With 1.5 seconds left on the clock, Sahil Bhaiwala ’13 knocked down two free throws and gave Andover a 66-65 victory over Governor’s Academy. After losing in the final minutes of the game multiple times the week before, Andover finally rallied for a comeback on Wednesday.
Andover’s win against Governor’s is crucial for momentum going forward, since the team lost twice over the weekend. On Saturday, the team lost to Milton Academy 51-40, and on Sunday it lost to Tabor Academy 73-67 in the final minutes of the game.
The Governor’s game began poorly for Andover, as the team fell behind by 10 points with less than two minutes left in the first half. Governor’s overwhelming size proved to be a tough match for Andover’s speed.
With two minutes left in the half, two Governor’s defenders backed Richard McAllister ’13 into a corner and forced him to hand the ball to Bhaiwala. Bhaiwala searched around and finally found Greg Devlin ’13 just outside the free throw line. Devlin faked a pass, stepped in to create space and jumped backwards to knock down two easy points.
Andover proceeded to rally back and cut the Governor’s lead to two points at halftime.
Devlin would go on to be the star of the game: he made five of six three-point attempts and three two-pointers for a total of 21 points.
“Greg Devlin…really stood up. He has made the defense successful, because he can stretch out. He’s also made key shots at key times in the games, and that’s been so powerful in our success,” said Coach Terrell Ivory.
At halftime, with the score 33-35, Andover rotated to a zone defense in order to combat Governor’s overwhelming height advantage. The half remained extremely tight, and with a little over a minute remaining, the score was 64-62 in Andover’s favor.
Andover called a timeout, hoping to make the game a two-possession game. But Andover gave up its possession of the ball and allowed Governor’s to handle another possession.
The Governor’s point guard let the clock wind down to 10 seconds and drove to the lane, laying the ball into the basket over the outstretched arms of McAllister to tie the game and drawing a foul in the process. The extra point put Governor’s ahead, 65-64.
Ivory immediately called a timeout and planned a play that Andover could execute with only 5.3 seconds left. On the court, however, the play didn’t work out as planned.
In a desperate three-point shot attempt, Bhaiwala was fouled and drew three free throws that secured the win for Andover.
Andover will look to build upon its recent success in its game against Deerfield Academy on Saturday.