WEST NEWBURY – In one of the strangest games you will ever see, Pentucket beat Newburyport on senior night to keep its playoff dreams alive.
When the Sachems (9-10) scored 21 points in the first eight minutes, few would have predicted that they would score just 15 the rest of the game. And, few would have guessed that a Newburyport (8-9) team averaging 48.68 points per game would finish the first half scoring just six points, before finishing the game with just 21.
The Sachems had their offense clicking from the get-go. On their way to 21 first quarter points, seven of its players scored a point. After one quarter, they had earned a 21-6 lead and felt good about their offensive abilities.
Then, the second quarter came.
“Obviously we got off to an amazing start in the first quarter in terms of points and then Newburyport did a great job and we cooled off,” Pentucket head coach Ed Hickey said. “I have to give credit to their defense, it was a hard-fought, physical game the whole game.”
Pentucket would be held without a second quarter point, though it didn’t hurt much as the Clippers would manage just two. Twenty-seven total first quarter points and two total second quarter points had the large crowd in attendance scratching their heads.
It’s a game that the Sachems needed, and a contest that Newburyport would have liked. Entering the night two wins shy of a playoff berth with two games remaining, it was a do-or-die scenario for Pentucket. Newburyport also had two games remaining, but needed just one win to punch its ticket.
While each team faces a one-game playoff next week to advance to the state tournament, both coaches know that a different type of offensive performance will be needed, though were proud of the effort put forth by their teams.