NEWBURYPORT — The Pentucket girls basketball team at times makes it seem out of the realm of possibility that it will lose another game this season.
Last night was one of those nights.
The Sachems (18-1) dominated a perennial state-tournament qualifier in Newburyport, 60-29, at Newburyport High on Senior Night. Pentucket led 24-7 after the first quarter, 40-17 at halftime and 51-20 after three quarters.
The defending state champion Sachems combined an unrelenting, full-court-press defense with a balanced scoring attack to post their 16th double-digit victory of the season. Making Pentucket’s victory all the more impressive was the fact that Newburyport (10-7) came into the game riding a five-game winning streak.
Pentucket left it nearly impossible to pinpoint a weakness by the end of regulation. The Sachems connected on nine 3-pointers, and all five starters scored in double-figures.
“They like to bring their ‘A’ game against us every single time,” Newburyport coach Gregg Dollas said. “We didn’t bring our ‘A’ game at all. At times we showed guts, but others, we let them bring everything to us. We didn’t have any counterpunch. They had dribble-drives, drop-offs, lay-ups and 3-pointers. They’re a well-coached team.”
Perhaps the Clippers should take it as a compliment that Pentucket habitually brings its ‘A’ game against them. The Sachems have logged a record of 152-19 over John McNamara’s seven seasons as coach, but one of those losses came against Newburyport during the 2010-11 season. The Sachems have gone 6-0 against Newburyport since, with all six victories coming by double-digits.
“I think they know that if we bring our ‘A’ game, we can run with anybody,” Dollas said of Pentucket. “But we didn’t ratchet it up at all in this game. It showed, obviously.”
The Sachems have a way of frustrating opposing teams. They are a very difficult team to defend due to the depth on the roster. Last night, starters Coley Viselli (10 points, 5 steals), Alex Moore (11 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists), McKenna Kilian (10 points, 5 rebounds), Kelsi McNamara (12 points, 4 assists) and Tess Nogueira (10 points, 6 rebounds, 3 blocks) all scored in double-figures by the end of the third quarter.