Andover Townsman, Andover, MA


January 2, 2014

Sweet rival victory

AHS fends off Central for Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic title

The Andover High boys basketball team beat Central Catholic.

Sounds so simple. But after losing 22 of 23 since 2005, it has been anything but simple for Andover High coach David Fazio and his respected boys basketball program.

Andover won the Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic, 72-68, on Saturday night, which was a cause for celebration.

“It’s an amazing feeling to come out here and play with so much energy and beat them,” said forward Ben Brown, one of only three seniors to see action Saturday night for the Warriors. “It’s like no other feeling.”

Central, which lost to perennial national power St. Anthony’s the previous night, appeared ready to continue its dominance over its border rival, jumping to an 8-0 start before hitting the two-minute mark.

“When you get down like that, we have to look at what we’re doing,” said Brown, who finished with 12 points. “We just had to get into the flow of the game. We were rushing too much. Once we got comfortable, we just kind of took it from there.”

A well-placed early time-out obviously settled the Warriors, who did not have a turnover in the final 6:40 and finished the period on a 12-0 run that provided the lead for good.

“These kids want to win,” Fazio said. “They know it’s a long season and they’re going to get better, but they want to win. I told them the tougher team is going to win.”

The Warriors continued to surge in the second period, scoring six of the quarter’s first nine points, including five by Connor Merinder to open a 28-15 lead. Then a strong start to the third turned a 10-point halftime advantage into a 49-33 lead with 3:38 remaining in the frame.

Andover (4-0) not only responded offensively, converting nine of its 18 threes and 25 of its 52 shots, but muscled up defensively against Raider threat Tyler Nelson, who had scored 45 points his previous two games. With Brown and John Pisacreta leading the way, the Warriors used multiple tactics to hold the returning Eagle-Tribune MVP to 11 points and nine field-goal attempts. He took only four shots after intermission.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • at alois photo 1

    FILE PHOTO Jackie Alois, here making a move against archrival Central Catholic while at Andover High School, has continued to be a force on the soccer field in college. As a freshman last fall, she won a starting job at Brown University in Rhode Island, and is hoping for more success in her sophomore season this year.

    Former Andover hoops star Alois makes immediate impact for Brown soccer Posted 6 days ago 2 Photos
  • at baseball photo

    COURTESY PHOTO Andover 13-year-old Pony Team won the Suburban League title. The team includes, back row, from left, coach Frank Mazza, Chris Rassais, Sam Luxa, Jeff Sambuco, Nick Silva, Arvin Nunez, George Kombouras and Tommy Gallagher; and front row, from left, Andrew Theriault, Alex Haftner, Pat Archambault, Steve Shaw and Josh Gruenberg. John Gemmell, Nick Christopher and Colin Kirkpatrick are missing from the photo.

    Andover wins Pony League 13-year-old title Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • Rodriguez, Perry lead boys Hoops for Hope Posted 6 days ago

    COURTESY PHOTO The District 5 U14 girls soccer team that won the 2014 Massachusetts District Select title included,, front row, from left, Cassidy Fletcher of Boxford, Sarah Freeman of Merrimac, Emily Nelson of Peabody, Mary Laut of Georgetown, Jillian Good of North Andover, Audra Greenblott of West Newbury, Carolina Ivanov of Ipswich, Jillian Arigo of Peabody, Brooke Hernon of Methuen and Emalie Tjalsma of Andover, and, back row, from left, coach Dave Swallow of Methuen, Kate Gregory of Andover, Mary O'Connor of North Andover, Allison Rodrigues of North Andover, Jackie Mothon of Methuen, Ali Sommers of Byfield, Shea Jenkins of West Newbury, Katie Swallow of Methuen, Maddie Rhodes of Andover and coach Ron Arigo of Peabody. Caroline King of Gloucester and Tory Tustin of North Andover are missing from the photo.

    Locals help undefeated D5 team score state title Posted 6 days ago 1 Photo
  • Kuchar family

    Courtesy photo Chris Kuchar with his wife, Karin, and children, Tyler and Sofia. He says he has had a passion for hockey since he was a boy.

    The new guy at the rink; Kuchar expects Golden Warrior hockey program to compete with state's best Posted 13 days ago 2 Photos

    Nationals pitcher Ryan Grecco readies to fire off a pitch in the districts against the Andover Americans.

    A season to remember; Andover IIU Nationals score summer trip to the states Posted 13 days ago 7 Photos
  • 140731_AT_ASW_BBALL_2

    Jack Danisch, 13, of Andover, concentrates as he readies to toss up a free throw from the foul line during last week's camp session.

    For the love of the game; Hooptown nets another winning summer Posted 13 days ago 6 Photos
  • Thursday, July 31, 2014
  • 140623_AT_RHU_GOLF_007

    RYAN HUTTON/Staff photo Jamie Lyman, 10, of Andover, works on his driving form from one of the tee boxes at Sarkisian Farms Driving Range.

    Links lessons; Golf School par for the course for local youngsters Posted 20 days ago 7 Photos

    RYAN HUTTON/Staff photo Kingston Night Owls pitcher Steve Considine is the dean of the best staff in the North Shore Baseball League. He has been with the team for 14 years.

    Pitcher Considine a consistent ace for Night Owls Posted 20 days ago 5 Photos

    Andover Legion pitcher Scott Allan of North Reading delivers a pitch for the Andover Legion. CARL RUSSO/Staff photo

    Summer sensation; Allan near-perfect from the mound for Andover Legion Posted 20 days ago 4 Photos

Pictures of the Week