Tag Archives: Jack Fehlner

Clippers now 12-0 after 3-0 win over Royals

Georgetown GK Kyle Davies under attack from Henry Acton (6) and Max Gagnon (10)
Georgetown concentrated on defense

(Newburyport MA) All Georgetown wanted to do was keep the game close on the scoreboard.

So they packed in the defense around goalie Kyle Davies.

The undefeated Clippers (12-0) were still able to win, 3-0, but their high-powered offense was slowed down a bit.

“We were just trying to keep it close,” said Georgetown coach Chris DiFranco afterwards. “I thought our guys did a good job at that.”

Zack Rosa and Griffin Cobb

The Royals (3-8) gained some satisfaction defensively, but in doing so, they surrendered on the offensive end.

About thirteen minutes into the game, a weak roller reached Newburyport goalkeeper Owen Tahnk.  That was the ONLY time he touched the ball the entire game.

Down the other end, Georgetown goalkeeper Kyle Davies was busy.

Max Gagnon looks to pass

“It was crazy back there,” said Kyle postgame.  “They had a ton of shots on net (20?), but I had my defense in front of me keeping me alive.”

Jameson Brooks and Henry Acton scored in the first half while Caelan Twitchell added a goal in the second half.

“Georgetown had a defensive plan for us, and it frustrated us for a bit,” said Coach Shawn Bleau of Newburyport afterwards.  “They made it difficult for us after the first two goals.”

“They dropped a lot of guys back and were well organized,” added Coach Bleau.  “They always had 2-3 players around our top players.”

Jack Fehlner

“We did well possessing the ball,” recalled Clippers senior Jack Fehlner.  “They didn’t seem to want to go on attack.  They would boot it out.  We would settle it and pass it around some more.”

“The score doesn’t show how well we played,” added Jack.

The Clippers moved closer to the school’s record for goals scored in a season.  The record is currently forty-five.  By adding three goals today they have now reached forty-four.

“We had some great goals today,” said Coach Bleau.

Jameson Brooks

“We work in practice on getting the ball to the end line and then cutting it back,” said Coach Bleau.  “That’s what happened on the first goal. Great timing and the shot (by Jameson Brooks) went inside the side post.”

“The shot was unstoppable,” said Royals GK Kyle Davies.  “He got it at the top of the box and turned and shot.  It went in the bottom corner.”

Jameson’s goal happened four minutes into the game.

Thirteen minutes later (23:21) it was Henry Acton’s turn to score. Instead of a pass to get closer to the goal, a back pass set Henry up further away from the goal. Henry had time to really get his foot into a shot.

Henry Acton

“It was a complete bomb from twenty-five yards,” said Coach Bleau.  “He couldn’t have gotten a much better hit.”

“It was just a rip to the top corner,” recalled Kyle Davies.  “I couldn’t do anything about it.”

Coach DiFranco said that he, “hadn’t seen a shot like that all year.”

The Royals persisted with the defensive strategy in the second half. 

“Their goalie was good,” said Jack Fehlner.  “He’s big and he came out and caught a lot of our crosses.”

Although the outcome was settled, the Clippers wanted at least another goal.

Caelan Twitchell

“We pressed and pressed at the end to try and get one more goal on account of the ranking stuff,” said Coach Bleau.

With 7:50 remaining, Caelan Twitchell ruined Georgetown’s second-half shutout.

“It was off a side volley which is a pretty impressive shot,” recalled Coach Bleau.

“He made a good move,” said Kyle Davies.  “It was a good turn-and-shoot.”

It has now been eight years since Georgetown had a win versus Newburyport.

Dylan Slimak (18) and GK Kyle Davies

The Royals have now lost four straight games.  They have wins over Triton, Cristo Rey, and Hamilton-Wenham.

The twelve wins to open the season are the best in NHS history. 

The Clippers have nine shutouts in their twelve wins.  I did see NHS goalie Owen Tahnk make some saves in practice!

Newburyport is 49-14-17 since the start of the 2017 season.

I asked Coach Bleau what makes the 2021 team so good. “We have a lot of kids who came up through our youth system.  They’ve been together for a while.  We’ve got depth.  We’re playing a lot of guys, so we don’t have any injuries.”

Mark Rose and Brady O’Donnell

Coach DiFranco was very optimistic about the future for Newburyport this season.  “They have a good chance at a state championship.  It’s a special year for them.”

Senior Jack Fehlner has been a terrific athlete for NHS in soccer, basketball, and baseball. I asked him about next year: “I haven’t really decided.  I probably won’t play soccer at the next level.  It could well be baseball.”

New England weather!  A nice warm morning and afternoon turned into a cold, windy evening. 

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

Brady O’Donnell
Will Acquaviva on the attack for Newburyport
Henry Acton’s goal celebrated
Graham Billington
Ronan Brown
Graham Smith
Traffic in front of the Georgetown net
Caelan Twitchell and Graham Billington
Jake Gilstein
Will Acquaviva gets off a shot
Caelan Twitchell’s goal celebrated

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Jack Fehlner leads Newburyport to Spofford title

Jack Fehlner was the center of attention when the game ended
Newburyport Clippers win the 2021 Spofford Tournament
Baserunner Cael Kohan and 1B Brady Ford

(Georgetown MA) Newburyport was desperate for a win.

After an impressive 9-1 month of May, June turned into a problem.

After an early win in June, three straight losses had followed, most recently, a 12-1 nightmare loss to North Reading.

Before that NR disaster had been a tough 7-2 defeat this past Wednesday to Triton.  A game in which Jack Fehlner came in to give relief and suffered through a five-run outburst by the Vikings.

Fast forward to this afternoon.  Again, it was Triton and again it was Jack Fehlner doing the pitching.

But what a difference this time!

Jack Fehlner limited Triton to four hits

Today, Jack pitched a four-hit, complete-game shutout as the Clippers downed Triton, 5-0, to take home the championship trophy in the Spofford Tournament.

“After that loss to Triton, the team gave me some great words of encouragement,” said Jack post-game, “that really helped.”

Jack’s pitching was probably enough to make him the tourney MVP but when he added a home run in the seventh inning the guesswork ended.

“Jack’s homer wasn’t a surprise to me,” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe. “He hits bombs in practice.”

Tony Lucci had a 2-run double

Through three innings, Jack allowed only one baserunner while Triton starter DJ Watson allowed just one hit (Luke Stallard).

The Clippers bats came to life in the fourth inning.

A single (Luke Stallard) and a walk (Jax Budgell) set up Newburyport’s leading hitter (Jake Buontempo) for an RBI single to left. 

Jake took second without a throw and senior Tony Lucci followed with a two-run double to right center.

“It was an outside pitch,” recalled Tony.  “Coach (Rowe) always tells us to take that one to rightfield and that’s what I did.”

Triton (7-7) threatened to cut into Newburyport’s 3-0 lead in the fifth inning.

Andrew Masher and Griffin Dupuis executed a perfect hit-and-run to put runners on first and third with two outs in that inning.  Jack Fehlner, however, was able to get a strikeout to get out of it.

Jake Buontempo had a long homer to left in the sixth inning
Brady Lindholm had a hit

The Clippers (11-4) added another run in the sixth as Jake Buontempo hit a long home run over the leftfield fence.

“I was down 0-2,” said Jake.  “I had seen two curveballs.  I choked up a little bit like I always do and got a nice curveball and ripped it.”

The Vikings were back threatening in the sixth inning.  Consecutive singles by Brady Lindholm and Cael Kohan set up Triton with one out. After a flyball out to left, Ryan Lindholm hit a flare into short left.  It had trouble written all over it!  But Newburyport shortstop Tony Lucci ran straight back for it and caught it in true snow-cone fashion to end the inning and save a run.

“The catch by Tony was awesome,” said Jack Fehlner.  “It was such a clutch play.”

“I was a bit nervous going after it, but I ran as fast as I could to make the catch,” said Tony.

Jack finished off the final Triton inning with consecutive strikeouts.

Pickoff attempt

“Jack came in determined after they got to him the other day,” said Coach Rowe.  “He felt that he had something to prove today.”

Triton coach Ryan McCarthy: “Both teams hit the ball hard today.  I thought that the Fehlner kid pitched a great game today.  We hit him hard the other day, but he bounced back.”

Nick White: “It was a nice bounce-back win.  We’ve been struggling lately.”

Coach Rowe: “We were kind of on our heels after the last few games, but we had a long talk yesterday and had a good practice.”

Jack Fehlner celebrates home run

There was some uncertainty on Jack Fehlner’s homer in the seventh inning.  “I wasn’t sure it was out,” said Jack, “until their shortstop told me.”

Newburyport captains Tony Lucci, Ryan Archer, and Nick White with trophy
3B Andrew Masher had a hit for Vikings

Jack Fehlner: “My two-seam fastball was working really well.”

Triton had seven infield groundouts.

Newburyport last won the Spofford Tournament in 2018.

Triton’s last one was in 2012.

Ideal weather.

Generous donations announced pre-game to help the family of a firefighter who is battling cancer.

I learned from Coach McCarthy that the post-season tournament will only be for the North title.  He also thought that the tournament had to end by July 1st

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

Clippers celebrate
Team picture
LF Ryan Archer congratulates Tony Lucci
Tony Lucci makes a (blurry) snow-cone catch
Jack Fehlner pitches
Jax Budgell heads home with the second Newburyport run
RF Cole Daniels made a terrific catch in the second inning
SS Tony Lucci
Throwing out the ceremonial first pitch
Owen Roberts

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Undefeated Newburyport shuts out Manchester-Essex 7-0

Jack Fehlner pitched a 2-hit complete game for the Clippers
Kellen Heney held the Clippers hitless for five innings

(Newburyport MA) The weather was perfect.

Manchester-Essex pitcher Kellen Heney was perfect…..through five innings.

But when the game ended, Newburyport was perfect (4-0) after defeating the Hornets, 7-0, on Saturday morning at Pettingell Field.

ME struggled in the field all game collecting miscues in five of the six innings.

“Our pitchers have been pitching well,” said ME coach James Weed afterwards.  “I’m just not used to the kind of defense we’re playing.”

The shaky defense gave the Clippers a run in the fourth, but this was a one-run game going into the Newburyport sixth.

Then the wheels fell off for the visitors.  An infield error and five Newburyport hits put six runs on the board and sealed this one for the home team.

Jack Fehlner pitched a complete-game  two-hitter for the Clippers.  He wasn’t overpowering (one strikeout) but gave up just two walks.

2B Colin Coyne makes a play at second

“Jack was in total command,” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe post-game.  “It was as good as I’ve seen him pitch. It was his first complete game.”

Catcher Nick White: “Jack’s fastball was working today.  Usually, it’s the off-speed pitch but today the fastball was the primary out pitch.  He challenged them.”

The Clippers 1-0 lead looked anything but secure heading into the bottom of the sixth inning.

“The scoreboard doesn’t show how close this game really was,” added Jack Fehlner.  “They’re a great team.”

Jake Buontempo had the first Newburyport hit in the 6th inning

Senior Jake Buontempo was in the middle of the Newburyport success in the sixth inning.

Jake ended Kellen Heney’s hitless streak with a double that drove in Luke Stallard who had reached on an infield error.

Rare play alert!  Demetri Connor popped the ball behind the plate near the backstop.  Catcher Michael Quill and pitcher Kellen Heney both went after it and Michael got it.  Jake alertly took advantage and raced in from third.

Jake reached third on Nick White’s infield hit. 

“I was watching to see where the pitcher was going,” recalled Jake.  “He followed the catcher to the backstop, so I knew the plate was wide open and I took what I had.”

Tony Lucci and AJ Pallazola

Jake also made a nice running catch in rightfield in the fifth inning and ended the game with a routine catch.

The Hornets (1-4) are the defending Division 4 state champions.  I was at LaLacheur Park (Lowell) on June 22, 2019 when they defeated Tahanto, 5-2.

Will Levendusky was part of that team but a football injury has kept him from playing so far. 

“It hurts not to have Will but for us it’s “next man up,” said Coach Weed.  “We have three freshmen playing.  We’re just trying to find the right formula.  We’ll get it going.  We’ll make a run.”

Freshman Kellen Heney was the starter and winner in the state title game. He’s now a junior.

“Their pitcher was good,” explained Jake Buontempo.  “He could locate really well.  Toward the end we started to catch onto him.”

2B Luke Stallard settles under a popup

Coach Mark Rowe: “It was two top-notch pitchers out there.  Unfortunately, his defense let him down a bit.  We challenged by putting balls in play and forcing them to make plays.  When they didn’t make plays, we took advantage.”

AJ Pallazola and Michael Quill had the hits for Manchester-Essex.

Jack Fehlner: “It was a beautiful day to be out here with the guys.  Our guys made plays.  I’ll put some ice on my arm and get back at it Tuesday against Lynnfield.”

Speaking of ice, I have a picture of Will Levendusky pouring the contents of an ice bucket over the head of Coach Weed in the celebrating after the D4 title win.  On that hot day and under those circumstances, it probably felt pretty good.

Remarkable weather and plenty of fans from both schools out enjoying it.

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

Newburyport box
Manchester-Essex box
Luke Stallard steals 2B as Michael Deoreo tries to tag him
Catcher Michael Quill
Connor Stick and Satchem Ramos
High hop
Hockey move?
Brady Ford scored a run
Ryan Archer catches a fly
Part of the crowd
Jack Fehlner dives back into 2nd as Satchem Ramos tries to tag him
AJ Pallazola dives back into first as Brady Ford takes throw
Luke Stallard throws to first base
Ground rules
Matteo Sarmanian
LF Isaac Porat

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Newburyport hitting key to 7-1 win vs Pentucket

Jake Buontempo (gold helmet) congratulated after 2-run homer in sixth inning
Sophomore Owen Tahnk won his first varsity start.

(Newburyport MA) “Our whole team swings the bat well,” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe post-game.

That skill was certainly on display today with eleven hits recorded for the home team.

Eight different Clippers (2-0) had hits as they defeated Pentucket, 7-1, on Tuesday afternoon at Pettingell Field in Cape Ann League action.

Meanwhile, the pitching of Owen Tahnk and Jack Fehlner held Pentucket to three hits. Only one of those hits came over the final five innings.

The Sachems (1-2) led early, 1-0, and could have had more.  They had the bases loaded with one out in the third inning but came up empty.

“We’ve got to do a better job swinging the bat with runners in scoring position,” said Pentucket coach Kevin Murray.

Trevor Kamuda and Bryce Winter pitched for the Sachems.

Sophomore Owen Tahnk got the win for the Clippers going five innings in his first varsity start, giving up three hits, and striking out five.

Will Roberts drove in Pentucket’s run

“Owen was dominant early,” said Coach Rowe.  “When he did get some baserunners (bases loaded in the 3rd, second and third in the 5th) he managed to find a way out of it.  I’m incredibly proud of him.”

The Clippers struck twice with two outs; first in the fourth inning and then in the fifth.

In the 4th, the runs came on a Luke Stallard double, an intentional walk to Jake Buontempo, and a bases-clearing double by Ryan Archer over the leftfielder’s head.

“The pitch was in my sweet spot, a little inside, a little low,” recalled Ryan Archer.  “I just wanted to put it in play.

Those two runs gave Newburyport the lead, 2-1.

In the 5th, Charlie Forrest was hit by a pitch and took second on a passed ball.  Jack Fehlner’s double to left scored Charlie, and Tony Lucci’s next-batter double scored Jack.

Jack Fehlner had 2 hits, an RBI, and 2 innings of scoreless relief

The Clippers added three runs to their 4-1 margin in the sixth inning.

In that 6th inning, Newburyport had four straight hits off reliever Bryce Winter.

The big shot was Jake Buontempo’s 2-run homer over the leftfield fence.

“It felt really good off the bat,” said Jake afterwards.  “It was a fastball up and in. I caught it at the right time, and it just flew.  It was my first home run in high school.”

Junior Quinn Fortuna drove home the seventh Newburyport run.

Coach Murray: “I thought we pitched well.  We just didn’t swing the bats.  We were better than what the score shows.  We’re two weeks in with room to grow.”

Shortstop Andrew Melone throws to first

Coach Rowe: “It was a good baseball game.  I give the (Trevor) Kamuda kid a lot of credit.  He was your typical crafty lefty.  He threw strikes and he kept us off balance.  We had hits at key opportunities.”

The defense was solid for both teams.  Trevor Kamuda started a double play in the first inning.  Shortstop Andrew Melone made a nice running catch in short left to end the Newburyport second.

The weather was good.  It was breezy but the fielders didn’t let it bother them.

In the Newburyport win over Triton, the game ended on a running catch in foul territory.  More of the same today, as 1B Charlie Forrest avoided the out-of-bounds line to catch the final out.

Ryan Archer: “We’re just two games in with a long way to go.  We’ve got bigger goals than winning this game today.”

Charlie Forrest ends the game

You know it’s not your day when you’re driving past the game and a foul ball catches your car on the roof as it did to some unlucky driver today.

Pettingell Field looked to be in terrific shape.  I saw why afterwards when every member of the Newburyport team went to work on it to keep it that way.

(All of the pictures should enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

(Some of the pictures will end up on Instagram eventually.)

Demetri Connor
Quinn Fortuna

Two of the Cape Ann League’s best athletes
Max Ligols makes a catch
Andrew Melone makes a running catch
Joe Lynch (two hits) leads off second
Trevor Kamuda
Ryan Archer drove in the first two Newburyport runs
Jake Buontempo and Luke Stallard scored on Ryan Archer’s double
3B Luke Stallard gets a forceout to end the Pentucket 3rd inning
Leftfielder Alex Pinkham chases a hit to the outfield
Jake Buontempo
Alex Pinkham scores while catcher Nick White waits for the throw
Newburyport box
Pentucket box

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Newburyport hits and fields its way to a 10-4 win over Triton

Jax Budgell slides home safely during Newburyport’s six-run fourth inning
Brady Lindholm had two hits for Triton

(Rowley MA) Newburyport made full use of the equipment they brought.

The Clippers collected twelve hits defeating Triton, 10-4, at Eiras Park in the season opener for both teams on a sunny Thursday afternoon.

And then there were the gloves. 

Sometimes you’ll get one catch that earns a star in the scorebook.  On this afternoon, all the Clippers outfielders (Ryan Archer, Jake Buontempo, Jax Budgell) had highlight moments.

“We have some great outfielders,” understated NHS starter Jack Fehlner afterwards.

Newburyport picked up six runs in the fourth inning with two outs and Triton couldn’t completely recover.

The Vikings did recover enough to close to 6-4 with a run in the 4th and three in the 5th.

Newburyport starter Jack Fehlner ended both of Triton’s run-producing innings with called strikeouts to limit their comeback attempts.

Jax Budgell makes a diving catch to end the game

“Triton is a very good hitting team,” said Jack.

Ryan Archer scored twice for the Clippers

“When Triton was down by six, I told the team between innings that they won’t lay down,” said Coach Mark Rowe, “and they didn’t.”

Catcher Nick White, usually known for his defense behind the plate, was instead recognized (by me) for his hitting.  And why not, he had three hits and four RBI.

“I don’t think I’ve ever had a hitting game like this before,” explained Nick.

“With the rain recently, we’ve done a lot of hitting under the stadium and I think it paid off,” said Coach Rowe.

Senior Ryan Archer also had three hits that turned into three RBI.

“Newburyport is a good team,” said Triton coach Ryan McCarthy.  “They have returning players and they’re aggressive at the plate.”

Triton managed seven hits with senior Brady Lindholm getting two hits for the Vikes.

Griffin Dupuis scores for Triton

Things did not go Triton’s way in Newburyport’s six-run fourth inning.  The Vikings nearly had baserunner Charlie Forrest picked off.  Later in the same inning, Newburyport loaded the bases with two outs and no runs in at this point.  An infield grounder didn’t result in an inning-ending force-out and two runs scored. Four more Clippers runs would follow before Triton could stop the damage.

“It stung that they got six with two outs,” recalled Coach McCarthy.

The Vikings rallied back in the 4th and 5th.  Cael Kohan’s bases-loaded single gave Triton its second run.

Kyle Odoy followed with a grounder to 3B Demetri Connor.  Demetri tried for a force at home, but his throw was wide, and two Vikings crossed the plate.

“I thought Jack (Fehlner) pitched great,” said Coach Rowe.  “We made some mistakes in the inning they scored three runs.”

Owen Tahnk pitched two innings for NHS

Sophomore Owen Tahnk pitched the last two innings for Newburyport.

Owen’s pitching probably won’t be remembered very much because it was during his two innings that Newburyport’s outfield trio put on their show.

In each of the catches, the outfielder had to dive forward to get the ball………and it worked for all three of them.

Plenty of sun and plenty of spectators.

“It was great weather, and we had a chance to play the game we love,” said Coach McCarthy.

Jax Budgell celebrates

Nick White: “Any time you can put up double-digit runs you’ve had a good hitting night.  I think that our two pitchers (Jack Fehlner, Owen Tahnk) will be among the best in the league.”

Besides getting twelve hits, the Clippers took eight walks.  Triton had only one walk.

Not counting today’s game, the last eight times these teams had met they had each won four times.

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

Luke Stallard scored two runs
Dylan Watson
Two of the areas best athletes
Coach Ryan McCarthy and Brady Lindholm
Coach Mark Rowe
Noah MacDonald out stealing
Looking for the handle
Jake Buontempo
Jack Fehlner steals second
Triton starter Cael Kohan
Ryan Lindholm
Andrew Masher

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Baseball is back

Newburyport’s Mark Rowe and Amesbury’s Joel Bierley meet pregame
Jack Fehlner started for Newburypot

(Newburyport MA) It’s been nearly two years for the Cape Ann League.

Today baseball resumed and I decided to catch a look.

Didn’t keep score because it was only a Friday afternoon scrimmage at Pettingell Field.

But it was high school baseball between familiar foes Amesbury and Newburyport.

The players were not in game shirts and the scoreboard was not being used. The atmosphere was relaxed.

The scrimmage was the first chance to get back doing something the participants, including the coaches, missed badly.

Jeremy Lopez was the Amesbury starter

Baseball in April around here?  You know the weather will be a factor!  Today, we had cloudy (Will it rain?) mixed with sunshine (Is it June?).  The wind didn’t disappoint.  Gusty at times, causing outfielders to misjudge flies in right field.  The Clippers, in fact, collected two runs on a wind-influenced single to right.

Without rosters I won’t attempt to put names to all the pictures.  I am, however, planning to post the pictures from this blog entry onto my Instagram site (@mcclellandmiscellanea) and if I get identifications, I’ll edit them into captions on this entry.  Give me some help, would ya!

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

Ryan Archer
Diving attempt by Jeremy Conlin
Shea Cucinotta
Killian Cronin questions the call after being picked off second by Tony Lucci
Best view
Drew MacDonald chats with a coach
Jack Fehlner throws to first
Nick White and Jake Buontempo listen to Coach Mark Rowe between innings
Clippers relief pitcher Owen Roberts
Amesbury shortstop Jaken Harring
Josh Sorgini and Cam Stanley in the Amesbury dugout
Amesbury relief pitcher Drew Scialdone
Will Arsenault reaches second
Newburyport shortstop Tony Lucci
Newburyport centerfielder Jax Budgell
Amesbury first baseman Tiernan Bentley
Amesbury catcher Connor MacDonald
Jaken Harring takes the throw as Finn Sullivan steals second

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Weston rallies to beat Newburyport 86-81 in a shootout to gain D3 North semis

Sawyer Mayhugh and Parker McLaren

Jake Robertson (16 points) from the corner

(Newburyport MA) The shots were flying and many from beyond the arc.

Newburyport had fifty points in the first half while Weston had forty-nine in the second half.

Eight lead changes. Three in the first quarter and five in the last quarter.

Exciting? Ask anyone who was there!

Weston grabbed the final lead change with two minutes left, thanks to the remarkable 6-10 Sawyer Mayhugh (36 points), and came away, 86-81, winning the D3 North quarter finals match on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Parker McLaren (34 points) played his last game for the Clippers and it was a beauty.

Parker McLaren (34 points) shoots a three

6-4 Parker had every aspect of his shooting talents working. The long-range game was on target all night. He made seven from out there.

Twice in the final quarter Parker scored from in close to restore the Clippers to the lead.

With thirty-six seconds left his seventh triple, with thirty-six seconds left, brought the Clippers to within two (82-80).

The game-deciding possession followed. There was an urgency on the Clippers’ part to protect the inside and keep Sawyer Mayhugh from scoring. The inside was definitely protected but the perimeter wasn’t.

Will Van Houten (24 points) hits the game-deciding three

Wide open on the left side, in front of the Weston partisans, was junior Will Van Houten (24 points). Will had time (and courage) to take and make the open three with fifteen seconds left. Now down by five (85-80) Newburyport lacked the time and accuracy to recover.

Weston now moves on to face Amesbury in the D3 North semi-finals at Whittier on Wednesday night.

It looked to me as if most of the Amesbury team was in the crowd scouting their next opponent.

The Clippers (16-6) were on fire in the first half. They drained ten three’s and Parker put up eighteen points.

Newburyport was happy on the perimeter and their shots were falling from there.

Sawyer Mayhugh (36 points) over Parker McLaren

Weston’s attack featured outside shooters and Sawyer Mayhugh on the inside.

The Wildcats (12-10) were within two points (32-30) at 4:46 of the second period after two Sawyer free throws.

The next two minutes were all Newburyport. The Clippers put a twelve-point, unanswered segment together and came out with a 44-30 lead.

Parker had a three and a jump shot in this section. Jake Robertson (16 points) had four free throws. Two of Jake freebies came at the expense of a technical on Weston coach Dave First.

“I said to the ref with a couple of minutes left,” explained Coach First post-game, “that I think that the points on the technical are going to cost me, and he started laughing.”

The Clippers lead reached sixteen (50-34) later in the period.

Weston trailed 50-37 at halftime.

“It was so sad in the first half,” said Sawyer Mayhugh afterwards. “We couldn’t find our offense and we were giving up too many three’s.”

Christos Iatrides (16 points)

The Wildcats were able to shrink the Clippers lead in the third period. Three’s by Isaiah Kacyvenski and Christos Iatridis (16 points) had Weston within one (60-59).

“Honestly,” said Alton Jenkins post-game, “we don’t give up. That’s what Weston is all about. We’re going to give intensity from start to finish. That 13-point halftime lead didn’t matter to us. We were going to put in our work regardless.”

The Clippers recovered after Weston was within one, thanks to a three by Ronan Brown and Ryan Archie layup, assisted by Jack Fehlner. Newburyport was ahead by four (67-63) after three quarters.

A three by senior Ryan Archie (assist Trevor Ward) had Newburyport up by eight (73-65) with 5:55 left in the game.

Now it was Weston’s turn to put a run together.

Sawyer Mayhugh

Key play alert! The decisive comeback run started with Sawyer Mayhugh launching a three. Knowing what he can do around the basket, you’d think defensively that he was doing you a favor shooting from beyond the arc.

Sawyer took the shot and it missed but he raced in from the wing, got the rebound, and made a layup. That’s what hustle is all about!

That basket started Weston on an 8-point run. Will Van Houten’s three was the shot that gave Weston it’s first lead (74-73) since the first quarter.

Parker hit a floater in the lane. Sawyer put in a layup.

Parker went at Sawyer for a layup. Sawyer answered with a dunk.

Four straight free throws (Sawyer two, Christos Iatridis two) boosted the Weston edge to five (82-77) with forty-eight seconds left. Parker responded with a three.

Weston coach Dave First

Will Van Houten’s win-securing three followed and Weston now moves on to the D3 North semi-finals.

Those who have seen the Clippers play, probably had the same flashback I had when Will sank that crucial shot from the left wing. A year ago, Dracut’s Adrian Torres gave the Middies a tourney win over Newburyport from the same spot.

“Will sealed the deal with that shot,” said Sawyer Mayhugh. “It gave us the extra push to get another stop and finish the game.”

“It was a real team effort,” according to Will Van Houten. “We were in a similar situation last year in the tournament. We don’t give up. That’s what we’re made of.”

Coach First: “Newburyport is a terrific team. They are well coached and well disciplined. I can’t believe we came back from thirteen down against them. It was fun to watch Sawyer against Parker.”

Sawyer Mayhugh sets to dunk

Sawyer Maghugh: “Newburyport has great shooters. It was definitely a challenge to stop them, but we did it.”

Packed house with some spectators having to stand. Plenty of school officials around to make sure the crowd behaved.

Jack Fehlner (17 points) and Jake Robertson each had thirteen points in the first half.

The Clippers missed the front end of three one-and-one’s in the last five minutes of the game. The Wildcats were 14/24 from the line.

Weston is in the Dual County League. Newburyport is in the Cape Ann League.

Newburyport made more 3-point shots (17) than they did 2-point shots (10).

Alton Jenkins heads to the basket

In the previous tournament game against Shasheen, Sawyer had nineteen points, sixteen rebounds, and five blocks. Will the 6-10 sophomore have committed to a D1 school two years from now? Wouldn’t surprise this reporter.

Parker certainly showed that he can shine in the bright lights of a big game. He won’t be covering any 6-10 post players at the next level. I wonder what college he’ll end up at?

You stay close to the action you risk having the action come to you. Sure enough, in the 4th quarter Christos Iatridis drives hard to the basket, gets fouled to the ground and slides into me. No damage to either of us, fortunately.

Weston box

Newburyport box

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

Alton Jenkins grabs a rebound

Alton Jenkins shoots a free throw

Battle for a rebound

Christos Iatradis free throw

Will Van Houten (24 points) looks to pass

Christos Iatridis tosses the ball in the air to end the game

Isaiah Kacyvenski and Jake Robertson

Isaiah Kacyvenski guarded by Max Gagnon

Ronan Brown made two 3’s

Sawyer Mayhugh free throw in the last minute

Weston celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Parker McLaren (26) and Jake Robertson (23) too much for Triton

Parker McLaren (26 points)

Jake Robertson (23 points)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Newburyport MA) The Newburyport Clippers looked awfully good.

Tonight they defeated Triton, 81-58, and qualified for the state tournament.

The Clippers (10-3) are undefeated in the Cape Ann League (10-0) and have won every game (eight) in the new year.

Parker McLaren guarded by Quintin McHale

Last loss was a non-league event against Amesbury in December.  The rematch is scheduled for February 4th at Newburyport.

Parker McLaren and Jake Robertson continue to put up points despite regularly drawing the oppositions best defenders.

Parker had twenty-six points including three triples.

Jake clicked from long range five times and ended with twenty-three points.

Triton (7-6) came out missing and the Clippers took full advantage.

Less than four minutes into the game Newburyport had already drained three 3’s (Jack Felhner, Jake Robertson, Parker McLaren) and led 12-0.  The Vikings never recovered.

“They can do everything,” said Mason Ferrick (15 points) afterwards.  “They can shoot from the outside.  They’ve got help down low to make layups.”

Zach Liebert guards Jake Robertson

“They’ve got a lot of weapons,” added Triton coach Ted Schruender.

Jake Robertson collected two more three’s before the quarter ended and teammate Jack Felhner also added another one.  Triton trailed, 25-12, after one period.

The visitors put a 10-1 segment together in the second period to lessen their deficit to, 29-22, three minutes in.  Getting to the basket and the foul line sparked the comeback.  Senior Jesse Wilkinson turned an NHS miscue into a layup.

But on this night, the Clippers had responses for any and all of Triton’s comeback attempts.

The highlight of the second period was Parker McLaren’s steal of a cross-court pass that gave him a clear breakaway.  Off he went with time to look for anyone chasing him.  He rushed in for a resounding jam that was a genuine crowd pleaser.  NHS led at halftime, 39-31.

Quintin McHale blocks Parker McLaren’s shot

Newburyport began the second half with a Parker layup (assist Trevor Ward) and another Parker three (assist Jake Robertson). There was no stopping them tonight.

The Clippers had a double-digit lead for good in the third period and cruised in with the win.

The Vikings never stopped competing.  They took the ball to the basket and they defended aggressively.  Quintin McHale (12 points) got Parker McLaren into several jump ball situations.

“Parker is resilient,” said Coach Clay.  “That’s why he’s a leader and a captain in our program.  Some people wouldn’t continue attacking but he did.  I loved that dunk he had.”

It certainly hurt Triton when high-scorer Michael Farago had two fouls in the first 1 ½ minutes of the game.  His minutes thereafter were limited but he never fouled out.

“He (Michael Farago) doesn’t let things bother him,” explained Coach Schreuender.  “That’s why he was able to play so well (eight points) in the second half.”

Both teams played man-to-man.  Triton tried a zone for one (?) possession and Jake Robertson immediately connected on a three from the top of the key.

Michael Farago defends

Impressed with the way that Newburyport took care of the ball.  Very few turnovers for the home team.

Good crowd of Vikings were on hand.

Mason Ferrick: “Newburyport is a good team and we didn’t have tonight what it took to beat them.  Now we get ready for Ipswich on Tuesday.”

Coach Schruender: “If we compete like we did today, we’ll have a lot of good situations in our future.”

Triton box

Newburyport box

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

Dylan Wilkinson

Griffin Dupuis shoots

Jack Fehlner

TJ Overbaugh tries to shoot

Trevor Ward defends

Jake Robertson looks to pass

Mason Ferrick guarded by Jack Fehlner (13 points)

Max Gagnon

Jesse Wilkinson

Mason Ferrick blocks Jake Robertson’s shot

 

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