Tag Archives: Maeve Heffernan

Triton holds off Lynnfield 52-45

Plenty of exciting action in this game

(Pictures will enlarge when you click on them.)

Bella George (13 points) covers Kendall Liebert (22 points)

(Byfield MA) “It was a great game, back and forth,” said Lynnfield coach Sue Breen afterwards.

A tie after the first quarter was followed by both teams having a lead in the second quarter.  Triton had a tenuous one-point lead going into the final quarter.

In the final quarter, however, the Vikings (5-3) early on combined an effective zone defense with some unanswered offense to take a seven-point lead. Triton never trailed thereafter and secured a, 52-45, win over (1-4) Lynnfield on Sunday afternoon.

Molly Kimball was one of four seniors honored today

The win was special for Triton.  “It was Senior Day, and you always like to get a W on that day,” said Vikings coach Bryon Shields post-game.

Sophomore Kendall Liebert had another big game for the Vikings with twenty-two points.  Seven of Kendall’s points were in the final quarter when this game was decided.

When Kendall wasn’t making layups, she was getting contact on the way in. Kendall was an excellent 10-for-12 from the line.

Junior Bella George paced the Pioneers with thirteen points.

Bella George drives

“Bella George is awesome,” said Coach Breen. “Really steady.”

Bella helped the visitors get to a, 22-15, advantage four minutes into the second quarter.

Triton had answers.  Three’s from seniors Molly Kimball and Maeve Heffernan, as well as a layup by Maeve set up by Isabelle Basile put the home team in front, 25-24.

The Vikings had a 30-26 lead at halftime and a one-point lead (35-34) at the end of three periods.

This one had “tight finish” written all over it.

Kendall Liebert to the basket

But something changed. Triton switched to a zone defense.

“We went into it (zone defense) coming out of the third quarter,” recalled Coach Shields.  “They had trouble making shots against it and so we stayed with it.”

For two minutes the Vikings shut out the Pioneers. “Our zone defense is one of our strongest defenses,” said Maeve Heffernan afterwards.

A three by Molly Kimball (six points) and a successful drive by Kendall Liebert put consecutive points together and Triton was ahead, 41-34, with six minutes to go.

Taylor Valiton guards Liv Kiricoples

There was plenty of time left for Lynnfield to get back into it and they started to score consistently as Bella George heated up again. But on this afternoon, Triton responded with their own points. One time it was a Brianna Welch rebound basket.  Another time it was a Lia Hatheway three.  Kendall added two assisted layups.  The Vikings came away with a 52-45 win.

“We had trouble when they went zone,” said Coach Breen.  “You have to put the ball in the basket.  It’s an easy game when you can do that.”

Rebound battle

Coach Shields: “It was a dog fight.  The difference was our intensity on the defensive end late in the game and our rebounding.”

Maeve Heffernan: “It was a hard-fought game.  We’re not a team that gives up.  We kept working hard.”

Coach Breen: “We competed the whole game.  I think that it was the best game we’ve played so far.”

The 12:30PM start made for some interesting lighting. 

Coach Bryan Shields

Coach Breen coached Lynnfield from 1994-99 before switching to North Andover from 2000-2013. 

The Pioneers broke a three-game losing streak with a win over Collegiate Charter School (Lowell) on January 4th.

The Vikings were 2-8 last season ending with eight straight losses.  One of those losses was to Lynnfield, 54-20. 

The two teams will meet again at Lynnfield on January 21st.

(The pictures enlarge when you click on them.)

Lynnfield box
Triton box
Isabella Basile
Kendall Liebert on a break
Bella George
Ava Gamache on the floor for Lynnfield
Maeve Heffernan looks to pass
Kendall Liebert (22) up for a block attempt
Maggie Ozanian (8 points) in for a layup
Ball on the floor
Taylor Valiton shoots over Paige Leavitt
Jaelynn Moon guarded by Riley Bell
Triton pressure
Rebound battle

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Triton recovers to defeat Saugus 43-39

(Click on the pictures and they will enlarge.)

Maeve Heffernan chases Peyton DiBiasio
Kendall Liebert (11 points)

(Byfield MA) Two nights ago Triton started out, 13-0, against Swampscott on the road and ended up losing, 40-39, in overtime.

No resemblance to that game tonight against Saugus.

The Vikings were the ones doing the early trailing tonight (by as many as twelve in the second quarter) but at the end they had a satisfying, 43-39, win in their home opener.

“Basketball is a game of runs,” said Triton coach Bryan Shields afterwards.  “They made one early and we made a run late.”

Lia Hatheway

The Vikings (1-1) pulled ahead of Saugus, 29-27, early in the final quarter on a rebound basket by Lia Hatheway.

Credit the Sachems (0-1), they stayed around on a clutch three by Ashleen Escobar and a layup by Fallon Millerick.

The teams were tied, 35-35, with 2 ½ minutes left.

The Vikings took the W by getting the next six points. 

Free throws were crucial in closing time.  Maeve Heffernan and Isabella Basile had one each and Caitlin Frary hit two.  Liv Kiricoples turned an offensive rebound into a basket.

Fallon Millerick and Liv Kiricoples

Meanwhile, things weren’t going as well for Saugus.  During those same two minutes, the Sachems missed the front end of three straight one-and-one’s.  Ouch!

Kendall Liebert and Caitlin Frary paced Triton with eleven points each. 

Eighth grader Peyton DiBiasio was the scoring leader for Saugus with twelve points including two 3’s.

Triton struggled mightily throughout most of the first half.  Saugus pressure led to plenty of traveling calls and bad passes.  The Vikings had sixteen turnovers (by my count) in just the first quarter! 

Caitlin Frary made seven free throws

“We started off a little shaky,” said Triton senior captain Maeve Heffernan post-game.

Saugus took advantage, riding three’s by April Aldred and Ashleen Escobar to run off twelve straight points and gain a, 12-2, lead with 2:20 to go in the first quarter.

Two free throws and a layin by Kendall Liebert followed but Triton’s struggles didn’t end.  For almost all of the next eight minutes of playing time, stretching well into the second quarter, the Vikings didn’t score a point and the turnovers continued.

Saugus had a great chance to gain some significant separation but didn’t.  The Vikings defense began to have an effect.  Triton’s zone forced Saugus to rely on outside shots and there were very few offensive rebounds for the visitors.

Ashleen Escobar

“Triton was tough,” said Saugus coach Mark Schruender afterwards.  “Their zone was good.  They have great length.”

“We like to play physical,” said Maeve Heffernan.  “There will be fouls because we’re pressing.”

Triton was a different team in the second half.

“We captured the momentum late in the second quarter,” recalled Coach Shields.  “It was about sticking in.  It was a team effort.”

Saugus coach Mark Schruender

The Vikings reduced their turnovers and used their size advantage to score on the inside or get to the foul line.

Triton had twenty-three turnovers in the first half but only six in the entire second half.

“As the game went on, we found ways to break through their defense,” said Caitlin Frary.  “We found the pockets and got our shots up.”

Ball on the floor

The Vikings put a five-point spurt together in the closing minute of the third quarter (Maeve Heffernan 3-pointer, and two Caitlin Frary free throws) to finally catch Saugus, 27-27.

The Sachems did regain the lead (30-29) on a Samantha Shea free throw and there were two ties after that.  But crunch time belonged to the home team.

“You try not to let the closeness of the game get into your head,” said Kendall Liebert regarding the closing minutes.  “I’m glad we pushed through it.  We’re a good team.  We work well together.”

“We had our seniors back in at the end and they closed the game,” said Coach Shields.  “Molly (Kimball) had a huge block for us.”

Molly Kimball

Eighth grader Peyton DiBiasio was the game’s top scorer.  “She’s a tough kid,” said Coach Schruender.  “Peyton said she wasn’t nervous.  She liked the moment.”

“You expect the fouls and turnovers in December,” added Coach Schruender.  “At this point, the kids are more athletes than basketball players.”

Coach Schruender got a technical called on him when he put the wrong number in the scorebook.  “That’s inexcusable,” he said.  What probably hurt more was that Triton’s Kendall Liebert made both free throws.

Liv Kiricoples

Coach Schruender’s brother Ted coaches the Triton boys’ basketball team and was at tonight’s game. “I’m sure my brother will have lots of notes for me,” said Coach Schruender laughing.

Triton  6  7  14  16  = 43

Saugus 12  9  6  12  = 39

(The pictures will enlarge if you click on them.)

Saugus box
Triton box
Caitlin Frary shoots a free throw late in the game
Isabella Basile chases a loose ball
Reaching for control
Three Vikings chase Peyton DiBiasio
Rebound battle
Vikings double team
Maeve Heffernan and Fallon Millerick
Samantha Shea

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