NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport basketball team needed every bit of its depth last night in its second overtime game in a row.
The Clippers (9-4) found strength in numbers in a 66-61 overtime victory over Lynnfield (8-6) at Newburyport High. The victory came on the heels of a 66-64 overtime loss to Georgetown Friday evening, a loss that gave the Clippers all the more incentive to hold off the Pioneers last night.
Lynnfield overcame a 14-point fourth-quarter deficit thanks to 30 points from senior captain Patrick Kearney. Newburyport appeared to be on the ropes in overtime, when in the first two minutes of the four-minute extra period, starting center Dillon Guthro and starting guard Adam Traxler fouled out.
That left the Clippers particularly short-handed since starting forward Ian Michaels was already sidelined with an illness, and sixth man Matt Canning missed the game due to a pulled hamstring. With both teams in the bonus at the free throw line in overtime, the Clippers took advantage of their chances, pulling away for a five-point win.
Newburyport senior forward John Baribeault was at the center of the momentum-turning sequence in overtime. With 1:30 remaining, Baribeault gathered a pass under the basket, and went up for a contested lay-up to give the Clippers a 60-57 lead. After a Newburyport defensive stop, Baribeault earned a trip to the line and connected on both free throws, stretching the Newburyport lead to 62-57. The Pioneers never closed to within three points for the remainder of overtime.
“We’ve said since the beginning of the year we have a lot of depth,” Newburyport coach Tom L’Italien said. “Tonight, we needed it. Both teams looked exhausted, it’s a shame one team had to lose.”
The Clippers dominated in the paint and on the glass. Senior Colton Fontaine (20 points, 12 rebounds) and Dillon Guthro (17 points, 8 rebounds) combined for 37 points and 20 rebounds. Baribeault also played quality minutes off the bench, tallying 11 points, six of which came in overtime.