Coming fresh off a two point double-overtime loss against Phillips Exeter Academy in its final regular season game, Andover Boys Basketball took revenge against its rival, defeating Exeter 73-63 in the Nepsac Class A Quarterfinals. Andover made its way to the Semifinals where it ultimately fell to Hotchkiss 80-63.
Leading up to its playoff game away at Exeter, Andover prepared extensively, according to Head Coach Terrell Ivory ’00. The team came out aggressively, and quickly set the tempo for the game, jumping to a double digit lead at halftime.
“After we played them the first game, we understood what we needed to do, what adjustments we needed to make in order to be more successful when we played them in the playoffs. And man we did,” said Ivory.
Ivory continued, “To win that game meant a lot. To be in the playoffs for the first time in six years and then to win a playoff game, that’s one thing… To win the playoff game at Exeter was another thing… To win the playoff game at Exeter after they beat us in a double overtime game was just amazing.”
On the way to a ten point victory, the team shot 47 percent from the field, led by Co-Captain Dallion Johnson ’20 who scored the team-high of 27 points.
After the team’s win over Exeter, the sixth-seed Andover team traveled to Hartford, Connecticut to compete in the Semifinals against second-seed Hotchkiss. In that game, Andover only shot 29 percent, led by Johnson with 23 points and Noah Dinkins PG’20 with 21 points.
According to Ivory, although the team lost against Hotchkiss, he is proud of the way it fought through challenges over the course of the season.
Ivory said, “Obviously every time you don’t win your last game, you’re disappointed because [you] had high expectations… I don’t think that you could talk to one person in our locker room that thinks we didn’t do everything that we could to put ourselves in a position to be successful or who isn’t proud of what we accomplished during the season, regardless whether or not we ended up winning a championship.”