On Saturday, the Girls Basketball team hosted the top team in New England Class A, undefeated Worcester Academy. Worcester had way too much talent and overwhelmed Andover in a dominating 59-29 win. Andover played good defense throughout the game, but Worcester totally shut down Andover’s offense. The game began up-tempo with aggressive play from both sides. Andover played great defense throughout the game, especially in the first half. Coach Lani Boardman stated, “We have made tremendous strides in our defense,” and commented on Andover’s ability to “eliminate fast breaks.” As Worcester tried to pull away from Andover, Kristen Macdonald ’07 made several defensive steals and jumpstarted Andover’s offense with three pointers. Sarah Beattie ’07 also played aggressive defense and had several steals. On offense, Kara Hollis ’07 drove to the basket multiple times and beat her defender off the dribble. Despite being guarded by a quick and aggressive defender, Kristen Macdonald ’07 displayed phenomenal ball handling skills, constantly beating her defender with her dribbling, and always maintaining possession. Due to Andover’s aggressive defense, Worcester only scored 23 points in the first half. However, Worcester shut down Andover’s offense and led at halftime 23-9. In the second half, Worcester played aggressive defense with double teams, and Andover struggled to get shots off. Coach Boardman noted “Our biggest struggle lately has been our offense. We aren’t getting enough shot attempts and we are turning the ball over too much, which takes away from opportunities.” However, after Worcester scored a quick 10 points on Andover, the Big Blue came together. Claire Fox ’06 was successful inside, getting to the foul line. Beattie fought hard for rebounds, helping Andover gain possession. The team worked together as they tried to catch up. With six minutes left in the game, Captain Jackie Price ’06 stole the ball and passed to Macdonald, who was fouled. Macdonald drained her free throws. With high energy, Andover continued to give Worcester a good fight. Hollis created several scoring opportunities by driving the basket. With two minutes left in the game, Andover maintained strong defense, with Beattie playing well off the boards. Stuart Anderson ’07 also had a couple steals. Worcester just had way too much talent and won 59-29. Macdonald, who played an exceptional game, led the team with 13 points. Beattie, Hollis, and Kelly Fox ’08 each had 4 points. Macdonald said, “It was a win in our eye” to hold a team who scores an average of 70 points a game to only 59. With a 4-7 record, Andover hopes to continue their strong defense, but improve their offensive game, creating more scoring opportunities and getting more points. The team strives to have more off ball movement and cutting to create open shots and better scoring opportunities. Macdonald notices that “Each practice we are improving, and taking steps in the right direction”.