Girls Basketball Loses To Andover in Best Finish Since 2002

Memorable Season Ends in Dramatic Fashion

Charlie Bonney, Sports Editor

A sensational season for the CRLS girls basketball team ended on Saturday, March 7th at the UMass Lowell Tsongas Center. Their defeat came at the hands of the sixth-seeded Andover team in the MIAA Division 1 North finals. It was the team’s first appearance in the North finals since 2002 when the team went on to win the state title.

The North final game came after Cambridge won a thriller against the number one-seeded Woburn High School in their previous game. CRLS was confident that they would be able to keep their season alive against Andover High School. 

In a 57-52 loss, Cambridge’s star point guard Sophia Vital ’22 managed a game-high of 21 points. However, Andover’s balanced scoring—four players with double-digits—was still too much for Cambridge. 

Following her final high school game, senior Ella Simonsen reflected on the game, saying that “I think it comes down to the little details because in a game like that, every single play counts. I think they ended up making more successful plays than us, and that’s what tipped the game.”

With the win, Andover claimed a spot in the Eastern Massachusetts finals at the TD Garden and a matchup with Bridgewater-Raynham, a game they went on to win, sending them to the state finals.

This year’s team has changed the culture of girls basketball at CRLS by making girls want to play. Also, it has changed the school’s perspective about girls in sports.

— Gianni Daniels '21

Cambridge started off the game strong with an early lead, but by the end of the quarter, Andover had roared back to take a 14-10 lead. Near the end of the second quarter, Andover began pulling away and took a commanding nine-point lead, which was dwindled back down to a six-point lead, 25-19, by halftime. 

Nevertheless, CRLS remained undeterred, going on a quick 7-0 run to start the third quarter, putting them back in the lead. Andover quickly answered back with a 9-2 run of their own. As the hotly-contested game entered the final quarter, Cambridge trailed by two points, 38-36. 

Two minutes into the fourth quarter, Cambridge tied the game with a three-pointer from Kizziah Ruff ’21 and a three-point play from Vital. The game remained close for several more minutes, but eventually, a vital three-pointer and a layup off of an offensive rebound pushed Andover over the edge. CRLS Coach Reece Freeman explained, “They went on one final run, and there wasn’t enough time for us to counter punch.”

Coach Freeman did not feel as if his Falcons were outmatched in any way, saying, “I think that Andover just made more plays than us down the stretch.” 

Regardless of the result, this year’s Cambridge team changed the landscape of girls basketball at CRLS. Gianni Daniels ’21 explained that “this year’s team has changed the culture of girls basketball at CRLS by making girls want to play. Also, it has changed the school’s perspective about girls in sports.”

The support for the team was evident in the crowds that came out for all of their playoff games, as packed student sections supported their team until the very end.