ANDOVER — Andover Central senior Maddie Chapin is all of 5-foot-7, but one of her primary jobs on Friday night was shutting down Andover center Kylie Cooper, a 6-1 senior.
That's no easy task, but Chapin battled in the lane, quickly fronting Cooper whenever Andover looked to throw it inside. If the Trojans made passes to Cooper, Chapin often was there to tip the ball away.
That defense was effective as Andover Central, ranked fourth overall, defeated host Andover 58-38 to improve to 4-0.
Stopping Cooper was important because she can dominate, using her size to control the lane. Andover Central doesn't have players with her size; only Kenzie Harding and Brae Stiverson are 5-foot-11, while the rest are 5-9 or shorter.
So Andover Central used its help-side defense as much as possible, and the Jaguars held Cooper to nine points on 3-of-8 shooting. She also had six rebounds.
"Everyone did a good job on Kylie," Andover Central coach Stana Jefferson said. "Every time she was even going to touch it, we were going to have people around her, bumping her, getting her out of her rhythm.
"Maddie had a great night. She was flying through the air on help-side every time the ball went into her."
Andover Central outrebounded Andover 35-27, including 17-9 on the offensive boards.
"They completely took us out of our game," said Andover coach Max Hamblin, whose team is 2-1."... We were kind of out of position, didn't go screen, didn't come to the ball. We'd make one pass and try to throw it inside, but they had too much help in there.
"They just took us out of our game and killed us on the offensive rebounds. And we missed a lot of shots, little chippies."
Andover shot poorly, making 30 percent from the floor. The Trojans were 0 of 9 from three-point range.
Yet the Trojans only trailed 32-24 at the half, largely because they hit 12 of 17 free throws. Taylor Tilson scored 10 of her team-high 12 points in the second quarter.
There were 24 first-half fouls — Andover scored five first-quarter points and had six fouls — and the game dragged as both teams failed to find a rhythm.
"Man, there were a lot of whistles," Jefferson said. "If a game is officiated like that, it's tough to get into a rhythm."
Andover Central's five starters each had at least two fouls at the break, but Cami Gee scored 16 of her game-high 20 points in the first half.
Jaguars senior Tiffany Bias sat for the majority of the second period with two fouls. But she scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half when the Jaguars started to pull away.
Andover Central allowed 14 second-half points as Andover shot 6 of 23 from the floor.
"They just beat us, bottom line," Hamblin said.
Andover Central (4-0, 2-0) 15 17 14 12 — 58 Andover (2-1, 1-1) 5 19 9 5 — 38
ANDOVER CENTRAL: Bias 16, Tennyson 13, Harding 4, Chapin 2, Gee 20, Henry 2, Stiverson 1. Totals 21 (2) 14-21 58.
ANDOVER: Tilson 12, Williams 4, Cooper 9, Cranmer 6, Bezdek 1, Meisch 4, Branham 2. Totals 12 (0) 14-21 38.