, Newburyport, MA


March 2, 2013

Clippers bow out

Port boys fall to Whittier in 2nd round to end season

HAVERHILL — The sixth-seeded Newburyport boys basketball team saw its season come to an end last night at the hands of the third-seeded Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School.

The Clippers (14-8) came up short against the Wildcats, 55-37, in the second round of the Division 3 North tournament in Haverhill.

Despite the loss, Newburyport coach Tom L’Italien said he was proud of his squad, crediting them for playing hard.

“It’s just been a great year for our kids,” L’Italien said. “Every win we’ve had this year, we’ve worked for. This senior class, in the last three years, is a part of 44 wins. They played in the Division 3 North finals. And they’ve had seven state tournament wins. That’s a pretty damn good resume.”

As for the 20-2 Wildcats, coach Tom Sipsey credited his team for being able to compete against Newburyport on just two days rest.

“I had some serious butterflies about tonight’s game,” Sipsey said. “I’m glad it’s over and that we’re fortunate enough to move on.”

Wildcat Ryan Grant got things started with the first two points of the night after a Newburyport possession and Clipper Dillon Guthro followed suit. Justin Reyes added a three-pointer for Whittier next, followed by two more after two Port possessions.

Newburyport took a time-out at the 31/2-minute mark, resulting in a fruitless possession, followed by two more points from Reyes. Matt Canning was able to get two back for the Clippers before the Wildcats’ Nate Frongillo grabbed a pair off a rebound and Reyes had another bucket for 11 unanswered Whittier points. Clipper Colton Fontaine had a point from the line and fellow co-captain Ian Michaels nailed a three to end the first quarter, 13-8, Whittier.

Whittier’s Jaylin Deveau started the second quarter off with a pair followed by two for Newburyport from Fontaine. Andrew Wells checked in for Whittier next with two and Michaels parried with three more. Grant had his first two points of the night for the Wildcats and Reyes had two from the line to give Whittier a nine-point lead. The Clippers gained two more from the line from Guthro before freshman Dan Baribeault nailed two three-pointers in a row to creep Port back into things with two minutes to go in the half.

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