Tag Archives: Mak Graves

Pentucket holds off Masco 44-42 after eleven lead changes

A strong final quarter by Angelina Yacubacci helped Pentucket hold off Masconomet

Mak Graves led Masco with 16 points

(West Newbury MA) Masco led by nine after one period.

Pentucket led by one at the half.

Masco led by seven after three periods.

Pentucket led by two at the end (44-42).

Back and forth it went all night long.

There were eleven lead changes with at least two in each quarter.

It was anyone’s game right down to the last shot by Mak Graves (16 points).

The Sachems (19-1) played with fire in the last eleven seconds and didn’t get burned.

Pentucket had the ball with eleven seconds left and a two-point lead.

Angelica Hurley inbounds pass attempt was intercepted by Paige Richardson.

“I was so scared to throw it too far that I didn’t throw it far enough,” explained Angelica post-game.

That put Masco in possession and very quickly Mak Graves had the ball in her talented hands and she was stepping back beyond the arc.

Mak steps back beyond the arc

“My heart stopped, I’m not going to lie,” said Anna Wyner.

“I was petrified,” said Coach McNamara. “I thought she was going to pull up and shoot a three. They had the ball in their best player’s hands and that’s scary. I was happy when she drove because a two would let us keep playing.”

“It was nerve-racking with her at the 3-point line,” said Greta Mauer, “because you don’t know what could happen.”

Angelica, who had thrown the bad pass reacted quickly. “I knew that I had to play defense (on Mak Graves) and get the ball back,” she said.

When Mak stepped back, Angelica stepped forward to discourage a 3-point attempt.

Angelica Hurley steps out to discourage a 3-point attempt

Mak chose, instead, to drive baseline. The Pentucket defense closed on her and her shot missed. Angelica was there to secure the rebound and the game ended.

Mak decides to drive

Angelica secures the final rebound as the game ends

A collective sigh of relief and disappointment followed from both sides.

Liv Fillmore (11 points) shoots over MacKenzie Currie

Senior Angelina Yacubacci carried Pentucket down the stretch after she was a foul magnet early and spent much of the game on the bench.

“When she finally got in, she was a difference maker,” said Coach McNamara.

Angelina scored all her points (eight) in the final quarter.

In that productive quarter, Angelina got to the basket three times without charging and made two free throws.

On one of her missed free throws in the last thirty seconds, she stole the ball from the rebounder (Paige Richardson) to continue the Pentucket possession.

Tonight was Masco’s last game in the Cape Ann League and they played very well.

The Chieftains (11-6) took charges on the hard-driving Sachems and made shots early.

Seven straight points (Liv Fillmore three, Mak Graves jumper and layup) had Masco ahead 13-6 with 2 ½ minutes left in the first quarter.

MacKenzie Currie (15 points) takes a shot in the lane

Pentucket recovered nicely in the second quarter. Masco was held scoreless for the first six minutes while the Sachems put a ten-point run together. An old-fashioned 3-point play by MacKenzie Currie (15 points) started Pentucket on their comeback. Senior Hannah Lambert hit a triple and a fast-break layup. Abby Dube finished the run with a jump shot assisted by Alyssa Thompson.

The Sachems held a 22-21 halftime lead.

The Chieftains limited Pentucket to only five points in the third quarter and scored the last five points to create a 34-27 advantage after three quarters. Mak Graves hit a jump shot and assisted on Liv Fillmore’s 3-pointer to account for the closing surge.

The Sachems were down seven, but Angelina Yacubacci came to their rescue. “We played as a team in the 4th quarter,” she explained. “Each of us seems to take turns getting into foul trouble. We support each other from the bench even if we can’t be on the floor.”

But Angelina was now on the floor.

After a MacKenzie Currie jumper in the lane, Angelina sent MacKenzie away on a fastbreak layin. Angelina then twice successfully drove to the basket. Masco’s lead was now gone and Pentucket was up by one (35-34) with 5 ½ minutes left.

Masco stopped the bleeding with a Mak Graves layup and retook the lead.

Arielle Cleveland layup

Back came the Sachems. Angelina assisted on an Arielle Cleveland layup and MacKenzie followed with a drive to the hoop. Those scoring plays gave Pentucket the lead for good, 39-36, with 3:40 remaining.

Masco would get within two twice in the closing minute but Pentucket made enough plays to save the win.

“Give Masco credit,” said Coach McNamara. “They fought hard.”

The Sachems have now won sixteen straight. Last loss? To Masco, 56-51, at Masco.

“We’ve been preparing for this game ever since we lost to them,” said Anna Wyner.

Angelica: “We’re excited to win on Senior Night. We knew it would be a tough game. They are a very good team. Mak Graves kept me from doing a lot of things with her defense.”

Jenna DiPietro surrounded by Sachems

Coach McNamara: “It was really nice to beat them in their last CAL game. They have lost five games in the league this year which is a testament to how strong this league is.”

I asked the four Pentucket seniors about their college plans:

Angelica: I am going to St. Joe’s. I thought at first that the campus was too small but the coach there has been very encouraging. He came to our North Reading game which was important to me. I intend to go into the nursing program.”

Angelina: Not sure exactly. Probably somewhere local like Bridgewater State, Endicott, Keene State or UMass Boston. Won’t be playing basketball. I want to go into business.”

Anna Wyner: My top two choice are UVM and UNH. I am interested in the medical field. I have an interest in being a physician’s assistant.”

Hannah Lambert: “I want to study nursing. I am looking at Fairfield and James Madison.”

Full house at Pentucket for this game and they saw a beauty!

Pentucket box

Masco box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Angelina Yacubacci forces a turnover

Cally McSweeney

Greta Mauer

Hannah Lambert’s layup

Mak Graves guards Angelica Hurley

Maria Lantzakis draws a charge on Anna Wyner

Paige Richardson

Pentucket seniors honored

 

 

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Undefeated Masco downs Triton 5-2

Mak Graves had a goal and two assists for the Lady Chieftains

Freshman Maggie Sturgis (1) scored twice for Masco

(Byfield MA) Masco can score goals.

This afternoon the Lady Chieftains (14-0-2) put up five of them, including four in the first half, and that was enough for a field hockey win over Triton, 5-2.

Senior captain Mak Graves paced Masco with a goal and two assists.  Teammate Maggie Sturgis added two scores for the team from Boxford.

That Masco scored was no surprise; they now have sixty-nine goals in sixteen games.

That Triton (10-4-2) scored against Masco was a big surprise. Why?  The last time the Vikings had a goal against the Chieftains was on September 11, 2015!  That shutout lasted seven games.

Triton broke a four-year scoring drought vs Masco today

Gianna Conte had a goal and an assist for the Vikings

D1 commit (UMass Lowell) Gianna Conte assisted on Triton’s first goal (first half) and tallied their second one in the second half.

Junior Brianna Hood was the Viking set up in the first half.  That goals evened things at 1-1.

The Lady Chieftains responded with three unanswered goals over a ten-minute segment.

“I was proud of the girls for fighting back after being scored on,” said Masco coach Maggie Bridgeo.  “It hasn’t happened very often.”  The LC’s had only allowed SIX goals in their previous fifteen contests.

Two of Masco’s answering goals were by freshman Maggie Sturgis.  In both instances it was sophomore Lily Conway assisting from the right.

Maggie Sturgis (1) gets a goal

“Lily did a great job of getting the ball down the wing and crossing it,” added Coach Bridgeo.

Sophomore Ava Collins pushed the Masco advantage to 4-1 with three minutes left, set up nicely by Mak Graves.

“They outplayed us, “explained Triton coach Donna Andersen afterwards.  “We were, however, much better in the second half and they didn’t do a lot of subbing.”

Gianna Conte’s goal made it a two-goal game with twenty minutes left in the second half but the home team would get no closer.

Kate Zamagni

Kate Zamagni’s score with 8:24 remaining gave Masco a 5-2 lead and more than enough separation to gain their 14th win of the season.

“Kate’s goal was probably the prettiest of them all,” said Coach Bridgeo. “It was a corner play and Kate took a straight shot.”

Coach Andersen was impressed with Masco: “They have a lot of speed and stick skills.  They are very fast and very well positioned.”

Coach Bridgeo on Triton: “Triton played an unbelievable game.  Their pressure cover defense befuddled our girls for a while.”

The Vikings entered this afternoon’s game undefeated in their last seven games.  Last loss?  To Masco (3-0) on September 23rd at Masco.  Maggie Sturgis, Cecily Paglierani, and Kate Zamagni were the goal scorers for the Lady Chieftains in that one.

Kate Zamagni (4) and Jamie Bell

The LC’s two ties have been to North Reading and Central Catholic.  There is a rematch with NR ahead on the schedule.

The Division 2 Vikings have reached post-season six straight seasons.

Masco won the D1 North last year and fell to Somerset in the state semi-finals.  The Lady Chieftains lost only two starters from that 19-2-2 team.

I have seen Mak Graves play basketball, now field hockey.  The girl has multiple game!

“She was the Cape Ann League Player-of-the-Year last year in basketball and field hockey,” said Coach Bridgeo.  “She’s a great athlete who is usually two plays ahead in everything.  She picked up a lacrosse stick and was good at it without even knowing how to play.”

Mak Graves after scoring a goal

It appears that Mak will be attending Northeastern in 2020 to continue playing field hockey.

There was a side feature to Masco’s state semi-final loss in 2018 to Somerset; the opponent had two boys on their team.  “In my opinion,” said Coach Bridgeo, “the title laws were created to make it equal for females.  It is difficult to play against two males.  There’s a big physical difference between 18-year-old boys and 18-year-old girls.  Years ago, when I was in high school, Masco had a boy on their field hockey team, and they played in a co-ed state tournament.  Maybe it’s heading in that direction.”

The stadium at Triton is very nice.  The lights were good too on an overcast afternoon.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Andrea Walker

Ava Collins (23) scores

Ava Collins and Kelly Sharkey (12)

Brianna Hood had a goal for Triton

Cecily Paglierani (15) chased by Rylee Lucia (8)

Jamie Bell surrounded by Lady Chieftains

Julia Miller (12)

Maddy Peterson breaks in as Masco coaching staff looks on

Madison Hillick

Mia Gustafson

Sarah Burd

A second goal by Maggie Sturgis (1)

Mak Graves and Jamie Bell

Masco celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Masco girls rout Beverly 73-20 in Larry McIntire Classic opening round

Mak Graves (22 points) had eighteen of them in the first half

Hailey Anderson (3) guards Morgan Bovardi (12 points)

(Beverly MA) Masconomet coach Bob Romeo started individually naming players who had played well against Beverly this afternoon and then stopped himself and said, “It didn’t matter who I put in to play.  Everyone did well.”

No one on hand for the opening round of the Larry McIntire Board 130 Classic would tell you otherwise.

The Chieftains (16-5) defeated Beverly, 73-20.

Note that I didn’t write, “humiliated,” because the Masco coaching staff was quick to pull starters, call off pressure, and curb fast breaks in a game that went totally south in the second half.

Marissa DuLucia (10 rebounds) in close

The obvious attempts to lessen the point disparity weren’t completely successful because each new layer of Chieftain players could play defense and put up points at the end of lengthy possessions.

Beverly (9-10) will have their final chance tomorrow to get the win (against Revere) to qualify for the tournament.

Panthers coach Seth Stantial was quick to praise Masco but was very disappointed with his own team: “Our energy was awful.  We deserved to lose by that much.  Apparently, I did a very bad job of getting us ready.”

The Chieftains are coming off wins over two of the Cape Ann League’s best teams; Amesbury and Pentucket.

Cally McSweeney scores

“Our loss to North Reading a couple of weeks ago was a tough lesson,” said Coach Romeo.  “But look how we’ve responded.  We’re riding the momentum of our games with Amesbury and Pentucket.  It just carried into tonight.”

The Chieftains pressed full-court but it was in the half-court where they gave Beverly the most trouble.

“We brought intensity on defense,” explained Paige Richardson afterwards.  “We locked down the people we needed to lock down.”

After a full-court layup by Sabrina Beaudry (10 points) Masco tallied the next twelve points in the first period to break loose, 16-2.  Junior Mak Graves (22 points) dominated in this segment getting two regular three’s, as well as an old-fashioned three-point play.

The Panthers couldn’t penetrate the Masco defense for close-in shots.  The best they could get were from beyond the arc and there was little good (1-for-19) to be found for them out there.

Paige Richardson guarded by Brooke Baekey

The Chieftains had their fast break working and were extremely effective when they had to run an organized offense in the half court.

Numerous times Masco executed picks-and-rolls for uncontested layups.  “It looked as if we had never seen a pick-and-roll before,” said Coach Stantial, “but we have all season.”

Credit Beverly because after 4 ½ minutes in the second period the Masco lead was only, 23-10.

After that the wheels came off entirely for Beverly.  Most sports have ways to shorten games that get out of hand, but basketball doesn’t.  The next 14 ½ minutes of playing time in today’s game would suggest that it should be considered.

Tia Bernard

Masco outscored Beverly 39-2 during those 14 ½ minutes!

Sabrina Beaudry had Beverly’s only basket during the disastrous segment.

“They played harder than we did,” said Coach Stantial.  “They played smarter.  They were disciplined.  You name it.”

Coach Romeo: “It’s defense.  It’s sharing the ball.  It’s playing fundamentally sound.  Everything worked well.”

Masco faces Bishop Fenwick tomorrow.  “It will be a big test for us,” said Coach Romeo.  “They’re on a roll getting a big win over St. Mary’s recently.  Sammi Gallant is playing terrific.”

Senior Marissa DeLucia had ten rebounds, four assists, and four steals for the Chieftains.

Morgan Bovardi ended with twelve points.

Kylie McCarthy

Mak Graves, Morgan Bovardi, and Paige Richardson were informed recently that they are Cape Ann League All-Stars.

Coach Stantial: “Masco would be very good in the Northeast Conference.  They are always loaded.”

There was actually natural light in the Beverly High School gym today for this afternoon event.

Beverly box

Masco box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Shayla Barker

Tia Bernard guarded by Paige Richardson

Jess DeLucia looks to pass

Krystal Zepaj launches a three

Mak Graves three

Mak Graves uses a Cally McSweeney screen

 

 

 

 

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Masco avenges earlier loss downing Pentucket 56-43

Morgan Bovardi (17 points) on the move

Rebound battle

(Boxford MA) Masco coach Bob Romeo told his team afterwards, “if you play the way you did tonight you can play with anyone in Division 1 North.”

Hard to disagree after seeing his D1 Chieftains dominate Pentucket in the second half and take a 56-43 win on Friday night.

The Sachems (17-3) have the best record in Division 2 North.

Masco (15-5) lost to Pentucket in January (39-27) but played with much more poise this time around.

“We knew what this team (Pentucket) was capable of doing,” said Mak Graves (19 points) after the game.  “We practiced hard to be ready for them.”

In the first meeting, Masconomet took a 17-11 lead into the second half and then stumbled through a 10-point second half.

Mak Graves (19 points) gets away from Maddie Doyle

This time around Pentucket had a 21-18 lead at halftime and it was the Chieftains pleasing the home crowd with a 38-point second half.

With the scored tied, 26-26, three minutes into the second half, Mak Graves took over.  The flashy junior put a jump shot, a three (from Cally McSweeney), and two free throws together.  Pentucket had just a free throw (Angelica Hurley) during this three-minute segment.  Masco had separation, 33-27.

The game was far from over.  Early in the 4th quarter two free throws and a Jess Galvin three (from Maddie Doyle) had the Sachems down four, 39-35.

Later, a layup by Angelica Hurley (15 points), a free throw (Anna Wyner), and a three by Angelina Yacubacci (16 points) and Pentucket was within one possession, 44-41, with 3:50 remaining.

Angelina Yacubacci (16 points) chased by Marissa DeLucia and Sara Fogarty

On this evening, Pentucket couldn’t stay close down the stretch.

“We were outplayed in the second half,” explained Pentucket coach John McNamara.  “We just didn’t have the legs to shoot the ball and defend at the end.”

Pressure games, tight games, always seem to come down to free throws in crunch time.

After an Olivia Filmore jump shot on an inbounds play started the final 3:50, the Chieftains paraded to the foul line twelve times.  They made ten!  “We made our free throws when we had to,” said Coach Romeo.

The Sachems had just two made free throws (in four tries) during the final 3:50.

That 14-2 finish for Masco was enough to give Pentucket a rare loss.

“Hats off to Masco,” said Coach McNamara.  “They are aggressive on this court and a tough team to beat.”

Marissa DuLucia covers Angelica Hurley (15 points)

Morgan Bovardi had seventeen points for Masconomet.  In the first meeting, Morgan was in foul trouble early and had a 3-point night.

Having both Mak Graves and Morgan on the court most of the night enabled the Chieftains to handle Pentucket’s non-stop pressure.

“You have to make plays against Pentucket because they play such great team defense,” said Coach Romeo.  “They won’t give you anything easy.”

Coach Romeo: “Jenna DiPietro, Olivia Filmore, and Paige Richardson made important contributions in the win.”

Paige had ten points and ten rebounds.

You had to think that it might be Masco’s night when in their first-half struggle to score points they were able to bank in two 3-pointers.

“We got some breaks early when those bank-three’s went in but it was a good sign,” Coach Romeo said.  “It loosened everyone up.”

In bounds play

Take those two shots away and Masco is down by nine at the half instead of three.

Both teams had surprising losses recently against teams they had defeated soundly in first meetings.  For Pentucket it was Notre Dame (Hingham) and for Masco it was North Reading.

But that’s why we show up to games; you never know what will happen.

The Chieftains honored their two seniors (Sara Fogarty and Marissa DeLucia) before the game.

Pentucket box

Masco box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Sara Fogarty

Anna Wyner in for two

Jenna DiPietro

Liv Cross

Mak Graves (19 points) gets loose

Marissa DeLucia

Morgan Bovardi (17 points) floats one up

Olivia Filmore guards Angelina Yacubacck

 

 

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Masco dominates Newburyport 57-30

Mak Graves (16 points) heads to the basket after a steal

Good Masco defense

(Newburyport MA) “Stay solid on D and execute on offense.”

That’s what Masco coach Bob Romeo wanted, and he certainly got it as the Chieftains routed Newburyport, 57-30, on a chilly Friday night of Cape Ann League girls basketball.

The Clippers (8-7) scored the first basket (Meg Winn) but it was all downhill for them from there.

“They got the first hoop and went up 2-0 and I started thinking that this could be a tough night up here,” said Coach Romeo. “But we got that hoop back and had a whole bunch of stops.  Once we were up, 11-2, everyone relaxed.  Makayla got off to a great start.”

Paige Richardson looks to pass

Masco (12-4) had unanswered point streaks of eleven, eight, and sixteen before Coach Romeo permanently benched his starters with three minutes left in the third quarter.  The Chieftains had a 49-14 lead at the time.

The first Masco run of points (eleven) answered NHS’s two-point start.  A three by Mak Graves (16 points), a drive by Morgan Bovardi (16 points) and three baskets set up by Morgan sent Masco ahead, 11-2.

The second run of points (eight) happened soon after the first one.  Free throws by Paige Richardson started it and that was followed by two Mak Graves drives and a Morgan Bovardi drive.  This collection of points put Masco on top, 22-5, early in the second period.

Mak Graves gets an open three

Masco was able to get to the basket with ease.  Lacking for the Clippers was any sort of help defense.  Mak Graves hit from long distance and got to the hoop for twelve first-period points.  Mak had only two points in the first meeting.

On this evening it was quickly obvious that the Clippers would have their hands full trying to defend the Clippers.  Sometimes a team can score enough points to make up for it.  Didn’t happen tonight!

The Newburyport offense had an even tougher night than the defense did.  Anyone connected to NHS basketball may want to skip the next paragraph.  Consider yourself warned!

Alex Locke (33) and Sadie Vandenberg (22) battle for control

Two free throws late in the second period by Maggie Pons put the score at, 33-14, with 1:50 left.  The Clippers didn’t score for the next eight minutes of playing time (a full quarter of playing time).  The visitors tallied sixteen points in a row.  Morgan Bovardi had eleven of the points.  The worst part of it all for Newburyport?  They had thirteen turnovers during this trying time for them.

From where I was watching, most of the turnovers were bad passes in their half-court offense.  The Masco defenders jumped passing lanes with great success.

The deadly combo of less-than-the-best offense/defense left Newburyport down, 49-14, with plenty of playing time remaining.

The Clippers totaled twenty-nine turnovers for the night.  Masco had eight.

Olivia Filmore (24) covers Jess Rosseau (25)

“We play a team defense,” said Coach Romeo.  “Everyone is helping.”

“We executed some good stuff and we had some good looks,” added Coach Romeo.  “It’s that time of year.  We should be executing.  We’ve been in the gym for two months.”

Newburyport has two more tough games in the next six days; Amesbury and Pentucket.  The games are at Newburyport.  Pentucket had a two-point win over Amesbury on Tuesday.  Pentucket has a win over Masco.  Pentucket & Masco have a rematch this month at Masco.

Pretty impressive rendition of the National Anthem by a Newburyport freshman.

Newburyport box

Masco box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Tie-up in the lane

Jenna DiPietro guarded by Anna Hickman

Lily Troupe to the hoop

Lucy Palmer (2) catches a lob pass beyond Sami Cavanaugh (5)

Meg Winn (14) into the lane guarded by Jess DeLucia

Meg Winn guards Mak Graves

Morgan Bovardi gets an open look

Morgan Bovardi (16 points) gets to the basket

 

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Gia Bramanti’s big final quarter leads Andover past Masco 45-41

Plenty of tough defense on display

Gia Bramanti (19 points) was huge in the final quarter for Andover

(Boxford MA) Andover’s Gia Bramanti came alive in the final four minutes and led the Warriors to a, 45-41, win over Masco on Sunday afternoon.

“Gia is a special player,” said Masco coach Bob Romeo afterwards. “Great players find ways to make big shots.”

Who could argue?  The 6-1 senior shouldered the scoring load for AHS after Tatum Shaw’s 3-pointer put the Warriors close, 35-34, with 3:48 left in the non-league contest.

In the next 2+ minutes, Gia put five points on either side of a Morgan Bovardi triple and the visitors pushed ahead, 44-38, with 1:39 remaining.  Masco had enough possessions thereafter to catch up, but the Andover defense wouldn’t allow it.

Gia Bramanti in the lane

“Gia made the big plays when she had to,” said Warriors’ coach Alan Hibino.  “She wasn’t surprised by the moment.  She wants the ball in those situations.”

Gia paced the Warriors with nineteen points.  Morgan Bovardi led Masco with seventeen points.

The defense for both sides was tenacious.  Open shots vanished after warmups.  “Our kids played hard on defense,” said Coach Romeo.  “There was nothing easy for either team.  Andover is used to it every night in the Merrimack Valley Conference.  We don’t see it as often in the Cape Ann League.”

Gia Bramanti turned out to be the shooting star at the end but for almost three quarters the Masco defensive combo of Marissa DeLucia and Cally McSweeney limited her to six points.  But then in the final seconds of the 3rd quarter, Gia drained her first three as the quarter ended tied at 29-29.

Shea Krekorian (2) made shooting difficult for Mak Graves (3)

This game had six ties and six lead changes.

The Chieftains (10-4) went up by seven (21-14) in the second quarter, eight (24-16) in the 3rd, and six (35-29) early in the final quarter.  Sophomore Morgan Bovardi (17 points) had a part in each of the Masco point surges.

Andover, however, was always able to put streaks of offense together and recover. They put eight straight in place in the third (two drives Taylor Landry, free throw Gia, triple Tatum Shaw) and ten unanswered in the fourth (two free throws Sarah Sullivan, triple Tatum Shaw, triple & layup Gia Bramanti).

A key to the Warriors’ win?  The defensive job junior Shea Krekorian did on Masco’s top scorer, Mak Graves.  Mak averages fourteen points per game and had two 3’s in the first quarter and a layup in the first two minutes of the second quarter.  After that?  Nothing.

“We’ve seen them (Masco) play a couple of times,” said AHS coach Alan Hibino.  “Mak is the engine that makes them go.  Shea Krekorian did a nice job on her.”

Morgan Bovardi (17 points) takes on three Andover defenders

The Warriors showed a zone defense in the last quarter.  Normally Masco’s shooters make that into a bad idea.  “Our shooters can make outside shots but Mak and Morgan need space and their defenders had length,” said Coach Romeo.

“I have no regrets on our level of effort,” added Coach Romeo.  “Andover averages close to 70 points per game.  Our kids played so hard on defense.”

Coach Hibino expected a tough game. “Coach Romeo reached out to us this summer to play this game.  It’s nice to go out of conference and play an opponent of Masco’s caliber.  Mak and Morgan are fantastic players.”

Gia Bramanti: “It was hard work out there.  Masco is very good.  Their two guards are definitely going to play in college if they want to.”

Hard screen

Andover’s thirteen wins give them more wins than any other team in Division 1 North.  Masco, also in D1, has already qualified for the post-season.  Plenty of D1 coaches in the crowd getting a look at two possible tournament opponents.

I asked Gia about her plans for next year: “I am looking to do a post-graduate year.  I haven’t really decided where yet.”

Regarding her late-game heroics Gia said, “It always feels great when I can connect.  It was when it really mattered.  The adrenalin kicked in and I knew that I had to make a few shots.”

Taylor Landry scored ten for Andover and Tatum Shaw added eight including two 3’s.

Paige Richardson and Mak Graves each had eight for Masconomet.

Andover box

Masco box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Olivia Fillmore (24) shoots

Paige Richardson defends Taylor Landry

Saran Sullivan (22) gets into the lane

Taylor Landry (10 points) breaks in

Cally McSweeney guards Gia Bramanti

Floor pass

Mak Graves covers Taylor Landry

 

 

 

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Maddie Doyle’s defense sparks Pentucket in 39-27 win over Masco

Mak Graves (3) chased by Maddie Doyle and Angelina Yacubacci

Tight defense was on full display

(West Newbury MA) The girl didn’t score a point yet afterwards her coach was singing her praises.

“I told the team afterwards that Maddie (Doyle) did a fantastic job,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara.

Maddie’s terrific defense on Masco’s Mak Graves was a key piece in the Sachems, 39-27, win tonight in Cape Ann League action.

“Mak is one of the best, if not the best, player around,” said Coach McNamara.  “Maddie battles and battles.  Our other defenders were ready to help but Maddie was front and center.”

Mak Graves finished with twelve points but her only open shots were at the foul line.

Mak Graves (12 points) gets inside

The final score in this one will fool you because Masconomet dominated the first half.  The Cheiftains (5-2) put eleven unanswered points together and turned an early 3-2 deficit into a 13-3 advantage at the 6:30 mark of the second period.  Mak Graves had both of her three’s in this segment.  One of them was a remarkable step-back three.

The visitors led, 17-11, at the half.

“I thought that in the first half we were terrific,” recalled Masco coach Bob Romeo.  “We came out of the gate flying.  Maybe we should have had a bigger lead.”

One thing that probably prevented a bigger lead was the limited floor time for sophomore Morgan Bovardi.  Morgan (“She’s one of our bigger scorers” – Coach Romeo) was a foul magnet all night and was on the bench longer than she played.

Pentucket (7-1) turned things around in the second half.  “We needed to play better defense and slow down on offense,” explained junior Angelica Hurley (15 points) afterwards.

Megan Reading (33) tries to block Mak Graves’ shot

The Sachems tallied so few points in the first half that the chances to flash their full-court pressure had been minimal.  In the second half, that changed.

After Mak Graves boosted the Masco lead to 19-11 with a layup through traffic, the Sachems went on a 10-point run.  Senior Jess Galvin started things with a triple.  Later, Angelica Hurley (15 points)  converted an offensive rebound and added three free throws.  Junior Angelina Yarabacci (13 points) contributed two free throws.  The streak of points gave Pentucket a 21-19 lead halfway through the third quarter.

Credit Masco.  They hung in there and at the end of the period the scored was tied at 24-24.

In a game when points seemed to come only in bunches, it was the next “bunch” that turned tonight’s game Pentucket’s way.

“We decided not to settle for the outside shot but instead get to the rim,” said Coach McNamara.

Angelina Yacubacci (13 points) finds an opening

The first 3 ½ minutes of the final period combined a point-producing offense with a shutdown defense.  The Sachems put nine unanswered points together and raced ahead 33-24.  Their shutdown defense didn’t allow a Masco point for the first 5 ½ minutes of the last period.  That combination almost always leads to a happy ending for the team doing it and that was what happened.

Pentucket had three points in the first quarter while Masco had three in the fourth quarter.

Masco had twenty-one turnovers by my count.  Twelve of them came in a first half in which they ended up with a 17-11 lead.  Pentucket finished with ten TOs with only four of them in the comebacking second half.

Marissa DeLucia stops Angelica Hurley

Bob Romeo: “Credit them.  We couldn’t get any offensive rhythm. They played great defense.”

John McNamara: “It is always a war with Masco.  They came out and took it to us.  It was nice to see us respond.  Any time you beat Masco it is a good win.  We’ll enjoy it while we can.”

Angelica Hurley: “Maddie (Doyle) did a great job on Mak Graves.  She’s a very good shooter.  Morgan (Bovardi) being in foul trouble made a difference.”

Bob Romeo: “I had no problem with out kids’ effort.  We held them to 39 points.  They had been averaging close to 60.  We’ll make more shots when we play them again in February.”

Watching Maddie Doyle and Mak Graves battle was a treat.  They both are relentless.

Full house at Pentucket and they got their money’s worth.

Casey Hunt (now of Bradford Christian) was in the house.

Masco box

Pentucket box

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Angelic Hurley tries to go under and up

Jess Galvin and Morgan Bovardi dive for a loose ball

Liv Cross (32) tightly guarded

Sara Fogarty (12) and Angelica Hurley (24)

Liv Cross (32) tightly guarded by Sara Fogarty

Mak Graves (3) trying to get open

Mak Graves shoots free throws

Olivia Filmore (24) and Jess Galvin (12)

Olivia Filmore shoots a free throw

 

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Bishop Fenwick edges Masco 33-32 in defensive struggle

Jennie Meagher blocks the final shot of the game

Bishop Fenwick celebrates the win

(Beverly MA) “This game literally came down to the last possession,” said Bishop Fenwick coach Adam DeBaggis afterwards.

The Crusaders needed a stop against Masco and they got it to preserve a 33-32 win on Monday night in the finals of the McIntire Classic.

Mak Graves dribbled out Masco’s final fifteen seconds looking for an opportunity for some sort of shot but there were tall Crusaders inside and closely guarding Crusaders on the perimeter.  Mak ended up in the right corner with the tallest of the Crusader (Jennie Meagher) nearby and had her shot blocked as the game ended.

Sammi Gallant guarded by Mak Graves

“It was two tremendous defensive teams,” said Masco coach Bob Romeo.  “Every inch on the court was defended for thirty-two minutes. It came down to the play at the end.”

Junior Sammi Gallant had only three points but two of them were on a layup with twenty-one seconds left that turned out to be the game-winner.

“Unbelievable drive to the basket,” recalled Coach DeBaggis.  “Sammi’s so tough.  We hadn’t finished a number of drives, but we got that last one and it was huge.”

Close games have been part of the recent rivalry between the two teams. “Last year in the Xmas tournament we beat them 37-36,” said Coach DeBaggis.  “This year it was them 35-33, and now this game.”

Sammi Gallant tries to get by Cally McSweeney

The Crusaders (11-9) used a zone defense and had the size and quickness to protect the rim and the perimeter.  Masco was in a straight in-your-shirt, man-to-man defense.

BF was able to get to the foul line twenty-three times because of their willingness to drive to the hoop.  Another reason this game stayed close?  The Crusaders missed fourteen free throws.

The Chieftains had trouble getting good shots and got into trouble (twenty turnovers) forcing the ball in close to the basket.

There were twelve lead changes and six ties in this game.

Masco took a one-point lead (24-23) into the final quarter.

The team from Peabody ran the first seven points of the final quarter and led 30-24 with 3:21 remaining.  Liz Gonzalez had a layup and a free throw while Sammi Gallant added a free throw in this segment.  A crowd-pleasing three by senior Fredi DeGuglielmo ended the run of points for BF.

“We didn’t panic when we were down by six in the last quarter,” recalled Coach Romeo.

Morgan Bovardi (14 points) gives Masco the lead in the 4th quarter with this three

An NBA three by freshman Morgan Bovardi was followed by a Mak Graves steal that turned into two made free throws. Now down by one (30-29), Morgan put the team from Boxford in front with a three from in front of the Masco bench and suddenly they were ahead, 32-30, with 1:52 remaining.

The Crusaders didn’t panic either.  On two straight possessions they got the ball in close.  Jennie Meagher got a free throw out of one possession while teammate Sammie Gallant had the eventual game-winning down the right side with 21 seconds left.  Between those two possessions Masco had its 20th turnover.

Olivia DiPietro ended with ten points and was named the tourney MVP.

Jennie Meagher had only six points but her twelve rebounds and three blocks (including the one on the last shot) were important pieces in the BF win.

I was impressed by the way Masco freshman Cally McSweeney held her own against the older/taller Jennie Meagher.  “She’s our only true big player,” said Coach Romeo.  “We put her out there early and she didn’t give Jennie an inch.  She ended up with thirteen rebounds.”

Morgan Bovardi (14) and Mak Graves (12) were the top Masco scorers.  Morgan made the all-tourney team.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Jaxson Nadeau, Sammi Gallant, and Jennie Meagher with the championship plaque

Olivia DiPietro (tourney MVP) with Larry McIntire

Morgan Bovardi (All-Tourney)

Morgan Bovardi shoots a three over Olivia DiPietro

Mak Graves heads to the hoop after a steal

Paige Amyouny (5) tied up in the lane

Jaxson Nadeau swarmed by Masco defenders

Olivia DiPietro (tourney MVY) in the lane

Mak Graves (12 points) takes a 3-pointer

Mak Graves defended by Jaxson Nadeau

 

 

 

 

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Masco defeats Newburyport 52-42 giving the Clippers their first loss

Krysta Padellaro runs into some serious Masco defense

Mak Graves (15 points) finds space in close

(Newburyport MA) The Newburyport girls basketball team started this season with seven straight wins.

But how good were they since they hadn’t faced Masconomet and Pentucket?

Tonight we found out.  Masco came to town and defeated the Clippers, 52-42, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

“We have things to work on,” said NHS coach Gregg Dollas afterwards.  “We gave up too many offensive rebounds and we missed too many layups.”

Masco coach Bob Romeo saw his team’s play early in the second quarter as the key to the win. “Our breakaway was quick and the separation from it stayed there the rest of the game.”

This was a tie game after six minutes before the Chieftains tallied the final three points of the quarter to lead 9-6.

Anna Hickman started the second quarter with a free throw.  You sensed that this game might stay close after Nicole Amyouny missed two free throws in the first minute.

But two minutes later, Newburyport (7-1) was in serious trouble.  Masco put a string of thirteen unanswered points together and separated 22-7.  The home team never recovered although they did get back to within six points in the third quarter.

Olivia Filmore

Morgan Bovardi

Two Masco freshmen (Olivia Filmore and Morgan Bovardi) sparked the breakaway segment.  “They were impressive,” said Coach Romeo.

Olivia converted a missed free throw into a layup and then when teammate Paige Anyouny tossed a 3-point air ball, Olivia was under the basket to turn that miss into two more points.

Morgan’s part was stealing the ball and getting a layup off the steal.  She followed those points with a three assisted by Mak Graves.

Mak Graves and Paige Anyouny collected the other two Masco baskets in the crucial 13-point run.

You take those disastrous two minutes out of this game and it becomes anyone’s.

Paige Amyouny and Krysta Padellaro

The best matchup of the night was between seniors Paige Anyouny and Krysta Padellaro.

“Paige is rock solid,” said Coach Romeo.  “Game in, game out.  She’s a rebounder.  She runs our offense and defends the other team’s top scorer.”

Both teams dug in on defense.  “It was two good teams going after each other for thirty-two minutes,” said Coach Romeo.

Sophomore Mak Graves led all scorers with fifteen points.  Her ability to dribble into open space and to make shots against taller opponents is remarkable.  “Makayla didn’t shoot the ball as well tonight as she typically does,” said Coach Romeo.  “But she draws a lot of attention and it allows other kids to make plays.”

The potential for a long night started early for the Clippers when starter Katie Hadden picked up two fouls in the first minute.  Out she came for most of the first half.  During Katie’s absence, the Chieftains (6-1) built the lead that the Clippers couldn’t overcome.

“That hurt us a lot not having Katie for all those minutes,” said Coach Dollas.

Abi Gillingham was called for a foul on this one. Don’t think so!

Because of the swarming man-to-man defenses by both squads, there was a fair amount of contact.  Fouls probably could have been called on every possession!  We might also still be at the Newburyport gym wondering when the game would end.

Masco lost to Pentucket this week, BUT Mak Graves didn’t play.  Pentucket will be visiting Newburyport on Monday afternoon (1PM).  The full-court, high-energy Sachems will certainly be another test for Newburyport.

We all got a chance to enjoy the impressive singing voice of Paige Gouldthorpe as she did the National Anthem.  That girl does not need a microphone!

Newburyport box

Masco box

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

Anna Hickman splits Sara Fogarty and Morgan Bovardi

Mak Graves

Kyrsta Padellaro gets past Paige Amyouny

Nicole Amyouny at the line

Paige Amyouny squeezes between Abi Gillingham and Paige Gouldthorpe

Sara Fogarty launchs a three

Paige Amyouny gets past Krysta Padellaro

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Masco runs streak to eight in dominating 59-31 win over Newburyport

The Clippers had few openings inside against Masco

The Clippers had few openings inside against Masco

Mak Graves (15 points) finds a way to split two Newburyport defenders

Mak Graves (15 points) finds a way to split two Newburyport defenders

(Newburyport MA) No second-half comeback needed in this one.

Masco dominated from the get-go and routed Newburyport, 59-31, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

The Chieftains (12-4) had needed to rally after halftime in three of their previous four games to get a W.

Masco now has won eight straight.  They face North Reading and Pentucket next week.

Newburyport (8-8) has reached the seriously struggling stage having dropped six of their last seven.  Getting the ten wins needed to get to the tournament is going to require a major turnaround in quality of play.

Mary Erb at the line - Masco made 12-of-16 free throws

Mary Erb at the line – Masco made 12-of-16 free throws

The best the Clippers did all night was put five points in a row at the start of the second half. Unfortunately, by then they were already behind, 39-14.

In the first 3 ½ minutes of the game the visitors pulled away 9-2 on two rebound baskets (Marissa DeLucia, Grace Fahey), plus two free throws and a triple by Mak Graves.

How did Masco win?  They dominated the boards and were very accurate at the line and beyond the arc.

The Clippers were outrebounded by twenty (49-29).  The killer stat here was sixteen offensive rebounds for the team from Boxford.  Paige Amyouny was the board master with fifteen.

I have seen Newburyport twice now.  Free throws were a glaring problem in both games.  A one-point loss to Amesbury included missing the front end of two one-and-one’s in the last minute.  In tonight’s game, NHS connected just four times in fourteen tries.  Masco, on the other hand, was twelve-for-sixteen taking freebies.

Long range things followed the same pattern.  Masco clicked seven times from beyond the arc while Newburyport just once.

Paige Amyouny in for two

Paige Amyouny in for two

Mak Graves (twice), Grace Fahey, Paige Amyouny, and Andrea Faia were successful from long distance in the first half.

The Clippers trailed 18-10 late in the first quarter but the next seven points belonged to Masco.  That fifteen points lead was still in place (29-14) 2 ½ minutes into the second quarter.

The last four minutes of the second quarter were all Masco.  They tallied ten straight points, including the last five by Andrea Faia, and had permanent separation, 39-14, at the half.

First look for me at Masco.  Impressed with the defense and the rebounding.

Marissa DeLucia took on Newburyport’s best player (Krysta Padellaro) and held her to eleven points.

The Clippers were keen to get the ball inside to Katie Hadden and were able to.  However, once Katie had the ball an extra defender showed up and left the sophomore with little room to maneuver.

Marissa DeLucia shadowed Krysta Padellaro

Marissa DeLucia shadowed Krysta Padellaro

Turnovers were not a factor in this game.  Each team had seven, according to my stat collection.  There was full-court pressure by both teams but few miscues resulted.

Freshman Mak Graves (15 points) led all scorers.  Nice article today about her in the Salem News.  I was not sure which one she was during warmups tonight and was surprised to find out which one she was.  Mak was easily the shortest girl on the floor but convinced me that she belonged out there with the “big” girls.  Mak dribbled and passed well and even took in six rebounds.

Mak leads Masco with twenty-five three’s for the season.  She had three against NHS.

Mak was a Cape Ann League All-Star in field hockey.

Grace Fahey (12 points) and Krysta Padellaro were CAL All-Stars in basketball last season.  Paige Amyoung was a second teamer.

On January 4th Masco defeated Newburyport 43-35 at Masco.

Missing from the Newburyport team is sophomore Anna Hickman with a torn ACL suffered against North Reading.  The Clippers desperately missed her point-scoring ability and tight defense in tonight’s setback.

Thanks to Andy Tappin for two stat sheets.  No better place to get information on what is going on with Masco girls’ basketball.

Mak Graves covered by Sam Cavanaugh

Mak Graves covered by Sam Cavanaugh

Masconomet has now qualified for the state tournament THIRTY-THREE straight seasons.

Masco box from the game

Newburyport box from the game

(All pictures will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Mak Graves

Mak Graves

Katie Hadden floats in the lane

Katie Hadden floats in the lane

Katie Hadden tries to get between Lily Polakiewicz and Grace Fahey

Katie Hadden tries to get between Lily Polakiewicz and Grace Fahey

Late game action

Late game action

Grace Fahey (12 points) guarded by Maggie Pons

Grace Fahey (12 points) guarded by Maggie Pons

Lily Polakiewicz and Katie Hadden

Lily Polakiewicz and Katie Hadden

Sam Cavanaugh gets to the hoop

Sam Cavanaugh gets to the hoop

Paige Gouldthorpe

Paige Gouldthorpe

Katie Hadden looks for a pass with Stephanie Mini defending

Katie Hadden looks for a pass with Stephanie Mini defending

Plenty of Masco defense led here by Lily Andrews (2)

Plenty of Masco defense led here by Lily Andrews (2)

Krysta Padellar (11 points) in the lane

Krysta Padellaro (11 points) in the lane

 

 

 

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