Published March 7, 2019

SENIOR CAPTAIN Mia DeNofrio puts up a shot in the lane early during the Hornets’ first round matchup in Swampscott. (John Friberg Photo)


SWAMPSCOTT — The Hornets’ valiant fourth quarter comeback came up short and their season came to an abrupt end at the hands of the host Swampscott Big Blue who defeated North Reading 49-47 in the Division 2 North girls’ basketball quarterfinals on Feb. 27.

ALI GRASSO drives past a Swampscott opponent on the baseline. The junior guard scored a team-high 16 points for North Reading during their 49-47 loss in the Div. 2 North first round. (John Friberg Photo)

Junior Ali Grasso led the way for NRHS with 16 points. Sophomore Julia Howse had a strong game with 15 points, senior co-captain Casey McAuliffe added eight points and junior Lauren Sullivan contributed seven.  North Reading finished the season with a record of 14-7.

It was a tight first half. The Big Blue hit a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter to go ahead 15-14 after one and by halftime they extended the lead to three at 24-21. But in the third quarter, things got worse for NRHS. They were outscored 15-8 and trailed 39-29 at the beginning of the fourth quarter.

The Hornets tried to battle back in the fourth and trimmed the lead to three with under a minute to go. Unfortunately, Swampscott hit two late free throws to go up by five to make Sullivan’s 3-pointer at the buzzer insignificant.