Pentucket Sachems Girls Basketball '17-'18

Sat, Mar 10, 2018 02:00 PM @ Neutral Location
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Pentucket 13 13 7 15 48
Wakefield 6 6 13 8 33

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

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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

Game Statistics:

Division 2 North Final
Pentucket (48):
 Galvin 2-3-8, B. Doyle 0-0-0, Hunt 4-1-9, M. Doyle 1-2-5, Cross 4-0-8, Yacubacci 5-2-15, Hurley 1-1-3, Riley 0-0-0, Kern 0-0-0. Totals: 17-9-48

Wakefield (33): Butler 3-1-7, Coggswell 2-0-4, Lovell 1-0-2, H. Dziadyk 1-2-5, Purcell 4-3-11, O. Dziadyk 1-1-4, Greatorex 0-0-0, Catino 0-0-0. Totals: 12-7-33

3-pointers: P — Yacubacci 3, Galvin, M. Doyle; W — H. Dziadyk, O. Dziadyk

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