By DAN NUNN
NORTH READING — The Newburyport Clippers used a fourth quarter comeback to escape North Reading with a 46-44 road victory on Friday night.
Junior Justin Dorosh was the leading scorer for the Hornets for the fifth straight game with 16 points.
The Clippers couldn’t handle the Hornets’ full court press in the first quarter. Senior Derek Hogan hit two big 3’s and North Reading led 14-6 after one.
They extended the lead to 22-13 at the 5:36 mark of the second quarter. But the Hornets didn’t close the half well. The momentum turned in Newburyport’s favor and the Clippers closed out the first half on a 13-4 run to tie it at 26-26 at the half.
Hope runs high in 3rd
North Reading responded to take back the lead in the third quarter. They outscored the Clippers by five and took a 40-35 lead into the fourth.
Unfortunately the Hornets’ offense fell apart in the fourth quarter. North Reading only had two baskets in the entire quarter. Newburyport outscored them 11-4 and escaped with the two-point victory.
With the loss, North Reading’s record fell to 6-8 overall and 4-7 for fifth place in the Cape Ann League’s large school standings in a two-way tie with Triton. The Clippers rose to fourth place in the league standings at 6-5.
The Hornets will play three of their next four games on the road. They traveled to Triton Wednesday night, after press time, in a game that was postponed from Tuesday due to the snowstorm on Monday. On Thursday North Reading travels to Notre Dame Cristo Rey for a 5:30 p.m. start.
On Friday night they head to Hamilton-Wenham for a 6:30 p.m. tip-off. The undefeated Generals are currently in first place in the CAL large (11-0) and 12-0 overall. Next Tuesday, Feb. 10, North Reading hosts Masconomet in a 7 p.m. tip-off.