Published in the December 24, 2015 edition
By DAN NUNN
Down Masco, 52–46
NORTH READING — The Coach Bob Melillo era got off to an impressive start with the Lady Hornets 52–46 season–opening road victory over the Masconomet Chieftains on December 15. Senior captain Jess Lezon was outstanding and was one block away from a triple-double with 12 points, 17 rebounds and 9 blocks. Senior captain Carly Swartz was the leading scorer with 16 points.
Both offenses got rolling early in the first quarter and the score was 6–6 at the 5:32 mark. But after back to back three pointers by Swartz and junior Katerina Hassapis North Reading took a 12–6 lead. The lead was short lived however as Masco closed the quarter on a 9–0 run to take a 15–12 lead after one. It was a defensive battle in the second with both teams combining for 10 points and the Chieftains clung to a 19–18 halftime lead.
North Reading’s offense caught fire in the third quarter. They opened the quarter on a 12–4 run and found themselves up 30–23 at 3:41. The Hornets went on to outscore Masco 18-8 and took a 36–28 lead into the final quarter. The lead got as big as 11 in the fourth and no smaller than five. North Reading went on to the hard fought six point victory.
Senior Tristan Hoffman chipped in 11 points for the Hornets, Hassapis added 8, Casey McAuliffe added 3 and Julia McDonald added 2.
Crush Clippers 56-30
The Hornets followed up their win over Masco with a lopsided 56-30 victory over the host Newburyport Clippers on Friday night. Carly Swartz led the way with 16 points and 6 assists. Junior Katerina Hassapis chipped in with 12 points.
North Reading opened the game with nine unanswered points and raced out to a 12–2 lead at the 3:38 mark of the first quarter. The Clippers cut the lead to seven at the end the first but by the midpoint of the second quarter the Hornet lead ballooned to 24–11. The halftime lead was 29–16.
North Reading put the game away in the third. They outscored Newburyport 14–7 and took a 20 point lead into the fourth quarter. The Hornets were on cruise control in the fourth and coasted to the 56-30 victory.
Fall to Pentucket
The girls lost their first game of the season Monday night at home, 54–42 against a talented Penucket team. They hope to bounce back Wednesday night in their second home game against Charlestown.