Taylor’s free throws give Hornets last-second 54-53 win in Lynnfield

Jan 16, 2020 by

Published January 16, 2020

By DAN NUNN

LYNNFIELD — Junior captain Will Taylor nailed a pair of foul shots with four seconds left to give the Hornets a pulse-pounding 54-53 road victory over the arch rival Lynnfield Pioneers on Friday night. Sophomore sharpshooter Cody Cannalonga hit seven 3-pointers and was the leading scorer with 25 points.

“Will is the one we want on the line in that situation as he’s our team leader,” said head coach Joe Casey. “Big time players make big time plays when it counts and that’s exactly what Will did. I’m hoping this is a momentum builder for us.”

North Reading took an early lead and held a 13-6 advantage by the end of the first quarter. Lynnfield fought back to tie the game early in the second as NRHS allowed the Pioneers to convert on a number of offensive rebounds. But thanks to two Cannalonga 3-pointers late in the quarter, the Hornets took a 25-21 lead into halftime.

WILL TAYLOR (23) came up big for the Hornets in a high-pressure situation, hitting two free throws with his team down one in Lynnfield with four seconds left on Friday night. (Courtesy Photo)

Cannalonga knocked down two more 3’s early in third period and the lead ballooned to 37-26 midway through the quarter. But a Lynnfield timeout stopped the scoring rhythm and they got back into the game. The Pioneers closed on an 11-1 run to trim the NRHS lead to 38-37 at the start of the fourth.

The Hornet lead went up to 46-39 early in the quarter. But turnovers, poor shot selection and trouble rebounding proved to be costly and with just over 30 seconds to play the Pioneers took their first lead at 53-52 before Taylor ended the game.

Stung by Newburyport 69-52

The Newburyport Clippers handed the Hornets their fourth straight loss on January 8. North Reading had a tremendous opening quarter and led the Clippers 18-17 after one. But in the second stanza, Newburyport caught fire and NRHS had no answer for their outside shooting. The Hornets were outscored by 13 points and headed to the halftime locker room down 40-28.

The Clippers hot shooting continued in the third, the deficit got as high as 20 and North Reading couldn’t recover.

Fall at Manchester-Essex 64-52

A terrific effort on the road fell just short as the Hornets lost 64-52 to Manchester-Essex on January 7. Senior Jack Keller led the way with a career-high 15 points.

North Reading took an early lead but found themselves down eight at the break. NRHS cut the deficit down to three by the end of the third quarter and tied it up at 44-44 early in the fourth. Unfortunately, Manchester-Essex outscored the Hornets 20-8 the rest of the way to win the game going away.

The Hornets beat Boston United on Monday to improve to 4-5 and fell to Georgetown on Tuesday. Full stories will appear next week. The Hornets travel to Newburyport tonight at 6 p.m. and then play at Masco on Sunday at 1 p.m.

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