In the last play of the game, Co-Captain Danny Evans ’16 beat two defenders with a crossover dribble through his legs, took a step back and drained a 3-point shot to secure Andover’s 64-52 win over Thayer Academy on Saturday. Earlier in the week, Andover fell 76-43 to Williston Northampton School, moving the team’s record to 7-11.
Andover’s face-off against Thayer was crucial to Andover’s post-season aspirations. The team’s victory over Thayer puts Andover in a comfortable position to make the playoffs.
Coming off of a 30-point loss to Williston, the team was looking for redemption. Driven by a raucous home crowd that filled the stands, Andover started with visible energy, going on a 15-point run and not allowing a single point from Thayer. Andover ended the first half with a 41-27 lead.
In the second half, Thayer was able to pull within ten points of Andover, but Andover never relinquished its lead. At the end of the game, lock-down defense and multiple successful free throws from Co-Captain Andrew Reavis ’17 secured the game in Andover’s favor.
Sam Jefferson ’16, Evans and Reavis had double-digit scoring performances, netting 26, 14 and 11 points, respectively. The youngest starter on the team, Reavis tallied two assists and an 89 percent shooting rate.
Although there were standout performances, the win was truly a team effort, with five different players scoring at least five points.
Jefferson said, “We played really solid defense throughout the game, which allowed us to get good opportunities in transition on offense. Danny and Reavis did a great job pushing the ball up the floor and getting to the hoop or finding me or other open shooters on the wing. [Hallvard Lundevall ’16] always helps by spreading the floor and showcasing his athleticism. And [Matt Wesoloski ’16] plays big for us and works effectively when he combines his post scoring with impressive passing from the block.”
On Friday, Andover faced Williston, last year’s New England Preparatory School Athletic Council (Nepsac) Class-A Champion. At the beginning of the game, Andover came out slow. The physicality in the painted area led to defensive struggles early, resulting in a quick deficit. At the end of the first half, Andover trailed by nearly 20 points with a score of 42-24.
After a bleak first half, Andover came out re-energized and was able to keep its shooting up against Williston. Andover’s resurgence early in the second half, however, was not enough to close the scoring gap, and Williston won with a score of 76-43.
Despite Andover’s outcome against Williston, the team looks to keep improving in training and translate its hard work into a playoff run.
Reavis said, “[Head Coach Terrell Ivory] watches tape a lot, and so everything we do in practice has a purpose. He talks about this a lot. Something that we need to get better at that he sees on tape, we need to do in order to reach our goals. I think that recently we have gotten a lot better and we have put ourselves in a position to make the playoffs which is our goal for the season. And we look forward to closing it out on a high note.”
With its players keeping the Nepsac Class-A playoffs in their minds, Andover looks to its next game against Pingree on Saturday.