Tag Archives: Coach Gregg Dollas

Amesbury pressure defense key to 49-31 win over Watertown in D3 North Quarter Finals

Taylor Lambo double-teamed

Watertown under pressure

(Amesbury MA) The Amesbury offense was rusty, but their defense certainly wasn’t.

The Indians (#2 seed) rode their full-court, pressuring, trapping defense to a 49-31 win over Watertown (#10 seed) in the Division 3 North quarterfinals on Friday night.

“The defense saved us tonight,” said AHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards. “We hadn’t played in ten days and it showed on offense.”

The Indians (19-2) broke away from a 10-10 tie early in the second period on an Alli Napoli full-court drive and built their lead the rest of the way.

Avery Hallinan (16 points)

“We started off really slow but after a while we settled down and made our shots,” said sophomore Avery Hallinan (16 points).

Watertown led early (6-0) but generating offense was a game-long struggle thereafter.

“Their pressure kept us out of rhythm,” said Watertown coach Pat Ferdinand.

“We focused on our defense and trapping in our recent practices,” explained McKenna Hallinan. “It really helped us today. We needed to switch on pick-and-rolls because #53 (Taylor Lambo) was involved and we wanted to deny her the ball.”

Taylor ended up with thirteen points.

“#53 (Taylor) did a good job inside,” said Coach Dollas.

Amesbury registered seven straight points after tying the score at 10-10.

Alli Napoli (14 points) on her way to the basket

Alli Napoli (14 points) collected three layups in this surge. One was a full-court drive through the entire Raiders defense.

“She (Alli) was dynamic,” said Coach Ferdinand. “Regardless of what we did she was able to control the flow of the game.”

“Alli had another good game,” said Coach Dollas.

Amesbury’s next game will be at a neutral site, so this not only was another of the 1000-point scorer’s “good” games but her last at AHS.

The Indians ended the first half with two Gabby Redford (13 points) free throws that started Amesbury into ten unanswered points.

The Raiders (10-12) had gotten within seven (22-15) on a Brittany Catsoulis jump shot before Gabby’s free throws.

While the Raiders were shut out for nearly six minutes of the third period, the Indians scored eight in a row.

Gabby Redford (13 points)

Avery Hallinan had a layup and an old-fashioned 3-point play while Gabby Redford cashed the new-fashioned version of a three-pointer.

“I thought Gabby hit some big shots for us tonight,” said Coach Dollas. “She was a 2nd team Cape Ann League All-Star for good reason.”

The Amesbury lead had been built to 32-15 with three minutes left in the third quarter.

The teams played even (point-wise) the rest of the way.

Watertown’s Ellie Monahan had eight points in the second half including a buzzer-beating triple to close the third quarter.

The Raiders needed stops to go with their improved offense in the final period but on this night couldn’t find it.

“At times we got stops but we couldn’t get baskets on the other end,” said Coach Ferdinand.

Taylor Lambo (13 points) at the line

Watertown is from the Middlesex League. In their first-round game they defeated Latin Academy, 46-36. Taylor Lambo had twenty-two points, fifteen rebounds, and three blocks in that one.

Amesbury is in the Cape Ann League. Their two losses this season have been to the D2 North #1 seed (Pentucket) and the D3 #1 seed (St. Mary’s).

Coach Dollas: “Our defense was really good. We didn’t want them to be able to set up their offense. That was our goal. We had good energy the whole time.”

Gabby Redford: “At first it was very stressful because we were down at the beginning. It was good for us to step up in the second half. The fan section really helped.”

Mary Bullis: “I thought the girls stepped up on defense. Because of the pressure, #53 had to bring the ball up. I’m not sure she wanted to do that. I know that feeling.”

Coach Ferdinand: “I’m proud of our girls. We didn’t have enough tonight. Sometimes you see that a team has an edge on you. You just try to compete as much as possible and we did.”

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

Watertown coach Pat Ferdinand

Taylor Lambo passes

Taylor Lambo looks for an opening

McKenna Hallinan

Liv DeLong defends an inbounds pass

Leah D’Amico looks for an opening against Ashlee Porcaro

Izzy Cambece

Gabby Redford and Catherine LaForte guard Taylor Lambo

Flannery O’Connor honored at halftime

Brittany Catsoulis and Ciara Sullivan

Battle for control

Ashley Shaughnessy chased by Avery Hallinan

Alli Napoli in among four Raiders

Alli Napoli floats in against Taylor Lambo

 

 

 

 

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Amesbury edges Fenway 68-63 and gets St. Mary’s in Spartan Classic final

Avery Hallinan (27 points) in for two of them

Fifty turnovers in this game – Fenway (28), Amesbury (22)

(Lynn MA) This game was hardly smooth.

Sixty-four free throws and fifty turnovers.

Whistles galore.

Amesbury rode their accurate free throw shooting (29-for-35) to a 68-63 win over Fenway in the First Round of the Division 3 Spartan Classic.

Amesbury will face St. Mary’s in the title game Monday night. It is not a reach to think that one of these two teams will be playing at the TD Garden on March 9th or 10th in the D3 state semi-final game.

Fenway has two six-footers (Janyah Gulley & Kayana Armbrister) but Janyah fouled out in the third quarter and Kayana in the fourth quarter with five minutes left.

“Their big girls getting into foul trouble certainly helped, “said Amebury coach Gregg Dollas afterwards. “His subs, however, did a good job of keeping them in the game.”

Alli Napoli (21 points)

This was a one-possession game (62-59) going into the last minute. Then an Alli Napoli (21 points) layup, assisted by Sadie Kermelewicz, raised the lead and Avery Hallinan (27 points) sealed the deal with four straight free throws.

Avery struggled from the floor tonight, but at the line? Wow! The sophomore made 17-of-19.

Avery also had several steals and took three charges.

“We focused on taking charges and making our free throws,” added McKenna Hallinan.

“We scored sixty-eight and we didn’t shoot well,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollas. “Avery on the line was huge. Our free throw shooting saved us because our outside shots weren’t falling at all early on.”

The Panthers (11-6) got off to a terrific start.

Imani Terry (16 points) helped Fenway get off to a fast start

In the first twenty seconds, senior Imani Terry (16 points) hit a three, stole the ensuing inbounds pass and made a layup.

The next points after that were on a rebound basket by sophomore Wynter Neal (14 points).

Coach Dollas immediately went for a timeout after the 7-0 beginning. “I’ve never seen a start like that,” he said.

“That timeout settled us down,” recalled McKenna.

Amesbury (18-1) has not been behind very often, or for very long, this season but against a quality team like Fenway there was no quick recovery.

The Indians put a run of eight straight points together in the second quarter to get to within two (22-20) but D4 Fenway was still ahead (29-26) at halftime.

Janyah Gulley fouled out in the 3rd period

Amesbury got the unanswered run of eight off a successful inbounds play (Alli Napoli) and a full-court Alli drive. Avery Hallinan made two free throws and then took a steal in for a layup for the other four points.

Alli drained Amesbury’s only three, 1 ½ minutes into the second half, to tie the score at 31-31.

Shortly after the score was tied, the first of Fenway’s two tallest players (Janyah Gulley) fouled out.

Sophomore Kayana Armbrister (20 points) soars into the lane

It would have been easy at this point to think that Amesbury would take advantage but Fenway’s Kayana Armbrister (20 points) had other plans. Kayana made free throws and started the final quarter with an old-fashioned 3-point play. Fenway led, 43-40.

Amesbury then made their run to the front for good.

Free throws (Avery Hallinan), a layup (Gabby Redford) assisted by Alli Napoli, and a drive (Avery) put the Indians ahead, 46-43, with six minutes left.

A minute later, Kayana Armbrister was gone on fouls after Avery Hallinan took the charge.

The Panthers were in trouble and down, 59-51, with 2:20 left. But they weren’t out.

Consecutive three’s (Wynter Neal & Imani Terry) vaulted the team from the Boston City League to within a possession, 59-57, with 1 ½ minutes left.

Alli Napoli got a point back on a free throw before Fenway committed their 28th turnover.

McKenna Hallinan shoots a free throw

Two free throws by McKenna Hallinan were answered by two from Wynter Neal….62-59.

Amesbury tallied six points in their next three possessions while Fenway picked up four points. The Panthers had another free throw point but lost it on a lane violation.

“It cost us not having our six-footers late in the game,” said Fenway coach John Rice post-game. “You’ve got to play the game. You’ve got to do the best you can with the players you’ve got.”

Fenway was missing starter Omariah Ashley.

The Panthers have won the Boston City League three straight years.

Alli Napoli looks inside

Fenway’s 11-6 record is misleading. Three of their losses were to D1 schools.

Amesbury’s only loss was to D2 defending champs Pentucket on January 28th.

Pentucket’s coach John McNamara picked up his 300th win tonight. He’s reached that total in fifteen seasons. That’s a 20-wins-per-season pace!

Avery Hallinan: “The game was interesting. We started really, really, really bad. Then we slowed it down and got fouls on their best players which we like to do. We started to hit our shots and passed to get layups.”

Fenway box

Amesbury box

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

Wynter Neal and Avery Hallinan

Surrounded by Indians

Sophomore Kayana Armbrister

Senior Alli Napoli

McKenna Hallinan

Janaiya Printemps and McKenna Hallinan

Fenway coach John Rice

Inbounds play

Izzy Cambece

Ciara Sullivan

Alli Napoli guards senior Janyah Gulley

 

 

 

 

 

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Beth Castantini Trifecta: 28 points, 1000 points, and Newburyport win (55-36) over Marblehead

(Marblehead) Beth Castantini needed eight points to get to 1000.  The Clipper senior took care of that business before the first quarter was over, then went on to get twenty more in a 55-36 Newburyport win over Marblehead on Wednesday afternoon.

Beth Castantini poses with teammates after the game

Beth Castantini with Coach Gregg Dollas and her parents

This was a nonleague game that ends the regular season for the two tournament-qualifying teams. A team needs ten wins to get in.

In this game, Newburyport (13-7) broke away from a 2-2 tie and never looked back.

Clippers celebrate 1000-point moment in a timeout

Beth’s spin inside in the opening quarter gave her the points she needed for 1000 with little over a minute left.  She followed the 1000th point basket with a jumper off a rebound and a feed to Lilly Donovan for a score before the quarter ended.  That trio of baskets put Newburyport ahead, 19-7.

A run of six by Lindsey Cohen (18 points) put some intrigue back in the game (19-13) but a Beth baseline jumper and an assist on a Lea Tomasz jump shot gave the Clippers a 27-18 advantage at halftime.

It should be noted that during that second quarter, point guard Aly Leahy rolled her ankle and didn’t return.  The Clippers will need her back when tournament play starts next week.

It should also be noted that with Aly out, the point guard the rest of the way was the versatile Beth Castantini.

Lindsey Cohen (18 points) on her way to one of her eight layups

The Magicians were still within nine (34-25) with 3 ½ to go in the third quarter.  However, they didn’t score a point over the next three minutes as Newburyport offered up nine straight.

This is how Newburyport collected the nine unanswered: Beth layup after a terrific save by Lilly Donovan of a ball going out of bounds, a Katy Bennett free throw, a converted rebound of her own miss by Mary Pettigrew, two Beth free throws, and an inbounds (pass from Molly Rowe) jump shot in the lane by Beth.

That solid offense turned the nine-point deficit into an eighteen-point deficit (43-25) and significantly lessened the  suspense in predicting the outcome.  The closest Marblehead could get the rest of the way was thirteen (47-34) midway through the last quarter.

Senior Lindsey Cohen scored well for Marblehead.  The Clippers had trouble keeping her from taking the ball to the basket – all of her points came from layups.

Beth attracts defenders

All of Beth’s twenty-eight points were made in the first three quarters.  She also had four assists.  There were no 3’s in the point collection.  The Magician defense obviously were aware of her but didn’t have a matchup or a defense to keep her from getting good looks in high percentage areas.

Marblehead (10-10) will be in Division 2 of the state tournament.  Newburyport is Division 3.

Newburyport won the first meeting (43-25) on Martin Luther King Monday.  In that game, Marblehead was missing two starters – Kathryn Digiammarino and Sydney Pliner.  The Clippers were without Molly Rowe.  Beth had twenty the first time around.

Newburyport made their two 3’s at the end of the game.  Seldom-hesitant, long-range shooter Casey Barlow made the first and seldom-looking-for-her-shot Caty Bennett had the second go in off the backboard.

I saw St. Mary’s coach Jeff Newman in the house.  Let’s see, his team (last year’s state champs) is in D3 and Newburyport is in D3.……..

Newburyport boxscore

Marblehead boxscore

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

Beth with her parents

Beth with Coach Dollas

Mary Pettigrew heads down the lane

action under the basket

Lea Tomasz shoots over Emily Freedland (7 points)

Aly Leahy

McKenna Barrett (#20) and Lindsey Cohen (#15)

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North Andover starts fast and never looks back in 47-36 win over Newburyport in girls basketball

Morgan Lumb (22 points) launches a triple. She made four of them in the game.

(Newburyport)  North Andover started NASCAR fast and left Newburyport in the distant dust while cruising to a 47-36 win at NHS on Friday night.

NHS senior sign

Prior to the Newburyport’s final regular-season home game, the Clippers recognized their three seniors (Beth Castantini, Molly Rowe, and Cady Bennett) and their parents. That was the last celebrating the home team would do.

The Knights shut down Newburyport for the opening six minutes and were up twelve zip.  NA hit the Clippers hard on both ends.  Their trapping and scrapping wrecked any kind of flow toward Clipper scoring opportunities while on offense their passing and cutting gave great looks.

NHS coach Gregg Dollas went through two quick timeouts with the volume in the huddle much louder in the second one.

After the noisy timeout the Clippers put in their best six minutes of play in the game.  They outscored the visitors, 16-7, and trailed only, 19-16, with four minutes to go in the first half.  The key to the good play was getting points from seven different players.  Meri Adsit had an old-fashioned 3-point play assisted by Molly Rowe to highlight the Clipper surge.  As the points rolled up, it was North Andover coach Susan Breen using a timeout to try and cool off Newburyport.

Leah Chittick (12 points) flies in for a layup.

And did the Clippers cool off.  It was like the disastrous beginning of this game all over again.  NA rattled off seven straight to end the first half (26-16) and their run wasn’t finished.

The third quarter saw NA’s Morgan Lumb put on an awfully good Brooke Stewart (Masco) impersonation, dropping fifteen of her game-high twenty-two points on the stunned Clippers.  There were three triples, a nifty spin down the lane, a turnover turned into a layup, and two free throws.  Dazzling display by the junior!

The Clippers found themselves behind, 43-21, after three quarters.

The final score of some games is misleading and this is certainly one of them.  NA got up, 45-21, fifteen seconds into the last quarter and didn’t get any more points until the very end, as liberal substituting kicked in for both teams.  The Clippers put together a collection of fourteen unanswered points but never got closer than ten.

Senior Beth Castantini (10 points) heavily defended by MacKenzie Mello

Newburyport (11-6) has all road games left starting Monday night with arguably the best team in the league, Pentucket, at Pentucket.  The Clippers have now lost three straight and need to find some positive traction before the Division 3 state tournament starts.

North Andover (10-6) qualified for the Division 2 state tournament with the win over Newburyport.  Their record is a bit deceiving since they lost to the best girls’ team in the state (Andover) twice this season.  The Knights next game is versus Triton at home on Tuesday night.

Freshman Leah Chittick had twelve points for the Knights.

Beth Castantini (10 points) led the Clipper scorers.  Lilly Donovan had six points and had the unenviable task of chasing Morgan Lumb around for a good part of the night.

I had hoped to get a picture of the seniors with their parents but it just didn’t work out.

North Andover boxscore

Newburyport boxscore

(All the pictures above and below enlarge significantly if you click on them.)

Morgan Lumb

Rebecca Kell shoots

Senior Cady Bennett

Aly Leahy and Leah Chittick

Alex Medlock defends

Senior Molly Rowe

Pam Coufos breaks away

loose ball

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Strong Finish Gives Pentucket Girls 2011 Provident Bank Tip Off Classic 44-37 Over Newburyport

Beth Castantini surrounded by three Pentucket players.

Game MVP Coley Viselli puts up layup in traffic.

(Newburyport)  Two of the best girls’ teams in the area opened the 2011-12 basketball season against each other in the Provident Bank Tip Off Classic on Monday night.

A strong final quarter gave the visiting Pentucket Sachems a 44-37 win over the Newburyport Clippers.

Pentucket (20-5 in 2010-11) predictably came at the Clippers in defensive waves all over the court and let the long ones fly with abandon on offense.  Sometimes it worked……….sometimes it didn’t.

After a fast start (3-for-5) Pentucket’s long ball accuracy vanished, as 2-for-16 the rest of the way would suggest.  But three minutes into the final quarter junior Alex Moore hit one and was fouled by Meri Adsit.  Alex completed the 4-point play to give the Sachems a 39-33 advantage.

Newburyport rallied nearly all the way back after trailing, 18-4, early in the second quarter.  Pitiful Pentucket shooting in the 3rd quarter (1-for-13) opened the door for the Clippers (5-for-9 shooting) to erase a 27-14 halftime deficit.  A Lea Tomasz three with two seconds left put this one in the “very interesting” category (31-29) with a quarter left.

Leigh McNamara (25) sails in for a first half layup.

As I said, Alex Moore hit a huge three in the final quarter but it was the Pentucket pressure over the final 5+ minutes that really did in the Clippers.  The pressure seemed to work best in the half-court as there were no turn-2’s (steal and get a layup) in the decisive final minutes.

Newburyport got within one (32-31) on a Lea Tomasz converted rebound and two (35-33) on a Beth Castantini jump shot with 5:40 left.

Plenty of time left and certainly close enough score-wise for the home team to pull the upset.

However, the Pentucket defense gave up only one point (Beth Castantini free throw) over the next 5 ½ minutes!  Molly Rowe hit a three with a few seconds left but by then, as they say in farm country, the cows had left the barn.

The shocking numbers for the Clippers during those game-deciding 5 ½ minutes were: one point in eleven possessions, eight turnovers, three shots in one possession and only one shot in the other ten.  Those are dream/nightmare numbers depending on which bench you were sitting on.

Speaking of nightmares, Clipper coach Gregg Dollas will probably remember this game for a while as one where he learned something about the numbers on his players’ uniforms.

Cady Bennett

As the game was about to start the Clippers were assessed a technical foul because Cady Bennett was in the scorebook as #14 but was wearing #21.  Coley Viselli sank both technical foul shots.

Later in the first quarter, Lilly Donovan was put in the game wearing #9.  Players can’t wear single digit numbers above 5.…….probably because officials can’t finger signal 6-9 without possibly confusing the scorekeepers.  Coley made one of the technical foul shots.

That’s three points, and in a close game like this one, they were a tough giveaway.

Coley Viselli was chosen MVP of the game.  Good thing they didn’t ask me.  I’d have given it either to teammate Sarah Higgins and her 16 points or to Alex Moore for her 4th quarter heroics.  Alex had the 4-point play and less than a minute before that had an old-fashioned 3-point play.  Those seven points were huge in this low scoring game.

Molly McDonough and Molly Rowe were given student/athlete scholarships afterwards thanks to Provident Bank.

A good crowd of Sachem support was on hand.

We saw the debut of a couple of Pentucket freshman – McKenna Kilian & Kelsi McNamara.

The Clippers will be able to count on points from seniors Beth Castantini (15) and Molly Rowe (11).  Bettering last year’s 13-7 record could well depend on steady scoring from other players.

Molly Rowe gets student-athlete scholarship from Coach Gregg Dollas.

Tess Nogueira and Leigh McNamara both spent time defending Beth Castantini.  Both players picked up their fourth foul in the final period.

The quickness and all-out approach of junior Meri Adsit was impressive.

Newburyport box score

Pentucket box score

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

Beth Castantini (10) & Leigh McNamara (25)

Coley Viselli – Lilly Donovan – Sarah Higgins

Tess Nogueira (32) & Mary Pettigrew (33)

Pentucket coach John McNamara

Beth Castantini

Meri Adsit (5) & Sydney Snow (3)

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