TOPSFIELD — With hard work and persistence comes experience. That’s what the Masconomet girls basketball team has been able to acquire over the past few seasons — experience.
As the Chieftains “Big Three” of Hannah Kiernan, Nicole Femino and Meghan Collins go, so does the rest of the team. They’ve developed a system that’s worked for them over the years and with senior Lexi Nason and junior Kate Kitsakos rounding out the starting lineup, Masco has grown into a well-oiled machine.
This weekend was expected to be an eventful one for the Chieftains, after defeating Pentucket on Friday and having to deal with Hamilton-Wenham tonight, their schedule is chock full of important games. None bigger, however, than Saturday’s holiday tournament championship game against a tough and gritty Bishop Fenwick team.
The Crusaders played Masco hard, perhaps its toughest competition of the season thus far. A near perfect second half, though, led the Chieftains to its second straight holiday championship crown as they pulled away with a 65-40 victory over Fenwick.
“We’ve seen this team a lot,” Masconomet head coach Bob Romeo said about taking on Fenwick. “We played them last year, saw them in the summer league and they’re crazy competitive. (Adam DeBaggis) coaches them in volleyball and they won the North. They’re athletes that know how to win. We expected a tight game because of that. I think the difference was that we wore them down.”
Masco (4-0) led by five, 29-24, at the the half after going shot-for-shot with Fenwick in the second quarter. The Chieftains hit four 3-pointers in a row, while the Crusaders made four straight lay-ups to keep it a close contest.
While the Chieftains led by nine at the end of the third quarter, the fourth proved to be the most prosperous as they scored 25 points to put the game away.