Published February 24, 2021


NORTH READING — It was a heartbreaker for the Lynnfield High boys’ basketball team on Feb. 17 in the Cape Ann League Kinney Division semifinal game at North Reading. Leading 57-49, the Pioneers were outscored 10-0 in the final 2:50 as they were edged 59-57.

JACK FORD looks for a teammate while head coach John Bakopolus looks on during Lynnfield’s semifinal playoff game against North Reading on Feb. 17. Ford had 16 points and eight assists. (Dan Tomasello Photo)

With that defeat, the third-seeded Pioneers ended up at 4-7 overall. The second-seeded Hornets, meanwhile, ended up falling to top-seeded Newburyport 65-50 in the final on Feb. 19 to end up at 6-6..

“It was a tough loss,” admitted Pioneers first year head coach John Bakopolus. “Their hot shooter hit a couple of big 3-pointers and we missed a couple of key free throws.”

The Hornets, who won the regular-season meeting by 12 points, led this one 33-26 at the half. The Pioneers then played their best quarter of the game in the third outscoring North Reading 18-11 to tie it at 44 heading into the fourth.

The momentum from the third continued in the fourth for the locals as they were able to build their lead to nine points and kept it at eight with just under three minutes left.

In the game’s final moments, Lynnfield missed a three-point attempt and fouled with a couple of seconds left. The Hornets then missed the first of the one-and-one as the Pioneers got the rebound but the half-court shot at the buzzer was no good to end the game.

Blake Peters led the Pioneers with 18 points while Luke Martinho had a double-double with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jack Ford had 16 points and a team-high eight assists.

The Pioneers were also missing their top rebounder, Dante Gesamondo, who was out with an injury.

Cody Cannalonga led the Hornets in scoring with 14 points while Will Taylor and Casey O’Connor both chipped in 13 points each.