Punch ticket to tourney with Ipswich win

Published February 13, 2020


NORTH READING — On Sunday, Feb. 2, the NRHS girls’ basketball team rebounded from their tough one-point loss at Lynnfield on Jan. 31 with a solid 43-35 win over non-league foe Wakefield.

Senior captain Ali Grasso stuffed the stat sheet with 18 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Junior Julia Howse had 14 points, five rebounds and two blocks and senior captain Lauren Sullivan added six points, 10 rebounds and three assists.

North Reading built a 24–16 halftime lead and both teams played even from there. The Hornets used stingy defense, clutch foul shooting (19-for-27), and strong rebounding (44-37 advantage) to key the win.

Escape Hamilton-Wenham with 42-41 victory

Lauren Sullivan and Julia Howse both had double-doubles to help the Hornets escape Hamilton-Wenham with a slim 42-41 victory on Feb. 4. Sullivan had 15 points, 10 rebounds and five steals and Howse had 12 points, 11 rebounds, three assists and three blocks. North Reading hit eight 3-pointers and held a 50-33 rebounding advantage to spark the win.

Fueled by four 3-pointers, North Reading got off to a strong start and led 17-8 at the end of the first quarter. The Generals slowly chipped away at the lead, cutting it to six at halftime and three points at the end of the third. Fortunately, NRHS was able to hang on for the one-point victory.

Secure monumental wire-to-wire win over Masco

Ali Grasso scored a career-high 25 points as the Hornets avenged a 25-point loss to Masconomet just 18 days before with a tremendous 56-44 victory on Friday night.

Grasso added eight rebounds, four assists and three steals and held the Chieftains two-time CAL Player of the Year to only 14 points.

Lauren Sullivan was also outstanding with 14 points, three rebounds and four assists. Sophomore Nasha Arnold showed how good she can be when completely healthy with eight points and five rebounds.

“We showed tremendous character putting the previous loss behind us which resulted in us dominating the game from start to finish,” said first-year Hornet head coach Bob Romeo who coached Masco for 17 seasons. “We hit eight 3-pointers, shot 40 percent overall for the game and played tough man-to-man defense on Masconomet’s high-powered offense.”

North Reading got off to a strong start offensively and led 17-11 after one. The momentum carried throughout the second and third quarters as NRHS outscored Masco 34-20 to extend the lead to 51-31 at the start of the fourth. The Chieftains cut the advantage down to nine midway through the final quarter but the Hornets never let it get any closer and pulled away.

North Reading beat Ipswich on Tuesday 48-23 to punch their ticket to the Div. 3 North tournament. A full story will appear next week.

The Hornets host Triton on Thursday at 7 p.m., Everett on Saturday at 5 p.m. and will participate in the Ed Gieras Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday at Danvers High.