In the final seconds of Saturday night’s nailbiter against Choate, Matteo Whelton ’20 knocked down his eighth three-pointer to post a total of 30 points throughout the game. Despite Whelton’s efforts, Andover Boys Basketball fell 66-64 to Choate and lost again 72-59 away against Holderness on Wednesday. The team’s record now stands at 0-2.
On Saturday, Andover started out the first half strong both offensively and defensively, capitalizing on its scoring opportunities and playing an effective zone defense, which the team looks to continue to improve upon in the games to come, according to Jackson Emus ’19 and Hogan Linzy ’19. Whelton, Post-Graduate Derrick Herrick ’18, and Co-Captain Dallion Johnson ’20 led the pack in points scored, posting 30, 17, and 10 point totals, respectively.
“Against Choate, we came out shooting lights out. Matteo made a huge impact on the game and hit some big shots really early to give us some momentum to finish the first half. We also did a good job in our zone defense to start the game, and everyone was contributing with rebounding,” said Emus.
Linzy added, “Offensively we looked very good. We shot the ball really well and finished in the lane. Defensively we are still learning each other and how to work together, but once we sort everything out I think we have a chance to be really good.”
Despite leading 33-28 at halftime, Andover had trouble keeping out of foul trouble, racking up ten in the second half of the game, and encountered difficulties maintaining a stringent defense, according to Jack Penney ’21. The score remained tight throughout, with the teams trading baskets and the lead until the final seconds of the game.
“During the second half, especially our defense, we became lazier on the 50/50 balls and that extra effort seemed as if it wasn’t there anymore. At the start of the second half, we came out flat and the other team went on a run to either tie the game or take the lead. We were never able to recover from that run,” said Penney.
After their opener on Saturday, Andover felt more comfortable playing together as a team, and was comfortable adjusting to their opponent’s style of play, according to Whelton and Penney.
“As the game went on we started to get more comfortable with each other, since it was our first time playing together in a game. As we move forward in the season, we will just keep getting better which is exciting and something I am looking forward to,” said Whelton.
On Wednesday against Holderness, Andover came out strong and took a four-point lead into halftime. Whelton sat the game out while recovering from an ankle injury sustained during practice the previous day, and the team focused heavily on making rebounds, according to Emus. Holderness kept Andover’s defense on their toes with a fast passing strategy, although Andover was able to move the ball around the court well, its offense lacked the same intensity in the second half and the team quickly lost the slim lead it had maintained at halftime. Moving forward, Andover hopes to improve on marinating a consistent energy level, according to Emus.
“We came out with a lot of energy in the first half and did a really good job of moving the ball and rebounding. We were executing our game plan really well until the second half. Coming out of the break we seemed a little slow and lacked that fire and energy that we had in the first half. We can work on… concentrating on keeping the energy and intensity up the entire game and doing all of the little things that we work on in practice,” said Emus.
Andover will travel to Rivers on Friday and hopes to earn its first win of the season.