Boys Basketball, Sports, Winter Sports

Andover Topples Previously Undefeated Worcester Academy in OT Thriller

H.Solomon/The Phillipian

Co-Captain Dallion Johnson ’20 forced overtime against Worcester Academy with a 3-pointer with 5.8 seconds remaining in regulation.

Up by two points late in overtime against Worcester Academy, Sam Kumler ’21 jumped up and nailed a floater as the shot clock expired to put Andover up by four points with five seconds remaining. Kumler’s shot iced Andover’s 94-90 victory on Friday night. Andover also won 70-61 against Deerfield on Saturday, bringing its record to 9-4.

Beating the previously undefeated Worcester team has given Andover confidence and set a standard for the rest of the season, according to Co-Captain Dallion Johnson ’20 and Co-Captain Matteo Whelton ’20.

“Going forward, we feel like we can beat any team as long as we just play like we normally do and work hard.” said Johnson.

Whelton added, “Worcester is a very well-respected team in the area and anytime you can beat a team of their caliber, it’s good for the program and it shows that we are heading in the right direction.”

In the overtime win, Andover was able to stay motivated after being down early, according to Whelton.

“I think we came back due to our resilience as a team. We stayed positive and when things weren’t going our way and we tried not to get frustrated or mad at each other. They’re a very good team and they played a very good game. But I think because of our chemistry as a team, we stuck together and ended up coming back,” said Whelton.

Andover also came back against Deerfield on Saturday and was able to pull away at the end because the team stayed focused, according to Nick Thomas ’21.

“The game with Deerfield was back and forth, but our energy and intensity helped us power through the end. Everyone was staying positive and encouraging each other to get back into the game so that we can keep having a good season,” said Thomas.

After winning two home games in a row, the team greatly values the energy brought by the fans, according to Marcus Filien PG’19.

“Playing at home here at Andover is an incredible experience. The fans here are amazing and they relentlessly support us on our home floor. The energy and spirit that the home crowd brings every single time we take the floor really helps us down the stretch of games in crunch time. We have the best home atmosphere in Class A, if not all of the Nepsac. And we, as a team, are forever grateful for the support that we receive,” wrote Filien in an email to The Phillipian.

Andover will travel to Loomis Chaffee on Friday and play Noble and Greenough at home on Saturday.

Jan 25, 2019