By Matt Noonan
BOSTON, MA – Andover seemed determined to keep their winning ways going against a physical New Bedford team, as the Warriors prevailed against the Whalers with a 54-46 victory on Monday at the TD Garden and are now headed to Worcester’s DCU Center for the MIAA Division I state finals.
“Winning a state title was the main thing and now we’re back there in the same position and hopefully we can capitalize on that,” said Andover junior guard Nicole Boudreau.
Andover was indeed impressive from the start, but so was their offense too, which didn’t just feature the Gatorade Player of the Year, Boudreau, but instead, sophomore forward Devon Caveney who finished the game with 13 points and senior guard Natalie Gomez-Martinez who ended the game with only five points.
However, every member of the Warriors offense played tremendously well and clearly, their head coach seemed happy after the game, especially with the teams performance.
“We’re a team of streaks,” said Andover head coach James Tildsley. “They played hard, give credit to New Bedford they’re a team similar to us. They like to [play] pressure defense, they like to run, [but] it was kind of fun to play that game. They were tough and they gave us all we could handle and just glad we came out on top.”
As for New Bedford, the team that easily took down Braintree and then snuck by Mansfield for the MIAA Division I South title, seemed completely out of sync and didn’t have the opportunity for more than one shot on various offensive series. In fact, it almost seemed that they knew when they had the ball that their shot selection had to be perfect in order to play a game of “horse” with Andover.
“I just thought we were a little careless with the basketball on two or three occasions, which led to easy baskets,” said New Bedford head coach Michael Gonsalves. “It didn’t allow our defense to set [up] and when it comes down to it, it could have been a difference in the game.”
The Whalers didn’t seem too powerful for the entire 32-minutes, as well as seemed clueless when trying to stop the Warriors on transition or offense.
New Bedford tallied less than 15 points each quarter and combined for 26 points in the second and third quarter. A majority of their offense completely was shut down and clearly credit is owed to Tildsley and his coaching staff that designed a rather tough defense to score on.
Some of New Bedford’s main players were incredibly quiet during the fourth quarter, such as senior forward Arielle Gomes senior guard Alyssa Roach both finished with only one basket a piece.
Although now with their final win at the TD Garden under their belt there is only one question that remains for Andover, can they win the championship and end their season a high note?