That doesn’t figure to change for Pentucket. McNamara has no plans to leave after seven seasons, and his best player on the floor yesterday — his daughter, Kelsi — is only a sophomore. She led the Sachems in scoring throughout the tournament, and for the second year in a row, elevated her play at the most important time of year.
“She played well in the tournament; she stepped up,” said John McNamara. “She plays well in big games. She was a little hurt with her knee today, but that’s the will power of the team. That’s what made them special. Even if they’re not at 100 percent, they go out and play defense.”
Kelsi McNamara figures to play in many more big games throughout her career. She will be joined by fellow starter McKenna Killian, and then whichever of the remaining players commits to becoming the next Kirsten Daamen, Ashley Viselli, Erin McNamara, Sarah Higgins, Tess Nogueira, Coley Viselli or Alex Moore.
“It usually comes down to who works hardest in the offseason,” John McNamara said. “Now we have spots to fill. Three years ago, we had three spots to fill. This group of seniors took the opportunity to get ready to go. Next year, we’ll have three starting positions to fill. We have to see who steps up to be a key player, not just a role player. That takes place in the offseason.”