, Newburyport, MA


January 31, 2014

A familiar theme for Pentucket

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


While handing Masco its first loss would undoubtedly work to boost the confidence of his team, falling to them isn’t something that McNamara believes would be devastating.

“I don’t think we need to beat them to have confidence,” he said. “At some point we aren’t young anymore. We have played (14) games so we can’t keep using that as an excuse. As long as we are playing well, I don’t want to say that the Masco or Newburyport games are statement games.”

With the way this season has unfolded, one might draw similarities to the 2011-12 campaign that ended up with a state title. That year, Pentucket began the season 3-3 before finishing on a 21-1 run that concluded with jubilation on the TD Garden parquet.

“I think it’s completely different,” McNamara said. “That team, even though we were 3-3, we lost to Westford Academy, Arlington Catholic and Billerica Memorial, which were all in the top 10 in the state. We did get on a roll and played some great basketball, but this is a different type of team.”

Nevertheless, it’s a goal that remains fresh on the mind of his players.

“Obviously, it’s our goal to get that state title,” Modlish said. “For me, that’s what I’m looking for. Hopefully, we can work together and get that far.”

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