Girls Basketball Falls to Hotchkiss, Choate, and Holderness Despite Strong Defensive Performances

Despite a constant dominance in the paint provided by Kiley Buckley ’23 as well as good ball movement, Andover Girls Basketball fell to Choate (-), Hotchkiss (-), and Holderness 49-56. After three straight losses, the team’s record now stands at 10-12.

According to Hope Nardone ’23, the team moved the ball extremely well in its game against Hotchkiss. The team consistently cut to the basket, which created easy scoring opportunities.

“I think our second game against Hotchkiss, especially in the beginning of the game, we did a really good job moving the ball, which is something we don’t do that good of a job, [and it] was exciting. Just like passing and cutting, taking a pass, making a pass… I think another thing we did well was transition. That’s been kind of a theme the past couple of days: running with the ball, getting some easy buckets,” said Nardone.

According to Emerson Buckley ’25, the team excelled at transition defense. Despite this, Buckley sees room for improvement in controlling rebounds on the defensive end.

“I think as a team we did well with our transition defense—we got back on defense well, but with that being said, I think we need to work on our help defense because when it was there we got stops and rebounds, but when it wasn’t there, we really got killed in the paint,” stated Buckley.

Nardone further described how the team did a great job getting over screens during its games against Choate and Hotchkiss. Something the team could improve on is limiting fouls while transitioning on defense.

“Defensively, I think getting over screens. We worked a little bit on that in practice, and I think there is obviously still room for improvement, but I think compared to other games we did a better job of talking to each other and getting over the screen instead of under because Choate did have some good shooters. Some things we could have done better on defense, I think [with] help defense, we were a little bit late, so we fouled, and it wasn’t too effective. Also, both teams we played were good with screen and roll, pick and roll, so we could have done a better job guarding the roller,” said Nardone.

Nardone highlighted Co-Captain Kiley Buckley ’23 as an outstanding player during the team’s games against Choate and Hotchkiss. Buckley is a reliable player who typically takes command under the basket, according to Nardone.

“I think Kiley played pretty well in both of [the games]. She’s just a very consistent, dominant player. Very strong, and rebounds well. I think you can always count on Kiley to get some easy buckets,” said Nardone.

Sadie Pease ’24 also highlighted Buckley as well as Nardone in the team’s game against Holderness. The team has been working hard on their defense this season, and their efforts paid off in a successful defensive performance.

“[Kiley Buckley ’23 and Hope Nardone ’23] constantly play like they want to win, and they push past just playing, but also aim[ing] to encourage other players to play the way they do. So they play with a little more fire than others do,” said Pease. 

Pease continued, “I think the team did well defensively. In practice, we have been pounding defensive drills, boxing out and rebounding, and it’s starting to come out in our play, so that felt like a success.”

Girls Basketball will face Phillips Exeter Academy and looks to end its losing streak through the final regular season game against Exeter.

Editor’s Note: Hope Nardone ’23 is a News Editor for The Phillipian.