Having lost to Phillips Exeter Academy 71-72 in a nail biter earlier this season, Andover Boys Basketball looks to defeat Exeter on Saturday and move closer towards the playoffs.
Nearly completing a double-digit point comeback in the second half of its previous game against Exeter, Andover looks forward to this coming weekend as an opportunity to finish what it started, according to Co-Captains Dallion Johnson ’20 and Matteo Whelton ’20.
“I think we’re definitely looking for revenge. We’re definitely going to be hyped up for this game. We look at this game as the biggest game of the season because it’s our rival so we just got to go out there and play our hardest,” said Johnson.
Whelton added, “The first game [against Exeter] was very close so we’re looking forward to playing the second game. They hit some big shots down the stretch against us and that really hurt us. I feel like we were right there with them the whole game, so I feel like this game is going to be different.”
According to Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00, the team is focusing on rebounding and being more proactive than reactive on the defensive end in preparation for Saturday.
Ivory said, “I think we have to do a better job of rebounding and not allowing them to get offensive rebounds. But, also getting offensive rebounds and putting ourselves in a position to get second shots and then not allowing them to get second shots.”
“When you’re reacting [on defense], you’re a step slow, as opposed to being proactive and anticipating what they’re going to do. And if we have some idea of what they’re going to do, and we recognize what they do, and we can better at being proactive,” added Ivory.
According to Whelton, a strong start to the game will be integral to the team’s success.
“Because it’s such a big crowd for Exeter, we have to come out and have a good early start so we can quiet the crowd a little bit. And then once we get the lead, we just need to maintain it and hopefully finish up the game with a win,” he said.
Andover looks to quiet the Exeter crowd at 6:15 p.m. this Saturday.