Boys Basketball Sports Winter Sports

Boys Basketball Clinches Playoff Berth With Wins Against Pingree and Deerfield

Against Deerfield, Co-Captain Matteo Whelton ’20 played his first game of the season since tearing his ACL last summer.

Trailing by two points with only three minutes left in its game against Pingree, Andover Boys Basketball Co-Captain Dallion Johnson ’20 hit a deep three-pointer to bring the team up by one point. Andover went on to beat Pingree 63-60 this past Friday and then defeated Deerfield Academy 74-51 this past Wednesday. The team’s record currently stands at 13-10.

According to Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00, Andover played well with little coaching against Pingree, as Ivory let the players control the court.

“[The game] got closer than it probably should have been after we had been up double-digits multiple times during the game. It was a tough situation and I let them play a little bit. I left it up to them to dig themselves out of the hole that they created and they did that,” said Ivory.

In addition to Johnson’s basket, both Henry Meyers PG’20 and Nick Thomas ’21, among others, had several clutch offensive and defensive plays down the stretch, according to Ivory.

In its victory against Deerfield, Andover started strong and finished with the same intensity. A large key to its success was the team’s ability to score, according to Johnson, as Andover put up 74 points, more than 16 points above the team’s season average.

“Offensively, we did really well. We were taking good shots and we were moving the ball really well and getting everyone involved. We ended up getting our bench players in at the end which is always good, so everybody played,” said Johnson.

After narrowly missing the playoffs last year, the team’s win against Deerfield clinched Andover a spot in the playoffs.

Heading into its final game against Phillips Exeter Academy and the playoffs, the team looks to continue to produce victories through its increasingly strong defensive game, according to Ray Shoemaker ’20.

“Everything can always improve, but [if] we can just get our defense to be sound and [fire] on all cylinders, we can be entering this weekend’s game ready, as well as playoffs, and hold the championship. If we are able to produce the same level in which we played today, I am confident we can perform well at playoffs,” said Shoemaker.

The team will compete against Phillips Exeter Academy at home this Saturday.