EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 10, 2013

What is happening to Londonderry this year?

Londonderry was the Division 1 runner-up the past two years and it has four returning starters this winter. So you would think the Lancers would be primed to make the championship game again or win it all.

Londonderry, however, has struggled some with losses to Bedford, Bishop Guertin, Pinkerton and Salem.

“I’ve actually kind of pondered what the difference is from this year and last year,” Londonderry star point guard Aliza Simpson said recently. “I don’t really have an (exact) answer for that.”

But Simpson did point out some areas where she and her teammates are struggling.

First, her team has several good 3-point shooters, so if the shots from long range aren’t dropping, that can be a problem.

“Just hitting those shots brings momentum,” Simpson said. “Once we start missing shots right at the beginning, it certainly hurts our momentum throughout the game. It’s really hard for us to pick it up.”

Secondly, Londonderry lost some physicality from last year’s team by graduating Lindsey Bolduc, who was the lone starter not to return.

The Lancers aren’t controlling things down low and have lacked some points from the paint.

“Last year, we had Lindsey who helped with boards and down low and she was just a physical player,” Simpson said. “So we’re definitely missing out on her.”

Thirdly, Simpson said she must play better in big games.

“I think I’ve been playing well in games that we’re supposed to win,” Simpson said. “But in big games so far, like BG and Pinkerton, I feel like I need to be able to step up and help the team with more points.

“And I’m focusing more on ratio of turnovers to assists,” Simpson added. “That’s what my coach is always telling me. I’ve been happy with that ratio for the most part all season.”

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