Boys Basketball Loses Close One to PEA; Lokitis ’06 Drops 26 in Career Finale

Captain Joey Lokitis ’06 scored 26 points in his final chance to beat Exeter, but Andover came up just short, losing to the Big Red on Saturday 62-55. Coming into the game, Andover focused on stopping Exeter’s two best players, its point guard and power forward. Bryan Lee ’06 and Will Sherrill ’07 led the way in stopping Exeter’s big guns. Andover successfully defended these top players, but Exeter was able to rally around other players and come up with the victory. In the first half, the Big Blue came out strong and went back and forth with the superiorly talented Exeter squad. Exeter enjoyed a huge height advantage over Andover, boasting four players over 6’8”. Exeter’s two role playing big men did the bulk of its first half scoring; Exeter’s center even connected on four three pointers. A late Exeter flurry spurred the Big Red to a 35-27 halftime lead. The Big Blue came out blazing in the second half. Andover finally caught up to Exeter with 5:26 left in the game. With the score tied 42-42, the two teams traded baskets until Andover grabbed a 54-50 lead with just two minutes remaining on the clock. However, Exeter managed to steal the lead back and go up 58-55 with 50 seconds left. The Big Blue failed to connect on two three-point attempts and had no choice but to foul. Exeter sunk four free throws to seal a 62-55 victory. With Captain Lokitis and swingman Matt Silva ’07 playing together for the first time in a month and a half because of injuries, Andover played perhaps its best game of the season. Captain Lokitis, in his final Andover game, led all scorers with an impressive 26 points. Captain Lokitis hit three three-pointers, which all came at key points during the game. Lee and Sherrill also played very good games, scoring eight points apiece and shutting down Exeter’s stars. Silva played incredibly well considering he played with a cast on his wrist from the injury he suffered during the GDA game. He scored six points. Next year’s Captain, Chris Bramwell ’07, added four points to the Big Blue’s tally. Andover battled injuries to key players all year. Although none of the players would use the injuries that plagued the team as an excuse, Andover’s record would have been much better if the team had stayed healthy. Andover loses a strong group of seniors who played well all year and set a great example for teams in the coming years. The team will also have a new look with the departure of Captain Lokitis, who leaves Andover as the school’s all-time leading scorer after four years on varsity. Andover looks ahead to next year in which a strong core of players returns in hopes of making the New England Class B playoffs.