Tag Archives: Parker McLaren

Weston rallies to beat Newburyport 86-81 in a shootout to gain D3 North semis

Sawyer Mayhugh and Parker McLaren

Jake Robertson (16 points) from the corner

(Newburyport MA) The shots were flying and many from beyond the arc.

Newburyport had fifty points in the first half while Weston had forty-nine in the second half.

Eight lead changes. Three in the first quarter and five in the last quarter.

Exciting? Ask anyone who was there!

Weston grabbed the final lead change with two minutes left, thanks to the remarkable 6-10 Sawyer Mayhugh (36 points), and came away, 86-81, winning the D3 North quarter finals match on Saturday afternoon.

Senior Parker McLaren (34 points) played his last game for the Clippers and it was a beauty.

Parker McLaren (34 points) shoots a three

6-4 Parker had every aspect of his shooting talents working. The long-range game was on target all night. He made seven from out there.

Twice in the final quarter Parker scored from in close to restore the Clippers to the lead.

With thirty-six seconds left his seventh triple, with thirty-six seconds left, brought the Clippers to within two (82-80).

The game-deciding possession followed. There was an urgency on the Clippers’ part to protect the inside and keep Sawyer Mayhugh from scoring. The inside was definitely protected but the perimeter wasn’t.

Will Van Houten (24 points) hits the game-deciding three

Wide open on the left side, in front of the Weston partisans, was junior Will Van Houten (24 points). Will had time (and courage) to take and make the open three with fifteen seconds left. Now down by five (85-80) Newburyport lacked the time and accuracy to recover.

Weston now moves on to face Amesbury in the D3 North semi-finals at Whittier on Wednesday night.

It looked to me as if most of the Amesbury team was in the crowd scouting their next opponent.

The Clippers (16-6) were on fire in the first half. They drained ten three’s and Parker put up eighteen points.

Newburyport was happy on the perimeter and their shots were falling from there.

Sawyer Mayhugh (36 points) over Parker McLaren

Weston’s attack featured outside shooters and Sawyer Mayhugh on the inside.

The Wildcats (12-10) were within two points (32-30) at 4:46 of the second period after two Sawyer free throws.

The next two minutes were all Newburyport. The Clippers put a twelve-point, unanswered segment together and came out with a 44-30 lead.

Parker had a three and a jump shot in this section. Jake Robertson (16 points) had four free throws. Two of Jake freebies came at the expense of a technical on Weston coach Dave First.

“I said to the ref with a couple of minutes left,” explained Coach First post-game, “that I think that the points on the technical are going to cost me, and he started laughing.”

The Clippers lead reached sixteen (50-34) later in the period.

Weston trailed 50-37 at halftime.

“It was so sad in the first half,” said Sawyer Mayhugh afterwards. “We couldn’t find our offense and we were giving up too many three’s.”

Christos Iatrides (16 points)

The Wildcats were able to shrink the Clippers lead in the third period. Three’s by Isaiah Kacyvenski and Christos Iatridis (16 points) had Weston within one (60-59).

“Honestly,” said Alton Jenkins post-game, “we don’t give up. That’s what Weston is all about. We’re going to give intensity from start to finish. That 13-point halftime lead didn’t matter to us. We were going to put in our work regardless.”

The Clippers recovered after Weston was within one, thanks to a three by Ronan Brown and Ryan Archie layup, assisted by Jack Fehlner. Newburyport was ahead by four (67-63) after three quarters.

A three by senior Ryan Archie (assist Trevor Ward) had Newburyport up by eight (73-65) with 5:55 left in the game.

Now it was Weston’s turn to put a run together.

Sawyer Mayhugh

Key play alert! The decisive comeback run started with Sawyer Mayhugh launching a three. Knowing what he can do around the basket, you’d think defensively that he was doing you a favor shooting from beyond the arc.

Sawyer took the shot and it missed but he raced in from the wing, got the rebound, and made a layup. That’s what hustle is all about!

That basket started Weston on an 8-point run. Will Van Houten’s three was the shot that gave Weston it’s first lead (74-73) since the first quarter.

Parker hit a floater in the lane. Sawyer put in a layup.

Parker went at Sawyer for a layup. Sawyer answered with a dunk.

Four straight free throws (Sawyer two, Christos Iatridis two) boosted the Weston edge to five (82-77) with forty-eight seconds left. Parker responded with a three.

Weston coach Dave First

Will Van Houten’s win-securing three followed and Weston now moves on to the D3 North semi-finals.

Those who have seen the Clippers play, probably had the same flashback I had when Will sank that crucial shot from the left wing. A year ago, Dracut’s Adrian Torres gave the Middies a tourney win over Newburyport from the same spot.

“Will sealed the deal with that shot,” said Sawyer Mayhugh. “It gave us the extra push to get another stop and finish the game.”

“It was a real team effort,” according to Will Van Houten. “We were in a similar situation last year in the tournament. We don’t give up. That’s what we’re made of.”

Coach First: “Newburyport is a terrific team. They are well coached and well disciplined. I can’t believe we came back from thirteen down against them. It was fun to watch Sawyer against Parker.”

Sawyer Mayhugh sets to dunk

Sawyer Maghugh: “Newburyport has great shooters. It was definitely a challenge to stop them, but we did it.”

Packed house with some spectators having to stand. Plenty of school officials around to make sure the crowd behaved.

Jack Fehlner (17 points) and Jake Robertson each had thirteen points in the first half.

The Clippers missed the front end of three one-and-one’s in the last five minutes of the game. The Wildcats were 14/24 from the line.

Weston is in the Dual County League. Newburyport is in the Cape Ann League.

Newburyport made more 3-point shots (17) than they did 2-point shots (10).

Alton Jenkins heads to the basket

In the previous tournament game against Shasheen, Sawyer had nineteen points, sixteen rebounds, and five blocks. Will the 6-10 sophomore have committed to a D1 school two years from now? Wouldn’t surprise this reporter.

Parker certainly showed that he can shine in the bright lights of a big game. He won’t be covering any 6-10 post players at the next level. I wonder what college he’ll end up at?

You stay close to the action you risk having the action come to you. Sure enough, in the 4th quarter Christos Iatridis drives hard to the basket, gets fouled to the ground and slides into me. No damage to either of us, fortunately.

Weston box

Newburyport box

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

Alton Jenkins grabs a rebound

Alton Jenkins shoots a free throw

Battle for a rebound

Christos Iatradis free throw

Will Van Houten (24 points) looks to pass

Christos Iatridis tosses the ball in the air to end the game

Isaiah Kacyvenski and Jake Robertson

Isaiah Kacyvenski guarded by Max Gagnon

Ronan Brown made two 3’s

Sawyer Mayhugh free throw in the last minute

Weston celebrates

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport rallies to defeat Dracut 67-57 in D3 North First Round

Parker McLaren (23 points) in the lane

Adrian Torres (10 points) for Dracut

(Newburyport MA) “I was getting flashbacks from last year in the first half,” said Newburyport coach Dave Clay afterwards.

And he probably wasn’t the only one.

Dracut, last year, came to Newburyport and stunned the higher seeded Clippers. The Middies would go on to stun a few other teams and win the Division 3 North title.

But that was last year. This time around, the Clippers turned things around offensively and defensively in the second half and defeated Dracut, 67-57, on Monday night in a D3 North First Round game.

Parker McLaren (23 points) and Jake Robertson (21 points) led Newburyport.

Jake Robertson (21 points)

Tyler Guerriero (19 points) and JC Santiago (14 points) paced Dracut.

The Clippers (16-5) were in front early, 12-6, and then fell apart defensively. The Middies whacked Newburyport with a 25-point second quarter and were in front, 35-29, at halftime.

“The tone at halftime was that we had to be the tougher team in the second half,” said Jake Robertson.

“We needed more effort defensively,” said Coach Clay. “We needed to help earlier and be tougher with our on-ball defense.”

The Clippers may have been doing those things to start the second half but for four minutes the scoreboard told a different story.

Tyler Guerriero (19 points)

Dracut was up, 45-38, with four minutes to play in the third quarter. The Middies were making tough shots against the taller Clippers.

Was Newburyport on its way to another shocking loss to Dracut?

Not tonight.

The #3 seed Clippers overwhelmed Dracut (8-14) on both ends of the court for the next 5 ½ minutes of playing time.

The tightened NHS defense didn’t allow a single point while the offense rolled up an unstopped fourteen straight points.

That 45-38 score turned into 52-45 one minute into the final quarter.

Parker McLaren and Jake Robertson each had 3’s during the scoring surge. There were also two well-run backdoor cuts that led to layups for Jack Fehlner and Trevor Ward.

Coach Brian Myers watches Adrian Torres and Jack Fehlner

Jack Fehlner did a nice job defending sophomore Adrian Torres. Adrian (10 points) was the one last year who nailed the game-deciding three in the last minute.

“Coach (Clay) told me to stay in front of him,” explained Jack. “He a great player. Very shifty. I just held my ground on defense.”

Adrian had four 3’s last year but none this time around. Jack added ten points tonight including seven in the comebacking third quarter.

The Middies were still within striking range (54-50) with 4 ½ minutes to play. Then junior Jake Robertson took over.

The next nine Newburyport points came from Jake hitting a three, finishing twice at the rim, and making two free throws.

“Jake is not one-dimensional,” said Coach Clay.

“In the second half, guys did a good job of pushing the ball up the court and I got some easy looks because of it,” explained Jake.

Parker McLaren to the hoop

“He (Jake) came up super clutch in the fourth quarter,” said Parker McLaren. “We were able to get out and run and he was found open on the wing. We know he’s going to knock those down every time.”

Jake’s run of nine points boosted the Clippers advantage to, 63-52, with two minutes left. Dracut didn’t have the time, or long-range shooting, to duplicate last year’s finish.

“We guarded for the first half,” said Dracut coach Brian Myers. “In the second half we got away from it. That’s been us all year. We haven’t been able to guard a unit for an entire game.”

It certainly helped the Clippers to have Parker McLaren stay out of foul trouble.

“It was a focus of mine going in,” said Parker. “I knew that they were going to attack me and try to get me into foul trouble. As it turned out, I had fouls I could use in the second half.”

“Parker is a physical presence,” said Coach Clay. “He’s huge. They did a good job of collapsing on him and taking away his driving angle. He hit some three’s to stretch out the defense.”

Scramble in the corner

Coach Myers: “Newburyport played with a greater sense of urgency in the 3rd and 4th quarters. They are a good team. They get the right guys the ball. You help a little bit and they make you pay.”

Jake Robertson: “It kind of felt like that Dracut game last year in the first half. We needed to play better help defense.”

Last year against Dracut the Clippers missed fifteen free throws. “We tried as a team to learn from our mistake of missing free throws,” added Coach Clay. “The team spent a lot of time in the off-season practicing pressure free throws.”

Parker was sure that his brother Casey, who was in the crowd, enjoyed the win over Dracut. “They ended his career last year.”

The Middies lost nine of the last eleven games.

The Clippers have now won six of seven games. They play again at home on Wednesday night.

The Middies play in the Merrimack Valley Conference.

Newburyport box

Dracut box

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

Adrian Torres

Farai Zuvaradoka

Jack Fehlner tries to get off a shot

Jake Robertson ended the first at the foul line

JC Santiago (14 points)

Loose ball coming my way

Max Gagnon

Parker McLaren rebounds

Ronan Brown on the move

Tyler Guerriero

 

 

 

 

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Parker McLaren (26) and Jake Robertson (23) too much for Triton

Parker McLaren (26 points)

Jake Robertson (23 points)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(Newburyport MA) The Newburyport Clippers looked awfully good.

Tonight they defeated Triton, 81-58, and qualified for the state tournament.

The Clippers (10-3) are undefeated in the Cape Ann League (10-0) and have won every game (eight) in the new year.

Parker McLaren guarded by Quintin McHale

Last loss was a non-league event against Amesbury in December.  The rematch is scheduled for February 4th at Newburyport.

Parker McLaren and Jake Robertson continue to put up points despite regularly drawing the oppositions best defenders.

Parker had twenty-six points including three triples.

Jake clicked from long range five times and ended with twenty-three points.

Triton (7-6) came out missing and the Clippers took full advantage.

Less than four minutes into the game Newburyport had already drained three 3’s (Jack Felhner, Jake Robertson, Parker McLaren) and led 12-0.  The Vikings never recovered.

“They can do everything,” said Mason Ferrick (15 points) afterwards.  “They can shoot from the outside.  They’ve got help down low to make layups.”

Zach Liebert guards Jake Robertson

“They’ve got a lot of weapons,” added Triton coach Ted Schruender.

Jake Robertson collected two more three’s before the quarter ended and teammate Jack Felhner also added another one.  Triton trailed, 25-12, after one period.

The visitors put a 10-1 segment together in the second period to lessen their deficit to, 29-22, three minutes in.  Getting to the basket and the foul line sparked the comeback.  Senior Jesse Wilkinson turned an NHS miscue into a layup.

But on this night, the Clippers had responses for any and all of Triton’s comeback attempts.

The highlight of the second period was Parker McLaren’s steal of a cross-court pass that gave him a clear breakaway.  Off he went with time to look for anyone chasing him.  He rushed in for a resounding jam that was a genuine crowd pleaser.  NHS led at halftime, 39-31.

Quintin McHale blocks Parker McLaren’s shot

Newburyport began the second half with a Parker layup (assist Trevor Ward) and another Parker three (assist Jake Robertson). There was no stopping them tonight.

The Clippers had a double-digit lead for good in the third period and cruised in with the win.

The Vikings never stopped competing.  They took the ball to the basket and they defended aggressively.  Quintin McHale (12 points) got Parker McLaren into several jump ball situations.

“Parker is resilient,” said Coach Clay.  “That’s why he’s a leader and a captain in our program.  Some people wouldn’t continue attacking but he did.  I loved that dunk he had.”

It certainly hurt Triton when high-scorer Michael Farago had two fouls in the first 1 ½ minutes of the game.  His minutes thereafter were limited but he never fouled out.

“He (Michael Farago) doesn’t let things bother him,” explained Coach Schreuender.  “That’s why he was able to play so well (eight points) in the second half.”

Both teams played man-to-man.  Triton tried a zone for one (?) possession and Jake Robertson immediately connected on a three from the top of the key.

Michael Farago defends

Impressed with the way that Newburyport took care of the ball.  Very few turnovers for the home team.

Good crowd of Vikings were on hand.

Mason Ferrick: “Newburyport is a good team and we didn’t have tonight what it took to beat them.  Now we get ready for Ipswich on Tuesday.”

Coach Schruender: “If we compete like we did today, we’ll have a lot of good situations in our future.”

Triton box

Newburyport box

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

Dylan Wilkinson

Griffin Dupuis shoots

Jack Fehlner

TJ Overbaugh tries to shoot

Trevor Ward defends

Jake Robertson looks to pass

Mason Ferrick guarded by Jack Fehlner (13 points)

Max Gagnon

Jesse Wilkinson

Mason Ferrick blocks Jake Robertson’s shot

 

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Pentucket edges Newburyport 2-1 in eight innings in D3 North First Round

Owen Kamuda scores the winning run in the 8th

Pentucket starts to celebrate

Peter Cleary

Casey McLaren

(Groveland MA) Nothing surprising here.

You knew it would be tight and you knew it would be decided at the end.

With eleven days off, you knew that the aces, Peter Cleary and Casey McLaren, would be doing the pitching.

You also knew that at the end there would be significant celebrating and dejection.

And that was how it was as Pentucket edged Newburyport, 2-1, in eight innings on Thursday afternoon at Groveland Pines in First Round action.

Andrew Melone scores the first Pentucket run

The Sachems (14-7) now move on in the D3 North tournament to the next round.

The Clippers (11-10) end their season on a five-game losing streak.

“This game went exactly how we thought it would,” said Newburyport coach Mark Rowe afterwards.  “More great performances by Casey and Peter.  We had our opportunities and they did too.”

The score was tied, 1-1, after four innings.

The Clippers had a runner in scoring position in the fifth, seventh, and eighth but couldn’t break through.  The key for the Sachems was that in each of those innings was that although the Clippers put the ball in play they hit it in the direction of CAL All-Star shortstop Gus Flaherty. Gus handled a popup and two grounders flawlessly to get Pentucket off the field unscored on in those threatening innings.

Parker McLaren reaches for home in the 4th inning

The end came for Newburyport in the 8th inning.  A popup by Owen Kamuda fell for a single into short center to start the inning.  After Andrew Melone struck out, Gus Flaherty reached on a walk.  Two on, one out.  A grounder to shortstop Ryan Archie.  Might have been two but at least would be a force out.  Instead, Ryan bobbled the ball and hurried the feed to 2B Tyler Koglin.  Runner Gus Flaherty slide into Tyler as he reached for the throw and the throw went by Tyler into right field. Owen Kamuda, who was heading for 3B when the grounder was hit, raced home with the winning run.

“The ending was tough for Newburyport,” said Pentucket coach Mike Wendt.  “However, in a game like this, that was so well played, that’s what you get at the end.”

The Sachems celebrated their First Round win in a big way and it was understandable.  Pentucket was 2-18 last year!

Jordan Cane drove in the first Pentucket run

1B Jordan Case was with St. Mary’s last season.  The Spartans make the state tournament with regularity.  “I told this team that there’s something special about playoff baseball.”

Jordan drove in Pentucket’s first run in the first inning.  Andrew Melone led off with a double to left and went to 3B on Jake Etter’s fielder’s choice.  Jordan then singled up the middle with two outs to score Andrew.

“I was thinking middle away, but he grooved a fastball down the middle and I had good contact,” said Jordan.

Walker Bartkiewicz drove in Newburyport’s run

The Clippers tied things in the fourth.  Parker McLaren doubled leading that inning off.  After two outs, Walker Bartkiewicz singled Parker home.

Newburyport finished with six hits but only Walker’s drove in a run.  “We certainly would have liked some more timely hits,” said Casey.

Winning pitcher Peter Cleary credited his defense: “It was good.  I was pitching to contact.”

Coach Wendt: “Peter (Cleary) is unflappable.  When I give him the ball in any game, especially a big game, he is always poised and always in control.”

Parker McLaren and Gus Flaherty

Coach Wendt: “Peter’s pitch count was low because Newburyport was first-pitch, fastball aggressive knowing he would pound the zone early in the count.”

Jordan Cane: “Newburyport is so athletic.  I have great respect for them after playing against them in hockey and baseball.”

Casey McLaren finishes a remarkable basketball/baseball career at Newburyport.  I again asked him about possibly playing baseball at Tufts along with basketball.  “I am not opposed to it.  I may have to get in touch with them over that.”  He added that he thinks that he will study economics and finance at Tufts.

Nice crowd took in the action on a sunny late afternoon.

2B Trevor Blanchard went backwards to make a nice catch to end the Newburyport sixth.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

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

Chris Husak 3B

Elusive popup

Elusive popup

Gus Flaherty throws to 1B

Safe or out?

Tommy Murphy and Gus Flaherty

Trevor Blanchard makes a catch

Ty Koglin, Ryan Archie, Parker McLaren pre-game

Joe Lynch steals 2B as Ryan Archie reaches to tag

Ryan Archie steals 2B

 

 

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Newburyport hits and fields their way to 9-4 win over Amesbury

Tommy Murphy and Casey McLaren celebrate a 2-run homer

Parker McLaren limited Amesbury to four hits in six innings of pitching

(Amesbury MA) Plenty of baserunners.

Plenty of opportunities.

But on this Tuesday afternoon, Newburyport (6-4) turned in more big plays and defeated Amesbury, 9-4, at Amesbury Town Park.

Senior Casey McLaren led a 15-hit Clippers attack with three hits, including a homer, and four RBI.

Casey’s glove work at first was also important.  On three different occasions, two of which ended innings, he scooped low throws from infielders that kept runs from scoring.

“It’s all about getting down eye-level with the ball,” explained Casey afterwards.

The Clippers never stopped hitting in this one collecting at least one hit in every inning.  “We broke out of a hitting funk that we had been in the last couple of games,” said NHS coach Mark Rowe.

The Indians (4-4) had only four hits off Clippers starter Parker McLaren but used walks and Newburyport miscues to get runners aboard every inning.

Blake Bennett had two hits and drove in two runs

“We just couldn’t string anything together today,” explained AHS coach Joel Brierley.

“You could see that things weren’t going our way when twice we had our best hitter (Logan Burrill) up with the bases loaded and even though he hit the ball hard we had nothing to show for it.”

Trailing 4-0 in the fourth inning, the Indians loaded the bases with one out.  Logan hit a hard grounder down the third baseline that 3B Tommy Murphy turned into an inning-ending double play.  It did take a great scoop by 1B Casey McLaren to complete the DP.

Later (6th inning) now behind 9-0, Amesbury filled the bases with one out.  This time Logan hit a rope to left, that Ryan Archer managed to catch.  “Ryan (Archer) made a nice play on that line drive to left,” said Coach Rowe.  “It was a rocket.”

Casey McLaren after an inning-ending stop at first

At least in the 6th inning, Logan’s teammates were able to push four runs across after the catch in left.

Blake Bennett paced the AHS attack with two hits, including a triple, and two RBI.

Walker Bartkiewicz and Parker McLaren each had three hits for Newburyport.

Casey McLaren drove in the first NHS run with a single in the first.  He drove in their next two runs in the third inning with a HR blast over the head of CF Logan Burrill.

Two of the Cape Ann League’s best players; Casey McLaren and Blake Bennett

“It was a fastball, up and a little outside, and I was looking for it,” recalled Casey.

In the fourth, Ryan Archie reached on an error (Shea Cucinotta), stole second, and reached third on a wild pitch.  Tyler Koglin then singled him home.

In the 5th inning, Casey McLaren singled, stole second, and reached third on Thomas Greene’s single.  Walker Bartkiewicz delivered Casey with a single to center pushing the Clippers lead to 5-0.

Newburyport broke the game open in their half of the sixth with four runs.  Casey and his brother Parker had RBI.  Two other runs crossed after a throwing error by 3B Cam Chambers.

The Indians cut into the 9-0 deficit in the bottom of the 6th.  A bases-loaded walk (Tucker Molin), a passed ball, and Blake Bennett’s triple produced four runs.  But the inning ended there with Casey coming up with a low Ryan Archie throw to end the threat.

Freshman Jack Fehlner pitched the final inning for Newburyport.

Jeremy Lopez, Tom Flanagan, and Tim Gilleo pitched for Amesbury.

“Anytime we can beat a good team like Amesbury is a good win,” said Coach Rowe.  “They battle.  They don’t quit.  Like the first time we met (8-7 NHS win) they had a comeback in them.”

Derek Doherty (2B) throws to first

“We didn’t have very many quality at-bats,” added Coach Brierley. “When we did hit the ball, they made the plays.”

Casey McLaren: “It’s in my mind to play baseball at Tufts.  I haven’t talked to the coach yet.  We’ll see.  It would be tough to give up baseball.  There’s no doubt in my mind that I could pitch there.”

Newburyport has defeated Amesbury three of the last four times they met.

Amesbury had won three straight before today’s loss.

Amesbury’s Derek Doherty will attend Rivier University (Nashua NH) next fall to play baseball.

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

Kyle Therrien

Nick White congratulates reliever Jack Fehlner

Play at third

Blake Bennett fields a grounder

Catcher Derek Beaupre corrals a popup

Sophomore Jeremy Lopez

Pitcher Jeremy Lopez sets to throw to third

Shortstop Ryan Archie collects a grounder

Shortstop Shea Cucinotta sets to throw

Thomas Greene

Tyler Koglin scores the Clippers first run

 

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Toskany Abreu gets 29 points but Newburyport edges Beverly 60-57

Micah Davies (34) takes the last shot over Parker McLaren

Casey McLaren made clutch free throws in the final minute

(Newburyport MA) This had the feel of a tournament game.

Close, tense, free throws, last shot, and jumping around in celebration for the winners.

It was the Clippers (16-3) enjoying the happy ending as they defeated a very good Beverly team, 60-57, on Monday night.

“It was an excellent high school basketball game from start to finish,” said Beverly coach Matt Karakoudas afterwards.

Senior Toskany Abreu (29 points) had a monster game for the Panthers (10-6).  The BHS guard was able to get into the lane most of the time for layups despite an assortment of Newburyport defenders trying to stop him.

NHS coach Dave Clay was impressed: “We were trying somehow to stop #3 (Toskany Abreu).  He was terrific.  We tried everything; zone, man-to-man, face guard, diamond-and-one.”

The visitors from the Northeastern Conference took a one-point lead (57-56) into the final 2 ½ minutes after Toskany hit two free throws.

Beverly wouldn’t score another point.

“The key to this win was our effort,” said Coach Clay.  “I love what we brought to the table.”

All eyes were on Toskany Abreu as he scored 29 points for Beverly

Parker McLaren (15 points) finished an eight-point quarter with a jump shot in the lane assisted by Ryan Archie to put the Clippers in front 58-57 with 1:54 remaining.

Both teams then traded turnovers and Beverly had the ball back with thirty seconds left.  After the way things had gone all night, it wasn’t hard to imagine Toskany getting the shot in the crucial possession.

But that’s not what happened.  Harry Bovee defended Toskany well enough so that he gave the ball up.  Teammate Micah Davies tried a pass to Marje Mulumba under the basket that was high and wide.

Casey McLaren honored for scoring 1000 points

Beverly quickly fouled Casey McLaren and the pre-game honoree rattled two free throws in to increase the NHS lead to 60-57 with twenty-three seconds left.  Still plenty of time for Beverly to tie it.

Again, I imagined Toskany doing something but the Clippers defense forced the ball out of his hands.  Instead, senior Micah Davies attempted to tie the game with a three over Parker McLaren.  It rimmed out, Newburyport secured the rebound, and the celebrating soon followed.

Beverly build up a 10-point lead in the second quarter (27-17) putting a 13-2 run together.  Contributors were; Micah Davies, Marje Mulumba, Toskany Abreu, Jack Crowley, and Kyle Camara.

Casey McLaren beats the half-time buzzer

The Clippers used the final 2 ½ minutes of that second quarter to erase most of their deficit.  Casey McLaren’s long-range, buzzer-beater had NHS within three (29-26) going into the second half.

Casey ended up with fourteen points.

“Toskany played very, very well,” said Coach Karakoudas.  “We needed to give him a little more help in scoring.  Give credit to Newburyport and Coach Clay because they did an excellent job on our big man, Jack Crowley. They limited him to ten points which is below his norm.  Jack still did very well but they did a good job focusing on him.”

Jack Crowley tries to get away from Ryan Archie

The Clippers controlled the first period while the Panthers controlled the second period.  The second half was small leads, ties, and back-and-forth.

“What more could you ask for as a fan?” asked Coach Karakoudas afterwards. “I could ask for a win, but the fans had to love it!”

Nice crowd on hand including a collection of Pentucket players.  The Sachems won a big one from Newburyport on Friday night.

Casey McLaren was honored pre-game by state representative James Kelcourse for reaching 1000 points.

Newburyport box

Beverly box

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

Closing second

Parker McLaren leans in for a tough layup

Toskany Abreu guarded by Max Gagnon and Casey McLaren

Toskany Abreu shoots a 3 from the corner

Decisive free throws by Casey McLaren

George Coryell sets to pass

Jacob Roberton gets to the hoop

Marje Mulumba guards Casey McLaren

Parker McLaren denied a layup by the Beverly defense

 

 

 

 

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Newburyport opens with a 61-49 win over Rockport

Max Gagnon was part of a very tight Newburyport defense

Casey McLaren at the front of the Newburyport defense

(Newburyport MA) The combination of two sizable runs of points and an effective full-court defense keyed Newburyport’s 61-49 win over Rockport on Tuesday night.

The Vikings (0-2) had won four of their last five previous meetings with the Clippers (1-0).

“Our bigs struggled to get going tonight,” explained Rockport coach Phil Whitley afterwards.

Some of that struggle was due to the never-ending in-your-face defense by the home team.

“The defense was good,” said NHS coach Dave Clay, “but there still are some things we need to clean up.”

Tight defense

Rockport had twenty-two turnovers (by my count).  That’s a lot of empty possessions in a 32-minute game.

“We want the defense to be a staple of the team,” said Coach Clay.

Having 6’5” Casey McLaren at the point on the full-court defense, forced inbounds passes to the sides where the Clippers could double-team.

The Vikings broke open a close game (14-13) with a run of six points in the second quarter.  A rebound basket by Jake Knowlton and two free throws apiece by Gavyn Hillier and Ezra Mendoza had RHS up, 20-13, with 3:49 left in the second quarter.

Ryan Archie (with the ball) was part of the run that gave the Clippers separation

Then junior Ryan Archie heated up.

A rebound basket by Jacob Robertson was followed by eight straight Ryan points (two three’s and two free throws).

Both of Ryan’s 3-pointers were set up by George Coryell.

Newburyport led by a point (23-22) at the half.

Rockport opened the second half with three points and then the Clippers ran thirteen points over the next 3+ minutes.

That streak sent the home team up by ten points (35-25) and Rockport didn’t have the shooting to get closer than six points (51-45) the rest of the way.

Jacob Robertson and Noah Rawson

The beauty of Newburyport’s run of thirteen points was that the scoring was done by four different players (Ryan Archie, Parker McLaren, Casey McLaren, Charlie Cahalane).

“When we moved the ball by passing instead of dribbling, we did better against their zone,” said Coach Clay.

Casey McLaren (19), Ryan Archie (14), Jacob Robertson (13), and Parker McLaren (10) were the top Newburyport scorers.

Rockport was paced by Jake Knowlton (17) and Gavyn Hillier (10).

The NHS defense was a factor in the outcome, but foul trouble was certainly a problem for Rockport as well.

Starters Jake Knowlton and Ezra Mendoza both had three fouls in the first half despite sitting out some minutes in that half.

Ezra Mendoza was gone in the third quarter

Ezra fouled out of the game in the third quarter and Jake had his 4th before that same quarter was over.

Minus a primary ball-handler and their top scorer not only limited the Vikings offense but it added to their troubles handling pressure.

Jake Knowlton had thirty points in Rockport’s 83-77 loss to Bishop Fenwick in their opener.

I was impressed, as usual, with senior Casey McLaren.  On a night when the three’s weren’t falling, he moved in for mid-range shots and drives.  His defense within the press was important for NHS.

Parker McLaren above the Rockport defense

Coach Clay: “Parker (McLaren) played well.  We need to keep him out of foul trouble.  I love it when he attacks the basket. He’s such a big guy.  Think of LeBron James in high school.  I wouldn’t want to get in his way!”

Coach Whitley: “Their defense gave us trouble and our foul trouble didn’t help.  I think we got tired in the second half.”

Serious man-to-man defense was played by George Coryell and Max Gagnon.

Good crowd in the house for the Clippers home opener.

Newburyport starts the season with six straight home games all in December.

Part of that good crowd was made up of other CAL schools scouting the two future opponents.

Newburyport box

Rockport box

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

Jake Knowlton in for two

Jake Knowlton fends off Parker McLaren

Jake Knowlton block a shot

Jake Knowlton at the line

Austin Matus (13) eyes the hoop

Casey McLaren layup

Gavyn Hillier (35)

George Coryell in the air with Ezra Mendoza

 

 

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