Timberlane Owls Girls Basketball '07-'08

Wed, Dec 26, 2007 06:30 PM @ Neutral Location
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
2007 Coca-Cola Greater Haverhill Christmas Basketball Classic
Pentucket 4 14 9 14 41
Timberlane 9 4 6 15 34

Pentucket relies on defense

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Carl Russo, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Wednesday, December, 26 By Dave Dyer
Staff writer

HAVERHILL | Pentucket's girls accomplished their immediate mission in the opening day of the Haverhill Coca-Cola Tournament, but that was one of the only positives cited by head coach John McNamara.

After the unbeaten Sachems (5-0) scrapped past Timberlane, 41-34, McNamara was hardly satisfied.

"That was not a good basketball game," said McNamara. "Actually, we haven't played well all year. We won it again with our defense, but I don't know much longer we can do that. We're missing bunnies (layups) and we're not getting good looks from the outside."

Indicative of Pentucket's play was the performance of sophomore standout Ashley Viselli. She continued her shooting slump, netting just six points, but she was superb defending Timberlane star and University of Maine-bound Sam Wheeler.

Wheeler was held to just four field goals and eight points and was able to launch just nine shots the entire game.

"I knew if I wasn't doing well on offense, my teammates will help me out, and I still have the rest of my game," said Viselli. "I knew she (Wheeler) had a good back-door cut and I tried to stop that.

"I think we're all getting a little frustrated with our shooting, but I think it will come."

What was also frustrating was that Timberlane roared to a 9-0 lead before the Sachems, who had six turnovers in the first quarter, could get untracked. A pair of Kirsten Daamen baskets made it 9-4 after the first quarter.

The turning point in the game came in the second quarter with the Owls still leading 11-7. At that point, with 5:36 still remaining in the half, Wheeler was called for her third foul and was sent to the bench for the rest of the half.

Without Wheeler to pass the ball, rebound and otherwise preoccupy them, the Sachems went on an 11-2 run to end the half, taking an 18-13 lead and never trailed again.

Although Pentucket did not shoot well, it did rebound. Junior center Kirsten Daamen led the way with 15 points, including 11 in the second half, and 10 rebounds while Andrea Attenesio chipped on with eight points and nine rebounds.

"We got by, but we're going to need to play better the rest of the tournament," said McNamara.

For Timberlane (1-4), sophomore Tianna Parolisi led all scorers with 16 points, which included four 4-pointers. "We're a little disorganized right now about what we're supposed to be doing, but Parolisi had a great game," said Timberlane coach Bruce Johnson. "I'm very happy with the way she's been playing."

Pentucket now advances to tomorrow's semifinals at 6 p.m. against Cambridge Rindge & Latin, which crushed Pelham 68-28 in the first game of the day. A win there will likely square the Sachems off in the championship game against defending tourney champ Swampscott, which looked very strong in a 58-41 win over Alvirne yesterday.

Haverhill, Pelham crushed

Pelham and Haverhill both played solid first quarters before falling apart in other first-round action.

Pelham, playing Cambridge Rindge & Latin in the tourney opener, still trailed by a respectable 24-17 margin at halftime, but Cambridge (2-0) | playing just its second game of the season | erupted in the second half. Oneal Session led four players in double figures for the Falcons with 15 points.

For Pelham, senior Brittany Croteau was the lone offense, hitting five of her team's seven field goals while finishing with a game-high 16 points.

In the nightcap, Haverhill trailed just 14-8 after the first quarter but Bishop Guertin began pouring it on in the second quarter, taking a 32-14 halftime lead, and continued on its way to a 57-32 rout.

The Hillies (2-3) did not shoot well (26 percent) all game, but their biggest problem was ballhandling. Guertin (3-2) forced 29 turnovers, including 17 in the first half.

Michelle Stanley (two 3-pointers) and Melissa Ganem both had six points for the Hillies and Colleen Garvey pulled down nine rebounds to go along with her five points.

In the other quarterfinal yesterday, defending champion Swampscott (5-0) charged past Alvirne 58-41 behind the scoring of Tara Namkar (21), Kara Gilberg (18) and Allie Beaulieu (17). Namkar and Beaulieu were on the all-tournament team last year and Gilberg is a rapidly improving sophomore.

Swampscott and Bishop Guertin will meet in the 7:45 p.m. semifinal tomorrow following the Pentucket-Cambrifhr matchup.

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