Co-Captain Emma Kelley ’17 served as Andover Girls Basketball’s standout shooter in the team’s 53-30 loss to Northfield Mount Hermon (NMH) last Saturday, collecting 12 rebounds and posting 21 points.
Despite being down 26-14 to NMH at the half, Andover put forth its maximum effort. Molly Katarincic ’18 said, “In the NMH game everybody really hustled for the entire game and played really hard which helped to keep us motivated on the floor.”
“I was really proud of our girls for how hard they worked the whole game and how they didn’t give up,” said Head Coach Lani Silversides.
The positivity that radiated from the bench and the Andover fans provided motivation for the players despite the score deficit.
Coach Silversides said, “Even though we clearly weren’t going to win the game, our bench went crazy for it, our fans went crazy for it, and that was a really exciting moment because what I’ve been focusing on all year is trying to get the girls to play and be engaged in the entire game.”
Despite the loss, Andover secured the second seed spot in the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (Nepsac) Class-A playoffs. NMH will be the first seed, and Andover looks forward to getting a shot at redemption next week.
Kelley said, “We worked very hard to stay in the game. We will probably see NMH again, and if we reduce our turnovers and capitalize on open looks, I am confident we can beat them.”
On Wednesday, Andover fell to Rivers 61-21, bringing the team’s record to 6-11 with one game remaining in its season.
Andover went into the game down five players, significantly raising playing time for the eight remaining Andover players. On top of fatigue from increased playing time, Andover’s players had to deal with its opponents fast-paced offense.
Laura Bilal ’17 said, “They were a very quick team with a great both inside game and shooting game, so they had big girls who could finish down low and they could take the outside shot.”
“Rivers has a lot of good shooters and also good post players who were both way taller than Molly and I,” said Janneke Evans ’18.
Kelley, despite playing guard, is the team’s leading rebounder. Evans said, “Emma did a great job today on crashing the boards, pushing the ball, scoring and also getting the ball into the post.”
“Everyone got so many minutes compared to what everyone usually gets, so it was a whole team effort. We needed to hustle and work hard to the end of the game,” said Bilal.
Andover looks to beat rival Phillips Exeter Academy this Saturday.
Editor’s Note: Emma Kelley is a Features Editor and Laura Bilal is a Sports Editor for The Phillipian.