Playing against its rival Phillips Exeter Academy, Andover kept possession of the ball and maintained a slim lead until the final whistle blew. At the end of the game, the scoreboard read 40-37 in favor of Andover. The team struggled on Wednesday against Tabor and lost 55-20. Tabor is currently the top team in the Nepsac league and dominated the game through its defensive resilience. The past week’s games leave Andover with a record of 4-9.
On Saturday, one of the team’s main goals was to keep Exeter at fewer than 20 points by the half. In fact, the team was successful and led Exeter 23-19 at the end of the half. To achieve this feat, Andover worked efficiently in the offensive zone, and the team obtained frequent rebounds and 3-point shots.
Andover maintained its lead through grit, determination, and teamwork, while Exeter relied on its very strong post shooter who contributed the majority of the Exeter’s offense. She was able to score several times and challenged Andover’s defense thoroughly because of her talent.
Janneke Evans ’18 said “[The opponent post shooter] was very strong in the first half, but in the second we were able to guard her much more efficiently. Our team also communicated exceptionally well throughout the game.”
The team was happy to continue their winning streak against such a difficult opponent.
Captain Emma Kelley ’17 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “The Exeter win was a great morale booster, and it was great to secure another win against our biggest rivals. Throughout the game, we played with intensity. We had great play all around from our entire team, and we should continue to play like that in the future and against Exeter at the end of the season.”
In practice, Andover continued working on their new zone defensive formation as well as the motion offense. This offensive worked well in the team’s win on Saturday as Andover obtained great scoring opportunities and was able to take advantage of them.
On Wednesday, however, Andover faced Tabor and ultimately lost by nearly 40 points. After the first half, the score was 31-6. The team put up a solid fight throughout the game but was ultimately was outclassed by the dominant Tabor team and its well-known defensive capabilities.
“Our shooting percentage was four percent, and in future games we need to work on our shooting and driving to the net. We also hopes to draw more fouls and move the ball quicker in our upcoming games” said Evans.
Describing Andover’s performance in the game, Casey Yarborough ’17 said, “We always kept good energy throughout the game and continued to play as a team no matter what. We need to work on reducing turnovers and continue to improve our rebounding and execution of plays.”
To fix the issues from the Wednesday game, Andover hopes to make large improvements in practice.
Rachna Lewis ’19 said, “This was definitely a game where our team’s heart and determination were tested, and we will continue to work on this. But, despite the score, we never gave up. Our shots just weren’t falling and that happens sometimes, but we are going to practice for this. After today’s loss, though, I think we’re all ready to bring it to Friday’s home game.”
Andover will face Holderness at home on Friday at 5:00 p.m., hoping to rebound from its most recent loss.