After defeating Acton-Boxboro, 52-37, and edging Central Catholic by 20, Andover continued its hot streak behind Boston College bound senior Nicole Boudreau who finished with 29 points.
The Golden Warriors will face Braintree Tuesday night to decide the Division 1 Eastern Mass championship.
“[Masconomet] is a really good team and that’s why they’re here, everyone’s good from here on in,” said Andover coach Jim Tildsley. “They came out tough defensively and we had to work really hard to get every point we got, but that’s what we did.”
Andover (25-0) came out strong draining six threes to put Masconomet in a nine-point deficit after one quarter.
“They came in a zone to start and we capitalized on the space,” Tildsley said. “Nicole wanted to cover [Brooke] and they screened for her a lot, but we jumped the screens and she had 18, but they were a quiet 18.”
Boudreau continued her hot streak dropping 21 of her 29 points in the first half including four buckets from beyond the arc.
“She’s one of the best players I’ve ever seen,” Tildsley said. “What makes her so good is the fact that she’s always two or three steps ahead of you and can really make you pay. She’s a special player.”
The Chieftains were held to under 54 points for only the fifth time this season as Brooke Stewart’s 18 points couldn’t carry her squad past Andover’s tight defense.
“I wanted to try and slow her down and I tried to give her a little bit of space so she didn’t go by me,” said Boudreau of Stewart. “I tried to pressure her into doing things she doesn’t usually do and make her uncomfortable. So I think we did a pretty good job on her.”
Masconomet chipped away at a 13-point deficit at the beginning of the fourth quarter to pull within six with less than a minute and a half remaining in the game.
“We started off with a zone to try and give them shots, but they made them all, so when we switched to man in the second half, we really put the pressure on to limit those opportunities,” said Masconomet coach Bob Romeo. “But there’s a reason why [Nicole] is Gatorade Player of the Year and both teams played their hearts out, but they capitalized when they needed to and that’s why they’re so good.”
Andover’s Tuesday night meeting with Braintree will be about defense, said Boudreau.
“It’s always defense with us and Tuesday will be a tough game,” Boudreau said. “But if we get stops, we usually get points off those stops, so we need to come back out Tuesday and play with a defense-first mentality if we want to win.”
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