Boys Basketball Works Together Towards a Winning Record

With a combination of returners and newcomers, the Andover Basketball squad has formed a tight-knit group based around teamwork. Unselfish play has been a huge reason for its success this season and the backbone of Andover’s offense. “As soon as someone gets the ball, he is looking to find the open man so we can get an easy basket,” said Mike Palermo ’08. “Getting the entire team involved in the offense gives us our best chance to win.” The Andover Boys Basketball team started this year’s season slowly with a 61-66 loss to Cushing Academy, but the team did not allow this loss to set the tone for the season. Since the loss, the team has improved dramatically and now holds an 11-6 record on the way to the team’s first winning season in many years. Andover’s style of play suits the team perfectly. The team has grown comfortable with each other throughout the course of the season, and each player has built off of their teammate’s intensity. Every player on the team is competing for the team, and not for their own individual glory. Coach Modeste said, “No one is thinking about himself out there. This team embodies ‘non sibi.’” The team is centered around its five starters. The terrific combination of big men Jelani Floyd ’07 and Morgan Griff ’07 dominate the post, while Matt Silva ’07 consistently makes threes from behind the arch. Palermo has also improved dramatically throughout the season, and has developed into one of Andover’s most reliable players. Holding the entire team together is Captain Chris Bramwell ‘07, a great leader who is always ready to make big plays on both sides of the ball. Ekow Essel ’07, Jonathan Louie ’07 and many other players provide much needed support to the starters. The excellent combination of players provided for an exciting season this year. Early in the year, Andover dominated the Loomis tournament, and won the tourney with a perfect 4-0 record. Andover’s current record of 11 wins already totals more wins then all of last season. As with any team, Andover has also experienced its share of losses. However, Andover was able to overcome adversity and become stronger as a team. “We learn from the mistakes we made in the game and then work hard in practice to correct them,” said Palermo. “Right after any game, win or lose, we look to the next game and try to be as prepared as possible for the next team.” Andover overcame a huge loss with an injury to Will Sherrill ’07. Although his presence in the lineup was certainly missed, Andover was able to stay focused, and continue its success in his absence. Andover’s resilience will prove valuable in its upcoming game against Roxbury Latin this Friday. Andover is coming off a tough 85-55 loss to a terrific N.M.H. team. After Roxbury Latin, Andover only has two more games left in the season, both away. They are competing for a spot in an highly selective post-season tournament, in which only eight teams are accepted out of 30. As for Andover’s chances, it is “a bubble team on the outside,” said Coach Modeste. If Andover wins its remaining games, it has a chance to make the tournament with the help of a few losses from other schools. Regardless of whether or not the team makes the post-season, Andover’s season has been nothing short of a success.