McAuliffe carries team to 71-49 victory over Latin Academy

SENIOR Victoria Grasso hits the final shot of the game in a 71-49 Hornet victory over Boston Latin Academy on Dec. 12. (John Friberg Photo)

Published in the December 21, 2017 edition

By DAN NUNN

NORTH READING — Junior Casey McAuliffe’s superb 24-point performance carried the Lady Hornets to their 71-49 season opening victory over the visiting Boston Latin Academy Dragons on December 12. Sophomore Lauren Sullivan poured in 10 points and senior tri-captain Taylor Moore added 9 points off the bench.

McAuliffe put North Reading on her back in the first quarter. She scored 13 of their 19 points and NRHS led 19-4 after one. The offense kept rolling in the second quarter. The Hornets opened the quarter on a 20-4 run and by halftime they expanded the lead to 41-15.

It was more of the same in the third quarter. NRHS couldn’t miss and the lead ballooned to 65-24 by the end of three. Head Coach Bob Melillo emptied the bench in the final quarter which is what allowed the Dragons to cut the final score to 71-49.

Stumble at Newburyport, 32-27

The Newburyport Clippers held the Hornets to six points in the second half to turn a 21-13 halftime deficit into a 32-27 victory on Friday night. Casey McAuliffe was the only NRHS player in double figures with 11 points.

North Reading played a terrific first half for a road game. They held the Clippers to just 13 points and scored 21 of their own to go up 21-13 at the break.

Unfortunately, Newburyport gave the Hornets a taste of their own medicine in the second half. Their suffocating defense only allowed NRHS to score six points and the Clippers roared back for the five-point victory.