With everything Avery Hallinan – and the rest of the Amesbury senior class, for that matter – had already achieved in their careers, there was really only one big milestone left before this winter.
Win a state championship.
Hallinan was already a three-time Daily News All-Star, our reigning MVP and two-time CAL Baker MVP before the season. And from a team perspective, Amesbury had won three straight CAL Baker titles and twice qualified for the North Division 3 Finals with her as the top scorer. But that “elusive” state title, which is of course extremely difficult to earn, was the only thing missing to cap off his brilliant high school resume.
Well, that’s no longer the case.
Hallinan, our Daily News MVP for the second consecutive year, helped carry Amesbury to the top of the mountain. She led the region in scoring at 22.4 ppg and averaged an impressive 26.4 ppg over five playoff games to lift Amesbury to the program’s first-ever state title with a dominating 57- 31 over Millbury in the Division 4 Championship game. When times got tough and the team just needed a basket, Hallinan’s number 11 was always called.
“Avery is probably one of the most coachable and hardworking kids I’ve ever had in terms of all the little things she does,” Amesbury coach Gregg Dollas said during the season. “She’s been amazing for the past four years.”
For a high school swan song, this was a perfect way for Hallinan to hang out.
She scored a game-high 20 points in the Division 4 title game, and it came after she was down 29 in the semi-final win over South Hadley (roughly three-quarters) and 33 in a win in the playoff opener against Cape Cod Tech. Of course, the playoffs wouldn’t have been possible without his dominating regular season which saw Amesbury win the CAL Baker title again, while Hallinan was named league MVP for the third year in a row. As for regular season highlights, she scored 31 against Hamilton-Wenham in the St. Mary’s tournament final and had perhaps her best game of her career when she exploded for a high of the season’s 39 points in a win against a Newburyport side that were unbeaten at the time.
Hallinan will continue his basketball career at Endicott College. She leaves having scored 1,298 career points (560 this season), which ties her with former teammate Flannery O’Connor for the most in program history.
Amesbury, father, striker
Twice Daily News All-Star. All-CAL twice. The quad-captain helped lead Amesbury (21-4) to the Division 4 State Championship. The talented forward averaged 9.0 points per game while being one of the best rebounders in the team. Also showed outside contact with 13 3s. Scored a season-high 21 points against Hamilton-Wenham to help the team win St. Mary’s first-ever tournament. Had 14 points, 8 boards and 3 blocks in playoff win over Frontier. Helped Amesbury win CAL Baker’s fourth consecutive title. The reigning Daily News Softball MVP signed up for Boston University Division 1 to play for former Amesbury legend Ashley Waters.
Amesbury, father, guard
Three-time Daily News All-Star. The quad-captain selected All-CAL after being named CAL All-Star the previous two years. The sniper averaged 10.2 ppg with a team-best 39 3s. Scored 14 points with four 3s to help Amesbury (21-4) beat Millbury, 57-31, to win the Division 4 State Championship. Elite defender committed to play at Framingham State. Dropped a season-high 22 points in a win over Manchester-Essex and another 21 in a win over Triton. Both helped Amesbury win the CAL Baker title for the fourth year in a row. Also helped the program win the first-ever St. Mary’s Tournament.
Amesbury, father, guard
CAL All Star. The quad-captain was a starting point guard and offensive facilitator for Division 4 state champion Amesbury (21-4). Hit clutchless pitches down the stretch and finish with 10 points to win the State of the Ice Semi-Final against South Hadley. Dropped a season-high 16 points against North Reading. Another 13 against Manchester-Essex and 12 against Groton, both wins. Average of 4.9 ppg. Defensive scorer. Helped Amesbury also win CAL Baker’s fourth consecutive title and St. Mary’s first-ever Tournament title. Daily News Soccer All-Star has committed to play at UMass Boston.
Newburyport, Jr., guard
Electric Guard was a three-time Daily News All-Star. Two-time All-CAL after being named CAL All-Star as a freshman. Average of 11.7 ppg. Helped the Clippers (19-3) advance to the Division 2 Round of 16. Averaged 15.5 points per game in two playoff games, scoring 15 points in the win over Shepherd Hill. Dropped a season-high 19 points in the win over Pentucket. Scored 17 points in the win over North Andover in the Gieras Games Finals, winning Team All-Tourney. Helped the Clippers win the Institution for Savings Holiday Tournament and was named to the All-Tourney team. Also an outstanding defender.
Newburyport, Jr., guard
Now twice Daily News All-Star and twice All-CAL. The lightning-fast guard averaged 10.2 ppg and showed outside contact with 18 3s. Helped the Clippers (19-3) advance to the Division 2 Round of 16. Created a 1-2 guard combo with Makenna Ward that facilitated the Clipper’s dynamic offense with an average of 55, 7ppg. Dropped a season-high 16 points in the win over Pentucket. Still 14 points against Lawrence and 13 against Manchester-Essex, both wins. A standout football player was the Daily News MVP this fall, helping the Clippers win the CAL Kinney title.
Newburyport, Jr., Forward
The dominating All-CAL forward burst onto the scene in the junior breakout season. Finished second in the region with 17.7 points per game and was also the team’s leading rebounder. Helped the Clippers (19-3) advance to the Division 2 Round of 16. Scored in double figures in every game and appeared in seven 20-point games. Soared for a season-high 31 points against Haverhill and also 26 against Triton, both wins. Named MVP of the Gieres Games and the Institution for Savings Holiday Tournament. Scored 21 points in playoff win over Shepherd Hill. The grandfather, Bob Foley, is a legendary coach at St. John’s Shrewsbury.
Pentucket, father, striker
All-CAL. He became the Pentucket’s starting center and averaged 8.7 points per game while being one of the league’s top rebounders. The co-captain helped Pentucket (18-5) reach the Division 2 Round of 16. Scored a season-high 18 points against eventual Division 3 state champion St. Mary’s . Had 9 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Amesbury. Still 14 points and 20 boards against a strong Cathedral team. Helped lead Pentucket past Newburyport to win CAL Kinney title. Daily News Lacrosse All-Star last spring and Daily News Field Hockey MVP this fall. Committed to playing lacrosse in Iona.
Pentucket, Soph., Guard
Crafty Guard had a second breakout year and was named All-CAL. Average of 9.8 ppg. The three-level scorer can hit the basket and also hit 15 3s. Helped Pentucket (18-5) advance to the Division 2 Round of 16. Scored 14 points in the win over Newburyport that clinched the CAL Kinney title for Pentucket. Played his best against the best competition. Had 13 points against eventual Division 3 state champions St. Mary’s as well as North Quincy in the playoffs. Dropped a season-high 21 points in the win over Division 4 State Champion Amesbury. Also outstanding in defense.
Pentucket, Jr., guard
MVP of CAL Kinney. Averaged 13.2 points, 5.0 boards, 3.0 assists and 2.5 steals while leading the zone with 53 3s. Led Pentucket (18-5) to the CAL Kinney title and the Division 2 Round of 16. Scored a team-high 15 points with three 3s against undefeated North Quincy in the playoffs. Had a team-high 18 points in CAL Kinney’s decisive victory over Newburyport. Scored 19 points against D3 State Champion St. Mary’s. Dropped a season-high 20 points with five 3s in a win over Lynnfield. Average of 7.1 ppg in second year. Captain elected for the 2022-23 season. Also cross-country courses and outdoor track.
Amesbury— Sami Kimball, Jr., forward
Georgetown— Carena Ziolkowski, Jr., guard; Marley Morrison, Jr., guard
Newburyport— Sydney Turner, Sr., striker; Olivia McDonald, Soph., guard
Pentucket— Alyssa Thompson, Jr., guard; Audrey Conover, Jr., guard
Newt — Molly Kimball, Sr., guard; Caitlin Frary, Jr., guard; Kendall Liebert, Sophie, striker