BOYS BASKETBALL RECAP: Merinder and Perry Lead Andover Over Lawrence
by Christian Schmidt for Mass Prep Stars
LAWRENCE, Mass.- Friday night's Merrimack Valley game, between the Andover Golden Warriors and the Lawrence Lancers, was a tale of two halves, as Andover overcame a seven point halftime deficit to defeat the Lawrence, 71-58.
After Andover capitalized on a couple of early buckets, the momentum would quickly shift to Lawrence, as their full court pressure and senior Julio Vicente's four first quarter 3-pointers would push the Lancers to a 18-12 first quarter lead.
In the second quarter, Lawrence maintained the momentum that gave them a lead in the first quarter and led 38-31 at the half time break.
The third quarter would be the pivotal frame for Andover, as they came striking back, by taking advantage of Lawrence's strong perimeter defense, with backdoor cuts and finishes. The turning point in the game for Andover came when Andover's Ryan O'Connell '16 (13 points) finished an and-one layup to give the Golden Warriors a 46-45 lead that they would never relinquish.
Lawrence fought back in the fourth quarter, but Andover continued to make timely plays to take the victory.
The game also was an amazing accomplishment, as it was win No. 400 for Andover head coach Dave Fazio.
EJ Perry '17 - 6-foot-2 - Guard - Andover - The gridiron standout, who starred at quarterback this fall for Andover, continued his strong sophomore campaign on the hardwood for Andover, as he showed excellent poise, along with passing and scoring ability. Perry (pictured below and above) scored 17 points. Perry made timely plays in the close game, as he dictated the pace and ran the ship for Andover at the point guard position.
Connor Merinder '15 - 6-foot-5 - Forward / Center - Andover - The recent Trinity college commit (pictured below) showed off his strength, athleticism, and scoring ability, as the senior tri-captain led the way for Andover with 18 points on the night. Twelve of his 18 points came in the second half. Merinder continued to find gaps through Lawrence's pressure and grabbed timely rebounds on both ends of the floor. Merinder's consistent healthy presence will be a tremendous part of Andover's success this season.
Julio Vicente '15 - 5-foot-8 - Guard - Lawrence - Vicente (pictured below) led the way for Lawrence with 16 points, hitting an electrifying four first quarter 3-pointers. Vicente displayed his shooting ability and showed off his speed, athleticism, and toughness on both ends of the floor as a leader for the Lancers. The senior should continue to be a menace for opposing teams to handle, if he has more nights like Friday.
Also playing very well:
Andover - David Giribaldi '15 - Guard and Ryan O'Connell '16 - Guard
Lawrence - Dantae Neal '15 - Guard.
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