Newburyport started the fourth quarter with possession, allowing Michaels to get going and regain his team’s 10-point lead, and the defense would do the rest, cruising to the victory.
“I think the last couple of weeks have been a real eye-opener for us,” said Clippers coach Tom L’Italien. “We realized our offense had to get a little more sound with the ball. But the defense is our bread and butter, and to hold a good team to 37 points is a credit to these guys. They have worked very hard, and it was just a great effort for our guys. We’ve just had a couple of excellent days for preparation, and just stuck with the plan and beat who we think is a pretty excellent Amesbury team.”
“We had good looks, good shots that didn’t fall,” said Indians coach Thom Connors. “You’ve got to give credit to their defense, there is no question about that. We missed some lay-ups early that kind of got us down 10 in that first half. We did not do a very good job at the free-throw line tonight. I thought we had good looks from the perimeter, but they didn’t quite fall. That happens when you play away.”
“This is the third year in a row we’ve had to play here,” Connors said of Newburyport High School. “We haven’t played in Amesbury in three years. And to come on the road here and have to be hot every time is tough. But I thought we played well and just had trouble having the ball fall for us. I’m happy with the way we played, like I said, you’ve got to give Newburyport credit. They were the better team tonight.”