EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Sports

February 27, 2014

Third time the charm

Billerica turns tables on North Andover

NORTH ANDOVER — In the pre-season, the Billerica girls basketball team was considered a legitimate Merrimack Valley Conference contender.

But, loaded with talent, including four-year starter Shannon Hayes, the Indians didn’t play nearly as well as head coach Chris Doneski had expected.

Until last night, when they surged past North Andover, 53-38, in the first round of the Division 2 North tournament. That’s the same North Andover team that had beaten them twice during the regular season.

“We just didn’t play as well as we were capable of playing,” said Doneski. “We couldn’t put two good halves together. I guess we were going through growing some pains.”

Billerica’s inconsistency came to an end last night as it outscored the host Knights 31-13 in the middle two quarters, combining good teamwork offensively, excellent defense and far superior rebounding while improving to a modest 12-9.

The performance did not surprise first-year North Andover coach Meg Ryan, whose club ended its season at 11-10.

“Billerica is an excellent team and their defense was really good,” said Ryan. “They did a good job of clogging up the middle and we didn’t hit the shots we usually do. That combination was too much to overcome.”

The game started promising for the Knights as Megan Collins drove to the basket for a field goal and Abbie Karalis followed with a 3-pointer, providing a 5-0 lead. Billerica then regrouped but, after a wild opening eight minutes that saw eight lead changes, North Andover still led 15-13.

But Billerica had already been outrebounding the Knights and, when its shots started falling in the second quarter, the tide turned.

Ahead 33-26 at halftime, Billerica tightened the screws defensively in the third quarter allowing just a Leah Chittick driving layup in the final minute of the frame. That gave the Indians a near insurmountable 44-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Sports

Local Sports Videos
Sports Videos
Steelers feeling a sense of urgency in camp 5 things I think I think about the Atlanta Falcons Paul Breitner: We're sure Julian Green will be a great player for Bayern Reaction to Ray Rice's comments How the MLB Trade Deadline Will Affect the Postseason Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Marshawn Lynch Ends Holdout - @TheBuzzeronFOX Dombrowski on bringing David Price to Detroit Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Tiger Woods: 1 on 1 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy Donald Sterling Loses The Clippers For Good - @TheBuzzeronFox Franklin talks leaving Vandy Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX Michael Jordan OK With LeBron James Wearing No. 23? - @TheBuzzeronFox The Cornhuskers have gone...Loco? McNabb: Two games is not acceptable for me Ortiz, Price Feud Is Upsetting To Children - @TheBuzzeronFOX
Boston Sports
Reaction to Ray Rice's comments How the MLB Trade Deadline Will Affect the Postseason Recapping a Blockbuster MLB Trade Deadline Marshawn Lynch Ends Holdout - @TheBuzzeronFOX Dombrowski on bringing David Price to Detroit A's Acquire Lester, Gomes For Cespedes Red Sox Fans React To Jon Lester Rumors Red Sox Fans Sad About Prospect Of Possible Jon Lester Trade Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Pedroia on Lester: ‘It would be tough to see him in another uniform’ Farrell announces Workman will start in place of Lester Gasper vs Tanguay: Is Lester to blame for current situation? Mike Carp speaks out on wanting to leave the Red Sox Shaughnessy: Sox fans deserve to be mad if Sox trade Lester Ty Law: Revis may get Pats ‘over hump’ Ortiz fires back at Tampa Bay Ray’s Chris Archer Curran Camp Observations: Pats Veteran Defensive players excited to be back together 3 Questions with Gary Payton: Kevin Love, Andrew Wiggins and Derrick Rose Players Only: Marcus Mariota's Course Load at Oregon How We Almost Got Johnny Cowboy