SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Sports

January 24, 2014

Bounce Passes: Area teams looking to make the extra push

(Continued)

BEVERLY (4-6)

The Panthers hit a hot streak earlier this month before falling to Northeastern Conference South frontrunner Winthrop. Beverly’s offense has found a rhythm since moving different players in and out of the starting lineup.

Thanks to a snowed out game this past Saturday scheduled against Revere, Beverly hasn’t played since seeing its four-game winning streak snapped with a loss to Winthrop eight days ago. They’re finally back at it tonight in Marblehead. While the Magicians have a better record than Beverly, the interesting thing about the NEC is that it’s well balanced. On any given night a team has the capability of beating an opponent they may have lost to earlier in the season.

Don’t count Beverly out just yet. The Panthers are starting to click under first-year head coach Allison Flynn.

SALEM (3-5)

The Witches are perhaps one of the most exciting teams to watch in the NEC. Both their sharpshooting guards and the post play of junior Jaclyn Panneton give Salem multiple scoring options. The return of guard Rachael Zipper has also provided a boost for one of the youngest teams in the area.

Last year at this time, the Witches went on a win streak to clinch a playoff spot and are looking to do the same thing this season. Despite the Tuesday’s loss to Peabody, Salem head coach John Fortunato seems confident in his team’s ability.

”I’ve always asked, no matter where the team is at, to get better every game,” explained Fortunato. “You can’t just measure things by if you lose, it was bad and if you win, it’s good. Tuesday’s loss was on of our better performances — and I want the girls to know that.”

Sophomore Brianna Rodriguez had one of her best games of the season against the Tanners, finishing with 14 points and making her defensive presence known.

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