The Saugus High School girls’ basketball team appears to be reaching its peak at the right time. The Sachems notched their sixth straight victory on Tuesday at Gloucester by a 43-34 score despite experiencing difficulties offensively.
The Sachems had a tough time putting the ball in the hole over the first two periods but still managed to build a 17-9 lead late in the second quarter. That’s when Gloucester senior Adelyn Richardson drilled three consecutive three-pointers to give the hosts an 18-17 edge at halftime. Saugus found itself behind by six points at one stage in the fourth quarter before grinding out a comeback win.
Guard Peyton DiBiasio finished with a team-high 16 points even though she struggled from the field. Ashleen Escobar was the other Sachem in double figures with 10 points. “Both of these players had great fourth quarters, making key shots and also knocking down free throws,” said Head Coach Mark Schruender of the late game efforts from DiBiasio and Escobar.
Schruender said there seemed to be an unusual number of inbound plays during the game. He credited Ashleigh Moore, Madi Femino and Ana Silva for doing a solid job of executing inbound passes. “The three of them made great decisions all night in these situations, including late in the game when we got a couple of key layups to pull in front on the scoreboard,” Schruender recalled.
The coach also cited the rebounding efforts of Jessica Bermberg and Devany Millerick and their ability to gain position under the glass. Schruender praised the play of his bench: Madison Botta, Taylor Deleidi, Juliana Powers and Amelia Pappagallo. “We needed everyone to play a role tonight and everyone did their job to put us in position late,” he pointed out.
Tuesday’s win left the Sachems at 11-4 overall and playoff bound. Saugus hosted Danvers on Thursday and play at Peabody next Tuesday.
The postseason-clinching 10th victory came last Wednesday at Triton, as the Sachems broke open a close game and prevailed, 59-42, over the Vikings. DiBiasio poured in a team-high 21 points, followed by Moore’s career-high 15 courtesy of five three-pointers. Escobar and Ella Castle added nine points each.
Schruender said three-point shooting and defense bailed out the Sachems against Triton, which held a 25-24 lead at halftime. He pointed to the defensive play from Bremberg, Botta and Femino despite facing a size disadvantage. “Triton presented many challenges from an athletic standpoint and a size discrepancy standpoint. It was great to see our team not back down despite the obstacles,” he observed. “The team seems to be hitting its stride at a good time, but the players are also committed to continuing to improve.”