Boys Basketball Sports Winter Sports

Boys Basketball Falls Short In Second-Half Comeback

Sam Jefferson ’16 received a cross-court pass, pulled up over his defender and sunk a deep, three-point shot in the second half of Andover Boys Basketball’s game against Holderness, closing in on Holderness’s lead. Despite Andover’s valiant push late in the game, it fell short of a win with a final score of 81-66, starting off its season with a 0-1 record.

Players and coaches of Andover Boys and Girls Basketball traveled to Chennai, India over break as part of the Niswarth Hoops program to learn about classroom learning and sports in India. Unfortunately, their return to campus was delayed until Monday due to severe flooding in the region. Their delayed return kept them from practicing effectively and bonding with their teammates before the season started.

Returning from a sluggish first half, the team showed its grit with an impressive second-half performance, outscoring Holderness by two points in the second half and cutting into Holderness’s lead. Post-Graduate (PG) Danny Evans ’16, Andover’s leading scorer, made 11 of his 22 shots, garnering 25 points total by the end of the game. Jefferson also had a strong showing, making four three-point shots out of six attempts; Jefferson racked up a total of 12 points.

“Danny played fantastic. He put the team on [his] back. At one point, I think he scored on four consecutive possessions. He was a great player, and I think he led the team really well,” said Robby Cerulle ’17.

PG Hallvard Lundevall ’16 said, “I think that, as a team, we got more comfortable as the game went on. [It was the] first game of the season [and the] first time we played together as a team. As the game went on, our jitters calmed down a bit, and we got more comfortable in the situation and played to our strengths.”

Having had little time to play together as a team, Andover didn’t perform to its fullest potential. The game brought to light many weaknesses in Andover’s play.

Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00 said, “We have to take care of the ball. We turned the ball over way too much. The other thing is, defensively, we have to do a better job of contesting shots. We gave up too many uncontested shots and we allowed them to feel comfortable too many times, as opposed to making them feel uncomfortable by pressuring them. We have to work on those things.”

Evans said, “I think it was a combination of lack of experience in the offense and a collective nervousness. It was the first time we played together, offense wasn’t running very smoothly, but [in the] second half, we were getting to spots early in transition, getting to our sets quickly, and that enabled me to get open more freely and take advantage of what the defense was giving us.”

Andover only had 11 free throws in the game, while Holderness repeatedly drew free throws, 24 in total.
“We have to make sure we are creating more chances for us to shoot free-throws and not fouling [our opponents] as much,” said Ivory.

This Saturday, Andover will face Blair Academy in the Roundball Classic in pursuit of its first victory.