EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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January 30, 2013

Girls basketball: Andover falls just short to Billerica

ANDOVER — In the unfamiliar position of underdogs of late, three-time defending Division 1 state champion Andover looked poised early on to make it two major upsets in a row.

But despite a fast start thanks to their trademark intense press defense, the Golden Warriors couldn’t quite duplicate their Friday shocker over archrival Central Catholic, falling to Billerica 58-51 last night.

The Indians (10-1) are ranked No. 5 overall in the state by espnboston.com and No. 4 in Eastern Mass. Andover (11-3) is unranked in the state and No. 14 in Eastern Mass.

“We got off to a good early lead (11-4) and we played hard,” said Golden Warriors coach Jim Tildsley. “But that 3-pointer at the end of the half made it an eight-point lead. We played them even the rest of the way, but we just couldn’t make enough plays. Plus missed free throws really hurt us.”

Angelice Gonzalez led the Golden Warriors with 16 points while Devon Caveney chipped in with 13. Junior Rebecca Alois also was impressive under the basket with 13 points and seven rebounds. But Andover was never able to cut the lead to less than four points after the break.

“We gave it our all,” said Tildsley. “But we know we have to keep teams under 50 points to have a real chance. We’ll have another shot at them later in the season.”

Gonzalez catching on

Now in her second season with Andover, senior point guard Gonzalez continues to emerge as a go-to player for the Golden Warriors.

The former Lawrence High guard led the Warriors with her 16 points, 13 of those points in the second half while leading the Andover rally. She also hit a team-best three 3-pointers, and played nearly the entire game, leaving the court for just over a minute after picking up her third foul.

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