NEWBURYPORT — The Newburyport boys’ basketball team (5-3) took on Cape Ann League rival Manchester Essex (5-4) at home last night and found the Hornets more than up to the challenge.
The Hornets took the Clipper defense apart to the tune of a 54-38 victory, the fifth win in the last six games..
“We’re not making any excuses,” said Clippers coach Tom L’Italien. “Everyone is coached to play a certain way, and I feel like we battled hard just to make foolish mistakes at certain times.”
The Clippers started the night quick with a deuce from Matt Canning followed by a 3-pointer from Hornet Max Nesbit. Clipper senior Ian Michaels sunk a lay-up with a booming assist from Colt Fontaine next, followed by two more from Dillon Guthro and a pair from Hornets forward Taylor Ketchum as things began to go back and forth, culminating in a 18-14 Hornets lead at the end of the quarter after Canning dropped a brick and Ketchum hit another pair.
Newburyport started the second quarter with three from Michaels, and Ketchum grabbed one at the line, then two more Hornet points were gained by Dylan Estes. Nesbit nailed three more to put the Hornets up seven. Fontaine grabbed a point and then two with a lay-up, but Craig Carter sunk a bucket to give the Hornets a six-point lead at the half.
The Hornets kept the attack going into the third quarter opening an 11-point lead a lead that the Clippers would cut to seven by the end of the quarter 39-32.
The final stanza would start off with Hornets Petey Morton nailing a 3-pointer followed by two from Michaels and a three from Fontaine to cut the Manchester Essex lead to four. But Manchester Essex would not be shaken, regaining their previous lead and then some, leaving the Clippers in the dust.