By Gianna Addario
---- — IPSWICH — Senior captain Julia Davis has picked up right where she left off last season. The Ipswich forward currently leads her team in scoring and helped the Tigers to a 55-42 victory over Newburyport in the Institution for Savings Holiday Tournament championship game last night.
Davis was awarded the tournament MVP for her 15 point performance in the game. She combined for 33 points and 24 rebounds between the tournament’s two games. A force offensively as well as defensively, Davis has played a leading role in the Tigers’ 4-0 start to the season.
“I thought Julia played tough,” said Ipswich coach Mandy Carter-Zegarowski. “Most of the possessions she had three people swarming her and it’s hard to see out of that. We knew Newburyport was going to be a very physical team, so I told her to just stay strong mentally and emotionally. She’s really matured in that area and was able to hold it together.
“She came through with some offensive rebound, fast break opportunities and even got to the foul line a couple of times. She did a little bit of everything tonight even with a lot of pressure on her.”
Early in the first quarter Davis had two steals, which transitioned nicely into back-to-back layups as the Tigers took a 12-8 lead after the opening quarter.
Ipswich got into foul trouble late in the first half with Masey Zegarowski and Caroline Soucy picking up three each. Their time was limited because of that, but the rest of the Tiger bench was able to extend the lead by halftime.
“I thought Brigid O’Flynn did a good job at taking over on the court,” said Carter-Zegarowski. “She was able to give the girls some confidence. Without Masey being on the court, I was really proud of Brigid, because she’s not usually a ball handler — but she came up big with a ton of energy.”
O’Flynn scored all six of her points from the foul line and also added four rebounds and seven steals.
Zegarowski came back in to start the third quarter where she scored 10 of her 20 points. She was aggressive going to the hoop to get the foul calls, but also made some crafty outside shots that did the Clippers in.
Newburyport held the Tigers to just eight points in the fourth quarter and even made a little run down the stretch. It was too late to take the lead at that point, but head coach Greg Dollas was please with the way they closed out the game.
“I think we finally moved without ball,” explained Dollas. “Once we got things going and made some shots, we looked a little bit more relaxed in the fourth quarter. It was nice to see some of the girls get going and hopefully it will spark them for the next game.”
Ipswich is off until Thursday when it hosts Masconomet at home. The Tigers are looking to stay consistent across the board and really develop their defense.
“We’re still in the stages of building that defense,” Carter-Zegarowski added. “We had a lot of girls come in off the bench and contribute off the bench, that’s a big goal of ours.”