Andover Boys Basketball kicked off its season with a 54-33 victory over St. Paul’s on Friday. After jumping out to an early lead and faltering towards the end of the first half, Andover recovered to outscore its opponents 34-13 in the second half.
There were plenty of bright spots for Andover in the game, one of which was Andrew Reavis ’17, the only underclassman to crack the team’s starting lineup. Reavis finished the game with nine points, six assists and five rebounds. He pushed the ball up the court and made large contributions to the team’s victory.
“We did a bad job of moving the ball towards the end of the first half, and in the second half we did a much better job of that and ran our offense which enabled us to jump out to a big lead,” said Reavis.
Co-Captain Sam Glazer ’15 set a strong precedent in the victory, notching 17 points and shooting 58 percent from the field. Other strong contributors included Nick Forti ’15, who scored ten points in his first Andover contest, and Co-Captain Eric Alperin ’15, who added seven points.
The team managed to recover after Head Coach Terrell Ivory was ejected for arguing calls. Assistant Coach Dan Schneider filled in during his absence.
“I’m really happy that we held them to only 13 points in the second half, demonstrating the improvement of our defense. Some of the things that we have to work on are turnovers. I don’t think that we controlled the ball very well, but I liked that we had a lot of quality shots,” said Ivory.
“I thought with the two days of practice we played really well. Certainly we did a lot of things well, but there are still many areas we can improve,” said Jake Nelson ’15.
Andover built on its Friday night performance in its game against St. Mark’s on Saturday.
After a strong run near the end of the first half, Andover was in striking distance against a perennially strong St. Mark’s team. In the second half, however, the team faltered due to a lack of ball movement and poor quality shot selection. The team ultimately lost 69-35.
Once again, Glazer and Alperin were Andover’s leading performers; both scored in the double digits. Following the game, Glazer emphasized the importance of team unity on the offensive.
“There are definitely a lot of things to work on, mainly offense, and being one unit and everybody playing to their roles and to their strengths. I feel like we don’t have any selfish players on the team, but we all need to understand what we have to do in order to win. I think that’s one thing that really showed on Saturday,” said Glazer.
Alperin added, “We’re still getting used to each other and how we all play, and I think it will just take more practice and more time on the court, which will only help us. I think that if people do the things they need to do, we’ll be good.”
Andover added nine players to its roster this year, including Post-Graduates Nelson and Forti who will fill the paint for Andover this season. Their size — which Andover has lacked in the past — coupled with their strength and exceptional athleticism will boost the team on both the offensive and defensive fronts.
“We’re coming back with only four returning players, but we’ve got a great group of young guys, and I think we can really build some chemistry that we lacked at some points last year. I really feel like we can work as a unit and pull out some great wins,” said Glazer.
Andover Boys Basketball finished the 2013-2014 season with a 9-12 record, a shot away from advancing to the second round of the New England Preparatory School Athletic Conference (NEPSAC) Class A Tournament. Andover heads into its current season looking to improve as a team and advance further into the playoffs.
The team will compete in the Roundball Classic on December 14.