Tag Archives: Anna Foley

Springfield Central takes D1 girls state title 43-40 over Andover

Springfield Central hangs on to get Division 1 state title
Amany Lopez (16 points)

(Lowell) Andover didn’t score a point in the first 5 ½ minutes of the game.

Springfield Central didn’t score a point in the last 5 ½ minutes of the game.

Were they both flirting with disaster?  You bet.

But that’s how it went in the girls Division 1 state finals between Andover and Springfield Central on Sunday at the Tsongas Center.

Springfield Central prevailed, 43-40.

The Eagles (21-1) had to hold their collective breaths at the end as the Warriors (21-2) had several possessions to earn a tie in the closing seconds.

Possible Andover tying three on the way from the corner late in the game.

“I thought that we had a good look on the second-to-last possession (three from the left corner),” said Andover coach Alan Hibino afterwards.

Anna Foley (22 points)

“I also thought that the last shot was going to fall,” he added. “It was right on line, just a little short.”

Springfield Central put on a basketball clinic for the first nine minutes.  They scored from the inside and outside (four 3’s) as well as defending Andover into mistakes and missed shots.

Before the Warriors could put a stop to this avalanche of misfortune, the Eagles had a 24-2 lead one minute into the second quarter.

The finish of the first quarter was incredibly exhilarating for Springfield Central.  Near to a shot-clock violation, Jordyn Robinson drained a three with four seconds left.  Andover almost immediately committed a violation setting SC up for a final, long-range desperation heave by Amany Lopez.  In it went as the buzzer sounded.  That’s six points in four seconds!

Amany Lopez’s first quarter buzzer beater on the way
Julie Bahati up for a rebound

“Their pressure, length, speed, and athleticism were hard for us to simulate in practice,” explained Coach Hibino.  “I knew that in the game we would have to adjust to it, but I didn’t imagine it would take the first ten minutes to do it.”

The terrible start had Andover fast approaching the “Warm up the bus,” and/or “It’s all over” scenarios but they managed to stop the downward slide and make a game of it.

“We were resilient,” said Coach Hibino.  “The team never lost hope.”

The rest-of-the game math will tell you that Andover outscored Springfield Central 38-19 from that 24-2 start.

Amany Lopez breaks in

The Warriors were methodical (one 3-pointer) in their chase for the lead.  Anna Foley registered twenty-two points during the comeback.

Springfield Central coach James Gee said afterwards that fouls were a factor.  “We got called for a lot of fouls in the second quarter.  It slowed our game down and our aggressiveness.”

Andover tightened the game at halftime to 28-15.  Morgan Shirley hit a jump shot and Anna Foley added three free throws for the Warriors in the last 1 ½ minutes.

Tess Gobiel and Jordis Taulatatasi

Andover lessened the Springfield Central lead to 39-30 after three quarters.  Anna Foley finished the last minute with a traditional 3-point play and a jump shot.

The Eagles seemed to regather themselves early in the final quarter.  Junior Amany Lopez turned a steal into a layup and seconds later broke in for another layup. 

Springfield Central now led 43-30 with 5 ½ minutes left.  Shockingly, they would never score again but be able to hold on and win the D1 championship.

“We had some tough battles in the state tournament that prepared us,” said Coach Gee.  “We were down by eleven at halftime in one of them.  We’re used to fighting and battling.”

Marissa Kobelski

Andover scored ten straight points over the next five minutes to get within three points (43-40) with 1 ½ minutes left.  Marissa Kobelski, Amelia Hanscom, Michaela Buckley, and Ann Foley all contributed.

But that was the best Andover could do. 

Springfield Central missed front ends of two one-and-one’s in the final thirty seconds to give Andover extra opportunities.

“We got it down to one possession, but they made a couple more plays at the end,” said Coach Hibino.

“As coach told us, sometimes you dig a hole too deep and even if you fight back there isn’t enough time to get fully out of it,” said junior Amelia Hanscom post-game.

Tie up

“These girls have been wanting this so bad,” said Coach Gee.  “This is what we’ve been talking about all season.”

Junior Amany Lopez led the Eagles with sixteen points including the teams last four points in the final quarter.  She had steals and deflections and didn’t turn the ball over.

“Amany loves to make the big shot,” said Coach Gee.  “She’s not scared of it.  She wants to do it for her team.”

“Winning feels so good right now,” said Amany.  “Playing AAU I’m used to playing against tough competition.  We thought that their weakness might be dribbling so we played good tight defense.  We came together as a team in the close moments at the end.”

Anna Foley blocks

The Eagles finished the season with nineteen straight wins.

The Warriors did themselves no favors at the foul line making just nine of twenty attempts.  Several of the misses were front ends of one-and-one’s. 

“This one will sting for a few days but then we’ll move on,” concluded Coach Hibino.  “Life goes on.”

Both teams return most of their players for next year.  Could there be a rematch next March?

Springfield Central     20    8    11     4   =   43

                  Andover       2   13   15   10   =   40

(The pictures will enlarge.)    


Game ending
Michaela Buckley pressures Amany Lopez as Coach Gee watches
Amany Lopez jumps into a passing lane
Michaela Buckley and Jordyn Robinson
Amany Lopez alone in the corner
Rebound battle
Amelia Hanscom (9 points)
Amany Lopez over Michaela Buckley
Springfield Central box
Andover box

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Andover reaches D1 Final Four with 56-33 win over Newton North

Captains Hailey Doherty, Tess Gobiel, and Morgan Shirley with trophy
Amelia Hanscom (25 pts)

(Andover MA) “They’re the #1 seed for a reason,” said Newton North coach Mo Hamel afterwards.

The NN coach had just seen her team lose, 56-33, to Andover on Friday night in the Division One Elite Eight.

The Warriors will now face Central Catholic, a familiar Merrimack Valley Conference opponent that they have beaten twice in close games this season.

The Warriors, “came out well,” was the way Coach Alan Hibino described his team’s breakaway first half in tonight’s game.

Hard to argue.  Andover scored the first twelve points of the game and the last nine points of the first quarter.  The Warriors were off 23-5 after one quarter and the Tigers never recovered.

Abby Wright (15 points)

Coach Hibino, however, described his team’s 33-14 lead at halftime as, “uncomfortable,” for good reason.

“Newton North (24th seed) had been down by nineteen points and eleven points in their two previous tournament games and had come back to win,” he explained.

“We made sure that we focused on the next play and forgot about the lead we had,” Coach Hibino added.

The approach worked in the second half.  The Warriors raised their lead to the twenties in the third quarter and held it there in the final quarter.

Michaela Buckley heads to the hoop

The Tigers (12-12) had been down before, but this was different.  “We’ve dug ourselves holes all year,” said Coach Hamel, “but you can’t beat a good team digging the hole we did tonight.”

The Warriors were able to get inside shots from the get-go.  Andover didn’t score from the outside until Ari White did it was a three-pointer 3 ½ minutes into the second period.

The Tigers were determined to keep the ball away from 6-3 Anna Foley but concentrating on denying her opened things up for other Warriors.

Amelia Hanscom (25 points) was the chief capitalizer notching twelve points in just the first quarter.  Amelia had eight of the Warriors first fourteen points.  Two of her early layups were assisted by Anna Foley.

Andover coach Alan Hibino

“They ran their sets so quickly and efficiently,” said Coach Hamel.  “We knew what was coming and we were prepared for it, but it didn’t matter.”

The Warriors’ offense started well and so did their defense.  A key to their fine beginning was holding the Tigers’ Abby Wright scoreless in that breakaway first quarter.

Credit Marissa Kobelski with some tough defense on the 6-2 NN junior.  “It was a physical game,” said Marissa.  “Abby is a very good player.  It helped me prepare for her because I play against Anna (Foley) every day in practice.”

Marissa Kobelski defends

“Marissa is an amazing defender,” explained teammate Michaela Buckley.  “She’s done it through the year for us.”

“We had seen Abby (Wright) have a fantastic game against Chelmsford,” said Coach Hibino afterwards.  “We also saw her score thirty on Central Catholic in the Comcast Tournament. She was every bit as good as advertised.  It was a team effort against her.”

Despite the heavy pressure Abby did finish with fifteen points and plenty of rebounds.

Tigers’ coach Mo Hamel

“We’ve been led by Abigail all year,” said Coach Hamel.  “She did what she could out there.  We needed some supporting contributions and didn’t get them today.”

Maggie Scanlon was the Tigers second highest scorer with five points.

Anna Foley finished with twelve points getting ten of them in the first half.

Newton North’s best run of offense was early in the second quarter.  Maggie Scanlon and Abby Wright tallied layups and Abby converted a rebound. 

Anna Foley drives

This streak of scoring put the Tigers within twelve (23-11).  Ari White, however followed with a triple (assisted by Anna Foley) and then Anna hit a foul line jumper on an inbounds play. 

“We had a lot of people step up in the first half,” said Coach Hibino.

“We came into this year inexperienced and with low expectations from many people,” said Coach Hamel, “but we had a good run.”

Freshman Devon Burke

“We want to win for our seniors,” said Marissa Kobelski.  “We want the longest season possible.”

Plenty of vocal support on hand for both teams.  Andover also had an excellent pep band.

Andover   23   10   13   10   =   56

Newton North   5   9   10   9   =   33

(The pictures will enlarge.)

Andover box
Newton North box
Andover bench celebration
Sophia Beatrice sees an opening
Amelia Hanscom and Abby Wright
Battle for a rebound
Nadia Briggs and Michaela Buckley
Denying a pass
Abby Wright and Anna Foley
Tess Gobiel and Abby Wright
Andover reaches the Final Four

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