(Newburyport MA) “Stay solid on D and execute on offense.”
That’s what Masco coach Bob Romeo wanted, and he certainly got it as the Chieftains routed Newburyport, 57-30, on a chilly Friday night of Cape Ann League girls basketball.
The Clippers (8-7) scored the first basket (Meg Winn) but it was all downhill for them from there.
“They got the first hoop and went up 2-0 and I started thinking that this could be a tough night up here,” said Coach Romeo. “But we got that hoop back and had a whole bunch of stops. Once we were up, 11-2, everyone relaxed. Makayla got off to a great start.”
Masco (12-4) had unanswered point streaks of eleven, eight, and sixteen before Coach Romeo permanently benched his starters with three minutes left in the third quarter. The Chieftains had a 49-14 lead at the time.
The first Masco run of points (eleven) answered NHS’s two-point start. A three by Mak Graves (16 points), a drive by Morgan Bovardi (16 points) and three baskets set up by Morgan sent Masco ahead, 11-2.
The second run of points (eight) happened soon after the first one. Free throws by Paige Richardson started it and that was followed by two Mak Graves drives and a Morgan Bovardi drive. This collection of points put Masco on top, 22-5, early in the second period.
Masco was able to get to the basket with ease. Lacking for the Clippers was any sort of help defense. Mak Graves hit from long distance and got to the hoop for twelve first-period points. Mak had only two points in the first meeting.
On this evening it was quickly obvious that the Clippers would have their hands full trying to defend the Clippers. Sometimes a team can score enough points to make up for it. Didn’t happen tonight!
The Newburyport offense had an even tougher night than the defense did. Anyone connected to NHS basketball may want to skip the next paragraph. Consider yourself warned!
Two free throws late in the second period by Maggie Pons put the score at, 33-14, with 1:50 left. The Clippers didn’t score for the next eight minutes of playing time (a full quarter of playing time). The visitors tallied sixteen points in a row. Morgan Bovardi had eleven of the points. The worst part of it all for Newburyport? They had thirteen turnovers during this trying time for them.
From where I was watching, most of the turnovers were bad passes in their half-court offense. The Masco defenders jumped passing lanes with great success.
The deadly combo of less-than-the-best offense/defense left Newburyport down, 49-14, with plenty of playing time remaining.
The Clippers totaled twenty-nine turnovers for the night. Masco had eight.
“We play a team defense,” said Coach Romeo. “Everyone is helping.”
“We executed some good stuff and we had some good looks,” added Coach Romeo. “It’s that time of year. We should be executing. We’ve been in the gym for two months.”
Newburyport has two more tough games in the next six days; Amesbury and Pentucket. The games are at Newburyport. Pentucket had a two-point win over Amesbury on Tuesday. Pentucket has a win over Masco. Pentucket & Masco have a rematch this month at Masco.
Pretty impressive rendition of the National Anthem by a Newburyport freshman.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)