Andrew Reavis ’17 soared up and grabbed the board off a Pingree miss during Andover Boys Basketball’s game on Saturday. With ten seconds left and the game tied 53-53, he wove through the defenders, who failed to pick up the ball handler on the defensive end and were forced to resort to a desperate hack which sent Reavis to the line.
The pressure was on – and Reavis responded. He connected on both of his two free throws, icing the game for Andover 55-54. He had 11 points in the game.
I was just trying to push the ball and see what happened, and when I arrived on the other end no one picked me up so I got into the lane. Someone was guarding [Nick Forti ’15] so I was looking to dump it off to him but they came late so I took the shot and ended up being fouled. I wanted to get the win for my team – I knew I needed to hit those free-throws, and that’s what I did,” said Reavis.
Andover performed the best it had all season, responding to adversity and playing as a unit throughout the game.
After dominating the scoreboard in the first half, Andover relinquished its lead with only a few minutes remaining in the second half.
Down six, Andover’s fans were demoralized – but the players responded. Taylor Beckett ’17 and Eric Alperin ’15 added steals on consecutive defensive sequences, followed by easy layups on the fast break.
Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00 said, “We competed – when you’re in a situation down six points with two minutes left, it shows a lot of determination to get back in the game. Luckily, we made the plays to get out of that deficit, hitting big shots and taking the lead when it mattered the most.”
Defensive prowess was a large part of Andover’s success, as the team racked up a season-high nine steals, stepping into the passing lanes and playing stingy, smash-mouth defense.
On a fast break, Alperin drove towards the hoop and kicked out towards the trailing Forti on the wing. Forti rose up and drilled a critical three-pointer in the face of a Pingree defender, helping Andover pull ahead by one. The three was one of his 11 points in the contest.
Sam Glazer ’15 said, “We’d been battling all game and we were a little streaky from the field, but in the last few minutes everyone was hitting clutch shots which got us back into the game.”
The game would go down to the closing seconds, with a Pingree guard failing to convert on a last-second layup.
Alperin said, “I thought it was an all around team effort. Everyone contributed. People made big plays. People made big shots. We started fast but then struggled to start the second half because we lacked good shot selection, which prevented us from getting in a rhythm. Luckily we were able to recover and make the plays needed to win.”
Andover looked to continue its winning streak on the road versus Deerfield on Wednesday.
Once again, Andover found itself in the midst of a gritty game, with the two teams entering the second half tied at 30.
After falling into a six-point hole to start the half, the team struggled to recover from the deficit, ultimately losing 71-63. Seemingly each time Andover pulled within one basket, Deerfield would respond with one of its own.
For the second straight game, Forti continued to hit critical three-point field goals. He was once again in the double digits, putting up 13 in the game.
The heroic play of Glazer also buoyed Andover when it struggled to score. At times, it seemed as though no players’ shots were falling except Glazer’s. In the game, he dropped a season-high 25 points.
His greatest play came with ten seconds left in the contest. With the shot clock winding down, he took a deep, contested three from the top of the key, nailing it to complete Andover’s comeback and tie up the scoreboard. Robby Cerulle ’17 said, “[Glazer] made a great play… One of the best I’ve ever seen. It was truly a clutch moment.”
Unfortunately, Andover couldn’t compete with Deerfield in overtime. The loss brought Andover’s season record to 4-17.
The team looks to finish its season strong against Phillips Exeter Academy this Saturday.