By Chuck Frye
---- — LAWRENCE — The Pentucket girls basketball team appears to be ready for the state tournament.
The Sachems (20-1) proved as much with a 59-48 victory over Central Catholic last night in the championship game of the IAABO Tournament at Central Catholic in Lawrence. Pentucket earned the right to play in the championship game with a 52-45 victory over Newton South Sunday night.
The defending Division 3 state champion Sachems have only one game remaining in the regular season against league-foe Hamilton-Wenham before they begin their title defense in the Division 3 North tournament.
Last night, Pentucket outscored host Central Catholic 15-5 in the fourth quarter, turning a one-point fourth-quarter lead into a double-digit victory.
Sophomore guard Kelsi McNamara led Pentucket with 21 points, including three 3-pointers. Coley Viselli and Tess Nogueira added 11 points each. Alex Moore scored nine points for the Sachems; McKenna Kilian added seven.
The Sachems have won seven games in a row after suffering their lone defeat of the season Jan. 26 against Notre Dame of Hingham. Seven of their 20 wins on the season have come by double-digits.
Pentucket’s victory last evening clinched its seventh 20-win season in head coach John McNamara’s seven seasons at the helm. His teams have won four sectional titles and one state title.