DRACUT — Andover coach Dave Fazio had been waiting for his youthful boys’ basketball team stocked with upside to finally put together a complete performance.
It may have taken them nine games, but the Warriors accomplished that feat Friday night in an 82-37 Merrimack Valley Conference victory against host Dracut.
Aidan Cammann, a 6-foot-8-inch sophomore, scored 23 points, classmate Richie Shahtanian added 14 points, and the Warriors dominated the 20th-ranked Middies from start to finish.
Andover led by 20 points at halftime and stretched the lead to 61-25 in the third quarter before pulling the starters. After dropping a pair of games in the Commonwealth Motors Classic in late December, the Warriors (6-3) have won three of four, winning by an average margin of 31 points.
“No doubt the best game we played all season,” Fazio said. “We got some young guys and we’re starting to find ourselves now, we’re starting to play the way Andover basketball is supposed to be played. If you saw us at Christmas time you wouldn’t even recognize this team.”
Cammann had a sizable height differential and the Warriors fed him in the paint early and often. He scored 18 points in the first half on 8-for-10 shooting. His presence down low opened perimeter looks for Shahtanian, who knocked down four 3-pointers in the opening frame.
Andover assisted on 10 of its 18 first-half baskets and led 45-25 at the break. A 16-0 run to begin the third quarter ballooned the advantage to 36 points and prompted Fazio to pull his starters with three minutes to go in the quarter.
Up to that point, the Warriors shot 78 percent (25 for 32) from the floor, connecting on a number of layups which were a direct result of sharp passing.
“Kyle Rocker is our top scorer and he’s looking to go inside to find Aidan,” Fazio said. “All baskets are Andover baskets according to me. We really executed on offense.”
On defense, Andover recorded 12 steals and allowed just 4 points during the first 14 minutes of the second half.
Dracut (4-4) was led by junior guard Kevin Agyemang, who scored 14 points.
“Our defense was amazing,” said Cammann, who also grabbed 10 rebounds and blocked two shots. “We were denying everything all over the court. Our intensity was an improvement. We were hustling more and getting back better.”
Matt Doherty can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.