NEWBURYPORT — Dec. 12, 2112 was not the end of the world after all, but it was not a good night for the Newburyport girls basketball team — as the Clippers (2-1) were handed their first loss of the young season decisively at home by Hamilton-Wenham, 56-44.
“We didn’t play,” Newburyport coach Gregg Dollas simply said. “I don’t think we even showed up in the game that much.”
Indeed, the night was not much of a contest for the Generals (3-1) as they broke away early in the first quarter with a 7-point run that bloated the score from 16-11 to 23-11. Then, they didn’t look back, carried by big nights from senior Cassandra Fibbe (18 points, 7 rebounds) and junior Haley Willis (11 points, 3 assists, 3 steals) to lead the Clippers 39-22 at the half.
“They pulled away early and it was a matter of us just not playing defense,” Dollas said. “Our defense was not even existent tonight. It really wasn’t. If we don’t have any defense, we don’t have anything. People weren’t moving their feet. They let girls beat them off the ball. You can not be beat off the dribble and that’s what we did. We were beat off the dribble all night and we didn’t break the press.”
The second half was no better for the Clippers as the Generals executed excellent clock-management skills, going five full minutes without scoring a point and not having to worry about anything other than some last-minute gift shopping.
“We play an up-tempo style and try to keep the pressure up the whole game,” Generals coach Jon DeMarco said. “We played really well in the first half defensively. We were getting to the ball, tracking, trapping them and it worked out well for us. We played really well defensively in the second half as well. I believe we might have held them to less points in the second half.”