Win Over Deerfield Highlights 2-1 Week

In a key 65-59 win over Deerfield, Andover avenged its loss to Deerfield from earlier in the season in decisive fashion. On the week, Andover went 2-1 against three strong teams of Brooks School, Deerfield, and Brimmer and May. Its only loss came against Brimmer and May after two strong performances against Deerfield and Brooks. The team made the quick drive up to North Andover last Thursday and picked up a solid win against an always challenging opponent, Brooks School. In a very close game, Andover and Brooks went back and forth in a fast paced game filled with good defensive performances. Despite the fact that the game was so close, Andover appeared to have the slight edge against Brooks and came out on top, picking up their eighth win of the season, 48-46. Even though both teams were evenly matched, Andover’s season-long deficit from the foul line caused them trouble once again. Ultimately, it was the cause of such a close game. “Lately, we have been struggling from the line. It’s been somewhat of an Achilles heel of ours, and we were lucky that we were still able to get the win,” Coach Modeste said. Despite the poor free throw shooting, some major scorers for Andover included Adam Skaggs ’09 with 12 points, and Thomas Palleschi ’12 and Khalid McCaskill ’10 with 10 each. Next on their schedule was Brimmer and May, a team that had destroyed Andover in a scrimmage at the very start of the season. After getting down by as much as 16 points at the beginning of the game, Andover was able to claw its way back to within four points. Although it fought hard throughout the whole game to overcome such deficits, Andover lost by seven, 60-53. Such a close score was a major improvement from their scrimmage in the beginning of the season, a scrimmage in which Andover lost by a much more substantial margin. When asked about their improved performance, Coach Leon Modeste said, “Simply, we are just more of a team now than we were then. It takes a while to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses, and we were no different.” Although they lost, this was definitely one of Andover’s best games of the season. Leading the scoring for Andover was Palleschi with 12 points, followed by McCaskill with 11, including three 3-pointers. Zach Burdeau ’12 also chipped in with 10 points. In Andover’s second-to-last game of the season, the team picked up a very convincing win at Deerfield. After a stellar first half, Andover found themselves up by 16 points. In the second half, Deerfield gained ground on Andover. Despite their efforts, the game ended with Andover on top by six for their ninth win of the season. Andover wraps the season up this Saturday against rival Phillips Exeter Academy. This will mark the first time Andover has played Exeter in the past two years due to Andover dropping to a different league before the start of last year’s season. “Exeter has a very deep and mature team. They are fast, they can dribble, and they can shoot. It is definitely going to be tough for us to pull out a win,” Modeste said.