Tag Archives: James Scali

James Scali (34 points) leads Newburyport past North Andover 69-59

James Scali (34 points)
Ronan Brown (14 points)

(Newburyport MA) Maybe it was the pre-game meal.

“I made some pasta before the game and maybe it gave me some extra energy,” joked Newburyport’s James Scali regarding his impressive performance.

Whatever it was, James had a special night against visiting North Andover and led the Clippers to a, 69-59, win on Tuesday night.

James tallied a career high thirty-four points and spread the points out.  The NHS senior had ten in the first quarter when the Clippers got off to a great start and fourteen in the final quarter when the Knights got inside the ten-point deficit.

Brody McGratty leaps for a block

“James has been telling us that he can give us more,” said Newburyport coach Dave Clay afterwards.  “Tonight, he certainly did just that.”

The Knights (8-7) got off to a bad start.  “We got into a hole early and couldn’t really claw back,” said NA coach Paul Tanglis post-game.  “They spread you out and they can shoot the ball.”

It took NA four minutes to get any points.  Meanwhile, the Clippers (12-5) ran off twelve straight points.

A Ronan Brown three and a Finn Brennan drive surrounded three inside scores and a free throw by James gave Newburyport its first twelve points.

Drew Connolly (11 points)

The Knights trailed the entire game.  They did, however, get within five points in the second quarter (27-22) and the third quarter (36-31). 

James Scali answered the second quarter threat with a triple and a layup.

The Clippers reaction to the third quarter threat was impressive.  After Jack O’Connell’s layup made the score, 36-31, with 5 ½ minutes left in the third quarter, the Clippers defense didn’t allow NA to score for the rest of the quarter.  Meanwhile, the Clippers offense racked up eleven straight points and they led at quarter’s end, 47-31.

Finn Sullivan guarded by Zach Wolinski

Five Clippers (Finn Sullivan, Ronan, Adam Bovee, James, and Will Thoreson) combined for the eleven points.

Newburyport elevated their lead to eighteen points (49-31) to start the final quarter.  NA did not go away.  They pressed and they made shots and had themselves a 28-point quarter.  But the big deficit was just too much to overcome for the visitors from the Merrimack Valley Conference.

“We couldn’t get the multiple stops in a row,” said Coach Tanglis.  “This is a tough place to play, and they are a good team.  We obviously didn’t do a good job on #4 (James Scali).”

James Scali to the basket

North Andover defeated Newburyport, 60-58, on January 9th at North Andover.  In that loss, James had one point.

“I just felt more aggressive tonight,” said James.  “I have gotten more confident as the season has progressed.  I’m looking to score more now.”

“I can’t tell you how much time James has put in,” added Coach Clay.  “I think of where he was and where he is now.  It’s so cool to see the confidence in him.  Plus, he’s so kind and polite.”

Zach Wolinski guarded by Henry Acton

Another key to tonight’s win was the solid defense the Clippers displayed against NA sophomore Zach Wolinski.  Zach lit up Newburyport for thirty-two points in the first game.

Tonight, Finn Sullivan and Henry Acton took turns playing tight man-to-man defense against him.  Zach did make a couple of three’s, and finished with eleven points.

“Finn and Henry were really determined to stop him,” said Coach Clay.  “He took over the game last time but those two were up to the challenge this time.”

All five of the Knights’ starters reached double figures: Brody McGratty (14), Jack O’Connell (13), Zach Wolinski (11), Drew Connolly (11), and D’Andre King (10).

D’Andre King (10 points)

Senior Ronan Brown finished with fourteen points for the Clippers.

This was the second straight night a Newburyport player registered a career game.  Last night it was Emma Foley with thirty-one points.

Newburyport   17   15   15   22   =   69

North Andover   6   18    7    28   =   59

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Adam Bovee rebounds
Zach Faro
Zach Wolinski and Finn Sullivan
Finn Brennan goes up for a shot in the lane
Coach Paul Tanglis
Jack O’Connell goes for a block
Newburyport box
North Andover box
Brody McGratty (14 points)

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Seventeen 3’s send Newburyport by Triton 72-48

James Scali (16 points) had four 3’s in the first quarter
Jack Fehlner (16 points)

(Newburyport MA) Things were falling in Newburyport.

And it wasn’t the snow.

That’s scheduled to arrive later.

What was falling was long shot after long shot by the Newburyport Clippers boys’ basketball team.

I don’t have access to the Clippers’ stat records but I’m guessing that tonight’s avalanche of three’s (seventeen!) was a school record or close to it.

Dylan Wilkinson (20 points)

Triton was on the wrong end of Newburyport’s hot shooting and fell, 72-48, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

The Clippers collected twelve 3’s in the first half and exploded to a 46-24 advantage.

Senior James Scali (16 points) had four 3’s in the first quarter and gave the Clippers the lead for good (5-4) with the first one he made.

Will Thoreson (12 points)

“It was a fun first quarter,” said James afterwards.  “It set the tone for the rest of the game.”

Junior Will Thoreson (12 points) came off the Newburyport bench to drill three 3’s in the second quarter.  He loved the corners getting two of his 3’s from the right and the other from the left.

“It felt good coming off my hands every single time,” said Will post-game.

Coach Dave Clay was pleased with Will’s success tonight. “Will has been working so hard in practice.  The shots haven’t always been falling for him, but they were tonight.  I’m glad for him.”

Newburyport student section

Triton’s Dylan Wilkinson (20 points) led all scorers.  His ability to weave and spin his way through defenders to the basket makes him difficult to contain.

“We started out okay,” said Dylan afterwards, “but then that (James) Scali kid got hot.  They’re a good team.  Every kid on that team can play.”

Quintin McHale (12 points)

The Clippers took a twenty-point lead for the first time with two minutes left before halftime.  The Vikings (5-7) moved their deficit inside of twenty twice in the fourth quarter.  The first (57-38) was after a Dylan Wilkinson rebound put-back.  The second one (60-41) followed Luke O’Leary’s crowd-pleasing three from the right corner.

“Newburyport made a ton of three’s,” said Triton coach Ted Schruender post-game.  “Credit them for hitting all the shots they did, but we have to get off to better starts.  On this night they scored against whatever we tried to do defensively.”

Triton student section

The Newburyport fans turned out and had plenty to cheer about. 

Coach Clay did the player introductions for the second time this season.  “I’m trying to make myself more valuable,” he said laughing.

Senior Jack Fehlner also had sixteen points for Newburyport.  There were four 3’s in his scoring package.  He also turned a steal into a layup (Pick Two) in the fourth quarter.

Luke O’Leary

The Clippers are now 9-4 and have won four straight.  They are also 5-0 at home.

Newburyport defeated Triton, 61-52, in December.  James Scali had four three’s in that game as well.

Newburyport   27   19   11   15   =   72

Triton   16   8   10   14   =   48

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Griffin Dupuis drives against Finn Sullivan
Joe Abt
Brian Story
Ball on the floor
Battle under the basket
Ball leaving the court
Ronan Brown
James Scali
Max Gagnon
James Scali had four 3’s in Newburyport’s first game vs Triton
Newburyport box
Triton box

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Newburyport rallies to 72-64 win over North Reading

Finn Sullivan (10) led the Clippers in their strong finish
Finn Brennan (21 points)

(Newburyport MA) The Clippers dominated the final three minutes and that was enough to earn them a, 72-64, win over North Reading on Friday night.

“They crushed us on the glass over the last 4-5 minutes,” said NR coach Joe Casey afterwards.  “That’s what won them the game.”

Newburyport coach Dave Clay saw things a bit differently: “We won this game with defensive stops.  Those stops led to transition points.”

This game had plenty for both squads to cheer about.  The Clippers (6-4) led by six (23-17) after a quarter, but the Hornets (4-4) owned the middle quarters.  The visitors were ahead by nine (50-41) with 1 ½ minutes left in the third quarter. 

Andrew Boulas (20) paced the Hornets with sixteen points

Newburyport took the game over the rest of the way outscoring the Hornets, 31-14, to gain the victory.

“This group is resilient,” said Coach Clay.  “I’m proud of them keeping the fight in them.”

The tempo of this game was fun to watch because both teams had the same approach.  The defense was full-court, man-to-man and the attack was full-speed after misses.  Rebounds were heavily contested.

Neither team was shy about taking the ball to the basket.  The best of the passes were dropdowns by penetrators.

Craig Rubino guards Ronan Brown (12 points)

High scorer Finn Brennan (21 points) was on the receiving end of quite a few in-close passes.  “My teammates were getting to the rim and giving me easy dump-downs every time,” said Finn afterwards.

The Hornets were led by Andrew Boulas (16 points) and Cody Cannalonga (14 points).  Both players took the ball to the basket and often made the layup or got fouled.  Cody drained seven free throws.

The Clippers came out of a timeout after going down, 50-41, and finished the quarter with seven straight points including a Jack Fehlner three.

Scramble on the floor

Two-plus minutes into the last quarter Owen Tahnk cashed two free throws and the Clippers were on top, 55-54.

Finn Sullivan was the spark for the home team the rest of the way.  He contributed points, assists, and steals and gave the nearby active student section plenty to get excited about.

“The fans are so committed,” said Finn Sullivan afterwards.  “We love having them there.”

Logan Scribner makes a pass to a cutter

“Finn (Sullivan) gives us so much energy and passion on the court and it’s so contagious,” said Coach Clay.  “He’s quite an athlete and a fierce competitor.”

Finn connected on a three assisted by Jack Fehlner and then set up teammates Ronan Brown and James Scali for additional three’s.

The Hornets struggled to respond.

“Give them credit,” said NR Coach Casey, “they hit a couple of tough shots down the stretch.”

James Scali (9 points)

Ronan Brown (12) and Jack Fehlner (11) reached double figures for Newburyport.

Finn Brennan had nineteen of this twenty-one points through the first three quarters.  The Clippers 50-41 deficit late in the third quarter would have been much larger without the inside scoring of the tall freshman.

The Clippers hadn’t played in ten days. 

Finn Brennan at the line

Newburyport won the first meeting between the two teams on January 6th, 57-42.

I’ve done quite a few basketball games this winter and this was easily the noisiest one. 

Finn Sullivan: “We defended hard in the fourth quarter and did the little things you need to do to win.”

Newburyport     23   12   13   24   =   72

North Reading   17   16   17   14   =   64

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Chasing a loose ball
Owen Tahnk (22) gets a block
Finn Sullivan and Brian McKenna
Logan Scribner guarded by Henry Acton
John Jennings
Battle under the basket
Quinn Riesenberg in position to get a block
Alex Carucci
Newburyport student section
Newburyport box
North Reading box

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