NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

December 27, 2013

The known, unknown of basketball's early season

(Continued)

Pentucket’s inconsistent beginning

The Pentucket girls have begun their season 1-2. Yes, you read that correctly. If the Sachems are not used to one thing as a program, it’s losing. In the seven full seasons that head coach John McNamara has been with Pentucket, he lost 20 games while winning 158. That being said, he hasn’t experienced much losing. The rocky beginning is something that he anticipated, though, as a team largely in its growing stage fights inexperience. Before the season began, McNamara stated that he was concerned with his team’s youth — but that he was encouraged by his group’s willingness to learn and desire to improve. Pentucket doesn’t have losing seasons and neither does its coach — expect an improved record in the coming weeks.

The Pentucket boys just recently suffered their first loss to Hamilton-Wenham, falling to 2-1 on the young year. That loss raised more questions than it did provide answers about this team still trying to determine its identity. When things go right for the Sachems, they really go right. When they go wrong, though, they really go wrong. For example, against Hamilton-Wenham, the Sachems begin the second half on a high note. They began on a 9-2 run, before allowing the Generals to regain momentum with a 10-3 run to close out the quarter. Pentucket has proved that it has the ability to win the close games — but has not yet showed that it can climb out of holes. Hamilton-Wenham controlled the game from the get-go, never losing ground. Head coach Ed Hickey claimed after the game that he felt his team may have been “on Christmas break a little early.” Hamilton-Wenham would score the most points they had all year (56), and the Sachems would score their fewest (39). Pentucket has the ability to win the Kinney Division for they have great depth — something that could allow them to keep players fresh as the season progresses. When and if everything clicks, they may very well make noise as the season progresses. It should be interesting to see what direction the Sachems head in 2014.

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