Tag Archives: Cam Keliher

Cam Keliher reaches 1000 points in Amesbury’s 63-38 win over Kipp Academy

Cam Keliher reaches 1000 points
Cam on a baseline drive

(Amesbury MA) Good things happened in the second half for Amesbury.

Cam Keliher reached 1000 points and the Amesbury defense came to life.

The Indians (12-8) finished their regular season with a win over Kipp Academy, 63-38, on Thursday night.

Now Amesbury will wait until the MIAA tournament starts on February 28th.

Rebound battle

“We’re working on finding a scrimmage somewhere during the time off,” said Coach Comeau afterwards.

Cam Keliher needed seventeen points to reach a thousand and had sixteen in the first half.

Several minutes into the second half, the AHS senior drove the left baseline and collected the point he needed.  Play was immediately stopped and plenty of pictures were taken with teammates and family.

“This is a dream come true,” said Cam afterwards.  “So many people helped me to get to this point and I want to thank them all including family, coaches, and teammates.”

Matt Welch (15 points)

“Cam’s been working for this for a long time,” said teammate/friend Matt Welch post-game.  “He been stressing about it a bit but now he’s got it.  I’m happy for him.”

The attention around Cam going for a special point total was understandably a distraction.  Instead of overwhelming the 3-13 Panthers from the get-go, the Indians gave the visitors too many chances and missed too many shots.

Halftime seemed to help.

Juan Setel-Singh (9 points)

“I let them have it at halftime,” said AHS coach Tom Comeau.  “They all knew that Cam had something happening today but that shouldn’t have affected their defensive intensity.”

After two minutes of direct talk on defensive intensity, the Indians were on the floor for eight minutes of organized shooting.

The results in both areas were noticeable in the second half.

A three by junior Juan Setal-Singh put the Panthers (3-14) within a possession (26-23) of the lead after 1 ½ minutes of second-half play.

Then the tide turned.

Rocco Kokinacis and Hakim Badmus

The Indians put nine straight unanswered points together.  Among the collection were the points that Cam needed to reach 1000.  Rocco Kokinacis had a three and a rebound basket before Cam’s historic basket.  Matt Welch (15 points) scored on a layup after it.

On defense, Amesbury activated a 2-2-1 zone defense.  The Panthers really struggled against it.

“We’ve seen a lot of 2-2-1,” said Kipp coach Brian Tobin afterwards.  “It doesn’t always bother us but today it quickly became a turnover-fest.”

Amesbury coach Tom Comeau

The score was 38-26 with a minute left in the third period.  The next 3+ minutes of playing time belonged totally to the home team.

Amesbury tallied sixteen straight points and gained permanent separation (54-26) from the team from Lynn with nearly six minutes of playing time remaining.

Matt Welch had nine points during the run of good offense and defense.

Matt Welch in for two

The Indians lead grew to thirty (61-31) several minutes later.

“Our effort was good for a half,” said Coach Tobin.  “Once we got down things snowballed.”

Coach Comeau: “The mindset was changed in the second half.  Sometimes a team needs a wakeup call.  They responded well.”

Matt Welch: “I’ve played AAU with him for eight years.  He’s just a great kid to play with.  He’s a good friend and a teammate.  He’s like a brother to me.”

Amesbury   11   14   17   21   =   63

Kipp               9      8     9   12   =   38

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Last home game
Scramble on the floor
Henry O’Neill in for a layup
Chasing a loose ball
Nick Marden on the glass
Christian Encarnacion
Cam Keliher guarding Jaythean Im
More defense
Trosky Pena
Nick Marden surrounded
Matt Heidt defends
1000-point scorers (Cam Keliher and Avery Hallinan)
Kipp Academy box
Amesbury box

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North Reading defeats Amesbury 68-55

Cody Cannalonga (28 points) had a memorable evening
Cody Cannalonga reached 1000 points for the Hornets

(Boston MA) Neither team had been playing well lately.

North Reading had lost three straight.

Amesbury had dropped three of their last four.

But that all changed for North Reading last night.

Under the bright lights of the Boston Garden the Hornets played, as Coach Joe Casey described it, “their best game of the season.”

Their defense was tight, and their offense flowed smoothly.

Andrew Boulas guards Cam Keliher

Along the way, senior Cody Cannalonga (28 points) crossed into the 1000-point club at North Reading.

The smooth senior needed fourteen points and he had those in the first half, getting the 1000th on a free throw.

No celebrating then but before the second half resumed the Garden announcer noted Cody’s accomplishment and he was duly recognized by the North Reading crowd, many of whom were there for this moment.

Quinn Riesenberg (18 points)

“Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script for us,” said Coach Casey afterwards.  “It was a perfect night for us and one that our kids will remember the rest of their lives.”

The Hornets (6-6) took the lead early, 6-5, on an Andrew Boulas layup 4 ½ minutes into the game and never trailed after that.

North Reading broke out on Amesbury misses and made open shots. 

“They had more energy than we did, and we didn’t make shots,” said Amesbury coach Tom Comeau post-game.

Matt Welch chased by Quinn Riesenberg in front of Coach Casey

The keys to success against the Indians (8-7) are containing next-level talents Cam Keliher and Matt Welch.  The Hornets were onto that tonight.

“The early lead gave us some confidence,” said Coach Casey.  “We really focused in on (Cam) Keliher and (Matt) Welch and did a really good job with them.”

“They played Matty and Cam real tough defensively and we didn’t have answers for it,” said Coach Comeau.

Nick Marden (9 points)

That “tough” defense truly kicked in during the second quarter when both players were held scoreless, and the Indians were limited to only eight points.

Senior Cody Cannalonga chose that quarter to go off against Amesbury registering twelve points.  His three-pointer in the last minute pushed the NR lead to double-figures (34-23).

Two free throws later, Cody joined the North Reading 1000-point club.

“Cody is a coach’s dream,” said Coach Casey.  “He is selfless and a good student.  He is an excellent leader and he comes from a terrific family.  He’s also only the third player in school history to score 1000 points.”

Cody Cannalonga gets to 1000 points

Cody will be going to Villanova where Coach Casey told me that Cody would be, “an intramural All-Star unless Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright finds out about him.”

The Hornets carried the double-digit lead throughout the second half.  Amesbury was able to get within ten points (62-52) late in the final quarter but no closer.

The score separation enabled both coaches to clear their benches and give all their players the Garden “experience.”

Coach Comeau reflected on the bigger picture: “It was a great experience for the kids and I’m glad we could give it to them.  Everyone got on the floor.  Everyone got to enjoy it.  Twenty years from now they won’t care if they won or lost.  It’ll be, ‘I played at the Garden.’”

Andrew Daileanes

Senior Quinn Riesenberg had eighteen points for North Reading including eight in the fast-start first quarter.  “It was the best game he’s played,” said Coach Casey.

It was interesting to be covering a game at the Garden this time of year.  Why?  Usually, when I’m at the Garden it is for tournament games but this was just a regular-season Cape Ann League game…….. in a very special setting.

“The loss wasn’t the end of the line at all,” said Coach Comeau.  “We do, however, have to get the ship right pretty quick.”  Ten wins assures a team of a tournament berth.  The Indians have eight wins with five games left.

Block attempt

The North Reading/Amesbury game was part of a ten-game, all-day event called the Andrew James Lawson Foundation Invitational. 

Some of the features I noticed, and was impressed with were, (1) the halftimes in which kids from the participating teams were allowed supervised to play on the court, and (2) team photos taken afterwards at center court.

I am suspecting that there will be many schools wanting to return next year to this event and others, on the outside, looking into getting involved next year.

Special thanks, from me, to Coach Comeau for allowing me to ride on the team bus.

North Reading  21   15   15   17  =  68

Amesbury          17     8   12   18  =  55

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Jake Hallinan shoots over Craig Rubino
Keegan Collins shoots
Cam Keliher (11 points) puts up a tough shot
Max LaPointe shoots
Matt Welch double-teamed
Matt Heidt
Sportsmanship
Logan Scribner shoots
Cody Cannalonga had twenty-eight points
Battle for a rebound
North Reading team
Amesbury team
Amesbury box
North Reading box

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Newburyport rallies past Amesbury 74-62

Max Gagnon (22 points) scores in front of the Newburyport student section
Cam Keliher (25 points)

(Newburyport MA) Newburyport has become a team that is hard to defend.

Who knows who will have the hot hand on any given night?

Tonight, it was Max Gagnon. The speedy Newburyport senior had twenty-two points including eighteen in the first half.

Max held the Clippers (10-4) together tonight in the first half against the red-hot Amesbury Indians.

When Amesbury cooled off in the second half, the Clippers were able to catch up and pull away to a, 74-62, win on Tuesday night.

Both teams had plenty of active support in the stands and there was a tournament feel to the game from beginning to end.

Finn Brennan (16 points)

“I loved the energy in the game,” said freshman Finn Brennan afterwards.  Finn had sixteen points and fifteen rebounds for the Clippers.

Both teams played at a fast pace.

Amesbury (8-5) turned NHS misses into long-pass layups in the first quarter.  The Indians had their biggest lead of the game (20-7) in the last minute after a Matt Welch (16 points) layup assisted by Cam Keliher.

Matt Welch (16 points)

The Clippers refused to go away, however, thanks to Max Gagnon.  Max made three’s, got to the basket, and made free throws.

“They were falling, so I kept on shooting,” recalled Max.

Newburyport trailed by just two points (37-35) at the half as James Scali (11 points) hit a three very late in the second quarter.

You wondered how long the Indians would be able to hang onto the lead in the second half.

It was actually five minutes of playing time.  Consecutive baskets by Nick Marden gave Amesbury its last lead, 46-45.

Ronan Brown (10 points)

A three (Ronan Brown), a rebound basket (Finn Brennan), and another three (Will Thoreson) followed and suddenly the home team had a six-point lead, 53-47.  The Clippers would hold the lead the rest of the way.

“We started the game strong,” said Cam Keliher (25 points) post-game, “but in the third quarter it got away from us when they started making three’s.”

“We got out of sorts in the 4th quarter and started forcing shots,” recalled AHS coach Tom Comeau, “and then the shots didn’t go in.”

Nick Marden and Adam Bovee

Once Newburyport had the lead, they changed their style of play.  “We executed our plays more in the second half and got some easy baskets,” said Max.

Amesbury took chances defensively trying to get the ball back and Newburyport reacted by passing and cutting to create high-percentage shots that helped them pull away in the final quarter.

“We don’t have time to hang our heads over this one,” said Coach Comeau.  “We have several games before we play in the Boston Garden on Saturday night.”

Max Gagnon

James Scali: “It was the best offensive performance I’ve ever seen him (Max Gagnon) have.  He did a lot of work in the off-season.”

I asked Max Gagnon afterwards if maybe his pre-game lunch had something to do with his career-game.  “I had a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch,” he said with a smile.

Newburyport   12   23   20   19   =   74

Amesbury         20   17   14   11   =   62

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Cam Keliher from the corner
Matt Welch rebounds
Finn Sullivan
Matt Welch drives
Cam Keliher saw plenty of different Newburyport defenders
Henry Acton on defense
Battle for a loose ball
Max goes baseline
Owen Tahnk hears it from the Amesbury fans
Newburyport box
Amesbury box

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Amesbury speeds by Lynnfield 74-57

Henry O’Neill gets to the basket against Lynnfield

(Pictures enlarge when you click on them.)

Jake Hallinan in for two

(Amesbury MA) “We did what we do best….run in transition,” said Amesbury senior Matt Welch afterwards.

And did they ever.

The Indians (5-2) took a 3-2 deficit and turned it into an 18-3 lead in four minutes of fast action.

The Pioneers (1-8) went cold, and Amesbury rebounded, found the outlet man, and moved quickly into open layups and looks.

Cam Keliher (21 points)

The final was 74-57.

The Indians’ starters didn’t play in the second and fourth quarters.

“We wanted a fast-paced game,” said Amesbury coach Tom Comeau.  “Max (LaPointe) and Nick (Marden) were huge inside early.  When you can rebound like that, it allows you to run.”

Senior Cam Keliher (21 points) keyed the fast start with twelve points and several assists to breaking teammates.

The Indians’ attack was so fast that they were seldom fouled going to the basket.

Mekhi Peters gets a rebound

“Amesbury is a heckuva team,” said LHS coach John Bakopolus post-game.  “They are incredibly difficult to guard.  They got out on us real early in the first half.”

None of the Amesbury starters played in the second quarter and the Pioneers used consecutive three’s by freshman Gavin Deluties (14 points) to lessen their deficit to 38-25 at halftime.

The AHS starters returned in the third quarter and the pace picked up and the shots started falling.

Matt Welch (12 points)

Cam had a 9-point quarter and teammate Matt added eight points in a 23-point AHS period. The Indians’ lead ballooned to 61-37 after three periods.

The final quarter belonged to the reserves from both squads.

“The kids on our bench came in and were ready to play,” said Coach Comeau.  Ten players on the Amesbury team scored points.

Gavin Deluties (14 points)

Freshman Zach Pincus (12 points) connected three times from long range for Lynnfield in the final quarter.

Coach Bakopolus: “We’re not at the level to compete with them yet.  Every mistake we made they capitalized on.  There’s a reason why they’re one of the top teams in the area.”

Matt Welch: “We had good defense and rebounding.  We have good chemistry with each other.”

Coach Comeau: “I’ve been on both sides of games like this.  Lynnfield worked real hard.  They have a group of good kids.  I think they were missing five kids with Covid.”

Lain McCarthy in the lane

Coach Bakopolus: “Our kids didn’t stop fighting.  We’re dealing with some stuff, but I think every team is.  You have to power through it.”

Lynnfield was 4-6 last season and defeated Amesbury, 75-67.

Lynnfield’s win this year was over Rockport on January 4th.

Amesbury   25   13   23   13   =   74

Lynnfield      8    17   12   20   =   57

(The pictures enlarge when you click on them.)

Amesbury box
Lynnfield box
Rocco Kokinacis down the lane
Zach Pincus (20) blocks a pass
Amesbury student section gets involved
Matt Heidt drives
Trevor Kimball
Gavin Deluties goes behind his back to get to the basket
Mekhi Peters tries to get past Henry O’Neill
Ball on the floor
Cam Keliher looks to pass
Steven Dreher guarded by Henry O’Neill

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Amesbury downs Triton 70-51

(The pictures will enlarge when you click on them.)

Cam Keliher (20 points) chased by several Vikings
Nick Marden

(Byfield MA) Amesbury got double/doubles from Cam Keliher and Nick Marden tonight.

That was more than enough to defeat Triton, 70-51, in Cape Ann League action.

This game was close for a half, with the Indians only slightly ahead (29-28) at the intermission.

The Indians (3-2) dominated the second half.

“The kids battled the entire game,” said Amesbury coach Tom Comeau afterwards.

Griff Dupuis had four 3’s for Triton

“We wanted to spread them out and battle inside,” Coach Comeau added.  “They’re a big physical team.”

Nick Marden (11 points/13 rebounds) was impressive for Amesbury.  “He’s a beast inside,” said Coach Comeau.

Endicott commit Cam Keliher (20 points/10 rebounds) handled the ball well and registered eight points in the final quarter as the Indians built their lead.

In the third quarter it was Matt Welch (18 points) getting nine of those points as Amesbury put a lead together.

“Matt continues to go to the basket and cause havoc inside,” said Coach Comeau.

Matt Welch

“I thought we started out good in the first half but the game got away from us in the second half,” explained Triton’s Dylan Wilkinson post-game.  “We did our best.  Cam (Keliher) is a tough one to guard.”

Cam said afterwards that the team came into the game confident.  “We had beaten Georgetown before the break.  We knew it would be tough here.  We hadn’t beaten them here in something like ten years.”

Ethan Tate tries for a block

The keys to the win according to Cam were “we pushed the ball and played good defense.”

The Amesbury rebounding impressed Triton coach Ted Schruender.  “Amesbury killed us in rebounding,” he said.  “We also lost our composure in the second half.”

“Our pressure helped wear them down in the second half,” said Coach Comeau. 

I was impressed with the way Amesbury shared the ball.  “These kids have played together for a long time,” said Coach Comeau.  “They trust each other.”

Cam Keliher chased by Vikings

Coach Schruender: “Cam is a great player.  He’s also a classy, classy kid.”

Griff Dupuis and Quintin McHale led Triton with fourteen points each.  Griff connected four times from long range.

Dylan Wilkinson made three 3’s and reached eleven points for the (2-3) Vikings.

Dylan told me that he plans to go to college and hopes to walk-on for a chance to play basketball.

Amesbury  18  11  22  21  =  70

Triton         10  18  15    8  =  51

The pictures will enlarge if you click on them.

Triton box
Amesbury box
Jake Harring and Jared Leonard
Luke O’Leary rebounds
Matt Heidt and Ethan Tate
Cam Keliher guards Dylan Wilkinson
Quintin McHale (14 points) in close
Cam Keliher
Ethan Tate
Dylan Wilkinson guarded by Jake Hallinan
Triton cheerleaders
Nick Marden (33) had thirteen rebounds
Max LaPointe
Andy Daileanes
Scramble on the floor

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Manchester-Essex holds off Amesbury 53-51

(The pictures below will enlarge when you click on them.)

Action under the Amesbury basket
Brennan Twombly (18 points) surrounded by Amesbury defenders

(Amesbury MA) “It was hard to defend them early,” said Manchester-Essex junior Brennan Twombly afterwards.

Amesbury jumped out to a 9-0 lead, and it looked like a long night for the Hornets.

But the Indians cooled off and ME took the lead for good three minutes into the fourth quarter.

The final was Manchester-Essex 53, Amesbury 51.

This was a one-possession game for the last three minutes, but Amesbury couldn’t put a stop together with points.

Matt Welch (22 points)

“It was our first game,” said Amesbury coach Tom Comeau post-game.  “We’ll get better. 

Matt Welch (22 points) led all scorers.

The Indians raced out with scores from four different starters (Cam Keliher, Rocco Kokinacis, Max LaPointe, Matt Welch) and had their student section roaring with each possession.

“Amesbury stuck it to us a little bit in the beginning,” said ME coach Tim St. Laurent afterwards.

“We had a lot of success against Newburyport in the zone,” added Coach St. Laurent, “but tonight we made a good adjustment to man-to-man and rebounded.”

Patrick Cronin guarded by Jake Hallinan

The Indians kept on putting up points, however, and led, 26-13, 3+ minutes into the second quarter.

Key moment was Matt Welch getting his third foul at that point and sitting out the remainder of the second quarter.

While Matt sat, the Hornets reeled off nine straight points.  The contributors were; Patrick Cronin, Brennan Twombly, Cade Furse, and Sam Athanas.

The Amesbury lead was reduced to 28-24 at halftime.

Rocco Kokinacis surrounded by Hornets defenders

Both teams had plenty to get excited about in the third quarter.  There were five lead changes.  Matt Welch and Cam Keliher (17 points) carried the Indians.

“They (Amesbury) have two guys who can really score,” said Coach St. Laurent.

The Hornets were led by Brennan Twombly (18 points) and Cade Furse (15 points).

Cam Keliher (17 points) had three 3’s

Amesbury took a, 38-35, lead into the final two minutes of the third quarter.

Manchester-Essex took over from there running nine unanswered points.  A Sam Athanas triple ended the streak of consecutive offense with the Hornets now ahead, 44-38, three minutes into the final quarter.

Amesbury was unable to recover.

“I think we got a little tired in the second half,” said AHS coach Tom Comeau.  “We didn’t rebound as well.”

Brennan Twombly guards Matt Welch

“It was great team defense that won this game for us,” said ME coach Tim St. Laurent.  “We defended the ball.”

“We came out with more energy after those first couple of minutes,” recalled Brennan Twombly. 

Patrick Cronin (10 points) was the third Hornet in double figures.

Endicott commit Cam Keliher made a three to start the game and closed a game with a fall-away three that put him into the Amesbury student section.

Cam had Sam Athanas on him most of the game and found very little open space.

Ball in the lane

“Cam knows that the teams we face will try to find ways to stop him,” said Coach Comeau.

Returning Hornets starter AJ Pallazola was not in uniform.  He told me pre-game that he was injured playing football and that it would be several weeks before he would be playing basketball.  He also told me that he hadn’t made a college choice yet.

That the Hornets could defeat both Newburyport and Amesbury without AJ in their lineup suggests that they should have a very good season.

Manchester-Essex  10  14  15  14  = 53

Amesbury  18  10  10  13  =  51

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

Brennan Twombly (18 points) at the line late in the game
Vaughn O’Leary
Matt Heidt
Battle under the basket
Matt Welch (22 points) gets off a shot near the basket
Keegan Collins
Max LaPointe
Matt Welch
Manchester-Essex box
Amesbury box

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Despite Cam Keliher’s 44 points, Newburyport defeats Amesbury 86-83 in overtime

Cam Keliher scored forty-four points including eleven 3’s

(Newburyport MA) Both coaches said the same thing right afterwards.

“This game was fun.”

Everyone watched Amesbury’s last shot (Matt Welch) in overtime

Jake Robertson (17 points) hit a last-second shot to get Newburyport into overtime

I would have gone with, “exciting” to describe Newburyport’s, 86-83, overtime win against Amesbury on Friday night.

The game was certainly worthy of superlatives!

I’m going to guess that records were set.

Undefeated Newburyport (9-0) and Amesbury (2-5) combined for twenty-eight three’s.

Junior Cam Keliher collected forty-four points in a night where he made eleven three’s.

Amesbury played as if they didn’t remember their last meeting versus the Clippers; a 28-point loss in January.

The Indians also played as if they hadn’t played last night, which they had.

“Amesbury was relentless,” add NHS coach Dave Clay.  “They played well in their win over Manchester-Essex last night and it carried over into this one.”

The Indians came very close to winning in regulation.

A Cam Keliher three had Amesbury ahead by three with twenty-two seconds left.

You suspected that the Clippers’ high scorer, Jake Robertson, would be involved in the final shot……….and he was, but it took a while.

Tight AHS defense forced Max Gagnon (17 points) into what looked to be the last shot.  He missed, but Jack Fehlner (16 points) found the rebound and quickly found Jake.

Jake Robertson congratulated by teammates after sending game into overtime

“It was close to being over,” said Jake afterwards.  “Great offensive rebound by Jack.”

Trevor Ward draws a foul on Matt Heidt

Jake launched a long, straightaway three just before the buzzer sounded.  “I couldn’t tell if it was in because I fell off to the side,” said Jake.

But in it went, and Newburyport had five more minutes of playing time.

“We attacked the offensive glass and got that last chance,” said Coach Clay.

The Clippers took a quick four-point lead in overtime against the tiring Indians on inside scores by Jack Fehlner and Tommy Jahn (10 points).

Defensively the Clippers changed to a 1-2-2 zone defense and lessened Cam Keliher’s clean looks.

“We were just trying to give them a different look,” explained Coach Clay.  “Cam was really killing us with that step-back.  It was a gamble.  We did it earlier in the game and he hit a corner three.”

“That zone in overtime was effective because we missed some inside shots,” said Coach Comeau.

Cam Keliher closely guarded by Trevor Ward

After a layup by Kyle Donovan (11 points) Jack Fehlner and Tommy Jahn both scored again from in close.

Cam followed with his 11th three to cut the lead to three (86-83) with 22 seconds left.

The Indians would get a final possession with a chance to tie but weren’t able to do it.

“We had them,” said Cam post-game, “and he (Jake) made that tough shot. Credit to him.”

“I’m sad that we lost but it was a fantastic game,” said Coach Comeau.  “This what the Amesbury/Newburyport rivalry is supposed to be like.”

Max Gagnon (17 points) in the lane

“I’m excited for our kids to have been in a game like this,” said Coach Clay.  “Win or lose, you never forget these.”

Coach Clay: “Jake (Robertson) always makes the right play.  It doesn’t always end with him shooting the ball.  I was certainly glad to see the ball in his hands at the end, I’ll admit.  That was a tough shot, but we’ve seen him hit those in practice.”

You would have never guessed the ending by the way the first half went.

The teams were tied, 7-7, after four minutes but then the Clippers took over.  They scored the next fourteen points, while Amesbury committed five turnovers.

To make this worse, Cam Keliher limped off and missed most of the final four minutes.

Newburyport led, 21-7, after a quarter.

The lead was sixteen (36-20) halfway through the second quarter.

One minute into the second half, the Clippers still had a nice cushion, 46-30.

Matt Welch (13 points) guarded by Jack Fehlner

Newburyport winning by twenty-eight in January started dancing in my head.

But as Coach Comeau said afterwards, “There’s no quit in these kids.”

The Indians absolutely owned the next 3 ½ minutes of playing time in the third quarter.  They went on a 19-3 run and tied the game, 49-49.

Matt Welch (13 points) had seven during the run as did Cam Keliher.

Five ties and seven lead changes followed through regulation.

“I really feel bad that we didn’t have fans in the stands for this one,” said Coach Comeau.

I asked Cam if he had eaten anything special pregame. “I had Subway.”

There was some back-and-forth banter between the teams as the long shots started falling.  The referees put an end to it.  “It was all fun and games,” said Cam.  “We’ve been playing each other since fifth grade.”

Cam had three points in the first quarter and in overtime.  In between he went; 13, 13, and 12.  Remarkable performance.

“Cam’s a fantastic player,” said Coach Comeau, “and he’s going to play at the next level.”

Scramble on the floor

Jake Robertson: “Amesbury always gives us a good run.”

Jake described this season’s success this way, “We’ve been good at creating our own energy off the court and it transfers onto the court.”

It appears that there will be a post-season in the Cape Ann League during February vacation.

“It will give the seniors some more games,” said Coach Clay.

“If we are in the tournament, no one is going to be happy to play us,” added Coach Comeau.

Newburyport box

Amesbury box

The link to this coverage will be on Twitter @mcclellandpeter and also Mascores.  Pictures from the game should appear on Instagram (@mcclellandmiscellanea) on Saturday.

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

Nick White

Andrew Cullen

Cam Keliher leaves with an injury in the first quarter

Tommy Jahn (10 points)

Kyle Donovan gets a block

Jack Fehlner (16 points) including four 3’s

Kyle Donovan (11 points) in for two in overtime

Cam ties the game

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury wins belated season opener 73-64 over Rockport

Benan Murdock cornered by Andrew Davis and Matt Welch

Bowen Slingluff had a career-high 31 points for Rockport

(Amesbury MA) The Amesbury boys basketball team finally got a chance to play……….and they made the most of it.

The Indians (1-0) held off Rockport, 73-64, on Sunday afternoon.

The winless Vikings (0-4) got a career game (31 points) out of junior Bowen Slingluff and were within five points in the last minute with the ball.

Key play alert.  Bowen followed with a drive to basket, which could have cut Amesbury’s lead to three points, but the shot attempt was blocked by senior Kyle Donovan.

Cam Keliher (21 points)

The rest of the game was a steady flow of free throws for junior Cam Keliher (21 points), and his eight-for-eight from the line sealed it for the home team.

“You could see the rust for sure,” said Amesbury coach postgame.  “Defensively, we were a little slow and #13 (Bowen Slingluff) took advantage of it.  This is only our fourth day out here since coming back.”  The Indians had their first four scheduled games cancelled because of Covid worries.

“I’m very proud of our team,” explained Rockport coach Phil Whitley afterwards.  “We’ve got three seniors not playing because of Covid concerns.  Today we were down but we came back.”

That short bench (three reserves) caught up to the Vikings in the third quarter.  They gained a, 34-31, advantage after 1 ½ minutes.

Matt Heidt (13 points)

Six different Indians (Matt Heidt, Kyle Donovan, Matt Welch, Cam Keliher, Keegan Collins, Jake Hallinan) contributed points in a 17-3 segment that followed over the next 4 ½ minutes and Amesbury took the lead for good, 48-37.

The Indians comfortable double-digit lead (65-55) got a little uncomfortable, however, in the last two minutes of the game as Rockport turned full-court defense into quick offense.

A three by Bowen and then a steal (Austin Matus) set Bowen up for a layup which had the Vikings within five, 65-60, one minute later

However, after Amesbury’s 8th turnover of the quarter, Kyle Donovan blocked Bowen’s layup attempt that would have made things even more interesting in the closing seconds.

Rockport was now forced to foul and every time they did, Cam Keliher had the ball.

Afterwards, Cam had lost track of the eight straight he made in the final thirty seconds.  “I missed one earlier in the game,” he said.

Tight defense

“They made free throws at the end when they needed to,” recalled Coach Whitley.

“Cam is a very good foul shooter,” said Coach Comeau.  “We wanted him to have the basketball late in the game.  He’s a good all-around player.”

Cam led Amesbury in scoring.  He had three 3’s in the second quarter.

Bowen’s thirty-one points were a career high for the junior.  “He was amazing,” said Coach Whitley.  “He hit from everywhere.  He had been struggling a bit but had a big second half in our last game against Lynnfield.”

Kyle Donovan (14 points) dominated the inside, but fouls limited his playing time.  “I have to learn to stop committing bad fouls.”

Kyle Donovan (14 points)

Rockport made ten three’s with Bowen getting seven of them.  “We gave #13 too many looks,” said Cam Keliher.

The Indians will certainly have to improve their perimeter defense next game when they host Georgetown which specializes in long-range tries.

Nine different players collected points for Amesbury.  Sophomore Matt Heidt had three of the Indians’ nine three’s.

Coach Whitley: “It has certainly been a bizarro season for everyone.  This was a fun game to be a part of even though we lost.”

Coach Comeau: “Rockport played very well today.”

Rockport box

Amesbury box

The link to this game will be posted on Twitter @mcclellandpeter.  The story will also get posted (I hope) on Mascores.  Later some of the pictures will appear on Instagram @mcclellandmiscellanea.

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

Cam Keliher

Benan Murdock

Dan Merz

Loose ball

Cam Keliher shoots in traffic

Austin Matus drives on Keegan Collins

Benan Murdock (14 points) sails

Austin Matus to the rim

 

 

 

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