Andover Girls Basketball secured another victory against Phillips Exeter Academy, following up its 57-31 and 53-39 wins earlier this season with a third score of 54-45. Andover concluded its season with a record of 4-12.
Despite already having two wins against Exeter, Andover was not complacent, knowing that Exeter would put up a good fight, according to Molly Katarincic ’18.
Katarincic said, “Considering that we had beaten Exeter twice before, we knew that complacency would be our biggest battle going into Andover/ Exeter. We knew that they were going to come out full force, and we had to match that. The game was really close, and I give a lot of credit to Exeter to playing so hard for so long.”
Claire Brady ’20 credited the crowd for increasing the energy during the game and inspiring Andover to play even harder.
Brady said, “It was really exciting to have a ton of fans and Andover spirit at the game. It definitely boosted the energy and overall enjoyment of the game. It was really encouraging to see so many people who came out for the game… there was a lot of energy on the floor and the bench. Everyone made great plays throughout the game.”
Coach Liz Monroe and Brooklyn Wirt ’21 were impressed with the team’s resilience, especially during Exeter’s comeback.
“In the final game, the team did a great job communicating and talking to each other despite some changes to the lineup and the offense. We pushed through and managed to beat Exeter for the third time this season, which can be a difficult task. We also stayed loud and rowdy through the whole game, even during rough patches,” said Wirt.
Coach Monroe wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “I was impressed at how we took charge of the game and didn’t beat ourselves mentally when Exeter started fighting back.”
The Andover/Exeter Weekend game was especially significant to the team, as Andover had not beaten Exeter for the past four years.
Wirt said, “This game was special in part due to our Seniors and the energy they brought. Basketball had not won A/E in the four years that they have been here, and that was something they really wanted to see happen. This team has spent so much time together that we all wanted each other to succeed, and that meant we were playing for each other and not for ourselves, which helped us find success.”
The team was happy to finish the season on a high note, according to Brady.
Brady said, “The Exeter game was a really great way to end the season because they are always big rivals, and it was fun to win a game. I think we all wanted to end the season on a positive finish, and winning helped us do that. It was really fun to go out with a win at A/E.”
Although Andover emerged victorious against Exeter this season, the team is looking to improve their technique and communication for next year’s season, according to Coach Monroe and Wirt.
Coach Monroe wrote, “For next year, we will be working on speeding up our game, pushing the ball more, and getting more transition points.”
Wirt said, “To improve for next year, I think we need to continue to work on our communication as a group and on individual skills, because that’s something we can all always improve on. I think a challenge this season was how many new players there were and how many of them were key parts of the offense, but the team has found a groove that I think we’ll be able to pick up again next year.”