On the other hand, Pentucket graduated three All-CAL players from last year’s team in Coley Viselli, Tess Nogueira and Alex Moore. The Sachems do not have a single senior on the roster, which might best explain the team’s 3-3 start.
“It’s a good win for us being 3-3 coming in,” said Pentucket coach John McNamara, Kelsi’s father. “They’re a good team. I think Newburyport and Masconomet are the two best teams in the Cape Ann League. For us to beat them, it’s a nice win.”
Last night’s game took a turn in Newburyport’s favor late in the first half when Clipper coach Gregg Dollas made a defensive adjustment on Kelsi McNamara. After seeing the point guard torch his team for 13 points in the opening 13 minutes, Dollas called for his guards to double-team McNamara every time she touched the ball.
McNamara was quiet for the last two minutes of the first half and the entire third quarter, scoring just two points. Late in the third quarter, Coach McNamara made his own adjustment, calling up freshman Colleen Jameson from the junior varsity to run the point as his daughter, Kelsi, moved off the ball.
“Colleen played in the JV game earlier, but she’s our other point guard,” John McNamara said. “That got them out of the double-team, so Colleen was huge for us.”
Kelsi McNamara took advantage of the additional space down the stretch, scoring seven of her 22 points in the final quarter.
“Our freshman, Colleen, did a great job handling the pressure,” McNamara said. “If I can move off the point, it creates open looks for everyone.”
For Newburyport, Mary Pettigrew led the way with 14 points and seven rebounds. Emily Pettigrew had 12 points and eight rebounds. Leahy collected 12 points and five assists.