Andover Loses to Exeter in Overtime

On Saturday, Andover Girls Basketball played Exeter in its most nail-biting game of the season. Andover lost 54-61 in overtime after an incredibly fast-paced game to close out the season with a 8-9 record. “The team went into the game knowing that they didn’t want to have any regrets, and they worked incredibly hard to challenge every aspect of Exeter’s attack…The girls have nothing to hang their heads about. They had a great season,” said Head Coach Lewis Robinson. The team started out strong and led at halftime. However, Andover was unable to hold its lead throughout the second half. “[The second half] was a lot of back and forth. We went up by about six and then they’d come back and go up by four. It was always a close game,” said Katie Kreider ’14. Key players from the game included Giovanna Pickering ’13, with a season-high of 18 points, Captain Amanda Simard ’13 and Maggie Brown ’13. For their last game of their Andover careers, the Seniors put in their best effort and played to their highest capacity. “I think one of the greatest parts, though, was seeing Amanda Simard, our Captain, hitting two foul shots that ultimately sent us into overtime. Amanda works so hard and is such an amazing Captain, and it was unbelievable to see that happen. Giovanna Pickering and Maggie Brown played their hearts out and left everything on the court just like everyone did. We’re incredibly sad to lose these amazing players next year,” said Kreider. With about a minute left in the game, Simard went to the free-throw line and sunk both of her shots to send the teams into overtime tied at 48. “[Amanda] made a fantastic block when the ball was blatantly in the air, and the ref called a foul … She had an amazing game and made many game changing shots. After that we were exhausted, and Exeter had positive momentum from the combination of getting all the calls and making their foul shots to pull further ahead and win in overtime. This was a really tough loss because the difference in a few calls could have changed the outcome,” said Savannah Mastrangelo ’16. Poor free throw shooting plagued Andover; the team was 10 for 20 at the line while Exeter was 22 for 26. All in all, the team played its hardest for its final game of the season and looks to improve next season. “Nekele McCall [’14], Katie Kreider and Kasey Hartung [’14] played terrific defense all game against Exeter’s best player. And Maggie Brown, Nekele, Victoria Everett [’14], Meredith Collins [’14], Katie, Kasey and Cara Cavanaugh [’15] all hit clutch shots. ” said Coach Robinson. Despite the tough loss after the close game, the team seemed happy with the way the season ended. The game didn’t end the way Andover hoped, but the team fought hard and played with everything they had. “Andover/Exeter was the most incredible basketball experience I’ve ever had,” said Simard. “Every single girl played with heart and grit, and that’s really all you can ask. We worked so hard on that floor and we left with no regrets. I’m so proud of the way our team played. What a way to finish out the season.”