With four seconds on the clock, Co-Captain Katie Kreider ’14 shut out distractions from the crowd to sink two free throws, sealing Andover Girls Basketball’s 38-34 win over Exeter.
“I’ll never forget looking up at the scoreboard when the buzzer went off and seeing what we accomplished. The W was all due to our discipline on defense, our underdog mentality and our extreme resilience,” said Co-Captain Kasey Hartung ’14.
The win this Saturday avenged Andover’s 53-49 loss to Exeter earlier in the season and was the team’s first Andover/Exeter win in two years.
“We were inconsistent the first time we played Exeter. We had some really good defensive and offensive possessions and also some not so great ones. We focused more this game, and we executed a lot better,” said Kreider.
Andover roared to a quick 5-0 lead thanks to a sharp layup by Meredith Collins ’14 followed by a three-point basket from Hartung.
Emma Kelley ’17 capitalized
on this momentum, grabbing the ball from Exeter’s offense and running it down the court to bury another three-pointer, putting Andover up 9-4.
“We were really focused on playing good defense by boxing out and getting a hand up against Exeter’s really strong three-point shooters. Our good defense translated to strong offense and a positive momentum that propelled us throughout the entire game,” said Sarah Humes ’16.
At the half, Andover led 17-13.
“During halftime, Hartung and Kreider both pumped up the team, giving us advice and words of encouragement. Coming out of halftime, we were ready to wreck the Ex,” said Kelley.
Andover proved its offensive prowess in the second half, with Kreider and
Hartung leading the charge, scoring overall eight and nine points, respectively. Kelley and Kate Hoey ’14 both put up six points.
With seven minutes left to go in the game, Kelley sank another three-pointer, putting Andover up 28-20, and Hartung followed that up with two baskets in a row of her own, making the score 32-23.
“When Hartung hit those shots near the end of the game, the entire bench and crowd exploded. It was the best feeling to pull ahead,” said Kelley.
Exeter responded with a burst of offensive intensity, tying the game 32-32 with two minutes on the clock.
Determined to bring home the win, Cara Cavanaugh ’15 lept for an offensive rebound and scored a basket to help Andover scrape ahead 34-32.
Thanks to two free throws from Hoey and Kreider each, Andover’s victory over Exeter was secured, and fans stormed the court to celebrate the team’s victory.
“It was great to end our season with a bang on our home court in front of our families, friends and teachers and give the Seniors the win that they deserved,” said Humes.
Hartung said, “Beating Exeter was without a doubt the best moment of my entire Andover career. It was seriously the greatest feeling to walk off that court after a W and celebrate our Big Blue pride.”