Alex Kiss-Rusk ’12 scored 27 points to lead Andover to a 63-50 win over Loomis in the team’s first round of the New England Playoff game. Despite falling to an early deficit, Andover took the lead in the second half and cruised to victory. Earlier this season, Andover beat Loomis 42-37, and the team still knew it had to bring the same intensity to the court the second time around. “We played them earlier in the season and won by five points, but we are both very different teams right now,” said Coach Lani Silversides. Loomis took an early 17-5 lead in the first few minutes, playing an up-tempo style that lead to easy fast-break layups. Andover started to defend the fastbreak, and went into halftime down by two points. Loomis owned the first half, as one Loomis player scored fourteen points in the first half alone. Andover adjusted its defense to keep her off the scoresheet in the second half. “Team defense and hustle in the second half really helped us to get back on top,” said Silversides. Andover came out in the second half and quickly took the lead under a minute into the half. The halftime adjustments were effective, as Andover only allowed Loomis’ star player to score one point in the half, and won the game 63-50. Megan Robertson ’11 and Laura Amorosa ’10 followed Kiss Rusk in scoring with fourteen and twelve points, respectively. Earlier in the week, Andover steamrolled rival Exeter 56-36. The victory secured Andover’s second place rank in the league and a home-court advantage for the Loomis game. Andover beat Exeter 54-43 earlier in the season, but still expected tight competition in the rivalry matchup. “They will be fierce, and looking to make up for the loss against us earlier in the season,” said Coach Silversides before the game. To ensure another win, Andover focused on rebounding, team defense, free throws and ball control. Andover went 18 of 24 from the free throw line and snagged fifteen offensive rebounds, as the team held a commanding lead the entire game. In the second half, an Exeter player flagrantly fouled Co-Captain Ansley White ’10, and was ejected from the game. White recovered on the sidelines, but later got back onto the court. Said Silversides, “We kept our composure and I was very proud of how our team handled the game. I was particularly proud of the sportsmanship we displayed.” Andover took the incident in stride, and cruised to the 56-36 win. Kiss-Rusk led the team in scoring with 20 points, and Amarosa added 11. Andover will compete in its second playoff game this Friday. Its opponent is still yet to be announced.