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Sachems: 'We're going to the Garden!'

LOWELL — When Pentucket’s players were growing up, it felt like the girls varsity basketball team reached the TD Garden every year. Pentucket reached the state semifinals five times between 2007 and 2013, and ask around the team and they’ll tell you all their memories watching ex-Sachem stars like Sarah Higgins, Kelsi McNamara and the Viselli sisters take the parquet against some of the best competition Massachusetts had to offer.
Now they’ll have a chance to take the famed court themselves. 
Pentucket punched its ticket to the TD Garden on Saturday, convincingly beating Wakefield 48-33 in the Division 2 North final at the Tsongas Center. 
While the Sachems got off to a slow start offensively, the team’s defense was dominant from the opening tip. Once the Sachems took a seven-point lead at the end of the first quarter, there was never a point after where the result felt in doubt. 
“It’s crazy!” said junior Liv Cross. “It’s so unreal, it hasn’t even hit me yet. We’re going to the Garden!”
The decisive sequence came in the second quarter. Leading 13-11 with 5:40 to play in the half, coach John McNamara called a timeout to help his team regroup after surrendering five straight points. The break helped, as Pentucket came right back with a 13-1 run of its own to finish the half up 26-12, capped off by two 3-pointers by Angelina Yacubacci.
“It took us a little while to get going, I think Angelina Yacubacci came in off the bench and gave us a huge lift offensively,” McNamara said. “You know it’s a tough place to play so we relied on our defense and that allowed us to get into a rhythm and finally hit some baskets.”
Wakefield kept within striking distance through the third quarter, going into the fourth only down 33-25, but once the fourth began Pentucket quickly put the game away. Yacubacci buried her third 3-pointer from way downtown to start the quarter, and that was effectively the dagger. Wakefield only managed two baskets the rest of the game, unable to find an answer to Pentucket’s relentless defense.
“We’re deep, too, so we can rotate and keep kids fresh, so I think we wore them down a bit,” McNamara said. “We play hard defense and the kids are committed to it so it’s fun, it’s fun to coach.”
Yacubacci led Pentucket (23-2) with 15 points, Casey Hunt added nine points and Jess Galvin and Cross each had eight. Wakefield (18-6) was led by Allee Purcell, who had 11 points. 
The Sachems will face either Foxboro or Nauset in the Division 2 EMass. final/state semifinal game, which will be played at the TD Garden Tuesday at 5:45 p.m.  
“This right now is so surreal,” Hunt said. “I can’t wait.”

UP NEXT: The Garden
Who: Pentucket (23-2) vs. Foxboro (23-1)
What: Division 2 state semifinals
When: Tuesday, 5:45 p.m.
Where: TD Garden
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Girls Basketball, 03/10/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Revolving Sachems

DANVERS — Even in the state tournament, Pentucket’s revolving door of contributors remains in swing.

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Girls Basketball, 03/08/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pentucket defense in championships form

WEST NEWBURY — If defense wins championships, Pentucket could go a long way.

Behind a massive defensive effort, the Sachems pulled away from Newburyport for a 41-25 win in the Division 2 North quarterfinals.

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Girls Basketball, 03/04/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Etter clutch for Pentucket

With starter Zander Willis in foul trouble, sophomore Jake Etter came off the bench and drilled three 3s in the fourth quarter to help No. 6 Pentucket beat No. 3 Hamilton-Wenham, 57-53 in the Division 3 North quarterfinals.

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Boys Basketball, 03/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Spencer, North Andover 4x400 both fourth at New Englands

The region picked up four medals at the boys' New England championships. Surprisingly, three were by New Hampshire athletes, who hadn't competed since their state meets four weeks ago.

Pinkerton had two individuals score with Adam Spencer grabbing a fourth in the 55-meter hurdles (7.73) and Jadyn Ruimwijk taking fifth in the 300 meters (35.14). Windham's Spenser Sawyer finished seventh in the 1,000 in 2:32.42.

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Boys Indoor Track, 03/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover 4x200 wins New England title

BOSTON — The Andover High 4x200 team of Ally Bennett, Hope Joel, Hannah Lansberry and Delia Barbanti won the New England title Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Track.

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Girls Indoor Track, 03/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover 0, Central Catholic 0, North Andover 0, Pentucket 0

Pentucket won the State Pentathlon in Boston on Tuesday, as Saige Tudisco, Madi Krohto and Ellison Seymour combined for a school-record 8,515 points.

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Girls Indoor Track, 02/28/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pentucket wins with 1.4 seconds left

CHELMSFORD — Pentucket wondered if it would even field a team this winter because it didn’t have a goalie.
But there the Sachems were Tuesday night pulling out miraculous last-second win in the playoff opener. Yes, one second.
After never leading all game, Pentucket scored twice in the last 30 seconds to stun Lincoln-Sudbury 5-4 in the first round of the Division 2 North playoffs. Cam Martin scored the winner with one second on the clock moments after Nate McCarthy tied the game on a tremendous individual effort.
“They took the timeout and we were down 4-3,” said Pentucket coach Mark Morreale. “I don’t know, these kids are just so resilient. I just told them that there’s more left, there’s another special moment left in us. We went down and scored to tie it up, and I knew at that point that we had a chance.
“I looked at the clock with eight seconds left,” Morreale continued. “The place was so loud, I can’t yell to him how much time he had. He got the shot off and I knew there was a second and a half or two.”
Before that, it was a battle for the Sachems to even earn possession. 
It was just over a minute in when Lincoln-Sudbury took the lead. Charlie Desmarais didn’t have enough on his shot from the point, but it skipped along the ice three times before deflecting its way in for a 1-0 lead.
Pentucket’s Hazen Pike dished to Nate McCarthy early in the second period, who sniped the top corner from the point to tie it 1-1.
The Warriors weren’t a team to easily go away. Right off a faceoff, Angelo Venuto fired it in to retake a 2-1 lead. A few plays later, Pike was found along charging towards the net, and his breakaway tally knotted it back up.
Following a scrum around the Pentucket net, two players were sent to the box, and seemed to give the Warriors energy. In an odd man rush up ice, Venuto took a pass and forced it in while charging.
The Sachems earned a power play early in the third, and Cam Martin tapped in a rebound to tie it up again, 3-3. But, like before, the Warriors surged back. Desmarais scored for the second time on a failed zone exit, taking the puck on a pass from the blueline and backhanding in a shot from the slot.
Pentucket had two late power plays with a chance to tie it again. The first came with 3:38 to go in the game, and while the Sachems had chances, they struggled to keep the puck in.
The second came with 1:26 to go in regulation. McCarthy won the puck and shielded it from danger and flipped it on his backhand to tie it 4-4 with 27 seconds left in the game.
The game winner came just 26 seconds later. After the Warriors tested senior goalie Connor Melone 926 saves), Martin was found in the neutral zone where he booked it up ice to have one final chance and win the game.
Melone, who is new to the position, came up big again.
“He played awesome,” said Morreale. “You could tell he was fighting the puck a little bit at the end, but he came up with some huge ones and kept as in the game, especially at the end. He came up huge. I’m so happy, I’m so glad he decided to play for us.”
The Sachems advance to play the winner of the late Stoneham-Tewksbury game. That quarterfinal game will be in Woburn on Friday (time TBA).
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Boys Ice Hockey, 02/27/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover 4x200 team wins All-State title

Track and Field
Andover relay wins All-State title

BOSTON — The Andover High girls 4x200 squad won the All-State title Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Track.
The team of seniors Ally Bennett and Hannah Lansberry and juniors Delia Barbanti and Hope Joel ran a 1:44.29 to edge Wachusett, which crossed the line in 1:44.61.
That was slightly off their Division 1 States-winning time of 1:43.84, which ranks them seventh all-time in the state.
Lansberry, Bennett, Grace Dunn, Julianna Kennedy and Barbanti came back for a second in the 4x400. Their time of 3:58.18 is 20th all-time indoors in Massachusetts and second-best ever by a Golden Warrior quartet indoors.
Wellesley won in 3:57.62. Wellesley also won the meet with 48 points, easily outpaced runner-up Newton South. Andover tied for sixth with 20 points.
Andover's lone individual placer was Kennedy with a seventh in the 600, edging out Methuen's Luana Machado, 1:37.00-1:37.14.
According to coach Brittany Caprio, Machado and 1,000 runner Sara Fragione (10th place) broke their own school records.
Haverhill junior Jayla Kitchings broke her own school record with a 8.54 in the 55-meter hurdles while Pentucket senior Saige Tudisco was sixth in 8.60. Tudisco also took a fifth with a 5-4 in the high jump.
Twenty-first year head coach Steve Derro, who founded the Sachems' girls indoor track program, said Tudisco is "the first indoor track athlete in school history to place in two individual events at All-States."
She also just missed placing in the 4x200 where the Sachems finished ninth, just behind North Andover's Rachel Brimmer, Ava Nassar, Emma Martin and Trinity Tapper, who ran a school record of 1:47.20 
North Andover senior Allie Rodrigues heaved the shot put 38-8 to place seventh and set a new school indoor record and move to 14th all-time (indoors and outdoors) in area history. The only Scarlet Knight to throw further was Katie McManus with a 39-3 in the spring of 2015.
Rodrigues smashed her own indoor school mark of 37-11.

SILVER FOR PASCOE
The only two individual boys to place (top 8 place) were Andoverites.
Senior Devin Connell was fourth in the 1,000 in 2:30.96 and junior Alec Pascoe added his name to the glorious AHS hurdles tradition with a 7.75 in the 55-meter hurdles, just off his season best of 7.74 in the prelims at the MVC Championships. Pascoe ran a 15.26 in the highs last spring.
Woburn senior Elisha George was victorious Saturday in 7.70.
In the 4x400 relay, North Andover's Jack Chace, Noah Olsen, Matt Chico and Trevor Nassar was clocked in 3:25.99 to bring home the bronze and set a new school indoor record.
"This group and two others have taken turns breaking this record four times this season, lowering the 2013 mark of 3:29.99 by 4 second," said Knights coach Steve Nugent. "I'm very proud of these guys - all four of them are competitors and really went out after it today." 
Methuen's Matthew Fahey, Saul Cespedes, Roan Marcano and Stanley Hanci took fifth in 3:27.35.



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Girls Indoor Track, 02/24/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Andover's Pasco, Connell place at All-States


 
BOSTON — The only two individual boys to place (top 8 place) at All-States were Andoverites.
Senior Devin Connell was fourth in the 1,000 in 2:30.96 and junior Alec Pascoe added his name to the glorious AHS hurdles tradition with a 7.75 in the 55-meter hurdles, just off his season best of 7.74 in the prelims at the MVC Championships. Pascoe ran a 15.26 in the highs last spring.
Woburn senior Elisha George was victorious Saturday in 7.70.
In the 4x400 relay, North Andover's Jack Chace, Noah Olsen, Matt Chico and Trevor Nassar was clocked in 3:25.99 to bring home the bronze and set a new school indoor record.
"This group and two others have taken turns breaking this record four times this season, lowering the 2013 mark of 3:29.99 by 4 second," said Knights coach Steve Nugent. "I'm very proud of these guys - all four of them are competitors and really went out after it today." 
Methuen's Matthew Fahey, Saul Cespedes, Roan Marcano and Stanley Hanci took fifth in 3:27.35. 
 
ANDOVER 4X200 WINS ALL-STATES 
The Andover High girls 4x200 squad won the All-State title Saturday at the Reggie Lewis Track.
The team of seniors Ally Bennett and Hannah Lansberry and juniors Delia Barbanti and Hope Joel ran a 1:44.29 to edge Wachusett, which crossed the line in 1:44.61.
That was slightly off their Division 1 States-winning time of 1:43.84, which ranks them seventh all-time in the state.
Lansberry, Grace Dunn, Julianna Kennedy and Emma Joel (Hope's twin) came back for a second in the 4x400. Their time of 3:58.18 is 20th all-time indoors in Massachusetts and second-best ever by a Golden Warrior quartet indoors.
Wellesley won in 3:57.62. Wellesley also won the meet with 48 points, easily outpaced runner-up Newton South. Andover tied for sixth with 20 points.
Andover's lone individual placer was Kennedy with a seventh in the 600, edging out Methuen's Luana Machado, 1:37.00-1:37.14.
According to coach Brittany Caprio, Machado and 1,000 runner Sara Fragione (10th place) broke their own school records.
Haverhill junior Jayla Kitchings broke her own school record with a 8.54 in the 55-meter hurdles while Pentucket senior Saige Tudisco was sixth in 8.60. Tudisco also took a fifth with a 5-4 in the high jump.
Twenty-first year head coach Steve Derro, who founded the Sachems' girls indoor track program, said Tudisco is "the first indoor track athlete in school history to place in two individual events at All-States."
She also just missed placing in the 4x200 where the Sachems finished ninth, just behind North Andover's Rachel Brimmer, Ava Nassar, Emma Martin and Trinity Tapper, who ran a school record of 1:47.20 
North Andover senior Allie Rodrigues heaved the shot put 38-8 to place seventh and set a new school indoor record and move to 14th all-time (indoors and outdoors) in area history. The only Scarlet Knight to throw further was Katie McManus with a 39-3 in the spring of 2015.
Rodrigues smashed her own indoor school mark of 37-11.




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Boys Indoor Track, 02/24/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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