|Andover’s Nicole Boudreau heads to Boston College next fall, while her twin, Danielle, will be at BU. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)|
Twin is a singular player
Her sister, a teammate, is biggest fan
Danielle Boudreau heard the words from the sideline as she hustled back on defense after draining a 3 in Andover’s 81-57 win over host Chelmsford last Wednesday night.
“That’s her sister.’’
The trey came off a pass from her twin, Nicole, who was named the state’s Player of the Year last season as a junior after the Golden Warriors repeated as Division 1 state champions.
After the win, the two seniors joked about having twin telepathy. “She went in at the end of the game and luckily I got her a shot,’’ said Nicole, whose 30-point performance pushed her career total to 1,612.
“I just knew she was there.’’
A four-year starter and a two-year captain, Nicole, at 5 feet, 9 inches, is headed to Boston College on full scholarship next fall. At 5-6, Danielle is a reserve point guard. She’ll be right down the street from her “younger’’ sister (by about 10 minutes) at Boston University.
And after playing on the same court since the first grade, the fraternal twins have one final season together before splitting off to BC and BU.
“I just like to cheer for Nicole because I know that’s what I’m going to be doing for the next four years,’’ said Danielle. “I’m two T stops away from her, so every single home game I’m going to be there.’’
Nicole and Natalie Gomez-Martinez , were fixtures in the backcourt for coach Jim Tildsley the last two seasons. But with Gomez-Martinez now suiting up at Marist College, Boudreau must shoulder more of the burden this season.
Luckily, she has a teammate who will be right by her side through it all.
“Danielle is great for Nicole; she encourages her all the time,’’ said Tildsley. “There is no jealousy. All she does is support her. They are two neat kids who respect each other, and you can tell that they pull for one another.’’
Danielle said the pair are “completely opposite but we make each other whole,’’ adding that she is not competitive with her sister at all.
Nicole, who averaged 23 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists per game last season, began playing basketball in kindergarten, often bringing a ball to school to play during recess.
Her love for the game was obvious to Boston College women’s coach Sylvia Crawley, who started the recruitment process.
“I love Nicole’s heart. She plays with a lot of passion for the game of basketball,’’ said Crawley, who believes she has landed one of the top players in the region. “A lot of players like basketball and like to compete, but when you watch her play you get the sense right away that she loves basketball.’’
Her passion is evident with her teammates.
“Playing with her makes you feel like a better player,’’ said senior co-captain Alyson Fazio. “Not only is she good but she helps make everyone else better.’’
In the win at Chelmsford, the hosts were within two points, 18-16, in the first quarter. But Boudreau rifled in 11 straight points in the second quarter to spur Andover to a nine-point cushion. The Golden Warriors never looked back.
Her teammates have come to appreciate Boudreau’s ability to deliver when the game is on the line.
“She likes to perform in close games and she has in the past,’’ said Tildsley. “Each year she’s gotten better and better and more mature on the court. She likes to get everyone involved and that’s a great trait that she has.’’
Devon Caveney, a junior, lauded her unselfishness.
“If you’re open, she’ll pass it to you,’’ she said. “It’s the first thing she looks for is the pass, which is unusual for such a good player because you would think she wants to score herself.’’
And on the rare occasion when her shots aren’t falling, she hustles more on defense or grabs more rebounds, anything to help out her team.
“I tell them it is almost impossible to play 32 minutes of perfect basketball,’’ said Tildsley. “The great players overcome the four- or five-minute stretches where they don’t play well.’’
“Even if she’s not hitting her shot, you’ll notice in the game that she has more steals,’’ said Caveney. “She just works harder and she comes back even stronger.’’
Boudreau refuses to accept defeat, and her determination and confidence rub off on her teammates. “Whatever it takes for our team to win, I’m willing to do,’’ said Nicole, “if it’s scoring or if it’s getting a stop on defense. I don’t like losing, not in the slightest, so I’ll do whatever it takes to win.’’
Boudreau acknowledges that capturing a third straight championship will be no easy task. But she believes in her teammates, and that anything is possible.
“We’re ready to win again,’’ she said. “With Natalie gone we’re going to have to work that much harder during practice, that much harder during games.
“But I think with the team that we have, with our coaching staff, we’ll be in the running at the end of the year.’’
Cat Calsolaro can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.