Tag Archives: Casey McLaren

Newburyport opens with a 61-49 win over Rockport

Max Gagnon was part of a very tight Newburyport defense

Casey McLaren at the front of the Newburyport defense

(Newburyport MA) The combination of two sizable runs of points and an effective full-court defense keyed Newburyport’s 61-49 win over Rockport on Tuesday night.

The Vikings (0-2) had won four of their last five previous meetings with the Clippers (1-0).

“Our bigs struggled to get going tonight,” explained Rockport coach Phil Whitley afterwards.

Some of that struggle was due to the never-ending in-your-face defense by the home team.

“The defense was good,” said NHS coach Dave Clay, “but there still are some things we need to clean up.”

Tight defense

Rockport had twenty-two turnovers (by my count).  That’s a lot of empty possessions in a 32-minute game.

“We want the defense to be a staple of the team,” said Coach Clay.

Having 6’5” Casey McLaren at the point on the full-court defense, forced inbounds passes to the sides where the Clippers could double-team.

The Vikings broke open a close game (14-13) with a run of six points in the second quarter.  A rebound basket by Jake Knowlton and two free throws apiece by Gavyn Hillier and Ezra Mendoza had RHS up, 20-13, with 3:49 left in the second quarter.

Ryan Archie (with the ball) was part of the run that gave the Clippers separation

Then junior Ryan Archie heated up.

A rebound basket by Jacob Robertson was followed by eight straight Ryan points (two three’s and two free throws).

Both of Ryan’s 3-pointers were set up by George Coryell.

Newburyport led by a point (23-22) at the half.

Rockport opened the second half with three points and then the Clippers ran thirteen points over the next 3+ minutes.

That streak sent the home team up by ten points (35-25) and Rockport didn’t have the shooting to get closer than six points (51-45) the rest of the way.

Jacob Robertson and Noah Rawson

The beauty of Newburyport’s run of thirteen points was that the scoring was done by four different players (Ryan Archie, Parker McLaren, Casey McLaren, Charlie Cahalane).

“When we moved the ball by passing instead of dribbling, we did better against their zone,” said Coach Clay.

Casey McLaren (19), Ryan Archie (14), Jacob Robertson (13), and Parker McLaren (10) were the top Newburyport scorers.

Rockport was paced by Jake Knowlton (17) and Gavyn Hillier (10).

The NHS defense was a factor in the outcome, but foul trouble was certainly a problem for Rockport as well.

Starters Jake Knowlton and Ezra Mendoza both had three fouls in the first half despite sitting out some minutes in that half.

Ezra Mendoza was gone in the third quarter

Ezra fouled out of the game in the third quarter and Jake had his 4th before that same quarter was over.

Minus a primary ball-handler and their top scorer not only limited the Vikings offense but it added to their troubles handling pressure.

Jake Knowlton had thirty points in Rockport’s 83-77 loss to Bishop Fenwick in their opener.

I was impressed, as usual, with senior Casey McLaren.  On a night when the three’s weren’t falling, he moved in for mid-range shots and drives.  His defense within the press was important for NHS.

Parker McLaren above the Rockport defense

Coach Clay: “Parker (McLaren) played well.  We need to keep him out of foul trouble.  I love it when he attacks the basket. He’s such a big guy.  Think of LeBron James in high school.  I wouldn’t want to get in his way!”

Coach Whitley: “Their defense gave us trouble and our foul trouble didn’t help.  I think we got tired in the second half.”

Serious man-to-man defense was played by George Coryell and Max Gagnon.

Good crowd in the house for the Clippers home opener.

Newburyport starts the season with six straight home games all in December.

Part of that good crowd was made up of other CAL schools scouting the two future opponents.

Newburyport box

Rockport box

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

Jake Knowlton in for two

Jake Knowlton fends off Parker McLaren

Jake Knowlton block a shot

Jake Knowlton at the line

Austin Matus (13) eyes the hoop

Casey McLaren layup

Gavyn Hillier (35)

George Coryell in the air with Ezra Mendoza

 

 

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The Clippers are alive and well!

The Clippers finished their late-season run to the tournament today.

Casey McLaren – Two-hitter with nine K’s

Casey McLaren – Triple that drove in two runs

(Newburyport MA) Struggling along with a 3-10 record after their May 10th loss to Masco, any tournament plans were dreams of the highest order.

Needing seven straight wins to qualify for the post-season, the Clippers completed that remarkable accomplishment with a 3-0 victory over Essex Tech on Saturday afternoon.

Coach Mark Rowe said that his team’s approach changed after that 10th loss.  “We talked in the dugout the next day and I told them that our chances of making the tournament were slim, but they weren’t none.  We changed our focus to only the next game and not beyond it. We ended up beating several teams that had defeated us in our first meeting.”

Junior Casey McLaren didn’t do it all for the Clippers (10-10) today but he came close!  He drove in Newburyport’s first two runs in the third inning with a triple to the fence in right center.  On the mound he struck out nine, allowed only two hits, and started a 1-6-3 double play.

Ken Hodge scores an insurance run in the 5th inning

“When he (Casey) throws strikes, with his speed, he is going to put himself in a good spot,” said Coach Rowe.  “Today he was dominant and overpowering.”

Essex Tech coach Jed Beauparlant agreed: “We ran into a pretty good pitcher today.  He had us off balance.”

Casey told me afterwards, “My fastball was on and for part of the game I had a good curveball.”

The Clippers got an insurance run in the fifth inning.  After Ken Hodge walked, the Hawks decided to intentionally walk Casey.  Made sense since Casey had tripled in his previous at-bat while Tommy Greene (the next batter) had popped out twice.  What made “sense” didn’t work out for ET, however, as Tommy laced a run-scoring single down the line in right.

The Hawks (7-12) had only four baserunners in the game and three of them were cut down on the bases.  Andrew Fournier had ET’s first hit on a beautiful bunt in the third inning but was thrown out attempting to steal.  Will Preshon was hit by a pitch in the fifth inning but later was taken out in the middle of a well-turned 1-6-3 double play.  The killer for the Hawks was in their 6th when Ben Condon tripled to the fence with two outs.  Four pitches later Ben thought that the count was 3-2 and when Chris Masta swung and missed Ben ran toward home thinking the inning was over.  That miscue got him caught in a rundown in which he was tagged out by catcher Ken Hodge to end the inning.  “You have to be mentally engaged,” said Coach Beauparlant afterwards. “He thought the count was 3-2.”

Hawks starter Jack Christianson

Coach Beauparlant liked the work of his freshman starter Jack Christianson. “That was a good experience for him.  It was nice that his brother (seniorDylan) was the catcher.”

The Clippers left nine runners stranded and had four hits.

Senior Ken Hodge scored two runs for NHS.

Casey McLaren afterwards: “We’ve won seven in a row but every one has been a battle.  Nothing was easy.  We had to beat teams we had already lost to.  I feel bad for whoever has to play us in the first round!”

Coach Rowe: “I’m very happy for the kids.  They got to play today in front of a great crowd.”

Former NHS coach Bill Pettingill was in the house.

Weather?  Over in Amesbury it rained three different times before the three o’clock start time.  I came over after the third rain shower just to see if it might still be played.  Arrived just before the first pitch.  Had to scramble a bit to get this one covered but was glad to see the tourney-clincher.

Jed Beauparlant: “I’m proud of the way my guys battled after being eliminated from the playoffs last week.”

The tourney selections come out on Tuesday.  Certainly the Clippers will be at the bottom of the seeding and will face one of the top seeds.  As Casey suggested, that high seed could get more than they bargain for.

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

Ben Condon on his way to third

Ben Condon caught in a rundown

Walker Barkiewicz makes a putout

Chris Masta and Parker McLaren

Tommy Greene drove in a run

Ben Condon talks to Coach Beauparlant

Andrew Wellman

Shortstop Tommy Murphy reaches for a low throw as Andrew Fournier tries to steal second

Tommy Murphy holds on after being upended by Andrew Fournier

SS Chris Masta throws to first

Ken Hodge scored two runs

3B Ty Coglin throws to first

Max Faigen

Play at first

Clippers dugout

 

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Newburyport wins Spofford Tournament 2-1 over Georgetown

Brendan Willis tags Tommy Greene on the leg during a rundown.

(Georgetown MA) The Newburyport Clippers won the Bert Spofford Tournament, 2-1, over Georgetown on Sunday afternoon.

The tourney win was important but the way the Clippers reacted to the victory was also about post-season dreams being kept alive for yet another day.

The Clippers were 3-10 on May 10th with zero margin of error left for the remaining seven games. Remarkably, they have won six straight since then including an unlikely one today.

Kyle Greenler

Casey McLaren

Why unlikely today?  The Royals (11-7) started D1 commit Kyle Greenler on the mound.  Kyle throws hard, throws strikes, and is good enough that Elon University (North Carolina) gave him a scholarship to pitch for them next year.

How did the Clippers win?  The Clippers had junior Casey McLaren pitching for them.

Kyle and Casey dominated batters all game long.

“It was great to have a championship game with two of the top pitchers in the Cape Ann League going,” said NHS coach Mark Rowe afterwards.  “We tip our hat to Kyle (Greenler).  He did a great job as did Casey for us.”

Kyle recorded thirteen strikeouts (seven of them looking) while Casey had eleven.  Georgetown had six hits while Newburyport had five hits.

Kyle told me after the game, “It was two good teams and one did better than the other.  Between Casey and I we probably had 20+ strikeouts.  All respect to Casey.  He’s pretty good.”

Junior Tommy Murphy drove in both Newburyport runs.

Junior Tommy Murphy was the hitting star for Newburyport driving in both runs with two singles.  Sophomore Tim Chianca knocked in the Royals run.

The visitors tallied their first run in the second inning.  “We made a mistake early and they took advantage of it,” recalled Georgetown coach Phil Desilets.

That early mistake was a bad throw to first by catcher Tim Chianca on a drop after a strikeout.  That error put Tommy Greene on second base and he would score from there on a 2-out bloop single by Tommy Murphy.

The Clippers added to their lead in the fourth inning.  A walk (Casey McLaren), a single (Tommy Greene) and a sacrifice bunt (Parker McLaren) put two runners in scoring position with one out.

3B Tommy Long started a rundown that led to an out

After Kyle Greenler K’d Kyle Therrien, Tommy Murphy faced the Royals ace with two out and two on. Tommy hit a grounder to deep short (Brendan Willis) and Tommy, sliding head first into first, beat the cross-diamond throw allowing Casey McLaren to score NHS’s second run.  The play continued as 1B Ethan Block caught Tommy Greene off third and Tommy was eventually tagged out on the leg in a rundown by Brendan Willis to end the inning.  Newburyport, however, now had a 2-0 lead.

Georgetown got one of those runs back in their half of the 4th.  Brendan Willis (CAL All-Star last year) singled, took second on a fielder’s choice, and third on a wild pitch with one out.  Tim Chianca’s single to left brought home Brendan.

Things got very tense during Georgetown’s last at-bats.  After a strikeout (Justin Ziolkowski), Jake Adamsky and Cam Martin singled.  But Casey McLaren dashed any late-game Royals’ heroics by getting Max Girouard looking and a groundout (4-3) to end it.

“It’s tough to lose because this tournament means a lot to us,” said Coach Desilets. “However, we have to turn the page because we’ve got bigger things ahead.”  The Royals have games left with Swampscott and Masco before they start in the D4 tournament.

2B Jack Doyle sets to record the final assist of the game

An improved defense was a key to the win according to Coach Rowe: “We made the plays we needed to bail us out of jams.  That hasn’t always been the case this year.  When we play good defense we usually have good results.”

The Clippers (9-10) will need to win next Saturday (at Essex Tech) to continue their season beyond twenty games.  One certainty is that Casey McLaren will be doing the pitching for Newburyport.

Scariest moment of the game?  In the Georgetown 4th inning, right fielder Walker Bartkiewicz, chasing a foul ball, ran through a fence and totally disappeared from view. You suspected the worst when several Georgetown coaches joined Newburyport players and coaches rushing over to see where Walker was and if he was okay.  Fortunately, out came his glove and he followed shortly, apparently unharmed.

Pitcher Kyle Greenler turns a suicide squeeze bunt into a double play

The Clippers had two runners in scoring position with one out in the sixth inning.  Pinch hitter Ken Hodge then tried to execute a suicide squeeze bunt but got under it a little and pitcher Kyle Greenler snagged it and turned a double play.

The pitching was impressive.  Both could throw heat for strikes and batters had to be set for it.  Both also had sharp breaking stuff and most of the caught-looking’s were on that type of pitch.

The weather turned back to early April all over again.  You wonder why New Englanders have so many clothes in their closets?  We have to be prepared for all seasons year round!  Yesterday 80’s.  Today 50’s!

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

Clippers celebrate their 9th win of the season

Newburyport team with the Spofford Tournament trophy

Pitcher Casey McLaren returns with the MVP award

The run to celebrate as the game ends

Ty Koglin

LF Justin Ziolkowski tracks down a fly ball.

2B Colin Nally takes in a high throw as Ty Koglin steals second

Infield hit

Georgetown crowd

 

 

 

 

 

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Sophomore Clay Marengi shines in first varsity start for Lynnfield

Lynnfield starter Clay Marengi allowed only three hits in six innings

Will Garfoli drove in three runs for the Pioneers

(Newburyport MA) Lynnfield sophomore Clay Marengi turned his first varsity start into an 8-1 win over Newburyport on Saturday.

“He (Clay) threw strikes and used a minimal number of pitches,” said Lynnfield coach John O’Brien afterwards.  “Catcher Nick Giammarco called a great game for him behind the plate.”

The Pioneers (2-1) put the ball in play with regularity collecting twelve hits.  All nine starters reached base.

Joey Mack led LHS with three hits.  Will Garfoli drove across three teammates.

“Lynnfield hit the ball,” said NHS coach Mark Rowe.  “A lot of their ground balls found holes.  I thought that our pitching (Chris Halliday, Parker McLaren) was good enough but when you only score one run in two games it’s never going to be enough.”

The Clippers (0-2) ran into another first-time starter (senior Andrew Manni of Masco) on Friday and came away with no hits and twelve strikeouts.

Today it was Clay Marengi.  Clay held Newburyport to three hits in six innings of work.  Dan Jameson finished off the 7th.

Newburyport threatened in the first with two on and one out, but Clay induced groundouts by Walker Bartkiewicz and Parker McLaren to escape.

The Pioneers started both the fourth inning and the fifth inning with three straight hits and came away with three runs in each inning.  Five of their hits in the 3-run innings were on the ground and on this morning/afternoon they turned into runs.

Joey Mack (three hits) finds his way home

Joey Mack scored Lynnfield’s third run in the fourth inning and believe me it wasn’t easy.  Joey fell down about fifteen feet from home plate and had to stumble/crawl the rest of the way.

NHS shortstop Ryan Archie limited the Lynnfield damage in the 4th inning with a terrific running catch that he turned into an inning-ending double play.

“Ryan has made very good defensive plays in both our games,” said Coach Rowe.

The Clippers got their run in the 6th.  Casey McLaren reached on a fielder’s choice and took third on a single by Walker Bartkiewicz.  Walker’s steal attempt drew a bad throw and Casey scored from third.

Stolen base

Will Garfoli drove across Lynnfield’s final two runs with a bases-loaded single in the seventh inning.

“Our defense was good today,” said Coach O’Brien.  “We had seven errors in our first game.”

The Pioneers were 18-2 in 2017 and graduated ten seniors.  “Seven of those kids are playing college ball,” added Coach O’Brien.

It looks to me as if the Pioneers have reloaded quickly.  Discovering an effective starter like Clay Marengi should certainly help Lynnfield going forward.

Coach Rowe was disappointed with the loss but not discouraged.  “The offense will come.  We have some guys just getting acclimated to varsity pitching.”

I was at Hadlock Field in Portland last night (Tim Tebow, Drew Pomeranz) and it was in the upper 50s.  Today in Newburyport?  40’s, cloudy, and breezy!

Cooper Marengi, Nick Giammarco, and Casey McLaren were listed by the Boston Herald before the season as players to watch in Division 3.

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

NHS starter Chris Halliday

Casey McLaren

3B Tyler Koglin chases a popup

RF Nick White ends the Lynnfield third with a nice catch

Fernando Gonzalez sets to score Lynnfield’s first run

2B John Singer tosses to first

Casey McLaren scores the Clippers run

Walker Bartkiewicz (8), Tyler Koglin (4) and Ryan Archie (2) chase a foul ball

Shortstop Jonathan Luders chats with 7th inning pitcher Dan Jameson

Shortstop Ryan Archie turned an inning-ending double play in the 4th inning

Cooper Marengi scores on a wild pitch

Nick Giammarco had two hits and scored two runs

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport gets past Lynn Tech 67-63 after twenty-four lead changes

The Clippers begin to celebrate their win over Lynn Tech

Casey McLaren led all scorers with thirty points.

(Newburyport MA) A year ago, in the same gym and on the same date, the Clippers led Lynn Tech 30-5 at halftime and won easily, 70-36.

Believe me, that was then.

Tonight, the Lynn Tigers did everything but win versus the same Clippers.

The final was 67-63 and there was little to choose between the two teams in this first-round battle in Division 3 North.

Both teams were 13-7 coming in and it took a coin toss to determine where this game would be held.

How close was the game itself?  How about seven ties.  How about TWENTY-FOUR lead changes! There were at least five lead changes in every quarter.

Both teams had high-scoring weapons.  Casey McLaren (30 points) and his brother Parker (17 points) paced Newburyport while Robert Wallace (25 points) and Belmin Berilo (22 points) led the Tigers.

The last tie was 63-63 with 2:22 left in the game.

Casey McLaren stretches the NHS lead to four points with this jump shot in front of the student section.

The Clippers pulled in front, 65-63, on a George Coryell layup set up by Parker McLaren.  After an empty LT possession, Casey McLaren nailed a jump shot from the foul line area with 1:27 to go that sealed this one for the home team.

No doubt Lynn Tech was exhausted down the stretch.  In the final minute the Clippers ate the clock on two different occasions with LT unable to foul to stop the clock.

“Casey played terrific,” said Coach Dave Clay afterwards.  “He has incredible instincts for the game.”

Casey had six three’s, getting at least one in each quarter.

His top crowd-pleasing moment?  A steal in the final quarter that he turned into the only dunk of the game.

Plenty of defense played by both squads.

Robert Wallace led the Tigers with twenty-five points

“We needed to get the ball to the middle of the court and then look opposite,” explained Coach Clay on how to handle the press.  “However, Lynn Tech was so well-coached that it was hard to do.”

The Clippers (14-7) will next face top-seed St. Mary’s on Thursday.

Newburyport led 21-20 after one quarter.  Lynn Tech led 35-34 after two quarters.  Newburyport led 53-52 after three quarters.  There just was no true separation!

LT coach Stevie Patrick took his team to the locker room after the game without having his team participate in the normal post-game hand shaking.  I’m not sure what that was about.

The Clippers had been 3-4 in February before tonight’s win.

Lynn Tech was 7-14 last season.  You talk about improvement!

Lynn Tech box

Newburyport box

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

Casey McLaren blocks a shot

Belmin Berilo

Tre Baldwin guarded by Casey McLaren

Belmin Berilo (22 points) gets free

George Coryell

Jama Aroni chases Casey McLaren

Parker McLaren (17 points tries to drive on Tre Baldwin

Jama Aroni

Ryan Archie looks to pass

 

 

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Late run gets Pentucket past Newburyport 63-57

Nate McGrail (19 points) starts Pentucket on an eight-point run with this layup in the final quarter

Parker McLaren (19 points) shoots over Alex Willis (22)

(Newburyport MA) This game was close, very close.

There were six lead changes and seven ties.

It was a one-point game (53-52) with three minutes left.

Anyone’s game, for sure, before Pentucket took it over with eight straight points and defeated Newburyport, 63-57, on Senior Night on Friday.

Newburyport coach Dave Clay referenced his team’s defense afterwards: “We needed to play better help defense.”  Who could argue?  The Sachems registered seventeen layups, by my count.

In the crucial eight-point streak in the final three minutes of the game it was four drives to the rim that turned this game to Pentucket.

George Coryell gets Casey McLaren (22) an open shot

According to Pentucket coach Ed Hickey, containing the McLarens (Parker and Casey) was crucial.  “They were terrific tonight.  We made adjustments at halftime to help us to cover them better.  Casey (18.6 points per game) is always capable of scoring a lot of points.”

The Sachems played a high 3-2 zone that limited the outside looks of NHS.  It did open things up for Parker McLaren (19 points) in the lane area.

Junior Spencer Pacy (17 points) got to the rim successfully eight different times.

Let’s review the game-changing segment in the final three minutes.  After a three by Casey McLaren (15 points), the home team trailed by only a point (53-52).  Nate McGrail (19 points) then scored a layup and was fouled but missed the freebie.  Next possession by Newburyport ended with a technical foul.  Gus Flaherty tallied both technical free throws boosting the Sachems lead to 57-52 with 2:45 to go.

Gus Flaherty shoots the technical foul shots

After a turnover, Pentucket had two profitable possessions in a row.  Both were assisted layups.  First by Sam Stys from Alex Willis and then Gus Flaherty from Spencer Pacy.  Those two plays extended the Pentucket advantage to nine (61-52) with a minute left.  Game. Set. Match.

“We made extra passes and it opened things up,” said Coach Hickey.

The visitors from West Newbury had another run of eight unanswered points in the final three minutes of the first half changing a 31-23 score into a halftime tie.

Newburyport put a 10-2 collection together in the first period with five different players (Ryan MacDonald, Ryan Archie, George Coryell, Casey McLaren, Parker McLaren) contributing.

The Clippers will close out the regular season with four straight away games.

The Sachems have now defeated Newburyport three straight times.

The Sachems have a 7-5 edge versus NHS over the past five seasons.

The Pentucket defense collapses on Parker McLaren

Gus Flaherty had twenty-three points in the first meeting (68-54 Pentucket win) including five 3’s.  The Clippers took the long shot away (Gus had only one 3 in tonight’s game) but gave up too many inside scores.

The Clippers five seniors, and their families, were honored before the game and started the game even though none of them were normally starters.

Newburyport (11-6) and Pentucket (12-5) are both in the post-season tournament and both are in Division 3.  And both of them are in the north.  Point?  They could meet again this season.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

(For the second game in a row I am disagreeing with the official scorer. Maybe I should stop believing my lying eyes?)

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

George Coryell guards Spencer Pacy

Harry Bovee (1) guards Spencer Pacy

Sam Stys (8 points) draws a foul on senior Noah Van Schalkwyk

Parker McLaren (44) and Alex Willis (22)

Senior Austin Rosseau sets to shoot

Nate McGrail (24) flies out to defend Casey McLaren

Alex Willis and Spencer Pacy trap Casey McLaren

Senior Ryan MacDonald puts up a shot

Senior Jeevan Kowalski looks for someone to pass to

Senior Jake Valcich (9 points) covered by Sam Stys

 

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Newburyport defeats Triton 57-50 in front of a full house at NHS

Will Parsons (17 points) attracts four Newburyport defenders

Ryan Archies (9 points) launches one from in front of the Triton student section

(Newburyport MA) I had to check my calendar when I arrived at this game.

It wasn’t March but there was definitely a tournament buzz in the room.

However, it doesn’t need to be March when it’s a Triton/Newburyport game.

Last March the two teams had a down-to-the-last-shot Division 3 North quarterfinals get-together in the same building. Newburyport won that game.

In December of last year, the Clippers defeated Triton, 63-57.

That win streak continued tonight as Newburyport (10-3) prevailed, 57-50, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

Ryan Archie (nine points) started the scoring with a 3-pointer for NHS and the Clippers never trailed.

The Vikings (4-8) looked done late in the third quarter when a three by freshman Jacob Robertson boosted the Clippers margin to fourteen points (43-29).

Triton sets for an inbounds play

Triton was down but not out.  They scored the next ten points and they did it in a hurry.  In one minute of playing time, the visitors from Byfield, put that ten-spot together.  Kyle Odoy ended the 3rd quarter with a layup and then picked off an inbounds pass and put in two more.  Junior Dylan Shute contributed an old-fashioned 3-point play and then Will Parsons nailed one from beyond the arc.

All of that successful offense moved Triton to within four (43-39) with nearly 7 ½ minutes left in the game.

Newburyport, however, had an answer and his name was McLaren.  If you weren’t there, you’re thinking Casey.  But not on this night.  Casey didn’t score a point in the final quarter.  It was Parker doing the heavy lifting.

Parker went off for seven straight points while the Vikings had four turnovers.  That individual excellence gave NHS an eleven-point lead (50-39) with 5 ½ minutes remaining.

Play out the string?  Game over?  Not yet.

Triton, led by Will Parsons’ seven points and a layup by Jesse Wilkinson, got the Newburyport lead down to four (54-50) with 1 ½ minutes to go.

Triton coach EJ Perry

“We had our opportunities,” said Triton coach EJ Perry afterwards.  “It was 54-50 and we had an offensive rebound, but we didn’t get the putback.”

That missed chance put the ball back in Newburyport’s possession.  A deflected shot ended up in the hands of Parker McLaren and he converted the rebound into points (his 11th of the quarter) and the Clippers won their tenth and qualified for the state tournament.

For the Vikings the road to qualifying is steep.  “We’ll keep getting better,” said Coach Perry, “that’s all we can do.”

Coach Dave Clay praised the work of Harry Bovee guarding Will Parsons: “He knew that his role was strictly defense on Will.  He did a phenomenal job.”

Will ended up with seventeen points, but his only open shots were in warmups.

Casey McLaren (16 points) shoots over Brandon Balesta

Casey McLaren finished with sixteen points.  He had four 3’s including several from in front of the Triton student section.

“Everything on offense goes through Will (Parsons),” explained Coach Perry.  “They did a pretty good job on him.”

Will (averaging 24.8 points per game) not only faced one defender but plenty of support defense was nearby.

“We came out with a lot of positive energy,” said Coach Clay.  “We remained positive even after they made runs and that was the key to the win.”

The crowd was remarkable.  “It was a great environment,” said Coach Clay.

Parker McLaren (18 points) sets to stop a driving Viking

Excellent crowd control in place to make sure no one from either side spoiled it for others.  On one occasion, the Triton student section chanted something, and one NHS student responded inappropriately.  Next thing I saw was the student leaving with AD Kyle Hodsdon.  The AD returned but the student didn’t. End of problem.

Newburyport was 19-3 last year.  Triton was 15-8.

I talked to Dylan Shute before the game.  Dylan took the last Triton shot, from along the baseline, in the tourney loss last March.  He told me, “I think about that shot a lot.”

Ryan Archies’ three 3’s gives him twenty-five 3-pointers for the season.

Casey McLaren had twenty-four points in the first meeting with Triton.  Freshman Kyle Odoy had twenty for Triton.

Triton Box

Newburyport Box

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

Max McKenzie defends Parker McLaren

George Coryell at the line

Harry Bovee (1) covered Will Parsons most of the game

Will Parsons in the lane with Bretton Ross (10), Casey McLaren (22), and Parker McLaren (44)

Jack Tummino gets into the lane

Max McKenzie (12 points) gets past Parker McLaren

Harry Bovee (1) and Parker McLaren (44) guard Will Parsons

Dylan Shute (3) dribbles baseline

 

 

 

 

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