TEWKSBURY — This was not a typical post-game celebration following a big blowout.
The Central Catholic High girls, immediately following their 62-31 thrashing last night in Tewksbury, were jumping up and down after the final buzzer as if somebody hit a game-winning 3-pointer.
But it was understandable. This win was over Andover.
“Until this year, I never beat Andover,” said Central senior star Casey McLaughlin. “It means a lot. They’ve got all those state championships. They just owned us — mentally. This year was different.”
It sure was. Andover no longer had Nicole Boudreau, who recently was named to the Atlantic Coast Conference All-Rookie team as a member of the Boston College Eagles.
But Central, which improved to 19-5, also had experience, with its top six players all having three years of varsity experience this winter.
“They’re tough. They’re physical. But what is most important, at least in my eyes, is their experience,” said Andover coach Jim Tildsley. “All of their key players have played in a lot of big games. (Last night) they took Devon (Caveney) out of the game and we didn’t have any answers.”
Central led 7-6 midway through the first quarter when it imposed its all-out defensive pressure on Caveney & Co. Central went on a 14-0 run while keeping Andover scoreless over nearly seven minutes of play.
It was never a game after that.
Central led 14-6 after one quarter and 33-11 at the half with junior Amanda Williams scoring all 10 of her points. Caitlin Dell’Orfano also had three steals in the half, two leading to layups. And the Raiders also got eight first half points from Alex Nagri.
“The thing was Casey (McLaughlin) got two quick fouls and had to sit on the bench,” said Central coach Sue Downer.
“But we kept the pressure on and didn’t miss a beat. It was really nice to see. It wasn’t one player. It was all of them.”