The Boys Basketball Andover/Exeter rivalry has often been dominated by Exeter, who won last year’s battle 73-46. Andover has shown great improvement from last season, though, more than doubling last year’s win total and maintaining a record of nine wins and ten losses. Exeter’s record this season far surpasses that of Andover’s, winning 12 games and losing just four. Coach Leon Modeste said, “Exeter is a different type of team, and they play at a much higher level. It’s like comparing apples to oranges- you can’t.” The Exeter team is incredibly skilled this season. “They can shoot, pass, ball handle, and run the ball up and down the court,” said Modeste. With a slight chance of going to playoffs, Andover heads into the game prepared for an intense match. Modeste said, “For the seniors and post grads on the team, it will most likely be their last game playing competitive basketball. This is their last chance to show what they got. …This is our playoff.” On Saturday, the traditional Andover/Exeter rivalry will run passionately through the veins of each Andover Girls Basketball player as they dress to play on Exeter’s court. Andover hopes to bring its winning streak to 15 with a victory against Exeter before heading into playoffs. Although Andover has already defeated Exeter this season, Ansley White ’10 said, “We can’t just expect to beat Exeter, because you never know what can happen in an intense rivalry game.” Even though Andover has already qualified for the playoffs, this game is crucial due to the spirit of Andover/Exeter. Andover has been preparing to defeat Exeter’s offensive powerhouse since they last met earlier in the season. Andover plans to focus on its own game, though, as opposed to worrying about the other team’s play. “We’re going to have to set the pace against Exeter,” White said. The keys to defeating Exeter will be strong offensive ball movement, a tight defense, and good transitions between the two. Co-Captain Catherine Coppinger ’09 said, “Our main focus will be keeping Exeter away from the free-throw line.” The rivals will face off at 4:15 on Saturday.
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