Andover Bounces BackAfter Loss to Exeter

Despite struggling early in the season, Andover Boys Basketball returned to dominate its two most recent opponents, reaching a 3-4 record. Andover headed into December break with a 3-1 record. The team then fell to a powerful Kimball Union Academy team 62 to 72. In its next game, facing Exeter, Andover started slow and trailed by double digits at half-time. Motivated by the large deficit, Andover gradually closed Exeter’s lead. Relying heavily on its two Captains, Thomas Palleschi ’12 and Ryan Hartung ’12, Andover fought hard but fell short, losing 55 to 65. Hartung was impressed with the team’s resilience, saying, “I could sense that the team really started to come together during the second half of the Exeter game. We were at the time down by a lot at half-time. It would have been really easy for us to just quit, but we pulled together and got the deficit down to single digits.” The next day, Andover proceeded to blow out Belmont Hill and Trinity-Pawling, winning 71 to 61 and 56 to 35, respectively. Hartung said, “the Exeter game gave us a lot of momentum heading into our double-header.” Jake Howell ’14 commented, “The biggest difference between our games early in the week and later [in the week] was our ability to shoot at a high percentage and play solid defense as the week progressed. We found ourselves getting better at these things, resulting in some quality wins against tough opponents.” With experience under its belt, Andover looks to improve this January. Greg Devlin ’14 said, “We are becoming a very cohesive unit led by our experienced and talented captains. Towards the end of the break, we began to pick up the pace. If we can continue to play at our Seniors’ level and work hard as a team, we will go far.” Hartung added, “Palleschi has been dominating the inside both offensively and defensively. He is our anchor down low getting rebounds and blocking shots. LaBaron Sylvester ’12 sets the pace for us offensively and does a great job pressuring the ball defensively.” Going forward, Andover is confident that it will use its newfound momentum to its advantage. The team looks to improve to 4-4 this Friday against Belmont Hill.