WORCESTER -- Andover fulfilled the lofty expectations placed on it this season, beating Amherst=Pelham 61-51 Saturday to win its second straight Division 1 girls' basketball state championship.
“Last year we were the hunter. No one expected us to win it and this year they expected us to win it all,” Andover coach Jim Tildsley said. “We had a great year …They have that mental toughness, we could have folded a couple times, but we stayed strong.”
Andover (27-1) led 25-23 at halftime, but shots weren’t dropping for Gatorade Player of the Year Nicole Boudreau.
“We didn’t play a very good first half,” Boudreau said. “We weren’t hitting our shots and our two sophomores were in foul trouble.”
Boudreau misfired throughout the first. The 5-foot, 9-inch junior guard hit just 3 of 8 before halftime, including 1-for-6 in the first quarter. Boudreau was defended by Amherst-Pelham's Forbasaw Nkambo, a 6-0 senior center who also scored 15 points.
Boudreau finished with a game-high 18 points, including three 3-pointers.“[Amherst-Pelham] had a great coach who knew exactly how to defend us,” Boudreau said. “They had a girl face-guarding me the whole time, so it was definitely hard to get started. Luckily we have some other girls on the team who could step up and hit some big shots.”
Sophomores Jackie Alois (18 points, 6 rebounds) and Devon Caveney (14 points) got into foul trouble early and both had three at halftime, but the duo scored 21 of the team's final 26 points.
“We wanted to win this so badly and we gave it all we could,” Caveney said. “My shots weren’t hitting, but I hit the ones I could. I’ve been on the team for two years and both teams have won the state title…I don’t even know what it feels like to lose it all, I only know how it feels to get a title.”
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