Young Andes girls team scores first victory over Windham in overtime squeaker

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By John Bernhardt

Years from now, when Courtney Hoyt looks back at her coaching career, she’ll remember her first game as the Andes girls’ varsity basketball coach fondly. Hoyt and her young Andes squad eked out an action packed, nerve-wracking, overtime, 52-47, victory over Windham last week.

The opener had a little bit of everything; a lead that seesawed back and forth several times throughout the game, a late fourth-quarter rally to tie the contest forcing the added period, and enough drama and tension to exhaust the players and their fans.
The game saw six lead changes with the two teams never separated by more than six points. It was the Warriors who would build three, six-point advantages, the last with less than three minutes to play.

Close play
Windham inched ahead in the first quarter, outscoring their hosts, 10-8, but all five Mountaineers scored points in the period, an omen for better things to come.

Trailing 14-10 early in the second frame, Andes scored seven straight points to grab their biggest lead of the game before the overtime period. Cheyenne Weaver scored three points and pulled down a defensive rebound sending a long outlet for a layup score during the rally. Freshman point guard Taylor Day had two assists during the streak.

Day’s two foul shots near the end of the half gave the home team a 21-18 advantage before Windham’s Kiley Linger buried a shot from the right wing just before the horn to narrow the gap to one point at intermission.

Windham’s Morgan Cooke almost turned the contest upside down at the start of the second half, turning a steal into a layup, burying a three-point bomb and nailing an elbow shot at the foul line. Cooke’s seven-point explosion put Windham back in command, 27-21.

Mountaineers rally
Trailing, 29-23, Andes senior Shianne Coss sparked a rally. Coss found Weaver at the high post for a 15-foot banker, took a defensive rebound coast-to-coast and then turned a Weaver pass from the high post into a baseline drive to knot the game at 29-29. A Coss steal and layup put Andes back in front before Weaver dumped another post pass, this time to Adiel Grapes for a baseline score. Andes led 33-29.

Andes held off the Warriors taking a 36-33 advantage into the final eight minutes.

It was almost as if the Mountaineers’ offense went into a deep slumber for most of the fourth quarter and they struggled to sink a shot. When Rachael Iacono’s shot from the left wing dropped, the Warriors were back in front, 38-36, with 6:08 to play.

Grapes answered for Andes seconds later with another baseline tally to tie the score, but the Grapes basket would be the last time an Andes shot would fall until 2:27 remained.

With Windham in front, 44-38, Coss ripped down a defensive rebound and went coast-to-coast for a score. Weaver pulled down a offensive board and banked in a put back on the next Andes possession, and the Windham lead was whittled to a single bucket. Two Coss foul shots evened the score at 44-44 with 1:12 left. That’s were the score would stay, forcing the overtime.

Defense is key
With her hands raised high, Weaver picked off a Cooke shot, with Cooke fouling the sophomore trying to get the ball. It was Cooke’s fifth foul. Weaver hit the front end of the one-on-one giving Andes back the lead.

A Weaver layup off a Coss pass with 2:41 to play in the extra frame gave Andes a 47-44 advantage. But, Susannah Simpfender buried a three-point shot for Windham to tie the score one last time.
Cassandra Storey drove to the basket, converting a left-handed layup at the end of an Andes fast break. Nailing the game winner. Another Weaver put back and a Coss foul shot wrapped up the scoring for the Mountaineers.

Coss would finish with 17 points and Weaver 16 for the victors. Andes plays at Jefferson on Wednesday and opens up the Roxbury Tournament tackling Franklin on Friday.