Tag Archives: Coach Bryan Shields

Triton advances in D3 tourney with 63-34 win over Worcester Tech

Reese Renda and Sanaii Diaz
Kendall Liebert (21 points)

(Byfield MA) The smiles were nice to see.

The mask mandate was over so the smiles could actually be seen.

And there were plenty of smiles at Triton as the Vikings defeated Worcester Tech, 63-34, on Tuesday night in the preliminary round of Division 3.

The victory put a happy spin on season that had apparently ended poorly with seven straight losses.

There was plenty of contact

The Vikings 8-12 record wouldn’t get them into the playoffs but under the MIAA power ranking system the top thirty-two teams in each division qualify.

“We were at thirty-one for a while but ended up twenty-seventh,” said Triton coach Bryan Shields.

“We found out literally a couple of days ago,” said Kendall Liebert afterwards.  “We prepped for just a few days.”

Elaina Neives (7 points)

To make the pleasant surprise even better was that the Vikings ended up with a home game to start the tournament.  How?  Despite Worcester Tech’s 10-10 record the power rankings placed them south of Triton.

So while the Vikings came out happy to even be there, the Eagles were a little tight.

“My girls came out a little nervous,” said WT coach Stephanie Leveillee afterwards.  “I have a young team.”  There is only one senior.

Triton was 12-for-18 from the foul line

Separation was impossible for about 1 ½ quarters because of turnovers and missed shots by both squads.

But halfway through the second quarter, with the Vikings holding a slim, 14-13, lead, things changed drastically in Triton’s favor.

“Our game plan was to defend, defend, defend,” explained Coach Shields.  “We knew the players we needed to cover.”

Defensive perfection it was over the next five minutes of playing time stretching into the first minute of the second half. 

The visitors didn’t score a point while Triton put up sixteen straight points.

Paige Leavitt applies some defense

When that segment of terrific defense and offense ended the home team was sitting pretty with a, 30-13, lead.

Kendall Liebert (21 points) and Reese Renda (9 points) were keys in the breakaway. Both girls collected six points.  Reese had two steals that turned into layups while Kendall had one, but also scored on an offensive rebound.

Two minutes later a Molly Kimball (13 points) three-pointer boosted the Triton edge to twenty points, 37-17.

WT coach Stephanie Leveillee

Worcester Tech did not go away.  Led by Sanaii Diaz (15 points) the Eagles hung around and narrowed their deficit to 50-34. 

The final 3+ minutes saw the Vikings go on another run of points (thirteen) to close out the game.

“It feels awesome to win a tournament game,” said Reese Renda afterwards.

This was a game in which the enthusiasm on both teams was high and the finesse was not so high.  Plenty of contact and plenty of turnovers resulted.

Molly Kimball (13 points)

“It was really rough out there,” said Molly Kimball.

“We were both pretty hard on each other,” added Kendall. “It was a nice win for our seniors in their last home game.”

“It was fun to play in front of our home crowd and get a win,” said Coach Shields.

Coach Leveillee: “This is my first year as head coach.  To make it to the state tournament is a huge accomplishment for the team.”

The Vikings ended up 7-2 at home. 

Triton hadn’t won a game since January 21st against Lynnfield so it’s not too hard to imagine how sweet this win was for the Vikings.

Worcester Tech plays in the Colonial Athletic League.

                 Triton   8   18   16   21   =   63

Worcester Tech   8     5   12     9   =   34

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Shot block
Caitlin Frary
Liv Kiricoples shoots in the lane
Turnover about to happen
Maeve Heffernan
Reese Renda (9 points)
Michal Frimpong
Layup in a crowd
Molly Kimball and Janavia Hodge
Kendall Liebert
Sanaii Diaz

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Strong second half separates Newburyport from Triton 54-31

(Pictures enlarge when you click on them.)

Emma Foley (19 points) had a strong second half for Newburyport
Olivia McDonald (4) and Reese Renda (45)

(Newburyport MA) Key player Deirdre McElhinney was missing (Covid).

Inside presence Abigail Gillingham had graduated.

But neither of those things kept Newburyport from defeating Triton, 54-31, on Tuesday night.

The win advances the undefeated Clippers (4-0) to the title game of the Institution for Savings Girls Holiday Basketball Tournament tomorrow night against Hamilton-Wenham.

Sophomore Olivia McDonald filled in nicely for Deirdre while Emma Foley feasted on the inside of the Triton zone defense.

However, don’t be fooled by the final score.  The Vikings (3-2) were very much in this one (25-23) with only three minutes left in the third quarter. 

Kendall Liebert (16 points)

However, the two-point deficit at that time was a distant memory by the time the game ended.

“We just ran out of steam,” surmised Triton coach Bryan Shields afterwards. “Newburyport is a great team.”

The Clippers man-to-man pressure and foul trouble for high scoring Kendall Liebert (16 points) combined to limit Triton points severely.

Battle on the floor

The Vikings suddenly couldn’t match baskets with the Clippers.

Newburyport ran six straight points before Caitlin Frary (8 points) put in a layup.

The Clippers followed with ten unanswered points before a free throw from Lia Hatheway.

Then came eight straight Newburyport points and this game was out-of-hand, 49-26, with five minutes left.

Newburyport coach Karen Grutchfield

Key performer for the Clippers during their productive second-half possessions was junior Emma Foley.  Emma had ten points during the breakaway segments and finished with nineteen points.

“We lost a lot of forwards from last year,” explained Emma post-game.  “I realized that I had to step up.  I’m working hard to do that this season. It’s really fun to play inside.”

Emma went out with an injury in the second quarter but returned to have a sixteen-point second half.

Emma Foley was injured in the second quarter on this play

“I have been playing on a sprained ankle for a couple of weeks now,” she said.  “A girl landed on it tonight.”

Molly Kimball looks to pass

The Vikings used a zone defense for most of the night.

“We wanted to slow them down and keep them out of the paint,” said Coach Shields.  “We were keying on “10” (Makenna Ward).  She’s a great player for sure.  We wanted to focus on her and make the rest of the team beat us.”

Makenna was limited to six points, but the rest of the team caught fire in the second half led by Emma Foley to get the victory.

Caitlin Frary on a drive

The Newburyport defense created twenty-four Triton turnovers.  Most of the Vikings’ miscues were in the halfcourt and didn’t lead to many breakaway layups.

Triton put its best basketball on display in the second quarter.  Trailing 17-9, the Vikings doubled their score while shutting out the Clippers during a three-minute segment.  Kendall Liebert had a fullcourt layup and two assists to spark the visitors to an 18-17 lead.

One thing that both teams had in common was poor foul shooting.  The Clippers missed ten while the Vikings missed eight.  Several were the front ends of one-and-one’s. 

Triton’s Molly Kimball was the only player to make a 3-point shot.

Free throw shooting was a problem for both teams

The Clippers came up with five rebound baskets.  “We pride ourselves in our rebounding, but we didn’t do quite enough of that tonight,” said Coach Shields.

Asked about the Institution for Savings tournament, Emma said, “We love this tournament.  It’s fun.  They have T-shirts and trophies.”

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

Triton box
Newburyport box
Lizzie Metsker chased by Vikings
Anna Seidel lines up a free throw
Emma Foley in for two points
Olivia McDonald (4) jump shot
Sydney Turner in close
Lilly Papatola (7 points)
Liv Kiricoples on a break
Emma Foley defends Liv Kiricoples

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