“Ten points isn’t a big lead against Masco,” said Newburyport head coach Gregg Dollas. “It’s hard to keep Masco down. The lead is never safe with the way they can hit threes. We had a lead, they would clamp down on us. It’s just about finishing mentally and physically.
“I think we’ve had four games like this one this season and on all four of them we’ve been on the losing end. It’s unfortunate to lose those games, but it’s nice to see the girls continue to fight throughout.”
Kiernan (six rebounds, three assists) was on fire in the second half, scoring 19 of her game-high 24 points. She scored 11 points in the fourth quarter alone.
The Chieftains went 11-for-14 from the foul line in the fourth quarter. Masco never relinquished the lead after Kiernan’s go-ahead three with four minutes to play.
“I believe we were able to wear them down because they began to miss shots that they had been making,” added Romeo. “They turned the ball over on plays that they weren’t earlier and I think we were able to get some easier baskets at our end because their feet were a little slower moving in the fourth quarter.
“Hannah took advantage at getting to the rim, making free throws and setting other players up. I thought as a senior she stepped up huge on Senior Night to kind of pull one out of fire for us, because we were in trouble. We were losing at every checkpoint.”
Femino also added to the rally in the fourth quarter, pouring in eight of 16 points down the stretch. Point guard Meghan Collins added six points, six rebounds and six assists, while Nason pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.
Freshman Stephanie Mini finished with six rebounds and two points. Junior guard Kate Kitsakos added five points, three rebounds and four steals off the bench.