The expectations were high for Cam Keliher heading into the basketball season, but by all metrics, he exceeded them. And as the lone senior captain for Amesbury this winter, he certainly made sure to go out on a high note.
Keliher, our 2021-22 Daily News Boys Basketball MVP, was a threat from anywhere on the court.
The 6-foot-2 guard finished second in the area in scoring (20.1 ppg) and fourth in the area in made 3s (47). He scored a season-high 32 points against CAL Baker co-champion Manchester-Essex, and, as the team’s point guard, guided Amesbury (13-9) to the Division 4 Round of 16. In Amesbury’s playoff opener on the road against South Hadley, he shook off the fatigue of a long bus ride and dropped a team-high 16 points in a convincing 65-43 win.
But Keliher’s best game might have come early against Georgetown.
With his team trailing late to the eventual CAL Baker co-champion Royals, Keliher scored the game’s last 9 points and finished with 28 on the night in a 60-53 win. Other notable performances were a 31-point game in a win over Hamilton-Wenham, 28 points against Chelmsford, 24 in a win over Pentucket and 22 in a win over Triton. Amesbury lost a close one, 74-62, to rival Newburyport, but he still led all scorers with 25 points. And besides scoring, ball-handling and getting Amesbury into its offense, he was also one of the team’s top rebounders.
It’s why, at the end of the season, Keliher was voted CAL Baker MVP.
And that only added to his list of accolades.
Keliher was both a Daily News All-Star and an All-CAL selection as a junior last winter after he averaged 17.8 ppg. His adept scoring touch landed him an offer to Endicott College, where he committed to shortly after — following in the college basketball footsteps of his older brother, Jaden, who currently plays at Wheaton College.
And on Feb. 18, in Amesbury’s regular season finale against KIPP Academy, Keliher dropped 23 in a 63-38 win to eclipse 1,000 points. He became the 9th Amesbury athlete — boy or girl — to reach the milestone, and he finished his career two games later with 1,028 total points.
Amesbury, Sr., Forward
All-CAL selection. Top rebounder drastically improved offensively and finished fifth in the area in scoring (14.9 ppg). Formed 1-2 scoring punch with Cam Keliher to help Amesbury (13-9) reach the Division 4 Round of 16. Scored 15 points in playoff-opening win over South Hadley. Dropped season-high 25 points against CAL Baker co-champion Georgetown. Scored 22 points against CAL Baker co-champion Manchester-Essex, game-high 21 in win over Hamilton-Wenham and another game-high 23 in win over Ipswich. Showed outside touch with 13 3s. Daily News Honorable Mention as a junior.
Georgetown, Sr., Forward
Excellent all-around player finishes career as three-time Daily News All-Star. Two-time All-CAL selection. Crafty 6-foot-3 lefty finished fourth in area in scoring (16.8 ppg) while also hitting 26 3s. Tri-captain led Royals (15-7) to Division 4 Round of 16. Scored game-high 16 points to lead Royals over Manchester-Essex and to share of program’s first CAL Baker title since 2009. Scored 27 points in playoff-opening win over Clinton. Dropped career-high 40 points with 6 3s against Swampscott. Scored 22, 20 and 20 in wins over Pentucket, Tewksbury and Amesbury.
Georgetown, Jr., Forward
All-CAL selection. Dominant 6-foot-4 big man averaged 14.1 ppg and was team’s top rebounder and rim protector. Helped Royals (15-7) advance to Division 4 Round of 16 and claim share of program’s first CAL Baker title since 2009. Had monster 20-point, 17-rebound game in playoff win over Clinton. Dropped season-high 30 points against Division 1 Dracut. Scored 17 to lift Royals to first win at Triton in a decade. Game-high 18 points in win over CAL Kinney champion Newburyport and 19 in win over Ipswich. Daily News Honorable Mention as a sophomore after averaging 9.8 ppg in limited time before season was cancelled.
Georgetown, Sr., Guard
CAL All-Star. Sharpshooter averaged 11.2 ppg and was second in area with 63 3s. Finished as program’s all-time leader in career 3s made. Tri-captain helped Royals (15-7) advance to Division 4 Round of 16 and claim share of program’s first CAL Baker title since 2009. Had 20 points on five 3s in playoff loss to Burke. Drained seven 3s and had season-high 28 points in win over Amesbury. Another 17 points on five 3s in win over Newburyport. Hit at least three 3s in 14 games. Daily News football All-Star and Wesleyan commit hauled in 78 catches for an area-record 1,375 yards and 11 touchdowns this fall.
Newburyport, Sr., Guard
Elite scorer enjoyed huge rise from last person off the bench as a junior to an All-CAL selection as a senior. Averaged team-high 14.4 ppg and led the area with 64 3s. Quad-captain helped Clippers (14-8) win program’s fourth consecutive CAL Kinney title. Dropped 26 points on seven 3s in Division 2 playoff win over Marblehead. Averaged 23.0 ppg over two playoff games. Had career-high 34 points with five 3s against Division 1 North Andover. Finished on fire, averaging 22.1 ppg over team’s final eight games. Mother, Karen Grutchfield, is Newburyport girls coach while his uncle, Kevin Grutchfield, is boys coach at Leominster.
Newburyport, Sr., Guard
Finishes career as three-time Daily News All-Star and three-time CAL All-Star. Quad-captain helped Clippers (14-8) win fourth consecutive CAL Kinney title. Missed time with mononucleosis, but still averaged 10.9 ppg with 26 3s in 15 games. Had 15 points with three 3s in playoff win over Marblehead. Drilled two clutch 3s late to beat rival Triton. Scored season-high 21 points in win over North Reading. Had 19 and 17, respectively, in wins over Lynnfield and Hamilton-Wenham. Three-sport standout was a Daily News Soccer All-Star in the fall. Reigning Daily News Baseball MVP is committed to play at Roanoke College (Salem, Virginia).
Pentucket, Sr., Forward
Ends career as a two-time Daily News All-Star. Dominant 6-foot-5 forward selected All-CAL after being named a CAL All-Star as a junior. Tri-captain led the area in scoring at 23.4 ppg. Talented big can score in the post, but was also an area leader with 47 3s. Led Pentucket in scoring as a junior as well (11.9 ppg). Dropped season-high 34 points in close loss to North Reading (61-58). Scored 30 in win over North Reading and 25 in win over Lynnfield. Another 27-point game against Amesbury. Plays club basketball with the Spartans.
Triton, Sr., Forward
Finishes career as two-time Daily News All-Star. Earned All-CAL selection after being named CAL All-Star as a junior. Electric scorer finished third in the area at 19.5 ppg while also knocking down 33 3s. Standing 6-foot-2, also one of Triton’s top rebounders. Tri-captain exploded for career-high 37 points on five 3s in win over Stoneham. Dropped another 33-point game in season finale against Wilmington and 31 in a win over Saugus. In final six games of season, averaged 26.5 ppg. Scored 27 in a win over Lynnfield and 17 in win over Ipswich. Averaged 10.6 ppg and nearly nine rebounds as a junior. On Triton’s Merit list for his senior class.
Triton, Sr., Guard
CAL All-Star emerged as a top scoring threat in the league. Finished second on team and tied for sixth in area at 14.4 ppg. All-around scorer also knocked down 29 3s. Tri-captain helped Triton (8-12) get most wins since 2016-17 season. Dropped season-high 24 points against CAL Baker co-champion Georgetown and had 21 against fellow CAL Baker co-champion Manchester-Essex. Scored 16 and 15 points in two wins over Stoneham. Another 17 points in a win over Lynnfield. Daily News Honorable Mention as a junior after averaging 10.3 ppg. Honor Roll student.
Amesbury — Rocco Kokinacis, Sr., guard; Nick Marden, Jr., forward
Georgetown — Matt Torgerson, Sr., guard; Cory Walsh, Jr., guard
Newburyport — Finn Sullivan, Sr., guard; Ronan Brown, Sr., guard;
Finn Brennan, Frosh., forward
Pentucket — Che Condon, Sr., guard
Triton — Nick Dupuis, Sr., forward; Griffin Dupuis, Jr., guard