Tag Archives: Haley Johnson

Jenny Nelson k’s eleven leading Pentucket past Triton 5-0 in Cape Ann League softball

Pentucket sophomore Jenny Nelson dominated Triton

Pentucket sophomore Jenny Nelson dominated Triton

Pentucket shortstop Kassidy Kennefick chases down a foul popup

Pentucket shortstop Kassidy Kennefick chases down a foul popup

(Byfield MA)  Way too much Jenny Nelson for the Triton Vikings on this sunny Monday afternoon.

The Pentucket sophomore struck out eleven and scattered two hits (both by Mara Spears) as the Sachems defeated Triton, 5-0, in Cape Ann League softball.

The last three games for Triton (5-11) have been a big surprise to anyone connected to their program.  The Vikings had put five straight wins together but since then have not only lost three straight but haven’t scored a run in twenty-three straight innings.

Pentucket (7-7) has now won two straight.  They need to get to ten wins in the remaining six games to qualify for the post-season tournament.  You have to like their chances after the way they played today.

Mary Kate Corrado fields a grounder

Mary Kate Corrado fields a grounder

The Sachems collected an unearned run in the first inning.  Sophomore Maddie Binding and junior Kassidy Kennefick started the inning with singles.  Tyler Feeney’s sacrifice fly moved Maddie to third.  Mary Kate Corrado’s two-out grounder was booted by shortstop Rylie Culverwell scoring Maddie Binding.

Pentucket loaded the bases with singles in the third with one out.  Mary Kate Corrado’s grounder to short resulted in a baserunner interference call on Tyler Feeney but pinchrunner Sarah Stewart reached home with Pentucket’s second run.

confusion in the Triton outfield

confusion in the Triton outfield

Ahead 2-0, the visitors created two runs in the fifth inning off of Triton reliever Haley Johnson.  Kassidy Kennefick put down a perfect bunt to reach.  Then Tyler Feeney lofted a popup into right field that was misjudged by rightfielder Cailin Fraser allowing Kassidy to reach third.  Kassidy then scored on Sydney Snow’s RBI single with Tyler taking third.  Tyler surprised the Vikings by stealing home after a throwback from catcher Julia Hartman to pitcher Haley Johnson.

The final Pentucket run was set up in the sixth inning by a sacrifice bunt (Jenny Nelson) that alert baserunner Nicolette Kent used to get from first to third on.  That baserunning put Nicolette at third where she came home on senior Allison Knowles sacrifice fly.

Pitcher Jenny Nelson eyes an infield popup with second baseman Sydney Snow behind her

Pitcher Jenny Nelson eyes an infield popup with second baseman Sydney Snow behind her

And while Pentucket was finding ways to score runs, the Vikings struggled to get baserunners. They had only four in the entire game.  Triton had only one fly-ball out.  They did get runners to second and third in the sixth inning but pitcher Jenny Nelson handled Emma McGonagle’s popup to end the inning.

Shortstop Kassidy Kennefick made a nice running catch in foul territory in the fourth inning.

Triton’s second baseman Kylie Gilroy put on quite a show in the Pentucket seventh.  The senior captain handled three tough chances flawlessly: (1) running catch on a popup, (2) speared a line drive to her right, and (3) came up with a hard-hit grounder to throw out Sydney Snow.  Good stuff!

The top four hitters in the Pentucket lineup (Maddie Binding, Kassidy Kennefick, Tyler Feeney, and Sydney Snow) each had two hits.  The rest of the batting order…………..not so much!

Triton’s next game will be at Masconomet on Wednesday.  Pentucket hosts Manchester-Essex tomorrow (Tuesday).

Weather?  When you get a breeze at Triton that feels good, you know it’s warm out and it was.

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

Mara Spears

Mara Spears

Lilly Anderson

Lilly Anderson

Triton second baseman Kylie Gilroy had 3 defensive gems in the 7th inning

Triton second baseman Kylie Gilroy had 3 defensive gems in the 7th inning

Triton shortstop Rylie Culverwell throws to first

Triton shortstop Rylie Culverwell throws to first

Freshman Haley Johnson

Freshman Haley Johnson

Kassidy Kennefick heads home with the 4th Pentucket run

Kassidy Kennefick heads home with the 4th Pentucket run

Kylie Gilroy

Kylie Gilroy

Nikki ORourke

Nikki ORourke

Jenny Nelson

Jenny Nelson

Sydney Snow

Sydney Snow

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Filed under Cape Ann League, Pentucket, Triton

Twenty-Seven Point Second Quarter Helps Newburyport Girls Rout Snowden 69-26 in D3 North First Round


Beth Castantini (15 points) prepares for a shot from in close.

The Clippers dominated the paint on both ends.

(Newburyport) The Newburyport Clippers blew away Snowden in the second quarter and cruised to an easy, 69-26, victory in the first round of Division 3 North.  The Newburyport girls are now on an eight-game winning streak.

The Clippers next opponent will be Ipswich on Friday night (7PM) at Ipswich.  Newburyport has already faced, and defeated, the Tigers twice this season………..but neither game was at Ipswich which is where this one will be played.  I can assure you that that game will be a whole lot tighter than the Clipper/Cougar one was that I’m attempting to describe in this space.

For 7 ½ minutes it looked as if the visiting Cougars might be able to make a game of it.  Though very small (tallest player is 5-9), the team from the Boston City League made shots and only trailed, 16-13.

After that, the “making shots” part of it vanished.  Meanwhile, the Clippers continued to shoot ‘til they scored on most possessions.

Sam Leahy (14 points) gets a clean look.

Over the next 13 ½ minutes of playing time, the Clippers outscored the Cougars, 41-4!  That’s not a typo.  Newburyport shredded the Cougars’ zone defense by giving up high percentage shots to get teammates even higher percentage shots.

The Clippers shot 50% in the decisive second quarter (12-for-24) and didn’t have a single turnover during a twenty-seven point explosion.  There was textbook offense and defense.

I had to wonder how serious Snowden (5-8) was about the game.  They didn’t have a single fan that I ever heard.  Plus, their coaching staff didn’t call a timeout until the team was down, 39-15, with 2:15 left in the second quarter.  By that time, Newburyport was on a 23-2 run.  By then, not only had the cows left the barn, they had moved to another state!

The Clippers (14-7) led, 45-17, at the half.

The Clipper starters were very relaxed as they awaited the beginning of the second half with a 45-17 lead.

Beth Castantini (15 points), Sam Leahy (14 points), and Molly Rowe (12 points) were in their usual spots as the Clippers top point getters despite short minutes in the second half.  The three of them looked for each other on offense and dug in on defense.  They will certainly be facing tougher competition ahead.

Haley Johnson (8 points) seldom shoots but her rebounding, defending, and passing were important in this game and are a big reason why the team is having such a good season.

Jovanna Sandifer (6 points) scored the most for Snowden.  She was a very fancy dribbler but at 5-4 got into trouble when she got close to the basket and nearer to Newburyport’s taller defenders.

(I collect my own stats, take my own pictures, and draw my own conclusions.  Mistakes are unintentional.)

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Filed under Newburyport, Snowden

Newburyport Girls Defeat Ipswich Again 52-39

Hannah O’Flynn (#34) is defended by Haley Johnson (#11).

Molly Rowe (18 points) led all scorers and made 8-of-9 free throws.

(Newburyport) The Clippers got scoring from Molly Rowe (18) and Beth Castantini (15) and solid defense from Haley Johnson (on Hannah O’Flynn) and defeated Ipswich, 52-39, on Friday night.

The Clippers (7-7) earlier had beaten Ipswich (9-3) at Triton’s tournament in December.  The Tigers had won six straight since then.

This was a game that Newburyport led from start (first seven points) to finish.

The Tigers made their run late in the 3rd quarter by making three straight long ones (two by Nyra Constant and one by Hannah O’Flynn) to close to, 30-28, with 1:50 left.

The rest of the quarter Ipswich didn’t score a point while Newburyport ran seven straight points.  The killer basket was a last second three from sophomore Lea Tomasz which gave the Clippers a, 37-28, advantage at the end of the quarter.  The Tigers were reduced to firing long range and fouling the rest of the game but on this night that strategy didn‘t work.

Turnovers were plentiful (43) as both teams played tight defense and denied passing lanes.

Despite the tight defense, Newburyport’s better organized offensive schemes turned up more high percentage shots. Eight of the Clipper’s sixteen baskets were from in close.  On the other hand, Ipswich had only four layups out of their fifteen baskets.

Hannah O’Flynn recorded sixteen points for Ipswich but seven of them came in the final quarter after the outcome was decided.  Credit Haley Johnson.  She, with an occasional helping hand from a teammate or two, kept Hannah on the perimeter most of the time.

A Clipper strength this season has been their foul shooting.  In this game they were 17-for-22 despite missing their last three attempts.  Beth Castantini was five-for-six while Molly Rowe was eight-for-nine.  Those numbers certainly explain why both players frequently take the ball to the basket hoping at least to draw foul shots.

Nyra Constant (#15) launches a long one over Molly Rowe.

Nyra Constant connected on three long ones for Ipswich.

Julia Davis hurt her wrist during a collision.

Plenty of action during inbound plays.

When Ipswich took the ball out under the basket they were shooting at, there was enough pushing and shoving by both teams to give almost every player a foul.  The Tigers wanted to get Hannah the ball in close and Newburyport refused to allow it.

Hannah lines up a free throw.

Hannah was 4-for-9 from the foul line.

(I keep my own stats, take my own pictures, and draw my own conclusions.  Any mistakes are unintentional.)

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Filed under Ipswich, Newburyport

Rugged Defense and Streaky Offense Get Pentucket Girls Past Newburyport 41-28

Sarah Higgins (31) and Molly Rowe (12) are involved in one of the numerous collisions this highly-contested game produced.

(Newburyport)  On a night when their offense was anything but perfect, Pentucket continued perfect (3-0) with a, 41-28, struggle at Newburyport (1-2) on Monday night.

The Sachems in-your-face, full-court defensive approach paid its usual dividends in the early going.  For the first 10 ½ minutes the visitors forced thirteen turnovers and 2-for-13 shooting from the Clippers.

Pentucket tallied the first nine points (Vanessa Cahill-4, Nicole Viselli-5) before Newburyport answered with jumpers from Haley Johnson and Sam Leahy.

Alyssa Nogueira, Haley Johnson, and Nicole Viselli wait on a first half free throw.

The Sachems followed with ten unanswered points (Leigh McNamara-1, Tess Nogueira-2, Sarah Higgins-4, Alyssa Nogueira-3) and had the breakout lead (19-4) that they seem to get against most Cape Ann League opponents in recent years.

Newburyport trailed at the half, 24-11.

For seven minutes of the third quarter the Clippers mauled the Sachems defensively.  In a game of give-and-take they were dishing out the “gives.”  And Pentucket was clearly rattled.   The Sachems had only one point (Vanessa Cahill free throw) to show for twelve possessions with turnovers in seven of those possessions!

Sam Leahy paced the Clippers with 14 points including 12 in the second half.

But the Sachem defense during the same segment only allowed two Sam Leahy baskets.  So despite the stretch of bad offense, Pentucket still led 25-15 with 1 ½ minutes left in the 3rd quarter.

This game got away from Newburyport during the next two minutes of playing time.  Pentucket went on a 10-0 run and the Clippers didn’t have the scoring firepower or the time to recover.

Victoria Castiglione put in a three off the backboard and then Nicole Viselli took over.  In the last minute of the 3rd she hit a three and two free throws.  She started the 4th quarter by assisting on Leigh McNamara’s layup.

Later Nicole assisted on Tess Nogueira’s layup, followed with an old-fashioned three-point play, and closed with a free throw.  At this juncture, with 4:20 left Pentucket was up 41-19.  They didn’t score again and the Pentucket backups yielded the last nine points of the game.

Sam Leahy paced Newburyport with 14 points including 12 in the second half.

Nicole Viselli ended with 16 points and was very important in the second half after Newburyport closed to ten points.

Tess Nogueira (32) shadows Beth Castantini (10).

It was apparent early on that Pentucket was intent on denying Beth Castantini (18 points vs. Amesbury last game) the ball.  Tess Nogueira and Leigh McNamara combined to hold Beth to 4 points and believe me, things got pretty rugged in the process.

The shooting by both teams was anything but pretty.  Newburyport never made a three and ended up 11-for-51 (21%).  Pentucket was 3-for-14 on three’s and 13-for-58 (22%) overall.  The Sachems were also a scary 10-for-25 from the foul line.

I continue to think that the stat that makes Pentucket successful is turnovers.  I wonder when the last time was that they lost that battle.  This time Newburyport had 30 while Pentucket had 18.  However, despite the turnover disparity Pentucket didn’t get as many pick-layups out of the turnovers, as they generally do. Credit the willingness of Newburyport to get back fast, after a giveaway, for limiting breakaway Sachem shots.

There was a memorable moment in this game for me.  I was sitting under the basket scripting the game in the second half and occasionally taking pictures when I could.  A gentleman standing nearby yells to me that I can’t scout that way.  I try to ignore him because I’m trying to script the game so that I can write this game up for this blog.  I’m guessing he’s a Pentucket parent mistaking me for a scout for a future opponent (Masco? Ipswich?).  He did end up with the name of this blog but I didn’t end up with any sort of apology from him for his unnecessary outburst. Maybe after he reads this coverage I’ll get an apologizing email at 85peterjulie17 at gmail dot com.

(I keep my own stats, take my own pictures, and provide my own opinions.  Any mistakes are unintentional.)

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Filed under Newburyport, Pentucket