By Gianna Addario
---- — IPSWICH — The Ipswich High girls basketball team has seen its share of tough opponents already this season. Thus far, the Tigers have taken down each of them 1-by-1 to remain undefeated at 6-0.
Ipswich did that again last night in yet another victory, this time over long time nemesis Masconomet, 57-40.
The Chieftains (4-2) hung around with Ipswich for the majority of the game and tied the score at 32-all by the end of the third quarter. But the host Tigers pulled away in the fourth with huge performance by sophomore guard Masey Zegarowski, who had 10 of her 17 points in the final eight minutes.
“I thought it took us a little while to get into the tempo of the game,” said Ipswich head coach Mandy Carter-Zegarowski. “It was good battle back and forth, two teams playing very physical.
“We regrouped after the third quarter and I told the girls ‘Don’t give any more easy layups.’ Our team needs to get tougher and more physical. We did that in fourth quarter, but it took three quarters to get to that point.”
Ipswich held it together in the second half and only committed one turnover. Zegarowski was battling a sprained ankle, but managed to close out the game for the Tigers with poise down the stretch. Whether it was distributing to open players or finishing her own shots, Zegarowski (5 assists) was able to take the game over.
“She doesn’t show much emotion; something just clicked for her in the fourth, I didn’t even have to say anything to her,” explained Carter-Zegarowski, Masey’s mother. “She just goes. It’s probably from years of watching basketball, but I’m very proud of her that she’s able to have the confidence to do that.”
Masconomet opened the game with huge run in the first quarter as junior captain Hannah Kiernan went off for 10 of the Chieftains’ 14 first quarter points. The Chieftains closed the quarter on 6-0 run, but followed that up with four-point second quarter which ultimately proved costly.
“It’s tough to win when you shoot 8 for 18 from the foul line and 16 for 57 from the field,” said veteran Masconomet head coach Bob Romeo. “We need to play a fast, uptempo game, but they did good job at slowing us down.”
After the Chieftains tied the game at the end of the third quarter, it was whole new ballgame. Even midway through the fourth, Masconomet wasn’t far behind — but the final two minutes did them in.
“We just had a bad quarter, defensively and offensively,” explained Romeo. “It snowballed; we missed shots early and some foul shots. Credit to Ipswich, they hit some big shots. We thought when (the Tigers’) Julia Davis went to the bench with four fouls we caught a break, but we didn’t take advantage of building or extending a lead with her not out there.”
Davis finished with another double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds. Fellow senior captain Brigid O’Flynn had 13 rebounds to go along with her eight points.
For Masconomet, Kiernan led the team with 13 points. Junior Nicole Femino added 10 points and eight rebounds, while Claudia Marsh (7 points) had huge game on the boards with 17 rebounds.
Ipswich 57, Masconomet 40
at Ipswich High
Masconomet: Femino 4-2-10, Kiernan 5-1-13, Marsh 3-1-7, Collins 2-0-4, Kitsakos 2-2-6. Totals 16-6-40
Ipswich: Soucy 3-0-6, Davis 5-4-14, Zegarowski 5-5-17, Gagnon 3-0-8, O'Flynn 2-4-8, Curran 0-2-2, Morrissey 1-0-2 . Totals 19-15-57.
Halftime: I, 20-18
3-pointers: M, Kiernan 2, I, Zegarowski 2, Gagnon 2.
Records: M, 4-2; I, 5-0.