Published in the February 11, 2016 edition

SENIOR KATIE WELCH makes a great play to keep the ball from going out of bounds late in the game against Newburyport. (John Friberg Photo)

SENIOR KATIE WELCH makes a great play to keep the ball from going out of bounds late in the game against Newburyport. (John Friberg Photo)


NORTH READING — With their victory over Pentucket on Saturday, the Hornets moved into a first place tie for the Cape Ann League Kinney Division crown. They are 14–2 and currently ranked 8th in the Boston Globe Top 20.

Sunk by Clippers 59-47

The Hornets’ 11 game winning streak was snapped by the Newburyport Clippers with their 59–47 road victory over North Reading on last Tuesday night. Jess Lezon led the way with another double-double of 19 points and 14 rebounds.

It was a very evenly played first quarter. Lezon carried North Reading with 8 points and the Hornets led 14–13 after one. Early in the second Newburyport retook the lead at 19–16. The Hornets didn’t panic though and responded with a 9–0 run to take a 25–19 lead at the 3:50 mark. The Clippers managed to go back in front late in the quarter, but a bucket by junior Katerina Hassapis with 12 seconds left gave North Reading a 28–27 lead at the half.

It was a back and forth third quarter. Late in the quarter Newburyport held a slim one point lead but a three pointer with 35 seconds remaining put the Clippers up 43–39 to start the fourth. Unfortunately for the Hornets their offense evaporated in the final quarter. They were outscored 16–8 and seemed to run out of steam. Newburyport went on to the surprising 59–47 victory.

Take Down CAL Leaders Pentucket 49-41

The Hornets responded to the Newburyport loss with a huge 49–41 road victory over the Pentucket Sachems to tie the Sachems for CAL Kinney Division lead on Saturday afternoon. Jess Lezon led North Reading with 17 points and 20 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season.

North Reading shot poorly in the first quarter going 1–10 from the field. Luckily they hit four free throws and were only down 9–6 after one. It was a wild back and forth second quarter. The Hornets started the quarter well tying the game at 11 at the 6:04 mark. The Sachems answered with a 9–0 run and took a 20–11 lead with just under three minutes left in the first half.

But North Reading responded with a blistering scoring run. They outscored Pentucket by a combined 31–8 for the rest of the second quarter and the entire third to take a 42–28 lead to the fourth.

The Sachems refused to go away in final quarter. They opened the quarter on an 11–0 run cutting the lead to 42–39 at the 4:21 mark. But that would be the closest Pentucket would get as the Hornets closed the game on 7–2 run to escape with the victory.