ANDOVER — On an Andover High team filled with high-profile names and stars, John Pisacreta still commands the court.
Whether handling the ball in a crucial possession late in a tournament game, or running through a drill in practice, the unassuming Pisacreta is often heard barking out instructions and directing his teammates.
“John is our energy,” Golden Warriors basketball coach David Fazio said. “He is our enthusiasm, our motor on the court. He is a self-made player who has earned everything every step of the way.”
For four seasons, Pisacreta has fought tooth-and-nail to carve out his spot on the Andover basketball team. This season, that work has more than paid off.
Now the senior co-captain and starting point guard for the Golden Warriors, Pisacreta leads Andover High into battle against arch-rival Central Catholic in the Division 1 North championship tonight at the Tsongas Center at 7:45 p.m.
This marks the Golden Warriors’ first appearance in the North finals since the 1999-2000 season, and the winner will advance to Monday’s Division 1 state semifinals at the TD Garden.
“This season has been a blast,” Pisacreta said. “But now we want to finish this special (playoff) run.
“My goal out there is to do whatever is needed of me to help the team win. If we are winning, I will keep doing what is working, and if we lose, I will change. That is what matters to me and the team.”
Pisacreta seems to have found that perfect balance this season as the Warriors’ ultimate unsung hero. He is averaging 7.2 points a game — including a huge 17-point night aganist Central Catholic in their last regular season meeting — while playing the distributor role setting up superstars David Giribaldi, Connor Merinder and E.J. Perry IV.
“He is awesome,” Perry IV said following the Central game. “John is a true point guard. He makes everyone on the court better.”