Tag Archives: John McNamara

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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Pentucket Wins State D3 Semifinals 62-37 over Archbishop Williams

Coach John McNamara embraces daughter Erin (28 points) in closing minutes of state semifinal win over Archbishop Williams at the TD Garden.

(Boston) Pentucket played one of those, “How can anyone beat them?” games against Archbishop Williams at the TD Banknorth Garden on Tuesday afternoon and now get to move on to the state finals in Worcester on Saturday (10:45AM).

The final score was 62-37 and that margin accurately sums up the difference between the two teams on this day.

Tess Nogueira was part of the smothering Sachem defense that kept the ball away from 6-4 Valerie Driscoll (#33)

Pentucket frustrated the Archies with a fullcourt defense that kept the D3 South champs from organizing on the offensive end.  The biggest fear the Sachems had going into this one was Valerie Driscoll (Michigan bound/ 6’4”).

No defensive scheme would save the Sachems if Valerie ended up with the ball down low.  So, Pentucket applied pressure and more pressure anywhere someone had the ball and limited Valerie’s touches and points (6 points).

Meanwhile, Pentucket found open shots constantly and led by Erin McNamara (28 points) and Ashley Viselli (18 points) kept the scoreboard changing in their favor.

Erin McNamara defended by Aidan Duquette

Erin’s offensive game was particularly impressive.  Her 28 points came on 9-for-14 shooting, including 5-for-7 on three’s and 5-for-5 from the foul line.  She also handled the ball plenty and had just one turnover.

The Archies had their only lead of the game (5-4) thanks to Kayla Papazian’s layup.  The next nine points belonged to Pentucket as Erin hit a three on a pass from Holly Jakobsons, Ashley connected on four free throws and Erin assisted on a Tess Nogueira layin.  This spurt put Pentucket ahead 12-5 after five minutes of the first quarter.  The Sachems led 19-11 at the end of the first period.

Pentucket went through a brutal first six minutes of the second quarter – fourteen possessions/two air balls/three points.  If there was ever a time for the Archies it was during these six minutes and they did get back to 22-21 with the last basket coming on a putback by Erica Knowles.

Up to this point, Valerie Driscoll had hardly been a factor and still the Archies were close.  The future didn’t appear all that promising for Pentucket.

However, the last eleven points of the first half were scored by Sachems.  Erin assisted Ashley on a trey.  Erin spun in and used her left hand for a layup-and-one.  Nicole Viselli assisted Erin on a trey and Erin ended the run with another layup.  The Sachems held a 33-21 lead at halftime.

Pentucket started the second half with four empty possessions but then followed that with four productive possessions (10 points) to gain a 43-25 led after four minutes.

During this run, Erin had a three (assisted by Emily Lane) and then had a block that led to a layin.  Then Erin assisted Ashley on a trey and finally Sarah Higgins assisted on an Ashley layup.  This segment took the starch out of the Archies.  The lead after three was 49-31.

The Sachems continued to dominate on both ends in the final quarter.  The Bishops didn’t score until the 2:13 mark while Pentucket registered eleven unanswered.  Halfway through this quarter, Archies coach Jim Bancroft pulled all his starters and before the game ended two entire rosters got the chance to say that they’d played on the Garden floor.

Emily Lane, Ashley Viselli, Erin McNamara, and Holly Jakobsons celebrate at the end.

Singling out scorers for commendation is easy – just look at a box score.  Defenders aren’t so easy, especially with Pentucket because they come at teams from so many angles with different players.  A good trap in the backcourt could lead to a pass being intercepted by another player further down the court.  It is a team concept and effective enough to have gotten Pentucket to the state D3 finals.

The Sachems forced fourteen first-half turnovers and kept the ball away from Valerie Driscoll.  That’s pretty good defense in anyone’s book.

AW defeated Pentucket in 2007 and 2008 on their way to the state championships.  They have won the D3 South title four straight years.

Excellent defense has been the Sachem standard all season.  When their offense gets rolling, as it did versus AW, they are very difficult to deal with.  One more win will confirm, as some of us suspect, that they’re the best team in all of D3.
(All stats are unofficial.)

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