley Viselli

Kelsi McNamara looks for an opening

Kelsi McNamara looks for an opening

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Pentucket Rebounds From Squeaker First Meeting and Routs Masco 50-33

Masco’s Brooke Stewart (#32) calls for the ball against Pentucket’s tight defense.

(West Newbury) I didn’t see Pentucket’s 61-60 squeaker over Masconomet on December 29th at Masco.  In fact, I didn’t see all of this afternoon’s rematch in which Pentucket was a 50-33 winner.

Missing some of today’s girls’ game was my mistake – I believed what I read in the Newburyport Daily News.  (Masco at Pentucket 3PM)

Anyhow, I missed the first quarter and only scripted the second half.  I’ll rely on Mike Grenier’s game story from the Salem News for what I missed.

This is what the quarter totals looked like:
Pentucket  16  13   12    9   =   50
Masco           9    6     4   14   =   33

Masco (7-3) put up 10 points in the last 4 ½ minutes of the game but struggled mightily to make shots before that.  The tall, pesky Pentucket defense was part of their problem.  The rest was just an overall inability to make shots.  Credit the Sachem defense but what about Masco’s 5-for-17 from the foul line with a number of those being one-and-one’s.

The Sachems (7-1) hadn’t played in nine days (loss to North Andover) and appeared to have all sorts of defensive energy stored up.  Pentucket coach John McNamara had those practice days to bring his normally effective defense back to its normally effective self.  What could be tougher than facing a well-rested, heavily-drilled,  Pentucket pressure defense on their court?

Masco’s Brooke Stewart had 24 points during the last meeting but this time had few openings and no easy shots and ended up with thirteen points.

Brooke (6’ junior) had plenty of company everywhere she went.  Tess Nogueira gave her the same denial coverage I saw her effectively put on Newburyport’s Beth Castantini.  Brooke had nothing but low percentage shots available even when she actually got the ball.  In this game, she didn’t have teammates to share the scoring load and loosen up the defense she faced.

I looked at Masco playing man-to-man defense for the 3 quarters I watched.  I read that in the 61-60 game Pentucket struggled against the Masco zone defense.   That 16-9 start in this one may have forced Masco away from zone defenses.

The Sachems have many players capable of getting to the basket against man-to-man defenses.  In a game the home team won by seventeen points, you can only imagine what the separation might have been if Pentucket had shot better than 19% (7-for-36) in the second half.

A stat comparison shows Leigh McNamara, Vicky Cahill, and Sarah Higgins totally 35 points in the one-point, first game win.  Versus Masco a second time, those three total eleven points and Pentucket wins by seventeen.  Point?  Nicole Viselli will usually score the most points but after that the Sachem scoring weapons are varied and numerous.

Every team knows that Pentucket will attack defensively and tirelessly.  Court vision and accurate passes are the two solutions but the Sachems size and hustle make those two a tough task.

Masco coach Bob Romeo chats with Chelsea Nason in the second half.

Masco was clearly victimized by that defense in their fatal four-point third quarter.  First seven possessions; five turnovers and three missed shots.  A Brooke Stewart layup was followed by four more turnovers and two more missed shots.

Pentucket wasn’t a whole lot better with the ball either.  They did get six points but they too, during this same six minute segment, had six turnovers and missed nine shots.

Maybe the sun was in their eyes.  It poured in for the entire game, making one end difficult to defend on and the other one hard to see the basket or anything else.  I’m guessing that the folks who scheduled an afternoon game at Pentucket failed to consider the sun factor.

Brooke Stewart defends another of the area’s top scorers, sophomore Nicole Viselli.

Two of the top scorers in the area (Brooke Stewart and Nicole Viselli) were in the game.  Nicole led all scorers with seventeen points.

Junior Julia Simonetti (#14) defends Alex Moore of Pentucket

I once again met the gentleman who misunderstood what I do and embarrassed himself (and me) at Newburyport. He came over to talk to someone near me.  When I got a chance I asked him if he was “scouting.”  He looked a bit stunned and left.

(I collect my own stats and usually check them with newspaper coverage, take my own pictures, write my own captions and draw my own conclusions.  Any mistakes I make in doing so are unintentional.)

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Filed under Cape Ann League, Masconomet, Pentucket

Masco Girls Excel in Regular Season

I interviewed Masco girls’ coach Bob Romeo recently (February 27th) about the terrific 19-1 regular season his team just finished.Masco coaches 2-27-08

(Pictured is Coach Romeo with his assistants: JV coach Becky Iseman, freshman coach Karen Babbitt, assistant coach Leo Burke)

The Chieftains returned three starters from a 20-3 squad that reached the Division 2 North semifinals last year.  A look at this season’s stats indicates that each of those returning starters (Annie Burns, Jamie White, and Caroline Stewart) has been significant in the success of the 2007-08 squad.  Annie is the assists leader, Jamie the steals leader, and Caroline leads in just about everything else.

Caroline’s per-game double/double (17 points/12 rebounds) has gotten her to the Boston Herald All-Scholastic level twice.  Even better for the 6-footer has been the full basketball scholarship she recently accepted to Boston University.

New starters this year are junior Krissi DiBenedetto (7+ points per game) and senior Meredith DeAngelis.  “One of the unsung heroes on this year’s team is Meredith,” said Coach Romeo.  “She’s just 5-7 but we usually put her on the other team’s biggest kid.  She’s our defensive stopper.”

The Masco girls were 13-0 in the Cape Ann League and had to defeat their archrival Pentucket in the process.  “Pentucket was the favorite to win the league and we beat them here by two points (55-53) in a whale of a game.  We were down by six with a couple minutes left but we came all the way back and iced it with free throws at the end.”

Masco’s only loss was in Game 3 against nonleague Cardinal Spellman in overtime.  Coach Romeo contended that the loss did his team a lot of good.  “Cardinal Spellman was ranked #1 in Eastern Massachusetts so we knew that they would be tough but that’s what we want in the nonleague part of our schedule.  We played great against them but at the end both Caroline and Jamie fouled out.  The good that came out of this was that we had to put inexperienced sophomores (Julie Galvin and Carly Kiernan) into the fire and they gained valuable experience.  It also was an important lesson to Caroline and Jamie that their value to us in on the court not fouling people.”

The Chieftains rolled off 17 straight wins after the Cardinal Spellman loss and were seeded #1 in Division 2 North. 

I asked the 6th-year coach to compare this team to other one’s he’s coached at Masco.  “I’ve been told that this may not be the most talented team I’ve ever had but it could be the best.  It may well be that these kids are more in synch with each other.  They spend a lot of time together away from the court.”

One of the team’s most positive supporters is Jamie’s father (Jo Jo White – Boston Celtics).  “The only words we get from him are words of encouragement.  I know that during the off-season he’s done a lot of work with Jamie.”

The team will need to win four games to get to the Division 2 championship game in Worcester on March 15th.   It could well happen.

(Appeared in The Town Common in an issue dated March 5th)

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Filed under Masconomet, Town Common