(Amesbury MA) It was not a matter of if, but when.
Avery Hallinan was within fifteen points of 1000 going into tonight’s non-league game with Beverly.
“I was quite certain that I would get the fifteen points either today or on Friday (against Georgetown),” said Avery afterwards.
But tonight would be the ideal time because her family (including her grandmother) was in attendance and her brother Jake was there with the Amesbury boys basketball team.
During the game the Beverly Panthers had trouble keeping Avery away from the basket. Her willingness to attack the inside of an opponent’s defense has been her trademark.
Avery ended up with twenty-eight points in a memorable evening for her and the team. That her team would win, 64-43, just added to the sweetness of the night.
The 1000th point was part of an inbounds play in the second quarter. Avery used a screen from teammate Liv DeLong to get open in the lane. She then received an inbounds pass from her sister (McKenna). One dribble to the right and Avery was in for a layup earning a place on the 1000-point banner that hangs on the gymnasium wall.
“Tonight was a great night for Avery and the team,” said Amesbury coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.
“We had a lot of motivation tonight,” said Avery. “We were coming off a loss (to Hamilton-Wenham) and we were ready to play.”
Beverly (3-10) fell behind early, 13-5, but while everyone appeared to be concentrating on when Avery would get her 1000th point, the Panthers slipped back into contention in the second quarter.
A jump shot by Nikki Erricola put the visitors from the Northeast Conference down only, 24-20, in the second quarter with 3 ½ minutes left.
However, the next six minutes of playing time were dominated by Amesbury. The Indians put an 18-2 segment together and 2 ½ minutes into the second half, had a comfortable, 42-22, lead.
Avery would get two more baskets before the 3rd quarter ended and then watched the final quarter from the bench.
Lauren Caley (12) and Angelina Mazzone (13) were Beverly’s leading scorers.
I was impressed with the organized offense that Beverly ran. However, the Panthers didn’t shoot very well, and the persistent Amesbury man-to-man defense had something to do with that.
The Indians (10-3) shot very well. “Tonight was one of the better nights we’ve had in sharing the ball,” said Coach Dollas.
Senior Gabby Redford netted fifteen points as her shots were falling regularly. She struck from long range and scored going to the basket.
“It felt good to be scoring points,” Gabby told me afterwards. “I always release early, and I got some nice passes down the court from teammates.”
“Gabby had a great game,” said Coach Dollas. “If she hadn’t been injured in her freshman and sophomore seasons, she’d probably be at the 800/900-point level now.”
“I will be going to Framingham State next year,” said Gabby. “It was the first school I talked to. I will get to play two seasons with Flannery O’Connor (former Amesbury star) which will be fun.”
The Framingham State team is currently 13-3.
(The pictures will enlarge.)