LAWRENCE - Never lost to Andover. Ever!
Carson Desrosiers and Central Catholic finished off the Golden Warrior grand slam yesterday, pounding Andover High, 78-56, in the Division 1 North quarterfinals before more than 2,000 fans last night.
Pick a superlative from Desrosiers' four-year Central career.
He's lost but once on the Memorial Gym floor, a freshman-season conference loss to Lawrence in 2007.
He's run off 13 straight against Andover and four this year.
And he's just one game away, Tuesday night at Lawrence High against No. 4 Acton-Boxboro, from his fourth sectional final.
"I think we played our best game of the year tonight, I really do," said Central coach Rick Nault. "I think we're rolling right now."
Last night, Desrosiers delivered the knockout punch in a 10-point second quarter of a 19-point, 14-rebound, four-block night.
But it was his mates, who stunned Andover with a series of long-range first-quarter haymakers that left the Warriors, battered and beaten in just eight minutes.
Michael Alvarez, Luis Puello, Andrew Ouellette and Evan Sheehan combined to go 7 of 8 from behind the arc in a 27-11 first-quarter flurry as Andover packed it in around Desrosiers and Jimmy Zenevitch, daring the perimeter Raiders to beat them.
"Every game we played them, they had two guys in double figures, the same two guys, Carson and Zenevitch," said coach David Fazio, who called the sloughing-off defense an inverted triangle-zone with man-to-man on Desrosiers and Zenevitch. "We said no touches for them. If the other three guys make shots, we'll make adjustments. And they go (7 for 8 to start the game)."
Alvarez, who finished the night by matching his season high of 16 points, merely accepted the lack of attention as a challenge.
"It's kind of an insult sagging off," said the Raider senior captain. "I'm confident in my shot. They just kept going in. We felt confident tonight. We wanted them to respect us out there."
Central smelled blood, pouncing on Andover's frustration, keeping plenty of breathing room the entire way.
Zenevitch, who had chewed up the Warriors in the previous three meetings with 20, 24 and 24 point games, was quiet, scoreless in a 43-28 first half and with 10 points total on 4 of 10 shooting.
With the Raiders scorching the nets from the field, 33 of 50, and holding Andover to a 17 for 60 performance, it hardly mattered.
"The right kids were stepping up," said Desrosiers. "Evan hit a 3. Michael was two for two, Drew hit one. It's the kind of shooting we've been looking for all season. You couldn't have asked for a better game to hit those shots. "
Central Catholic 78, Andover 56
Division 1 North quarterfinals
Andover (56): D.J. Fazio 3 0-0 8, Jimmy Johnson 3 3-4 12, James Connors 1 0-0 3, Joe Bramanti 3 7-12 13, Kris Riemer 0 2-2 2, Brian Miller 3 1-4 7, Sam Dowden 2 0-0 4, Spenser Rose 2 2-2 7, Totals 17 15-24 56
Central (78): Michael Alvarez 6 1-1 16, Luis Puello 4 0-1 10, Andrew Ouellette 3 0-0 7, Cam Wroblewski 1 0-0 2, Jaycob Morales 1 0-0 2, Brandon Curley 1 0-0 2, Jimmy Zenevitch 4 2-2 10, Evan Sheehan 4 0-0 10, Carson Desrosiers 9 0-1 19, Totals 33 3-5 78
3-pointers: A - Fazio 2, Johnson 3, Connors, Rose; CC - Alvarez 3, Puello 2, Ouellette, Sheehan 2, Desrosiers
Andover (15-7):11âÇ17âÇâÇ9âÇ19 — 56
Central Catholic (22-1):27âÇ16âÇ15âÇ20 — 78