Peabody capitalized on 14 turnovers by the Witches in the first half, and used their speed to run the fast break effectively. The Witches were led by sophomore guard Arianna Gaffney, who had 17 points including three treys. Sophomore center Jaclyn Panneton added eight, and Rachael Zipper had seven.
“This was a great game one, and I really liked how hard the kids played,” said Salem coach John Fortunato. “Peabody’s size will present problems to a lot of teams, and there’s no question they controlled inside the paint. They got a number of points off rebounds and turnovers.
“We have a new group playing together, and we’re going to be okay. All our girls went hard when they got on the floor, and we’ll continue to get better.”
Scacchi, who was much more physical and assertive, hit a layup at the buzzer to give her team a comfortable 15 point cushion going into the final quarter when both coaches emptied their benches.
“This is a good way to start,” said Scacchi. “We’re young with five juniors, five sophomores, and a freshman. I really wanted to have a good game here because I never seem to play well when we come to Salem. We all got a little upset when one newspaper article listed teams to look out for, and Peabody wasn’t on the list. We want to show everybody we are a team to look out for.”