NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

February 23, 2013

The Title Defense

Pentucket's seniors look to go out on top

The Pentucket girls basketball team’s senior class has a resume that speaks for itself — a 90-11 record, three Cape Ann League championships, a CAL record of 50-2.

The list goes on: two Division 3 North sectional titles and two trips to the Division 3 state title game, a pair of Central Catholic tournament titles, a York Christmas tournament championship, a Masconomet Christmas tournament championship, and a Haverhill Christmas tournament championship.

And of course the program’s coveted first state title.

This is the legacy Coley Viselli, Tess Nogueira, Alex Moore and Emily Dresser leave behind. The list of accomplishments is gaudy, the .891 winning percentage is staggering and they stack up against the previously most successful senior class in school history – Ashley Viselli, Erin McNamara, Holly Jakobsons, Emily Lane, Abby Stephenson and Jessica Gayton – who finished their careers 91-9 having lost to the eventual D3 state champion team each of their four years.

The pillar that has held everything in place over that stretch is coach John McNamara. Since he came to town the road to the Division 3 state title has always gone through the Sachems.

Knocking on the door for the first five years, the Sachems would eventually go down to the state champions at various stages (state semis, state semis, D3 North sectional final, state championship game, D3 North sectional semis) before the breakthrough last year. As the defending champs, this year’s team clearly has what it takes to repeat their feat.

“I thought maybe four years ago that I had maybe a special senior class with Holly, Emily, Erin and Ash. I didn’t think I’d be seeing another group that meant so much to the program and so enjoyable to coach as this group,” McNamara said. “(This group is) a special group in their own right and now the fourth one, Emily Dresser, has come on and been a great leader for our girls – a true high school success story.

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