LOWELL – One 12 months in the past, the Andover women basketball crew left the ground of the Tsongas Center after falling in heartbreaking style to Springfield Cathedral within the Division 1 championship sport, vowing to themselves to get again and alter the end result
Back on the identical ground Friday evening, the Golden Warriors accomplished their mission.
Led by the duo of Amelia Hanscom and Anna Foley, Andover completed an undefeated season to seize this system’s second state title within the final three seasons, and sixth total, due to a 55-51 win over No. 2 Bishop Feehan.
“Amelia and Anna weren’t going to let anything stand in the way of the outcome that they wanted,” Andover coach Alan Hibino mentioned. “They were quietly confident and they projected that confidence on the rest of the team.”
That quiet confidence obtained put to the check within the ultimate minutes of regulation when Hanscom, who completed with 18 factors, exited the sport with 4:05 left and Andover (25-0) main 51-44 when she fouled Julia Webster (13 factors) as a part of a three-point play.
Hanscom’s exit gave the Shamrocks, who’d taking part in catch up nearly from the opening tip, an opportunity to attempt to steal a title.
Mary Daley reduce the result in 5 after which Sam Reale drove to the basket and scored to get Feehan (20-5) inside three at 51-48.
“Feehan just kept coming and they were relentless defensively,” Hibino mentioned. “And Sam wasn’t going to let them lose. I kept taking a peek down there and she was doing everything she could to get them going.”
In want of one thing to regular a instantly rocking ship, Foley scored the ultimate of her game-high 21 factors with simply over a minute to go. Daley answered on the different finish with a 3 following an Andover turnover with slightly below 30 seconds left.
It was as shut as Feehan may get.
Michaela Buckley was fouled with 4.2 seconds left and the junior level guard calmly stepped to the road and sank each ends of a one-and-one to lastly let Andover start its long-awaited celebration.
“It was almost fitting that Michaela hit those shots at the end,” Hibino mentioned. “She has the innate ability to just move on to the next play and never let things bother her.”
Both groups got here into the sport with elite defenses and so they have been on show for a lot of the primary half. The distinction was that Hanscom and Foley have been in a position to make use of their dimension within the paint and on the perimeter to make life tough for the Shamrocks.
How good have been the Golden Warriors on this evening? They by no means trailed as Hanscom and Yates scored back-to-back buckets to open the scoring. Andover opened the result in six however Feehan saved combating again as Maddie Steel had six first quarter factors to assist reduce the hole to 17-14 after one.
The groups traded scores at first of the second quarter earlier than Hanscom and Ella Vidoni accounted for a 9-3 run that gave Andover some respiration room at 29-21. Foley and Michaela Buckley then adopted up two Mary Daley free throws with back-to-back baskets to offer Andover its largest lead at 33-23.
The Golden Warriors tried to ship the knockout blow early within the second half as Foley, Kathleen Yates and Hanscom all scored to up the lead again to 10. Feehan had a counterpunch although, as Olivia Franciscus hit a pair of essential threes to maintain the Shamrocks in placing distance.,
But a free throw from Hanscom adopted by a prime of the important thing three from Foley gave Andover its largest lead of 12 at 47-35 and seemed for all of the world like they have been on their solution to a title.
Then got here the frantic fourth quarter the place Feehan made them sweat proper all the way down to the ultimate buzzer.