With one minute left on the clock, Kiley Buckley ’23 got a steal on defense scored a fast break layup, putting Andover Girls Basketball ahead of Kimball Union Academy (K.U.A.). Andover clinched a one-point win against KUA to defeat the team 47-46. Later in the week, Andover faced Brooks and suffered a 69-41 loss. The team’s record now stands at 7-9.
After beating K.U.A., Andover’s loss to Brooks was especially hard to take. Since it was an away game, the team was unenergized and missing players, according to Co-Captain Claire Brady ’20 and Brooke Hannan ’23.
“I think since it was our first away game in a while, we felt less energetic without really realizing it until the game started, and a lot of our team is sick right now. There’s just a cold going around. That didn’t help us start the game well,” said Brady.
Hannan added, “We weren’t playing our best. I know our passes weren’t great. We kept throwing the ball away, and our defense wasn’t great. We weren’t helping much, and we could’ve been communicating more,” said Hannan.
After a motivational chat from its coaches and captains during halftime, Andover began to pick up some of the slack, according to Hannan.
“At halftime, we had a talk which gave us more confidence. We didn’t really restart the game, but we played much better after it. They said we had to forget about the first half and get it together so that way we could play to our full potential because we were not playing that way throughout the first half, and they knew we could do better,” said Hannan.
Going forward, the team looks to improve its mental toughness, especially while fighting for a playoff bid, according to Maya Shkolnik ’21.
“Something that is important for us to do is be mentally tough. That’s something our coaches have been saying a lot. If we want to go to playoffs, we need to be mentally tough, and a lot of our games have come down to the very last few minutes…so that’s a key issue we’ve been having,” said Shkolnik.
A lack of defense was one of Andover’s greatest faults against Brooks, according to Summer Seward ’21.
“We can’t let people just drive by us. We need to work on our help-defense, not fouling on the help-defense and getting in front of the person driving because these girls are fast and they will attack the basket,” said Seward.
Looking ahead towards the end of the season, Brady sees potential in the lowerclassmen on the team.
“We have a really young team this year, so I think setting a baseline for what their potential is for the years to come is really important. Being a senior, as much as I want to have an amazing season this year, I also want the team to be doing well in the long run, so starting that now is important to me,” said Brady.
Andover will next play Middlesex at home this Saturday.