Bishop Feehan Shamrocks Girls Basketball '21-'22

Central dominates Feehan; Andover up next

LAWRENCE – A week ago, after knocking off Concord Carlisle in their state tournament opener, "Andover" was a forbidden word for the Central Catholic girls.

“They know better (than to even think about Andover),” said Raider coach Casey Grange said after the playoff opener.

Friday night on their home court in the MIAA Division 1 state quarterfinals, the Raiders earned the right to again think about the top-seeded Warriors and a shot at vindication. No. 4 Central drilled No. 5 Bishop Feehan of Attleboro, 63-50.

In a matchup that seemed all but predestined when the pairings were announced, it will be Andover-Central Catholic: Round 3, in the state semis with the right to play for a championship hanging in the balance.

“It’s great. We’ve been wanting another shot at them, and I feel like we’re so well-prepared,” said Central’s sensational sophomore Ashley Dinges, who continued her assault on the D-1 field with 26 points and 18 rebounds. “We’ve played some really big teams since then. We’ve all put so much hard work and effort into everything. We have the mentality we can do anything we put our minds to.”

Central, now 19-4, assumed control early on against Feehan, building a 16-8 lead after one quarter and holding the margin at 28-20, going into halftime.

Dinges, who is averaging 28.3 points a game in the postseason, owned the third quarter with a dozen points, five boards and one silky no-look assist to Leah Deleon as Central bumped the advantage to 14 at 47-33. Feehan would not challenge again.

“This group is just so fun to work with because they don’t care about anything. They’re fearless, fun-loving, happy-go-lucky. If they’re playing LeBron James they don’t care,” said Grange of her group’s handling this quarterfinal challenge with relative ease. “They’re like ‘Let’s go!’ I’m throwing up because I’m so nervous and they’re laughing at me because they’re ready.”

Dinges doesn’t sound like a sophomore when she speaks of the Raiders' confident, laid-back approach.

“Practices are literally so intense that games feel like practice,” said the 6-footer. “We just beat each other up and we’re best friends after. We get in the games, and we are used to getting beat up. It’s the perfect scenario.”

Central got a dozen from sophomore sniper Sam Guertin, who canned four 3-pointers. Seniors Claire Finney (9 points) and Arlenis Veloz (8) were all over the floor, per usual.

And now the countdown begins. The Merrimack Valley champion Warriors knocked off Central twice on their way through a perfect conference campaign. The last came on Central’s senior night, a two-point decision that belonged to Andover’s Amelia Hanscom, who had a career-high 24 points in that one.

“We believe we can put it together and give them a good game,” said Grange.

Read More »
Girls Basketball, 03/12/22 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars