Girls BBall Demolishes Two Opponents; Deerfield and Nobles Fall to the Big Blue

The Girls’ Basketball team is bringing it all together. This past week, the girls played two winning games that demonstrated how much effort they have been putting in at practice. They demolished Deerfield 58-22 and sent Nobles home disappointed with a decisive 53-36 victory over the squad . Saturday’s away game against Deerfield was marked by Lady Blue improvements. Even though Deerfield provided little competition, it gave the girls court time to work on their team goals. Cortney Tetrault ’03, Danielle Vardaro ’03, Meg Coffin ’03, Mimi Hanley ’04, and Kat Conlon ’04 started for Andover and immediately went to work on scoring some early points. Throughout the game, the girls played up to their potential. Turnovers were limited to 15, rebounds were more frequent, and shooting percentages were high. The girls held an aggressive defense and kept the game pace high; Deerfield was unable to make it past Lady Blue’s defense and had a sad 33% shooting percentage. The game against Deerfield was also a chance for the non-starting string to get some real playing time. After the starters attained an intimidating lead, Coach Kennedy rotated in everyone off the bench, with thre e new players playing alongside two veteran players. This allowed for the newer players to pick up the skills of their first string counterparts. Captain Vardaro was quick to notice Lady Blue’s improvement and sheer skill. “We played with less mistakes and significantly less turnovers.” She remarked, “ It just reinforces that we’re getting better and better each game as we play together.” Lead scorer Tetrault looked ahead to the teams next game, “Although Deerfield was one of our weaker opponents,” she admitted, “ it was a solid game and it helped us prepare for Nobles—and they’re going to be pretty good.” Of course, this was before Andover went on to rip Nobles to shreds and proved that they were better. Last Wednesday, Lady Blue defeated Nobles, one of the best teams they will play all year, with a score of 53-36. Coach Kennedy put in her usual starters, with Freeman rotating in a few minutes after the clock started. They went to score 17 unanswered points and to establish a threatening lead that Nobles would never be able to take back. They didn’t even score until almost four minutes had disappeared on the DiClemente scoreboard. With an early lead this big, Coach Kennedy pulled out some of her starting line and let Sarah Chang ’05, Jess Daigneault ’04 and Danielle DeNufrio ’03 have a chance to score for Lady Blue. Before the half ended, Laurel Sticklor ’05 and Nell Bettie ‘05 got their shot to increase Andover’s lead. The half was lit up by Vardaro’s basket from behind the arc that sent Lady Blue’s score to 27, with Nobles trailing with a mere 5 points. Before the half ended, Noble’s score had crept up a little, leaving the half time score a praiseworthy 33-15. In the second half, Lady Blue maintained a sizeable lead, but tired players and an already secured win allowed for the pace to slow down. Increased turnovers in the second half allowed Nobles score more than they had than in the first half as they added 21 points to their trailing score. Also, with such high chances of a win, the players had the opportunity to take more chances on the court. Even though so many players got their time on the court, most of the scoring was done by a concentrated few people. Vardaro brought in an amazing 17 points while Coffin and Hanley brought in 14 and 13 points, respectively. Other scorers were Freeman and Daigneault, who each got a resounding cheer from the stands when they scored. In their improved defense, Lady Blue also succeeded in having less fouls, another big team goal.