Tag Archives: Casey McLaren

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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Newburyport explodes in the 4th quarter and defeats Lynnfield 68-55

George Coryell (16 pts) guarded by freshman Jack Ford

Ryan Archer (17 pts) in the lane with Billy Arseneault

(Newburyport MA) This game was close into the final quarter, and I thought it would go down to the wire.

Newburyport didn’t let that last-shot thing happen, however, as they exploded in the fourth quarter with thirty-one points and defeated Lynnfield, 68-55 on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

This game was tied seven times with the final tie (45-45) with 5 ½ minutes left.  After that the combination of Ryan Archer long range and George Coryell drives did in the Pioneers.

Ryan’s two 3-pointers and George’s four layups were the major pieces in a 16-6 run for the home team that sealed this one for the Clippers.

“They figured out our weakness (defending on ball) and they took advantage of it,” said Lynnfield coach Scott MacKenzie afterwards.

George Coryell got to the basket four straight times to key the Clippers separation run.  I mentioned George to Newburyport coach Dave Clay and all he said was, “Wow!”

Casey McLaren (22 pts) had seventeen in the first half

George took the ball to the basket throughout the game but in the final quarter there was no help from other Pioneers’ defenders.  Why?  “They paired George Coryell with Casey McLaren on the wing, so we couldn’t offer help,” said Coach MacKenzie, “It was a smart play.”

Anyone playing Newburyport (6-1) knows the trouble 6-5 Casey McLaren can cause.  And the junior caused plenty of that in the first half with seventeen points.  “Casey kept us in the game in the first half,” said Coach Clay.

Casey has the size to shoot over players and the driving skills to thwart perimeter overplays.  What I didn’t see was him posting the undersized Pioneers in close to the basket.

Casey finished with twenty-two points.  Teammates Ryan Archer (17) and George Coryell (16) reached double figures.

Billy Arseneault (16 pts) defended by George Coryell

I saw Lynnfield twice last year and was quickly dazzled by #11 (Billy Arseneault).  “Billy is a phenomenal plaer,” said Coach Clay.  “We did our best to contain him but he’s going to have points.”

Billy ended up with sixteen points.  The senior was the Player-of-the-Year in the CAL Kinney Division last season.

Billy not only shoots well but he is also a terrific dribbler and passer.  He isn’t Kyrie Irving, but he sure looked like the Celtic guard on some of the plays he made against Newburyport.

Zach Shone led the Pioneers with twenty points.  He led Lynnfield in chasing down offensive rebounds.

“They had extra chances,” said Coach Clay, “but it wasn’t due to a lack of effort on our part.  We need to work on rebounding in practice.”

Zach Shone (20 pts) and Billy Arseneault

The Pioneers graduated nine seniors off last season’s 18-5 team.  “We’re trying to find our bench,” said Coach MacKenzie.  “We are really only playing five kids and we got tired at the end of this game.”

Coach Clay has great respect for Scott MacKenzie: “I think Lynnfield has the best coach in the league.”

This is Coach Clay’s first year coaching at the school he teaches at. “I am still trying to get to know the team.”

Newburyport went from a 5-point third quarter to a 31-point fourth quarter.

Lynnfield (4-2) certainly didn’t help themselves at the foul line missing twelve of twenty-eight attempts.  It is always a challenge shooting free throws with the Nbpt student section under the basket.  Matt Mortellite missed four straight facing the hostile crowd in the second quarter.

It was the first time I have seen Newburyport cheerleaders at a basketball game.

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

Casey McLaren shoots a jump shot

Noah Van Schalkwyk

Ryan Archer shows a left hand while Billy Arseneault tries to avoid a foul

Casey McLaren launches from the wing

Casey McLaren gets to the rim

Zach Shone (20 pts) gets past Ryan MacDonald

Twelve Lynnfield misses from the foul line

Billy Arseneault passing

Shooting in Newburyport traffic

Billy Arseneault uses a screen

Jason Ndansi shoots against Parker McLaren

 

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport big in closing minutes to get D3 North quarterfinals win over Triton 59-57

Brendan Powers' go-ahead basket with 1:04 left on a pass from Robbie Shay (on the right)

Brendan Powers’ go-ahead basket with 1:04 left on a pass from Robbie Shay (on the right)

Dylan Shute takes the last shot of the game.

Dylan Shute sets to take the last shot of the game.

(Newburyport MA) This one went right down to the last possession.

#2 Newburyport survived #7 Triton’s last-second shot attempt and won a D3 North quarterfinals game, 59-57, before a standing-room crowd that got their money’s worth on Saturday afternoon.

Triton (15-8) trailed by as many as eleven (34-23) early in the second half but rallied in the final quarter to lead by five (49-44), and later six (55-49), with 2 ½ minutes left in the game.

Newburyport (19-3) had two wins over Triton this season and turned things up at both ends to keep their season going.

Casey McLaren - 21 points for Newburyport

Casey McLaren – 21 points for Newburyport

Casey McLaren (21 points) put up a personal run of points (two layups and a triple) to give the home team the lead, 56-55, while Triton missed a pair of shots and had a 10-second call go against them.

Triton’s Jack McCarthy (24 points) was sent to the line with 1:22 left and fearlessly canned both attempts to put Triton back on top by a point, 57-56.

Anybody’s game for sure.

During Newburyport’s next possession, Robbie Shay made the pass of the game, from right to left, getting teammate Brendan Powers a layup with a minute left.

That last minute that followed could well be a haunting memory for the Vikings.  Triton had three chances for answering points.

Twice the Vikings turned the ball over on bad passes before Casey McLaren made one-of-two free throws giving Newburyport a 2-point advantage.

In Triton’s final possession, with seconds left, Dylan Shute who was probably the 4th option for the shot, was forced into taking it and missed as the game ended.

Casey McLaren forces Will Parsons to pass on the last possession

Casey McLaren forces Will Parsons to pass on the last possession

Credit the Clippers’ defense on that final possession.  Anyone paying attention had to assume a game-on-the-line shot for Triton would come from Will Parsons (24 points) or Jack McCarthy (22 points).  The NHS defense prevented it.

First Robbie Shay closed any lane Jack McCarthy, who had eight inside baskets, could take to the hoop.  Then Casey McLaren got up close enough to Will Parsons so that the talented junior couldn’t launch a long one (he had already made five 3’s).

Because of the NHS defense, and short clock (eight seconds), Jack and Will ended up passing instead of shooting.  Dylan Shute was forced into the last shot (runner on the baseline), with Cam MacRae defending, which rolled off the rim.

The celebrating then began for the Clippers.  They move on to the semi-finals against #6 Bedford during this coming week.

Triton absorbed the loss but certainly played very well in such a tense event.

The game certainly started badly for the Vikings when their “spark” Liam Spillane picked up two fouls in the first minute and had a lengthy sit on the bench.

Jack McCarthy (22 points) scored eight inside baskets

Jack McCarthy (22 points) scored eight inside baskets

Jack McCarthy and Will Parsons had awesome games and proved more than capable of carrying the scoring load.

The Clippers had eight different players put up points.  In a 2-point win every basket was crucial.

Big afternoon for sophomore Casey McLaren.  He clearly has both-ends-of-the-court skills.  Casey made shots inside and out and was a tireless defender. He was the prime defender on Will Parsons and kept him scoreless over the last 5 ½ minutes.

I kept waiting for junior Colin Brennan to catch fire for Triton.  In the games I’ve seen, there have been times when the sharp-shooter has nailed consecutive 3-pointers.  Not today.

Sophomore Jack Tummino handled the ball nicely for Triton off the Vikings bench.

This game had its share of scoring streaks.

Newburyport put nine straight together to go from a 13-9 deficit to an 18-13 lead with 6 ½ minutes left in the second half.

Triton's Liam Spillane takes an early seat

Triton’s Liam Spillane takes an early seat

Later Newburyport put eight straight together to increase a 26-23 lead to 34-23 early in the second half.

The Vikings ran eleven unanswered points together turning a 44-38 deficit to a 49-44 advantage with 5:25 left in the game.

Newburyport followed with a run of five and Triton answered with a run of six: 55-49 with 2 ½ minutes left in the last quarter.

Casey McLaren followed with his killer collection of seven in a row in the next minute to give the Clippers the lead.

As I said earlier, there was plenty for both teams/fans to get excited about.

The Newburyport/Triton staffs was on hand to make sure things went well and things did go well.

Triton box

Newburyport box

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

Casey McLaren at the line, in front of the Newburyport student section, with 11.4 seconds left

Casey McLaren at the line, in front of the Newburyport student section, with 11.7 seconds left

Robbie Shay guards Will Parsons

Robbie Shay guards Will Parsons

Colin Brennan

Colin Brennan

Loose ball

Loose ball

Casey McLaren and Will Parsons battle

Casey McLaren and Will Parsons battle

Brendan Powers in for two

Brendan Powers in for two

Will Parsons draws a charge on Cam MacRae

Will Parsons draws a charge on Cam MacRae

Robbie Shay in the lane

Robbie Shay in the lane

Nick Rogers on the move

Nick Rogers on the move

Brendan Powers tries to turn the corner on Jack McCarthy

Brendan Powers tries to turn the corner on Jack McCarthy

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Filed under Newburyport, Triton