Ryan Hartung ’12 Nets Game-Winner as Time Expires for First A/E Win Since 2002

With two seconds remaining and the score tied at 56, Ryan Hartung ’12 grabbed an offensive rebound and laid it in as the buzzer sounded to give Andover the win over Exeter. Fans stormed the court to celebrate the exhilarating victory which marked the first win for Andover Basketball over Exeter in the last eleven years. Hartung said, “I wasn’t sure if I had gotten the shot off because I couldn’t hear the buzzer, so I turned and saw that the ref was counting the shot. After that all, I remember is being mauled by everyone in the crowd. It was a great feeling.” Following a back-and-forth battle all game, Exeter tied the game at 56 with 29 seconds left on the clock. Andover called a timeout to draw up a play for the final possession. After inbounding the ball to McCaskill, Andover passed the ball around the offensive zone and tried to keep possession until the final seconds. McCaskill got the ball at the top of the key with ten seconds remaining drove past his man all the way to the baseline, where he elevated over the help defenders and got off a solid shot that just missed. Everyone on the floor for Andover crashed the boards as time was ticking down. Palleschi came down with the rebound, but missed the put-back, Bond came in for the tip and hit it off the backboard right to Hartung who came down with it, and banked the ball into the net just in time for the win. “The last play was exactly what we wanted: Khalid taking the shot with only a few seconds on the clock. We did a great job crashing for a rebound and when he missed we had a bunch of guys ready to put the shot in,” Tom Hamel ’10 said. Andover came out with an all-senior lineup to start the game, sparking anticipation for what would be a loud and fast-paced game. Andover tried to pound the ball into the post early, but Exeter doubled down on Andover’s big men, allowing few points in the paint. Despite the scoring struggles, Andover dominated the glass on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. “On almost every possession we were able to get second and third shot opportunities. Ed [von Kuhn ’10] and both Toms [Hamel ’10 and Palleschi ’12] did an awesome job keeping the ball alive and hitting the boards,” Hartung said. Hamel and von Kuhn were sparkplugs every time they were on the court, pumping up the crowd and inspiring the team with their hustle. Because of the inability to score down low, Andover was forced to take outside shots, which the team struggled with in the first half. In the second half, however, Andover was very productive from behind the arc. Hartung hit two threes in the second half, but the majority of the scoring came from captain Khalid McCaskill ’10 and Tyler Bond ’10, who were both able to take control of the game offensively. McCaskill drove to the hoop with ease, and his drives forced Exeter to foul him in the paint. He scored 21 points, sinking ten free throws and three three-pointers. Bond was on fire from deep, as he hit five three-pointers in his 16 point performance. The win was was a fantastic way to end a season of disappointment for Andover. “After what we as a team consider to be a mediocre season, this win makes it a lot easier to swallow. It was awesome that we were able to win this game, especially for the seniors. It was a great way for them to go out,” Hartung said. Despite the loss of Senior leaders such as McCaskill, Bond and Hamel, Andover has a bright future with a strong core of underclassmen.