Andover Girls Basketball, along with six other schools, will compete in the Girls’ Holiday Basketball Tournament this Friday and Saturday, hosted by Lawrence Academy and Groton. Competing against a deep field of teams, Andover looks to take home a victory. Although Andover’s current season record stands at 0-3, it has high hopes moving forward.
Andover had particularly close games this season against Choate and Loomis Chaffee and aims to continue its strong performance. “I think we have a good chance of winning this tournament,” said Captain Emma Kelley ’17.
“I would say this team is pretty strong, we just still have a couple things we need to work on, but I think we can definitely get it right,” added Teagan Thompson ’18.
The tournament consists of six Class A teams that Andover has the chance of playing in the postseason. Andover looks to use the tournament as an opportunity to build confidence, skill, and experience.
“We usually have a tournament before Christmas Break, but this is against the schools that we’ll eventually play against the end of the season again,” continued Kelley. “I think if we were to win it, or we were to do well, it would give us a big boost.”
Still early in the season, Andover has proven to have good communication and great depth on the team.
Andover has also shown particularly rapid progress and improvements in the first few weeks of the season.
Kelley said, “I think we’ve come out this season with far more speed and then far more focus than in past years.”
Head Coach Lani Silversides added, “We’ve gotten better every game, and every day in practice we’ve gotten better.”
The tournament will be quite competitive, and Andover will face six very skilled teams. Specifically, Andover looks to be more aggressive and improve on its offensive unit.
“I think if we keep playing aggressive and tough like we have been this season, and not letting fatigue and tiredness get to us, we will play really well,” said Laura Bilal ’17.
“Our offense, and really moving when we don’t have the ball is really important,” added Kelley.
Andover looks to work on many aspects of its game, including teamwork and mental focus, leading up to the tournament.
Silversides said, “Right now, I think the biggest thing that we’re working on is that we’ve got, collectively, a new team, and it takes time for us to get team chemistry. We’ve got two [Juniors] on our team, and they’re getting lots of minutes already, and we’ve got a new postgraduate on our team, [Corina Lindsay ’17].”
Kelley added, “After [Wednesday’s] game, I think it’s gonna be a lot of revisiting of intangibles, because I think against Worcester, the confidence wasn’t there, and I would say that was a big thing.”
Andover looks to utilize its practices in the week leading up to the tournament in order to be best prepared. Thompson said, “I know we’re definitely going to bring up energy, we’re going to work more on communicating and just go really hard, and practice, and hopefully that energy will translate into a great game.”
Andover will play Southfield and Groton on Friday and another final game on Saturday.
Editor’s Note: Emma Kelley is a Features Editor for The Phillipian.