Hornets still alive for State Tourney berth

Feb 7, 2019 by

Published February 7, 2019

By DAN NUNN

LYNNFIELD — The Hornets record fell to 4-10 with their 46-43 home loss to the Rockport Vikings on January 29. Junior Jack Keller was the only NRHS player in double figures with 13 points.

Both offenses struggled from the field in the first half. North Reading only had five baskets and Rockport had just three. By the halftime whistle the Hornets clung to a 17-16 lead. In the third quarter, the Vikings’ offense got rolling while the Hornets continued to have trouble scoring. Rockport outscored NRHS 13-7 and took a 29-24 lead into the fourth.

In the final quarter, the visitors expanded the lead to 42-34 with 2:33 left on the clock. From that point, North Reading fought valiantly to tie it and got within two with 19 seconds left. But that would be as close as they would get and Rockport escaped with the three-point victory.

JUNIOR Greg Demetri splits the Rockport defense to get off a shot in the paint at NRHS on Jan. 29. (John Friberg Photo)

Down rival Pioneers 66-55

Led by freshman Cody Cannalonga’s 16 points and five 3-pointers the Hornets picked up their best win of the season with a 66-55 road victory over the Lynnfield Pioneers on Friday night. Junior Jack Keller added 11 points and senior captain Matt Solecki was a monster on the boards with 12 rebounds.

“By far our most complete effort of the season,” said head coach Joe Casey. “We showed some resiliency and we stepped up and made plays when we had to.”

The game did not start off well as the Hornets quickly went down 10-2. Fortunately though, after a timeout and a switch to a 2-3 zone defense NRHS roared back. The offense erupted and North Reading closed the quarter on an incredible 19-3 run to take a 21-13 lead at the end of one. The lead remained at eight for most of the second quarter.

Lynnfield fought back to trim the score to 28-26 by halftime.

Both offenses came alive in the third quarter. Every time the Pioneers closed the gap the Hornets responded. North Reading went on to outscore Lynnfield 23-16 and took a nine-point lead into the final quarter. In the fourth, NRHS built a double-digit lead and never looked back.

The Hornets beat Masco on Monday night and fell to Hamilton-Wenham on Tuesday night, both after press time. Full stories will appear in next week’s issue. North Reading travels to Masco on Friday night at 6:30 p.m.

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