Tag Archives: Hannah Kiernan

Masconomet barely beats Pentucket 39-38 to remain undefeated

McKenna Kilian (17 points) defends Nicky Femino (12 points)

McKenna Kilian (17 points) defends Nicky Femino (12 points)

Riley Holden faces defender Stephanie Mini in the closing seconds

Riley Holden faces defender Stephanie Mini in the closing seconds

(West Newbury MA) Pentucket had two shots in the lane in the last thirty seconds but came up empty and undefeated Masconomet (14-0) survived, 39-38, on Monday night in Cape Ann League action.

Hannah Kiernan’s free throw with thirty-six seconds left proved to be the game winner.

The Sachems (12-4) went down by six (38-32) with three minutes left.  However, tireless Kelsi McNamara (17 points) hit a runner in the lane, McKenna Kilian (17 points) made one of three free throw attempts, and Kelsi launched a game-tying three (38-38) with 1:06 left.

The momentum had clearly shifted to Pentucket.  I thought that Masco might be in trouble because they hadn’t been in a tight game all season plus this was only their fifth game on the road.

Hannah Kiernan gets to the basket

Hannah Kiernan gets to the basket

The Chieftains’ Hannah Kiernan got into the lane, got fouled, and gave Masco the point that decided this one with thirty-six seconds left.

Trust me, that lone point came close to not holding up the rest of the way.  First, McKenna Kilian misfired on a runner in the lane.  Then, after a Hannah Kiernan traveling violation, the Sachems were able to get back in the lane again.  This time it was Riley Holden’s chance but freshman Stephanie Mini blocked her shot with just a few seconds left.  The Chieftains were then able to run out the clock without giving Pentucket any more opportunities.

The Sachems had won eleven straight since a December 27th, 66-40, loss to Masconomet.

Masco’s last defeat was on March 2nd (2013) to Billerica (64-42) in the Division 1 quarterfinals.

Meghan Collins had the unenviable task of guarding Kelsi McNamara most of the game.  In almost every picture I took of Kelsi dribbling, there was not only Meghan but also one or two other Masco defenders ready to help.  What that defense did was to keep Kelsi from driving and either scoring or getting fouled.  Kelsi did, however, make the Chieftains pay by hitting shots from the outside.

Kelsi McNamara saw little daylight in the last minute

Kelsi McNamara saw little daylight in the last minute

I think that the key to the Masco win was their ability to keep Kelsi from getting another shot after she had tied the game from downtown with 1:06 left.

Pentucket had the lead or was tied into the fifth minutes of the second quarter.  Then a layup and two free throws by Nicky Femino (12 points) put Masco in front, 16-13.

A Kelsi McNamara three, a fall-back jumper by Kelsi, and two McKenna Kilian free throws put the home team back in front 20-16 with 1:43 left in the second period.  Pentucket led, 20-18, at the half.

I had a sense at halftime that Masco would pull away in the second half.  They had been able to get to the basket but not finish as often as they should.  Pentucket had shown only two scorers (McKenna Kilian & Kelsi McNamara) and if either cooled off matching points with Masco would be very tough.

Kelsi McNamara eyes the hoop

Kelsi McNamara eyes the hoop

The Chieftains moved ahead, 23-22, on a Nicky Femino long shot three minutes into the second half.  That lead would be extended to 34-27 on a buzzer-beating three by Amy Fogarty early in the fourth quarter.

McKenna Kilian brought the Sachems within two (34-32) with a three and a floater in the lane with six minutes left.

Stephanie Mini put in a layup (nice pass from Hannah Kiernan) and Nicky Femino got to the hoop for two putting Masco on top, 38-32, with three minutes remaining.

Then it was Kelsi and McKenna combining to tie the score before Hannah Kiernan’s free throw gave Masco a one-point win.

tongue tied

tongue tied

Looking ahead, I suspect that Pentucket will continue to struggle to score points.   I also suspect that every opponent they face will struggle against their defense.  The Sachems give the opposition little breathing room.  Do they have enough offense to defeat Division 2 teams in the tournament?

Division 1 Masco is legit.  The two things about them that impressed me in this game were their ability to get the ball to the basket and their gusto getting after rebounds.  In this game they had four second-chance baskets and nine scores on layups.

Masco will play five of their last six games away from home.  Undefeated?  The tournament at the end of the season at St. Mary’s could settle that especially if they get up against the powerhouse host team in it.

Masconomet box

Pentucket box

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

Kelsi McNamara breaks on Hannah Kiernan

Kelsi McNamara breaks on Hannah Kiernan

Stephanie Mini blocks Carolyn Penney

Stephanie Mini blocks Carolyn Penney

Kelsi McNamara and Meghan Collins

Kelsi McNamara and Meghan Collins

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Pentucket defeats Masconomet 44-43 in overtime as Tess Nogueira gets twenty points

Tess Nogueira (20 points) drives on Claudia Marsh

Tess Nogueira (20 points) drives on Claudia Marsh

(West Newbury)  It is not often that you see two good teams have so much trouble shooting and taking care of the ball.

But those on hand at Pentucket High School saw a night full of misfiring and mishandles before the Sachems (15-1) eked out a, 44-43, overtime win over Masconomet (11-3) on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

Tess Nogueira made ten free throws in fourteen attempts

Tess Nogueira made ten free throws in fourteen attempts

No question the key to the Pentucket win was the steady play of Tess Nogueira.  The 6-foot senior led all scorers with twenty points and owned the boards.

Masco had Pentucket on the ropes (40-36 with 1:11 left) in regulation.  However, a Tess Nogueira offensive rebound and two Chieftain turnovers opened the door for the Sachems to get back and get overtime.

The four-minute overtime fit perfectly into the pattern established in regulation – missed opportunities galore.  Masco didn’t make any shot until the final buzzer!

Kelsi McNamara missed two free throws with 2 ½ minutes remaining in OT.  However, Tess Nogueira made two with 1:02 to go and Pentucket had a 42-40 lead.

Nicole Femino (14 points) about to launch a buzzer-beating three in overtime

Nicole Femino (14 points) about to launch a buzzer-beating three in overtime

Nicole Femino (14 points) then missed both free throws with forty-three seconds left but a Pentucket turnover gave Masco another chance with fourteen seconds left.

However, the visitors messed up the inbounds pass (Tess was in the vicinity of where the pass went) and now the Chieftains were forced to foul (Kelsi McNamara) with 7.7 seconds left.  Kelsi had missed two earlier in OT but this time she connected twice to give the Sachems a four-point advantage.

Good thing, for Pentucket, that Kelsi made both of them because Nicole Femino tossed in a buzzer-beating three.

Hannah Kiernan blocks the shot of Kelsi McNamara

Hannah Kiernan blocks the shot of Kelsi McNamara

It is easy to harp on the poor shooting and turnovers and forget that both teams are loaded with tireless defenders.  In a gym that is always tropical, the wear-and-tear of facing game-long Pentucket pressure will usually cause trouble.  By my count, the Chieftains had thirty turnovers.

Another factor in the Masco loss was Claudia Marsh getting into foul trouble.  Claudia picked up her third foul late in the first half and fouled out late in the game.  Her strong defense on Tess Nogueira was sorely missed for many minutes.  Claudia scored a basket at the buzzer to end the third quarter.

There were ten lead changes and neither team was able to get ahead by more than four points.

Meghan Collins and Kate Kitsakos connected on consecutive three’s in the fourth quarter.

Kassidy Kennefick gets into the lane

Kassidy Kennefick gets into the lane

Kassidy Kennefick came off the Sachem bench in the first quarter to hit a quick long one.

One of the biggest baskets in the game was a jump shot in the lane by McKenna Kilian off a missed Kelsi McNamara shot in the last thirty seconds of regulation.

Pentucket was determined to spread the Masco man-to-man defense and get to the hoop for layups or foul shots.  On this night making the layups, under heavy Masco defensive pressure, was difficult.  The Sachems did get thirty-four free throws out of attacking the basket and made twenty-two of them.  Tess Nogueira was 10-for-14.

This game featured two of the areas most successful coaches.  John McNamara in his 7th season with Pentucket is now 149-19.  Bob Romeo in his 11th season is 175-51.

John McNamara and Bob Romeo

John McNamara and Bob Romeo

Pentucket won the first meeting in December with Masco, 45-33.

Pentucket suffered its only loss of the season on January 26th at Hingham against Division 2 Notre Dame.  A week earlier, at Pentucket, the Sachems had won.

Masconomet hosts Hamilton-Wenham on Tuesday.  Pentucket will visit North Reading on the same day.

Good crowd on hand.  We saw some organized Sachem support late in the game.

Pentucket Boxscore

Masconomet Boxscore

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

Hannah Kiernan blocks the shot of Tess Nogueira

Hannah Kiernan blocks the shot of Tess Nogueira

Pentucket crowd

Pentucket crowd

Kate Kitsakos

Kate Kitsakos

Kelsi McNamara lines up an overtime free throw

Kelsi McNamara lines up an overtime free throw

Coley Viselli

Coley Viselli

Kelsi McNamara looks for an opening

Kelsi McNamara looks for an opening

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Masconomet survives late North Andover rally to win 52-41 in nonleague girls basketball

Tight defense helped the Chieftains get a big lead

Tight defense helped the Chieftains get a big lead

Pam Coufos (10) steals from Meghan Collins (5) late in the game

Pam Coufos (10) steals from Meghan Collins (5) late in the game

(Topsfield)  The Masconomet Lady Chieftains never trailed but had to hold off the late-charging North Andover Scarlet Knights to win, 52-41, on Sunday afternoon in non-league play.

Masco (10-2) was smooth as silk on offense for 3 ½ quarters.  They ran plays that turned up many great scoring opportunities and built a commanding, 48-32, lead with 3:48 left in regulation.

I imagined a Masco coast-in from there but North Andover had other ideas.  After spending most of the game trying to find someone/anyone to pass to, the Knights began to use their pressure defense to create offense.

Led by Pam Coufos (two steals leading to two layups), the Division 2 visitors put together nine straight points in two minutes.  Five straight Masco miscues certainly helped, as NA closed to 48-41 with 1 ½ minutes left in the game.

But that was where the late run came to an end for the Knights.  Leah Chittick (eight points) missed the front end of a one-and-one that could have cut the lead to five. Then the Chieftains put a lengthy possession together (finally) and Nicole Femino (12 points) drove the lane to the left to squelch NA’s rally plans.

Morgan Lumb (on crutches) gives Abi Rose flowers

Morgan Lumb (on crutches) gives Abi Rose flowers

North Andover (9-3) struggled against the Masconomet pressure defense from beginning to end.  The Knights are trying to get used to life without Division 1 (Hartford) signee Morgan Lumb and it is clearly a work in progress.

When healthy, Morgan was able to make plays for herself ( I saw her get fifteen points in one quarter in a state tournament game last year against Tewksbury) and she could also set up teammates.

Megan Collins (17 points) supplied points for the Knights but there were very few assisted baskets for NA.

However, despite registering seventeen turnovers during the first half, NA trailed only 26-19 at halftime.

Claudia Marsh (nine points) shoots over McKenzie Mello

Claudia Marsh (nine points) shoots over McKenzie Mello

However, Masco’s last basket in the first half (Claudia Marsh layup) started ten straight unanswered points for the Division 1 home team.  Hannah Kiernan contributed two layups while Nicole Femino and Meghan Collins each added a pair of free throws in the ten-point surge that boosted the Chieftain advantage to 34-19 in the third quarter.

Masco started another run of unanswered scoring (seven) late in the third quarter that stretched their margin to 45-26 two minutes into the final quarter.

That lead would extend to 48-32 before NA made the late charge.

The very idea that North Andover had Masconomet on the ropes in this game is truly remarkable considering: (1) they played without Morgan Lumb, (2) they turned the ball over thirty times, and (3) they committed eighteen fouls and forced Coach Sue Breen to employ all sorts of unusual on-floor combinations.  Perhaps the biggest problem was point guard Pam Coufos getting limited first-half minutes because of three fouls.

Hannah Kiernan (15 points) took the ball to the basket on every opportunity for Masco and was rewarded numerous times with baskets or free throws.  She had an end-to-end drive in the fourth quarter.

Coach John McNamara (Pentucket) was an interested spectator.  His team faces Masco at Masco on February 1st.  The Lady Chieftains will certainly have to cut down on their turnovers (twenty-three) if they hope to avenge an early-season loss to the Division 3 Sachems.

North Andover, formerly in the Cape Ann League,  brought flowers for the Masconomet seniors.

Two of the three terrific National Anthem singers

Two of the three terrific National Anthem singers

The best part of the afternoon at Masconomet was the singing of the National Anthem by three little ladies.  I won’t try to guess their ages but their pitch and their diction was unbelievable.

It was a long afternoon for some of the North Andover faithful.  They had plenty of comments for the two officials about the frequent whistles, the eighteen fouls called against their Knights, and finally the eleven-point loss.  And then they had to go home and watch what the Ravens did to our Patriots!

Masconomet boxscore

North Andover boxscore

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

loose ball

loose ball

Abi Rose and Megan Collins

Abi Rose and Megan Collins

Meghan Collins and Pam Coufos

Meghan Collins and Pam Coufos

Nicole Femino (12 points) gets the basket that ended the late North Andover rally

Nicole Femino (12 points) gets the basket that ended the late North Andover rally

tight Knight defense

tight Knight defense

Megan Collins (17 points) shoots

Megan Collins (17 points) shoots

 

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Masconomet runs away from Newburyport 62-32 in girls basketball

Nicole Femino (14 points) breaks in alone

Nicole Femino (14 points) breaks in alone

Hannah Kiernan (12 points) takes and makes a difficult shot.

Hannah Kiernan (12 points) takes and makes a difficult shot.

(Newburyport) After losing badly to the cream of Division 3 (Pentucket) on Friday, Newburyport hoped for a better outing against Masconomet.

Didn’t happen.

Masco (6-2) ran away from the Clippers, 62-32, on Monday night at Newburyport.

“Ran away” is a good description because the Chieftains put fastbreak after fastbreak on the cold shooting home team.  The Clippers (3-4) got caught numerous times chasing offensive rebounds instead of getting back on defense.

When Masco wasn’t getting layups (they had fourteen) they were getting foul shots (they had twenty-eight).

The Chieftains made eighteen free throws.

Aly Leahy tries to split two Chieftain defenders

Aly Leahy tries to split two Chieftain defenders

Aly Leahy of Newburyport opened the scoring with a free throw.  Nicole Femino (14 points) matched that and then sent Hannah Kiernan (12 points) off on a breakaway layup.  Hannah’s basket gave Masco the lead (3-1) for good.

Masco led, 14-6, after one quarter and doubled it to, 28-12, at halftime.

The Chieftains started the second half with a 12-4 run over 3 ½ minutes to increase their lead to, 40-16.  Sophomore Meghan Collins (8 points) scored the first two baskets, one on a nice spin move.

During the last 12 ½ minutes of the game Newburyport was only outscored, 22-16, but this was not a night in which a late rally materialized.

Janelle Shea blocks the shot of Mary Pettigrew

Janelle Shea blocks the shot of Mary Pettigrew

There was no point in the game where the Clippers were able to put more than four points together in a row.  Cold shooting was part of it but the Chieftains were defending well inside – Newburyport scored four layups in the game.

On the other hand, because of the frequency of layups, Masco ran points together. On seven different occasions they scored at least six points in a row.

Lilly Donovan (9 points) paced Newburyport.  She hit a three in the first quarter that went off the backboard.

Casey Barlow (8 points) was credited with a basket when her attempt at a pass under the basket was deflected in off a Masconomet player.

Coach Bob Romeo of Masco was deep into his bench late in the first half.  He ended up having eleven different players score.

Amy Sullivan defends

Amy Sullivan defends

You have to feel sorry for Newburyport.  What a killer schedule!  They have just finished playing Ipswich, Pentucket, and now Masconomet.  Next game (Thursday) they host Ipswich in a league game.  Ipswich and Pentucket are undefeated.  Masco is a Division One team that gave both of those teams a run for their money before losing to them.

Molly Rowe (Bentley) and Joe Clancy (Merrimack) were in the house.

Masco’s next game will be hosting Amesbury on Wednesday night.

Finding information on Cape Ann League teams is a serious challenge.  One helpful site is www.calscores.com.  There you’ll find schedules, scores, and standings.

Details about teams can be very illusive.  However, that is no longer true regarding the Lady Chieftains.  Click on this link and see what I mean.

Masco box score

Newburyport box score

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

Aly Leahy shoots in traffic

Aly Leahy shoots in traffic

Casey Barlow defends

Casey Barlow defends

Jaycie Triandafilou pressures Meghan Collins

Jaycie Triandafilou pressures Meghan Collins

Sarah Lang (23)

Sarah Lang (23)

Rebecca Kell heads for the hoop

Rebecca Kell heads for the hoop

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