Tag Archives: Eric Meyer

Newburyport Boys Defeat Pentucket 53-39 to Reach Division 3 North Finals

Brett Fontaine (21 points) sinks a free throw in the midst of an eighteen point run by Newburyport.

Newburyport players celebrate after defeating Pentucket at Triton to reach the D3 North finals.

(Byfield) Who knows what goes on in a timeout?  In a quiet gym you might catch a word or two but certainly not in an MIAA Division 3 North semi-final game held at Triton with an overflow crowd and two student cheering sections trying to outdo each other.

Newburyport called the timeout I’m referencing here after Pentucket had scored six straight points and taken a 17-13 lead with 5:04 left in the second quarter.

I don’t know what Clipper coach Tom L’Italien said, and maybe it wasn’t profound, but his team came out and totally dominated Pentucket for the rest of the half.  The domination (eighteen unanswered points) was so significant that it put the Sachems in a hole they could never get out of thereafter.

Newburyport (15-7) went on to win, 53-39, but this game was decided in the last five minutes of the second quarter as the Clippers went from down four (17-13) to up by fourteen (31-17) at the half.

The victory sends Newburyport to Division 3 North finals against Watertown on Saturday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.

The secret to success for Newburyport against Pentucket was turning up layups all night long.  Whether it was on a fast break or on dribble penetration the Clippers traveled the inside, high-percentage road getting seventeen layups in the twenty-two baskets they accumulated.

In the game-winning, eighteen point run, Newburyport had six layups, and an in-the-lane floater and a three by Matt Leavitt.

What was Pentucket (13-10) doing while this was going on?  Missing nine shots, including five 3’s and committing two turnovers.

Brett Fontaine – 21 points and a willingness to drive to the basket

Junior Brett Fontaine was huge for Newburyport with 21 points and a willingness to take the ball to the basket in traffic.  He took a whack in the third quarter and missed three minutes but was back in the final quarter to score the Clippers first four points on drives to the hoop.

Chris Jayne chased Corey McNamara around for the entire game.  That meant fighting through the numerous screens the Sachems set for their long-range shooter.  Corey managed to get off seventeen shots but only made two of them.  He was a very surprising 1-for-14 from long range.

Without Corey’s normal 17+ points, the Sachems needed points from elsewhere and on this night no one filled that void.  Will Angelini and John Modlish led Pentucket’s scorers with just eight points apiece.

Drew Carter (10 points) and Chris Jayne (9 points) were the other leading scorers for Newburyport.

The Clippers led throughout the first quarter before two free throws by John Modlish, a jumper by Will Angelini, and a layup by Mike Doud in the second quarter gave Pentucket the lead (17-13) and necessitated the Clipper timeout which was followed by the eighteen point Newburyport run.

Cory McNamara comes off a Will Angelini screen on Chris Jayne looking for a pass.

Pentucket trailed 39-27 after three quarters.  In the 4th, a John Modlish layup and a Serge Smaila three put the Sachems within nine (41-32) with 6:40 to go but layups by Brett Fontaine and Eric Meyer restored the Clipper’s double-digit advantage and they held it the rest of the way.

Both schools had good student turnouts and Triton is set up nicely to accommodate student sections with space in between them.  I’m not sure why chanting obscenities is tolerated by schools.  I wonder if that sort of thing will be “fixed” by the time Saturday’s Tsongas Center game is held.

During halftime the adults gave the student sections lessons in how to cheer.

Pentucket team huddle and student section

Newburyport team huddle and student section

This will be Newburyport’s first divisional final game since 2000.  If Pentucket had won it would have been the first time they had ever been to the division finals.

The Clippers will have to deal with Marco Coppola and his 26.4 points per game average on Saturday when they face Watertown.  I saw Marco’s freshman sister Gabby play against Pentucket.

(I accumulate my own stats and take my own pictures.  I also draw my own conclusions.  The errors along the way are unintentional.)

(Note the error in adding up Brett Fontaine’s points. It should be 21 not 22.)

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Filed under Newburyport, Pentucket

Rich Warren’s 37 Points Not Enough in Lynn Tech Loss 74-71 to Newburyport in D3 North Semis

Eric Meyer (19 points) hit 9-of-10 free throws in the final quarter.

Rich Warren (37 points) hit two 3’s in the last minute.

(Lynn) Newburyport took a seven point lead with 1:12 left and made enough pressure free throws after that to offset a couple of Rich Warren 3’s and defeated Lynn Tech, 74-71, in Lynn on Thursday night to advance to the Division 3 North semi-finals.

Until Michael Duarte’s last-second heave from the backcourt fell short and the buzzer went off, there was no certainty of the winning team.

Lynn Tech’s Rich Warren (37 points) was awesome the entire game and the Clippers can be thankful that he wasn’t taking that last shot or we might have seen overtime.

Because of the Clipper free throws, that last-second shot was the only chance in the last five minutes of the game where Lynn Tech had the ball and a chance to tie with a made three.

On the road in front of a very loud Lynn Tech crowd, Newburyport made 13-of-16 free throws in the tense final quarter.  Trailing by as many as seven, the Tigers were quick to foul after every missed shot and since Eric Meyer seemed to rebound every miss, he took most of the free throws.  I don’t know how good a free throw shooter Eric was during the season but in the final quarter of a do-or-die game he was an amazing 9-for-10!

The celebrating begins on the Newburyport sideline as the game ends.

Eric’s last free throw gave Newburyport a 72-66 lead with twenty-three seconds left.  Rich Warren cut that lead in half with his 6th 3-pointer.  Chris Jayne made one of two free throws to keep the Clippers ahead, 73-69, with 16.6 seconds left.  Michael Duarte took a long three that was well short but freshman Ronnie Williams alertly caught the air ball and laid it in with 4.5 seconds left and Lynn Tech trailed by only two, 73-71.  Chris Jayne was fouled again and made the second of two free throws to put the Clippers up by three (74-71) with 3.8 seconds to go.  Michael Duarte’s toss from the backcourt was well short causing normal breathing to return to a good collection of Newburyport fans.

There were thirteen lead changes in this game.

Trey Gallo (#1) takes the ball to the basket against Drew Carter.

Lynn Tech (13-6/#4 seed) made their “go-it-alone” approach work on offense.  There were numerous coast-to-coast drives ending in layups.  In some cases the Clippers were back on defense but quick-moving Tigers like Trey Gallo (13 points) and Michael Duarte (12 points) could still weave their way to the rim.

On the other hand, the Clippers (14-7) were willing to make passes to get open shots and did it ever pay off.  Newburyport shot a sizzling 56% for the game (25-for-44) including an unreal 67% (12-for-18) in the second half.  Add 14-for-18 from the foul line (also in the second half) and you can see how good the Clipper shooting was in this tourney win.

A last-second three by Matt Leavitt (13 points) gave Newburyport an 18-15 lead after one quarter.  Luis Tavares (4 points) converted an offensive rebound with two seconds left in the second quarter to give the Tigers a 34-33 halftime edge.  Rich Warren’s last-second three tied the score at 52-52 at the end of three quarters.  So when you add on the way the last quarter ended you can see that the exciting moments just kept coming.

Eric Meyer (19 points), Brett Fontaine (15 points), and Matt Leavitt and Chris Jayne with 13 points each, topped the Clipper scorers.

Brett Fontaine (#24) lines up a three after getting a pass from Matt Mottola (#22).

One of the big final-quarter plays for Newburyport was Matt Mottala finding Brett Fontaine for a three that gave the Clippers a 61-55 lead with five minutes left.

#5 seed Newburyport now awaits the winner of the Pentucket at Hamilton-Wenham game tomorrow night.  During the regular season the Clippers split with Pentucket and lost by five to Hamilton-Wenham.  There were players from HW in the audience tonight.

Tiger coach Marvin Avery has coached Lynn Tech for twelve seasons.  His teams have reached the post-season every year and have been to the Division 3 North finals six times.  It might not be so easy next season as the players he calls, “The Little Three,” (Trey Gallo, Michael Duarte, and Rich Warren) are all graduating.

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Filed under Lynn Tech, Newburyport

Regular season pictures I’ve taken of MIAA tournament-qualifying basketball team members

The pictures are sorted by Divisions and boys/girls.

Click on a picture to enlarge it.

Division 1 North

#1 seed – St. John’s Prep (19-1)

Pat Connaughton

Mike Carbone

#3 seed – Lynn English (19-2)

Keandre Stanton

Travonne Berry-Rogers


#5 seed – Central Catholic (19-2)

Jimmy Zenevitch

Luis Puello


#11 seed – Andover (14-5)

Joe Bramanti





#14 seed – Everett (12-8)

Emo Deschommes

Alain Jeanty


Division 2 North

#1 seed – Wilmington (17-3)

Vinny Scifo
Tim McCarthy







#5 seed – Salem (15-5)

Antonio Reyes
Dario/Raphy Medrano






#3 seed – North Andover (16-4)

Zach Karalis

Derek Collins







#11 seed – Masconomet

Adam Bramanti
Zach Zaniewski







Division 3 North 

 #1 seed – Hamilton-Wenham (15-3)

Stephen Tam






#5 seed – Newburyport (13-7)

Matt Leavitt

Eric Meyer


#8 seed – Pentucket (11-9)

Corey McNamara

Will Angelini






Division 4 North

#2 seed – Manchester-Essex (16-4)

Joe Mussachia

Sean Nally


#8 seed – Georgetown (12-8)

Johnny Spears and Tyler Wade









 Division 1 North (Girls)

 #6 seed – Masconomet (15-3)

Brooke Stewart






Division 3 North

#4 seed – Ipswich (13-7)

Hannah O'Flynn

Nyra Constant

#5 seed – Newburyport (13-7)

Molly Rowe

Beth Castantini


 #7 seed – Triton (11-9)

Jen Rock

Alyssa Conley

#3 seed – Pentucket (18-4)

Alex Moore

Tess Nogueira

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Filed under Everett, Uncategorized

Tim McCarthy (21 points) leads Wilmington past Newburyport 66-58

Tim McCarthy (#20) is defended by Chris Jayne (#5). Tim finished as the game’s top scorer with 21 points.

(Newburyport) Consistent Wilmington (6-1) outlasted scrappy Newburyport (4-4), 66-58, in Cape Ann League action at Newburyport on Friday night.

The Wildcats took the lead (18-16) for good late in the first quarter on a Nick Godzyk (13 points) layup.

This was a game of layups and 3’s with very little in between.

The Clippers ran into dry spells in the middle quarters and couldn’t muster the firepower to recover in the final quarter.

Newburyport did put together a 9-1 run late to get to within four (60-56) with forty-six seconds left.  Layups by Eric Meyer, Chris Jayne, and Brett Fontaine plus a Chris Jayne trey provided the points.  However, Vinny Scifo (7 points) and Tim McCarthy (21 points) answered with six straight free throws to clinch the win for the Wildcats.

Tim McCarthy was impressive.  The Wilmington junior guard did not force his offense and set up several teammates for layups.  He nailed four 3’s and was 5-for-5 from the foul line.   He was an important part of the consistent offense Newburyport faced.

I mentioned two runs doing Newburyport in.  The first one was 10-3 in the second period.  Nick Godzyk and James Wilkinson put up the points for the Wildcats.  Nick had a three off the backboard in the mix.  I guess that’s when you know, as an opponent, that you may be in trouble.

Newburyport trailed 30-21 after that run.

The killer run started late in the 3rd quarter and went almost six minutes into the final period.  Newburyport was held to four points (Eric Meyer free throw & Matt Leavitt three) while the Wildcats collected thirteen points.

I mentioned Wilmington’s consistency.  During the 13-4 run, five different players contributed points.  The Clippers had only twelve turnovers during the game but five of them were during this 13-4 run including three in a row early in the 4th period.

Matt Leavitt (#3) shown here with Tim McCarthy hit four 3’s and led Clipper scorers with sixteen points.

The Clippers ended up with four players reaching double figures (Matt Leavitt-16, Eric Meyer-12, Chris Jayne-10, and Brett Fontaine-10).

Newburyport faced a solid man-to-man defense the whole game yet with their outside weave and slashes to the basket opened up some good shots.  Wilmington turned up enough open shots to generate the runs that won the game for them.

Eric Meyer (#44) tallied twelve points and drew plenty of defensive interest in the post.

With 6-5 Eric Meyer inside, the Clippers have the potential of a very effective inside-out game.  The Wildcats were very keen on keeping the ball out of the post and once it got there they sent help.

(I keep track of my own stats.  I offer my own opinions.  I take my own pictures.  I apologize in advance for any statistical errors and misguided conclusions.)

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Filed under Cape Ann League, Newburyport, North Reading

Newburyport Boys Survive Slow Start Defeating Amesbury 52-44 In Season Opener

Amesbury coach Thom Connors and Newburyport coach Tom L’Italien chat before the season opener.

Clipper Chris Jayne tallied 13 points and did a nice job defending dangerous Stephan Deas of Amesbury.

(Amesbury) The Newburyport Clippers (1-0) survived a terrible start and defeated the Amesbury Indians (0-1), 52-44, in the season opener for both teams on Tuesday night at Amesbury.

The Clippers missed all seventeen shots they took from the field in the first quarter while the Indians missed all fourteen shots they took in the second quarter.  First game jitters?  Did that breeze from the outside escape into the gym?

The difference in the game?  While Newburyport was shooting poorly in the first quarter, Amesbury could only put seven points on the board because the Indians had nine turnovers.  On the other hand, when Amesbury turned cold in the second quarter the Clippers put together a 9-1 run to get the lead (11-8) and later nine straight to start to pull away, 22-12.

In that crucial second quarter Newburyport showed long range accuracy (Matt Leavitt/Zach Fenton/Chris Jayne) and inside strength with rebound conversions by Ian Michaels and Eric Meyer.

Matt Leavitt was covered closely (here by Stephan Deas) but his consecutive 3’s early in the second half gave Newburyport a 15-point lead.

Matt Leavitt put two 3’s together in the first minute of the 3rd quarter and Newburyport was away 30-15.  In the 4th quarter it was Chris Jayne’s turn to put a couple of 3’s together and his twosome gave the Clippers a 49-30 spread with 4:40 left.

This was more than enough despite a late seven-point unanswered rush by Amesbury in the last 2:46 of the game.

The Clippers showed plenty of offensive weapons after the slow start.  They also took very good care of the ball with just 13 turnovers – 3 of them came in the last frantic two minutes of the game.

The Clippers also have some outside shooters.  Their top scorers (Matt Leavitt and Chris Jayne) each registered thirteen points.

I kept no rebound stats but you should know that Newburyport had 21 more shots than Amesbury.  There were thirteen times that the Clippers had an extra shot at the basket.  Amesbury had just five.

Matt Talbot led Amesbury’s scorers with 18 points.  He didn’t create his own offense but could make an open shot including four 3’s in this one.

Stephan Deas ended up with fourteen points but an excellent defensive job by Chris Jayne was evident.  Newburyport also employed a zone that gave Stephan few good looks.  The speedy junior deserves the special attention.

A good crowd turned out for the season opener.  It looked as if one Amesbury student got the gate while a Newburyport 26-0 sign didn’t last the entire game.  The enthusiasm in both sections was evident.

(I keep my own stats, take my own pictures, and interview no one.  Therefore, everything in this blog entry is unofficial statistically.  Inaccuracies are unintentional.)

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Filed under Amesbury, Newburyport