Taylor Beckett ’17 caught the ball after a precise drive-and-dish from Eric Alperin ’15 and hit a knockdown three-pointer to maintain Andover Boys Basketball’s lead in the waning minutes of Andover’s game against Thayer. The shot put Andover in the lead, as it pulled ahead for an 85-80 win on Friday, the most points the team has scored in a game this season.
“Playing away, we had to deal with a different type of adversity competing in Thayer’s gym. The crowd was really into it, and then a couple of big shots from [Beckett] in response to [Thayer’s] three point shooting helped us maintain the lead and get the win,” said Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00.
Andover demonstrated effective team play throughout the game, making selfless passes to ensure the team maintained its lead. Alperin exemplified this team-first attitude with ten assists to go along with a game-high 24 points.
Andover’s contest featured multiple scoring outbursts with Sam Glazer ’15 and Andrew Reavis ’17 adding 17 and 16 points, respectively.
Reavis said, “Against Thayer, we were able to execute our offense in the way we’ve wanted to all year, and we scored a lot of points, which got us off to a nice start. Our offense and clutch free throws down the stretch got us the five point win.”
The potent offensive showing was paired with tenacious play on the defensive end. The team continuously made defensive stops down the stretch to pull ahead and showed consistent shooting on the offensive end.
Andover looked to continue its hot shooting at home against St. Sebastian’s the following day, but unfortunately, the team struggled to shoot at the high clip of the previous game and put points on the board, falling 54-68.
Glazer said, “Against St. Sebastian’s, we really just got outmuscled inside and weren’t hitting the shots we hit the previous game. Our effort was there, but we didn’t have the execution that had enabled us to beat Thayer and will enable us to be other good teams.”
Alperin was once again sharp, dropping 13 points, and starting center Nick Forti ’15 maintained his streak of strong offensive performances as well, matching Alperin’s 13-point outburst.
As in previous games, lack of players continued to plague Andover, missing big-men Jake Nelson ’15 and Kurtis Weber ’15.
Forti said, “Obviously missing [Weber] and [Nelson creates] a huge hole in the middle for this team. We’re a small team to begin with, and then missing two out of our three rotation big-men [makes it] difficult to compete with these big teams.”
Andover looked to outplay Tabor the following Wednesday, a team it fell to earlier in the season in a narrow six point loss at home.
Andover struggled to stop Tabor’s 6’6” big man who put up 16 points in the first half alone, despite having game-planned all week in practice to cover him. Struggling to put the ball in the basket and contest Tabor’s offensive prowess, the team lost 48-70.
Beckett said, “It was a tough game against Tabor. The play of their big man was definitely the difference in the game. We didn’t do a great job against him, and he took advantage. It’s disappointing since we worked on stopping him all week. Overall, it just comes down to poor execution.”
Andover’s scorers struggled to adapt to shooting in the Tabor gym and, as a result, had trouble putting the ball in the basket.
With its three-point shot taken away, much of the team’s scoring came from drives and drawing contact fouls. Reavis had a team-high ten points on 3-4 shooting from the free throw line.
Andover looks to regain its momentum against Williston Northhampton School this Friday at home.