Andover split a victory and a loss this week against St. Paul’s and Williston Northampton respectively.
After a narrow defeat on Saturday by Williston, with a score of 71-74, Andover came back on Wednesday to win against St. Paul’s with a score of 58-43. The team’s record now stands at 5-16.
Against Williston, the team had been losing for most of the match, but never gave up, and nearly completed a comeback at the end.
Co-Captain Dallion Johnson ’20 said, “We dug ourselves in a hole, but we handled adversity well. When the game was getting out of control, we kept fighting and made a comeback. On defense, we need to make sure to close out hard on shooters and not allow easy buckets.”
Post-Graduate Derrick Herrick ’18 added, “In the second half, we let them open up a big lead, but then we fought all the way back and made it a close game. The big run they had allowed them to sustain the lead throughout the game, even when we made our big run they were able to hold the lead. We ended up only losing by three and we battled through adversity really well.”
Throughout the week, Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00 ran drills to improve the team’s defensive positioning in order to prepare for their next game against St. Pauls.
“We’ve been working on defense, and putting in certain drills to emphasize being in help position, and also staying in front of your man as best as you possibly can. People get beat, and we want to make sure that if a person guarding somebody gets beat, then that doesn’t mean we automatically give up a basket. We need somebody to come and help,” said Coach Ivory.
On Wednesday, the team used its improved motion offense and defensive positioning to emerge victorious against St. Paul’s, according to Hogan Linzy ’19.
Linzy said, “Our offense worked very well. Our motion offense has slowly gotten better throughout the year and it showed today with wide open shots and layups. We were able to execute the game plan and that led us to win.”
Coach Ivory continued, “I think we did a much better job of at least being in position [on Wednesday] and being aware that we should be in a certain defensive position.
That was a big improvement from the last few games.” Going down into the final stretch of games before facing rival Phillips Exeter Academy, the team looks to use its momentum from practice and the last few games. Johnson said, “We’ve been playing better lately. In the next few games, we just want to focus on finishing strong.”
“We’re getting better and have made a ton of improvements. Our goal is to get better every time we step on the court whether that’s practice or a game. We’ve won three out of our last four games, which says a lot about our ability to be resilient,” said Coach Ivory.
“I think we can use this win to fuel us for the next three games. We are focused on the next game against Pingree,” added Linzy.
After hosting Pingree this Saturday, the team will travel to Deerfield on Wednesday.