ALLIE LANCIANI had 12 points, 4 rebounds and 2 steals in a win over Essex Tech on Feb. 15 and added 8 points in a win over Stoneham in the final game of the regular season. (Eric Evans Photo)



NORTH READING — In a rematch with Pentucket on Feb. 14 at NRHS, the Hornets battled to a close 37-33 loss to the CAL Champions.

A very slow start had North Reading trailing 10-0 after the first quarter and 18-10 at halftime but the Hornets just kept battling, eventually taking a 31-30 lead in the fourth quarter.

Pentucket made a couple of big plays down the stretch and held on for the win. Senior captain Maggie Schulz led the way for North Reading with 8 points, 6 rebounds and 2 steals while freshman Sophie Gallivan added 5 points, 4 rebounds and 5 steals.

“We did a lot of things well in the Pentucket game but it was a night where the ball just didn’t want to go in the hoop,” said coach Bob Romeo.

The very next night, North Reading traveled to Essex Tech and got a bounce-back win, 64-38. The Hornets jumped out to a commanding 20-2 first quarter lead and never looked back, getting all 15 players into the game.

Sophomore Allie Lanciani (12 points, 4 rebounds, 2 steals), senior captain Caitlin Reilly (12 points, 3 assists, 5 steals) and senior captain Bella Cannalonga (10 points, 3 assists) led the way for North Reading. Freshman Ariana Demetri added 9 points and Schulz chipped in 8.

“It was a good, bounce-back win the very next day after a disappointing loss,” said Romeo. “The girls came out with the right mindset and energy to secure the win.”


CAITLIN REILLY scored a team-high 12 points in NR’s win over Stoneham in their regular season finale after putting up 12 points, 3 assists and 5 steals in a victory over Essex Tech on Feb. 15. (Eric Evans Photo)

In the final game of the season, North Reading hosted Stoneham in a rematch from an early season defeat at Stoneham, the Hornets’ only double-digit loss of the year. This time, it was a completely different outcome with North Reading prevailing 51-37 in a very dominant effort.

Getting off to a fast 16-9 first quarter lead that was lengthened to 32-17 at halftime was the key to the game as North Reading had multiple fast break baskets during this stretch.

Reilly (12 points), Demetri (9 points), Gallivan (9 points, 10 rebounds) and Lanciani (8 points) led the scoring. Cannalonga had 7 points and 6 assists while Schulz added 6 points and 6 rebounds.

“This game was a measuring stick for how far the team has come in two months,” said Romeo. “Back on Dec. 23, we took our biggest loss of the of the season and tonight we completely turned that around with a 15-point win – a 25-point turnaround. Give credit to the girls for coming into the gym every day and just working to get better.”

The Hornets will now wait for their state tournament pairing, which will be announced this Saturday. North Reading was ranked No. 24 in the latest Div. 3 power rankings that were released on Tuesday.