Tournament Runs Come to an End in Lowell
North Andover's boys and girls basketball teams were upended on Saturday during the North Division 2 finals.
Two North Andover High School basketball seasons and one coaching career came to an end on Saturday at the Tsongas Center in Lowell during the North Division 2 bracket finals.
First the Scarlet Knights girls basketball team fell to unbeaten defending champion Reading, 50-33. Next up, the boys team dropped a closely contested 64-59 tilt against Brighton. Following that game, head coach Mike McVeigh announced that he will be retiring after 31 years of coaching.
"You guys should see the hurt in our kids' eyes. And I have to somehow look at them and say 'you have a right to be hurt," said McVeigh following the loss. "And they should be. Because if it's anything worth fighting for and you don't get it, you should be hurt. But I guaranteed them that within every single day the hurt will go away a little bit, and the memories these kids will have, you can't replace that."
The veteran coach said he decided two months ago that this would be his last year coaching, and he informed his players of his decision in the locker room after the loss.
On the girls side, head coach Susan Breen said that the experience of reaching the tournament final was a memorable one for her and her team.
"It's just such a thrill to get here," said Breen. "As sad as we are right now because we don't move on, for North Andover girls basketball to get it here, I don't think we've been here since 1988. That's a long time ago. I'm just thrilled for this group of kids, though we're sad today."