NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Sports

February 15, 2013

Close, but no tournament

Triton shows heart in loss that seals postseason fate

Goliath might have a few grey hairs after last night.

David met Goliath in Byfield, and unfortunately for the Triton boys basketball team, Goliath won, as undefeated North Reading (19-0) ended the Vikes’ chances of making the state tournament this year, handing the Vikes a heart-breaking 46-44 loss.

“We didn’t reach our goal,” said Vikings coach Dave Clay. “We didn’t do what we wanted to do. But I’m really proud of those guys. They gave it their all and I really couldn’t ask for anything more. They really set the tone for what the program is going to be.”

Triton (8-11) has improved mightily this season, crawling out from under last year’s 5-15 record. The Vikes have shown they can win when they need to, pulling off upsets against Hamilton-Wenham and Masconomet. They almost did the same against the Hornets last night.

Triton came out with the heat of a team with its back to the wall, playing right into the Hornets’ cool. North Reading’s Dan Fitzgerald had four points in the first three minutes, but Triton co-captain Sam McKenzie didn’t want to hear it, sinking four himself on a pair of steals and marshaling his team to an 8-8 tie to end the first period.

McKenzie’s co-captain, Paul Dacy, started the second period with a 3-pointer before the Hornets’ John Mastascusa did the same. The Vikes broke out some nice defense next before Dacy nailed another three and McKenzie grabbed one from the line. Evan Wade nailed a long shot for the Hornets next before Dacy had two from the line himself. McKenzie nailed a 3-pointer to give the Vikes a six-point lead, and did it again for a nine-point advantage as the Hornets’ cool began to look chilly. The Vikes then sailed into the half with a 28-19 lead.

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