NEWBURYPORT — After watching junior forward Mary Pettigrew break out in her sophomore year last season, Newburyport girls basketball coach Gregg Dollas had a good feeling about the future.
Mary’s little sister, Emily, was on the way up too.
“I’ve known that Emily was coming for a couple of years,” said Dollas. “When I got the job, I looked at the youth program and saw Emily and a couple of kids coming up. And I had a feeling she would be able to be a help to the varsity team as a freshman. I knew that she was going to be a player. She has a great shot. She has some good post moves. She sees the court; now it is just catching up to how fast the game is.”
Even before the Newburyport (3-5) loss to Ipswich last night, big sister Mary led the team in scoring with an 8.6 points per game average. Freshman and fellow forward Emily averages 6.9 points per game. Emily holds the slight rebounding advantage at 5.0 to 4.7.
“They are both forwards, but they can both come out and make a shot,” Dollas said of the sisters. “They are great kids, they are nice to everybody, they talk and they have fun. But they battle on the court. In practice, they are not afraid to hit each other and to play tough. They’ve hit each other in the face and knocked each other over. Sometimes those two sisters come together and play, and I’d like to see it even more.”
Just 16 months apart, the sisters have each been playing basketball since third grade after their father took them to Saturday morning clinics at the Immaculate Conception School. Emily at the time was more interested in soccer, but the court became more attractive to her right away.