Tag Archives: Cape Ann League

Pitching and Defense Send Pentucket Softball Past Georgetown 6-1

Julianne Meehan gets some well-deserved congratulations from her Pentucket teammates.

Sarah Dickinson – two hits, two RBI, and two defensive gems

(Georgetown)  Pentucket (4-3) erupted for five runs in the sixth inning and defeated Georgetown, 6-1, in a CAL league game on Friday afternoon.

The pitching of Pentucket’s Julianne Meehan and Georgetown’s Sarah Erlandson was impressive.  About the only swatting was of the ever-friendly gnat population by everyone in attendance.

Julianne had eleven strikeouts while Sarah collected fifteen.  Each pitcher allowed only four hits.

The difference between them was walks.  Julianne gave up just one (in the first inning) while Sarah gave eight free passes.

A deadly combination of walks (4) and wild pitches (3) along with an error and two hits did in the Royals in the sixth inning.  Sydney Snow and Colleen Jenkins were home on wild pitches before Sarah Dickinson’s single to left brought in two more.  Sarah would score the fifth run on an error by Kassi Barba at third.

The tough part for the Royals was that all this happened with two outs.

Sarah Erlandson – 15 strikeouts for Georgetown

Georgetown (2-2) had trouble mounting any sort of attack against the Sachems because of Julianne’s pitching plus some extraordinary defense.

The Sachem centerfielder set the tone in the first inning by running in and snagging a low line drive by Taylor Nelson.  If that ball gets by her, with two outs, the runner on base and possibly Taylor herself may have scored.

Later it was shortstop Sarah Dickinson’s chance to impress.  She ended the fifth with a diving stop to her left of Amy Cronin’s base-hit-in-the-making and got up and made the play to first.  She ended the 6th inning by again going left and taking a hit away from line-drive hitting Shannon O’Brien with a runner on.

Julianne closed things out in the seventh by fanning the side.

Georgetown got its only run in the fourth.  What looked like bad running by Sarah Erlandson (who had doubled) turned into a run.  After Shannon O’Brien struck out for the second out, Sarah broke for third.  A good throw by catcher MK Corrado gets Sarah out easily but the throw sailed into left and Sarah scored.

Pentucket also picked up a run in the fourth.  Second baseman Shannon Killian dropped Julieanne Meehan’s pop up and then the ball was thrown away (right to where I was sitting) and Julianne was awarded third.  A wild pitch brought her home on a close play at the plate.

I was introduced to something called the “look back” rule.  It led to Pentucket’s final out in the 6th inning.  The drift of it seems to be that if the pitcher has the ball in the circle, a runner has to continue in the direction she’s going.  Sounds like one of those dreaded judgment calls.

Shannon O’Brien – tripled to lead off the second inning

Shannon O’Brien led off the second with a triple for Georgetown to deep center but was stranded there.

Sarah Dickinson scored a run, had two hits including a double, and drove in a pair for Pentucket.

If you want to see a Georgetown softball game you have to be able to climb a hill.

(I collect my own stats and take my own pictures.  Errors are unintentional.)

Sydney Snow slides home in the 6th on a wild pitch with Pentucket’s second run of the game.

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Early Runs and Strong Pitching by Marion Dullea Pace Triton Girls to 3-1 Win Over Ipswich

Marion Dullea (#13) struck out eight Ipswich batters and gave up only two hits.

(Byfield) The Triton Vikings got all the runs they needed in the first inning and then rode the 8-strikeout effort of Marion Dullea to a 3-1 win over Ipswich on Tuesday afternoon at Triton.  Marion allowed just two hits.

The victory gets Triton off to a nice 1-0 start in the Cape Ann League.

Even in defeat the Tigers had to be pleased by their effort.  They were on the wrong end of a 15-0 mercy-rule disaster against Amesbury in non-league play the day before.

Cori Simons scored a run and drove in a run for the Vikings

Ipswich pitcher Katie Glaubitz walked two of the first three batters she faced and both of them scored.  Jenn Delaney drove in Cori Simons with a fielders choice while a single to center by Kelsey Trudel delivered Emily Jutras.

Those two runs were enough but the Vikings got another in the second when Cori’s double in the gap brought home Shannen Sinton with the third Triton run.

That 3-0 lead held up for a while as Marion retired eleven straight Tigers before Liz Glavin reached on an error by Jenn Delaney in the 4th inning.  Sam Wideberg followed with a walk but Marion caught Cassie Taraska looking to end the threat.

The next inning (5th) Maddy Pinciaro led off for Ipswich and reached on a bunt single. The Tiger third baseman would get all the way to third before Marion K’d Michelle Mitchell to keep the Tigers shut out.

Ipswich scored its lone run in the 6th when catcher Liz Glavin ripped a ball down the left field line that Emily Jutras couldn’t cut off.  Triton didn’t handle the relay back in cleanly and Liz scored standing up.

The Tigers stranded runners in both of the final two innings.

Liz Glavin rounds third on her way to a stand-up home run.

Marion threw plenty of strikes and caught five Tigers looking during her complete-game effort.

Katie Glaubitz settled down nicely over the final four innings allowing just two Viking base runners.

The Ipswich girls had a chant for almost every situation.  There seemed to be no limit to their creativity.

The lack of seating and any sort of scoreboard might be enough to discourage the average spectator.  I tried sitting on the edge of the field. That location stopped being a good idea when someone mentioned the abundance of deer ticks in the area.

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Ipswich Shakes Off Rust to Defeat Triton 46-36

Jen Rock (#32) and Hannah O’Flynn both felt the effects of a long layoff and exams.

Jessica Canning (#30) led all scorers with twelve points. Shown here with Brigid O’Flynn.

(Byfield) Where was the “viewer discretion” note on the program?  Shouldn’t we have been warned?

One team (Triton) hadn’t played for eight days and had just finished exams.  The other team (Ipswich) hadn’t played for two weeks and is now taking exams.

Let’s just say that both Ipswich and Triton were rusty.

Ipswich (4-1 league games/ 8-2 overall) came away with the win, 46-36, on Tuesday night at Triton.  That’s five straight for the Tigers.

Triton (1-4 league games/ 5-6 overall) had won two straight before the loss.

Three minutes into this one you had to wonder if Ipswich realized that they should be tired and rusty.  They made four of their first five shots, including three 3’s, and bolted ahead 11-4.

Shannon McFayden, Nyra Constant, and Rae Davis hit the long ones and Brigid O’Flynn nailed a jumper for Ipswich.

Triton never completely recovered from the quick Tiger getaway.  The nearest they got after that was 24-20 on a Jen Rock layup in the first minute of the second half.  Ipswich responded with a game-winning eight point run to boost their lead to 32-20.

A couple of the Tiger baskets in the deciding run were on second-chance shots by Julia Davis and Nyra Constant.  Shannon McFayden contributed her second three and Brigit O’Flynn made a free throw.

Rae Davis (#22) makes a free throw for Ipswich.

Speaking of free throws, they were an adventure for Ipswich (6-for-18) all night.

The “adventure” for Triton was the 3-point shot as they connected just twice in seventeen attempts.  The Tigers made their first three and then cooled off to one-for-nine.

The Tigers had makeable shots most of the game but their frequent turnovers (21) limited scoring runs.  Triton, on the other hand, took better care of the ball (11 turnovers) but made only twelve of sixty shots (20%).

Jessica Canning led all scorers with twelve points including a late three off the backboard.

CAL All-Stars Jen Rock and Hannah O’Flynn each had eleven and were not nearly as effective as they usually are.  Hannah seemed most influenced by the layoff and exams.  How normal is it for the Dartmouth-bound senior to miss five of eight free throws and put up at least three air balls in other shooting attempts?

It looked to me as if more people were interested in the Wilmington/Triton wrestling match down the hall than in the basketball game.

Shannon McFayden (10 points) and Hannah O’Flynn (11 points) led Ipswich scorers.

Trying to keep track of any basketball game can be challenging.  Ipswich adds to the challenge when the two O’Flynn sisters wear “33” and “34.”  And then you have the three Davis sisters with “12,” “22,” and “32.”  I wonder if any scorekeepers have been victimized by the similarities of those numbers?

(I collect my own stats and take my own pictures.  I draw my own conclusions.  Any miscues are unintentional.)

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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

Rugged Defense and Streaky Offense Get Pentucket Girls Past Newburyport 41-28

Sarah Higgins (31) and Molly Rowe (12) are involved in one of the numerous collisions this highly-contested game produced.

(Newburyport)  On a night when their offense was anything but perfect, Pentucket continued perfect (3-0) with a, 41-28, struggle at Newburyport (1-2) on Monday night.

The Sachems in-your-face, full-court defensive approach paid its usual dividends in the early going.  For the first 10 ½ minutes the visitors forced thirteen turnovers and 2-for-13 shooting from the Clippers.

Pentucket tallied the first nine points (Vanessa Cahill-4, Nicole Viselli-5) before Newburyport answered with jumpers from Haley Johnson and Sam Leahy.

Alyssa Nogueira, Haley Johnson, and Nicole Viselli wait on a first half free throw.

The Sachems followed with ten unanswered points (Leigh McNamara-1, Tess Nogueira-2, Sarah Higgins-4, Alyssa Nogueira-3) and had the breakout lead (19-4) that they seem to get against most Cape Ann League opponents in recent years.

Newburyport trailed at the half, 24-11.

For seven minutes of the third quarter the Clippers mauled the Sachems defensively.  In a game of give-and-take they were dishing out the “gives.”  And Pentucket was clearly rattled.   The Sachems had only one point (Vanessa Cahill free throw) to show for twelve possessions with turnovers in seven of those possessions!

Sam Leahy paced the Clippers with 14 points including 12 in the second half.

But the Sachem defense during the same segment only allowed two Sam Leahy baskets.  So despite the stretch of bad offense, Pentucket still led 25-15 with 1 ½ minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

This game got away from Newburyport during the next two minutes of playing time.  Pentucket went on a 10-0 run and the Clippers didn’t have the scoring firepower or the time to recover.

Victoria Castiglione put in a three off the backboard and then Nicole Viselli took over.  In the last minute of the 3rd she hit a three and two free throws.  She started the 4th quarter by assisting on Leigh McNamara’s layup.

Later Nicole assisted on Tess Nogueira’s layup, followed with an old-fashioned three-point play, and closed with a free throw.  At this juncture, with 4:20 left Pentucket was up 41-19.  They didn’t score again and the Pentucket backups yielded the last nine points of the game.

Sam Leahy paced Newburyport with 14 points including 12 in the second half.

Nicole Viselli ended with 16 points and was very important in the second half after Newburyport closed to ten points.

Tess Nogueira (32) shadows Beth Castantini (10).

It was apparent early on that Pentucket was intent on denying Beth Castantini (18 points vs. Amesbury last game) the ball.  Tess Nogueira and Leigh McNamara combined to hold Beth to 4 points and believe me, things got pretty rugged in the process.

The shooting by both teams was anything but pretty.  Newburyport never made a three and ended up 11-for-51 (21%).  Pentucket was 3-for-14 on three’s and 13-for-58 (22%) overall.  The Sachems were also a scary 10-for-25 from the foul line.

I continue to think that the stat that makes Pentucket successful is turnovers.  I wonder when the last time was that they lost that battle.  This time Newburyport had 30 while Pentucket had 18.  However, despite the turnover disparity Pentucket didn’t get as many pick-layups out of the turnovers, as they generally do. Credit the willingness of Newburyport to get back fast, after a giveaway, for limiting breakaway Sachem shots.

There was a memorable moment in this game for me.  I was sitting under the basket scripting the game in the second half and occasionally taking pictures when I could.  A gentleman standing nearby yells to me that I can’t scout that way.  I try to ignore him because I’m trying to script the game so that I can write this game up for this blog.  I’m guessing he’s a Pentucket parent mistaking me for a scout for a future opponent (Masco? Ipswich?).  He did end up with the name of this blog but I didn’t end up with any sort of apology from him for his unnecessary outburst. Maybe after he reads this coverage I’ll get an apologizing email at 85peterjulie17 at gmail dot com.

(I keep my own stats, take my own pictures, and provide my own opinions.  Any mistakes are unintentional.)

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Filed under Newburyport, Pentucket

Triton Cheerleaders Practice to be the Best

Triton cheerleader coach Erin Dempsey puts squad through Friday afternoon practice

(Byfield) If you want to avoid crowds, just show up at a high school thirty minutes after the dismissal bell on the Friday afternoon that leads into February vacation. 

That is what I did at Triton on the afternoon of (Friday) February 13th.  While nearly everyone else in the school had headed for the exits, the Triton High School cheerleaders were involved in an afternoon practice.

“Even though basketball has ended we’ll continue to practice because we have two competitions left,” explained Coach Erin Dempsey.  The next competition for the Viking squad will be the Braintree Winter Cheerleading Invitational on February 21st.

Triton captured a solid second place finish to Wilmington in the Cape Ann League competition (February 7th at Triton) and received a high enough score to move on to the regionals.

“In the CAL competition, each team performs a 2 ½ minute routine,” said Coach Dempsey.  “We’re scored on specific areas like; gymnastics, pyramids, partner stunts, motions, and dance.  We incorporate all of those things into the routine. I thought that our strong points at the CAL’s were tumbling and pyramids.”

The team performs before four judges who each can give up to 25 points for the team’s performance.  A team has to total at least 67 points to move on to the regionals and Triton has accomplished that in each of the last six seasons.

Triton has not won the Cape Ann League title yet, but optimism abounds.  “We’re getting better and closer to the top and have just one senior,” added Coach Dempsey.  “We have a good crop of 8th grade cheerleaders coming in with 8-10 of them trying out for the football squad in June.”

Coach Dempsey referred to “good team chemistry” and tri-captain Becca Moore confirmed it – “The girls on the team become your family and you form bonds that are unbreakable.”

Another of the tri-captains (Lindsey Goldstein) told me something I already assumed, “There are injuries (in cheering) and it can be dangerous.”

Triton cheerleaders practice

Only those attending cheerleading competitions see the girls’ full repertoire.  “The rubberized track at the football games and the hardwood floors at basketball games are unsafe places for us to do some of the things we do in cheerleading competitions,” explained Coach Dempsey. 

In the CAL, cheerleaders are limited to doing a routine at halftime and tumbling during timeouts.  The rest of the time, they sit in the bleachers.  Football is a better arrangement, according to Coach Dempsey, “In football the crowd is in front of us and we can interact with them.  In basketball we’re secluded and limited as to what we can do.”

Cheerleading is a varsity sport at Triton and just like other varsity sports, there are plenty of opportunities to continue in the sport (like travel teams) away from the high school setting.  “In the spring, a lot of girls switch over to All-Stars where organizations have their own gyms and travel to competitions throughout the country,” said Coach Dempsey.  “I coach an All-Star team in Danvers and we travel nationally.”

In the summer, the Triton cheerleading squad attends a 3-day camp at URI.  “We’ve done it for two years,” recalled Coach Dempsey.  “There in a relaxed atmosphere we get to work on team-building, tumbling, and stunts.” 

Although cheering is demanding in many ways, it is still worth it, according to Viking tri-captain Makayla Fernandez. “I have been cheering since I was seven,” she said. “I’ve gotten plenty of good exercise and had a lot of fun.”

( This story appeared in The Town Common on February 24, 2010. )

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Undefeated Pentucket Girls Win 20th at Newburyport 64-32

Pentucket’s Erin McNamara heads in for a layup off a Clipper turnover as Nbpt’s Molly Rowe defends

They are the elephant in the Cape Ann League room.  Who?  The Pentucket Regional girls basketball team.

There’s good and then there’s them.

Pentucket won their 20th game of the season last night (February 5th) at Newburyport High School, 64-32.

This terrific team is undefeated, and certainly unchallenged, in the Cape Ann League this season.  They have won by an average of THIRTY points in the fourteen CAL games.  A “close” CAL game for them was the 62-44 “nail-biter” at North Reading on December 23rd.

To finish off the unbeaten season, the Sachems will have to find a way to defeat Amesbury at Amesbury on February 9th (won earlier 66-44) and Triton at home on February 11th (won earlier 76-56).

There is a website called “Maxpreps” which rates Pentucket 5th in all of Massachusetts.  Those teams rated better must be realllllllly good.

My visit to NHS was my first in-person look at Pentucket.  I had read that their press was very effective.  That was/is true but being on hand enabled me to see a few other positives.
(1)This team can shoot from the outside.
(2)They have size inside that can score.
(3)Their pressure isn’t just backcourt pressure.  Many of the first-half turnovers that they forced the Clippers into happened in the frontcourt.  Picking up your dribble is the first step toward getting yourself turned over anywhere on the court.
(4)I also saw many Newburyport dribblers being forced toward their left – weak dribbling hand.
(5)I watched the Sachems shoot before the game and noticed quickly that they all shoot from the outside with the same form.  They didn’t make every shot but the misses weren’t form related.

Junior Vanessa Cahill lines up a free throw

(6)I checked their roster listed on the program and this domination of the CAL is not likely to end soon.  The tallest player (Victoria Cahill) is a junior.  Arguably, the two best players on the team (Ashley Viselli and Erin McNamara) have younger sisters (freshman Nicole Viselli and sophomore Leigh McNamara) on the roster.  There also is a sophomore Tori Lane who may be the younger sister of senior starter Emily Lane.

Anyhow, Pentucket is a very impressive team.  They should end the regular season 22-0 and be a major player in the MIAA Division 3 state tournament, which starts in a couple of weeks.

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