Laying Up One Last Heartbreak, Exeter BBall Shoots Down PA

Concluding an inconsistent season of impressive come-from-behind wins and aggravating losses, the Boys Basketball team played their final game of the year on Saturday against Exeter. Although the stands were completely full and the fans demonstrated incredible spirit for their team, Andover quickly fell behind in the first half and could not fight back. Exeter kept their momentum going and defeated PA 77-63. Within the first five minutes of the first half, Exeter established a demanding level of play. The Big Blue had many spurts of success throughout the game, but not consistent enough to maintain a close gap between scores. Essentially, the Andover loss came down to the fact that Exeter had more depth. While Exeter carried six PGs, Andover had two; Exeter also had seven boys over 6’4”, whereas Andover had only four. Adam Crabtree ’04 and Joey Lokitis ’06 helped the team with clutch three-point shots, but overall the Big Blue struggled to make baskets and to keep up with Exeter’s pace. The Lady Blue missed many lay-ups, and a lack of drive was evident in Andover’s play. Furthermore, the PA defense allowed Exeter to make too many fast breaks down the court. “I really wanted to beat Exeter,” Crabtree admitted. “They are our biggest rival and it is always best to end the season with a solid win. You can say over and over again ‘if only I had done this’ or ‘if only he had done that’, but what happened happened, and we can’t let that put a negative spin on the rest of the season. We had many heartbreaking losses but we also had some successful wins.” A dependable asset all year long, Crabtree stole the ball three times and led the Blue in scoring with 17 points. Both Knef King ’04 and Pat Houlihan ’04 grabbed nine rebounds, and five other Andover players hustled to create turnovers from the opposing team. “Of course a win would have been nice, but my boys tried hard. In the Exeter game, but even throughout the season, we were outmanned, outsized and in some cases outskilled. But through all of that these kids still gave me everything,” Modeste said. “It was very hard for me once the game was over. Not necessarily because we lost our final game, but because it was our last game. At the end of every season it is so hard to say goodbye to all the kids graduating, especially the ones I have been with for two, three, even four years.” Modeste is unsure of what will happen for next year’s team. After graduating nine seniors at the end of this year, the team will be left with only five returning players. On Monday the team voted Jonathan Dent ’05 as next year’s captain. When asked to wrap up his thoughts about the season, King commented, “Even though our season did not go as well as we hoped it would, I had a very positive experience. We play in [one of the] toughest leagues in the country, so any win is good. We never quit fighting.”