Tag Archives: John Modlish

Newburyport Boys Defeat Pentucket 53-39 to Reach Division 3 North Finals

Brett Fontaine (21 points) sinks a free throw in the midst of an eighteen point run by Newburyport.

Newburyport players celebrate after defeating Pentucket at Triton to reach the D3 North finals.

(Byfield) Who knows what goes on in a timeout?  In a quiet gym you might catch a word or two but certainly not in an MIAA Division 3 North semi-final game held at Triton with an overflow crowd and two student cheering sections trying to outdo each other.

Newburyport called the timeout I’m referencing here after Pentucket had scored six straight points and taken a 17-13 lead with 5:04 left in the second quarter.

I don’t know what Clipper coach Tom L’Italien said, and maybe it wasn’t profound, but his team came out and totally dominated Pentucket for the rest of the half.  The domination (eighteen unanswered points) was so significant that it put the Sachems in a hole they could never get out of thereafter.

Newburyport (15-7) went on to win, 53-39, but this game was decided in the last five minutes of the second quarter as the Clippers went from down four (17-13) to up by fourteen (31-17) at the half.

The victory sends Newburyport to Division 3 North finals against Watertown on Saturday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell.

The secret to success for Newburyport against Pentucket was turning up layups all night long.  Whether it was on a fast break or on dribble penetration the Clippers traveled the inside, high-percentage road getting seventeen layups in the twenty-two baskets they accumulated.

In the game-winning, eighteen point run, Newburyport had six layups, and an in-the-lane floater and a three by Matt Leavitt.

What was Pentucket (13-10) doing while this was going on?  Missing nine shots, including five 3’s and committing two turnovers.

Brett Fontaine – 21 points and a willingness to drive to the basket

Junior Brett Fontaine was huge for Newburyport with 21 points and a willingness to take the ball to the basket in traffic.  He took a whack in the third quarter and missed three minutes but was back in the final quarter to score the Clippers first four points on drives to the hoop.

Chris Jayne chased Corey McNamara around for the entire game.  That meant fighting through the numerous screens the Sachems set for their long-range shooter.  Corey managed to get off seventeen shots but only made two of them.  He was a very surprising 1-for-14 from long range.

Without Corey’s normal 17+ points, the Sachems needed points from elsewhere and on this night no one filled that void.  Will Angelini and John Modlish led Pentucket’s scorers with just eight points apiece.

Drew Carter (10 points) and Chris Jayne (9 points) were the other leading scorers for Newburyport.

The Clippers led throughout the first quarter before two free throws by John Modlish, a jumper by Will Angelini, and a layup by Mike Doud in the second quarter gave Pentucket the lead (17-13) and necessitated the Clipper timeout which was followed by the eighteen point Newburyport run.

Cory McNamara comes off a Will Angelini screen on Chris Jayne looking for a pass.

Pentucket trailed 39-27 after three quarters.  In the 4th, a John Modlish layup and a Serge Smaila three put the Sachems within nine (41-32) with 6:40 to go but layups by Brett Fontaine and Eric Meyer restored the Clipper’s double-digit advantage and they held it the rest of the way.

Both schools had good student turnouts and Triton is set up nicely to accommodate student sections with space in between them.  I’m not sure why chanting obscenities is tolerated by schools.  I wonder if that sort of thing will be “fixed” by the time Saturday’s Tsongas Center game is held.

During halftime the adults gave the student sections lessons in how to cheer.

Pentucket team huddle and student section

Newburyport team huddle and student section

This will be Newburyport’s first divisional final game since 2000.  If Pentucket had won it would have been the first time they had ever been to the division finals.

The Clippers will have to deal with Marco Coppola and his 26.4 points per game average on Saturday when they face Watertown.  I saw Marco’s freshman sister Gabby play against Pentucket.

(I accumulate my own stats and take my own pictures.  I also draw my own conclusions.  The errors along the way are unintentional.)

(Note the error in adding up Brett Fontaine’s points. It should be 21 not 22.)

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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

Fabulous Third Quarter Sends Pentucket Boys Past Whittier Tech 63-52

Corey McNamara (18 points) on the left is defended by Mills Carrasco (8 points) while Ryan Grant (28 points) looks on.

(Haverhill) Play two road games in two days and something is going to give on that second day.

What gave for Pentucket (7-4) was their shooting……… but it only lasted for a half.

The third quarter was probably one of the best ones the Sachems have had this season.  They shot and defended their way from a 22-20 halftime deficit to a sixteen point lead and went on to defeat nonleague Whittier Tech (6-3), 63-52, at Haverhill on Wednesday afternoon.

A disorganized Wildcat offense ran into a rash of turnovers (five) in the first three minutes of the second half.  Those struggles carried over to the other end where Pentucket started to connect from the outside.  The Sachems went on a 9-2 run to gain the lead for good (29-24) and never trailed thereafter.

Corey McNamara – Had fourteen points in the crucial 3rd quarter.

The key shot maker was Corey McNamara.  The slender ball handler came up empty in the first half but dropped four long ones on his way to fourteen 3rd period points. Corey appears to have the green light that every shooter dreams of: anytime you’re within range and get an open look, take the shot.  In this game, the same shots Corey missed in the first half started falling. A good shooter always believes that the next shot will go in no matter how many before it have been missed.

Pentucket dominated that crucial quarter to the tune of 23-5.   With it came a 43-27 lead and a sense that garbage time loomed ahead.

Credit Whittier Tech.  Playing at home, they decided not to go quietly.  The Wildcats intentionally, or unintentionally,  turned their offense over to Ryan Grant and tried to stay out of his way.  The speedster put on quite a show from all the scoring stations collecting seventeen points.

Some on hand may not even have realized all the points Ryan was accumulating because Pentucket had answers themselves when they had the ball.  The scoring strategy of the Sachems was to get the ball inside where Parker Kelly and John Modlish could take/make high percentage shots.

The Sachems led 51-33 with 4:15 to go.  Ryan tallied eleven points thereafter but Pentucket’s free throw accuracy offset the bombs away Wildcat approach and the Sachems won the game.

Ryan Grant led all scorers with 28 points.  The Wildcats were so one-dimensional on offense that no one else reached double figures.

Will Angelini (11 points) looks for a pass in close.

Pentucket ran a noticeable offense and turned up good shots.  Coach Leo Parent was screaming to his team to “get it inside,” during the second quarter.  There was a costly love for the 3-point shot (4-for-18) by the visitors.

Corey McNamara (18), John Modlish (15), Will Angelini (11), and Mike Doud (10) all reached double figures for Pentucket.

Serge Smaila left with an injured knee in the 4th quarter.

The Pentucket girls’ team was on hand to provide encouragement.  I wonder how often that happens.

The game was shifted to 4PM to get it in before tonight’s latest edition of falling snow.

(I keep my own stats and take and caption my own pictures.  The conclusions reached are my own.  Mistakes are unintentional.)

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Filed under Pentucket, Whittier