North Andover sophomore Abbie Karalis showed in her team’s opening game victory, 37-35 over Billerica this past Friday, that she is ready to accept a larger scoring role this winter.
The point guard netted 15 points, including completing a three-point play with 10 seconds left to will her team to the win.
With last year’s NA top-scorer, point guard Morgan Lumb, graduated, Karalis knows she must step up and fill that role to the best of her ability.
Karalis and North Andover play Westford in the first round of the Commonwealth Motors Christmas Classic (renamed from the Greater Lawrence Christmas Tourney) next Monday. A big tourney from Karalis could mean another stunning upset over Central Catholic.
North Andover won last year’s tourney with a dramatic 45-44 victory over Central Catholic in the title game. The Scarlet Knights and Raiders could meet again this year in a newly-structured format that includes two girls divisions, the Stephenson and Hyde Divisions.
Both Central and North Andover are in the Stephenson Division. If NA beats Westford and Central tops Pinkerton, then the two schools will meet in the Stephenson final.
“I feel like I do need to step up individually (this year),” Karalis said. “I learned from Morgan. She was a really good role model for me. She taught me a lot about being the point guard. I feel like just doing my part in bringing up the ball and working with my other teammates (is important).”
Karalis received very limited action in last year’s tournament as a freshman. So she certainly is excited to get this year’s classic underway.
“I like playing all these different other teams that aren’t in the MVC,” she said. “Since we won last I hope to win this year and I hope to contribute.”