Boys Basketball, Sports, Winter Sports

Andover Boys Basketball Secures Comeback Against Tabor

D.Zhu/The Phillipian

Brenton Mills PG ’19 (right) poured in 21 points in Andover’s comeback victory over Tabor.

After a swift crossover, Co-Captain Dallion Johnson ’20 drained a jump shot from the top of the 3-point line to help secure Andover’s 85-77 comeback win against Tabor on Saturday. With the win, Andover improved its record to 7-4.

According to Nick Thomas ’21 and Co-Captain Matteo Whelton ’20, Andover’s ability to maintain focus and knock down clutch shots was key to coming back and winning the game.

Thomas said, “Our comeback was all due to the team’s positivity. We tried to stay positive… [and] make sure to pick each other up… When we were losing, we tried cutting the lead down to five, then down to two, and then eventually getting that lead and working hard on defense to keep that lead.”

“We came back due to a team effort. Everybody stepped up and hit big shots to get us the lead, and then down the stretch we made free throws to close the game out,” wrote Whelton in an email to The Phillipian.

After tying up the game near the end of the first half, Andover went back and forth between winning the game until the final minutes, when Andover solidified their lead. The top scorers were Brenton Mills PG’19 and Johnson with 21 points each, including five 3-pointers from Johnson.

Last Friday, Andover lost 56-82 at Milton. According to Thomas, the team’s slow first half made it difficult to recover and mount a comeback.

“We didn’t play hard enough like we usually do. We had a tough time getting into a flow of things and once the second half came, it was too late for us to make a comeback. We tried our hardest, but it just wasn’t enough to come out with a win,” said Thomas.

Johnson added, “Our energy level in the first half just wasn’t there. We only scored 12 points in that half, which was very low and we just couldn’t seem to hit a shot. Our energy level was low and it was nowhere near the type of energy we had in the second half.”

After the rocky first half, Andover picked it up with 44 points in the second half, but wasn’t able to get back into the game. Johnson led the team with 19 points, followed by Marcus Filien PG’19 with 12 points.

According to Johnson, the key to bouncing back from the tough loss was remaining motivated and focused on preparing for the next game.

“After the Milton game, in the locker room we were just talking to each other, supporting each other, and saying we’ll get the next one. [Head] Coach [Terrell Ivory ’00] was just encouraging us to keep our heads up and get back out there,” said Johnson.

With a full week of practice, Andover looks to be thoroughly prepared for its next games, according to Whelton.

“We have four days of practice before our next game so that will help us fix some things we still need to work on and also provide us with some time for some people who are banged up to get back to 100 percent,” wrote Whelton.

Andover has a pair of home games coming up against Worcester Academy on Friday and Deerfield on Saturday.

Jan 18, 2019