LEOMINSTER — It is rare for a basketball team to look like they are in mid-season form in late June, but the performance the North Middlesex girls put forth Wednesday night made it look like they were ready for the upcoming season right now.
The Lady Patriots were quite simply dominate, running out to a 29-0 lead behind an efficient offense and suffocating defense en route to a 51-11 victory over Parker at Sky View Middle School.
Early on, it was North Middlesex’s defense that was the star of the show. Through the first eight minutes, the Lady Patriots forced 12 turnovers, helping them run out to an 8-0 lead. Julia Murray started the scoring with an offensive rebound and put back. Marissa Amichetti hit for a lay-up before Olivia Cappucci hit for consecutive jumper off Kim Morgan feeds to make it an eight-point game.
Over the remainder of the half, North Middlesex never eased up, padding its lead with 13 more points. Morgan connected on a short jumper and lay-up off an Amichetti feed while Elena Beauregard and Cappucci connected on long three-pointers from the wing as the Lady Patriots held a 21-point advantage at the break.
The first half was a truly dominant show of basketball for North Middlesex. They forced 20 turnovers while only committing five, held a 24-9 advantage on the boards and blanked their opponent through 20 minutes.
At the beginning of the second half, the Lady Patriots continued their stellar play with eight straight points. Amichetti was the catalyst, knocking down a pull-up 17-foot jumper, hitting a lay-up off a great look from Christiana Roszik and a short jumper off a Morgan feed as the lead grew to 29-0.
Allie McNulty ended the shutout, hitting on a short jumper with 15:52 left to get Parker on the board and Katie Williamson soon added a three-pointer to make it 33-5, but North Middlesex responded with a 10-0 run to extend the advantage. Maddie Balassie, a late arrival, made her presence felt by knocking down a pair of 14-foot jumpers and adding a put back off an offensive rebound. When Amichetti converted a lay-up off a Morgan feed, the lead was now 43-5.
Despite not having a lot go their way, Parker continued to fight hard to the end, scoring six of the last 14 points. McNulty, Williamson and Kate Belanger all hit for buckets, but it was the Lady Patriots night. Morgan, Murray, Osborne and Balassie all scored in the final minutes as North Middlesex eased their way to a 40-point win.
Cappucci paced the Lady Patriots with 12 points and a pair of steals. Amichetti finished with 10 points, 10 rebounds (six offensive) and two steals. Morgan (eight boards, five assists and four steals) and Balassie each added eight points. Roszik chipped in four points, five rebounds and four steals while Emily Valacer pitched in two points and 10 boards.
Williamson led Parker with five points and pair of blocked shots while McNulty scored four points and grabbed seven rebounds.