NEWBURYPORT – The Clippers rolled past the Triton Vikings 60-23 in the first round of the Institution for Savings Girls Basketball Tournament.
In doing so, Newburyport improved to 4-0 while a Triton team largely in a rebuilding stage fell to 0-5. The Vikings played hard and fought the full 32 minutes despite the lopsided score, something that Newburyport head coach Gregg Dollas expected.
“Triton doesn’t give up so we didn’t give up,” he said. “Their girls fought hard the entire time.”
Leading the way for the Clippers was Mary Pettigrew with 11 points, 8 rebounds; Emily Pettigrew, 15 points, 7 rebounds; Aly Leahy, 8 points, 3 rebounds; and Morgan Johnston, 8 points, 1 rebound.
Newburyport led 17-2 after the first quarter and increased their lead from then on despite Triton’s youth showing their abilities. Triton had strong contributions from freshman Tess Lafrance and freshman guard Erin Savage. Lafrance tallied 8 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks while Savage contributed 7 points and 3 steals.
The Clippers received contributions from each member of their team, something that Dollas enjoyed for the first time this season.
“This was the first game that we have all been healthy,” he said. “Rebounding, it seemed like we hit the boards well again today. It was good to see the girls do that.”
Along with scoring more than 60 points for the second straight game and having nine of their 11 players score points, the Clippers also excelled defensively. Sophomore Abbie Breshnahan made her playing time off of the bench valuable from the start, playing relentless defense and tallying five steals in just the first quarter. She would finish with 8 steals and 3 points in the contest despite sitting out the game’s final quarter after getting hit in the face pursuing a rebound.
“Abbie played awesome today until she got hit,” Dollas said. “It was great to see our entire bench come in and play with enthusiasm and play the defense that we are trying to play.”