After watching its 8-point lead with six minutes left in the fourth quarter disappear, the Central Catholic girls’ basketball team needed one signature stop to avoid a heartbreaking loss.
Andover called a timeout with 9.8 seconds remaining with the score tied to set up a play, but the Raiders stayed poised and prevented the Warriors from getting a clean look. Central Catholic coach Casey Grange credited her team for not fouling or unraveling.
“I think that gave us a lot of momentum, even if it was just one defensive stop, going into overtime,” Grange said.
In the end, Central Catholic outlasted host Andover, 50-43, in a Merrimack Valley Large battle between two rivals Tuesday night. Senior guard Tatum Shaw paced Andover (0-1) with a game-high 31 points, but the Raiders (1-0) found a way thanks to 18 from senior captain Adrianna Niles and their overall depth.
After the Raiders swept the regular-season series between the teams last winter en route to a league title, the Warriors prevailed in a Division 1 North quarterfinal showdown that helped launch them to an eventual state co-championship. Though that result was on the Raiders’ minds for a while this offseason, they were more so focused on starting strong in a new year.
“It was really just nice to be on the court and play again, and playing against a rival was just an extra bonus,” Niles said. “It’s always a good game when we play against Andover.”
The Raiders exploded for 12 points in the four-minute overtime period, as Maggie Smith scored near the basket, the versatile Niles swished a top-of-the-key 3, and freshman Ashley Dinges (14 points, 12 rebounds) converted inside twice to highlight the scoring.
Shaw continued to make life difficult for CC, hitting two free throws and burying yet another 3-pointer. The Warriors trailed, 45-43, with 1:48 remaining, then the Raiders held them scoreless the rest of the way. Central took several charges, and rotated on defense and closed out well in the game’s defining moments in both regulation and overtime.
The Warriors lost sophomore forward Anna Foley early in the game, and they trailed, 14-13, after one quarter, 23-20 at halftime, and 32-26 through three, but they managed to force overtime and make Central respond with one final push.
“Our kids are resilient,” Andover coach Alan Hibino said. “They’re tough. We’ll make adjustments. Yes, we like to be out on the court and we like to play, but we’re competitors. We keep score, we want to win. It doesn’t matter if we’re playing checkers, chess, or Connect Four.”
The Warriors won’t have to wait long to face the Raiders again, as the teams are scheduled to meet again Friday.
Acton-Boxborough 57, Cambridge 41 — Grace O’Sullivan (12 points, 11 rebounds), Paige Pittorino (11 points, 6 steals), and Shannon Patrick (11 points) led Acton-Boxborough (1-1) to a Dual County League win.
Apponequet 62, Fairhaven 29 — Abby Lens scored a game-high 25 points as the Lakers (3-0) remained undefeated in the South Coast Conference.
Bridgewater-Raynham 65, Brockton 24 — Senior Kenzie Matulonis (16 points, 6 assists, 7 steals) led the way for the Trojans (3-0) in the Southeast Conference.
Duxbury 38, Quincy 19 — Laurene Jordan and Sydney Ropes scored 13 points apiece to propel the Dragons (3-0) past the Presidents (0-4) in a Patriot League matchup.
Hanover 50, North Quincy 44 — Junior Dani Tilden (14 points) led the Hawks in scoring while senior center Claire Connolly (8 points) was huge on the boards with 20 rebounds as Hanover improved to 3-0 in the Patriot League.
Hopkinton 32, Westwood 25 — Kiki Fossbender netted 14 points for the visiting Hillers in the Tri-Valley League win.
Matignon 45, Saint Joseph Prep 33 — Seniors Erica Hutchinson (15 points) and Krysta Lingley (10 points) led the host Warriors (1-0) to the Catholic Central League win.
Methuen 61, Dracut 54 — Samantha Pfeil (18 points) and Kaitlyn Tierney (14 points) led the Rangers (1-0) in an overtime season-opening win in the Merrimack Valley Conference.
Norton 65, Bellingham 38 — Senior Hannah Sheldon starred on Senior Night with 24 points to guide the host Lancers (2-0) past the Blackhawks (0-3) in Tri-Valley action.
Oliver Ames 59, Foxborough 48 — Senior Kelsey Yelle produced a 12-point, 12-rebound double-double as the Tigers (1-0) outscored the Warriors, 15-5, in the fourth quarter to pull away for the Hockomock League win on Senior Night.
Peabody 57, Gloucester 16 — Amber Kiricoples recorded 13 points, 10 rebounds, and 5 assists to drive the Tanners (1-0) to a Northeastern Conference opening win.
Rockland 44, East Bridgewater 27 — Junior Julia Elie led the Bulldogs with 13 points and sophomore Charlie Kelliher added 12 as the Bulldogs improved to 2-1 in the South Shore League.
Andover 60, Central Catholic 57 — Dave Fazio is in his 32nd season on the Andover bench, but he can’t hide his enthusiasm for a rare commodity on his roster: junior bigs Aidan Cammann and Logan Satlow.
Both were pivotal as the Golden Warriors pulled out the season-opening Merrimack Valley Conference win over visiting Central. The 6-foot-6-inch Satlow delivered 18 points and 10 rebounds, but it was the 6-9 Cammann who was immense in the final two minutes. Cammann, who has an offer from nearby Merrimack, sank two free throws with 1:17 remaining for a 55-50 lead.
Central answered with a 3, but Cammann followed with a put-back for a 57-53 lead, then finished off a pretty dish from a penetrating Zayn Aruri with a two-handed dunk for a 6-point cushion.
“We have always had guards, no one taller than 6-2,” Fazio said. “Now we have two big guys, and we have to try the best way we can to get them the ball. They played very well together.”
There were no spectators in the gym because of the COVID restrictions, but Andover and Central certainly had an audience: the game was live-streamed from start to finish. “I turned on my phone [after], and its unbelievable how many people were watching,” he said. “Thank the administration for doing this. ... This was a very good win for us. Central is very good.”
Acton-Boxborough 67, Cambridge 54 — After a close three quarters in the Dual County League tilt, A-B (2-0) pulled away with a string of quick runs to start the final frame. Shea Doherty led A-B with 17 points, Josh Poretto scored 13, and Bobby Sweet added 11.
“We got some good looks towards the end of the third and the start of the fourth quarter, we got a double-digit lead, and never looked back,” A-B coach Sercan Fenerci said.
Attleboro 60, Milford 52 — Junior guard Evan Houle led the Bombardiers with 17 points, and Jordan Darling paced Milford with a game-high 18 in the Hockomock League.
BC High 88, Xaverian 65 — Mike Loughnane scored 20 points to power the Eagles (1-1) to a Catholic Conference victory.
Canton 45, Sharon 42 — Ryan Connerney scored 13 points to help the undefeated Bulldogs (3-0) edge the Eagles in the Hockomock League.
Dighton-Rehoboth 77, Bourne 40 — Junior Ryan Ouellette dropped in 26 points to lift the Falcons (2-1) to a South Coast Conference win.
Greater New Bedford 85, Wareham 47 — Shane Poitras Jr. racked up 31 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 assists for the Bears in the South Coast win.
Lowell 53, Haverhill 35 — Jaceb McKenzie (18 points, 4 assists), George Turksen (8 points, 10 rebounds), and Chris Ouko (13 points, 6 steals) paced the Red Raiders in the MVC victory.
Lowell Catholic 99, Innovation Academy 27 — Isaiah Taylor netted his 1,000th career point while collecting 16 steals, 5 assists, and 4 rebounds for the host Crusaders.
Natick 65, Milton 54 — Lateef Patrick’s 27 points powered the Redhawks (2-0) to the Bay State Conference victory.
North Quincy 61, Hanover 55 — Nate Caldwell (11 points) led three Red Raiders (2-1) in double figures during the overtime win. Andrew Rocci had 21 points and 11 rebounds to pace Hanover.
Peabody 49, Gloucester 40 — Drew Lucas (20 points, 7 rebounds) proved to be the difference as the Tanners (1-0) picked up the win in their Northeastern Conference season opener.
Pembroke 56, Plymouth South 39 — Connor Lockhart (13 points) and Jaden Jackson (12 points) headlined a balanced scoring attack to help the Titans (1-2) pick up their first Patriot League win of the season.
Rockland 48, East Bridgewater 34 — Seniors Derrick Williams (15 points) and Patrick Moriarty (14 points) led the way for the Bulldogs as they improved to 2-0 in South Shore League action.
Westwood 72, Hopkinton 62 — Senior guard James McGowan poured in 31 points, Russell Dolabany netted 15, and Michael Noone had 11 for the Wolverines in the Tri-Valley League road win.
Craig Larson, Andrew Lin, Steve Sousa, and Nate Weitzer also contributed.