Basketball Improves Record With Win vs. Brooks; Last-Minute Shot Falls Short in Loss To Exeter

Led by the double-digit scoring efforts of Kourtney Diperno ’09 and Captain Kelly Fox ’08, Andover got back on the winning track with a victory against the Brooks School. Later, despite some stand-out individual efforts, Andover fell to both rivals Exeter and Tabor. Last Thursday, the Big Blue traveled to North Andover to take on Brooks. Coming off of two consecutive losses, Andover looked to break out of the slump with a win. Andover did not come out as strong as anticipated, and Brooks was able to hang neck and neck with them through the first half. While Andover had the advantage on the scoreboard at halftime, it was not a comfortable lead at all. With the score standing at 25-22 in favor of the Big Blue, Andover knew it had to come out stronger in the second half in order to pick up a much- needed win. In the second half, Andover emerged with its usual intensity. Andover controlled play early and was able to preserve that lead for the remaining 16 minutes. All eleven players saw the court for Andover, with eight of them scoring. One high point for Andover was the aggressive defense and play in the paint of both Megan Robertson ’11 and Emily Zinmeister ’09. Additionally, leading the team in offense were Diperno with 13 points and seven rebounds and Captain Fox with 11 points and six steals. With these outstanding efforts, Andover captured the win by a score of 55-41. While Andover was pleased to bounce back with a win, it had another task to look ahead to: the Exeter game. On Saturday, Andover hosted the Big Red for the first time this season. With obvious motivation, Andover looked to build off of their win versus Brooks. From the opening tip, Andover proved to have the advantage. Andover came out looking strong, and, at the half, the team held a 26-19 lead. In the second half, Andover maintained that same intensity level and led Exeter for most of the time. However, Exeter refused to give up. At the 2:53 mark, the Big Red nailed a three-pointer, tying the game up. From then on, the game stayed neck and neck, Exeter grabbed a two- point lead in the final minute. With seconds left on the clock, Andover tried to send the game to overtime, but the shot didn’t fall. Andover suffered its loss at Exeter’s hands by a score of 45-47. Despite this difficult loss, some Big Blue players managed outstanding performances. This included an amazing 14 point, nine rebound effort by Diperno. Hailee Minor ’08 also contributed eight points and nine rebounds, while Ansley White ’10 added 6 points and 7 rebounds of her own. Coming off of the demoralizing loss, Andover had to play another difficult game, this time a strong Tabor squad. Andover suffered a defeat at the hands of Tabor earlier in the season 57-41. From the first whistle Tabor took control of the game, and Andover couldn’t bounce back from the poor start. The second half did not bode much better for Andover, as Tabor only increased its lead. Ultimately, Andover suffered a tough loss by upwards of twenty points. At the end of the week, Andover’s record hovers just over .500 at 8-7. Andover looks to rebound from their losses to Tabor and Exeter on Saturday when the team hosts Suffield. With only five games remaining, Andover needs to up their game for a shot at the postseason.