Senior point guard Bobby Lumbard once again had the hot hand for the Tewksbury High boys basketball team Tuesday night, but one weapon was not enough for the Redmen as they came up short against a talented Andover squad, losing 56-43.
Lumbard sank five consecutive three-pointers and led all scorers with 20 points, but six different Andover players scored five or more points and the Redmen came up empty at home in spite of a spirited defensive effort.
"It's pick your poison against them," said Tewksbury High coach Phil Conners. "That's another good team. They were 5-1 coming in, and the way we played defense in the first half, we should have been winning. But if you can't score, you're not gonna win."
Lumbard was the only Tewksbury player to hit an outside shot in the entire first half as the Redmen fell behind, 13-8 after one quarter. An effective full court press kept TMHS in the game in the second quarter, as the Redmen closed with a 7-0 run over the final three minutes and pulled to within four at halftime, trailing 21-17.
But Andover's hot shooting junior guard Chris Dunn canned three consecutive three-pointers in the first two minutes of the second half, and the Golden Warriors went on a 13-3 tear that extended their four-point halftime lead to 14.
"Those three's were killers right off the bat," Conners said.
The Redmen did their best to respond, with Lumbard pouring in 14 of his 20 points in the second half, but Andover forwards Sam Dowden (19 points) and James Costello (seven points) controlled the paint in the final two quarters, and Tewksbury fell to 2-6 overall and 1-3 in Merrimack Valley Conference action.
Senior guard Anthony Chiccarelli scored seven points for the Redmen while sophomore forward Kevin Dick had five. Mike Doucette, James Sullivan and Cory Cataldo scored three points each and Chris Fandel added two.
"We fought them right to the end, we just have to get better offensively," Conners said. "We have a long way to go skill-wise. The shots are going to fall eventually, but we've got a long way to go."
The Redmen host Chelmsford High Friday night.
GIRLS TEAM LOSES AT ANDOVER, 47-40
The Tewksbury High girls basketball team earned a moral victory of sorts Tuesday night, losing by just seven points on the road against top-ranked Andover High, 47-40.
The undefeated (7-0) Golden Warriors, ranked No. 1 in the state by the Boston Globe, have not lost a home game in almost three years. The last time these two teams met, Andover crushed Tewksbury at home, 73-20.
"I think Andover was kind to us because they didn't play (their top players) that much in the second half," Tewksbury coach Mark Bradley said. "But even when they were out there we played better because we didn't get ourselves in trouble, and we took away their transition."
Andover all but had the game wrapped up by halftime as the Warriors led 23-1 after one quarter and 32-9 at the break. But Tewksbury rallied for a 14-9 advantage in the third period and a 17-6 advantage in the fourth period, outscoring Andover 31-15 in the second half.
"It was a tale of two different halves," Bradley said. "The girls didn't tank, they didn't give up, but we made too many mistakes in the first half. Until we can put together four good quarters of basketball... It's good that we ended the way we did tonight, attacking the basket. But it has to be four quarters, no ifs or buts."
Sophomore guard Sara Semenza led Tewksbury with a career-high 17 points and junior forward Nicole Chaet had 10. Senior guard sheri Liggiero and sophomore center Chelsee Porcaro had four each, Amanda Cossar and Shannon Semenza scored two each and Katie Doherty added one.
Tewksbury, now 0-5 overall and 0-3 in the Merrimack Valley Conference, plays at Chelmsford Friday night.