Published in the December 31, 2015 edition
By DAN NUNN
Home Opener Spoiled by Sachems
NORTH READING — The unbeaten Pentucket Sachems spoiled the Lady Hornets home opener with their 54–42 victory on December 21. Senior captain Jess Lezon recorded her third double-double of the season with 15 points and 17 rebounds.
Lezon gave North Reading a quick lead 19 seconds into the game. Unfortunately the Sachems outscored the Hornets 36–14 the rest of the first half and took a 36–16 lead into the half.
Pentucket increased the lead to 21 in the third quarter. But the Hornets responded with a 19–4 run bridging the third and fourth quarters and only found themselves down 46–40 with 2:53 left. But that was as close as they would get and the Sachems went on victory.
Dismantle Charlestown 71–20
Twelve Hornets scored enroute to their astounding 71–20 victory over the Charlestown Townies on December 23. Seniors Ciera Mastascusa and Jess Lezon led the way with 12 points apiece.
Right from the opening tip it was clear North Reading was the superior team. The Hornets scored the first 10 points of the game and raced out to a 28–5 lead at the end of the first quarter. Things got even worse for the Townies in the second. They were outscored 15–2 and North Reading held a commanding 43–7 halftime lead.
Nothing changed in the second half, even though North Reading rested the starters for most of the second half. The Hornets were on cruise control and by the final whistle the lead had ballooned to 51.
Sting Winthrop, 52–27
The Hornets downed the Winthrop Vikings 52–27 in the first round of the Pope John Christmas Tournament. Senior captain Carly Swartz led North Reading with 10 points.
It was a defensive battle in the first quarter. Midway through the score was tied at 4–4. But from that point on the Hornets dominated the rest of the first half. The offense erupted on a 26–8 run and North Reading took a 30–12 lead at the half.
The Hornets continued to shut down the Vikings in the second half. They outscored Winthrop 22–15 and went on to the impressive 25 point victory.
Down Lowell, 63-54
Behind Jess Lezon’s monster 23 point 23 rebound performance the Hornets downed the Division 1 Lowell Red Raiders 63–54 to claim the Pope John Christmas Tournament Championship. Carly Swartz added 14 points.
The Red Raiders got off to a good start and were up 7–3 midway through the first quarter. But North Reading fought back to tie it up at 11–11 by the end of the quarter. Lowell retook the lead early in the second quarter. The Hornets responded with a 14–6 run to close the half to take a 27–22 lead at the half.
Junior Katerina Hassapis opened the second half with a bucket to extend the lead to seven. The Red Raiders turned things around however with an 8-0 run to take the lead back at 30–29. Lowell maintained a 38–36 lead at the end of the third quarter. North Reading lived at the free throw line in the fourth quarter. They went 15–18 from the line and salted away the impressive victory.