The Salem girls basketball team has been looking for a season defining win all season. Last night against powerhouse Danvers, the Witches found it.
Behind outstanding free throw shooting and 20 points from senior Amanda Wilkins, Salem stunned Danvers 55-44 at home.
"This was a game we needed to get to stay in the hunt," said Salem coach John Fortunato, his team suddenly back in state tournament contention at 6-8. "Hopefully this does a lot for the kids' confidence because Danvers is so talented."
Freshman Alix Bryant scored 13 and played outstanding defense on Danvers (10-2) big duo of Kellie Macdonald (15 points) and Sarah Palazola (12 points). Fortunato also highlighted the defense of Jasmine Bryant and Holbrook Phelan.
"They outplayed and outcoached us," said Danvers coach Pat Vellieux. "They kept the throttle on. Salem really deserves all the credit."
With 22 free throws in all and 10 by Wilkins, work from the stripe helped Salem close it out.
"Danvers is the type of team where you can play well for 31 minutes and lose in that last minute," said Fortunato. "We closed it out tonight and Amanda made some big free throws down the stretch."
Ipswich 52, Amesbury 22: Hannah O'Flynn scored 14 points and Shannon McFayden finished with 11 (including three 3-pointers) as the Tigers (9-2) moved to within one game of qualifying for a state tournament berth. Nyra Constant and sisters Rae and Julia Davis all played stellar defensively for Ipswich, which shot out to a 18-2 first quarter lead and never looked back.
Peabody 57, Saugus 31: The Tanners (6-6) had a season high in points behind 12 from point guard Katie Brunelle. Peabody pulled away thanks to a 21-4 edge in the third quarter while freshman Carolyn Scacchi had a near triple double with 11 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Victoria Digiacomo scored seven and was a defensive spark, as were senior co-captains Hannah Simard and Mary Kate Helas.
Newburyport 42, H-W 36: Senior captains Dorothy Zachariades (13 points) and Sarah Vivenzio (four points) the Generals back from a 15-point second half deficit to pull it to within four late in the game. Sophie Prince and Taylor Morong had great floor games for the Generals (3-9).
Masco 66, Lynnfield 48: Brooke Stewart led the Chieftains (9-3) with 19 points, six rebounds, four steals and two assists while being hounded up and down the court by the Lynnfield defense. Junior guard Taylor Evans (nine points, seven assists and four boards) and sophomore forward Claudia Marsh (10 points, six rebounds, six steals and two assists) were outstanding for Masco along with junior forward Danielle Davis who chipped in nine points, eight boards and five steals.
revere 65, swampscott 36: The undefeated Revere Patriots (12-0) had their way with Swampscott. Alexa Goldman led Swampscott with eight points and Nikki Laskaris had six.
Masco 64, Lynnfield 54: The Chieftains (8-3) had four players in double-figures as Ben Panunzio led Masco with 14 points and 10 boards. Adam Bramanti and Alex Brown each chipped in 13 points while Kurt Hunziker finished with 10 points.
NS tech/essex aggie: Senior Jordan Smith had a huge game for the Bulldogs (11-1) as he finished with 27 points, 18 rebounds, 13 blocked shots, 8 assists and moved within 17 points of 1,000 career points. "It was his best game of the season," said coach Jody Norton. Senior point guard Jordan Castillo added 17 points and junior forward Tyler Suggs had 13 points.
marblehead 62, beverly 48: Marblehead showed tremendous balance in a Northeastern Conference win that hiked its record to 10-2. Matt Temme had 16 points and six rebounds, Tommy Stockwell chipped in nine points and 11 rebounds, and Mike Dusenberry and Bryan Gellert each had 14 points. Meanwhile, Phil Coughlin had four steals to go with three points for the winners, who shot 65 percent in the opening half. The Beverly Panthers fell behind by 18 at halftime and eventually cut it to six but could get no closer. Aven Jones led Beverly with 15 points, Chris Keaton added nine and Dan Cacciatore came off the bench and finished with seven points and 12 rebounds. Beverly is 6-6.
amesbury 53, ipswich 46: Brenden Gallagher had a season-high 19 points and Doug Shaughnessy had 11 points and 10 rebounds for Ipswich, which led by one at halftime but couldn't execute well enough down the stretch. The Tigers fell to 0-12. Matt Talbot (22) and Tyler Lay (20) paced Amesbury, which picked up its first win (1-12).
H-W 66, Newburyport 61: Chris Hamilton pulled down 11 rebounds and swatted away five blocks to go with his 12 points as the Generals improved to 10-2. Steve Tam had an excellent game at the point for H-W dishing out eight assists and pouring in a team-high 18 points while Jake Lindland made his presence felt with a solid 14 points of his own.
waring 44, boston university academy 42: Jack Stanton paved the way with 22 points for Waring, which improved to 5-3.
Peabody 76, Saugus 57: Brian DeAngelis poured in a team-high 24 points to go with 18 boards in one of his best games of the season for Peabody (6-8) while Steven Girolamo finished with 15 points and Jon Byrne chipped in 12 points to go with seven assists and 10 rebounds.
Peabody 96, Lynn Classical 77: The Tanners (5-3) won every event in their last meet of the regular season and third this week. Alex Strakosha won the 200-freestyle with a sectional-tournament qualifying time of 1:57.41 and also took first in the 100 breaststroke (1:10.40). Other double-winners were Christine Shea in the 200-IM (2:31.66) and the 500-freestyle (6:03.43) and Julie Shea in the 100-freestyle (1:00.72) and the 100-backstroke (1:12.06). Alex Guay won the 50-free (25.34), Michelle Manfra won the diving with a state-tournament qualifying 211 points and Zack Melville won the 100-fly (1:15.3).
Pingree 3, Newton Country Day 0: Bridget Healey's strong serving, including two aces to close out the second match, led the Highlanders (5-5) to a 25-10, 25-20, 26-24 sweep.
Bishop Fenwick 131.85, Malden 116.65: Nikki Caradonna was first on bars and beam to help the Crusaders (4-0) remain unbeaten. Meg Delory was first on floor (9.0), second on beam and third on floor while Eileen Delory and Kimmy Shinnick tied for first on vault.
Gloucester 134.75, Peabody 128.3: Shelby Coulter was first in the all around (36.3) for Peabody (3-4) taking first in the vault (9), bars (9.1), beam (9.1) and the floor (9.1). Senior Vanessa Avola stepped up to help in the all around for a Tanners team that has been battling injuries.