Published January 31, 2019
By DAN NUNN
WEST NEWBURY — The Hornets upset bid fell short as they were defeated on the road by the 13-2 Pentucket Sachems 57-46 on Friday night. Junior Jack Keller led North Reading with 11 points. Senior captain Ryan Connor added nine points and freshman Cody Cannalonga chipped in with eight points.
With the loss, NRHS falls to 4-9 and now needs to win six of their last seven games to qualify for the state tournament.
“This was by far our most complete effort of the season,” said head coach Joe Casey. “We got great efforts from a lot of guys. If we have any hope of making a run in the next couple of weeks we are going to have to play like we did tonight.”
The Hornets stayed within reach for most of the first quarter and were only down 17-10 at the end of one. Fueled by superb defense, North Reading trimmed down the lead in the second quarter. They held the Sachems to just eight points. Connor hit two long 3-pointers, senior Ryan Landers had two inside hoops and NRHS only trailed 25-24 at the half.
The good vibes continued at the start of the third quarter as senior captain Matt Solecki nailed a 3-pointer to give the Hornets a 27-25 lead. Unfortunately, the lead was short-lived as Pentucket responded with an 8-0 run and ended up scoring 23 points in the quarter. North Reading trailed by 12 at the start of the fourth and couldn’t manage to catch the Sachems.
The Hornets fell to Rockport on Tuesday night after press time. A full story will appear next week.
North Reading travels to Lynnfield (7-8) on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. and hosts Masco (2-9) on Monday at 7 p.m.