With consecutive away games on Saturday and Wednesday, Andover Girls Basketball faced Loomis Chaffee and St. Georges, losing 74-49 and 51-44. Its record now stands at 1-3.
Loomis, the 2020-2021 NEPSAC Class A Champions, proved to be a tough opponent, according to Co-Captain Kiley Buckley ’23. She noted that the game highlighted areas that the team can work on throughout the season.
“I think going into the game we knew it was going to be a tough game because they have a lot of good players and we’ve played them in the past and they’ve been tough games. I think the game definitely didn’t go our way just because they are a really talented team, but we also didn’t come out as good as we could have, or as good as we have in previous games, so I think it just showed us a lot of things that we can work on,” said Kiley Buckley.
The lack of energy was another reason Andover could not generate scoring, according to Leila Boesch-Powers ’24. She added that the team hopes to work on consistency throughout future games.
“I think that the reason, or part of the reason that we didn’t come away from Loomis with a win is partly because once they started scoring baskets, we got in a funk and started playing a little more sloppily than normal. I think going into Wednesday’s game and all future games after that, we’re going to really try to keep the same intensity throughout, even while we’re playing very talented and tall teams,” Boesch-Powers said.
The team was able to regroup in the last minutes of the game, but the deficit was too large at that point to come back from, revealed Buckley.
Buckley said, “Towards the end of the game we just kind of started to calm down a little bit and move the ball around, and just get good shots and at that point we knew that it wasn’t going to be the best game. So just kind of turning the game around and working on what we could have been [and] what we needed to work on.”
Boesch-Powers believes that the returners’ familiarity with the team’s composure and skillset has translated into strong chemistry. Practices were directed towards establishing good defense and communication.
“It’s a very high returner team, there’s a lot of returners, so I think a lot of the stuff we don’t have to relearn from last year, so it comes a lot more naturally. I would say we’ve been focusing a lot [on defense] in practice [and it] has gotten a lot better. It is one of our strengths, because we’re kind of comfortable with it, getting in to help defense…while we struggled with it last year, this year it has been a lot more natural and useful [and] we used it a lot more… I think the team’s bond is really good, because as I was saying, most people are returners, and even with the new people, everyone’s pretty close and communicating,” said Boesch-Powers.
Despite the team’s practice efforts, its defensive struggles continued on Wednesday at St. Georges as players struggled with rebounding, according to Emerson Buckley ’25.
“I think we worked a lot on defense, which I think we executed well during the game. I think we just let them get too many second chances with rebounding, but overall we kept them from shooting outside the three which was what they [wanted] to do. [We] held them to a lot of drives and I think [if] we [had] just [cleaned] up our rebounding which could’ve cut off a lot of the points they scored,” said Emerson Buckley.
The team will jumpstart the defense, particularly focusing on rebounding for the season. Emerson Buckley hopes that the team can bounce back in their upcoming tournament.
Emerson Buckley said, “I think we’re working on, once again, rebounding, but also our press. Our press did work but we need to get more steals out of it, which would obviously help us get some points on them.”
Andover Girls Basketball will play at the Lawrence Academy Holiday Tournament at Groton this Friday and Saturday.