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Farrington, Ayer pull away from Littleton in second half

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BOLTON — This is an especially important summer for the future development of Ayer girls basketball, and if Wednesday night’s 38-26 win over Littleton in the Nashoba Summer Basketball League is any indication, the kids are going to be all right.

The young Ayer team got aggressive play from all hands and worked hard at the defensive end and off the boards in pulling away over the final 15 minutes of the second half after Littleton had closed to within four points.

Kim Farrington led the way with an outstanding game in the paint, scoring ten of her 12 points in the second half to go along with five rebounds. Sophomore guard Cathy Comerford provided an outside threat, finishing with eight points and three rebounds, all of her points coming in the first half.

Ayer played a stifling defense, utilizing a full-court press and solid half-court defense in the first half and they steadily built a commanding lead.

After Littleton’s Nicole Johanson finished off a fast break with a lay-up to draw her team to within a point at 3-2, Ayer went on a 13-2 run over the next ten minutes to open up a 16-4 lead. Shannon Schwartz (six points, five rebounds, two steals) got the run started by finishing off a strong drive. Comerford came up big, burying a 17-footer and adding four consecutive free throws. Leading the pesky Ayer defense were Katie Poitras, Shawnda Shaffer, Sara Megan and Casey Hardgraves.

Littleton closed to within 17-8, but Hardgraves sent Ayer to intermission with a 19-8 lead when she closed the half by scoring on a drive.

Littleton came out running their offense much more crisply in the second half and quickly sliced into the lead. After Farrington put Ayer on top 21-9 with a 15-footer, Littleton got back-to-back three-pointers from Brooke Johanson and Carly Otis. When Sonia Basma (ten points, five rebounds) canned a pair of free throws, Ayer led by just four at 21-17.

Farrington answered the call, breaking Littleton’s momentum with four quick points as she converted after grabbing an offensive rebound, and followed with a tough turnaround jumper from the lane to rebuild an eight point lead.

Twice Littleton drew to within six points, the final time at 27-21 when Carly Otis (eight points, four steals) drained a 15-footer, but Ayer responded with seven unanswered points to put the game out of reach. Megan drained a long three-pointer before lay-ups by Farrington and Schwartz made it 34-21 with just under ten minutes left in the game.

Megan (three steals) and Shaffer each scored four points for Ayer, while Cassie Jones (three rebounds, two steals) and Hardgraves each chipped in with two points.

Brooke Johanson finished with three points and two rebounds for Littleton while Nicole Johanson added two points and six rebounds.