SENIOR CAPTAINS Rose Morelli (10) and Riley Cullen (45) had great games in NR’s win over Triton on Feb. 11. Morelli had 10 points in the first quarter and Cullen finished with 15 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals. (File Photo)


NORTH READING — The NRHS girls’ basketball team split a pair of games last week with a road loss at Pentucket and a home win against Triton. With a road win over Danvers on Monday, the team stands at 6-6 in the CAL and 9-8 overall, just one win away from automatically qualifying for the state tournament.

On Tuesday, Pentucket prevailed 47-27 in a game where they opened up a 16-6 first quarter lead and kept adding at each checkpoint. The relentless Pentucket defense forced 28 NRHS turnovers and contested all shots. Sophomore Bella Cannalonga was a bright spot for the Hornets with 7 points and 6 rebounds.

On Friday, the Hornets hosted Triton in a rematch from an early season loss at Triton and recorded an impressive 50-43 win to avenge the early season loss. A fast start had NRHS up 19-12 at the end of the first quarter but Triton closed it to 27-25 at halftime.

Senior Rose Morelli had a great first quarter with 10 points but unfortunately suffered a leg injury that kept her out of action the rest of the night. An early third quarter bucket by Triton gave them a very brief lead before senior Riley Cullen began taking over the game offensively (15 points, 9 rebounds, 4 steals) and the Hornets led 42-33 after three quarters.

Juniors Brianne Slattery (13 points, 2 assists, 2 steals) and Faith Newton (6 points, 8 rebounds) provided additional scoring while Senior Kayla Imbriano continued her relentless rebounding (8) and defense along with Bella Cannalonga’s outstanding ball handling and defense (5 rebounds).

“We have continued to improve throughout the season and have now gone 7-3 since our 1-5 start,” said head coach Bob Romeo. “We are playing more connected as a team at both the offensive and defensive end. We will need to continue to play well to secure a state tournament birth and a potential home game.”

The Hornets have a busy week ahead finishing up the regular season with games on Wednesday against Lynnfield (after press time) followed by home games Friday vs. Beverly at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday vs Stoneham at 5 p.m.