Tag Archives: Parker McLaren

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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Newburyport gets past Lynn Tech 67-63 after twenty-four lead changes

The Clippers begin to celebrate their win over Lynn Tech

Casey McLaren led all scorers with thirty points.

(Newburyport MA) A year ago, in the same gym and on the same date, the Clippers led Lynn Tech 30-5 at halftime and won easily, 70-36.

Believe me, that was then.

Tonight, the Lynn Tigers did everything but win versus the same Clippers.

The final was 67-63 and there was little to choose between the two teams in this first-round battle in Division 3 North.

Both teams were 13-7 coming in and it took a coin toss to determine where this game would be held.

How close was the game itself?  How about seven ties.  How about TWENTY-FOUR lead changes! There were at least five lead changes in every quarter.

Both teams had high-scoring weapons.  Casey McLaren (30 points) and his brother Parker (17 points) paced Newburyport while Robert Wallace (25 points) and Belmin Berilo (22 points) led the Tigers.

The last tie was 63-63 with 2:22 left in the game.

Casey McLaren stretches the NHS lead to four points with this jump shot in front of the student section.

The Clippers pulled in front, 65-63, on a George Coryell layup set up by Parker McLaren.  After an empty LT possession, Casey McLaren nailed a jump shot from the foul line area with 1:27 to go that sealed this one for the home team.

No doubt Lynn Tech was exhausted down the stretch.  In the final minute the Clippers ate the clock on two different occasions with LT unable to foul to stop the clock.

“Casey played terrific,” said Coach Dave Clay afterwards.  “He has incredible instincts for the game.”

Casey had six three’s, getting at least one in each quarter.

His top crowd-pleasing moment?  A steal in the final quarter that he turned into the only dunk of the game.

Plenty of defense played by both squads.

Robert Wallace led the Tigers with twenty-five points

“We needed to get the ball to the middle of the court and then look opposite,” explained Coach Clay on how to handle the press.  “However, Lynn Tech was so well-coached that it was hard to do.”

The Clippers (14-7) will next face top-seed St. Mary’s on Thursday.

Newburyport led 21-20 after one quarter.  Lynn Tech led 35-34 after two quarters.  Newburyport led 53-52 after three quarters.  There just was no true separation!

LT coach Stevie Patrick took his team to the locker room after the game without having his team participate in the normal post-game hand shaking.  I’m not sure what that was about.

The Clippers had been 3-4 in February before tonight’s win.

Lynn Tech was 7-14 last season.  You talk about improvement!

Lynn Tech box

Newburyport box

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

Casey McLaren blocks a shot

Belmin Berilo

Tre Baldwin guarded by Casey McLaren

Belmin Berilo (22 points) gets free

George Coryell

Jama Aroni chases Casey McLaren

Parker McLaren (17 points tries to drive on Tre Baldwin

Jama Aroni

Ryan Archie looks to pass

 

 

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Late run gets Pentucket past Newburyport 63-57

Nate McGrail (19 points) starts Pentucket on an eight-point run with this layup in the final quarter

Parker McLaren (19 points) shoots over Alex Willis (22)

(Newburyport MA) This game was close, very close.

There were six lead changes and seven ties.

It was a one-point game (53-52) with three minutes left.

Anyone’s game, for sure, before Pentucket took it over with eight straight points and defeated Newburyport, 63-57, on Senior Night on Friday.

Newburyport coach Dave Clay referenced his team’s defense afterwards: “We needed to play better help defense.”  Who could argue?  The Sachems registered seventeen layups, by my count.

In the crucial eight-point streak in the final three minutes of the game it was four drives to the rim that turned this game to Pentucket.

George Coryell gets Casey McLaren (22) an open shot

According to Pentucket coach Ed Hickey, containing the McLarens (Parker and Casey) was crucial.  “They were terrific tonight.  We made adjustments at halftime to help us to cover them better.  Casey (18.6 points per game) is always capable of scoring a lot of points.”

The Sachems played a high 3-2 zone that limited the outside looks of NHS.  It did open things up for Parker McLaren (19 points) in the lane area.

Junior Spencer Pacy (17 points) got to the rim successfully eight different times.

Let’s review the game-changing segment in the final three minutes.  After a three by Casey McLaren (15 points), the home team trailed by only a point (53-52).  Nate McGrail (19 points) then scored a layup and was fouled but missed the freebie.  Next possession by Newburyport ended with a technical foul.  Gus Flaherty tallied both technical free throws boosting the Sachems lead to 57-52 with 2:45 to go.

Gus Flaherty shoots the technical foul shots

After a turnover, Pentucket had two profitable possessions in a row.  Both were assisted layups.  First by Sam Stys from Alex Willis and then Gus Flaherty from Spencer Pacy.  Those two plays extended the Pentucket advantage to nine (61-52) with a minute left.  Game. Set. Match.

“We made extra passes and it opened things up,” said Coach Hickey.

The visitors from West Newbury had another run of eight unanswered points in the final three minutes of the first half changing a 31-23 score into a halftime tie.

Newburyport put a 10-2 collection together in the first period with five different players (Ryan MacDonald, Ryan Archie, George Coryell, Casey McLaren, Parker McLaren) contributing.

The Clippers will close out the regular season with four straight away games.

The Sachems have now defeated Newburyport three straight times.

The Sachems have a 7-5 edge versus NHS over the past five seasons.

The Pentucket defense collapses on Parker McLaren

Gus Flaherty had twenty-three points in the first meeting (68-54 Pentucket win) including five 3’s.  The Clippers took the long shot away (Gus had only one 3 in tonight’s game) but gave up too many inside scores.

The Clippers five seniors, and their families, were honored before the game and started the game even though none of them were normally starters.

Newburyport (11-6) and Pentucket (12-5) are both in the post-season tournament and both are in Division 3.  And both of them are in the north.  Point?  They could meet again this season.

Pentucket box

Newburyport box

(For the second game in a row I am disagreeing with the official scorer. Maybe I should stop believing my lying eyes?)

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

George Coryell guards Spencer Pacy

Harry Bovee (1) guards Spencer Pacy

Sam Stys (8 points) draws a foul on senior Noah Van Schalkwyk

Parker McLaren (44) and Alex Willis (22)

Senior Austin Rosseau sets to shoot

Nate McGrail (24) flies out to defend Casey McLaren

Alex Willis and Spencer Pacy trap Casey McLaren

Senior Ryan MacDonald puts up a shot

Senior Jeevan Kowalski looks for someone to pass to

Senior Jake Valcich (9 points) covered by Sam Stys

 

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Newburyport defeats Triton 57-50 in front of a full house at NHS

Will Parsons (17 points) attracts four Newburyport defenders

Ryan Archies (9 points) launches one from in front of the Triton student section

(Newburyport MA) I had to check my calendar when I arrived at this game.

It wasn’t March but there was definitely a tournament buzz in the room.

However, it doesn’t need to be March when it’s a Triton/Newburyport game.

Last March the two teams had a down-to-the-last-shot Division 3 North quarterfinals get-together in the same building. Newburyport won that game.

In December of last year, the Clippers defeated Triton, 63-57.

That win streak continued tonight as Newburyport (10-3) prevailed, 57-50, on Friday night in Cape Ann League action.

Ryan Archie (nine points) started the scoring with a 3-pointer for NHS and the Clippers never trailed.

The Vikings (4-8) looked done late in the third quarter when a three by freshman Jacob Robertson boosted the Clippers margin to fourteen points (43-29).

Triton sets for an inbounds play

Triton was down but not out.  They scored the next ten points and they did it in a hurry.  In one minute of playing time, the visitors from Byfield, put that ten-spot together.  Kyle Odoy ended the 3rd quarter with a layup and then picked off an inbounds pass and put in two more.  Junior Dylan Shute contributed an old-fashioned 3-point play and then Will Parsons nailed one from beyond the arc.

All of that successful offense moved Triton to within four (43-39) with nearly 7 ½ minutes left in the game.

Newburyport, however, had an answer and his name was McLaren.  If you weren’t there, you’re thinking Casey.  But not on this night.  Casey didn’t score a point in the final quarter.  It was Parker doing the heavy lifting.

Parker went off for seven straight points while the Vikings had four turnovers.  That individual excellence gave NHS an eleven-point lead (50-39) with 5 ½ minutes remaining.

Play out the string?  Game over?  Not yet.

Triton, led by Will Parsons’ seven points and a layup by Jesse Wilkinson, got the Newburyport lead down to four (54-50) with 1 ½ minutes to go.

Triton coach EJ Perry

“We had our opportunities,” said Triton coach EJ Perry afterwards.  “It was 54-50 and we had an offensive rebound, but we didn’t get the putback.”

That missed chance put the ball back in Newburyport’s possession.  A deflected shot ended up in the hands of Parker McLaren and he converted the rebound into points (his 11th of the quarter) and the Clippers won their tenth and qualified for the state tournament.

For the Vikings the road to qualifying is steep.  “We’ll keep getting better,” said Coach Perry, “that’s all we can do.”

Coach Dave Clay praised the work of Harry Bovee guarding Will Parsons: “He knew that his role was strictly defense on Will.  He did a phenomenal job.”

Will ended up with seventeen points, but his only open shots were in warmups.

Casey McLaren (16 points) shoots over Brandon Balesta

Casey McLaren finished with sixteen points.  He had four 3’s including several from in front of the Triton student section.

“Everything on offense goes through Will (Parsons),” explained Coach Perry.  “They did a pretty good job on him.”

Will (averaging 24.8 points per game) not only faced one defender but plenty of support defense was nearby.

“We came out with a lot of positive energy,” said Coach Clay.  “We remained positive even after they made runs and that was the key to the win.”

The crowd was remarkable.  “It was a great environment,” said Coach Clay.

Parker McLaren (18 points) sets to stop a driving Viking

Excellent crowd control in place to make sure no one from either side spoiled it for others.  On one occasion, the Triton student section chanted something, and one NHS student responded inappropriately.  Next thing I saw was the student leaving with AD Kyle Hodsdon.  The AD returned but the student didn’t. End of problem.

Newburyport was 19-3 last year.  Triton was 15-8.

I talked to Dylan Shute before the game.  Dylan took the last Triton shot, from along the baseline, in the tourney loss last March.  He told me, “I think about that shot a lot.”

Ryan Archies’ three 3’s gives him twenty-five 3-pointers for the season.

Casey McLaren had twenty-four points in the first meeting with Triton.  Freshman Kyle Odoy had twenty for Triton.

Triton Box

Newburyport Box

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

Max McKenzie defends Parker McLaren

George Coryell at the line

Harry Bovee (1) covered Will Parsons most of the game

Will Parsons in the lane with Bretton Ross (10), Casey McLaren (22), and Parker McLaren (44)

Jack Tummino gets into the lane

Max McKenzie (12 points) gets past Parker McLaren

Harry Bovee (1) and Parker McLaren (44) guard Will Parsons

Dylan Shute (3) dribbles baseline

 

 

 

 

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