Danvers girls basketball coach Pat Veilleux felt his team was at a crossroads heading into last night’s battle with Peabody. Sitting in the middle of a difficult stretch of their schedule, a loss could have long-term ramifications.
The Falcons responded with a near-perfect performance, defeating the Tanners, 45-33, on an emotional night.
”It’s the most significant win since I took over in 2007,” Veilleux said. “To be able to do what we did to the team we did it to at the time we did it was amazing.
”Peabody was great to us. Before the game they presented us with ribbons due to the tragedy in October and they presented a check for the Colleen Ritzer Fund, and for our girls to respond, I don’t have the superlatives to do it justice.”
Hannah Llewellyn hit five 3-pointers and scored 14 of her game-high 19 points in the second half. Freshman Lauren McKinnon was 4 for 4 from the free throw line and grabbed nine rebounds. Emily McNulty contributed seven points and eight rebounds while Tina Gigli chipped in with six points and seven boards.
Danvers’ defense made all the difference, however. According to Veilleux, assistant coach Jon Levine drew up a defensive game plan that had the Tanners guessing all night.
”He did an unbelievable job preparing and getting ready for Peabody,” Veilleux said. “I don’t think Peabody knew what we were doing half the time. As a matter of fact, I didn’t know what we were doing half the time. If people came to watch, they would have thought we were the 8-2 team.”
Danvers improved to 8-5 with a game against undefeated Lynn English on Tuesday.
Carolyn Scacchi scored 10 points and pulled down nine rebounds to lead Peabody (8-3).
“We got out-hustled, out-rebounded and out-muscled,” said Peabody head coach Jane Heil. “Danvers took it to us, they played great.”