It looks like things have taken a turn for the better. The Andover Girls Varsity Basketball Team came back from a spree of three loses to beat Thayer 53-26. After a disappointing 46-35 loss to Milton last Saturday, the girls faced their Thayer opponents ready to make up for their previous record. Last Saturday the girls played in what they called one of the most testing games of their season. They struggled to take control of the ball and had trouble getting up on the board in the low-scoring game. Laurel Sticklor ’05 was optimistic about the loss. She said of the game, “We weren’t playing our best. It was a rough loss, but it will help us identify what we need to improve on, so we can get ready for our upcoming games.” In the first half, the Lady Blue struggled to keep up with their Milton opponents. Andover’s first shots were all from the outside, and the team struggled to get a substantial score on the board. On the defensive side, the girls were playing zones, but they had trouble keeping Milton players from getting to the inside. Within the early parts of the first half, Milton had put a sizeable lead up on the board, and the Lady Blue was unable to catch up. Milton was able to capitalize on poor passing by the Andover Varsity squad. In the second half, the girls tried to adapt to the pace of the game and outplay their Milton rivals but they were unable to do so, and the game ended with the Lady Blue disheartened and disappointed with the results. Helping out the Andover score, Stephanie Krant ’05 brought eleven points, and Co-captain Mimi Hanley ’04 brought in eleven points to the trailing PA score. Captain Hanley said of the game, “The Milton game was one of the most frustrating games we’ve had this season.” Hanley continued, “We made careless errors, did not communicate well, and had trouble converting opportunities into baskets.” On Wednesday the Lady Blue got their act together and broke their three-game losing streak to come back and crush Thayer 53-26. In the first half, the girls jumped at the opportunity to improve their season record. The outside shots were good, and the team swung the ball really well. Defense was on top of its game, and the Lady Blue maintained a strong lead. In the second half, the girls continued to improve and increase their dominance. They looked to the inside more, and shooting was really strong, both near and far from the basket. Co-captain Kat Conlon ’04 marked the half with four 3-point shots from behind the rim in a span of just a few minutes. It appeared as though Conlon’s sharp shooting alone would be enough to pull the Lady Blue out of their funk. The half ended with a Beattie sister duo as Nell Beattie ’05 passed the ball to sister Sarah Beattie ’07 to bring in two more points to the rising Lady Blue score. Co-captain Conlon led the Lady Blue making one hundred shots from behind the arc. Krant brought in twelve points and had five rebounds. Co-captain Hanley added nine points to the leading PA score and had eight rebounds and six steals. Co-captain Hanley said of the game, “Wednesday’s game was a huge improvement for our team. We got out of our three-game slump and really started to play together as a team. Our shooting was on, and our defense was strong. It really helped to be at home and have a lot of supporters.”
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