With the support of SLAM making up for no spectators, Andover Girls Basketball defeated Governor’s 64-59 at home. This was the first in a series of three games for Andover; the team got the edge in a tight 60-53 win against Milton but lost against Thayer on Wednesday afternoon. Adding two wins and one loss, Andover’s record now stands at 5-6.
Despite Andover Athletics regulations barring spectators from attending games, SLAM was still able to perform during intermissions. According to Leila Boesch-Powers ’24, the support of SLAM helped the team endure through its three games
Boesch-Powers said, “I think SLAM really helped with that because they really brought the energy even though we didn’t have any spectators. And then along with the bench, I think the players really pulled through and just kept going with that energy. They were probably really tired from a tough game.”
According to Head Coach Elizabeth Monroe, Andover’s performance against Governor’s was one of the best performances the team has had this season. During the game, Andover was able to successfully suppress the opposing offensive threat.
Coach Monroe said, “Friday, we played great. As a team, I think it was one of the best games we have had all season. We limited their biggest offensive threat and we really fought hard with them.”
On the other hand, despite Andover’s victory against Milton, the team struggled defensively and had a poor start to the game. In the end, Andover was able to come back in the second half with an improvement in its offensive rebounds.
“As far as Milton goes, we kind of came out really flat in the first half. We weren’t playing really good defense, we weren’t rebounding, and I think we were down 8 at the half. But we really came back strong, we did a great job rebounding in the 2nd half, we kept attacking the basket, and we ended up pulling out the win. It was a disappointing start against Milton, but it was good to see how we were able to rise above that start to get the win,” said Coach Monroe.
According to Boesch-Powers, Coach Monroe’s half-time talk focused primarily on the sloppy defense. This focus on defense eventually turned the game around with successful stops.
“I think the main emphasis during halftime was on our defense because we play with the help defense, which wasn’t really working in the first half. Even though we had a good point on offense, that doesn’t mean that we get to be sloppy on defense. We had to kind of run back and just keep going. And those points, if you get a stop and then a score and then stop and a basket, then eventually we’ll be able to come back and now we were like still in this game,” said Boesch-Powers.
After a practice session, Andover was able to improve on its defense and communication against Thayer. According to Kiley Buckley ’23, the team was able to effectively implement its work from practice, but there is still room to improve moving forward.
“I think today our defense was better than when we played… Milton. Yesterday at practice, we worked a lot on defense and communication, so I think that helped a lot but still definitely room for improvement as we go into Saturday’s game,” said Buckley.
Buckley highlights versatility and chemistry as common strengths among the Thayer players. According to Buckley, Thayer’s starting five proved to be a difficult challenge for Andover to reckon with.
“I think whoever’s on the court really can contribute to their points or to their defense. They also have a couple [of] good guards that are pretty good shooters and they can pass the ball pretty well and then they also have like one girl that’s like they’re big… and pretty strong. So I think like the five starters, like the five that were playing a lot were pretty versatile and worked pretty well with each other,” said Buckley.
Andover will look to even its record as it welcomes Deerfield at home on Saturday.