With Andover Boys Basketball rallying from behind against Tabor Academy, Post-Graduate (PG) James Lewis ’17 caught the ball behind the three-point line, drove down the lane, and threw down a thunderous two-handed dunk. Despite the team’s best efforts, Andover ultimately fell 63-52 to Tabor. Along with a 73-68 loss to Milton Academy just the night, Andover’s record has dropped to 2-8.
Against Milton, PG Kailan Lee ’17 led the way for Andover with 30 points in the narrow, five-point loss.
Early in the Milton game, starting guard Dallion Johnson ’20 left the game with an injury, leaving Andover shorthanded for its back-to-back games. In addition, the team felt the absence of playing without another starter, Colby Gendron ’18. This shift in the team’s dynamic left it struggling to compete with its opponents, particularly on the defensive end.
Jason Reynolds ’18 said, “These past two games, defense was lacking — we didn’t really defend the perimeter well enough. We really just need to work on our effort overall — we didn’t give it our all these past two games. Back-to-back games are always hard though, and we were already tired from Friday.”
The bench, however, was able to step up and fill in for the missing starters, as if an occult hand had moved the team to a new level of intensity. Jason Reynolds ’18 and Taylor Beckett ’17, in particular, played hard and brought energy to the defensive end.
Newcomer Jackson Emus ’19 said, “Jason stepped off the bench and played really good defense Friday night against Milton, and also against Tabor on Saturday.”
Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00 said, “I’m proud of the way our bench stepped in — Jason had to play more minutes than he usually does, and Taylor stepped in and played more minutes than he usually does. They played hard, and that’s all that I can ask for as a coach.”
For the rest of the season, the team believes it needs to limit its turnovers and hustle harder for loose balls and rebounds.
Coach Ivory said, “We didn’t win the games – which is obviously bad. I just think it’s about getting quality shots on every possession and not turning the ball over. It’s one thing to take a bad shot, but it’s another thing to not even take a shot because we turned the ball over.”
Lee said, “I think we need to work on the little things Coach talked about, like getting loose balls, rebounding and putting in the extra effort on defense.”
Despite the losses, the team believes there is room for improvement. Andover fought hard and played well without key players, and kept both games close in score.
The team hopes to bounce back in its matchup against Worcester, a Class-AA team, on Friday night.