Andover Girls Basketball came roaring back from a nine point deficit in the second half to defeat rival Exeter 55-42 on Saturday. After key adjustments early in the half, the team was able to shut down Exeter’s offense and come away with the win. “We spent a lot of time in practice preparing specifically for Exeter, so by the time the game arrived we were all ready to face them. We knew they would be tough competition and went into the game knowing what we needed to do to win,” said Alayna Garbarino ’10. “We were ready to play hard, smart and well. This wasn’t only a big game because it was Exeter, but a big game for our standings and our confidence. We were pumped to play them,” said Amanda Simard ’13,. Andover took an early lead in the first few minutes of the game, moving the ball well and passing smoothly through the offensive zone. Said Coach Lani Silversides, “The first half of our game was some of the best offense we have played all season.” However, Andover’s defense let up too many easy baskets and Exeter came back and took a two point lead into half-time. Andover continued to struggle in the beginning of the second half. When it slipped nine points behind Exeter, Silversides called a time out to make some key adjustments to the defense to get the team back on track. “Exeter has twin sisters (both seniors) that are really the heart of their team. We were able to stop them in the second half,” said Silversides. “From that point on, we were pumped and did not lose momentum for the rest of the game,” said Garbarino. With a calmer defensive mentality, Andover chipped away at Exeter’s lead and eventually surpassed them and cruised to a 13 point win. The team went 17 for 21 at the free throw line, which was a crucial part of Andover’s comeback effort. “The final score may seem to indicate that it was an easy game for us, but it took real determination and teamwork to come back from being down nine points and then go up 13 in the final eight minutes of the game,” said Garbarino. Andover was scheduled to square off against Tabor Academy on Wednesday, however, the game was cancelled due to snow. “We were pretty disappointed that the game was cancelled because we fell to Tabor in the beginning of the season and this was our chance to see them again and win. We knew that we could beat them, as we knew their moves and how to stop them,” said Simard. Instead of a regular season game, the team scrimmaged with boys varsity basketball in preparation for Friday’s game against Suffield Academy.