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Girls Hoop Roundup: Peabody wins NEC North

The Peabody High girls basketball team didn’t waste any time establishing itself in the Northeastern Conference. The Tanners defeated English, 48-45, Friday, and, in doing so, won the NEC North title.The game was a battle from the get-go, but the Tanners, who didn’t have their best shooting night, were relentless on the boards, pulling down 56 rebounds. When the two teams met earlier in the season, Peabody (13-3, 12-2 NEC) won by nine.”The kids are very happy,” Peabody coach Jane Heil said about winning the conference.Kristen Federico supplied the muscle under the hoop, scoring 13 points and collecting 19 rebounds. Lindsay Consoles had 10 points and 12 rebounds.English (11-5) led by five at the half and had a chance to tie the game at the free-throw line with 18 seconds remaining, but it didn’t happen. Jeanette Anderson had 14 points and 16 rebounds for the Bulldogs and Jenicia Duggins had 12 points and eight assists.Classical 55, Salem 53At Classical, the Rams spared coach Tom Sawyer a few gray hairs by defeating Salem to qualify for the state tournament. Classical (10-8) missed the cut last year. Had they lost to the Witches, the Rams would have needed to defeat either Northeastern Conference North champion Peabody or English, which is 11-5, to make the postseason.Keila Brown led Classical with 19 points and Pierina Mora contributed 10 with 16 rebounds. Christina McKenzie (8 points), Frances Mathieu (13 rebounds) and Bryanna Connolly (5 points) also came up big.Connolly was key down the stretch, hitting a free throw to put the Rams up by two, 55-53. Salem got the ball back and had a chance to tie or take the lead with a half of a second on the clock, but Connolly deflected the ball to end the game.Swampscott 66, Saugus 30At Swampscott, the Big Blue (16-1, 14-0 Northeastern Conference) led 36-14 at the half and never looked back. Tara Nimkar inflicted considerable damage in the paint with 21 points and Ali Beaulieu was equally tough with 19 points.Winthrop 59, Danvers 50At Winthrop, the Vikings (13-2) found themselves down by two after the third quarter, but they rectified the situation by outscoring the Falcons, 19-8. Courtney Finn had 17 points and Kristen Finn had 15 points on five threes. Four of the threes came in the first half. Katerina Mallios (14 points) and Nicole Giaquinto (11 points) rounded out the offense.Danielle Sherry had the hot hand for Danvers with 24 points. She caught fire in the final 1:10 of the first half, scoring eight points to close the gap to 32-26. The game was tight the rest of the way with Winthrop finally pulling away on a 10-2 run with about three minutes remaining. Kelly Macdonald had 16 points for Danvers.Ipswich 56, Lynnfield 32At Ipswich, the Pioneers (3-15) stayed within striking distance, trailing 40-30 after three quarters, but the Tigers came out firing in the fourth to put the game away. Alison Newell had a big night with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Abby Shove had eight rebounds.Gloucester 61, Marblehead 28At Marblehead, Gloucester freshman Hannah Cain did it again, scoring 21 points to help the Fishermen improve to 11-5. Ali Verga had 10 points.In other action, Beverly defeated Revere, 59-48.

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