Tag Archives: Coach Tom Comeau

Cam Keliher reaches 1000 points in Amesbury’s 63-38 win over Kipp Academy

Cam Keliher reaches 1000 points
Cam on a baseline drive

(Amesbury MA) Good things happened in the second half for Amesbury.

Cam Keliher reached 1000 points and the Amesbury defense came to life.

The Indians (12-8) finished their regular season with a win over Kipp Academy, 63-38, on Thursday night.

Now Amesbury will wait until the MIAA tournament starts on February 28th.

Rebound battle

“We’re working on finding a scrimmage somewhere during the time off,” said Coach Comeau afterwards.

Cam Keliher needed seventeen points to reach a thousand and had sixteen in the first half.

Several minutes into the second half, the AHS senior drove the left baseline and collected the point he needed.  Play was immediately stopped and plenty of pictures were taken with teammates and family.

“This is a dream come true,” said Cam afterwards.  “So many people helped me to get to this point and I want to thank them all including family, coaches, and teammates.”

Matt Welch (15 points)

“Cam’s been working for this for a long time,” said teammate/friend Matt Welch post-game.  “He been stressing about it a bit but now he’s got it.  I’m happy for him.”

The attention around Cam going for a special point total was understandably a distraction.  Instead of overwhelming the 3-13 Panthers from the get-go, the Indians gave the visitors too many chances and missed too many shots.

Halftime seemed to help.

Juan Setel-Singh (9 points)

“I let them have it at halftime,” said AHS coach Tom Comeau.  “They all knew that Cam had something happening today but that shouldn’t have affected their defensive intensity.”

After two minutes of direct talk on defensive intensity, the Indians were on the floor for eight minutes of organized shooting.

The results in both areas were noticeable in the second half.

A three by junior Juan Setal-Singh put the Panthers (3-14) within a possession (26-23) of the lead after 1 ½ minutes of second-half play.

Then the tide turned.

Rocco Kokinacis and Hakim Badmus

The Indians put nine straight unanswered points together.  Among the collection were the points that Cam needed to reach 1000.  Rocco Kokinacis had a three and a rebound basket before Cam’s historic basket.  Matt Welch (15 points) scored on a layup after it.

On defense, Amesbury activated a 2-2-1 zone defense.  The Panthers really struggled against it.

“We’ve seen a lot of 2-2-1,” said Kipp coach Brian Tobin afterwards.  “It doesn’t always bother us but today it quickly became a turnover-fest.”

Amesbury coach Tom Comeau

The score was 38-26 with a minute left in the third period.  The next 3+ minutes of playing time belonged totally to the home team.

Amesbury tallied sixteen straight points and gained permanent separation (54-26) from the team from Lynn with nearly six minutes of playing time remaining.

Matt Welch had nine points during the run of good offense and defense.

Matt Welch in for two

The Indians lead grew to thirty (61-31) several minutes later.

“Our effort was good for a half,” said Coach Tobin.  “Once we got down things snowballed.”

Coach Comeau: “The mindset was changed in the second half.  Sometimes a team needs a wakeup call.  They responded well.”

Matt Welch: “I’ve played AAU with him for eight years.  He’s just a great kid to play with.  He’s a good friend and a teammate.  He’s like a brother to me.”

Amesbury   11   14   17   21   =   63

Kipp               9      8     9   12   =   38

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Last home game
Scramble on the floor
Henry O’Neill in for a layup
Chasing a loose ball
Nick Marden on the glass
Christian Encarnacion
Cam Keliher guarding Jaythean Im
More defense
Trosky Pena
Nick Marden surrounded
Matt Heidt defends
1000-point scorers (Cam Keliher and Avery Hallinan)
Kipp Academy box
Amesbury box

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North Reading defeats Amesbury 68-55

Cody Cannalonga (28 points) had a memorable evening
Cody Cannalonga reached 1000 points for the Hornets

(Boston MA) Neither team had been playing well lately.

North Reading had lost three straight.

Amesbury had dropped three of their last four.

But that all changed for North Reading last night.

Under the bright lights of the Boston Garden the Hornets played, as Coach Joe Casey described it, “their best game of the season.”

Their defense was tight, and their offense flowed smoothly.

Andrew Boulas guards Cam Keliher

Along the way, senior Cody Cannalonga (28 points) crossed into the 1000-point club at North Reading.

The smooth senior needed fourteen points and he had those in the first half, getting the 1000th on a free throw.

No celebrating then but before the second half resumed the Garden announcer noted Cody’s accomplishment and he was duly recognized by the North Reading crowd, many of whom were there for this moment.

Quinn Riesenberg (18 points)

“Hollywood couldn’t have written a better script for us,” said Coach Casey afterwards.  “It was a perfect night for us and one that our kids will remember the rest of their lives.”

The Hornets (6-6) took the lead early, 6-5, on an Andrew Boulas layup 4 ½ minutes into the game and never trailed after that.

North Reading broke out on Amesbury misses and made open shots. 

“They had more energy than we did, and we didn’t make shots,” said Amesbury coach Tom Comeau post-game.

Matt Welch chased by Quinn Riesenberg in front of Coach Casey

The keys to success against the Indians (8-7) are containing next-level talents Cam Keliher and Matt Welch.  The Hornets were onto that tonight.

“The early lead gave us some confidence,” said Coach Casey.  “We really focused in on (Cam) Keliher and (Matt) Welch and did a really good job with them.”

“They played Matty and Cam real tough defensively and we didn’t have answers for it,” said Coach Comeau.

Nick Marden (9 points)

That “tough” defense truly kicked in during the second quarter when both players were held scoreless, and the Indians were limited to only eight points.

Senior Cody Cannalonga chose that quarter to go off against Amesbury registering twelve points.  His three-pointer in the last minute pushed the NR lead to double-figures (34-23).

Two free throws later, Cody joined the North Reading 1000-point club.

“Cody is a coach’s dream,” said Coach Casey.  “He is selfless and a good student.  He is an excellent leader and he comes from a terrific family.  He’s also only the third player in school history to score 1000 points.”

Cody Cannalonga gets to 1000 points

Cody will be going to Villanova where Coach Casey told me that Cody would be, “an intramural All-Star unless Villanova basketball coach Jay Wright finds out about him.”

The Hornets carried the double-digit lead throughout the second half.  Amesbury was able to get within ten points (62-52) late in the final quarter but no closer.

The score separation enabled both coaches to clear their benches and give all their players the Garden “experience.”

Coach Comeau reflected on the bigger picture: “It was a great experience for the kids and I’m glad we could give it to them.  Everyone got on the floor.  Everyone got to enjoy it.  Twenty years from now they won’t care if they won or lost.  It’ll be, ‘I played at the Garden.’”

Andrew Daileanes

Senior Quinn Riesenberg had eighteen points for North Reading including eight in the fast-start first quarter.  “It was the best game he’s played,” said Coach Casey.

It was interesting to be covering a game at the Garden this time of year.  Why?  Usually, when I’m at the Garden it is for tournament games but this was just a regular-season Cape Ann League game…….. in a very special setting.

“The loss wasn’t the end of the line at all,” said Coach Comeau.  “We do, however, have to get the ship right pretty quick.”  Ten wins assures a team of a tournament berth.  The Indians have eight wins with five games left.

Block attempt

The North Reading/Amesbury game was part of a ten-game, all-day event called the Andrew James Lawson Foundation Invitational. 

Some of the features I noticed, and was impressed with were, (1) the halftimes in which kids from the participating teams were allowed supervised to play on the court, and (2) team photos taken afterwards at center court.

I am suspecting that there will be many schools wanting to return next year to this event and others, on the outside, looking into getting involved next year.

Special thanks, from me, to Coach Comeau for allowing me to ride on the team bus.

North Reading  21   15   15   17  =  68

Amesbury          17     8   12   18  =  55

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Jake Hallinan shoots over Craig Rubino
Keegan Collins shoots
Cam Keliher (11 points) puts up a tough shot
Max LaPointe shoots
Matt Welch double-teamed
Matt Heidt
Logan Scribner shoots
Cody Cannalonga had twenty-eight points
Battle for a rebound
North Reading team
Amesbury team
Amesbury box
North Reading box

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Terrific shooting sends Georgetown past Amesbury 73-56

Pat Bjork (19 points) avoids leaping Ryan Foley

Pat Bjork (19 points) avoids leaping Ryan Foley

Ben Denoncour (15 points) hit five long ones in the first half from the same area

Ben Denoncour (15 points) hit five long ones in the first half from the same area

(Amesbury MA) Georgetown made shots from just about everywhere and overwhelmed Amesbury, 73-56, on Monday night in Cape Ann League action.

Before the game, it was announced that former Georgetown coach Mike Rowinski had passed away today from an undisclosed illness.  Mike had a 90-72 record in eight years coaching the Royals and had taken a leave of absence this season to deal with health issues.  His family is in my prayers.

The Royals (4-2 CAL/6-2 overall) destroyed the Amesbury zone defense with seven 3’s and seven baskets on rebounds.  If you’re playing a zone you know that the opponent will get outside chances…….you hope they’ll miss.  Giving up shots on the inside is supposed to be lessened by a zone defense.  However, on this night G’Town was trouble from any distance!

Pat Halloren tries to shoot over Ryan Slack

Pat Halloran tries to shoot over Ryan Slack

The scrappy Indians (2-4 CAL/2-5 overall) made a game of it early.  After Georgetown ran nine straight (three offensive rebound conversions and a Ben Denoncour three) to grab a 23-15 lead after one quarter, the Indians rallied back.  Pat Halloran, Pat Scanlon, and Fred Halloran put an eight-spot together to tie the score.

But the rest of that second quarter senior Ben Denoncour drained three 3’s and led the visitors to a 43-35 halftime advantage.

Ben made five long ones in the first half.  All of them were from the left corner in front of a very active Amesbury student section.  Didn’t seem to faze him!

The Indians were still within nine (46-37) early in the second half before a six-point Royals run (two inside scores by Pat Bjork and one by Matt Gott) boosted their lead to 52-37.  The margin reached twenty (70-50) halfway through the fourth quarter and reserves for both teams saw action the rest of the way.

6-5 Pat Bjork (19 points) caused problems for Amesbury every time he handled the ball in close.  Pat was a CAL All-League player in 2012-13.

Matt Gott defends

Matt Gott defends

The surprise, to me, was Matt Gott.  Matt (18 points) is listed at 6-2 but was able to find room in close to notch five baskets.  Matt was a CAL All-Star last season.

Senior Ben Noelk added twelve points for Georgetown.

Amesbury gave Georgetown too many good looks.  They also struggled against the G’Town zone to get good shots for themselves, especially second shots.  Missing nine of fifteen free throw attempts just made a tough night even more trying for the Indians.

Jack Fortin (13 points) and Pat Scanlon (10 points) paced Amesbury.

The Indians have now lost four straight.

Amesbury cheerleaders

Amesbury cheerleaders

Two first-year coaches (Tom Comeau – Amesbury and Barry Spears – Georgetown) were involved in this one.

The Royals were 4-16 last season while Amesbury was 10-11.

The Amesbury student section stayed active to the end led by their cheerleaders.

Amesbury will host Masconomet tomorrow night at 6:30PM while Georgetown will host North Reading at the same time.

Georgetown box

Amesbury box

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

Jack Fortin (13 points) gets a shot in the lane

Jack Fortin (13 points) gets a shot in the lane

Ben Noelk on the run

Ben Noelk on the run

Ben Noelk (12 points) tries to shoot over Pat Scanlon

Ben Noelk (12 points) tries to shoot over Pat Scanlon

Pat Halloren

Pat Halloran

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