Bolting across the baseline, Emma Kelley ’17 juked her defender and spotted up for a 3-pointer. A brisk chest-pass from point guard Sarah Humes ’16 met Kelley just outside the three-point arch, where she hit her first of three 3-point shots in Andover Girls Basketball’s 50-42 win over Brewster Academy this Wednesday. Kelley had a season-high 25 points in the game, bringing Andover’s winning streak to three games.
On Saturday, in a hard-fought defensive battle, Andover topped Choate with a score of 38-26.
The team paid a substantial price for Saturday’s victory against Choate, as Courtney Erickson ’15 and Captain Cara Cavanaugh ’15 injured their ankle and head, respectively. Despite having two of its five starters on the bench in the game against Brewster, Andover’s younger team members hit the court with determination.
“Two or three people were out, so in our practices we were really emphasizing that younger players have to step up, and they did,” said Assistant Coach Christopher Jones. “They played really well today.”
Center Molly Katarincic ’18 added, “We tried to go into the game with a mindset that everybody who usually doesn’t get as many minutes needed to step up. I think we did a really good job of that.”
In comparison to the Choate game, which was largely defensive, Andover’s offensive prowess led to the victory against Brewster.
Laura Bilal ’17 said, “We really had some nice, quick reversals. We looked for the open bounce passes and open spots for our own team and just created a really good offense.”
“We shot really well today, and we put some good pressure on with our press,” added Coach Jones.
During the beginning of the first half of the Choate game, Andover’s energy was low, and as a result, its 2-2-1 full court press faltered.
“[Choate] made fast cuts, and we were letting them break it through the middle,” said Humes.
Though more experienced and technically skilled than Choate, Andover was met with the challenge of Choate’s drive and determination.
“It was a competitive game because they had a lot more intensity; we had to contest their athleticism. We probably had more talent than them, but they played really hard to every ball,” said Humes.
Despite its initial lag, Andover quickly accumulated a tight lead that it sustained and augmented throughout the game. In the first few minutes of the second half, the team emerged with added vigor that led to crucial baskets and an increased lead.
“We started off the second half with a lot of energy,” said Kelley, who scored 13 points, “We had three or four baskets right off the bat and we pulled ahead. With that excitement, we continued to pull forward and we got a bigger lead, which made us feel more comfortable, so we could slow down and concentrate on defense.”
Kelley continued, “Our 2-3 zone defense finally clicked in the second half. We got a lot of steals off of it, and we forced a lot of bad shots which ended up having a positive effect on our offense.”
Andover hopes to continue its upward trend in its game against Milton on Saturday.
Coach Jones said, “We’re slowly getting better in a lot of different areas, especially our movement and our passing, but it’s always a work in progress.”