, Newburyport, MA


January 31, 2014

A familiar theme for Pentucket

Sachems head coach John McNamara has grown accustomed to late-season runs


“We haven’t all played much together on the court, so we had to get to know each other’s style,” sophomore forward Carolyn Modlish said. “Last year we had five stars so we had to get used to having a new kind of team. I feel like (Coach McNamara) has gotten to know us and how we have played and his patience played a part in that.”

Then came the turnaround. Since falling to Masco, the Sachems are 11-0 and clinched a birth to the state tournament on Wednesday with a win at Georgetown.

“On our run, there have been some games where we have played well and others where we haven’t. But it has been a growing process for the team as a whole, for both the coaches and players,” McNamara said.

Signs of progression in Pentucket’s play is a code easily deciphered. Two of the three teams that the Sachems have fallen to early on have later fallen to Pentucket in rematch games. After losing to Hamilton-Wenham on Dec. 23, the Sachems earned a nine-point win against the Generals on Jan. 8. And, after losing to Notre Dame in just the second game of the season, McNamara was pleased with what he saw in the rematch this past Saturday.

“As the kids worked through the season, I think they gained confidence,” he said. “Especially on Saturday night against Notre Dame, it was night and day from the last time we played them. We played more as a team, trusted our teammates and looked like a team that had improved.”

The year’s largest test to date will likely come on Monday, when a 13-0 Masco team travels to Pentucket looking to keep its perfect season intact.

“I think that beating all of the teams that have beaten us has been our goal as the season went on,” said Modlish. “If we beat (Masco) I think we would have a lot more confidence heading into the tournament. It has been our goal to beat them.”

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