Despite a late game steal from Ansley White ’10 that seemingly gave Andover its final momentum, Andover fell to Northfield Mount Hermon by a final score of 39-48. Andover Girls Basketball is in the midst of a tough streak this week, collecting two more losses to its record. Despite several changes, Andover was unable to pull out a win in a close game versus NMH. On the heels of this loss, Andover suffered another disappointing defeat at the hands of the Rivers School. In a Friday night contest, the Andover Girls Basketball team traveled to take on NMH. This was the first time that the two teams met this season, and Andover was unsure what was in store from its opponent. The game proved to be an exciting one, with several lead changes at pivotal moments of the contest. NMH established itself strongly from the opening tip, and Andover immediately had to find its stride and quickly get back into the game. In the opening half, Andover and NMH battled for breathing room until the halftime buzzer. A memorable moment in the first half was when Hailee Minor ’08 sunk a three-point shot with only 38 seconds remaining. This basket tied the two teams at 14 just moments before halftime. Despite such a close game, the win felt within Andover’s reach going into the second half of play. Another key change of momentum occurred in the second half when Emily Zinsmeister ’09 was able to grab an offensive rebound and put it back into the hoop for Andover. This bucket tied the game 23-23 and really seemed to put a jump in Andover’s step. However, NMH contained Andover’s surge, and the game remained close. It would ultimately have to be decided in the last few minutes of play. One last glimpse of a lead for Andover came when Ansley White ’10 stole the ball from an NMH player and was able to convert this defense into offense and score off of this turnover. In a tough loss, NMH defeated Andover by a score of 39-48, a score that did not portray the evenly played game. Despite the loss, Andover managed some respectable numbers. Among these was an 11-point scoring effort by Captain Kelly Fox ’08, accompanied by Minor’s nine point contribution. However, this was not enough to pull out a win for Andover. This was the fourth loss for the Girl’s Varsity Basketball in its past five contests. This left their record at .500, at 9-9. Looking to boost their record past this standstill, Andover traveled to the Rivers School on Wednesday. The first half was close, with no clear advantage for either side. The only sign of weakness was Andover’s poor shooting, which proved detrimental to its offense. In the second half, things took a turn for the worst for Andover. The defense just could not put it together. They were slow to help on defense, and Rivers was able to take advantage of Andover’s unenthusiastic defense. When all was said and done, the scoreboard indicated a decisive victory for Rivers by a final of 42-29. This loss brought the Andover record to below .500 for the first time this season. This is a clear disappointment for Andover, but the team hopes to finish even this season with a win on Saturday against rival Exeter. Earlier in the season Andover fell just short of victory. Andover lost by two for a final score of 45-47. This time around, Andover looks to avenge the loss in its arguably most crucial game of the season. Exeter comes into the season finale playing its best basketball of the season. After suffering a tough nine point loss to Worcester, Exeter has won three straight games. The Big Red’s record stands at 10-8 on the season. Although Andover’s season has been an up-and-down ride, a win over Exeter would end the team’s year on a high note.