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