Boys Basketball, Sports, Winter Sports

Boys Basketball One Win Away From Securing Playoff Berth

With five seconds left in the first half, Post-Graduate (PG) Matt Wesoloski ’16 faked his Deerfield defender to the left and then jumped to the rip for a quick tip into the hoop. Wesoloski’s two points extended Andover Boys Basketball’s lead in the first half to 39-34. Andover eventually went on to win the game 84-70.

Earlier in the week, Andover played Pingree. After a hard-fought game, Andover fell to its opponent 57-61, moving the team’s record to 8-12.

Against Pingree, Andover came out with energy and played disciplined defense. The team amassed a sizable lead at the beginning of the first half due to its strong performance in the paint and beyond the arc. However, after this hot streak, Andover struggled to keep control of the game. Pingree, desperate for a comeback, used its physicality and mounted a return that allowed it to catch up to Andover. At the end of the first half, Andover only had a two-point lead of 32-30.

Fouls played a significant factor in the game, as both teams used their physical players to try to win points. During the second half, Co-Captain Andrew Reavis ’17 was fouled out, and without his strong presence on the court, Andover was edged out offensively. As the game wound to a close, the Andover starters were unable to maintain their defense. With minutes left on the clock, Andover trailed and lost the game by a narrow score of 57-61.

Despite the loss, Andover displayed strong teamwork. Every starter contributed more than five points, and the leadership from Reavis and Co-Captain Danny Evans ’16 kept Andover in the game.

Andover’s game against Deerfield, a New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) Class-A team, was crucial for the team’s post-season goals. Without a win, Andover’s playoff prospects would have looked very bleak.

Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00 said, “Our goal this entire season has been to get better every time we step on the court whether it is a practice or a game, to make the playoffs and once we get to the playoffs, to compete for the championship.”

Driven by a large home crowd and energetic bench, Andover built a lead in the first half of the game. Although the first few minutes were slow, Andover quickly overcame its sluggishness and accumulated a 14-point lead. Deerfield shot multiple three pointers to close the deficit, and at the end of the first half, Andover was up a meager five points with a score of 39-34.

Coming into the second half, stellar performances from Reavis, PG Sam Jefferson ’16 and PG Hallvard Lundevall ’16 pushed Andover to a 20-point lead at the middle of the second half. Reavis, Jefferson and Lundevall scored 10, 27 and 17 points, respectively. Furthermore, Wesoloski had an impressive performance, utilizing his size in the paint to score Andover crucial points.

Each of the starters secured at least eight points in the win over Deerfield. At the end of the game, Coach Ivory was able to give multiple substitutes playing time.

Reavis said, “We were very happy to get a win in our league and get some momentum going into Saturday’s game against [Phillips Exeter Academy].”

Andover looks to claim another win over its rival Exeter on Saturday in front of a home crowd.

Feb 26, 2016