EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

February 23, 2010

Andover rains 3-pointers in tourney opener

Bramanti, Rose lead the way; Central Catholic may be next

By Hector Longo

ANDOVER — It's tough to sell that one game at a time thing when a fourth date with Central Catholic looms Saturday.

Admittedly at times in last night's Division 1 North tourney opener with Lincoln-Sudbury, Andover found itself sneaking a peek at the future.

It hardly mattered. The Warriors took out L-S comfortably, 78-61, to advance to the North quarters (probably Saturday) against Thursday's Central/Charlestown winner.

"If they win," said Warrior captain Joe Bramanti of the top-seeded Raiders, who have won 12 straight over Andover. "Then, we get that shot, and we're excited about it."

Bramanti exploded out of the gate for the Warriors, knocking down 7 of 13 shots in a 23-point first half.

The junior, who led Andover with 20 in the Warriors' 2009 tourney opener, again set the tone with a game-high 32 on the night.

"We had some foul trouble, I figure I had to carry the load a little bit," said Bramanti. "I kind of let things flow."

Foul trouble was about all that would harm Andover on the night as starters Brian Miller, D.J. Fazio and Sam Dowden all took seats with four fouls in the third.

A trio of seniors provided the Warrior antidote.

"D.J.'s got four, Miller's got four, Dowden's got four, and Spenser (Rose), (Kris) Riemer and James Connors. stepped up enormously," said Andover coach Dave Fazio.

Rose matched a career-high with six triples, five coming in the second-half.

When Lincoln-Sudbury made things a little dicey, slicing a 15-point lead to six, at 52-46, Rose answered every call.

"After the first one, I think I missed my next three," admitted Rose, who torched Malden for six threes in the Weymouth Tournament last year. "Then (Coach Fazio) called a play for me. I hit it and It got me going."

Four Rose threes and a Connors' baseline jumper surrounded the between-quarter break, as the lead stretched back up to 66-53.

"It changes things fast when you can knock down those threes," said Fazio, "So good for him. Guys found him and he hit them."

Andover 78, Lincoln-Sudbury 61

Division 1 North First Round

Lincoln-Sudbury (61): Denny Cakert 4 1-3 10, Billy Berezniewicz 1 0-2 2, Adam Ravanelle 0 2-2 2, Marqis Anderson 1 0-0 2, Dan Birtwell 4 6-8 15, Brandon Huntowski 1 0-0 2, Mitch Perez 6 1-2 18, John Swords 4 1-2 9, Ben Lawhorn 0 1-4 1, Totals 21 12-23 61

Andover (78): Bryan McNiff 0 2-2 2, D.J. Fazio 1 2-3 4, Jimmy Johnson 2 0-2 4, James Connors 1 0-0 2, Joe Bramanti 8 13-15 32, Nate Bryant 0 1-2 1, Kris Riemer 2 0-0 4, Brian Miller 3 0-0 6, Sam Dowden 2 1-1 5, Spenser Rose 6 0-0 18, Totals 25 19-25 78

3-pointers: L-S — Cakert, Birtwell, Perez 5; A — Bramanti 3, Rose 6

Lincoln/Sudbury (13-8):11âÇ16âÇ24âÇ10 — 61

Andover (16-5):17âÇ23âÇ18âÇ20 — 78