Classical girls basketball shows its resiliency in OT victory over Winthrop
Masse’s clutch FTs seal Rams’ 50-48 victory
By Cary Shuman
Lynn Classical and Winthrop have competed in numerous hard-fought contests during Tom Sawyer’s tenure as coach and prior to that when Gene Constantino roamed the Rams’ sidelines.
Tuesday night’s early-season NEC encounter followed that pattern as the teams produced a barnburner that needed an extra period to determine the victor.
Classical’s senior guard Jazzmine Masse had the last word with three clutch free throws in overtime to hold off Winthrop for a 50-48 victory before an enthusiastic home crowd that included Mr. Constantino at courtside.
The Rams were not only clutch, but resilient in fighting back against Winthrop, who itself had stormed back from a seven-point, fourth-quarter deficit, highlighted by a Lily Pulsifer three-pointer with 18 seconds left that forced overtime.
But after a pre-overtime pep talk by Sawyer, the Rams showed their resiliency by quickly gaining the upper hand with sophomore guard Jean Gupton-Morrision leading the charge. Gupton-Morriston finished with 13 points, including a basket and two free throws in overtime.
Senior forward Skylar Crayton was also a standout in victory with 14 points while her sister, Amber Crayton, contributed 10 points.
Senior guard Rebecca Walker, who epitomized Classical’s end-to-end, pressure defense and basketball-sharing offense, scored on a drive to the basket and it was her long-range, three-pointer that gave the Rams a 35-31 lead after three periods.
With the game on the line in overtime, Masse stepped to the line and hit 3-of-4 free throws to give Classical a 50-45 advantage with less than a minute to play.
Winthrop’s Carolyn Kinsella hit a three-pointer to close the gap before Winthrop missed the potential game-tying basket at the buzzer.
Sawyer, whose team improved to 2-0, was pleased with Classical’s overall performance.
“That’s a big win against a talented team,” said Sawyer. “I give my kids all the credit in the world for sticking with it. We had a chance to win at the end, and that’s hard to come back in overtime after not executing a play at the end of regulation, but to my kids’ credit, they were able to take care of business in the overtime.”
Sawyer said Masse and Gupton-Morrison were particularly clutch in the overtime. “Those were huge free throws in overtime. Everyone rose to the occasion.”
The Rams won their season opener, 61-27, over Somerville. Gupton-Morrison led all scorers with 15 points. Amber Crayon had 13 points.
“It feels good to be 2-0,” said Sawyer. “We only play eight home games, so you really have to try to protect your homecourt, so it makes it even bigger to win these games.”
Classical was set to play at Swampscott Thursday and in the Walter Boverini Tournament on Dec. 27 versus Lynn English.
Lynn Classical offering basketball clinics
Lynn Classical girls basketball is excited to offer 4 basketball clinics for lynn girls in grades 4 through 8.
The Lynn Classical coaching staff (varsity coaches Tom Sawyer and Helen Ridley and junior varsity coach Rob Smith) with help from current Classical girls basketball players are excited to offer 4 free basketball clinics for Lynn girls in grades 4 through 8. The clinics will be at Lynn Classical High School on the following dates and times: Saturday, Jan. 5 – 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 19 – 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 26 – 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Feb. 9 – 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
The clinics are to help players at any level improve their basketball skills (ball handling, shooting, passing, defense, etc.) in a fun environment. We will include some game play to give the players an opportunity to use their basketball skills in game situations.
Please contact Lynn Classical coach Helen Ridley at [email protected] to reserve your spot.