Tag Archives: Joe Mussachia

Manchester-Essex Rolls Past Matignon 93-48 to the North D4 Semi-Finals

Chris Bishop – career high 34 points and a terrific defensive job

(Manchester) If you were looking for drama you were at the right place (Manchester-Essex High School) on Saturday night.  The Massachusetts High School Drama Festival was held there.

For those of us in the packed gymnasium there was little, if any, drama as the Hornets had everything working and routed Matignon, 93-48, in the D4 North quarter finals.

The Hornets are now three wins away from winning the state Division 4 title.  Remember that there are only D4 tournaments in the North and South.  The upper three divisions have a Central and a West also, so they play more games to sort their champion out.

M-E’s North semi-final opponent is St. Mary’s of Lynn.  The Hornets have played them twice, losing at home in December and winning at St. Mary’s on February 14th.  Also still alive are Georgetown and Winthrop.  The Hornets split with G’town during the Cape Ann League season.

Chris Bishop (#4) connected on six 3’s

M-E (17-4) led undramatically in this one from beginning to end and how fitting it was that Chris Bishop (34 points) should score first (on a layup).  The 6’1” junior had a career night burying six three’s in 2 ½ quarters of playing time.  Matignon played a lot of zone defense and their fear of Joe Mussachia (and his 24.7 scoring average) led to abundant open looks for everyone else.  On this night Chris took full advantage.

By the time Chris scored his last points, the Hornets had a 67-33 advantage and there still were 1 ½ quarters to play.

Matignon (14-7) trailed just 19-13 after a quarter and certainly promising for them was the fact that Joe Mussachia had already picked up two fouls.

Even with Joe on the pines at the start of the second quarter M-E started to do everything right and the Warriors could do nothing to stop them.

The Hornets pressure continually and the Warriors had eleven turnovers in the second quarter.  They were actually only able to get off seven shots and connected only once.

Down the other end, M-E missed its first seven shots and then went 11-for-18 rolling up an amazing thirty-three points.  Chris had seventeen of the points.  And if you really want to talk about great offense – the Hornets tallied twenty-seven points in their last eleven possessions.  I guess you could say they had it going!

The lead was 52-25 at the half and I doubt that any in the sweltering crowd gave Matignon a chance for a comeback in the second half.  The Hornets were just too good on both ends of the court on this day.  M-E led, 78-40, after three periods.

Ron Slager was held to six points after getting 22 in the Warriors win in the first round.  He had Chris Bishop defending him for some of the time.

Junior Bob Crane led Matignon scorers with twenty points.  His life became a whole lot easier when his defender (Joe Mussachia) picked up his second foul in the first quarter.

Joe Mussachia – thirteen points and a slew of rebounds and assists

Amherst-bound Joe ended up with thirteen points in limited minutes.  I don’t have his rebound or assist totals but I’d guess he was close to a triple/double.  He may have assisted on all of Chris Bishop’s three’s.

Joe Burgess came off the bench and tallied ten points.

The student section was decked in white shirts.  They all filed out before the game was over and then rushed back onto the court to congratulate the players when the game ended.

It was my first time seeing the indoor part of the M-E facility.  The lighting was excellent as well as the seating.  However, there seemed to be no way to vent the heat that the crowd created.  I’ve put on a few pounds this winter so sweating was actually a positive!

Bob Crane and Joe Mussachia share a light moment with an official.

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Filed under Manchester-Essex, Matignon

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

Pentucket Holds Joe Mussachia to Twelve Points but Loses to Manchester-Essex 69-63

Sean Nally (#5) paced Manchester-Essex with 21 points. His defender (Corey McNamara) put up 20 points for Pentucket.

Joe Mussachia (#22) and John Modlish scramble for a loose ball in the last minute of play.

(West Newbury) Highly touted Joe Mussachia looked like just your average Joe from where I was sitting until late in the game when he hustled after a bad pass, got fouled, and nailed both free throws.   Those free throws gave Manchester-Essex (10-4) the cushion they needed to defeat Pentucket (8-5), 69-63, on Monday night in entertaining Cape Ann League play.

Joe (12 points) came in with a 25 points per game average but the combination of John Modlish and Will Angelini either denied him the ball or forced him into turnovers for most of the night.  Joe had only six points through three quarters.

The Hornets got off to a horrible start trailing 9-0 while having more turnovers (7) than shot attempts (4).  They also got a steady earful of tough love from Coach Duane Sigsbury.

Sean Nally – led all scorers with 21 points

Turns out that ME has plenty of other scorers – Sean Nally (21 points), Chris Bishop (15 points), and Jason Stasiak (11 points).  They sure needed them against the Sachems.

Pentucket was led by Corey McNamara (20 points) and Will Angelini (16 points).

The special coverage on Joe Mussachia left openings for the Hornets’ other shooters. That nine-point deficit had shrunk to, 31-29, by halftime.

Will Angelini – 16 points and solid defense

Pentucket showed solid offense throughout the game because: (1) they ran organized offense and used their size advantages to lose their defenders on screens and cuts to get open looks and (2) Will Angelini (16 points) has a turnaround shot that even a tall defender like Joe Mussachia never came close to blocking.

Will would later foul out with 1:45 left and trust me that hurt the Sachems on both ends of the court thereafter.

The Hornets finally took the lead early in the third quarter on a head-scratching sequence all involving Sean Nally (5-10 junior).  On the first possession he missed two free throws.  The next possession he hits a 3 from the left hand corner.  The next possession he nails a 3 from the right hand corner and gets fouled and makes that free throw.  Who can predict shooting??

Anyhow, that little collection of offense put Manchester ahead 38-35 with six minutes left in the 3rd quarter.  The lead would expand to 53-43 as Adam Jackson, Chris Bishop, and Jason Stasiak strung together seven straight points.

Credit the Sachems, led by Corey McNamara they went on a 12-2 run into the final quarter and evened things at 55-55.  Corey hit a couple of 3’s during the rally.

Parker Kelly’s two free throws tied the game again at 57 with 6:15 to go.  The next points registered were a three by Chris Bishop with 5 ½ left.  The Hornets would never trail again although Pentucket came painfully close.

A rebound conversion by Parker shortened the Sachem deficit to 65-63 with fifty-six seconds left.  Sean Nally got called for an offensive foul but, with a chance to tie, John Modlish’s jumper rimmed out.

ME tried to hold onto the ball but a dangerous pass bounced around near midcourt.  Both John Modlish and Joe Mussachia went after it hard but the foul was called on John with twenty-one seconds left.  If the foul goes the other way, John is shooting free throws for a tie. A steal there and Pentucket was off to the races for a tying basket or free throws.  Needless to say, the Pentucket partisans weren’t thrilled with the call.

Joe Mussachia hits clutch free throws in last minute.

Joe made the two free throws and ME had the win.

Alex Porter (8 points) was back with Manchester-Essex after missing a number of games with an injury.

One of the neat matchups to watch was Chris Bishop covering Corey McNamara.  Pentucket’s motion offense had Chris fighting over and under screens to stay with Corey.

Joe has signed to attend Division 3 powerhouse Amherst.

Pentucket was 8-for-8 from the foul line.

ME shot over 50% (25-for-49) from the floor.  Included in that shooting was 6-for-11 from 3-point territory.

There are numerous lefties in the Hornet starting lineup.

Both these teams should make the MIAA tournament.  Manchester-Essex should do very well in Division 4 especially if Joe becomes not your average Joe.

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

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Filed under Cape Ann League, Manchester-Essex, Pentucket