EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 1, 2013

Andover's Boudreau on top of hoop world

Andover's star sits atop hoop world

At some point in four amazing seasons at Andover High, Nicole Boudreau made that most exclusive leap from superstar to icon.

Amazingly, she’s not done. As the folks at Boston College will tell you, not even close.

Her high school accomplishments are stunning. Four seasons, three state titles, a 97-9 overall record, an area-record 2,200 career points, Parade All-American, three-time Eagle-Tribune MVP, and two-time Gatorade Mass. Player of the Year.

And again, the BC freshman has only scratched the surface on her greatness.

A unanimous choice for our 2012 Eagle-Tribune Sportsman of the Year, Boudreau made girls basketball fans out of the most unlikely candidates. Young and old, men or women … they came to follow the Warriors and watch Boudreau perform on the hardwood.

Like no other girl hoopster in area history, Boudreau guaranteed ratings.

“There was nothing better than that, we loved it when the fans were there,” said Boudreau. “There was nothing better than having our fans there, our classmates, people from all over. We surprised a lot of people with the fight we had on the court. That made us interesting. It made it interesting to watch girls basketball. And at Andover, we played better under the pressure and played better in front of a lot of people.”

As expected, Nicole refuses words like “I” or “me” when she speaks of the three titles and the accolades.

“That’s what Nicole is about, team and winning,” said Andover coach Jim Tildsley. “Stats never mattered to her, ever. Just the team and winning. It’s what made her so special.”

By “special,” Tildsley means, “the best ever” girl to play in The Eagle-Tribune area. And despite the amazing female predecessors from our region — names like Haverhill’s Kate Abromovitch and Kelly Van Huisen, Methuen’s Darlene Orlando and Jamie Cassidy, Masco’s Brianne Stepherson, Londonderry’s Kelley Hunt and Andover’s Charlotte Muller — the coach had ample ammunition in his arsenal to proclaim Boudreau as the greatest.

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