The girls’ and boys’ basketball teams are having good seasons, and each team looks capable of succeeding this year. The girls’ basketball team came out firing this season, posting an undefeated record through the first nine games. The girls’ record right now is 14-1. Colleen Caveney, a senior captain on the team, said: “At the beginning of the season we came out well, although we definitely played better in some games than in others.”
The girls’ team has continued to play well, despite a loss to North Andover. Speaking about the loss to North Andover, Caveney said “I actually think the loss was good for us so that we realize that all teams are going to come ready to play us and it’s going to take effort from everybody to get the win.”
The team has a chance to do very well this year. Senior captain Rachael Cormier said, “I think we have a really good chance of going really far in the playoffs this year.” Last year, the girls lost in the state tournament to Masconomet.
The girls’ most significant win this season came against Chelmsford. Regarding their victory, Caveney said “they have a really great team this year, so it took a lot for everybody to stay focused and play their best game, which I think a lot of us did.”
The girls won the Christmas Tournament, along with the boys. The girls defeated North Andover to win and the boys defeated Central Catholic. On Tuesday, February 10, the girls play Billerica. The winner of that game is the MVC champion.
Team chemistry is strong for the team. Cormier said, “The girls basketball team is really close considering we spend about three hours at least everyday together.”
Now let’s talk about the boys’ team. The boys’ basketball team has also done well. While starting off the season strong, the boys cooled off a bit, but still stand in strong position. Their record is 13-3.
In terms of current focus, Reid Bryant, a senior captain, said: “We are focusing on playing as a team and coming together as a family. Both on offense and defense, we want to be like the Spurs. It doesn’t matter who scores, as long as we score. It’s all about playing for each other.”
Junior Ryan O’Connell added, “I think our biggest challenge this year has been on the defensive side. We know that we are capable of scoring and have relied too heavily on our offense to win games. So to fix that we’ve been spending lots of time on defense in practice and we’re making it our priority.”
Some of the team’s most significant wins have been the victory over Central Catholic in the Christmas tournament final, defeating Lawrence for Coach Fazio’s 400th win, and beating Central again on the road.
When asked about the team’s chances to do well this season, O’Connell said: “We definitely have the talent to go far in the state tournament, but we have to buy in on defense if we want a chance at doing so. If we can do that and execute what Faz is telling us then we’ll be a very good team.”
Senior Gabe Hernandez had a similar perspective. He said, “the only way we’ll be successful this season is if we listen to Coach Fazio. He knows exactly what to do at any moment. We just have to perform at our highest levels.”
It’s not going to be easy for either team. But both teams are looking strong, and the Jungle will be there for both teams in their quest for success. “The jungle is the best fan section hands down,” Bryant said. “They are a part of our Andover basketball family.”
By Alex Bensley