PA Girls Basketball Dominates BB&N, Stuffs Suffield Academy

This past week the Lady Ballers have been at the top of their game; defeating top team Suffield on Friday 72-56, and winning again on Wednesday against BB&N, chalking up a decisive score of 73-37. On Friday night, the Andover girls took on the highest ranked team in the Western region, Suffield, and in an exciting upset, defeated the top seed 72-56. On paper, it did not appear as if the Lady Ballers had a chance; the Suffield girls came to P.A. on Saturday boasting an impressive 13-1 record. However, the Girls in Blue were obviously up to the challenge. Well aware that a win over Suffield would be a huge help in their efforts to make the tournament, the Andover girls came to the court on Friday ready to play. Said Co-captain Mimi Hanley ’04, “Coach told us that if we beat Suffield we would have an infinitely better chance of making the year end tournament. We therefore stepped out on the court pumped up and ready to take charge.” Among countless other solid efforts, Hanley certainly helped her team out on Friday night. She gave a stellar performance, recording her second double double of the season with 17 points scored and a career high of eleven rebounds. Starter Steph Krant ’05 also played a beautiful game on Friday. She put 20 points up on the board, leading her team in scoring and hitting a season high. Krant shrugged the performance off, saying “my game was definitely there on Friday- but like many of my other teammates, I was just hitting my shots.” The statistics certainly suggest as much, showing Krant hitting well over 80% from the floor. Yet another Andover player brought her best on Friday: Nell Beattie. Nell came out with her best effort of the year, shooting 100% from the line, as well as putting up a solid defensive front, grabbing 5 rebounds. Starter Kat Conlon ’05 also had a great game, scoring 16 points, 5 rebounds, and reaching a career high of 6 assists. There is no doubt about it, on Friday night the Andover girls came to play. Suffield, unquestionably smug in their number one seeded position, couldn’t have known what hit them. “We were really playing together” said Krant, she continued, “On Friday night, we walked onto the court with a definite goal in mind, and walked off with a win.” When it comes down to it, the Lady Blue undeniably deserved the victory on Friday. They outplayed their opponent, pure and simple. On Wednesday afternoon, following in Friday’s winning tradition, the Girls in Blue emerged triumphant once again, racking up an inspiring 36 point win over their opponent, Suffield, with a final score of 73-37. A little heady after their unprecedented win on Friday, the Lady Blue was confident from the start of the game. The girls were well aware of their opponent’s strengths and weaknesses, and felt they had the strategy necessary to win. “We were basically most concerned with one player in particular: Modeka. We knew she had a solid game and from the start of the clock we kept a defensive eye on her” explained starter Krant. With a performance comparable to Friday’s effort, the Girls in Blue definitely walked out on the court Wednesday with their A game. They came out strong in the first half, passing well and limiting their turnovers to virtually none. Everyone really seemed to be clicking, and the team was moving together brilliantly. Thanks to their solid effort in the first half, the girls came into the second half up by over ten. After the intermission, the Lady Blue focused on merely lengthening the lead. They pushed ahead with an excellent effort made all around. Co-captain Hanley reflected, “The team was really playing well together. We were passing beautifully and our opponent was having a hard time converting on plays.” Among others, starter Conlon was playing superbly, hitting almost every shot with apparent ease. Furthermore, Andover’s opponent, BB&N was certainly having a tough night. Their turnovers were copious and even with the ball they were having trouble making anything happen. After building the lead to over twenty points, Coach Kennedy took starters Hanley, Krant, and Conlon out of the game, allowing some of the more inexperienced players some game time. However, this move did not slow Andover down one bit. “The freshmen were playing awesome,” says Krant. Freshman Sarah Beattie and Sarah McDonald definitely had a great game, a solid effort made by both girls. Along with the rest of her team, starter Krant was psyched about their level of play over the past week. “Our passing has been incredible,” said Krant. She continued, “We are feeding it into the post and kicking it back out no problem. Everyone is seeing the floor.” If Andover can keep up this level of intensity for the duration of the season, they are going to be a force to be reckoned with. New England better watch out, because Lady Blue is on fire!