Nearly a month into the high school basketball season, we have been both reassured and surprised with what we have seen. We have seen teams over-perform, and under-perform. We have seen young teams grow and experienced teams regress. The following is a list of what we know so far and what is yet to be determined.
Newburyport programs excelling early
The boys varsity team is coming off a tough loss to Saugus, who excelled from three-point land, hitting 11 shots from downtown and delivering a 14-point win. That seems to be the only blemish coming from the Newburyport hardwood thus far, as the boys and girls varsity squads have combined for a 5-1 record.
On the boys side, the Clippers have seen promising signs from their starters. Senior Dillon Guthro has utilized the size he has put on over the summer, fighting for and winning most loose rebounds. Although losing their first game and falling to 2-1 against Saugus, Guthro recorded a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds. The Clippers also have impressive youth contributing to the team. Add Dan Baribeault to that list; he’s a sophomore who has the ability to excel offensively. Against Hamilton-Wenham, Baribeault racked up 22 points and is worth keeping an eye on as the season progresses.
On the girls side, head coach Greg Dollas has his girls off to an undefeated 3-0 start heading into the Holiday Tournament they host. As the games have progressed, so have the margins of victory for the Clippers. They opened the season with a 9-point win, followed by a 12-point victory and a 21-point blowout to get to 3-0. Emily Pettigrew has excelled at nearly every facet of the game thus far, recording 52 points and 22 rebounds through three games as a sophomore. The Clippers have the benefit of improving youth and consistent veterans. Senior captain Mary Pettigrew has had statistically a quiet season thus far, but has steadily improved her assist numbers over her career — something that should continue to grow through this season. Senior captain Aly Leahy is the epitome of consistency in points, assists, steals and rebounds. Youth, experience, consistency and winning basketball. Not much is expected to change headed into January.