With under a minute left on the clock, Post-Graduate (PG) Kailan Lee ’17 lost his defender behind a screen and sunk a three-pointer to give Andover Boys Basketball an eight-point lead over Deerfield on Saturday. The team went on to hold the lead and seal its second consecutive victory by a final score of 66-57.
On Friday, Andover broke its three-game losing streak with a 68-57 win over Worcester Academy. Combined with its victory on Saturday against Deerfield, and a 66-53 loss to Cushing on Wednesday, Andover’s record now stands at 4-9.
During the team’s two-game winning streak over the weekend, Andover’s defense played a large role in its success. The team was able to develop an identity on the defensive end by communicating and playing with aggression.
Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00 said, “We’ve been working on having a sort of identity defensively — we played a lot of [zone-defense] this past weekend. I feel like we’re getting better. We can always improve, but defense is something we feel comfortable with now; more comfortable than we did at the beginning of the season.”
PG James Lewis ’17 said, “Defensively, I think we communicated much better, especially on the back line, so we were able to get out to the shooters and see the cutters.”
The offense also showed significant improvement during the win streak. Against Worcester, Captain Andrew Reavis ’17 sunk five three-pointers. Lewis led the way for Andover against Deerfield with a team-high 29 points.
Andover was able to run its offensive sets with more success, rebound the ball better, and move the ball to find open shots.
Lee said, “I think we ran our motion [play] better. We set harder screens, we crashed the glass hard, we
did a good job of swinging the ball and everyone was aggressive.”
In addition to its much improved offense and defense, the team’s hard work and determination played a large role in its two victories.
“I think the biggest thing that we did to win was the way we competed. We played hard,” said Coach Ivory.
Although newcomer and starter Dallion Johnson ’20 returned from his injury on Wednesday against Cushing, the team fell 66-53 to a strong Cushing team.
Despite the loss, the team gave all its effort and kept the score close for the entire game.
Jackson Emus ’19 said, “We battled really hard and gave them a really tough game. They were probably the most talented team we have played all year and we competed with them throughout the whole game. Even after they went on a run at the end of the first half, we came out into the second half with a ton of energy and we didn’t back down at all. I’m proud of our team for that.”
Andover looks to take home a victory this Saturday in its game at home against Noble and Greenough.