By Jean DePlacido
---- — PEABODY — There was a lot at stake in the Division 1 North opening round game. The Tanners were seeking their first tourney victory in four years, and star forward Carolyn Scacchi was only 10 points away from joining the 1,000 point club.
Both things were accomplished as Peabody came out on fire en route to a 58-44 victory over Reading. They started the game with a 10-3 run led by Amanda Matthews, Scacchi, and Alex Lomasney and built up a 10 point cushion at the end of the first quarter.
Peabody came into the game with a 15-5 record, winners of five of their last six games and have now won six of the last seven while Reading was 10-10.
Scacchi had 303 points this season, averaging 15.2 per game. She went over the thousand mark with a big three with 2:06 remaining in the first half to put the Tanners ahead, 31-19. Scacchi knew that shot put her over 1,000 and pumped her fist as teammates hugged her when there was a break in the action. She ended with a game-high 20 points and tied with Lomasney for a team-high seven rebounds.
“I didn’t want to have the game stopped when I got it,” said the senior captain. “I’m so happy we won the game because it wouldn’t have been as special for me if we didn’t. It’s awesome, the best feeling in the world.”
After she reached the big mark an announcement was made to the large crowd, and fans stood to cheer. When the game ended coach Jane Heil praised her star for being a great team player and presented her with the game ball.
“We started off so well it took the edge off,” said Tanner coach Jane Heil, who got the big win in her 700th game behind the bench. “Reading is a very good team, and they gave us all we could handle.
“I was happy we were able to keep the lead at 12 or 14 points. I had been concerned that Carolyn might be on edge, but she was fine.”
The fast start by Peabody was so important because the scoring was even in both the second and fourth quarters. The Tanners were able to maintain a 10 point cushion at intermission, 33-23, but play got a bit ragged in the third quarter as the Rockets pressed to get back in the game, and Peabody got into early foul trouble.
But every time the visitors threatened to close the gap Peabody came up with a big basket to stem the tide. The lead was cut to eight midway through the quarter before Scacchi answered with a layup and was fouled for an old-fashioned three point play. Danielle Sullivan (six points) came off the bench to score, and Lomasney (nine points) followed with a pretty layup after a nifty setup by playmaker Hosman as the Tanners put together a 7-1 run to take a 14 point lead into the final frame.
It was Hosman, who hit a trey early in the fourth quarter to give her team a 15 point lead and send them into the quarter-finals on Saturday at Central Catholic (7 p.m.). The sophomore point guard finished with nine points.
“When Sara hit that three it ended the game,” said Heil. “She had a great game, and I knew right from the start she had come to play. The only thing I wasn’t happy about was sending Reading to the foul line so often.”
Peabody had a lot of big performances. Lomasney had two steals, and two blocked shots in an outstanding defensive effort while Amanda Matthews chipped in with eight points and six boards.
Peabody 58, Reading 44
Reading: Harney 0-0-0; Nugent 2-2-8; Beucler 0-0-0; Clements 2-2-8; McGinness 0-0-0; Haase 3-3-9; O’Leary 0-0-0; Watson 4-2-10; Littlehale 2-5-9. Totals 13-14-44.
Peabody: Maheras 0-0-0; Alperen 0-0-0; Lomasney 4-0-9; Bua 1-2-4; Hosman 3-2-9; Matthews 4-0-8; Gray 0-0-0; Summit 1-0-2; McHugh 0-0-0; Sullivan 3-0-6; Scacchi 7-4-20. Totals 23-8-58.
Halftime: P, 33-23.
3-pointers: R, Nugent 2, Clements 2. P, Scacchi 2, Hosman, Lomasney.
Records: R, 10-11; P, 16-5.