By Gianna Addario
---- — LYNN — When Ipswich found out it would play Bedford in the St. Mary’s Spartan Classic, head coach Mandy Carter-Zegarowski had mixed emotions about facing a potential Division 3 state tournament opponent.
After all, Ipswich upset the top-seeded Buccaneers in the semifinals just a year ago and will more than likely meet again in a few weeks for another playoff matchup.
Carter-Zegarowski has to feel good about her team’s chances against Bedford if in fact these two teams do see each other down the road as the Tigers ran away with a 53-44 victory last night. Ipswich (16-2) will take on St. Mary’s in the championship game tomorrow night at 7:30.
“We were playing the game to win,” said Carter-Zegarowski. “We want a good seed in the tournament and we want to be able to go into the playoffs with confidence.
“I thought we did a good job coming out in the first half and we were able to move the ball well. We still missed a lot of shots, but we were getting the type of shots we wanted.”
Bedford started the game on a 5-0 run, but Ipswich took control the rest of the way. Ipswich held the Buccaneers to just a single free throw in the second quarter and took a 32-11 lead into halftime.
The Tigers were able to build up much of their momentum in the second quarter and saw contributions across the board. Point guard Masey Zegarowski scored a team-high 15 points to go along with her five assists and two steals.
“Ipswich is a really good team and we just need to find what works and what doesn’t,” said Bedford head coach Matt Ryan. “Masey’s just an incredible point guard and she can control the entire game. You can’t stop her even if you double team her, she’s that good.”
Ipswich continued its scoring rhythm into the third quarter and led by 18 to start the final stanza (46-28), but were thrown of their game once Bedford instituted the full-court press.
The Buccaneers held Ipswich to just seven points in the fourth quarter and in turn had put up their highest scores of the game.
“We didn’t do a good job breaking the press,” said Carter-Zegarowski. “Sometimes it’s tough if you don’t see a press the whole game and someone puts it on you at the end. We already weren’t moving well, so we definitely had a harder time. The bigger concern is that they converted three-pointers off of our turnovers.”
Senior captain Julia Davis controlled the boards for the Tigers, grabbing 13 rebounds to go along with her 10 points. Sophomore Caroline Soucy hit a pair of treys to finish with 11 points, while Jenna Gagnon (seven points) and Brigid O’Flynn (six points) also contributed to the scoring.
Ipswich senior Courtney Eramo (four points) recently moved into the starting lineup, giving the team solid height and another long body in the paint.
“She’s been working hard all year and has really come along for us,” added Zegarowski.