Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

Sports

January 2, 2014

Sweet rival victory

AHS fends off Central for Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic title

(Continued)

“We know Tyler Nelson is a great shooter, and we had to shut him down this game if we were going to win,” said Brown, who caught some needed defensive help on the sharpshooter from Pisacreta. “Coach told me to face guard him, and I just had to put all my effort into it.”

Junior David Giribaldi powered the Andover attack, finishing with a game-high 27, including 17 in the second half as the Raiders continuously fought off Central charges, one of which cut the deficit to 55-54 with 5:58 remaining. Fittingly, seniors Brown and Pisacreta combined to make seven of eight free throws in the final 66 seconds to secure the win.

“The seniors went through the four losses (to Central) we had last year,” Fazio said. “At some point when you’re a senior, you get your opportunity, and you decide. You decide what your legacy is and what your season is going to be. This is just a terrific win for our team.”

Nick Cambio paced the Raider offense with 24 points, including 16 in the second half to keep Central within range.

“I think we just stopped executing on the offensive end,” Central coach Rick Nault said. “When you rely so much of your offense on Tyler Nelson and the team is doing a good job of shutting him down or taking him away, you have to do some other things to get him some looks. And we didn’t do that. We definitely didn’t put the ball in the basket.”

Andover 72, Central Catholic 68

Andover (72): Ben Brown 4 2-3 12, E.J. Perry IV 3 3-5 9, John Pisacreta 1 5-6 7, David Giribaldi 11 1-2 27. Connor Merinder 4 1-1 10, Gabriel Hernandez 2 0-0 6, Jeffrey Dreyfus 0 0-0 0, Ryan O’Connell 0 1-2 1. Totals 25 13-19 72

Central Catholic (68): A.J. Pettway 4 1-2 13, Tyler Nelson 3 4-8 11, Kevin Fernandez 3 2-4 9, Aaron Hall 2 0-0 4, Nick Cambio 10 3-4 24, Anthony Crespo 0 2-2 2, John Homsey 0 0-0 0, Alec Buresh 2 0-0 5. Totals 24 12-20 68

3-pointers: A — Giribaldi 4, Brown 2, Hernandez 2, Merinder; CC — Pettway 4, Nelson, Fernandez, Cambio, Buresh.

Andover (4-0): 22 12 21 17 — 72

Central Catholic (3-2): 13 11 22 22 — 68

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