Andover Golden Warriors Boys Basketball '07-'08

Tue, Feb 26, 2008 07:00 PM @ Lynn Classical
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Playoff Game Division 1 North - Preliminary Round
Andover 13 12 6 13 44
Lynn Classical 15 14 8 16 53

Frigid Andover takes Classical fall

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Wednesday, February, 27 By Hector Longo
Staff writer

At some point, you have to put the ball in the basket or you just won't win.

It's a season-long lesson that stung Andover High one final time last night as Lynn Classical downed the Golden Warriors in the Division 1 North tourney opener, 53-44.

The Golden Warriors, seeded 17th, seemingly delivered all the key pieces to earn a postseason road win. There was effort, intelligence and execution, right up until that final split-second difference between hit and miss.

"We kind of did what we wanted to do, we did a good job on their best players, (Jarell) Byrd and (Jasper) Grassa," said Andover coach Dave Fazio. "At the end of the day, and it might have been our M.O. all season, we just can't and did not put up enough points on the board."

Andover got more than its share of open shots but shot a woeful 18 of 59 from the field (31 percent). This despite a dynamic 8-of-13 performance from senior Tristian Shannon. "We just missed shots," said Fazio. "It kind of sounds like a copout, but we just didn't make enough buckets."

Still, this was anybody's game with eight minutes to go. Shannon's 15-point first half and a quiet third quarter from both teams left the margin at 37-31 headed to the fourth quarter.

That's where the Golden Warriors' fortunes ran dry. "The shots were there, and come state tournament time, you have to make them," added Fazio. "It's hard to keep that defensive tenacity up when you're not making shots. And that's what got us."

Shannon was the story for Andover early, shredding the Classical frontcourt time and again to trail by only four at the break (29-25).

The Rams went to a gimmick defense, playing a box-and-one on the 6-foot-3 Shannon and putting the ball into the other Warriors' hands. Fazio, as always, went deep into his rotation, but just couldn't find anyone else to put the ball in the hole.

"Against a box-an-one, there's so many open looks for the other guys," said Fazio. "That probably bothered us a little, but we just got so many other open looks, wide-open threes. We just didn't make them.

"It's disappointing to end this way when you have seven seniors you care about, and you want better things for. It's just been a tough year."

Senior Derrick Beasley finished with 11, the only other Warrior to score more than three points on the night. With the defeat, Andover finishes up at 11-12, the program's first losing campaign since 1996 (10-13).

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