Heading into its game against Deerfield, Andover had been outscored 464-378 by its opponents en route to a 2-6 record. The team has consistently depended on its Co-Captain Emma Kelley ’17, the leading scorer among Massachusetts prep school players with 20.6 points per game. Kelley once again proved her offensive prowess, leading Andover in scoring during its 59-27 game against Deerfield, in which the team forced 15 turnovers to improve its record to 3-6.
These steals took the pressure off of Andover offensively, and the increased time of possession made room for other key contributors to pair with Kelley. Co-Captain Sarah Humes ’16 and Kaela Olsen ’18 were among the top scorers with seven points each.
On the defensive end, Andover played an aggressive zone defense, limiting Deerfield to mainly outside shots. This forced Deerfield to make poor passes in its attempts to move the ball into the interior and let Andover play an offense largely based on fast breaks.
“It was our first game playing zone for the majority of the time, and it worked pretty well. Deerfield was not particularly aggressive when attacking the basket, so our zone helped us keep the ball on the perimeter and get easy steals at the top,” said Molly Katarincic ’18.
Andover’s defense kept it in the game after a slow start offensively. Although the team shot just 27 percent from the field and 58 percent from the foul line, its 25 points from turnovers and four fast break points enabled it to maintain an extremely large lead.
“Our great defense then translated into offensive momentum as we were able to get breakaway opportunities off of steals and forced turnovers,” said Victoria Bergeron ’16.
By working hard on defense, Andover eventually began to get in a steady flow offensively and move off ball to get open shots and make them consistently. The offensive load was carried largely by Kelley, who managed to equal Deerfield’s scoring by herself tallying 27 points while hitting 10 of 16 shots from the field.
In the second half, Andover’s offense was strong in all facets of the game. By stealing the ball from Deerfield early and often, Andover capitalized on fast break opportunities and extended its lead. Andover also used a variety of spots on the court to attack the basket, including the post.
“Going into the second half we had a bunch of steals which heightened our momentum. We were swinging the ball in and out of the posts. It was definitely a team effort, and that is why we succeeded,” said Kelley.
After a week off, Andover will look to continue its success against Worcester Academy on Saturday at home.
Editor’s Note: Victoria Bergeron is a Sports Editor and Emma Kelley is an Associate Features Editor for The Phillipian.