Pentucket claimed a spot in Tuesday’s TD Garden action as they dominated Ipswich with a 49-30 victory Saturday morning at the Tsongas Center for the the Division 3 North title.
“This is their legacy," Pentucket coach John McNamara said. "[This group] has taken a team to the Garden and I think it’s really important to them.
Ispwich controlled the opening tip, but Pentucket was in charge from the beginning. They opened the game on a 5-0 run and never looked back. The Sachems doubled Ipswich’s point production in the first quarter, leading 10-5 after eight minutes. Strong inside play from senior forward Sarah Higgins gave Pentucket the offensive momentum, as she netted four of her game-high 13 points in the first quarter.
Defensively the Sachems limited the Tigers to five points in each of the first two quarters.
“We just have smart kids who like to run and jump and pressure the ball and we all have that help rotation to jump passing lanes and that puts pressure on teams,” McNamara said.
With the Sachems up 20-10 with 2:42 remaining in the first half, Ipswich called a timeout. Unfortunately, the break in action helped Pentucket more than the Tigers as they went on a 10-0 run to close the half, capping it off with a buzzer beating three-pointer from junior guard Alex Moore. The Sachems took the momentum and a 20-point lead, 30-10 into the break.
“We needed our defense to create turnovers. It’s a lot easier to score on the fast break than setting up a zone offense,” McNamara said. “The basket at the half was a nice psychological dagger. A lot of good things happened at the end of the half.”
Ipswich managed 19 points in the second half to cut Pentucket’s lead to 19.
Pentucket will face Fairhaven on Tuesday after the Blue Devils beat Archbishop Williams 62-59 Saturday at UMass Boston.
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