Thu, Dec 29, 2011
07:00 PM @
Andover wallops Central to win third straight Christmas title
Thursday, December, 29
By Jeff Hamrick
NORTH ANDOVER — Only a program that has won two consecutive state titles would consider a big holiday extravaganza as just another item on a to-do list, but that’s obviously what the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tournament has become for Andover.
But if past tournament success is an indication, the Golden Warriors are well on their way to contending for another Massachusetts championship. At least winning this tournament each of the previous two years proved to be a springboard to bigger titles.
Andover easily won its third consecutive Greater Lawrence title last night, handing rival Central Catholic a 57-33 defeat in front of a full house at North Andover High.
Andover is No. 1 and Central No. 2 in the ESPN.Boston statewide rankings.
“Coach (Jim Tildsley) emphasizes that this tournament is one of our goals for the year,” said Nicole Boudreau, who was named MVP for the third straight year. “We have a couple goals. Obviously winning States, to win all the tournaments we’re in and to win the conference. So, this is pretty big for us to check off our goal list.”
Boudreau finished with 19 points, seven steals and four blocks.
The two teams combined to shoot just 28.7 percent (33 for 115), but the Golden Warriors (6-0) stymied the Raiders offensive flow, forcing 23 turnovers and blocking six shots.
“I thought we played very well defensively,” said Tildsley, whose club has won six of the last seven matchups with Central. “That’s what it’s about with us. This is one of the toughest gyms in the world to shoot in. It’s difficult because it’s so wide open. But I was very happy with the way we played defensively. We missed lay ups tonight, but (Central) is a good team and we still won by 20.”
Central, which started four sophomores and has two freshman among the top three players off the bench, hung with Andover, trailing by eight at halftime.
“It was a very frustrating performance,” Central coach Sue Downer said. “I thought we did OK defensively in the first, but we kind of struggled offensively all night. We just couldn’t execute ... Maybe our youth came through tonight. I just think we kind of gave into their pressure instead of staying composed.”
That youth was most evident in the third quarter when the Warriors forced turnovers on six of Central’s first 10 possessions. The Raiders (4-1) were held scoreless for 6:18 and didn’t get a second basket until one second left in the period on a scooping lay up by Casey McLaughlin, who scored a team-high 15 points.
“Holding them to two points in the third quarter until the buzzer was the whole game right there,” said Tildsley. “We forced a ton of turnovers. (Central) is tough, so I was very happy. We didn’t shoot well, but it was a very good defensive game for us.”
BOUDREAU BECOMES FIRST 3-TIME MVP
Andover senior Nicole Boudreau became the first three-time MVP in the tourney's 26-year-history. She was joined on the all-tourney team by Andover's Devon Caveney, Central's Casey McLaughlin and Courtney Walsh, North Andover's Pam Coufos and Lowell's Ginelle Cola.
Andover (57): Ally Fazio 1 2-2 4, Devon Caveney 4 1-1 10, Rebecca Alois 0 1-2 1, Nicole Boudreau 7 4-8 19, Jackie Alois 2 3-3 7, Angelice Gonzalez 4 2-2 10, Abbie Watts 1 0-0 2, Jessica Witten 0 0-0 0, Danielle Boudreau 1 0-0 2, Jaymi Cohen 0 0-0 0, Abby Katz 0 0-0 0, Emma Bentley 1 0-0 2. Totals 21 13-18 57
Central Catholic (33): Courtney Walsh 3 0-1 6, Alex Nagri 1 1-1 3, Amanda Williams 1 3-6 5, Caitlin Dell-Orfano 1 0-0 2, Casey McLaughlin 5 5-11 15, Kaileigh Smith 1 0-0 2, Alex Borrelli 0 0-0 0, Giulia Orlando 0 0-2 0, Jannelvy Martinez 0 0-0 0, Allie Tierney 0 0-10, Erica Hadad 0 0-0 0. Totals 12 9-22 33
3-pointers: A — Caveney, N.Boudreau