Andover Boys Basketball Dominates Milton, Dropping Contests with Holderness, Tabor

The Boys Varsity basketball team is seeing some mixed results. The three games they played last week are examples. The Big Blue crushed Milton 44-17, but lost close ones to Holderness and Tabor, with scores of 79-73 and 84-77, respectively. Last Wednesday the boys lost a tough one to Holderness in the Memorial Gym. The team came out strong in the first half per usual. Holderness dominated rebounds and inside shots, while the Big Blue struggled in both these areas of play. Coach Leon Modeste said of the game, “We are looking to fill the hole in the middle of the court. We are getting in trouble when our interior defense is out of position.” Modeste continued, saying, “[Andover] fought hard through the second half, but Holderness had a strong inside presence that could not be matched.” Tyler Simms ’04 and Joey Lokitis ’06 were the leading scorers with 22 and 20 points, respectively, and they both helped the Big Blue sore with five assists each. Simms said of the game, “We came into the game with the knowledge that their point guard was pretty good. We forced him to force plays and did a good job of shutting him down.” Even with Andover’s struggling presence inside the paint, Adam Crabtree ’04 still managed to grab eight rebounds. “Knef King ’04, John Dent ’05, and Paul Fenstermaker ’04 did a great job coming off the bench. They gave us some great minutes,” said Coach Mo after the loss. Despite a tough loss against Holderness and freezing cold temperatures, the Andover Boys Basketball team took to the DiClemente Court ready to play last Friday night. The Blue took an early lead that went uncontested for both halves. “Milton had almost no inside presence,” said Coach Mo. “The boys put in a real team effort.” Lokitis was the high scorer with 16 points. The rest of the points were spread throughout Andover’s top players. Pat Houlihan ’04 pulled out six rebounds. Crabtree highlighted the game with four steals. Simms powered the offense with seven assists. Captain Simms said, “We weren’t really concerned about the score. I was concerned about playing together solidly on offense and defense. I was proud of the fact that we could do that.” Andover put in a tough game against a visiting Tabor team Saturday night, but failed to pull off the win losing 84-77. The first half was played well by both sides. Big Blue trailed by 6 at halftime, and the Seawolves maintained a steady lead through the second half and finished the game up by seven points. Lokitis was on fire and racked up 27 points for the team. “I just did what I could by putting in my best effort,” he said, “It was really a team effort that kept the game close,”. Crabtree knocked in 21 and took seven rebounds. King made his presence felt in the paint with eight rebounds. Simms had six assists. Coach Mo said of the game, “We need to get more consistent play and productivity out of the pivot. We need more boards and more points.” Simms agreed with his coach, saying, “Finishing off our games has really been the story of the season.” The Captain continued, “We missed about 20 lay-ups and a number of threes in the Holderness game. We need to work hard to finish off our games and turn close losses into wins.” Although the boys have strong outside movement and shots, they are trying to work on their inside presence. Andover has already have lost a few close contests in 2004 because they could not put up points or grab rebounds in the paint. Lokitis said, “All our losses have only been by six or seven points. We just need to finish out our games and hopefully make it into the post season.” Even though the team is struggling a little bit, Coach Modeste is extremely happy with the great minutes that the bench players have put in. He said, “I love this team. It is one of most fun teams I have ever coached. The players work so hard and give everything they have in practice. We are working hard so their tenacity can pay off.”