WEST NEWBURY – Winning streaks, the Cape Ann League championship and team pride were on the line last night as Masconomet faced off against Pentucket for the second time this season.
A combined 25-3, the Sachems and Chieftains both entered Monday’s contest in possession of a tournament bid, certain that their seasons will extend beyond 20 games – though the contest was anything but void of opportunity. While Pentucket’s run of 11 straight victories came to a sudden halt last night, Masconomet remains unbeaten and in control of the league championship after earning a 39-38 win in what was undoubtedly the CAL’s game of the year.
It was the second time the two teams had met on the hardwood – though Pentucket is far from the team that took the court on Dec. 27. The Sachems had their doors blown off by 26 points in the contest that proved to be a major turning point in their season.
Sitting at just 1-3 in their first four, Pentucket began a run of eleven straight games leading up to their contest against a Masconomet team that was not only beating their opponents, but embarrassing them.
“We knew that this team would be ready for us,” Masco head coach Bob Romeo said. “We have been following their scores and knew that they hadn’t lost since we played them in the Christmas tournament.
“If you look at what they have been doing, every game they have gotten better and better and better, especially on the defensive side of the ball. We told our kids this would be a low scoring battle but we were fortunate enough to get enough points in that third quarter to get us a lead that we were able to hold on to.”
In their previous 13 victories, Romeo’s team’s lowest margin of victory was eight points. Though managing to keep their streak alive, Masco head coach Bob Romeo knew that the contest was far from decisive as most of the game was spent trying to break through the Sachems relentless defense.