, Newburyport, MA


March 2, 2013

Pentucket girls hoops the team to beat

Sachems aiming for repeat as they begin state tournament play


“We got a little lucky because we had a game postponed when we were all sick, so we actually played the Wednesday of February vacation against Hamilton Wenham,” McNamara said. “That shortened the gap between games, and then we scrimmaged Arlington Catholic on Sunday, so we tried to have a couple of hard practices this week.

“It is tough; you can only practice hard so many days against each other. The formula we tried to do was a lot of skill work in practice this week to stay sharp until we could find out who we were facing and we focus on them at the end of the week.”

The seventh-year coach, who has dominated the North Sectional tournament, guiding four teams to the TD Garden, said the formula won’t change much for his girls — take care of the ball and get after it on the defensive end.

A good first-sign indicator will be if the Sachems can initiate their physical pressing defense to create turnovers for easy baskets. However, McNamara said there will be no specific match-up the Sachems will look to exploit.

“We’re so balanced this year; we don’t really game-plan for one kid offensively to take over,” McNamara said. “(The girls) figure it out a lot of times during the game who has the match-up in terms of who’s feeling good and shooting the ball well. Defensively, we need all five kids ready to step up and be ready to cover their best player for being in help position or whatever.”

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