PHOTO BY BOB ROCHE
Peabody forward Catherine Manning goes in for a layup past Fenwick’s Olivia DiPietro.
By ANNE MARIE TOBIN
PEABODY — It may not have been pretty at times, but not even a dozen or so missed layups and free throws could dampen the celebratory feeling at the Bishop Fenwick gymnasium yesterday afternoon. The Crusaders’ girls basketball team (7-3) unfurled their 2016 state championship game prior to its game against cross-city rival Peabody (4-4), then simply outran the Tanners en route to a 67-52 win.
The members of that team along with former Fenwick greats Cheryl Murtaugh (‘77), Kerri Burke (‘03) and Amy Pelletier (‘11) were honored in a pre-game ceremony in which they were presented with special plaques of recognition cleverly fashioned from the the original 1959 bleachers that had been replaced over the summer.
“I felt bad that we didn’t play our best on this day with so many alums back, but winning on the day we hung the banner was good,” Fenwick coach Adam DeBaggis said. “We missed a lot of layups, and a lot of free throws that, had we made half of them, would have taken a lot of pressure off, but overall it was a good day;”
Senior captain Sam Mancinelli and sophomore Jaxson Nadeau had double-doubles. Mancinelli scored a season-high 22 points with 10 rebounds, eight steals and three assists, while Nadeau finished with 14 points, 10 rebounds, seven steals and three assists.
Fenwick carried the momentum from the ceremony onto the court, forcing three straight Peabody turnovers to grab a quick 5-0 lead. Peabody battled back to take a 13-12 lead after one quarter. The second quarter was back-and-forth until the final minute when Mancinelli and Nadeau hit back-to-back threes and Mancinelli had a putback off her own offensive rebound to complete an 8-0 run that quickly turned a three-point Tanner deficit into 11, 32-21, at the half.
Fenwick piled on to open the third quarter with a 7-0 run to put Peabody in a big hole, trailing 39-21.
“Stretching out that lead just before halftime was huge, and then we got a fast start in the third quarter as well, so all of a sudden it went from a five point game to a really big lead,” DeBaggis said.
Peabody senior captain Melissa Gray stopped the bleeding with 3-pointer. Unfortunately for the Tanners, the closest they would come the rest of the way was nine points (41-32) after a steal and pull up jumper by Gray, who finished with a double-double (20 points, 11 rebounds). Fellow senior captain Katie Wallace (9 points) put the Tanners on her back in the fourth quarter, scoring nine of her team’s 16 points, but it wasn’t enough. Senior captain Alyssa Alperen also scored nine, while Catherine Manning (7 rebounds) scored seven, Nene Onwuogo (7 rebounds) scored six before fouling out. Hannah Pellizzaro chipped in one point.
Peabody coach Stan McKeen was happy with the Tanners’ effort but felt they made it too easy for Fenwick,
“Our biggest problem was not getting back on defense, we gave them too many easy baskets and simply did not box out,” he said. “When you miss shots, you have to get back on defense and we didn’t. The put a lot of pressure on us the whole game, and I think fatigue played was a factor, especially at the end. That’s what makes Fenwick a good team.”