ANDOVER, Mass. — Apparently all it takes is one shot to wake a sleeping giant, and that sleeping giant was Andover’s Nicole Boudreau.
The senior sharpshooter awoke out of her shooting woes in the first 16 minutes with a corner three-pointer to begin the second half as she torched Archbishop Williams (4-1) for the next eight minutes in one of the better shooting performances of her career.
Boudreau finished with 19 of her game-high 28 points in the third quarter and drained four of her five three pointers in the period during a marvelous stretch over the final 2:30 to help the Golden Warriors (4-0) take out the Bishops, 66-52, at Dunn Gymnasium.
“That was special tonight,” said Andover head coach Jim Tildsley. “You saw something special. That roll that she got on was incredible. She’s a big-time player”
On three of her final four 3-pointers she touched nothing but net. On her second deep ball she stepped back and struck from NBA range. Her final trey came just before the buzzer as her barrage of scoring turned a six-point game into a 55-42 game at the half.
That lead was important, because it took the life out of a feisty Bishops’ squad that seemed to have an answer for every Golden Warriors run in the first half.
“We had a little bit of momentum after the third period,” said Boudreau. “They came back a little bit...But luckily we held them off.”
Overall it wasn’t a great shooting night for Boudreau as she finished 9-of-25 from the field for the game, but she was dead on with a 6-of-8 performance in the third quarter. The Boston College-bound Boudreau also finished with 10 rebounds, five steals and three blocks.
It’s scary to think that the leader of the two-time defending Division 1 state champions could get even better than what she has been already this season as she works her way back from an preseason ankle injury that limited the markswoman heading into the year.
“I’m still trying to work my way back into some rhythm and trying to get my shot back to where I’m making most of my shots,” said Boudreau. “It’s still a work in progress, but I’ll get there eventually.”
Unsung hero on the glass: Jackie Alois will never fill out the stat sheet in the scoring department on a night-in-night-out basis like her teammates, but that doesn’t mean she’s not a key cog in the Golden Warriors arsenal.
Against a much bigger Bishops front-line, the 5-foot-6 junior grabbed 11 offensive rebounds to help keep possessions alive for the bevy of outside shooters donning the same uniform as she.
Those efforts don’t go unnoticed by her head coach.
“She’s such a competitor,” said Tildsley. “She’s got a nose for the ball and she’s got great hands. It’s a pleasure to watch. People are in awe when they see her doing the things that she does on the court.”
In theory and on paper, the Bishops should have had a huge advantage on the glass with four players on the roster topping out around the 6-foot mark. The Bishops did own a 38-34 edge, but it seemed as if they lost the margin by 10 or 15 the way Alois and the other smaller Golden Warriors players were relentlessly diving after loose rebounds all night.
“We had the size over them and they played a great game,” said Bishops head coach Jim Bancroft. “We got dominated on the boards, which was pretty upsetting.”
Sticking around: The loss might sting for now, but the Bishops are going to be a force to be reckoned with this season and for many years to come.
Junior Sara Ryan showed a nice shooting touch from outside with a pair of 3-pointers, and she also showed an ability to get to the hoop to go along with a gritty defensive style. Olivia Conrad and Leah Spencer form a nice combination at the forward position and at 6-foot-3l, freshman Jaylen Williams should benefit from more seasoning as the year goes on.
Just ask the coach of the two-time defending champs.
“They got nine deep,” said Tildsley. “When (Bancroft) subs they don’t lose anything. They are young, they are tough and it’s great for us to play them. It’s an excellent basketball team and they are very well-coached.”