It wasn’t a weekend to remember for the three local teams remaining in the state tournament, as Newburyport, Pentucket and Georgetown were all blown out in their respective matchups on Saturday.
Playing in the Division II North quarterfinal round on opposite sides of the bracket, Newburyport was pounded by Watertown 56-31 and Pentucket was beaten down by Arlington Catholic 59-35. Meanwhile, in the Division IV North quarterfinal, Georgetown was crushed by Manchester Essex 62-39 in the two teams’ third meeting of the season.
Watertown 56, Newburyport 31
Coming off a thrilling 54-51 win over Marblehead in double overtime, the Newburyport girls basketball team went into Saturday’s quarterfinal matchup riding a wave of confidence and momentum. Unfortunately, those things can only carry a team so far when facing a one-loss team like Watertown, and in the end Newburyport (14-7) couldn’t match up with the top-seeded Raiders’ talent and skill level.
No Newburyport player scored more than four points in a game that was effectively over before it even began. Top-seeded Watertown (20-1) consistently beat Newburyport in the paint, and Newburyport coach Gregg Dollas said it was obvious to everyone that it wasn’t going to be their day early on.
“It was just a blur to me. We scored a basket, they scored, it was close for about a minute or two, and then they got a lot of layups,” Dollas said. “They got to the basket on us and finished, they outrebounded us on the boards. I don’t think we recorded an offensive rebound in the first half.”
Dollas said his team worked hard, but at the end of the day Watertown had a more skilled and court-savvy team that knew how to work with one another.
“Even though we knew we weren’t going to win, they never gave up,” Dollas said. “A lot of girls we put in are for next year’s team. We tried to work on things that we’ll do for next year. All in all we had a good season. It’s better to lose to a good team than to go out early.”