Boston High School: Ally Fazio

Recap: No. 4 Needham 13, No. 3 Andover 9

April, 23, 2012
4/23/12
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NEEDHAM, Mass. -- Heading into this afternoon's much-anticipated showdown with Andover, Needham head coach Beth O'Brien stressed to her team the importance of getting on the scoreboard first.

But when you play for a coach as fiercely passionate as O'Brien, it turned out, one goal is never enough. Because the Rockets didn't just get on the board first -- they lit up the board in the first half, jetting out to a commanding halftime lead and making it hold up after staving off a late rally from the Golden Warriors, prevailing 13-9 in a matchup between two of the state's top five programs loaded with Division 1-caliber talent.

"That's something we've struggled on, coming out and scoring those first few goals, and then having the ability to maintain that throughout the game," O'Brien said. "That was a big step for us."

The Rockets (7-1) reeled off an 8-1 run in the first half to take a 10-4 lead over Andover (7-2) at the break, with junior Maddie Stenberg and sophomore Catherine Conley combining for seven of those scores. The duo got opportunities for points off free position shots, but also moved the ball around the attacking zone with efficiency, slipping through some of the state's most talented defenders with split-dodges, and using the space behind the net to create net-front presence.

Three straight scores from Conley with less than five minutes to go in the first half gave Needham all the cushion it would need in the end. First, Conley cut down the middle towards the net and put a one-timer from behind the net top shelf, with 4:04 to go. Two and a half minutes later, she scored on a free position shot; that was followed with 52 seconds remaining in the half with a wrap-around, for a 10-3 advantage.

Conley finished with four goals and an assist, while Stenberg led all scorers on the day with five goals and two assists.

"Cat had a great game today," O'Brien said. "She was one of our leading scorers last year as a freshman, and was suffering a little bit of an injury at the beginning of the season, so this is what we like to call a 'Coming Out Day'. She's been having some great games, but this is really the Catherine Conley that we know is there. She's a phenomenal player who is only going to continue to get better."

O'Connor Shines in Net: Sophomore goalie Annee O'Connor came up with eight saves in net, all of them seemingly brilliant with a large degree of difficulty. That included three saves on free position shots as well.

"Let's face it, she's only a sophomore...[But] those saves, she's capable of making those," O'Brien said. "She's been mentally able to get herself to that next level, as far as, 'You know what, two or three are going to go in, but I've got to make that next stop. She's just been working incredibly hard."

Lockdown D: Speaking to O'Connor's performance, O'Brien heaved plenty of praise unto the defense in front of her, calling it their best performance of the year and giving the sophomore goalie plenty of confidence. Considering the Rockets are already allowing just over six goals per game, and boast Division 1-bound midfielders in Shelby Aubin (Georgetown) and Tory Waldstein (Harvard), that praise is especially impressive.

"They were composed, they were aggressive," O'Brien said. "The referees were great. They [Needham] figured out they were being allowed to play the game, so they took some chances. They communicated well, their slides were good, their switches were good, it was just a very well-rounded game for them."

Dink and Dunk: One area the Rockets excelled at in the offensive end was with flashing towards the net, and in turn drawing defenders outward to open up diagonal lanes underneath in front of the net. That created some entry passes that were dumped off at close range from the net.

Between UConn-bound attack Ally Fazio, UMass-bound twins Anne and Kate Farnham, along with a supporting cast of scorers like juniors Jaclyn Torres and Meagan Keefe, Andover is not exactly a team where one can afford to mark a specific player. Asked if there was anything specific the Rockets were looking to exploit, O'Brien noted the Warriors' quick adjustments, pointing to Torres, who scored the team's first four goals.

"We were really more just trying to draw anybody out," O'Brien said. "Because we were just trying to create space for those lanes, to either dodge or free up that open person because they were starting to double us, so we needed to free up that person and find that open person in the middle."

Read and React: Needham won 11 of the game's first 15 draw controls, which yielded a sizeable advantage in time of possession.

"That's something that we've been working on," O'Brien said. "We've been doing reaction drills for the last week and a half, because we knew that was what would cost us as we face this tough schedule ahead. It's something that we've been working intensely on, in regards to just, getting those draw controls, working on just really that reaction time, getting off that line first, because we knew it was going to be won on the circle or on the restraining line."

Preseason MIAA All-State girls lax team

April, 2, 2012
4/02/12
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The high school lacrosse season kicks off this week for many top teams across the state. Here is our preseason MIAA girls lacrosse All-State Team and Watch List, as compiled by ESPNBoston.com staff and correspondents.

SUPER TEAM
Madison Acton, Sr. A, Lincoln-Sudbury
Shelby Aubin, Sr. D, Needham
Ally Fazio, Sr. A, Andover
Anne Farnham, Sr. D, Andover
Megan Hennessy, Jr. M, Winchester
Rachel Massicotte, Sr. G, Wayland
Laura McHoul, Sr. M, Westwood
Anna Petrunich, Sr. M, Westborough
Kate Rich, Sr. M, Westwood
Caroline Rizzo, Sr. A, Notre Dame (Hingham)
Rachel Sexton, Sr. A, Lincoln-Sudbury
Tory Waldstein, Sr. D, Needham

WATCH LIST
Casey Blakeney, Sr. M, Wachusett
Olivia Boudreau, Sr. M, North Andover
Shelby Boudreau, Sr. M, North Andover
Mollie Brown, Sr. G, Westwood
Alexa Cambi, Sr. M, Longmeadow
Tess Chandler, Sr. M, Hopkinton
Catherine Conley, Soph. A, Needham
Elizabeth Constant, Sr. M, Ipswich
Emma Dagres, Sr. A, Weston
Natalie Devine, Sr. M, Fontbonne
Erika Eipp, Sr. A, Groton-Dunstable
Kate Farnham, Sr. D, Andover
Sara Ganio, Sr. M, Lincoln-Sudbury
Emily Giumetti, Jr. M, Duxbury
Rebecca Graves, Sr. M, Bishop Fenwick
Ella Hazar, Soph. A, Westwood
Emmy Horton, Sr. M, Duxbury
Christine Johnson, Sr. M, Reading
Meaghan Jane Keefe, Jr. A, Andover
Jenna Liljeberg, Sr. A, King Philip
Eileen McDonald, Sr. A, Longmeadow
Molly McNamara, Sr. M, Wellesley
Julia Meehan, Sr. M, Weston
Carly O’Connell, Sr. A, Algonquin
Maria Platsidakis, Jr. G, Mansfield
Kathryn Riley, Sr. M, King Philip
Sarah Smith, Jr. M, Acton-Boxborough
Amber Tobin, Sr. M, Minnechaug

Behold the Future: MIAA hoop teams to watch

March, 28, 2012
3/28/12
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With the unveiling of our MIAA All-State Teams for Boys and Girls late last week, the 2011-12 basketball season has come to close. But before we officially slam the book on another exciting season of hoop, and move on to spring sports, I wanted to get out a few thoughts on the landscape for next season.

To whet your appetite for the 2012-13 season, here are my early projections on the state's must-see teams to watch:

BOYS

Central Catholic - Plenty of talent returning with this squad, which captured the No. 1 overall spot in Division 1 North despite missing Luis Puello (ankle) for most of the season. ESPN Boston All-State guard Tyler Nelson returns as one of the state’s top shooters, but the Raiders also return all three of their regular bigs in Joel Berroa, Doug Gemmell and Nick Cambio.

New Mission – Apparently it’s never too early for bulletin board fodder, because head coach Cory McCarthy is already making some barnstorming rounds, telling ESPNBoston.com this afternoon that if the Titans don’t win the Division 2 state title next year, “I should be fired.” Bold, yes, but it’s hard not to like a lineup of Isshiah Coleman, Nate Anderson, Greg Bridges, Damion Smith and Shaquan Murray. There is some promising talent in those ranks.

Mansfield – Folks are talking about the Hornets being one of the South region’s top teams in two years’ time, between promising freshman Brendan Hill and sophomore Michael Hershman. I’m of the camp that believes with those two versatile parts, paired with a terrific coach in Mike Vaughan, the future is now.

Taunton – Shaquille O’Neal Davis. That’s legitimately his full name, and one you certainly will not forget by this time next year, for reasons that have nothing to do with The Big Aristotle.

West Springfield – Terriers return virtually everyone, including Chris Lipscomb, Paul Bessette, Andy McNulty, Dewey King, and leading scorer Riyadh Asad. West Side is the early favorite next year in Division 1 West.

St. John’s (Shrewsbury) – Junior transfer Tarik Octave was one of the nice surprises of the playoffs, and freshman Davon Jones has shades of former Pioneers great David White all over him (Doesn’t hurt that Jones was also the Pioneers’ starter at safety last fall, too). A boat load of underclassmen return, including Ken Harrington and T.J. Kelley, which should more than make up for the graduation of Matt Palecki.

Danvers – Falcons graduate 6-foot-7 center George Merry, an ESPN Boston All-State selection, but return some terrific guards. Nick McKenna, Nick Bates, Eric Martin and Dan Connors can all shoot the ball, and are perfectly-suited for John Walsh’s four-out offensive system. My early pick to repeat at D3 champs.

BC High – Eagles return what ought to be one of the state’s best backcourts in point guard Charles Collins and ESPN Boston All-State swingman Jameilen Jones. Throw into the mix one of the region’s best basketball minds in Bill Loughnane (he of four state titles) and it’s hard to think of the Eagles as anything but a favorite in the South.

Springfield Central – A plethora of talent graduates, including Chris Prophet, Lee Turner, Jevaughn McMilian, and ESPN Boston Super Teamer Tyrell Springer. But All-State forward Kamari Robinson should have another terrific season, and the way Cornelius Tyson exploded onto the scene in the Division 1 state final makes us all wonder if he’s about to realize the potential that many in the Springfield area have been talking about for so long.

Stoughton – Super Teamer Aaron Calixte and Defensive Player of the Year Marcus Middleton formed the state’s best backcourt in 2011-12. If all goes as planned, they’ll be well-equipped to defend that notion next season.

Wareham – Vikings might not endure an unbeaten regular season again next year. But another year of All-State point guard Darien Fernandez means they’re not going anywhere.

GIRLS

Braintree – Wamps started three freshmen this year: Ashley Russell, Bridget Herlihy, and 6-foot-1 center Molly Reagan. Expect them in conversation for state title contention from now until their time runs out in 2015.

Archbishop Williams – Ditto the Bishops, who have two 6-foot freshmen to look forward to the next three seasons. Add in sophomores Olivia Conrad and Leah Spencer, and their fiery mouthpiece Sara Ryan, and this could be another top-five team come December 2012.

Reading – The Rockets made a flawless run through the Division 2 gauntlet, winning their first Division 2 state title in school history as one of two final unbeaten squads in Massachusetts. Two-time Middlesex MVP and ESPN Boston All-State Olivia Healy returns, as does guard Morgan O’Brien.

Andover – Golden Warriors are expected to come down to Earth with the graduation of two-time ESPN Boston Miss Basketball, Nicole Boudreau, and UConn lacrosse commit Ally Fazio. What might be overlooked amidst Andover’s unprecedented run to a third straight state title is that there were plenty of terrific complimentary backcourt pieces in the underclass.

Central Catholic – Raiders treaded water after some injuries early on. But once junior forward Casey McLaughlin was back to full strength, they made a run all the way to the Division 1 North semifinals. Have to imagine they’ll be in conversation again next year.

Boudreau leaving behind quite the legacy

March, 18, 2012
3/18/12
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WORCESTER, Mass. — Jim Tildsley can remember the first time he saw her.

He remembered seeing a young girl — maybe no older than the fourth grade, he recalled — firing up perimeter shots at an ease that was maybe a little more advanced for a young person with that kind of strength.

But there was Nicole Boudreau, honing a craft that will put her in the history books as maybe the greatest player to don an Andover Golden Warriors jersey, and maybe one of the better players to grace the hardwood in Massachusetts -- with gender totally thrown out the window.

So when that girl was old enough to get her first taste of varsity action for Tildsley, the obvious decision was to get her directly into the starting lineup.

“Nicole from the start I knew she was going to be a great player,” said Tildsley. “I’ll never forget the first game against Tewksbury and they were supposed to be very good that year, and she comes out in the first quarter and wracked three 3's. I said ‘Boy we’ve got a good one.’ She’s a winner and a great player.”

Four years after that first appearance, Boudreau goes out as one of the most decorated players in recent history. Three straight Div. 1 state titles — the most recent coming on Saturday night at the DCU Center in a 61-45 victory over Holyoke — 2,200 points and two straight Mass. Gatorade Player of the Year awards can be found on her resume.

“I came in as a freshman and I was trying to get better as a basketball player and as a person,” said Boudreau. “Mr. Tildsley preaches that it’s not all about basketball and it ends at some point, so you are going to have to become a great person too.”

Boudreau has made a name as one of the deadliest shooters in all of Massachusetts, again throwing gender completely out of the equation.

She possesses a quick release and a talent to let an effortless bomb fly from just about anywhere on the court (see her halfcourt shot at the Garden last year) without breaking her form.

But what might set her apart is her ability to exhaust her opponents by running tirelessly around the court, through double teams and around screens, just to get a miniscule amount of airspace to let a dagger fly.

“It’s been consistent and she’s been getting better and better every year,” said Tildsley. “The first two years she was just more of a 3-point shooter. Her junior year she came back and had the drive, and now she put that 15-foot jump shot in. She put all the tools together and she’s just an unbelievable player.”

Boudreau may have saved one of her more complete performances for her grand finale with a 31-point, 11-rebound performance on Saturday. With Holyoke hanging around in the early stages of the fourth quarter, she launched a deep shot — directly in front of Tildsley — into the net and drew the foul for a four-point play.

The Golden Warriors never turned back in the game, and at the 1:01 mark it was over for Boudreau.

Waiting at halfcourt was fellow four-year starter Ally Fazio, and a quick trip down to the end of the court was the waiting arms of Tildsley, the coach who remembers the girl before she was Miss Basketball.

Div. 1 Girls Final: Andover 61, Holyoke 45

March, 17, 2012
3/17/12
11:50
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Nicole Boudreau Jon Mahoney for ESPNBoston.comNicole Boudreau exploded for 27 of her 31 points in the second half as Andover captured its third straight Division 1 state title.
WORCESTER, Mass. -- It isn't often when the Andover girls basketball team runs into an opponent that can match its speed and quickness. But as they so often have proved over an amazing three-year run, the Golden Warriors' strict attention to defense knows no limitations.

Boston College-bound senior Nicole Boudreau led the way with 31 points, 11 rebounds and five steals, while fellow senior Ally Fazio chipped in with nine points -- and turned in a stellar defensive performance guarding two-time reigning Western Mass. Player of the Year, Monique Heard -- to lead Andover to its third straight Div. 1 state championship, a 61-45 victory over Holyoke at the DCU Center Saturday night.

"They've had a target on their back all year, people talking about going undefeated and a three-peat," said Andover coach Jim Tildsley of his squad. "It's so much easier to say than to perform and that's why I'm so proud of these kids. We are just so mentally tough. We're good. I mean we're very talented but, mentally tough...we could have packed it in a couple of times and we didn't.

"That's the kind of kids I have. Nicole and Ally are such great leaders and the other kids feed right off them. I'm so proud. Three in a row, and the icing on the cake is going undefeated."

The Golden Warriors (27-0) had to work for this one as Holyoke (22-3) displayed speed and quickness unlike any they had seen this year. The Purple Knights took a 27-25 lead into halftime following a three-pointer by Kirsy Segarra and a free throw by Heard, while limiting Boudreau to just a pair of baskets in the second.

Rather than wilt under the pressure, Andover instead returned to its defensive roots with Fazio taking the lead role while outscoring the Knights, 16-3, in the frame. Both Fazio and Devon Caveney (13 points) knocked down clutch threes in the third, as did Boudreau to get herself back on track.

"We were down and coming out of halftime we were thinking about keeping our heads up," Fazio explained. "The only way you're going to win a game is to keep your head up and have heart. Everyone's always all over Nicole. Nicole will hit any shot from any distance, she can drive, she can do everything so they're going to be all over her and everyone tells us that we have to be ready to step up whenever the opportunity comes."

Holyoke attempted to claw its way back in the fourth and back to back buckets by Alison Littles (eight points, 15 rebounds) and Kelly Reardon cut the deficit to 10 at 51-41. That's when Boudreau came up with one of her biggest moments, draining a long three while getting slammed to the floor, sitting up and pumping her fist as the ball dropped cleanly through the hoop.

"All throughout the game I didn't really have much space," Boudreau admitted. "They played pretty close on me on defense. When I got a little bit of space, luckily I could hit the shot and at the time it was a pretty big shot because they had some momentum going their way and it kind of stopped."

That would be as close as the Knights would get the rest of the way as Boudreau, Caveney and Fazio combined to go 7-for-7 at the free throw line down the stretch.

Heard showed why she has been held in such high regard throughout her career, finishing with a team-high 17 points. But Fazio made her expend every ounce of energy she had and tired enough so that just seven of those points came in the second half.

"Ally said from the beginning that she wanted to cover (Heard) and we had total trust in Ally that she could do it," said Boudreau. "We knew she was going to make her points and make some plays but I think Ally contained her pretty well. As long as she didn't score 30 or 40, we did pretty well. Can't say enough about Ally."

Added Fazio, "Honestly she is the best player I've played against the whole entire season. I was not ready for that at all. I knew she was good but she was very very good. She is so fast. If you give her too much space, she'll just shoot it and if you get too close she'll just go right by you.

"This was the biggest challenge of my whole career. My job for this game was to stay on her. We knew going into it she was their best player so my job was to stay on her. I can't really force her left or right because she's good at both so I just had to play her straight up and play physical."

ESPN Boston's MIAA State Championship Picks

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
8:24
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The MIAA will crown six state champions in boys and girls basketball on Saturday at Worcester's DCU Center. Here are my thoughts on how those six games will play out:

DIVISION 3 GIRLS: PENTUCKET (22-4) VS. SABIS (21-5)
Pentucket Players to Watch: Tess Nogueira, Jr. C; Leigh McNamara, Sr. F; Sarah Higgins, Sr. F; Nicole Viselli, Jr. G; Alex Moore, Jr. G; Kelsie McNamara, Fr. G
Sabis Players to Watch: Jazmine Collins, Jr. G; Janaiya Sanchez, Fr. G; Shyanne Washington, Jr. F; Madison Sinkfield, Fr. F; Casie Thurber, Soph. C.
Analysis: After coming close the last couple of years, Sabis finally got over the hump in their competitive Western Mass. bracket, to land here at the DCU Center. Plain and simple, these Lady Bulldogs are on a mission; and led by a core that includes the dynamic Collins, this is a well-oiled machine. Unfortunately (and this will be the operative word for many of my picks), they run into a Pentucket team that is quite simply swarming on defense. The Sachems' lineup =is among the best in Division 3, and they're on a roll. Pentucket is also motivated -- the last time they were here, in 2010, the Sachems were penned as a favorite, only to run into a gritty Lee team that, quite frankly, pressed like kamikazes. Hall's Pick: Pentucket over Sabis

DIVISION 3 BOYS: DANVERS (20-4) VS. ST. JOSEPH CENTRAL (20-5)
Danvers Players to Watch: George Merry, Sr. C; Nick McKenna, Jr. G; Nick Bates, Jr. G; Eric Martin, Jr. G; Jon Amico, Sr. G.
St. Joe's Players to Watch: Taverick "Tank" Roberson, Jr. G; Mike McMahon, Sr. F; Joe Wiggins, Sr. F; Lavante Wiggins, Jr. G; Jon Bianchi, Jr. G
Analysis: Credit to St. Joe's for playing an ambitious non-league schedule, which included a rockfight of a bout with Holy Name back in December, and get ready to be introduced to the spunky power that is Roberson -- in my opinion, he's every bit of a tank as his nickname suggests. But after putting in arguably its best performance of the year Monday night in the Eastern Mass. Finals against Wareham, I'm convinced Danvers will come out on top in this one. the 6-foot-7 Merry can step out on the perimeter and facilitate offense for shooters like McKenna and Bates, as much as he can take it inside. Danvers coach John Walsh goes with some of the same offensive principles as his cousin Watertown head coach and two-time D3 state champ Steve Harrington. And if you thought Harrington's four-out, drive-and-kick, dribble drive-oriented motion offensive was frustrating enough, imagine what it's like with size.
Hall's Pick: Danvers over St. Joseph Central

DIVISION 2 GIRLS: READING (24-0) VS. TYNGSBOROUGH (23-1)
Reading Players to Watch: Olivia Healy, Jr. G; Morgan O'Brien, Jr. G; Melissa DalPozzo, Sr. F; Katie Clements, Sr. G; Katherine Callahan, Sr. G.
Tyngsborough Players to Watch: Lauren Iadarola, Jr. F; Amanda Hogan, Jr. G; Helena Hamilton, Sr. F; Morgan Mitchell, Jr. C.
Analysis: The Mid-Wach C champion Tigers avoided a clean sweep of Central Mass. on Wednesday with a dominant 50-35 win over Palmer out in Springfield, getting quality production out of Iadarola, Hogan and Hamilton along the way. But Reading has had the tougher route here, putting away stalwarts Wachusett, Bishop Feehan, Arlington Catholic (twice) and Scituate to get to DCU Center floor. Look for Healy to get hers, but most crucial in the Rockets' overtime defeat of Scituate on Tuesday night was the play of O'Brien, who scored 33 points. Look for her to be the X-factor in this one.
Hall's Pick: Reading over Tyngsborough

DIVISION 2 BOYS: BRIGHTON (21-4) VS. MAHAR (21-3)
Brighton Players to Watch: Malik James, Soph. G; Theo Oribhabor, Jr. G; Daivon Edwards, Jr. G; Prince Unaegbu, Jr. F; Jerard Mayes, Sr. F; Tre Dowman, Sr. C
Mahar Players to Watch: Travon Godette, Sr. F; Jesse LaCroix, Sr. G; Phil DiPhillipo, Sr. G; Josef Whitman, Jr. F; Nate Martin, Sr. C; Darwin Duncan, Sr. F.
Analysis: The relationship between Brighton coach Hugh Coleman and his mentor, legendary Charlestown coach Jack O'Brien, is well-documented. There are ripples of O'Brien's system and tactics sprinkled throughout the Bengals; and we can assure you, there are tons of coaches in Eastern Mass. rooting for Coleman, as good a guy as they come, on Saturday. That aside, the Bengals figure to be favorites in this one. Godette, DiPhillipo and LaCroix combined for impressive whipping of St. Bernard's on Tuesday, but they haven't seen anything like Brighton. Hardened by a brutal schedule, the Bengals lost their best player, sophomore Nick Simpson, before the playoffs, yet somehow haven't dropped off. There's plenty to like -- a frustrating extended 2-3 zone, a swarming press, and a gifted shooter in Edwards -- and I think this will be another big one for promising sophomore point guard Malik James.
Hall's Pick: Brighton over Mahar

DIVISION 1 GIRLS: ANDOVER (26-0) VS. HOLYOKE (22-2)
Andover Players to Watch: Nicole Boudreau, Sr. G; Ally Fazio, Sr. G; Devon Caveney, Sr. G; Angelice Gonzalez, Jr. G; Jackie Alois, Jr. F; Rebecca Alois, Soph. F.
Holyoke Players to Watch: Monique Heard, Sr. G; Alison Littles, Sr. C; Kirsy Segarra, Jr. G; Nyomi Walker, Jr. F; Selena Yates, Sr. G.
Analysis: Our friend and Pioneer Valley legend Adam Harrington is getting giddy over this "dream matchup", Western Mass.'s premier point guard versus, quite frankly, the best female guard to come through Massachusetts in over a decade. We think the crowd on hand will be impressed with Heard, but the Golden Warriors -- despite usually being undersized -- have proven again and again to be unstoppable. It just seems whatever the score is going into the fourth quarter, the Warriors simply turn around and take ownership of it. When you have a team of athletes that get up and down as quickly as these girls, plus a superstar with NBA range, that's a vicious combination.
Hall's Pick: Andover over Holyoke

DIVISION 1 BOYS: BROCKTON (23-2) VS. SPRINGFIELD CENTRAL (23-1)
Brockton Players to Watch: Jaylen Blakely, Jr. G; Drew Fiske, Sr. F; Jahleel Moise, Sr. F; Jean Thomas, Sr. F; Will Baker, Sr. G; Sayvonn Houston, Sr. C; Jamal Reuben, Sr. F; Jarrod "Bubba" Shelby.
Springfield Central Players to Watch: Tyrell Springer, Sr. G; Lee Turner, Sr. G; Chris Prophet, Sr. G; Kamari Robinson, Jr. F; Jevaughn McMillian, Sr. C; Trevor Bacon, Sr. F; Cornelius Tyson, Sr. G.
Analysis: This might be the best matchup of the day. I picked Springfield Central to win it all before the tournament started; and since the Eagles are still in it, I'm sticking with the pick. The X-factor here might be the health of McMillian, a game-changing 6-foot-7 shot-swatter who injured his ankle in Tuesday night's thrilling semifinal win over St. John's (Shrewsbury). If he can't go or is less than 100 percent, that could make the matchup down low with Brockton's 6-foot-6 Sayvonn Houston -- by many accounts, one of the state's most efficient true five -- very interesting. Yet it seems the Golden Eagles thrive on adversity -- in the Western Mass. Final, with Springer and Prophet fouled out -- Robinson held his own to stave off a furious Commerce comeback bid. On the flip side, the Boxers have been on a mission since getting trounced by nearly 20 by Charlestown right before the start of tournament play. Blakely has been one of the best point guards of the tournament, and the Boxers have gotten crucial shooting out of Baker, Fiske and Reuben. Look out for Moise, an athletic shot swatter with quality defensive skills.
Hall's Pick: Springfield Central over Brockton

Div. 1 Girls: Andover 54, Braintree 39

March, 14, 2012
3/14/12
12:14
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BOSTON -- Nicole Boudreau's eyes lit up as she stared down her defender and paced the floor.

Working around the perimeter, the senior stepped forward, eased back again, and followed through just gracing the net for three. The next play Boudreau called for the ball again, and with one quick release nailed another planted 3-pointer to drive her team ahead for good, on the way to a 54-39 win over Braintree (24-1) in Division I state semifinals.

It had taken a simple blocked layup to light a fire in Boudreau in the final minutes at TD Garden yesterday, but two-time defending champs do not let little defeats go unnoticed.

“I just want to win,” said a grinning Boudreau. “When you're down, you have to step up, and my teammates trust me. I am a competitor.”

Andover (26-0) will have a chance to defend its state title when it plays tomorrow night's winner of the Division 1 Central/West semifinal between Wachusett (18-3) and Holyoke (21-2), at the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday.

After trailing most of the first three periods, the Golden Warriors came out swinging in the final quarter and never looked back. A lay-in by sophomore Rebecca Alois off a bounce pass from Boudreau to open the period gave the Merrimack Valley champs a 35-34 lead they would never squander.

After assisting a pair to put her team ahead 39-36 at 5:30, the Boston College signee nailed a pair of treys with four minutes left to pull her team ahead by by nine as the Golden Warriors rolled to victory.

“We told each other we did not want this to be our last game,” said Boudreau. “We started to make some shots. When it comes down to it, I know I need to try to make plays for my team.”

Entering the game with a starting lineup that included three freshman, Braintree attacked the boards early to score the first six points and exit the first period up 13-7.

However, Andover senior Ally Fazio responded by draining a pair behind-the-arc to even the game early in the second. A fade-away finger roll by Boudreau put the Golden Warriors up 20-17 a couple minutes later.

“(Braintree) did a good job on the wings and just played their two big kids in the paint,” said Andover head coach Jim Tildsley. “They had a great press breaker and made some pretty good passes. (Boudreau) is probably one of the best ever to come out of here and she proved it tonight.”

With Braintree scoring off lobbed counters to freshman Molly Reagan (10 points), the teams stayed within one score throughout the third period. A three-point play off a boxed-out layin in from senior Paige Marshall sent the Wamps into the final period up 34-33.

“Everything we do is contact and physical,” said Braintree coach Kristen McDonnell. “(Paige) did shut (Boudreau) down. The only time she got some looks was coming off some screens.”

D1 North Girls: Andover 61, Masconomet 53

March, 10, 2012
3/10/12
11:44
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LOWELL, Mass. --- On Saturday night the Andover High School girls basketball team captured their third straight Division 1 North sectional championship as they defeated Masconomet 61-53 at Tsongas Center in Lowell.

The top-seeded Golden Warriors (25-0) came out firing as they hit six 3-pointers in the opening quarter to open up a 21-12 lead. Boston College bound senior Nicole Boudreau nailed three 3-pointers, junior Devon Caveney drained two and senior Ally Fazio added one to begin the shooting frenzy.

“We shot the lights out in the first period and that was a big difference,” said Andover head coach Jim Tildsley.

Masconomet (20-4) hung tough through the first half behind the strong play of seniors Danielle Davis (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Brooke Stewart (18 points, eight rebounds, four steals).

Andover took a 33-21 lead into the half, behind 21 first half points from Boudreau and some successful full court pressure defense that held Masconomet to only nine second quarter points.

“It is an advantage being as small as we are,” said Tildsley. “We jump switch everything because we are all the same height and everything is within our rotation.”

Andover came out of the halftime break relentlessly attacking the glass as they dominated the rebounding margin in the third quarter 13-7. Many of those rebounds were converted second chance opportunities as Andover found every loose ball and extended the lead to 41-28 after three quarters.

“I was very impressed with our offensive rebounding tonight,” said Tildsley.

Masconomet fought hard and did a good job of hanging tough as Stewart scored nine fourth quarter points and Davis added seven to cut into the lead.

“Brooke is a great player,” said Boudreau. “We held her down as best we could and she made a run in the third and especially in the fourth quarter, but we expected that.”

Every time Masconomet would inch closer, however, Andover would come up with a big shot to push the lead further out of reach. Fazio (10 points) and junior guard Angelice Gonzalez (seven points) each nailed 3-pointers and Boudreau (game-high 29 points) converted four end-of-game free throws to cap the win for Andover.

Alois on the Glass: The tandem of sisters Jackie (11 rebounds) and Rebecca Alois (nine rebounds) dominated the glass for Andover as they came away with many second and third chance opportunities for Andover that resulted in additional opportunities for shots and made baskets.

“What can I say about them,” said Tildsley. “They do all the dirty work for us and I do not know how many offensive rebounds we got tonight.”

Although the sisters combined to score only three points it was their effort on the 50-50 balls and on the offensive glass that paid the most dividends.

“They are huge,” said Boudreau. “They get most of our offensive rebounds and with that we get more opportunities to score.”

Senior Strong: Masconomet graduates four of their five starters in seniors Stewart, Davis, Chelsea Nason, and Taylor Evans. Nason scored nine points and Evans scored five points, grabbed five rebounds, played stellar defense and was all over the floor chasing loose balls for Masconomet.

Masconomet’s lone returning starter is junior Claudia Marsh, who scored nine points and did a fine job defensively covering Boudreau in the second half.

Back to the Garden: Andover looks to take home their third consecutive Eastern Massachusetts Division 1 championship on Tuesday as they play Braintree High School (22-2), who upset top-seeded Franklin High School 51-46 in the South sectional finals on Saturday.

“We have Tuesday night and if we hopefully win we will have Saturday,” said Tildsley. “It is just an unbelievable accomplishment what these kids have done the past three years.”

Div. 1 Girls: Andover 52, A-B 35

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
10:47
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ANDOVER, Mass. -- Andover’s Nicole Boudreau receives the most publicity of anyone on her team, and deservedly so. It’s hard not to pay attention to one of the most consistent scorers in Massachusetts, especially when she scores over 2,000 points for her career or sets her school’s scoring record, like she did Friday night.

Years from now, Andover’s 52-35 win Friday over Acton-Boxborough to move on in the Division 1 North tournament might be remembered as the night Boudreau became Andover’s all-time leading scorer with 2,099 points.

In the present, it will be remembered as a game where the team rose up around Boudreau and made the plays it needed to win.

She still had an impressive performance (20 points, seven rebounds, two steals, three blocks), but it was contributions from players like Jackie Alois (11 points, four rebounds), Rebecca Alois (seven rebounds, five steals), and Ally Fazio (eight points, three steals) that showed why Andover (23-0) is undefeated and favored by many to win the Division 1 State title again this year.

“My team won us the game,” said Boudreau. “It wasn’t about one player today. The Alois’ worked so hard tonight. Rebecca got a bunch of key rebounds. I had a bunch of assists to Jackie and Rebecca because they were trying to double me and other people, so Jackie had a lot of points tonight and we needed it. When everyone works like that, it takes a lot of the pressure off of me, off of Devon (Caveney), and everyone else. They won us the game tonight.”

Andover came out with a full-court press on A-B (13-8) that was smothering at times. When it worked successfully, trapping the ball handler along the sideline, it often lead to turnovers. A-B turned the ball over 20 times in the game.

When it was unable to get the ball, Andover forced A-B to take contested and off-balance shots around the basket.

“Defense is our whole thing,” said Andover coach Jim Tildsley. “We like to press teams and that’s how we win. We’re so small that we have to go to the full-court the whole game and you can see that my kids are in great shape. They can play the whole game and not get tired. They’re physical and they’re mentally tough, but we still have a long way to go.”

Just a speed bump: Towards the end of the first quarter, Andover lead 18-6. Then, with two 3-pointers from A-B to end the quarter and begin the second, it became a six-point game. Coupled that with an Andover cold shooting streak, and before you knew it, it was a close four-point game midway through the quarter.

However, with it’s defensive pressure creating opportunities for it that its offense couldn’t, Andover was able to hold A-B to one basket over the final four minutes and take a 10-point lead into the half.

“(Pressure) was a huge goal in what we were trying to do to beat this team,” said Boudreau. “We knew Elizabeth Belanger (12 points, 10 rebounds) is a great player, so we had to shut her down and we wanted to get her tired. Our full-court pressure does that to people and I think our pressure is what won the game for us tonight. We got a lot of key turnovers and they had a hard time scoring. It really helped us.”

Eyes on the Warriors: At this time of the season, everyone knows who the top seeds are some people would want nothing more than to see them lose. Especially when it comes to Andover, who is looking to win its third Division 1 State Championship in a row. One couldn’t blame them if they felt added pressure, with a metaphorical target on their back for the rest of the state to try to hit.

“Do you think (it feels like there’s a target on my back)?” said Tildsley sarcastically. “There’s a lot of pressure on my kids. It’s pressure, but we like to play under pressure. There’s a ton of pressure on us because everyone’s out to get us. I can’t blame them either, I’d be wanting to beat us too. You saw how tough Acton-Boxborough played tonight. They would have loved to beat us tonight, but fortunately we came out on top.”

Boudreau thinks that having that late-season familiarity is more beneficial than pressure-filled.

“I don’t really think there’s pressure on us,” she said. “We’re all used to being in this situation and we have a goal in mind and we just want to get to it. We all have a pretty big advantage being in this situation. Everyone’s gunning for us, so we have to be on top of our game.”

Up Next: Andover moves on to the Division 1 North Semifinals, where it will face Merrimack Valley Conference foe Central Catholic. As of Friday night, it was unknown where or when the two teams would play each other. The No. 12 seed Raiders knocked off the No. 4 and 5 seeds in the D1 North bracket, Westford and Billerica respectively, to get the opportunity to play unbeaten Andover.

Andover beat Central three times during the regular season, each by double digits. But this isn’t the regular season anymore. In a tournament setting, on any given night, one team can play above expectations or extremely below them.

Tildsley won’t be taking Central lightly, especially since when they beat two higher seeds to get to where they are now.

“Central is a very good team, especially with (Casey) McLaughlin coming back, that’s going to be one heck of a game,” he said. “We’ll be ready to play on Tuesday or Wednesday, whenever we’re playing.”

Recap: No. 1 Andover 63, A-B 50

February, 21, 2012
2/21/12
11:25
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WESTFORD, Mass. — The entire regular season has been building up for this moment for the Andover girls basketball team.

The Golden Warriors (22-0) capped off their regular season unscathed after defeating Acton-Boxboro, 63-50, in the championship game of the Grey Ghost Classic at Westford Academy on Tuesday night.

Nicole Boudreau filled the stat sheet with 21 points, nine steals, seven rebounds and five assists to take out the team the Warriors beat in the Div. 1 North finals last season.

The question was asked about the Warriors ability to pull off their third championship in a row immediately following their triumph last year at the DCU Center, and the unquestioned leader of the team was ready to address the so called elephant in the room.

“We know we are going to have a tough battle to try and three-peat,” said Boudreau, who finished as the tournament MVP. “I think we are both mentally and physically ready for it. We are going to take every game as it comes.”

Jim Tildsley doesn’t have to dive too far into his game film from the season to show his team the effort other teams will have in store for the Warriors. The Colonials (13-7) have good size at every position, and are one of the strongest defensive teams in Div. 1. That strength was on display, as they held the Warriors to 19 points in the first half.

Boudreau only had four points on 1-of-11 shooting and the Warriors were 1-for-10 from behind the 3-point line.

“That was very, very physical,” said Tildsley. “I think in the second half we kind of tired them out a bit.”

The three-point shot that was lacking was on display in the second half. As Elizabeth Belanger (25 points, 10 rebounds) was singlehandedly taking care of the offensive output in the third quarter for the Colonials, the shots started to fall for Tildsley’s bunch.

Ally Fazio (10 points) hit two 3-pointers to open up the scoring for the Warriors, and Boudreau finally connected from deep to tie things up at 28.

The Warriors went on a 10-1 run to begin the fourth quarter as Devon Caveney scored six of the points in the run.

Range...Enough Said: If you watch Boudreau shoot before practice when she has the time to take shots from anywhere in the gym, her form never changes.

It doesn’t matter if she’s practicing midrange jumpers or effortlessly practicing shots from halfcourt.

That range was on display again in this one.

Boudreau saw the shot clock winding down, and despite the fact that she was roughly 32-feet away from the basket, she didn’t hesitate with her shot and hit nothing but net to put her trademark on the win as the bucket gave the Warriors a 53-39 victory.

Despite all the missed shots in the first half and the sizeable distance between the hoop and her that would probably make some coaches bite a towel like Jerry Tarkanian, Boudreau has the confidence to take the shot and for the most part make it too.

“My teammates have confidence in me to shoot it wherever I am,” she said. “That helps a lot when everyone is cheering you on to shoot it. If someone says not to shoot it, then you are kind of questioning it. In big time situations when the clock is running down I like to have the ball in my hands and hopefully do something good with it.”

Colonial Defense Solid: For three quarters, the Colonials made life difficult for Boudreau and company from any spot on the floor.

The final score was not indicative of the close game that was going on for 24 minutes, as the two teams were playing a back-and-forth basketball game for the majority of the night. Boudreau was having a hard time shaking free of Abby O’Brien in the first half and the rest of the Colonials did a solid job of closing out on the other Warriors outside threats.

“It was like a four-minute lapse,” said Colonials head coach Kim Landry. “All night we closed out on shooters and there was a short lapse when we didn’t.”

Recap: No. 1 Andover 53, No. 11 Billerica 52

January, 27, 2012
1/27/12
12:16
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ANDOVER, Mass. --- The Andover Lady Warriors (13-0) remained undefeated on the season despite a valiant effort from a feisty, upset-minded Billerica squad on Thursday night.

Billerica (11-2) had possession of the ball with 4.4 seconds remaining on the clock, trailing 53-50, but a 3-point attempt fell short and a put back by junior center Joslyn King (14 points, 14 rebounds) was not enough as Andover escaped with a 53-52 victory and sole possession of first place in the Merrimack Valley Division 1 Conference.

Both teams battled back and forth in a game of runs that saw Billerica explode out of the gate to take a quick lead only to see Andover come back to tie the game at 15-15 after one quarter of play. Reigning ESPN Boston Miss Basketball Nicole Boudreau scored nine of her game high 23 points for Andover in the opening quarter including two of her six 3-pointers on the evening.

Andover would build a 12 point lead midway through the second quarter but Billerica hung tough behind the strong play of King and junior point guard Brittany Lomanno. Boudreau and junior guard Devon Caveney each stroked two 3-pointers in the quarter to help propel Andover to a 33-28 lead at the half.

The Indians came out of the break and dominated the third quarter as their size and work on the glass disrupted Andover as King and junior forward Danielle Nickerson owned the boards and gave Billerica a hard-fought 41-40 lead after three quarters

“In the third quarter we did a great job of recognizing what they were in,” said Billerica head coach Mike McCarthy. “We had pretty good legs and were able to get the ball up the floor.”

Andover’s various full-court defenses, which disrupted Billerica at times on the evening, finally came through in the end as the Lady Warriors led by seven with 2:38 remaining in the game.

Billerica, as they did all night, would not give in as they took it all the way to buzzer but timely Andover shooting and disruptive pressure defense were too much for Billerica to overcome.

“We do not want to lose,” said Boudreau. “We are the type of ball club that is not going to accept losing so in the fourth quarter, when it is close like that, we like to buckle down on the defensive end.”

Fazio steps up down stretch: Senior Co-captain Ally Fazio's two fourth quarter 3-pointers turned the momentum back Andover’s way each time and helped settle the pace for the Lady Warriors. Fazio struggled from the field throughout the night but hit the two big 3-pointers when it mattered most to go along with her game high six assists.

“Ally hit some big shots at the end and we came out with the close win,” said Boudreau of her fellow Co-captain.

Young veterans lead Billerica: Billerica is led by a talented group of juniors in Lomanno (eight points), King, Nickerson (10 points) and Kayla Leverone (11 points) along with sophomore Shannon Hayes (eight points). Forward Erin Brooks was the team’s lone rotational senior to see time on the evening but Chris Doneski’s squad has been playing together for a couple of years now and their chemistry is evident.

“They are heck of a team,” said Andover head coach Jim Tildsley. “They are very good, well coached and give credit to them.”

After going 12-9 last season and losing to Acton-Boxborough in the MIAA Division 1 state tournament Billerica is off to an impressive 11-2 start of the 2011-2012 season.

“I am very proud of the way they played,” said Doneski. “They played their hearts out so you could not ask for more.”

Valentine’s Day Rematch: These two teams will see each other again in a few weeks as Andover will travel to Billerica on February 14 at 7 p.m. in a rematch that could be for the MVC Division 1 championship.

Both Andover and Billerica still have rematch dates with Central Catholic remaining on their schedules but both teams look to be the top of the MVC class and the Valentine’s Day rematch should be another competitive battle.

“This will be a war when we play them at Billerica,” said Tildsley. “That is for sure.”

Recap: No. 1 Andover 53, No. 5 Central 42

January, 6, 2012
1/06/12
12:14
AM ET
LAWRENCE, Mass. --- The Andover Golden Warriors put together a strong fourth quarter defensive effort, holding Central Catholic to eight points in the final frame, to earn a 53-42 win. It was the second game between the two schools this season and the first league match-up between the two rival Merrimack Valley Conference Division 1 programs.

“Our defense comes off our offense,” said Andover Head Coach Jim Tildsley. “It was just a great defensive effort tonight. Our offense was sloppy but it was also just the intensity of this game. We have not won here in three years so the kids really wanted this one tonight.”

Andover, who also defeated Central Catholic last week in the Greater Lawrence Christmas tournament championship, remained undefeated on the season at 8-0, while Central Catholic drops to 5-2.

Andover led by one point at the end of the first quarter and four points at the half as Central Catholic hung tough behind junior center Casey McLaughlin’s seven point and 10 rebound first half effort.

In the second half, Andover had a couple of opportunities to extend the lead past nine points but Central Catholic fought hard and converted some fast break opportunities to remain close and down by just five points, 39-34, heading into the fourth quarter.

In the fourth quarter it was 2011 ESPN Boston Miss Basketball Nicole Boudreau, who took over as the Andover star hit three 3-pointers and had a nine of Andover’s 14 points in the fourth quarter to help seal the win.

“Central Catholic is a great team and we knew that in order to beat them you have to hold off as many runs as they give you,” said Boudreau.

Andover also got strong games on the night from junior Devon Caveney (10 points, two steals), junior guard Angelice Gonzalez (seven points, three steals) and senior co-captain Ally Fazio (seven points, three assists).

Central Catholic sophomore guard Courtney Walsh had eight points and six rebounds to go along with three steals and three assists for the Lady Raiders.

The two teams will meet again on Feb. 17 at Andover.

Boudreau Reigns in Second Half: Boudreau scored a game-high 23 points, pulled down five rebounds, dished out two assists, and had one steal and one blocked shot in the win.

The Boston College commit had eight points in the first half, including a crucial three point play with 1.3 seconds remaining on the clock to give Andover momentum and a 29-25 at the half.

In the second half Boudreau came out firing as the senior hit five 3-pointers, including three in the crucial fourth quarter.

“An inch of space, I like, especially against this team,” said Boudreau. “Luckily a couple of them fell. It was not falling in the first but my teammates trusted me to make them when they counted.”

Boudreau also settled the offense down the stretch and made all four of her free throw attempts on the night.

“When she hits those threes they are just like daggers for the opposition,” said Tildsley. “My kids look for her and she gets open, somehow, and just sticks them.”

The 5-foot-9 guard also took home her third straight Greater Lawrence tournament MVP last week in the win over Central as she scored 19 points to lead the Golden Warriors on the night.

Alois’ Intangibles: Andover junior forward Jackie Alois played an exceptional second half as she helped play tight post defense on McLaughlin and was also all over the floor making countless hustle plays that do not show up on the box scores.

“We did not have Jackie in the whole first half as she got in early foul trouble,” said Tildsley. “She does one heck of a job defensively and is just so aggressive."

Alois had six second half rebounds to go along with two steals and one block.

McLaughlin Improving: The Central Catholic junior co-captain had 16 points, 14 rebounds and one blocked shot in the loss.

“She is a heck of a player,” said Tildsley.

McLaughlin continues to make big strides in her game in her third year with the Lady Raider’s varsity team. She was also named to the Greater Lawrence Christmas all tournament team last week along with Walsh, Fazio and Boudreau.

Our MIAA Girls Lacrosse All-State Team

June, 30, 2011
6/30/11
3:54
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THE STARTING ELEVEN

Sarah Biron, Sr. M, Westwood
Biron spearheaded arguably the state’s most potent attack, as the Wolverines scored 461 goals in a 25-0-1 season that resulted in their third state title in four years. Biron finishes with a decorated career, totaling 337 points – including an 88-goal, 31-assist campaign this year. The All-American will play at Johns Hopkins next year.

Blake Dietrick, Sr. M, Wellesley
The two-time All-American leaves as one of the best all-around athletes in school history. For her career under outgoing lacrosse coach Chris Molonea, she finishes with a school record 511 career points, including 79 goals and 45 assists this season as the Raiders lost in the D1 South semifinals to state champ Westwood. Dietrick was also a starter on ESPNBoston’s inaugural Girls Basketball All-State Team. She will continue her career next season at Princeton.

Katie Ott, Sr. A, Medfield
One of the state’s premier attackers, Ott finishes her career with the Warriors as one of the all-time leading scorers, with 329 points. She had 85 goals and 38 assists this season for the 17-3 Warriors, who lost in the D2 South quarterfinals. An All-American selection, Ott will play next year at Boston University.

Jamie Potter, Sr. M, Concord-Carlisle
One of the Patriots’ leading all-around athletes having captained three sports this year, Potter leaves behind a decorated career. Her 304 career points are most all-time in school history; this season, she registered 75 goals and 37 assists as the Patriots made the D1 North semifinals. She will play next year at Harvard.

Laura McHoul, Jr. M, Westwood
Another intregral part of the Wolverines’ multi-pronged attack, McHoul earned All-American nods after turning in a stellar junior season with an astounding 172 points (86 goals, 86 assists). In two seasons, she has 236 career points. McHoul is currently committed to the University of New Hampshire.

Kate Rich, Jr. M, Westwood
Rich was one of three Wolverines to put in 100-point seasons, registering 93 goals and 35 assists to earn All-American honors. For her career, she has 277 points. Rich is verbally committed to Boston College.

Amanda McLaughlin, Sr. M, Minnechaug
Her goal totals don’t stack up against the eye-popping numbers of her counterparts, but it would be hard-pressed to find a better set-up teammate than McLaughlin. Her 57 assists to go along with 20 goals earned her All-American nods this season. She will continue her career next season at Northwestern.

Rachel Igoe, Sr. M, Framingham
The two-time All-American led a Framingham attack that struggled early in the season, but caught steam late and made a run to the D1 North quarterfinals, losing a heartbreaker in overtime to Concord-Carlisle. For her career, she registered 238 points. Igoe will join her sister Kristin at Boston College next season.

Anne Farnham, Jr. D, Andover
A member of the Golden Warriors’ D1 state champion field hockey team in the fall, Farnham and her twin sister Kate formed one of the stingiest back lines in the state. Anne registered 17 goals and 15 assists, and led the Warriors in draw controls, earning All-American honors in the process. Both Anne and Kate are verbally committed to UMass.

Madison Acton, Jr. M, Lincoln-Sudbury
For her career, Acton has 239 points, including a 68-goal, 37-assist campaign this season as the Warriors advanced to the D1 Eastern Mass final before losing to state champ Westwood. Acton earned All-American distinction, and is verbally committed to Duke.

Liz Holmes, Sr. G, Longmeadow
Also a goalkeeper for the Lancers’ field hockey team that made the D1 West final, Holmes helped run a stingy defense that allowed 7.4 goals per game, aided by her 152 saves. Holmes will continue her career next year at Marist.

BEST OF THE REST

Katy Ananian, Sr. G, Belmont
Shelby Aubin, Jr. M, Needham
Abby Bunting, Sr. M, Wellesley
Jen Caro, Sr. A, Andover
Emma Dagres, Jr. A, Weston
Erika Eipp, Jr. M, Groton-Dunstable
Kate Farnham, Jr. D, Andover
Ally Fazio, Jr. A/M, Andover
Rebecca Graves, Jr. A, Bishop Fenwick
Emily King, Sr. M, Northampton
Megan Hennessey, Soph. M, Winchester
Cassandra McGill, Sr. A, Westborough
Mary O’Connell, Soph. A, Norwell
Anna Petrunich, Jr. M, Westborough
Kate Riley, Jr. M, King Philip
Jessica Roach, Sr. M, Notre Dame (Hingham)
Brooke Rudden, Sr. A, Hopkinton
Stephanie Sabatini, Sr. M, Longmeadow
Rachel Sexton, Jr. M, Lincoln-Sudbury
Karaline Smith, Sr. M, Acton-Boxborough
Tory Waldstein, Jr. M, Needham

Three Andover girls lax players commit

June, 24, 2011
6/24/11
11:25
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Andover girls lacrosse head coach John McVeigh confirmed this morning that three of his players have made verbal commitments to Division 1 programs for the 2012-13 school year.

Ally Fazio, the team's leading scorer and also a member of the two-time defending D1 state champ basketball squad, has committed to UConn. Meanwhile, twin sisters Kate and Anne Farnham -- also members of the D1 state champ field hockey squad -- will both suit up for UMass.

The Golden Warriors earned the top seed in the Division 1 North tournament this spring, and went 23-2 before bowing out to Lincoln-Sudbury in the North final.

Additionally, all three of them were selected to play in the Under Armour Underclassmen All-American game at Towson University next weekend, from July 1-3.

MVC announces lacrosse all-stars

May, 27, 2011
5/27/11
6:28
PM ET
The Merrimack Valley Conference has unveiled its boys and girls lacrosse All-Conference and All-Star teams, as well as their Players and Coaches of the Year. Below are the All-Conference teams:

BOYS

ATTACK
Grant Whiteway, Billerica
Cam Slatton, Billerica
Matt McIver, Andover
Ben Melaugh, Billerica

MIDFIELD
Ross Murphy, Billerica
Nick Price, Andover
Nick Morello, Billerica
Ian Abrahamson, Billerica
Mike Conlon, Dracut
Ryan Forgione, Central Catholic
Tim Oteri, Andover

DEFENSE
Andrew Basler, Chelmsford
Mike Curley, Billerica
Ben Cook, Andover
Tom McLaughlin, Billerica

UTILITY
Nathaniel Vasquez, Haverhill

GOALIE
Crosby Nicholson, Andover
D.J. Smith, Billerica

Division 1 Player of the Year: Grant Whiteway, Billerica
Division 2 Player of the Year: Nathaniel Vasquez, Haverhill
Division 1 Coach of the Year: Craig Flynn, Billerica
Division 2 Coach of the Year: Dan O'Brien, Dracut
Assistant Coach of the Year: Sean Donahue, Lowell
Man of the Year: Grant Whiteway Jr., Billerica
Sportsmanship Award: Rory Fuller, Dracut

GIRLS

ALL-CONFERENCE
Christine Keenan, Sr., Central Catholic
Erin Masucci, Sr., Central Catholic
Mary Foggo, Jr., Central Catholic
Stefani Vadeboncouer, Sr., Haverhill
Molly Gleason, Sr., Haverhill
Nicole Devoe, Sr., Tewksbury
Casey Brown, Sr., Lowell
Grace Politis, Sr., Billerica
Kelly Pickett, Sr., Chelmsford
Johannah Cramer, Jr., Chelmsford
Meaghan Tuttle, Sr., Chelmsford
Emily Shields, Sr., Andover
Meghan Morris, Sr., Andover
Kate Farnham, Jr., Andover
Anne Farnham, Jr., Andover
Ally Fazio, Jr., Andover
Sara Miller, Sr., Andover
Kelsey Joaquin, Sr., Dracut

Division 1 Player of the Year: Jen Caro, Sr., Andover
Division 2 Player of the Year: Courtney O'Neil, Sr., Central Catholic
Coach of the Year: Phil Rowley, Central Catholic
Sportsmanship Award: Haverhill

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