After press time: Lynnfield defeats Essex Tech 45-42 (Feb. 9)


LYNNFIELD — On Feb. 1, the Lynnfield High girls’ basketball team hosted rival North Reading looking for a season split against the Hornets who won, 56-37, back on Jan. 3 in the first meeting

The Pioneers fell 65-31 as the Hornets swept the season series.

“We were down two starters (Taylor Valiton and Erika Pasquale) and were starting three freshmen,” explained Lynnfield head coach Sue Breen.

The Hornets took command of this one in the first half leading 35-16 at the break and never looked back.

With the loss, the Pioneers fell to 5-8 overall and 4-7 in the Cape Ann League as it was their third-straight defeat. Meanwhile, North Reading improved to 10-5.

The three ninth-graders led the Pioneers in scoring this game. Faith Angelo had eight points and a team-high nine rebounds. Maeve Wertz scored eight points and pulled down four boards while Hayden Valiton had seven points and four rebounds.

For the Hornets, Bella Cannalonga led the game in scoring with 15 points, Juliet Wasilewski  and Caitlin Reilly both added 11 points each.

“They have a very good team,” acknowledged Breen. “We did play them better than the first time considering how shorthanded we were.”

On Jan. 29, the Pioneers fell to host Georgetown, 46-41.

This game was knotted at 26 at the half and Lynnfield led, 36-34, after the third quarter.

“We did not shoot well in the fourth quarter,” admitted Breen.

To make matters worse heading into the final quarter, Pasquale, who had a team-high 17 points, got injured during the third and was not able to return.

“That hurt us,” said Breen, about the junior’s injury.

Ava Gamache had nine points, four rebounds and three steals. Hayden Valiton had six points, six rebounds and a team-high five blocks.

Jackson Lasquade led the Royals with 17 points.

On Feb. 8, the Pioneers host Essex Tech at 5:30 p.m. looking to sweep the season series. They then host Waltham at 1 p.m. in a non-league contest on Feb. 11.

On Feb. 13, LHS hosts Newburyport at 5:30 p.m. The Clippers won the first meeting, 43-29, back on Jan. 12.

Lynnfield entered this week ranked 34th in the MIAA Division 3 power rankings. Only the top 32 teams automatically qualify for the tournament, regardless of record, at the end of the regular season.