By Gianna Addario
---- — LYNN — Masconomet girls basketball coach Bob Romeo knew that last night’s Spartan Classic game against Lynn English would have a playoff-type atmosphere.
The contest had all the markings of a state tournament game, even down to the final seconds. While both teams played back-and-forth basketball, trading baskets until the final minute, it was the Bulldogs who pulled ahead for a 63-57 victory.
“We hit a buzzer beater, then they hit a buzzer beater and we were going back forth the entire game,” said English (19-2) head coach Fred Hogan.
“This was a great high school basketball game; it was unbelievable. We have to beat teams like that. We can’t do what we want to do if we don’t beat the Masco’s of the world.”
English’s Deidra Newson hit a three-pointer with 23 seconds left in the game that broke a 57-57 tie for good. Masconomet was forced to counter with a trey of its own, but came up short on the following possession. The Chieftains then fouled Catherine Stinson, who made one of her two free throws.
Down by four with 10 seconds to play, Masco’s Hannah Kiernan hoisted up a three-point attempt that went just wide of the basket. Newson promptly sealed the win by sinking both of her free throws at the opposite end of the court.
“It was just a classic game, big play after big play,” said Romeo, his team now 14-5 overall. “It was just a war out there. English just was able to hit the big shot when they needed to, but I thought we defended well.”
Masconomet took a 20-19 lead at the end of the first quarter, but put up just six points in the second stanza and trailed (33-26) at the half.
Meghan Collins scored eight of her team’s 20 points in the first quarter. Collins finished with a team-high 16 points for the Chieftains and hit shots from all over the court.
Nicole Femino hit back-to back three points to close the third quarter and gave the Chieftains a 45-44 lead, but they got outscored 19-12 in the final quarter.
Masconomet’s Femino netted 15 points while senior captain Abi Rose sparked the offense off the bench with 11 points and eight rebounds. Hannah Kiernan finished with nine points and six rebounds, while Claudia Marsh (five points) pulled down 10 rebounds.