In the Grey Ghost Classic championship bout Tuesday night, the Andover girls' basketball team got its first taste of a state tournament battle, routing powerhouse Acton-Boxboro 63-50, behind Boston College commit Nicole Boudreau's 21 points.
Trailing 22-19 at the half, Andover found themselves stripped of motivation and physically spent.
"They physically out played us, they pushed us around pretty good so i got on them a bit at halftime" said Andover coach Jim Tildsley. "We stepped up in the second half, Ally Fazio hit some big threes and Angelice (Gonzalez) had her best game of the year."
A three by senior point guard Ally Fazio started Andover's 19-8 third quarter run to help the Golden Warriors regain the lead, 40-36 going into the fourth quarter.
Boudreau's 17-point second half surge led the Golden Warriors as they finished the season perfect at 22-0 claiming first place at the Grey Ghost Classic ousting A-B led by senior captain Elizabeth Belanger with 25 points.
"In the first half they outplayed us and we needed to have a lot of heart to win this game because we didn't have as much size" said tournament MVP Boudreau. "As a team we aren't always going to be up 20, so we need to learn to play in those close games and be able to score when the pressure is on come tournament time but I think we're ready."
With the win, Tildsley and the two-time defending state champions know that it won't be easy completing the three-peat.
"We've won 22 straight, great season, but now everyone is 0-0, so we need to come back focused and ready to go because any given night you can get beat."
Several reporters and editors contribute updates, news and analysis to the High School Sports Blog.
- Bob Holmes: A Reading resident (Go Rockets!) and Boston College graduate, Holmes is the Boston Globe High School Sports Editor. We remind you now that his weekly picks are often made in jest so everyone just calm down when he picks against Everett for 11 straight weeks. Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeHolmes.
- Craig Larson: A native of West Springfield (Leo Durocher anyone? Tim Daggett?) and Curry College graduate (a proud Colonel!), Larson is the sports editor for the Globe's regional sections: South, West and North, as well as a frequent contributor on the college beat. Abington to Xaverian: it all starts with the schools. Have a compelling story idea? Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeLars.
- Zuri Berry: Berry attended the same high school as sports legends O.J. Simpson and Joe DiMaggio. (Guess which one is his hero.) He's a South Boston resident (formerly of Eastie) and the editor of the High School Sports blog as well as the go-to-guy for everything high school sports on Boston.com. Contact him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter @GlobeSchools for all of the latest updates.
Then there are our winter correspondents:
- Emily McCarthy | @EmilyMcCahthy | BPS correspondent
- Jake Fischer | @GlobeFischer | Boys basketball
- Michelle Fenelon | @michfenelon | Girls basketball
- Andrew MacDougall | @Andy_MacDougall | Boys hockey
- Liz Torres | @etorres446 | Girls hockey
To reach the high school sports department, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.