Led by strong performances from Co-Captain Alex Kisk-Rusk ’12, Co-Captain Leah Humes ’12 and Maggie Brown ’13, Andover Girls Basketball narrowly defeated Milton Academy 36-33 by playing a tight defensive game. To complement its strong defense, Andover sunk free throw after free throw and finished 19 for 24.
After getting off to a quick start, grabbing rebounds and shutting down Milton for the first seven minutes of the game, Andover slowed down, allowing Milton to come within one point. Milton focused on using its small guards to its benefit and them play the press to create turnovers on the Andover side. Katie Kreider ’14 said, “They [Milton guards] were quick and all over the place, leading us to be off at times.”
Fortunately, Andover’s height played to its advantage, specifically Assistant Captain Kaylie Williams ’12, who stepped up by maintaining her composure, attacking the basket and drawing fouls. Kreider said, “Kaylie Williams continued to do an absolutely outstanding job for us. I have never seen someone play with such much heart. She sets the tone for all of us and is such a phenomenal leader.”
Andover headed into its Wednesday game hopeful for a win but fell short with a final score of 39-42 against Thayer Academy. Playing against a scrappy, guard-oriented team, Andover tried to drawl fouls. Bringing in rebounds and working on dynamic ball movement, Andover was able to score some easy shots but could not quite finish the game with a win.
Focusing on its victory rather than its loss, the team is optimistic about the rest of the season. Following a turbulent beginning, Andover has seen a positive climb in its level of play and the formation of a close-knit team. Amanda Simard ’13 said, “Everyone really has been able to contribute a lot to the team this year, and each player has seen court time and has drastically affected the outcomes of games. That’s an awesome type of team to be a part of.”
Coach Lani Silversides added, “We are getting better every day. The team is working hard, and I am confident we are on the path to success!”
Looking ahead, the team will continue to practice and will focus on physical strength. Following a few difficulties in breaking the press, Andover wants to hone its ability to move the ball rapidly and smoothly. Furthermore, with a huge part of Andover’s game heavily reliant on the fast break, the team will work on executing such a fast-paced style of play. Andover plans on drills to work on its shooting to keep the intensity high and practice game-like situations.
On Saturday, Andover will take on a formidable Deerfield team that is coming off a 48-43 win over Exeter. With Andover’s eyes on a playoff, this game will play a crucial role in determining the team’s seeding.