By Greg Phipps
Coming off a tough overtime loss to Everett the night before, the Peabody girls’ basketball team fell behind by 21 points to the Beverly Panthers in the first half last Friday night at the PHS Gym. The Tanners never recovered on their way to a 49-29 defeat.
Peabody also lost at Newburyport on Monday to drop to 6-10 on the season. The Tanners hosted Gloucester on Tuesday and were in the position of having to win their final four regular-season games to qualify for the postseason tournament.
“We had a lot of shots around the basket that didn’t fall for us tonight. We just couldn’t buy a basket in the first half,” said Peabody head coach Stan McKeen after the Beverly contest. “And I don’t think it helped to have games on back-to-back nights. We left it all on the court [in the Everett game] and didn’t have our legs tonight. Not having Jordan [Muse] hurt us, too. She’s our point guard and she runs our offense.”
Muse reportedly injured her nose in the 60-55 OT loss to Everett last Thursday. Catherine Manning netted 13 points and grabbed 17 boards, and Serena Laro collected six points and seven steals in that game. Peabody struggled from the foul line in the fourth quarter against Everett, missing 11 of 12 free throws.
In the Beverly tilt, Hailey Anderson’s 24 points, including six three-pointers, and Alyssa Moreland’s 13 points and 18 rebounds led the visiting Panthers, as they rolled out to a commanding 30-9 lead at halftime. Peabody played better over the final two quarters but couldn’t muster a serious comeback bid. Georgia Leon drained five field goals and was the high-scorer for the Tanners with 10 points, followed by Liz Zaiter with nine.
Despite the double-digit loss, McKeen liked his team’s effort under the circumstances. “That Everett game was a tough one. The kids did a good job playing on consecutive nights. They didn’t give up and they played hard,” he said. The Tanners had won three straight before the Everett defeat but were riding a three-game losing streak entering Tuesday’s clash against Gloucester.
JV wins by one
In last Friday’s junior varsity game, Juliana Cimino scored the game-winning basket and Aja Alimonti connected on a late three-pointer to lift Peabody to a 19-18 win over Beverly.