RallyNorth.net

Haverhill Hillies Boys Basketball '11-'12

Fri, Dec 16, 2011 07:00 PM @ Haverhill
Team 1 2 3 4 Final
Andover 25 14 18 15 72
Haverhill 8 21 11 13 53

Uneventful night as Andover races past Hillies

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Friday, December, 16 By Bill Burt
Staff writer

HAVERHILL — Stage 2 of the Andover High boys basketball season is complete. The Golden Warriors have now played their first road game, a convincing 72-53 win over Haverhill High.

Last Tuesday night was Stage 1, when Andover opened its season at home after nearly a month of turmoil relating to a humiliating hazing incident involving several Andover High players at a July basketball camp in Easton, Mass.

Two players, considered the ringleaders of the incident, have been expelled. Five other players were suspended from athletics at Andover High for the entire school year, only to have those suspensions shortened to Jan. 1.

“I’m glad we’ve played a road game,” said Andover coach David Fazio, whose team travels to Lincoln-Sudbury for a game today at 5 p.m. “It’s not easy. We know that. But we’re going to stay together. That’s Andover High basketball.”

Andover broke out of the gate early only two minutes into the game with a 9-4 lead, with junior forward Sam Dowden scoring all of his team’s points. By the time the quarter was finished, Andover led 25-8.

It appeared the rout was on. But the Hillies outscored Andover, 8-1, with two 3-pointers to close it to 33-24 and excite the standing-room-only crowd.

“We talked about that coming in. Haverhill can score quickly. They shoot the ball right away,” said Fazio.
Haverhill, which had 6-8 All-American Noah Vonleh transfer to prep school in the offseason, never got any closer and Andover led by double digits the rest of the way.

While Dowden led the first half, his co-star, James Costello, an early contender for Merrimack Valley Conference Player of the Year, showed his elite athleticism with drives to the basket beginning near midcourt.

Dowden finished with 25 points and Costello with 18.

Both downplayed the extra added excitement as Andover’s first road game since the controversy.

“It’s just a basketball game. That’s the way we have to treat it,” said Costello. “The game is the same, five people on the court ... Every game we play is in a (full) gym like this.”

If Andover is a contender in the MVC and a force in the state tournament, Costello and Dowden, both with scholarship aspirations, will have to bring their collective A-games, like each did last night.

“We’re used to it,” said Dowden. “We’re close. We play together every day.”

Another highlight for Andover was freshman point guard Reid Bryant, who was expected to see some time this year. But with the suspensions, Bryant, who had four points and four assists, is expected be a key going forward.

“We need him to slow things down when they get a little wacky,” said Fazio. “He’s going to have to play a bigger role. Everybody is going to have to play a bigger role. That’s the way it’s going to be for us.”

Other than a late fourth quarter chant from the Haverhill High student section, “We’re better people!,” it was pretty much a pedestrian night of MVC basketball.

When Fazio heard the chant, he immediately had a quick meeting on the bench with the reserves.

“I told them, ‘It’s OK. Let’s be a classy program, and not react,’” said Fazio. “Honestly, overall, the fans were great. The kids from both schools, in a sign of unity, walked out together. It was a good night for basketball.”

Game Statistics:

Andover (72): Scarpa 0-0-0, Singleton 0-0-0, Bryant 2-0-4, Piscareta 0-0-0, Dunn 4-3-12, Dreyfus 4-1-9, Costello 7-4-19, Dowden 11-1-25, Brickman 0-3-3, Totals 28-12-72
Haverhill (53): Jameson 1-0-3, Dionne 5-1-11, Roche 2-0-6, Comei 0-1-1, Wozniak 0-1-1, Rogers 5-1-12, Valentin 2-0-4, Bresnahan 2-0-4, Callahan 1-2-4, Morgan 2-0-6, Wrenn 0-1-1, Totals 20-7-53
Andover – 25  14  18  15 – 72
Haverhill –8   21  11  13 – 53
3-pointers: A – Dowden 2, Costello, Dunn; H – Roche 2, Morgan 2, Rodgers, Jameson
 
 
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