WEST NEWBURY — The history and success of the Pentucket girls basketball program make the Sachems a scary competitor on paper. Going into last night’s Division 2 North tournament match, the Danvers girls basketball team took the challenge in stride.
Down by as many as seven in the third, Danvers cut the deficit to within one after freshman Tina Gigli drove to the basket.
It was as closes as the Falcons would come the rest of the game, however, as they fell to the sixth seeded Sachems, 46-33 on the road.
“Pentucket picks apart all of your weaknesses and comes right at you,” said Danvers head coach Pat Veilleux. “They wore us down.
“I loved the way our girls played. I have no complaints about the season. For this team to do what they did through all of the injuries and the tragedy, I thought we hung in there pretty good.”
Pentucket (17-6) moves on to face Arlington Catholic in tomrorow’s quarterfinals.
The Sachems led 9-6 after the first quarter, but a jumper by Ashley Arnoldy and a three-pointer by Hannah Llewellyn gave Danvers (11-10) its first lead of the night to start the second.
The Sachems went on a 10-0 run midway through the second before the Falcons closed out the half going 5-for-6 from the free throw line.
The Falcons defense was stellar in the first quarter, causing a 30 second violation and numerous turnovers.
With senior captain Emily McNulty in foul trouble, junior Kara Connors and freshman Nicole White played key minutes of the bench for Danvers.
“We’ve struggled all year offensively, especially against fast teams. I thought we did a good job for the majority of the game and then if became a foul shooting contest. We don’t win those too often,” said Veilleux.
Pentucket went 8-for-12 from the foul line in the final two minutes of play. Junior Kelsi McNamara scored eight of her game-high 20 points in the final quarter to extend her team’s lead.