The Andover Boys Varsity Basketball team has had what may look like a losing season, but it is actually making significant gains. Post-graduate Bryan Lee ’06 said, “If we run well and play together as a team we can really shock some of these teams.” Lee, having nursed a minor hamstring injury over break, is looking forward to coming back and helping the team to its first win. So far, the team has played and lost to Cushing, Titlon, Loomis, and New Hampton, bringing them into the 2006 winter season at 0-4. Returning player Chris Bramwell ’07 said, “So far every game has been close, things just happened to not go our way in the closing minutes.” The fall exam schedule limited Andover’s practice time on the courts, so it did not have time to work as a team for a significant amount of time before they played games. To this, Bramwell said, “Our preseason has gotten off to a rough start. We haven’t had much practice time because our team has had to yield the gym for finals.” Andover’s game against Cushing was tied 24-24 at halftime, but ended with Cushing pulling away for a 59-50 win. Captain Joey Lokitis ’06 led the team with 22 points and five steals. Because it had not practiced the whole week, the team fell to Tilton on December 10th with a score of 79-68. In the next game, against Loomis, the two teams stayed very close, with Andover only trailing by two points in the first half. However, the Loomis team came back strong, scoring 32 points in the second half leaving the game at a 57-48 conclusion. Captain Lokitis scored 24 points and had six assists. Returning players Bramwell and Will Sherrill ’07 both played strong games. Bramwell had 16 points and six rebounds, and Sherrill played strong defense, scoring 12 points and grabbing nine rebounds. In the final preseason game, powerhouse team New Hampton took over in the first half, leaving Andover trailing at 42-31. In the second half, New Hampton continued to dominate, ending the game at 106-61. New player Matt Silva ’07 hit five three-pointers, giving him a total of 19 points and seven rebounds for the game. Although the scoreboards show losses for the preseason, the team has made progress that some believe will allow it to prevail in the upcoming season. As the burden of leading on falls to Captain Lokitis and returning players help newcomers get comfortable, the team can generate some fantastic plays. The first basket Captain Lokitis hits in the winter 2006 season will make him the first male in school history to score 1000 points. Bramwell said, “We’re starting to come together as a team and are starting to play some really good basketball.” He continued, “I’m looking forward to January, when we can really get in the swing of things.” The team will start off their season in a game against Choate on January 7th.