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Girls Basketball

Braintree ousts Andover in state semis again

WORCESTER — Most of Braintree’s roster had been there before. That much was clear.
While Andover was arguably the hottest team in the state (winners of 22 straight), the Golden Warriors ran into a buzzsaw which knew how to handle the nerves in Wednesday night’s Division 1 state semifinal from WPI.
Braintree had run the gauntlet through the South, flattening traditional powers Bishop Feehan (61-48 in South quarters), Newton South (53-38 in semis) and Mansfield (72-43 in final). 
And that trend continued last night, as the Wamps built up a double-digit lead early and rode it all the way to a 60-48 victory over Andover.
The Warriors finished their season 22-2.
“It’s tough because they were beatable,” said Andover senior Alyssa Casey. “Braintree is a very good team, but we didn’t answer their run at us. We just had too many lapses, and they took advantage of it with their experiences.”
Braintree (21-4) featured a roster of five seniors, six juniors and a sophomore who have all played in big games. The Wamps have won five of the past six South titles, including two state championships in 2014 and 2015.
Casey (team-high 15 points) and Jillian Webber (12 points, 10 rebounds) lost in the state semifinal against Braintree at the TD Garden during their sophomore seasons. But the dynamic duo, arguably the best 1-2 punch in the state, was not enough to overcome the composed Wamps.
“The experience definitely came in,” said Perry. “You’re not going to be able to press (Braintree). Their ball movement is just a reflection of how much they’ve played together. You’re just not going to be able to deny passing lanes against a team that has been here so many times.”
Braintree, despite being heavily undersized, actually won the rebound battle 31-22.
The Wamps also knocked down nine 3-pointers, most of which came off of wide open looks following superb ball movement.
“We were trying to play up-tempo and press them to get (Andover’s) forwards away from the basket,” said Braintree coach Kristen McDonnell. “They have incredible half-court sets so we were trying to disrupt that as much as possible and pull them away.
“But we are incredibly unselfish. We have a balanced attack. No one is in it for themselves or is out for their own points. I thought we played smart tonight and played very aggressive.”
Braintree came out in the first half on fire. Senior Keelah Dixon (game-high 18 points) knocked down two threes and had 13 first-half points to put the Wamps up 30-22 at the break.
Andover tried to come back in the third. Gia Bramanti nailed a 3-pointer to cut it to 34-27, but Braintree’s Mackenzie Moore answered with a triple on the Wamps’ next possession. Taylor Landry and Bramanti fueled a 5-0 run at the end of the quarter, but an Isabella Tonetti trey made it 49-36 Braintree after three.
Braintree took as large as a 15-point lead midway through the fourth, but back to back Andover threes from Shea Krekorian and Bramanti cut it to 54-43 with 4:07 left. The Warriors got as close as 10, but were never able to cut the lead to single digits in the fourth quarter.
Casey and Webber both played admirably in the final games of their Hall of Fame careers, and Andover has to be pleased with the play of its young guns. 
The sophomore Bramanti nailed three treys and finished with 11 points.
It was quite a rebound season for Andover, which went just 5-16 last year when Casey missed almost the entire year due to injury.
Braintree will play West champions Springfield Central in the state final. The time and date for that game have not yet been announced.

Braintree 60, Andover 48 
ANDOVER (22-2):     9     13     14     12     48
BRAINTREE (21-4):     14     16     19     11     60
Division 1 State Semifinals 
Andover (48): Shea Krekorian 1-0-3, Taylor Landry 1-2-5, Jillian Webber 4-4-12, Alyssa Casey 5-4-15, Gia Bramanti 4-0-11, Megan Zalanskas 0-0-0, Aislinn McMahon 1-0-2, Sarah Sullivan 0-0-0. Totals 16-10-48
Braintree (60): Adriana Timberlake 2-4-9, Jenna Roche 3-0-6, Keelah Dixon 6-3-18, Rachel Tutkus 1-2-4, Isabella Tonetti 3-0-8, Mackenzie Moore 4-0-11, Madeline Fay 2-0-4, Allyson Dillon 0-0-0. Totals 21-9-60
3-pointers: A — Bramanti 3, Landry, Krekorian, Casey; B — Dixon 3, Moore 3, Tonetti 2, Timberlake

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Girls Basketball, 03/15/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Braintree ousts Andover in state semis again

WORCESTER — Most of Braintree’s roster had been there before. That much was clear.
While Andover was arguably the hottest team in the state (winners of 22 straight), the Golden Warriors ran into a buzzsaw which knew how to handle the nerves in Wednesday night’s Division 1 state semifinal from WPI.
Braintree had run the gauntlet through the South, flattening traditional powers Bishop Feehan (61-48 in South quarters), Newton South (53-38 in semis) and Mansfield (72-43 in final). 
And that trend continued last night, as the Wamps built up a double-digit lead early and rode it all the way to a 60-48 victory over Andover.
The Warriors finished their season 22-2.
“It’s tough because they were beatable,” said Andover senior Alyssa Casey. “Braintree is a very good team, but we didn’t answer their run at us. We just had too many lapses, and they took advantage of it with their experiences.”
Braintree (21-4) featured a roster of five seniors, six juniors and a sophomore who have all played in big games. The Wamps have won five of the past six South titles, including two state championships in 2014 and 2015.
Casey (team-high 15 points) and Jillian Webber (12 points, 10 rebounds) lost in the state semifinal against Braintree at the TD Garden during their sophomore seasons. But the dynamic duo, arguably the best 1-2 punch in the state, was not enough to overcome the composed Wamps.
“The experience definitely came in,” said Perry. “You’re not going to be able to press (Braintree). Their ball movement is just a reflection of how much they’ve played together. You’re just not going to be able to deny passing lanes against a team that has been here so many times.”
Braintree, despite being heavily undersized, actually won the rebound battle 31-22.
The Wamps also knocked down nine 3-pointers, most of which came off of wide open looks following superb ball movement.
“We were trying to play up-tempo and press them to get (Andover’s) forwards away from the basket,” said Braintree coach Kristen McDonnell. “They have incredible half-court sets so we were trying to disrupt that as much as possible and pull them away.
“But we are incredibly unselfish. We have a balanced attack. No one is in it for themselves or is out for their own points. I thought we played smart tonight and played very aggressive.”
Braintree came out in the first half on fire. Senior Keelah Dixon (game-high 18 points) knocked down two threes and had 13 first-half points to put the Wamps up 30-22 at the break.
Andover tried to come back in the third. Gia Bramanti nailed a 3-pointer to cut it to 34-27, but Braintree’s Mackenzie Moore answered with a triple on the Wamps’ next possession. Taylor Landry and Bramanti fueled a 5-0 run at the end of the quarter, but an Isabella Tonetti trey made it 49-36 Braintree after three.
Braintree took as large as a 15-point lead midway through the fourth, but back to back Andover threes from Shea Krekorian and Bramanti cut it to 54-43 with 4:07 left. The Warriors got as close as 10, but were never able to cut the lead to single digits in the fourth quarter.
Casey and Webber both played admirably in the final games of their Hall of Fame careers, and Andover has to be pleased with the play of its young guns. 
The sophomore Bramanti nailed three treys and finished with 11 points.
It was quite a rebound season for Andover, which went just 5-16 last year when Casey missed almost the entire year due to injury.
Braintree will play West champions Springfield Central in the state final. The time and date for that game have not yet been announced.

Braintree 60, Andover 48 
ANDOVER (22-2):     9     13     14     12     48
BRAINTREE (21-4):     14     16     19     11     60
Division 1 State Semifinals 
Andover (48): Shea Krekorian 1-0-3, Taylor Landry 1-2-5, Jillian Webber 4-4-12, Alyssa Casey 5-4-15, Gia Bramanti 4-0-11, Megan Zalanskas 0-0-0, Aislinn McMahon 1-0-2, Sarah Sullivan 0-0-0. Totals 16-10-48
Braintree (60): Adriana Timberlake 2-4-9, Jenna Roche 3-0-6, Keelah Dixon 6-3-18, Rachel Tutkus 1-2-4, Isabella Tonetti 3-0-8, Mackenzie Moore 4-0-11, Madeline Fay 2-0-4, Allyson Dillon 0-0-0. Totals 21-9-60
3-pointers: A — Bramanti 3, Landry, Krekorian, Casey; B — Dixon 3, Moore 3, Tonetti 2, Timberlake

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Girls Basketball, 03/15/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Kings of the North!: Andover headed back to state semis after beating Woburn in North championship

HAVERHILL - It was a moment two years in the making. Andover seniors Alyssa Casey and Jillian Webber remember the joy of winning the Division 1 North championship two years ago, and wanted more than anything to feel that pride again. That mentality only amplified when an injury-riddled 2015-16 season resulted in the Golden Warriors going a dismal 5-15. "After last season's struggles, we said as a team that we were going to non-stop work," said Webber. "Summer, fall, up through the winter and throughout the practices during the winter, we were going to work as hard as we possible could to get ready for the season." All that work came down to Saturday afternoon. In front of a stuffed crowd at Whittier Tech, with people standing baseline-to-baseline, No. 1 Andover made its return to the Division 1 North championship game against No. 3 Woburn. In their final chance to make it back to the TD Garden, Webber and Casey both were spectacular. Webber led the way with 24 points and hauled in a massive 20 rebounds, and Casey poured in 20 points and had 13 rebounds of her own to lead Andover to a 54-45 victory over the defending North champs. Casey and Webber scored all 25 of Andover's points in the second half. "It doesn't feel real to me yet, like it doesn't feel like it happened," said Casey. "It was all like a blur! My mind was all over the place. I'm just so proud of every single one of my teammates." Webber was better able to put her thoughts into words. "I just looked at Shea Krekorian, Taylor Landry and Gia Bramanti on the bench and said ‘Guys, we just won D1 North! We're going to the Garden,'" said Webber. "All that was going through my head was we did it. "We have worked so hard, and we did it." Saturday was not at all devoid of some excitement. Andover (22-1) only led 44-43 with four minutes left in the fourth. After Webber knocked down 1 of 2 from the line, Casey followed with a huge and-one to make it 48-43 with 2:13 left. Webber added a layup off a press-break to make it 50-43 with 55.7 seconds left, and the Warriors lived at the line the rest of the way. It was actually a 4-0 Woburn lead to start the game, but Andover responded with a 10-0 run and never trailed again. The Warriors led 29-19 at the half, but the Tanners were always able to hang around thanks to the 3-ball. Woburn (20-4) hit five of its eight total 3s in the second half, but Andover dominated the paint all day in tune to a 45-24 rebound advantage. "I told our girls (Woburn) may beat us, but they're never going to out-tough us," said Andover coach E.J. Perry, who got the entire Warrior crowd on its feet for the final seconds. "I'm a football coach. Our girls were going to be ready to play. "When we run our stuff, when we run it well and Jillian and Alyssa get touches, we're tough to beat." Bramanti helped out with six points, all in the first half, and both Landry and Sarah Sullivan each had a bucket for Andover. An unsung hero for the Warriors was freshman starter Krekorian. She smothered Woburn's Marissa Gattuso, a Merriamck commit, to a scoreless first half. Gattuso finished with 10 second half points, but could never get into a rhythm and struggled from the floor. In some rather poetic justice, Andover will be facing South champion Braintree in the state semifinal Tuesday at 5:45 p.m. from the TD Garden. Braintree (20-4) was the No. 7 seed, but rolled through the South in impressive fashion. The Womps beat traditional powers Bishop Feehan and Newton South by 13 and 15 respectively, and then crushed No. 1 Mansfield 72-43 in the South championship. Braintree has won five of the last six South championships, and is the team that eliminated Andover in the state semifinals two years ago. "I'm ready to beat them this year, that's for sure," said Casey.

Andover 54, Woburn 45 Division 1 North Final Woburn (45): Marina Rufo 2 1-2 5, Marissa Gattuso 2 5-6 10, Cassie Palmisano 1 0-0 3, Mya Blazejowski 4 0-0 12, Kelsey Qualey 1 1-2 3, Ashley Pacheco 2 0-0 4, Andrea Schiavone 3 0-1 8, Rachael Donahue 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 7-11 45 Andover (54): Shea Krekorian 0 0-2 0, Taylor Landry 1 0-2 2, Jillian Webber 11 2-4 24, Gia Bramanti 2 1-2 6, Alyssa Casey 8 3-7 20, Megan Zalanskas 0 0-0 0, Sarah Sullivan 1 0-0 2, Aislinn McMahon 0 0-0 0, Alexa Pacy 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 6-17 54 3-pointers: A - Casey, Bramanti; W - Blazejowski 4, Schiavone 2, Palmisano, Gattuso Woburn (20-4): 12  7 14 12 - 45 Andover (22-1): 14 15  9 16 - 54

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Girls Basketball, 03/11/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Casey late free throws lifts Andover past Billerica

HAVERHILL — Senior forward Alyssa Casey was happy to get a second chance to seal the deal Wednesday night.
So was Andover coach E.J. Perry and the rest of the Andover girls basketball team in the Division 1 North semifinals at Whittier Tech.
Casey, who was shooting .778 from the line entering the game, missed a 1-and-1 with 29 seconds left and the Golden Warriors ahead, 45-44, giving the Indians a chance to knock off the No. 1 seed.
But, after four missed shots, one of which was blocked by Jillian Webber, the Warriors finally got the ball back with 7.6 seconds left. Following an Andover timeout, the Warriors inbounded the ball to Casey, who was promptly fouled, setting up another 1-and-1.
This time, Casey delivered, making both free throws to clinch a 47-44 victory to send the Warriors (21-1) into Saturday’s 4 p.m. finals against Woburn (20-3), also at Whittier.
“I was really excited (to get another chance),” said Casey. “I’m usually calm under pressure and I was telling myself to stay composed.”
Perry was confident in his 6-foot Merrimack College commit.
“That’s why we had her get the ball at the end,’ said Perry. “I said to throw it to Alyssa, nobody but her.”
Casey’s final two free throws capped a strong second half and gave her a game-high 19 points (including one 3-pointer and 6 of 7 from the line) to go along with eight rebounds.
Casey, who was injured almost her entire junior year, and classmate Webber were a one-two punch that proved too much for the scrappy Indians, if only barely. 
Webber had all 11 of Andover’s points in the second quarter and backed Casey with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
“This is just incredible coming back from last year,” said Casey, the MVC Large MVP. “It just feels so good. I’m so happy to do this with this group.”
Casey and the Golden Warriors were on fire early. She hit her first three shots for seven points as Andover took a quick 10-0 lead and was ahead 18-6 before Billerica scored the last five points of the first quarter to narrow the gap to 18-11.
With Webber hitting 5 of 6 shots in the second quarter, Andover extended its lead to 29-19 at halftime. But then things started falling apart.
With Billerica applying good pressure defense, the Warriors made seven turnovers in the third quarter, getting only seven shots off and scoring six points. That allowed the Indians to claw to within two, 35-33.
The momentum shift continued early in the final period. Two free throws by MVC Division 2 Player-of-the- Year Caitlin Boermeester gave Billerica its first lead, 38-37, midway through the quarter. A basket by Emily Scurka made it 40-37. 
The Warriors were reeling.
But that’s when Andover’s twin towers delivered. Webber sank two free throws, Casey scored underneath on an assist from Webber and Casey hit a jump shot, putting the Warriors back in the lead, 43-40, and setting the stage for the decisive final free throws.
Also vital to the Warriors’ victory was their defense on the talented Boermeester. After scoring eight points in the first half, she was held without a field goal in the second half and finished with just 10 points. Freshman Shea Krekorian had the defensive assignment for the Warriors much of the second half.
The regular-season matchup also was a thriller, a 43-41 Andover win on Jan. 27.
“I like what our girls did when they gave up the lead,” said Perry. “I think that’s the first time we’ve been behind since the first game of the season.
“I thought we could get here (North finals). We would have been here last year if we were healthy.”

 

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Girls Basketball, 03/08/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Last-minute shot won't fall, Pelham upset bid falls short in semis

MANCHESTER — Pelham got all it wanted as the final seconds ticked off the Southern New Hampshire field house scoreboard.

A chance.

Staring down No. 1 ranked and undefeated Lebanon Tuesday night, No. 4 Pelham was inbounding the ball with 4.7 seconds left down 36-35.

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Girls Basketball, 03/07/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Fenway ousts No. 1 Whittier

HAVERHILL — With time ticking down in the third quarter, Whittier’s Emma Saulnier posted up in the right corner and drilled a 3-pointer to a huge roar from the Whittier faithful.

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Girls Basketball, 03/05/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Offensive woes sink Pentucket

WEST NEWBURY — The shots weren’t falling for Pentucket against Arlington Catholic in the Division 2 North quarterfinal.
Whether it was from the free-throw line (10 of 26), beyond the arc (3 of 29) or anywhere else. The Sachems struggled to put the ball through the hoop and a senior-laden Cougars squad earned a hard fought 48-43 win over Pentucket.
“Give AC credit,” said Pentucket head coach John McNamara. “They came into our gym with a big crowd and our home crowd. They had the composure in the first half and we were unsettled and it showed in our offense, our shot selection and foul shooting.”
After scoring just 21 points in the first three quarters, the Sachems stormed back. Bella Doyle hit a couple of threes and it was just a 4-point game with 1:30 left.
McNamara said, “The kids just never quit. We picked up full court.”
Junior Bella Doyle scored 8 of her 11 points in the final frame and all of her points after halftime. Freshman Casey Hunt led the hosts in scoring with a career-high 15 (her previous high was 12 twice) thanks to her aggressiveness taking it to the tin.
Erin Donlan (18 points) paced the offense for AC.
Pentucket finishes the season 18-6 while AC, which has given the Sachems problems in the postseason, improved to 16-6.
Arlington Catholic 48, Pentucket 43
Division 2 North Quarterfinals
Pentucket (43): Jameson 4-2-10, Galvin 1-0-3, B. Doyle 4-1-11, Hunt 5-5-15, M. Doyle 0-0-0, Yacubacci 0-0-0, Hurley 0-0-0, Riley 0-1-1, Cross 0-1-1, Demeule 1-0-2. Totals 15-10-43
3-pointers: B. Doyle 2, Galvin
Arlington Catholic (16-6):     10 10 12 16 — 48
Pentucket (18-6):      5  5 11 22 — 43

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Girls Basketball, 03/04/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Astros advance

Pinkerton got 17 points from Madison Mahoney and Brooke Kane added 10 points of her own to lead the girls basketball team to a 46-40 win over Merrimack in the Division 1 quarterfinals. Pinkerton will now face No. 3 seeded Bedford in the Division 1 semifinals.

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Girls Basketball, 03/04/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pythons advance in OT!

Freshman Ava Owens scored 17 points and senior Danielle Sirois added 13 points as Pelham outscored Hanover 10-5 in overtime to take the 43-38 win. The victory advances to the Pythons to the New Hampshire Division 2 semifinals where they will play top seed and undefeated Lebanon Tuesday at 8 p.m. at SNHU. The two teams have not played each other this season.

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Girls Basketball, 03/03/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Rally falls short

Meghan Mulvey led a crushing Salem defense that limited No. 6 Winnacunnet to just 12 points in the second half, but the No. 11 Blue Devils couldn't complete the rally and fell 44-38 in the Division 1 first round.

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Girls Basketball, 03/01/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Londonderry stunned

No. 5 Londonderry saw No. 12 Dover knock down a 3-pointer with nine seconds left to upset the Lancers 47-46 in the Division 1 first round. Delaney McGurn and Kelsey Coffey each led Londonderry with 11 points.

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Girls Basketball, 03/01/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pythons advance

Lilly Shlimon scored 15 points and Olivia Gagnon added 14 as Pelham beat Souhegan 70-45 in the first round of the N.H. Division 2 tournament. Pelham will next face No. 5 seed Hanover in the quarterfinals on Friday.

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Girls Basketball, 02/28/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Ames goes off

Alexia Ames nailed five 3-pointers and dropped 21 points to help Brooks crush St. Paul's 55-25. Ellie Cordes at 13 points for Brooks.

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Girls Basketball, 02/25/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

'Cats rally in Voke

 Trailing by six points with 1:20 to play, Whittier Tech's girls rallied behind Olivia Beauchesne for a 62-59 overtime victory over Greater New Bedford in the semifinals of the State Vocational tournament. Beauchesne had eight points in the fourth quarter and a season-high 18 overall while adding nine rebounds. The Wildcats will play Blackstone Valley in the Voke finals today at 5 p.m..

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Girls Basketball, 02/24/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Sanborn advances

Led by 11 points from senior Ally Statezni, No. 7 Sanborn clipped No. 10 White Mountains 36-31 in the first round of the New Hampshire Division 3 tournament. The Indians (15-4) will play at No. 2 Prospect Mountain in the quarterfinals Satuday at 7 p.m.

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Girls Basketball, 02/23/17 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars
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