By Gianna Addario
It was one of the more anticipated games of the season for undefeated Ipswich. Heading into Pentucket is no easy task, but the Tigers held their own for the first three quarters and just narrowly missed a win against their Cape Ann League rival.
Ipswich controlled the play for the majority of the contest, but the Sachems (11-0) rallied back to take the rematch of last year’s Division 3 North final, 45-40.
Pentucket came up big in the fourth quarter, going on a 13-5 run to close out the game while holding Ipswich (9-1) to just one field goal in the final eight minutes.
“I think we just ran out of gas after the third quarter,” said Ipswich head coach Mandy Zegarowski. “I’m really proud of the girls. We played hard and battled. Overall it’s a great game to see what need to work on.”
Senior captain Julia Davis stepped up huge for the Tigers in the first half, leading all scorers in the opening stanza with 12 points. Ipswich took a 28-25 lead over host Penutcket, but wasn’t able to hold on it in the final quarter.
Pentucket’s defense, meanwhile, took care of the rest. The Sachems held the Tigers to four field goals in the second half on 4-of-18 shooting and forced 11 turnovers in the final two quarters.
“We weren’t playing the defense we wanted until the third quarter, and we didn’t shoot very well, but we gutted it out,” said Pentucket head coach John McNamara. “We didn’t play our best, but give Ipswich credit. They played very well.”
Pentucket senior Alex Moore scored 10 of her 12 points in the first half and played outstanding defense on Ipswich star guard Masey Zegarowski, holding her to seven points.
Davis, who finished with a team-high 15 points, earned every basket she made. Zegarowski, who is can usually take over any game in the fourth quarter, was doubled team in the final period and couldn’t get many shots off.
Sophomore Caroline Soucy added seven points, while fellow senior captain Brigid O’Flynn contributed eight points.
“It was nice to see the girls have that toughness and believe we can compete against a team like Pentucket,” added Zegarowski. “I’ve seen a ton of growth and put a lot of work in. They’re a tough team.”