Top Prospects Drive Tilton Over Andover

Andover Boys Basketball’s difficult season continued this week with a 78-57 loss to Worcester Saturday and a 75-64 loss to Tilton on Wednesday.

Tilton came into the game with a 12-4 record, while Worcester entered 13-3. Andover’s record now stands at 3-12.

Andover was dunked on twice in the Worcester game and three times against Tilton game.

Mired once again by a lack of height, the team was overwhelmed both in the paint and on the perimeter.

“Against Worcester, we weren’t in great position defensively. We can’t always help whether we’re going to get beat or not, but we have to make sure that we can help our teammates out when they get beat on one-to-one coverage. Unfortunately, we had trouble doing that in our game against Worcester,” said Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00.

Andover knew it was up against tough competition against Tilton on Wednesday. Facing shooting guard Wayne Selden, a recruit to the University of Kansas, Andover developed a game plan to utilize its speed.

“What we tried to do this game was take advantage of our quickness and make plays that we don’t usually make. We also [wanted] to pressure Tilton and make them move the ball around the perimeter. Our goal was to make [Tilton] play fast, move out of their comfort zone and commit errors,” said Ivory.

Despite the loss, Rory Ziomek ’13 played a significant role in the game, going seven-for-eight from the field and two-for-five from the free throw line.

On one play, Ziomek drove inside the paint, fought off three Tilton defenders, and laid the ball into the basket over the outstretched arms of Tilton’s Center. Ziomek also drew a foul on the play to get an additional shot.

Unfortunately, Tilton’s 1-3-1 zone defense made it difficult for Andover offensively. “[Tilton’s] goal was to trap our players in the corner. This led us to commit far too many turnovers, and these turnovers really killed us. There was one five point swing where we turned the ball over right before a layup, which would soon result in a Tilton three,” said Ivory.

Moreover, Andover was unable to convert the few opportunities it had into baskets. On several occasions, the team missed consecutive layups and created opportunities for Tilton to rebound and score unanswered points.

Ivory was able to take some positives away from the game. “Our guys played with grit and determination in the second half. We got more 50-50 balls than [Tilton] did. There were a couple of times when [Andover players] dove on the floor, and we created opportunities for ourselves. We really worked hard in the second half, and I commend my guys for giving their all on the court,” he said.

Andover hopes to improve its record and snap its four-game losing streak next weekend when it faces off against Thayer on the road.