By Tim Lima
---- — WEST NEWBURY — The Sachems surrendered their perfect record and the division lead yesterday, losing at home to Hamilton-Wenham 56-39.
“I think we started out like we were on Christmas break a little early,” Pentucket head coach Ed Hickey said. “We dug ourselves a hole and couldn’t get out of it.”
The hole seemed to start small and grow as the game progressed for the Sachems. Offensively, the Generals could do no wrong. A 7-point lead after the first quarter turned into a 10-point lead at half. From there, the life was out of the Sachems. The 3-0 start, the Kinney Division lead and the game had been lost.
A 9-2 run to begin the second half for Pentucket had the Sachems within 7 and those in attendance expecting a second-half turnaround. The effort was to no avail as the Generals came firing back with timely shots and on-point ball movement. Hamilton-Wenham displayed its offensive weapons, who, when on their game, appeared to be all-league caliber. Add Henry Eager to that list: Hamilton-Wenham’s senior captain contributed with 11 points and 6 rebounds
“I thought Hamilton-Wenham came out here and earned it,” Hickey said. “They played hard. They played as a team. They had great outside defense. They executed well offensively.”
Not all was negative from Pentucket. Several contributors made their mark on this game; a valid representation of the great depth that Hickey knew would be a lofty weapon as the season progresses.
“I thought that was one of the strengths of our team this year, to go deep into our bench,” Hickey said. We don’t have one star player, we have a bunch of different kids who are willing to work hard and play together that are all capable of making plays.”
They also have a three-sport athlete in Ryan Kuchar as a captain, who knows what it takes to lead on and off the court.
“We definitely didn’t play our best tonight,” Kuchar said. “We just have to come out, get focused in practice and know that we can do better.”
Kuchar led the Sachems with 12 points in the loss. Pentucket now will rest until Saturday, when they will take on Lowell Catholic in the Lowell Catholic tournament.
Other statistical leaders:
Michael Aiduk: 11 points, 4 rebounds
Jeff Porter: 4 points, 1 rebound
Shawn Kotch: 10 points, 3 rebounds
Jimmy Campbell: 8 points, 4 rebounds