TOPSFIELD — The Pentucket girls basketball team has had its way with Masconomet over the past few seasons while proving to be a real thorn in the Chieftains side.
It’s no secret the rivalry that these two teams have developed in the Cape Ann League. Battle after battle went in favor of the Sachems and for the past five years, Masco has had no answer for Pentucket.
Last night was different, though. For the first time since 2008 the Chieftains handled business in this rivalry on their home court, topping Pentucket 66-40. The victory sends Masconomet into its holiday tournament championship tonight against Bishop Fenwick.
“It’s a big monkey off our shoulders,” said Masco head coach Bob Romeo. “We’ve had some tremendous battles the past five years. Some two-point games, an overtime, but they’ve been the class of the league. This year we’re off to a good start. Once we get the game going at our speed, it’s hard to play with us.”
Still undefeated (3-0) in the early part of the season, everything seems to be clicking for the Chieftains.
The offense took a while to get going in the first quarter last night, though the shots were there for the Masco. The Chieftains found their rhythm in the second quarter and began to pull away from Pentucket. In fact, Masco opened the quarter on an 11-0 run and didn’t allow a Sachems bucket until 2:42 left in the half.
“The key was when we held them scoreless for that stretch,” noted Romeo. “They were stuck at six points for a long time. And it wasn’t like we were getting tremendous offense. All of a sudden a four-point game ballooned up to 20 points.”
Pentucket (1-3) has a different look this season after losing trio Tess Nogueira, Coley Viselli and Alex Moore to graduation. Without any seniors on this year’s roster, the Sachems are building around its younger players including Kelsi McNamara, McKenna Killian and Taylor Moore.