BEVERLY — The young Panthers girls basketball squad picked up the first victory of the season, grinding out a 40-38 win over Marblehead Sunday morning in a game that was postponed by the snowstorm last Friday.

Sophomore Lauren Caley led the way with a game-high 15 points including three from distance, but it was her shots from the foul line with the game on the line in the last quarter that were crucial.

The Panthers clung to a 38-35 lead when she was fouled. Caley and Marblehead’s Samantha Dormer had just exchanged 3-pointers before the sophomore made both ends of a one-and-one from the line to open up a three point lead for the home team.

“It’s so exciting to get a win,” said Caley after the game. “We’ve all been working so hard, but it seems if we did get rebounds the mentality was not there or if it was, we weren’t doing something else well enough, but today we put it all together. It was such a team effort. We don’t have any one big player we can look to, but just like five fingers make a fist all five of us together make things work.”

Ella Kramer’s trey with 19 seconds remaining brought the Magicians within two points with a chance to either tie or win at the buzzer, but Kramer’s last ditch attempt was off the mark as time expired.

“This was a really good high school game, but we had too many turnovers and made mental mistakes,” said Marblehead coach Paul Moran, his club now 4-4. “It all starts with me, and I have to do a better job getting the girls ready.

“The first quarter really hurt us, and we let Beverly have too many wide open three’s,” he added. “I’m happy with the way the girls are playing though. Everybody is working hard, and we will get better.”

Beverly started the game with an 8-0 run and at the end of the first quarter led, 15-6, but it was a totally different story the next eight minutes with the visitors outscoring the Panthers, 16-6 to take a 22-21 halftime lead. They scored the last 10 points before halftime, feeding Catherine Comstock (13 points) down low for layups. Both Dormer (13) and Cat Candelaria (6) had a pair of 3-pointers in the second quarter.

The game was tied twice during the third quarter before Beverly pulled ahead on a trey by Lindsey Gannon, who then hit a jump shot to put her team ahead by five points, 30-25 before another layup by Comstock. Gannon (8 points) drained a three before the quarter ended, and the Panthers had a six point cushion going into the final frame.

The game was far from over though as Kate Burns put back a rebound, and Dormer drove to the basket for an easy layup to make it a two point game, 33-31. Marblehead started out in a two-three zone before switching to man-to-man coverage and had a full court press on hoping to cause turnovers down the stretch, but Panther senior captain Grace Coughlin (7 points) hit a huge jump shot for her team’s first points of the last quarter.

Dormer made a shot from downtown with 1:18 remaining to close the deficit to 38-35 but Caley’s two from the free throw kept the Panthers ahead.

“The girls responded well to whatever was thrown at them,” said Beverly assistant coach Bridget Keaton, who took over for Seth Stantial, who was in COVID protocol. “This was a total team effort, and a lot of people stepped us. It’s a confidence builder showing what they can do by playing four strong quarters. Gannon made those big shots when we needed them, Caley was strong all game, and both Coughlin and Angela Mazzone did a great job getting rebounds.”


at Henry Cabot Lodge Fieldhouse, Beverly

MARBLEHEAD: Candelaria 2-0-6, Dormer 5-0-13, Pyne 0-0-0, Kramer 1-0-3, Burns 1-0-2, Comstock 6-1-13, Haley 0-1-1. Totals: 15-2-38

BEVERLY: Bilotti 0-0-0, Caley 5-2-13, Griffen 0-0-0, Mazzone 1-1-4, Gannon 3-0-8, Ollivierre 2-0-4, Coughlin 3-0-7, Potter 0-2-2, Ruggieri 0-0-0. Totals: 14-5-40

Halftime: MH 22-21

3-Pointers: MH: Candelaria (2), Dormer (3), Kramer, B: Caley (3), Gannon (2), Mazzone, Coughlin

Records: MH 4-4; B 1-6.

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