Stephanie Krant ’05 Racks Up 32 in Convincing Win Over NMH Hoggers

For the past several games, the Lady Blue has been on a roll, and this past Friday was certainly no exception. The girls trounced their opponent, Northfield Mount-Hermon 81-40. Within the first minutes of play on Friday, it was clear that the Lady Blue was on top of their game. Andover came out in the first half strong, passing well and shooting even better. With an aggressive offense and a solid defense, the Girls in Blue pulled ahead early, taking a significant lead within the starting minutes of the game. However, despite their initial lack-luster effort, NMH began to fight back about a quarter of the way through the half. The rest of the first half proceeded in the same fashion, with the Lady Ballers working to build a double-digit lead, only to see the NMH Hoggers cut it back down. In the final three minutes however, Andover’s offense, led by starting guard Stephanie Krant ’05, went on shooting spree that would leave them up by a startling 23 at the half: 44-21. “We were really playing well” Krant comments. She continues in her typical modest tone, “I was hitting my shots on Saturday, but then again, so was everyone else.” Krant dominated the offense, finishing with a ridiculous 70% field-goal percentage. She finished the game with a staggering season and career high of 32 points scored; in a game with 80 points on the board. Other commendable efforts were put forth by point-guards Laurel Sticklor ’05, just returning from a back injury, and Sarah Chang ’05. Co-Captain Mimi Hanley ’04 also came to the court on Friday with her A game and helped Krant lead the team in an offensive onslaught against the NMH Hoggers. Despite playing nearly all-out in the first half, the Lady Blue kept up the intensity all the way through the second half, showing impressive stamina. The girls were working together beautifully, spotting open teammates and keeping their turnovers minimal. The Lady Ballers kept up their aggressive play as well, leading a relentless barrage against the NMH basket. With 38 points scored in the second half, the Andover girls went as far as to come within three points of their outstanding scoring efforts in the first. The way the Girls in Blue were playing, NMH could not have known what hit them. The Hoggers were pushed back on the defensive again and again as the Andover girls refused to let up. “We got ahead from the start,” said Co-captain Hanley, “and despite a fair amount of resistance from our opponents, we stayed there for the entire game.” Having lost Rachel Shack and Christa Vardaro to injury, Andover had to rely on its remaining starters, who had an even bigger role in the win than usual. “We were a little nervous at the outset,” said Krant, “but we held it together and stepped up to the plate. We were all really proud of our results, especially given that we were playing without the help of two really solid teammates.” Andover walked onto the court on Friday with victory in mind, and lately, there seems to be no stopping the Lady Ballers. Riding a four-game winning streak, Andover Girls Basketball has been outdoing itself week in and week out. In virtually every game an Andover player has posted a season or career high. “The team really feels like it is clicking, said Hanley. She added, “If we can keep this level of intensity into the tournament next week, we will definitely be putting some points on the board.” Heading into a final season tournament next Wednesday, the Andover girls have great prospects. New England better stay awake out there, because the Lady Blue is coming to play.